Deep-Dish Pizza: Round 2

Nick learns from his mistakes and makes a good deep-dish pie at home.

3rd Apr 2009

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I was determined not to fail this time.  My last attempt at deep-dish wasn't an absolute failure, but it was close.  It was too soggy and messy , and had none of the glorious qualities that my favorite Chicago pizzeria, Pequods , displayed.  I theorized about all kinds reasons for the failure, thinking it had something to do with the crust.  Then I just gave up and asked you all...

The Plunge: Homemade Ravioli

13th Jan 2009

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How long do you cook ravioli?  I wondered this precisely the moment after I plunged my handmade ravioli into a raging cauldron of boiling water. It didn't occur to me that it might be an issue. I had always thought you pulled them as soon as they floated, or was that just gnocchi? When I consulted my recipe in The Silver Spoon it said I needed to cook them for 10 minutes, which sounded abs...

Homemade Tagliatelle and the Curse of Fresh Pasta

16th Nov 2008

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I've had a tumultuous history with fresh pasta.  Though I adore dried pasta in all its forms and permutations, my adventures with the fresh can best be described as a disaster.  I've wasted hours and honestly lost friendships to the stuff.  For this I've relegated fresh pasta to something I may order at restaurants but never, ever make at home.

Perhaps I wasn't giving it a fair shot.  When...

A Night of Broiled Pizzas So Hot, Things Shattered

18th Jan 2008

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What's more fun than a make-your-own-pizza party?  Not much.  My friend Austin was in town from Providence, Rhode Island, where he teaches Spanish, Latin, and mythology.  Often when we get together it's an excuse to do a lot of cooking.  Throughout college he would make Nick and me ridiculously good brunches with fresh chorizo, eggs, and breakfast potatoes, and occasionally expose us to hi...

Risotto alla Milanese

8th Nov 2007

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Back when I was writing about corn risotto and the magical risotto pancake , I was kicking around the Internet trying to discover exactly how to make one correctly.  Recipe after recipe called for a very specific risotto preparation, one I'd never even heard of, something called Risotto alla Milanese, or Milan-style Risotto.  It's flavored with chicken or beef stock, a simplified base of...

I Invented a Risotto Recipe and Figured Out What to Do With the Leftovers

3rd Oct 2007

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The other day I was watching Iron Chef and Lidia Bastianich was a judge on the show.  I'd never seen her in this role, and, frankly, it was scary.  The woman is a strange blend of passion and unsmiling seriousness.  Generally people who love food are laid back and groovy, and enthusiasm is usually tempered with a good dollop of sheepish self-consciousness: "I know I'm obsessed, and it m...

What Is This Mysterious Pizza Called?

1st Oct 2007

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Perhaps spurred on by Blake’s admittedly tasty-looking pickle butter , I finally caved in and decided to write about one of my favorite snacks.  Though a tad less refined, and even a bit shameful, it’s something I absolutely adore.  I wish it were more interesting.  But it’s simply a thin crust pizza with a fried egg on top.  Not exactly a revelation, but it’s quick and surprisin...

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...