Breaking Bread

  I’ve long been more of a cook than a baker, simply because I don’t like to follow recipes, but recently I became determined to make good bread — in particular a good baguette. After trying a number of different approaches, I finally discovered the flavor I was shooting for with the pain a l’ancienne… Continue reading

Pickled Pork Loin and Onion

It’s always nice when an experiment succeeds. I like pickling ramps and onions. I like brining pork. I wondered what would happen if I combined the two. In this case, I created a pickling brine and used it on both red onions and pork loin, which were then served together. Big hit. The key is doing… Continue reading

Lamb Shanks, Lentils and Red Wine

1 lb black lentils (french/puy lentils can be used instead) 5 lamb shanks 1.5 vidalia/sweet onions, finely diced (or red onions) 4 cloves of garlic, minced 3 carrots, halved across the length 1 stalk of celery, halved across the length 2 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp pork lard (optional) bottle of red wine (such as… Continue reading

Smoked Beef Braise

Yesterday for a dinner party I decided to add a new flavor to a beef braise: smoke. The results were quite a hit when combined with the braising sauce. The cut was a 4 pound boneless chuck. I gave it a dry rub of: 3/4 tsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp coriander seed 1 tbsp ground… Continue reading

Lime and Manchego Corn Salad

This summer my friend Veronica made a delicious corn salad one evening for a family bbq, and I’ve been riffing off of it ever since. 5 or 6 ears of corn, cooked and kernels removed juice of 4 or 5 limes large handful of cherry peppers, halved half of a small red onion, finely diced… Continue reading

Lime and Jalapeno Brined Pork Chops

I’ll have to add some photographs later, but I wanted to record this experiment for future use. Brine (for two pork chops) 2 limes 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 red (or green) jalapeno pepper, very thinly sliced handful of cilantro, chopped 1.5 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar red vinegar olive oil Quarter the limes and… Continue reading

Shiitake and Manchego Risotto

I think there are three key things to a good risotto. First, making a decent broth. Second, constant stirring. Third, not overcooking it. I’ll often have broth in the freezer, made with the remains of a roast chicken, but in this case, we were without, so earlier in the day I made a turkey-based broth…. Continue reading

Peasant Stew (a simple cassoulet)

Fall brings braising back into my kitchen, and my favorite thing to braise is pork shoulder. Not only does it make a spectacular meal in it’s own right, but it gives you the perfect material for follow-on dishes, whether chili or tacos or in last week’s case, a cassoulet-inspired peasant stew. There are a myriad… Continue reading

Mussels in Ginger Coconut Milk Broth

(serves 2 people) 1 lb mussels 1 small onion, thinly sliced then roughly chopped 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced 1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 1 TSP tomato paste 1 can of coconut milk 1 fresh hot pepper (or dried hot chili pepper flakes) 1/2 cup of dry vermouth or white… Continue reading