The Tomato Sandwich: Why You Don''t Always Need Bacon to Be a Glutton

Adventures with buttered toast, ripe tomatoes, and Duke's mayonnaise.

2nd Aug 2011

Most people return from the beach with tans; I returned with tomatoes. It was a half-bushel, to be exact, and they were stashed in the back of a car as it wound its way from North Carolina, through the Great Smoky Mountains, and, some 16 hours later, finally to Chicago. Why such extravagant measures for tomatoes?

When it comes to tomatoes, I don't suffer fools, and I simply can't accept sub-p...

Lamb Pancetta | Charcutepalooza February Challenge

Plus, a Killer Recipe To Use It In

15th Feb 2011

Lamb-Pancetta

We are thrilled to be participating in Charcutepalooza , an organized blogging movement of people writing about the noble art of charcuterie. Scores of people around the country (or even the world?) are making and writing about bacon, pancetta, and other delicious variations this fine month of February—and throughout the year, will be embarking on ever-cooler projects like brining, and smo...

Serious Eats Roundup: Summer Corn, Succotash, and Sizzling Steaks

23rd Aug 2010

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Our weekly roundup of what the two of us have written over on Serious Eats.

"Dinner Tonight" Column

QUICK MEALS TO YOUR TABLE FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

Chicken with Tomato-Saffron Vinaigrette with Mixed Greens
Paprika and saffron help give a vivid orange-red tinge and a round, mellow flavor to this simple summer salad.

Summer Succotash with Bacon
Lovely, lovely bacon fat and a shot of...

A Guide to Bacon Styles, and How to Make Proper British Rashers

Everyone loves bacon, but it's not always the same thing.

21st Apr 2010

back bacon vs American bacon
British Bacon vs American bacon

If you've been reading the site lately, you may have been following Nick on his rather strange quest to recreate a full English breakfast from scratch (his first project was the British banger sausage ). Why, I don't know. But when Nick proposed that I take over the homemade bacon portion of the project, I leapt at the opportunity to contribute. Homema...

Idea Lab: Full English Breakfast from Scratch

Can you replicate the best English breakfast at home?

16th Mar 2010

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To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day.
- W. Somerset Maugham

I survived my half a year in England on a diet of boiled potatoes, canned peas, Heinz beans, and 99p egg and cress sandwiches I purchased from a convenient store. The dollar was nearly worthless next to the mighty pound at that time, and I hoarded what little cash I could for bus passes and the od...

Authentic Carnitas and Three Pounds of Lard

Lard is the secret to this Mexican classic.

5th Jan 2009

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By the time I fished the three pounds of pork hunks from the lard and stacked them on the cutting board,far more guests had arrived than I had originally planned.  It was a New Year's Eve party, but I thought dinner would just be an intimate gathering of 5 or so, and then we'd meet up with more friends later in the night.  But apparently my calls for meeting up later meant that they should c...

"Saucisson" of Pork Tenderloin

A baby step towards making salami.

30th Nov 2008

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It's similar in appearance and texture, and has that unmistakable salty tang of cured meat.  I'm surprised it never occurred to me before, but the idea is simple.  Pork tenderloin, which is already in a convenient salami-like shape perfect for slicing, makes a perfect dry-curing project.

There is already one traditional cured meat called Lonzino , Italian, which is made not from the ten...

Real Homemade American Bacon

How to smoke pork belly at home.

2nd Jul 2008

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First, I needed to find some pork belly with its skin still firmly on. My previous attempt removed it , along with a lot of precious fat directly underneath.  My bacon didn't have nearly enough fat on it to fry up, so instead cooking up beautifully in a pan, it burned .  My local butcher wouldn't sell me a piece with the skin on unless I bought 10 pounds, a fact I still find ridicu...

Homemade Guanciale, the Verdict Is...

15th Jun 2008

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My most ambitious meat curing project yet recently emerged from an unplugged fridge in my living room.  It was a pig cheek from a heritage-breed pig, also known as the jowl, which was salted and seasoned with sugar, black pepper, and thyme leaves, then left in the bottom of my real fridge for a week to release moisture.  After that, I hung it to dry in the unplugged fridge for three more...

Guanciale, Or How to Hang a Pig Jowl in Your Living Room

The other Italian bacon.

14th May 2008

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It took me almost a month and calls to half the butchers in New York before I could get my hands on a pair of pig jowls.  Here’s the problem: they want you to order the whole head.  And while I had a wonderful time watching pot-roasted pig heads go ferrying by my table at the Spotted Pig , when it was under the tutelage of British chef Fergus Henderson , the thought of lugging a 40...

Charcuterie Tales

10th Mar 2008

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Time to play catchup.  Blake has been on the forefront of this curing business for awhile now and I just couldn’t stand back while he was slicing off hunks of his own fresh bacon and duck prosciutto .  I picked up a duck and a pork belly and got to work.

It might seem a little redundant to document two projects that Blake has already covered, but in all fairness, these are d...

Adventures in Homemade Bacon

Make your bacon at home.

8th Feb 2008

The bacon most of us know it is made from pork belly, but there are also variations made from other cuts, notably the cheeks and jowl, which makes guanciale --a porkier tasting, fattier cut that's a staple in properly-made Spaghetti alla Carbonara and Bucatinia alla Amatraciana . Hog jowls are difficult to find, though, especially because a butcher would probably need to order an entire he...

Linguine with Clams from the Babbo Kitchen, via Bill Buford

From his memoir Heat

24th Jan 2008

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My favorite passages from Bill Buford's Heat are set in the Babbo kitchen, when he describes with fear and awe the wonder that is a busy restaurant kitchen at dinnertime-- tickets flying, steam vaporizing, oil popping. Orders arrive faster than they can be made; you are perpetually behind. The heat, of course, is unbearable-- like a shimmering wall when you enter the kitchen. Sweat...

Localvore Short Ribs

17th Oct 2007

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As you may or may not remember, I’m attempting to go somewhat local. Click back to Week 1 to see how it got started.

We’ve written about short ribs twice before and I’ll be honest in saying this isn’t the master recipe.  Part of the problem is that both previous recipes were really Blake’s babies.  It was his pot and his enthusiasm that spurred the effort.  While I was ther...

The Not-So-Humble Hot Brown

9th Sep 2007

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I’ve been gathering cook books by whatever method I can...and beggers usually can’t be choosers.  I borrow nearly anything I can lay my hands on.  I owe lots of money to the library.  And whenever I get to head home I usually make it out with an armful books my mom hoarded over the years ( I promise I’ll return them!).  One of those was The Louisville Courier-Journal Cookbook.  By a...

On New York Apartments, Grilling, and the Aussie Burger

31st May 2007

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By some miracle, my girlfriend and I have recently moved into a beautiful, spacious, freshly painted apartment with a backyard, a washer/dryer, and a dishwasher: three luxuries that most New Yorkers offer up onto the pyre of compromise very early on.  It’s simply assumed: you won’t have those things.  You live in the city because the people that live here are interesting, and there are o...

Pasta Carbonara Part Deux: Simpler, Heartier, and Less Healthy

22nd Mar 2007

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It happened again.  I'm just minding my own business, slowing making my way through Bill Buford's book Heat , and I get to passage where Alex, a former chef at Babbo, describes how Frankie, his screaming superior, had taught him how to make pasta Carbonara:

You render your guanciale, and make a sauce with and the egg whites, and then, after you've plated it, you add your yolks, uncook...

The Mean Green Brussels Sprouts

1st Dec 2006

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These are called Brussels sprouts, and unless you had some especially mean parents growing up, this might be your first time together.  Even I, who had been force-fed green beans for the first 10 years of my life, never had to touch them because my dad hated them so much.  I don't think I'm the only one.  I've never seen them on a menu, and have never been confronted with them at a friends...

Filet Mignon the Poor Man''s Way

15th Nov 2006

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Every weekend I quickly scan Fairway's specials to see what deal I'll get off with this week.  This time, I thought it was a joke, because I saw this sucker staring back at me .   Filet Mignon for $5.99, which is a minor miracle on par with shooting stars and finding a real pastrami sandwich.  Considering this cut regularly fetches prices that stumble towards the $20 mark, something...

Roasted Squash Salad with Bacon and Dandelion Greens

11th Oct 2006

Squash_salad_1 Someone is really concerned about us. We eat a lot of meat and not enough vegetables.  Nick spent a week devouring ham and now his face is the color of plain file folders .  (I'm in the office--this is the only simile available to me.)  We're facing vitamin deficiencies, colon problems.  We're afraid to go outside.  Because if we just ate a bunch of raw vegetables, we'd have nothing...

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...