I lead my too-stupid-to-cook post with Donna’s roast chicken photo (a spur of the moment shot while I finished the meal) because roast chicken is the iconic home meal.  It’s delicious, satisfying, economical, and easy. But why I love roast chicken is that it keeps on giving if you’ll let it.  I almost always throw the carcass into a 2 quart sauce pan and cover it with water for stock (here’s my oven method for making stock).  One carcass will give you a quart of great stock. If I also have plenty of leftover chicken, I’ll make chicken and dumplings, especially in the winter (basically an inverted chicken pot pie!).  When you’ve got this delicious stock, it’s impossible to wind up with anything other than fabulous.  Two hearty meals from one little chicken. The dumplings Read On »

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The salt issue.  People keep bringing it up as though it’s news. A new report says reduce your salt by 1/2 teaspoon a day and you will be more healthy (as though that alone would do it). The fact is, we have struggled to make our food so inexpensive that we’ve basically decided to grow cardboard, which, if you’ve ever tasted it, requires plenty of salt, especially if you intend to serve it to guests. Why do you think food is so cheap?  Because there’s nothing of value in it! Including flavor. Thus, the salt. Do we really need The New England Journal of Medicine to tell us this, or to have the earnest emotive Diane Sawyer reporting it during the dinner hour as though if we just kept our hands off that salt shaker Read On »

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If you’d have told me four years ago that I’d be tweeting from a beach in Mexico, while at a blogger camp, discussing social media, SLRs and SEOs, twaudio and animoto, I’d have looked at you as if you were flapping your arms and hopping on one leg. I wouldn’t have been able to respond—I’d have walked away, speechless, shaking my head and feeling sorry for you. But there I was, in Ixtapa,  the Pacific crashing at my feet, a paloma in hand surrounded by people with cameras and laptops and boogie boards, talking continuously about this amazing new world of blogs and all they might have to offer. It was both a really busy week (important given that it’s an open bar there from 9:30 a.m. till you can’t drink anymore) with intimate and Read On »

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I’m taking a break from the blog this week but my friend Michael Pardus, the chef I wrote about in The Making of a Chef, the guy who called me a wuss and set into motion what would become a dualcareer of cooking and writing (some people learn to cook out of love, I did it out of anger), has offered to step in with a few dispatches from K-1 his kitchen at the CIA where he teaches The Cuisines of Asia.  Throughout his classes he asks students to take flip videos of various techniques that he teaches, such as the one above, the proper way to poach shrimp so that they’re tender and succulent and not rubber.  And he’ll follow with spring roll technique.  These are not official CIA sanctioned videos, but they’re actual Read On »

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Say you didn’t listen to me.  Say you disregarded my warning and made stock anyway. Or say you just like to cook and want to put the leftover chicken to use in a really cool way. I love chicken pot pies.  I grew up eating frozen ones and all I remember is the nasty peas and the fact that chicken pot pie for dinner meant mom and dad were going out for the evening (my dad was a classic ad man, creative director, and even resembled Jon Hamm as much as my mom resembled January Jones—still does in fact!).  Suburban sixties. But now I know how fabulous a chicken pot pie can be if you do it yourself.  And you don’t have to add peas if you don’t want.  I make a buttery crust (3-2-1 Read On »

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