Garlic has changed for me. Now that really good, hard-stemmed varieties are available, I love to use it just briefly cooked. I find that in the traditional uses—in mirepoix for stews and sauces—it is completely lost. That’s right, I almost never use it in tomato-based sauces—the onion does all the heavy lifting. If I want garlic in a sauce or a braise I add it late in the game. My favorite way to cook garlic is briefly and in abundance, so you can taste it. Cooked this way it’s the powerhouse we’ve always thought of it as. I love it just briefly cooked in oil and used with pasta or smeared on toast. Donna and I used it in great abundance with tomatoes and basil—the season is near! Here’s the video that uses the fantastic technique of Read On »

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Today my Friday cocktail will be a daiquiri here in Palm Beach. Or you could instead sit down with a Lagunitas IPA and a few homemade chicken sausages; this recipe originally appears in Charcuterie.   Chicken Sausage with Basil and Tomatoes 3 1⁄2 pounds/1.5 kilograms boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed 1 1⁄2 pounds/675 grams pork back fat, cubed, diced into 1-inch pieces 3 tablespoons/40 grams kosher salt 1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly ground black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons/9 grams minced garlic 4 tablespoons/24 grams tightly packed chopped fresh basil 1⁄2 cup/100 grams fresh diced roma (plum) tomatoes 1⁄4 cup/60 grams diced sun-dried tomatoes 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters red wine vinegar, chilled 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters extra virgin olive oil 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters dry red wine, chilled 10 feet/3 meters hog casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30 Read On »

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Taking a bit of a break with Ma in West Palm—Goodbye, Cleveland grays!—but wanted to keep up the culinary inspiration via Donna’s photos. Here a basic bread ratio of 5 parts flour to 3 parts water can be turned into pizza dough, flat bread, or even a braided loaf with kosher salt My Bread Baking App has more info or watch this video. Or have a look at these past bread posts: pretzels, multigrain bread, no knead bread, and challah.     What is The Book of Schmaltz? Find out on Vimeo; then win a copy of the app from Edamam’s giveaway on Pinterest.   © 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.  

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Carri Thurman, baker and chef at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, Alaska, asked to write about soup after what I can only say is a soup moment. It’s also a glimpse of a busy bakery and kitchen (and two delicious recipes for tomato soup and a seafood soup). —M.R. The Magic of Soup by Carri Thurman I arrive at the bakery at 10 a.m to begin my day working the lunch and dinner kitchen shifts. As I get out of my car, the roar of the waves breaking on the beach next door fills my ears and the stinging odor of salt water assaults my nose. As I get closer to the building the fishy smell of the ocean mingles with that of sweet warm sticky buns tinged with ham Danish that has been left in the toaster Read On »

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Today’s cocktail is in honor of my best friend’s latest biography out this week, Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson. Jackson is all but forgotten but was the toast of Hollywood for a time and a highly regarded novelist, best known for The Lost Weekend. The Wall Street Journal calls Blake Bailey’s book “brilliant and gripping,” which is all the more amazing in that the story is largely about literary failure. The Lost Weekend was until now Jackson’s only enduring legacy, and remembered only because a great movie was made of it. Blake, whom the Daily Beast and his next subject, Philip Roth, both called the best biographer working today, also wrote the award-winning Cheever biography, and his non-award-winning bio of Richard Yates, which was even better than Cheever in my opinion (shows Read On »

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