Duck Confit, Part 2

21st Jan 2007

Duck Confit, Part 2 Library_4928 It turned out that, for my 6 legs totaling 3 pounds, the large contained on the right (1.75 pounds) was the perfect amount for the confit.  I threw my three D'Artagan containers in the freezer for another time.

Eating Tacos All Over San Antonio

If that means eating 5 lunches in one day, so be it.

11th Dec 2006

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Honestly, there's a real need for these signs.  When we were venturing around the mercado square in San Antonio, a land of slightly schlocky and catchpenny Mexican crafts, every third vendor warned against this practice, where gringo , giggling tourists pretended to experience Mexican culture by putting on outrageous hats and saying " Arriba, Arriba " like Speedy Gonzalez. How to a...

Is Broiling a Steak as Good as Grilling One?

29th Nov 2006

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There is "no doubt early man cooked his meats using dry heat," claims Madeleine Kamman, author of the esteemed Making of a Cook and a very friendly-looking lady who I sometimes wish was my grandmother.  She speculates that he might have discovered this gastronomic feat in the instance of two different accidents, producing two enduring ways of cooking meat.  The first, a discovery...

Learning the Traditional Foods of Estonia

The PC guide to Estonian cuisine.

31st Jul 2006

A Day in Helsinki, Mostly Eating Pastries

Searching for the perfect Voisilmäpulla, I encountered beautiful design and large tufts of dill

13th Jul 2006

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When I arrived into Helsinki Airport, the Finnish sun had been out for close to five hours: it was 8:02 in the morning.  My bag came out of flappy rubber slats onto the belt and I sailed through customs, exiting the terminal onto a pristine pavement platform, a group of bus lanes. Everything was strangely silent.  There were four other people waiting for buses, each squinting gently at the w...

Braised Short Ribs in Barolo

Tackling the art of braising

1st Jun 2006

When I got to the grocery store I had no idea what short ribs look like, so I simply asked for 2 pounds of them, and that amounted to 4 short ribs.  Thankfully the butcher didn't look at me funny or say "They're right in front of you, bub" (which they were).  They were only about 6 dollars a pound, amounting to 12 dollars of meat feeding four people.  This was looking good. It was time to learn...

Filling My Role as a Paupered Chef

Wherein I spend an entire day to save $22

31st May 2006

By Blake Royer I spent 4 hours on Saturday standing... Le_creuset I spent 4 hours on Saturday standing in a sweaty line for cheap cookware.  Broadway Panhandler, a kitchen supply store that generally has a massive selection and discounted prices, was having a moving sale .  75% off!  Free Food!  Live Music!  All of these things made me happy.  I dragged myself out of bed and left the house for t...

Shake Shack Alternatives Day 3: A Day for the Lazy

23rd May 2006

Most of the places we've reviewed for our Alternatives to...

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Most of the places we've reviewed for our Alternatives to Shake Shack extravaganza of grease have been within a short walking distance of the Shack.  But few would allow you to order your food, receive your food, and still leave you enough time to walk back to Madison Square Park to enjoy the grub the real way.

Fortunately,...

Grilled Cheese for Grown-ups via Mario Batali

Updating a classic

5th May 2006

Batali claims the American cheese classic, through his recipe, can be “turned into performance art.”  I wouldn’t go that far--nobody's getting naked and using her body as a paintbrush for buttering the bread, or having strangers cut off their clothes while they flip it on the griddle--but it’s an impressive sandwich made more impressive by its simple ingredients and childhood throwback. ...

Taste of Chinatown 2006

Braving the cold weather for all the $1 tasting plates you could want

P1010025_1 Tai Hong Lau 70 Mott Street Deep Fried Dumplings Verdict: The first of many deep-fried samplings, not the cheapest but quite tasty.  They had an assortment of vegetables and mini shrimp. P1010026 P1010027_2

Mussels a la Portuguese, OR: "Hey man, that''s a lot of mussels." "Yeah, that''s what she said."

A chorizo-laden recipe deglazed with champagne

15th Apr 2006

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When’s the last time you went to a butcher or fish guy and ordered six pounds of anything?  “Hey, I was wondering if you can give me six pounds of salmon.”  “Sure thing, bub.  That’ll be a hundred and eight dollars.”  “Um, thanks.” With mussels, you can.  They're like $2.50 a pound.  Three of us devoured (and I mean devoured : mussels are a sensual, hands-on affair) two pounds each of thes...

The Paupered Chefs Attend an Art Brut Concert at Bowery Ballroom and Make Beer Shakes and Gourmet Cheeseburgers Before the Show

Yes, you read right: beer shakes

9th Apr 2006

We asked Schnack what the beer shake recipe was, and they said they use 3 oz. of ice cream mixed with 3 oz. of dark beer.  We went with the cheapest vanilla we could find and a six pack of McSorley's ale, which is pretty cheap and basically tasty.  On second thought, a dark stout might have been the better choice--Guiness is practically a milkshake anyway.  The carbonation in our version made i...

Jacques Pepin''s Corn Chowder

Possibly the easiest corn chowder recipe on the planet

4th Apr 2006

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A warm comfort food that, in this case, is remarkably easy to make. Generally chowder is thick and hearty with bacon and potatoes and thick creamy base, but this version instead goes for elegant. It’s almost (but not) too thin, almost silky, surprisingly tasty considering the lack of any complicated seasoning.
By Blake Royer

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On a Sunday afternoon, corn chowder is the idea.  A soup bot...

How to Throw a Successful Tapas Party

In which we find a wildly handsome Spanish man

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Step 1: Find a Spanish Man.

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Step 2: Find a Spanish Ham.

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Preferably, a wildly handsome Spanish friend with a hunk of Spanish ham that his mother sent him.  Jorge had looks.  And he had the ham.   What follows is an evening of many, many stages that included overcoming fears of anchovies, quail eggs, and two romantic party members who ate their share, doted on each other, and c...

Joe (who knows coffee is an art) holds a “Single-Origin Coffee Tasting”

New York's famed coffee shop teaches us about the world's beans

26th Mar 2006

I was into good coffee before I was into good food, since I was drinking it every day of my life, and I figured I might as well make it the best it could be.  (Though I was discouraged by Balzac's warning : " When you have reached the point of consuming this kind of coffee, then become exhausted and decide that you really must have more, even though you make it of the finest ingredients and t...

Cold Day at the Shake Shack

Braving the early season weather

22nd Mar 2006

Shake_front The thunder-stealer was that they actually were open the day before with no line, doing a “test run.” I would have been happy with a “test run” Shack burger. This would not have been a problem for me. The combination of freshly ground sirloin and brisket, their signature; the secret Shack sauce; the frozen custard shakes. Hailing from north of Chicago and therefore a temptingly clos...

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pasta and Spinach Cream Sauce

This pasta is surprisingly light, a delightful characteristic considering the richness of the cream.

9th Feb 2006

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While our enthusiasm for cooking has grown immensely over the past year, we still feel mostly reluctant to toss our recipe books aside and approach the task with our own original ideas and ingredients.  A sense of improvisation comes with confidence, and as the acting theorist Konstantin Stanislavski suggests, cultivating concentration and trusting one's instincts.  Instincts.  We don't do...

The Great Potato Contest

A bag of potatoes and a quest for the cheapest dinner possible

With minds planted firmly in the dirt, we probed the...

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With minds planted firmly in the dirt, we probed the starchy tuber for secrets buried within, all in search of the perfect cooked potato.   Armed with a bag of $2.99 Idahos, we set aflame preconcieved notions, sexed things up, and tried to find the courage (and stomachs) to eat nothing but potatoes like our poor brethren of the 19t...

Aged Goat Cheese Omelette With Thyme

This is what happens when you start cooking before you’ve put in 30 seconds to check if you actually have what you need.

25th Jan 2006

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When I can’t decide what I feel like cooking, I’ll often visit epicurious.com and bum around until an ingredient that sounds great pops up--then I’ll start searching for that ingredient and I always find something that sounds tasty.  In this case, my ingredient was goat cheese.  I was doing a few searches at www.jamieoliver.com --we basically follow him and his British humor around with to...

Dinner with Genghis Khan

We did our research, spared no expense, and faced the terrors of salmonella. We survived to teach you how to give this haughty dish an American makeover.

Leonards The Paupered Chef ransack their local butcher in search of the fresh meat to one of France's most risky dishes. Will they have time to cook it?

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The Paupered Chefs ransack their local butcher in search of fresh meat for one of France's most risky dishes.  Will they have time to cook their steak tartare? We did our research, spared no expense, and faced the terrors of salmonella. We sur...

Pasta with Parmesan and Nutmeg

This is the easiest recipe this side of Dominoes, it’s pretty gourmet, and if you can boil water, you’re 83 percent there.

19th Jan 2006

One thing I’ve found difficult about cooking is that it’s really hard to start when you’re hungry--you have to plan ahead.  Once you get started you get your momentum going, and there’s always ingredients to snack on, but it’s the getting started that proves difficult.  The inertia works against you at first.  Since I get lazy when I get hungry, I end up heating canned soup.

This evening, with...

Pasta Carbonara

This recipe loses the cream altogether, replacing it with white wine.

15th Jan 2006

Pasta Carbonara

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 thin slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 4 egg yolks
  • small handful chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water

Serves 4.

Recipe adapted from Cucina Rustica

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Get a huge pot of salted water boiling...