When my wife Ann and I were in New Orleans in January, we felt the need, after a great Po Boys and beer at Parasol’s in the Garden District, for one more afternoon libation (as you do in NOLA). We stopped at bar someone recommended down the street. I believe I asked for a boulvardier. Bartender shook his head. I said, negroni. Bartender said, “We serve N drinks here.” “Excuse me?” “N drinks. Vodka ‘n,’ Gin ‘n,’ Scotch ‘n.’” That is, no fancy pants drinks. “We serve hahd likkah heah for men who want to get drunk fast.” #itsawonderfullife And those were the drinks I saw poured in 1960s-70s suburban Cleveland growing up. Gin n Tonic, Scotch n Soda. I knew four cocktails in my youth. The Martini (Dad), The Manhattan (Uncle Jon), The Bloody Mary Read On »

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I put a pic on instagram of guacamole two weeks ago and got enough fervent responses about cilantro and garlic salt, lack of chili to realize that people really care about their guacamole. As we here in America, we who make enough of this creamy delicacy to fill a football stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, are engaged in a dish now nearly as national as Turkey on Thanksgiving, I thought I’d fire up the old blog again to pronounce my conviction: Guacamole = avocado + lime + shallot + salt. And that’s it. The lovely Elise Bauer goes even further, a simplifier after my own heart. Guacamole, she says, needn’t be anything more than avocado and salt. And when you know that, you also know how easy it is to make it a little better—a Read On »

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[For those who want to skip the post: shop.ruhlman.com promo code JINGLE—I forgot how to hyperlink the image!] Perhaps the worst feeling in the kitchen is approaching a task for which you don’t have the proper tools. Being asked to slice something without a proper knife, or being asked to follow a cake recipe without adequate measuring devices. I was once tasked with making popcorn on the stovetop though none of the lids fit any of the pans appropriate for popcorn. I banged around in the kitchen in frustration, irritating everyone. This is why I love my kitchen tools. They perform. They are elegant. They enhance the experience of cooking. My flat edged wood spoons, for instance, are perfect for stirring anything in a pot. My offset spoons are lovely to behold and a pleasure Read On »

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If our most famous historical Republican’s claim that a nation divided against itself cannot stand, we should take heed of Thanksgiving more today than ever. Food brings us together, and hallelujah for it. Let us praise and honor the food that brings us together on this day. I have been writing and thinking about the meaning of cooking food and sharing it with people you love for 20 years now. Its fundamental importance to our health and happiness only grows more profound in my mind. The daily ritual of cooking and eating arguably gave our species the advantage it needed to triumph over the other upright and four-legged competitors to become the most successful species on the planet. If we can all, in our valuable differences, come together around food, perhaps we might retain that Read On »

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I need your help. I bought a sweet potato to force myself to cook it in a way that was exciting to me. I’m not a sweet potato fan unless they’re fried. Too mushy, too sweet. And yet, because I’ve come to appreciate how intensely nutritious they are, thanks Dr. Health Is On Your Plate, I wanted to cook it and like it, but …. It sat in the fridge for weeks. Until this morning. I was working on the new book, on Pâtés Confits and Rillettes, on some confit recipes. My partner in Charcuterie, Chef Brian, sent me a recipes for tasty morsels cooked slowly in fat, one of them a butternut squash. Of course! This would work beautifully with that neglected sweet potato I have to keep looking at every time I open the fridge. Read On »

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