I’m working on a book unrelated to ratios, but midday Saturday as my over-caffeinated stomach began to rumble, I thought about the Indian dal we’d had the night before, one of our staple meals. I’ve published the recipe in Ruhlman’s Twenty but keep meaning to publish it here because it takes about 10 minutes total prep time (an hour to simmer), and with some rice and pappadams is a great meal. The thing is we’d eaten all the rice, I didn’t feel like plain dal or heating oil for pappadams, and I happened to be writing about a specific dessert crepe. And there it was—I’ll make a couple of crepes. Where on earth, though, is there a recipe for one or two crepes? I needed only tap on my trusty Ratio app (which Will Turnage and I built, Read On »

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I’ve been traveling and hobnobbing with entertainment industry folks this week, so work and body clock are all off. Now I’m back in the deep Cleveland gray and longing for the fine days of cooking in Key West, so I’m reposting this most excellent cocktail that started off all those long lovely boozy nights in the southernmost with my sailing family, the Dark & Stormy: Gosling’s rum, ginger beer, and lime. I like equal parts rum and ginger beer, because that’s me; the traditional ratio is 2:1 beer to rum. This time I’d like to stress the use of lime. There should be plenty in the perfect Dark & Stormy or the drink is cloying after the first sip or two. Don’t give a desultory squeeze but rather an aggressive one, as much as half Read On »

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I’ve been in LA on an entertainment project and to see the opening of my friend and collaborator Richard LaGravenese‘s new movie Beautiful Creatures. I’d never been to an opening before. But quiche has been on my mind, so I’ve been using travel time to work on some variations of this infinitely variable fat custard tart. If I had time I’d head to Bouchon in Beverly Hills, which makes perfect quiche. Bouchon, and working on that book, is where I learned that, while America was taught to make quiche in premade pie shells, this deprives the quiche of its true greatness: depth. In order to achieve that voluptuous texture, it has be about two inches thick. For this, you need to have a ring. When I told this to my partner in tools, Mac Dalton, Read On »

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I followed a recipe for the first time in ages to make something I’d never cooked before. Whilst down in Key West, I decided to cook a local or near-local preparation. I once said to my friend Nathan Sheffield, Esq., “There’s no such thing as good Cuban food.” He was justifiably riled and sent me the below recipe for picadillo, a Latin American stew of chopped meat. Nathan is of Cuban heritage and thus his picadillo has lots of cumin and umami-giving olives and capers. Nathan insists that it be eaten with yellow rice, rice flavored with annatto oil. Annatto seeds are simmered in oil to make a red-orange oil that has a flavor like no other—difficult to describe but in the cinnamon range with bitterness rather than sweetness. It’s the defining seasoning here. To make a Read On »

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This blast of arctic air and wind and snow and gray has me longing for the lovely afternoons and evenings of the Key West I left a week ago. Nine full days there, writing, cooking, carousing with the sailing droogs. Sigh. So, to cheer myself, I made some Key Lime Daiquiris—proper daiquiris, with nothing but rum, citrus, and simple syrup. The frozen daiquiri and the frozen margarita are yet more travesties America has made of previously fine libations. I think I was in my thirties when I learned that a daiquiri wasn’t a slushie with alcohol. So I fight off these, the worst weeks of the year, with memories of Key West, rum, and Key limes (and thanks to you, Rob and Ab!). Yes, that’s blue Ohio winter in the background of Donna’s shot, but Read On »

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