Wednesday Links: Heavy Pans, Great Techniques, and the new Escoffier

17th Feb 2010


[Photo from Cooking Issues ]

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!

Heavy Metal: The Science of Cast Iron
Finally, someone sees through the false information that cast iron is a great conductor of heat. It's just the opposite, which is why we love it: it responds slowly to temper...

Duck Rillettes

22nd Sep 2008


It was a last-minute whim, but there I was at the checkout, buying a whole duck. I've cut up dozens of roast chickens into legs, thighs, and breasts -- usually with the meat and skin steaming and burning my fingers -- so how much harder could it be to do the same with a duck?  Above all, it's much cheaper to buy a whole duck and cut it up yourself than it is to buy the parts separately -- and...

Everyone Should Get Married

19th Aug 2008


For the past year I have been banned from buying new kitchen appliances.  Once Abby and I got engaged, she decreed that I could not willfully purchase anything new for the kitchen because we would be getting wedding presents.  She was immovable.  So as Blake ground his own meat for hamburgers with a Kitchen Aid and made his own no-knead bread in a Dutch oven, I sat and read wondering w...

Our First Year at the James Beard Awards

9th Jun 2008


For those who didn’t catch our incredibly late Sunday post , we were both live bloggers at the 2008 James Beard Foundation Awards.  See those all access passes?  We could essentially go anywhere we wanted to at Lincoln Center.  To check out the trouble we got into, visit the James Beard Live Blogging Site .  There you’ll find a nice recap of us chatting with Nancy Silverton about he...

The James Beard Awards

8th Jun 2008

Beard_medal_3 Join us tonight at the James Beard Foundation Awards.  Nick has only just flown in from flooded Indiana and we're off, clad in tuxedos to see what we can see and eat as much as we can.  We'll be among the guest bloggers bringing you live coverage throughout the night.

Check us out live here starting after 6:00pm EST.


Polenta, Where Have You Been All My Life?

24th Apr 2008


Polenta is only water, salt, and cornmeal, unless a cook chooses, in the style of risotto, to finish with a knob of butter or a hill of Parmesan cheese.  It is one those dishes so simple, its execution can be lackluster or transcendent, depending on who makes it.  What happens when these three things are combined is anyone's guess.  The result can be like cornbread blended with water, a sou...

Edna Lewis''s Fried Chicken

9th Apr 2008


In the midst of deep frying chicken last week I dreamt of Loretta Lynn .  This happens only occasionally, and usually is musical in nature, but this time I had an image of her pan frying chicken in a large iron skillet.  Sure enough, I found some rather hilarious commercials of her pawning Crisco on YouTube .  How wonderful, I thought, that the amazing country singer never had...

Some More Obscure Food Magazines

8th Apr 2008


Recently I was talking to a friend about food magazines, who figured I would know of some good ones. I offered the obvious choices— Gourmet, Saveur, Bon Appetit —but she quickly stopped me.  “I’ve read those,” she said.  “They don’t really do much for me.”

I asked her why, and the conversation ended up being about how bored this person was by the big, storied food magazines that we're a...

Fresh Corn Tortillas: Worth the Wait?

4th Mar 2008


Corn tortillas are my comfort food.  I use them as carrying cases for simple, satisfying meals and I use them a lot.  They are a mainstay on my lazy Sunday breakfasts and always around when it’s time for a feast.

Part of that comfort factor comes from having them in my fridge at all times.  While not as resilient as Twinkies, they can hold up for a time if properly wrapped in the fridge. ...

Cheese Making Part 2: Yawn, I Made Ricotta

14th Jan 2008


After I miraculously created a ball of mozzarella from a gallon of milk and some powdery substances, I declared it a miracle and couldn’t wait to do it again.  And true to my plan, I tried to make it twice since that date and failed bitterly both times.  Much could have gone wrong.  I believe the first failure happened because I used cheese salt instead of citric acid at a crucial ste...