Just last week handed in the revised manuscript of the new book, considerably fatter than expected, still have manuscript afterbirth to contend with, and thus have lazily failed to whip up my typical monster batch of granola, which starts the morning off rightly, oats and nuts and dried fruit, plus some yogurt to enliven the gut bacteria. But wanting it nonetheless, I’ve now gotten into the habit of toasting some nuts in a small pan, adding a little butter, then some oats, stirring to toast the oats further, than adding milk to cover, bring to a simmer, serve with honey and yogurt, and it’s all so satisfying and quick I’m disinclined to make cold granola again. It was 39˚F this morning, though, so maybe when it warms up, I’ll change my mind. Much to do Read On »

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So my oldest and dearest pal, Lester, feeling a bit fidgety several Fridays ago, texted to coax me off work early. I had cooking to do so I said, “Come over. I’ll make us some Clover Clubs while I finish prep.” After imbibing, I recalled the savvy note from Danny Guess of Fly Bar & Restaurant and video “host” of the iBook 25 Classic Cocktails, that if you add applejack brandy, you have a cocktail called a Pink Lady (all of which were covered in this post). Having finished our drinks and with more egg white on hand, I made us a second, this time a Pink Lady. Killer cocktail, but such an unfortunate name! This is something you will never hear me utter: “Barkeep, I’ll have a Pink Lady, please.” Can you imagine James Bond ordering Read On »

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  Short version: I ask you, cherished reader, what book would you like me to write next? Update, 5/9, 8 p.m.: A winner has been chosen using randomizer: Aaron Weiss, a journalist and TV news director in Sioux City, Iowa. Thanks for commenting, Aaron, and for cooking with your family! Thank you everyone. Frankly, I was astonished by all the ideas and fascinated by the patterns. Still making my way through the nearly 500 comments. My favorite suggestion, got filtered out due to a spam issue, from regular reader and commenter, Bob Tenaglio: I’d call the book “Time; The Secret Ingredient You’ll Never See On Iron Chef,” and it would delve into dry-aged meat, fermentation, enzymatic transformation, what constitutes “freshness” and “rot,” the role of rigor mortis in meats and seafood, “low and slow,” development Read On »

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  Michael just got back from an eventful James Beard Awards weekend in New York City, so today’s scheduled post has been delayed until tomorrow. So, I was looking back at the archives and I decided to rediscover his reflection on carbonara, his favorite pasta dish. Not only is carbonara a great pasta dish, but it is an essential staple dish. I like that Michael mentions using cured mangalista belly instead of common bacon—that addition elevates carbonara to a different level. (And Michael wanted me to remind people there’s still a chance to join a relatively intimate phone conversation today at noon Eastern time set up by Michael’s publisher for those who preorder Schmaltz by 11:55 today and email the receipt to littlebrown@hbgusa.com or to him directly at michael@ruhlman.com, to talk about schmaltz or cooking or to ask him Read On »

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Cinco de Mayo is Sunday. How many of you know what it celebrates or why? Shaw Lash is one of the key cooks and brains in the Rick Bayless Chicago operations, places I really admire. Last year she wrote why, having grown up in Texas and later lived in Mexico, the Cinco de Mayo madness drives her mad. She wants you to know what it means and asks should we celebrate it at all. Her short answer: It’s a celebration of being Mexican. And it’s a brilliant American marketing gimmick. Shaw Lash is one of those aware people I admire, so when my able cohort Emilia suggested a tequila cocktail, I emailed Shaw. Shaw suggested a Margarita primer. There’s an extensive discussion of all drink issues in Rick and wife Deann’s book Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles Read On »

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