In Praise of Cincinnati Chili

Nick finally takes a look back at the chili of his youth.

13th Jun 2011

Cockaigne: an imaginary land of great luxury and ease.
—Merriam-Webster Dictionary

"Cockaigne was the name of the family home...Any time there's a recipe with this in the title, it means it's an old family favorite."
— 'Joy Of Cooking': 75 Years Young, CBS

When the words "imaginary land of great luxury" and "chili" collide, usually that means we're set for some hyperbolic descri...

The Case for Going Animal Style: The Double-Double In-N-Out Clone

I don't really care for big burgers.

23rd Mar 2011

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one railing against the big burger tide. While nearly every new restaurant opening in Chicago features a big, fat burger on its menu, I’m that guy that prefers thin little griddled burgers. Usually I can only find them at old school joints, but even these are frequently harder to find these days. It’s getting to the point where I haven’t eaten a burger...

Corned Beef Short Ribs

A quicker, easier process than the whole brisket

15th Mar 2011

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Corned beef is one of the more basic and surprising kitchen experiments. But I think that people still think it's pretty nuts.  I'm staying in California for a couple weeks, and had to buy the ingredients, cook, photograph, and eat this project while staying at someone else's house (sorry for the lack of pictures).  First of all--it's really tough cooking somewhere you don't have all your fami...

Korean Barbecue: What''s Your Secret Ingredient?

The kiwi could change everything

5th Oct 2010

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The kiwi that could change everything

I keep returning to Korean barbecue, and once I get it in my head, nothing else interests me. The amazing flavor of the meat--beefy and complex and sweet--and the unique butchering and cooking method, which renders the normally tough short rib into a grillable pleasure. These things are crack to someone who loves to eat and is fascinated with cooking.

...

Forget the Tomato: Chicago-Style Hot Dogs with Pickled Green Tomatoes

Tweaking the classic Chicago hot dog (aka The Superdawg)

29th Sep 2010

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Though it pains me to say this, the Chicago hot dog has one little flaw. It’s not always an issue, but it’s there just the same. Most of the seven toppings which make up a proper Chicago-style Hot Dog can be had at any time: mustard and relish are condiments, celery salt is a seasoning, the sport peppers and pickle come from a jar, and onions can be freshly cut up at any time of the year....

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...

Griddled Carne Asada Tacos

Or, the best carne asada tacos we've ever had

9th Jul 2010

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As far as I know there are only two kinds of ways to make carne asada. The first method is to take thinly sliced flank or skirt steak, sear it over mad charcoal fire, chop it up, and then stuff it into warm corn tortillas. It's almost always great. The second method is the kind that most taquerias use, which is to scoop some bits of raw steak, plop it on a grill, and sauté until it is cooked....

Serious Eats Roundup: Smoked Paprika, Sriracha Mayonnaise, and a Salad BLT

6th Jul 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.

Steak and Eggs with Smoked Paprika
A sprinkle of smoked paprika helps wake up this breakfast classic.

Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Salad with Aioli Dressing
This dish reinterprets the ingredients of a BLT as a refreshing summer salad.

...

How to Fall in Love With Sichuan Food: Mapo Doufu

A mixture of tofu, ground meat, and chile bean paste suspended in a bright red and dangerously spicy sauce

11th Jun 2010

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Had you put a gun to my head a few years ago and asked me what my least favorite kind of food was, I'd have A) asked you why wanted to shoot me, and then B) probably said Chinese. Bad broccoli and beef, greasy fried rice, those strange orange packets of sauce--these were my impressions of the entirety of Chinese cuisine and what a billion people ate for dinner. Though I probably knew better, I...

Serious Eats Roundup: Prosciutto, Pistachios, and Papaduzul

7th Jun 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.

Shaved Asparagus, Pea, and Prosciutto Salad
Blake takes advantage of asparagus season by shaving the spring vegetable thinly and tossing it in a salad.

Yucatecan Papaduzul (Enchiladas Stuffed with Hard-Boiled Eggs)
Pumpkin seeds flesh...

Serious Eats Roundup: Cornmeal-Crusted and Pan-Fried

26th Apr 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.

The Best Oyster Po' Boy Outside of New Orleans
Nick still can't reach the perfection he found in New Orleans, but this cornmeal and flour crusted oyster recipe comes the closest.

Cornmeal-Crusted Pan-Fried Trout
Sometimes the simplici...

I Hate the Mac Snack Wrap: A Rant

The Big Mac will always be better.

2nd Mar 2010

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I should apologize in advance for this fast food rant. I've never indulged in such a tirade before, but I simply couldn't resist this one. Regularly scheduled content will return later this week, I promise.

The Mac Snack wrap is the stupidest, most idiotic, dumbest fast food creation I've ever seen. It purports to be a Big Mac in flour tortilla, except it betrays logic and any culinary...

Serious Eats Roundup: Respect the Cow

15th Feb 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.

Chipped Beef Gravy
"I can't be the only one who grew up with this meal," Nick writes.  67 comments later, we think he has his answer.

Roasted Salmon and Potatoes with Cucumber Relish
20 minutes in an oven turns out this classy dish.

...

Homemade Sliders

The PC guide to little burgers.

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What is a slider? A slider is a particular thing. It's particularly American. It's a small subset of our great culinary tradition, the hamburger. But as I explained last week , it's not just a mini-hamburger. To be a slider, it cannot be perverted with expensive ingredients like foie gras or tuna tartar, a cutesy version of a burger for a chef to play with. A slider consists of a thin laye...

Wednesday Links: Reading Meat, Homemade Tofu, and Great Defunct Food Blogs

20th Jan 2010

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[Photographs by Victor Schrager and DPerstin/Flickr CC]

Welcome to Wednesday Links. This is our weekly collection of four of the most interesting food links we've discovered in the past week. Enjoy!

Idea Lab: Sliders

How do you make the best mini burgers?

19th Jan 2010

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First things first: there's something to clear up about " sliders ." They are not mini hamburgers. Along with Adam Kuban over at A Hamburger Today, I actually sort of hate mini hamburgers and the implied cuteness . Sliders are a different beast, and not cute. They are compact and small, yes, but they are also haunted by sauteed onion, which they are cooked on top of to create a sort of...

Year in Review: An Obsession with Beef

Best of the beef.

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When Blake and I sat back and looked at what food obsessed us in 2009, we noticed an unusual interest in beef. Pork is still the hippest meat around, and praise for beef sometimes seems limited to talk about steaks or short ribs. We wrote about both of those cuts this year, but we did it our way.  We also managed to dress up mounds of round, tenderize brisket, turn chuck into the tender found...

In Search of the Cheapest Sous-Vide Steak

How to transform cheap meat.

4th Dec 2009

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This is why beef chuck roast cooked in a 131°F–140°F (55°C–60°C) water bath for 24–48 hours has the texture of filet mignon.
- Douglas Baldwin, A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking

After my experiments with sous-vide chicken resulted in one of the finest birds I'd ever eaten, I immediately set off on a crusade to transform the cheapest cut of beef I could find into filet mignon...

Corned Beef

How to pickle brisket.

13th May 2009

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I was standing in the meat section of my local Korean grocery store (the excellent Joong Boo Market ) with fellow food blogger Brian, from the Daily Ikura .  He was talking me through his favorite Korean dishes and ingredients, and I was loving it.  We were discussing uses of red bean paste, which ramen was worth its price, and whether some brands of soy sauce were really so good you...

The Butter Steak: What''s the Best Way to Cook a Steak?

How to cook your next porterhouse.

9th Apr 2009

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I'm not interested in carbonizing the surface of the meat. To me that ruins the flavor.
- Alain Ducasse

It was a bachelor weekend of sorts. My wife mercifully let me pass on attending a wedding of an old family family friend, so I had the whole weekend alone in the apartment to get work done.  I had some crazy projects planned including a mad braise of a cow tongue, but the first nigh...

Biltong

Blake discovers South African dried beef.

25th Mar 2009

By Blake Royer Here in Estonia there is a word,...

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Here in Estonia there is a word, kevadväsimus , that translates as "spring fatigue."  It's the expression that refers to a grim mood that seizes us all when the sun has come out and the days are growing longer yet all other signs still point to winter.  We know the weather will improve, but it's that sliver of hope that makes it no...

Korean Short Ribs

Korean barbecue solves the challenges of cooking short ribs.

12th Mar 2009

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Short ribs and I don't have a good history. The first time I tried to make these with Blake we ended up with a collection of tough, greasy, hunks of impenetrable meat. The second time I solved the toughness factor by cooking them for ages, but forgot about the fat.  Even after stashing the pot of short ribs in the fridge for a day so I could easily skim some off, I still felt like I h...

And the Award Goes to Acidity, for Best Supporting Actor

26th Feb 2009

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Occasionally, I guiltily pause to consider how much salt I put in my cooking.  Only occasionally.  But when I'm cooking pasta--throwing in handfuls of the stuff to ensure the noodles are full of flavor--I think, "this can't be good for me."  But then I think that the greater crime is eating food that doesn't taste as flavorful as it possibly can.  What a waste of calories to consume someth...

Sauerbraten, Or How to Make Beef Round Tender and Delicious

The German way with round.

17th Feb 2009

Sauerbraten is a national dish of Germany, and there are many variations in its preparation, all hailing from different regions.  However, I didn't have to look much further than Alton Brown for a good recipe--the reviews on the recipe's page at Food Network are almost exclusively raving.  A combination of cider and red wine vinegar provide the recipe's twang, and all the traditional notes fo...

Homemade Italian Beef

How to make this Chicago classic.

13th Feb 2009

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The other issue I had to face was how to cut the meat.  As I remembered from my visit to Al's #1, the beef should be shaved as thinly as possible.  Al's used an huge deli slicer, which I obviously didn't have.  Saveur recommended just tossing the meat in the freezer for 2 hours before serving and then slicing it as thinly as possible with a chef's knife.  Some recipes recommended taking th...

Dipping Into the Italian Beef

Discovering Chicago's distinctive beef sandwich.

11th Feb 2009

The mystery is that while the sandwich's meat is incredibly tender, it isn't made from some expensive cut of beef.  From the research that I've done, most Italian beef recipes call for round or the sirloin tip, which are both tough and lean cuts.  The use of a cheap, neglected cut really interested me.

At first glance, the sandwich looks a lot like a cheese-less Philly cheesesteak.  But I've b...

The Elements of Chili

A recipe for Texas-style chili.

30th Jan 2009

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Diced instead of Ground Meat
I had stopped using ground beef a few years back, after watching a Good Eats episode. The reasoning makes sense.  When ground beef is used, the fat either needs to be drained off immediately, or needs to be skimmed off the day after when all the fat has accumulated at the top.  But if you use chunks a lot of the juices stay inside, leaving both the chili less...

La Cabrera, Buenos Aires, Argentina

28th Jan 2009

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When I arrived in Buenos Aires, "Ojo de Bife" ("eye of beef") was at the top of most steak menus, giving the blessed ribeye its appropriate place in the steak pantheon.  It reminded me of a Jeffrey Steingarten passage from his essay in Men's Vogue about a search across Spain for great steak--which has led me to order ribeye almost exclusively since reading it:

...the most del...

Buenos Aires

25th Jan 2009

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You might assume that Nick has hijacked The Paupered Chef, chopped my body into little pieces and hid me in the attic (between sessions of ravioli-making and chili shenanigans ).  But this is not the case; I am alive and well.  I left Estonia for close to a month to bask in holiday cheer back home in the States.  But now I've returned to the cold and dark climate of Northern Europe...

Nick''s Drunken Texas Chili

25th Jan 2009

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Alas, I didn't take home the top prize, but I did have an amazing time at the 2009 Time Out Chili Cook-off.  There were some quite good chilies there, including a smoked brisket one that happened to be stationed right next to mine made by some firemen.  I can't believe theirs didn't win!

As I promised people who liked my chili at the event, here is the recipe that I used for my Drunken Texa...

Time Out for Chili

22nd Jan 2009

Logo Though I once promised an Irish waitress that I'd never compete in a chili cook-off, I've decided to officially break my oath.  I am in the running for the top prize at the 2009 Time Out Chicago's Chili Cook-off at Martyr's ( 3855 N Lincoln Ave ).  It's all happening this Saturday, Janurary 24th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This is my first competition, and in typical Paupered Chef fash...

The Smash Technique and Skinny Burger Perfection

How to make the best burger at home.

11th Dec 2008

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You know the burger obsession is going off the deep end when semi-serious discussion takes place over the burger making skills of a cartoon .  Please stick with me.  This cartoon happened feature J. Wellington Wimpy, the burger-loving sidekick of Popeye.  Hamburger America author George Motz found this clip and was there to comment on Wimpy's burger making skills: "Notice how even in...

"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...

Ragù alla Bolognese

Because fresh pasta deserves a sauce this good.

20th Nov 2008

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Once I figured out how to make fresh pasta , I waited all of 12 hours before I set out to create my own Ragù alla Bolognese.  It was a goal of mine ever since watching an episode of Heston Blumenthal's TV series In Search of Perfection .  The premise of the show is for the acclaimed chef to reexamine some stodgy British classics by going back to the roots of the original dish.  His f...

Homemade Hot Dogs and the Sausage Stuffing Adventure

13th Oct 2008

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Well, just look at that!  After all my anxiety and the lack of sausage stuffer before I started this adventure , on the third day I ate hot dogs.  They looked like hot dogs, smelled like hot dogs, and tasted like that perfect hot dog you always dream about (well, at least I dream about hot dogs).  Unbelievably beefy and with a hard snap from the sheep intestine, this was a truly wonderfu...

Sheep Intestines and the Quest for the Perfect Hot Dog

6th Oct 2008

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(Scene at the Paulina Meat Market in Chicago)

Butcher: "Number 37!"

Me: "Yeah, that's me."

Butcher: "What can I get for you?"

Me: "Yeah, I'll take 10 feet of sheep casings."

I don't say that often enough in life, and up until this Saturday it had never crossed my mind.  But here I was at Paulina Meat Market ordering sheep intestines from butchers that make their own fine...

The Quick-Flipped Fat Burger

Keep that spatula at hand.

26th Aug 2008

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At first everything was fine. Taking a cue from Adam Kuban , we decided to make our own onion rings instead of the normal burger pairing of fries. The recipe was taken from Simply Recipes , which soaked the onions in buttermilk and coated them in flour and cornmeal.

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We fried them in canola oil set to 350 degrees for a few minutes, until nice and golden brown.  We stashed them i...

Homemade Yogurt Mistakes

12th Jun 2008

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Before I start detailing this ridiculous project, I’d like to point out that I fail in the end.  There is no great yogurt recipe hidden in here, no surprising technique that changes everything.  I tried some methods, some reasonable and some quite stupid, and none of them worked.  I just want to make some respectable yogurt at home, and I’m hoping some of you can help.

I thought this would...

Why Wylie Dufresne Made Me Eat American Cheese

21st Apr 2008

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“American cheese (processed cheese)”
-Wylie Dufresne, describing the type of cheese he likes on his burger

I haven’t exactly made my peace with American cheese .  I still don’t like it cubed, melted in grilled cheese, or laid across a deli sandwich.  I’m not that into reliving my childhood and, really, actual cheese always tastes better.  I thought that was the end of it...

They Came, I Ground, We Ate: Which Cuts Make for the Best Burger?

How to make a better burger at home.

21st Feb 2008

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Grinding meat may seem like an exercise for those with too much time on their hands, or those overly devoted to doing things from scratch--which I am.  But I'm here to argue that there are more compelling and more logical reasons for doing so: for one, the meat will taste better.  You'll also know where it omes from, unlike with a styrofoam tray from the grocery store, which is likely the su...

Beef Jerky Hijinks

12th Feb 2008

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Sometimes you just have to start.  I have been wanting to make beef jerky for a while now, but had always stumbled on how I was to actually dry out the meat.  I don’t have a smoker, and it didn’t sound like any of the other methods were going to work.  But hey, I thought, cowboys did this; I can do this.  So I bought some lean beef, sliced it thinly, and coated it with some salt, onion...

New Year''s Eve in Five Parts

2nd Jan 2008

Welcome to 2008! Abby and I spent New Year's Eve constructing the ultimate meal.  We spent a small fortune at Whole Foods and walked away with a lot of shellfish and a fillet mignon or two.  Since we weren't going to some fancy black tie event, we felt okay about spending more money than we would for a weeknight meal.  We sort of had a carte blanche to create whatever we could dream up.  He...

Ohio-Local Chili: How Much Can You Leave Out?

28th Oct 2007

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I torture myself with spicy food.  This can take form in many various cuisines and dishes, but they all have one thing in common: unbearable heat.  It’s not that Abby doesn’t like food with spice in it, it’s just that I usually push things way too far.  Like I imagine people do with certain dangerous drugs, I plan an evening when I’m home alone with nothing to do and nowhere to go...

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...

Steak au Poivre: Real Cheap and Kind of Authentic

First was the rather easy substitution of bourbon for the cognac

17th Sep 2007

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I tend to spend way too much time researching what I'm going to eat.  Nearly every recipe is cross-examined against other works I have, just to make sure I'm doing things correctly.  But I was on to this recipe the moment I saw Alton pull out his steaks.  I didn't check if this was the authentic way to make this, I just went for it.

What could cause me to go into such enthusiastic fits?  S...

Hard Shell Tacos: A Reunion

22nd Aug 2007

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I eat a lot of tacos.  I keep a pack of corn tortillas around at all times.  Thanks to folks like Rick Bayless, I’ve even branched out to mushroom and swiss chard tacos, huevos rancheros, shrimp, and the granddaddy of them all, our very own Fish Tacos .  Glorious, ethereal fish tacos.

This is all rather strange coming from someone who only ate hard shell tacos for the first 16-17 years...

New Dog, Hot Dogs, and Lots of Mustard

19th Aug 2007

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We don't usually have hot dogs on Sunday night.  I've got nothing against the sausages, but Sunday night is usually dedicated to my more adventurous cooking escapades.  You know, Shrimp Etouffee, and other meals that take hours and hours.  But tonight was going to be different.  We needed some time, so we planned ahead and got perhaps the easiest comfort food to prepare.

Why such a hurry? ...

South Africans Teach Us a Proper "Braai"

10th Jul 2007

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Last weekend, some of Elin’s friends that she met while getting her master’s degree in England came for a visit.  Max and Chris are both from South Africa.  They spent a long weekend with us and we did our best to show them our way of life in New York—playing the good hosts.  Often, guests find New York overwhelming, or they find the idea of it overwhelming.  “Where do I start?”...

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...

Kimchi and Me: Steak and Eggs over Kimchi Rice

24th May 2007

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Lest you all forget my infatuation with the pickled cabbage , it is powerful.  When I worked in Manhattan, the attraction to the stuff had me trudging over to the Korean buffet at least once a week.  But I no longer work in Manhattan, and while I'm very happy with my new job, I do miss my kimchi.

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me until now to secure my own stash.  Like a lot o...

The Long Lazy Road to Grillades

8th May 2007

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I have been meaning to get around to this earlier: I really like the food blog New Orleans Cuisine .   I have no real connection to New Orleans outside of a dead great aunt and gorgeous visit a month before that storm came when my girlfriend and I flirted with the idea of staying.  But that's really it.  I listen to Louis Armstrong occasionally.  I've heard of Juvenile.  But I do lov...

Skirt Steak with Red Potato Salad and Greens (A Harmony, Starring Limes)

5th Apr 2007

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Sometimes all you can hope for at the end of a long day is a little bit of harmony.  Whether through yoga, walking your dog, or blasting Bona Drag , you find it and somehow the day washes away.  Often I find this harmony by cooking (sometimes with the Morrissey at the same time)--a chance to relax, create, and then have something delicious to show for it.  I have a recipe that, while dec...

Short Ribs Finally Worth Writing About

19th Mar 2007

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The most well-documented failure on this website was the first time we cooked beef short ribs .  Tough, sinewy, and ugly--a big fibrous brick of protein fastened onto a sled of white bone by tendons and mysterious pieces of grizzle.  Short ribs are the beef equivalent to a Salman Rushdie novel: willfully difficult, at times indecent and gross, but after an extended period of histrionic o...

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...

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...

Fajitas With Charcoal and a Sprinkling of Rust

5th Nov 2006

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I screwed up.  During the last throes of summer , I treated my grill with the utmost love and care.  But I'm apparently a fair-weather fan, for as soon as the temperature dipped I completely forgot about it and retreated into the warmth of my kitchen.  Not only did I neglect my cooking apparatus for a solid month, I didn't even bother to cover it.  I didn't even set it close to a wall...

Skirt Steak with Haughty Green Beans

30th Oct 2006

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I had no idea.  Abby and I are staring at this picture of skirt steak with string beans with mouths agape, salivating over the chance to make this fine meal , when we notice that nowhere in the ingredients are those beans listed.  We double check, and then wonder what it was exactly that we were looking at.  All they they had was something called haricot verts.  "I'm not sure what that...

Sizzlin'' Steaks the Down-home Ole'' Fashioned Way

22nd Sep 2006

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Just like your grandmother, I now own a cast-iron skillet.  It seemed like the logical choice after I realized the finite possibilities of non-stick, yet was not ready to burn my whole month's salary on an All-Clad frying pan.  This cost $19.  It's heavy as a brick--actually, more like a couple bricks.  You can toss this war-horse around with glee and it will take it all.  Clang it around...

School Days Thursday: The Mystery of Salisbury Steak

14th Sep 2006

Salisbury_steak_11 Besides meatloaf, it's the ultimate mystery meat.  Coated with a thick brown sauce and usually hard as a rock, Salisbury steak was the meal I most genuinely hated during my school years.  Its presence institgated the hoarding of dinner rolls and the unfortunate act of talking to girls, just so I could make off with one of their mini cobs of corn.  It was a tough day on the streets, and one I...

School Days Monday: Sloppy, Sloppy Joes

11th Sep 2006

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If you were functioning on the subway this morning, you probably saw a steady stream of backpacked kids parading around with wide mouths and unsure stares.  That daze was the stern face of school, the great unknown and the official end to summer.  Standing amongst those kids, I tried remember my own back-to-school feeling, the churning stomach, the moment when I knew it was all over, and tha...

A Surf and Turf Story

18th Aug 2006

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We christened him Kurt and set about trying in vain to keep him alive.  The ride back from Fairway was not long, but we needed some wine, and the car was quite stuffy and hot.  Blake, strangely, began developing an affection for the creature, and cared for him so deeply he wouldn't leave him in the car alone. So we carried him into our liquor store, LeNell's , and asked the owners what win...

Grilled Steak and Asparagus to celebrate Brooklyn''s "Day of the Year"

8th May 2006

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Saturday and Sunday of this weekend were among the best days this year, second only, perhaps, to last Saturday, the proclaimed "Day of the Year" by Manhattan Users Guide with a delightful essay about the joys of walking New York's streets.  Call this post the Brooklyn Users Guide--our own Day of the Year--spent soaking in a day dry and warm in the sun, cool and breezy in the shade.

Library_4506 ...

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...

Roasted Pepper Potato Salad with Grilled Steak

1st Mar 2006

potatosaladgrilledsteak01

Food photography is an obsessive business.  Pictures are alluring, appetizing, what make somebody want to try the recipe.  There are times when, obsessed by lighting, aperture, and focus, we forget about the actual eating part.  Look at that piece of meat.  See the grains?  Looks good, eh?  Trust us, it was succulent.  There's nothing quite like a warm salad in the winter, sharp, crispy...

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

Ssp1

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...

"Wit What?"

An exploration of Philadelphia's quintessential greasy delicacy...the cheesesteak

1st Feb 2006

With Blake off for the weekend, Nick blew the whole...

cheesesteak02

With Blake off for the weekend, Nick blew the whole Paupered Chef budget on a $20 Chinatown Bus ticket to Philadelphia in search of the city's quintessential greasy delicacy...the cheesesteak.  Armed with locals with serious appetites, he checked out some of their favorite institutions in search of the real thing...Wait, with cheez w...

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?

dinnerwithgenghiskhan04

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...