Stock, generic recipe (with sous vide pictures)

Warm your home during the cooler days, or fill a pot with the bight, crisp flavors of summer by making homemade stocks. Anything you make from it will be enhanced.  Myself, I enjoy the day long process of tending a near boiling pot, of skimming, of straining and adding then straining again; but the Modernists have popularized two other methods for producing stock faster with less effort: Those made with a pressure cooker and Those made sealed in a plastic bag then cooked in a hot water bath (sous vide). Whatever the… Read More

Play with your food! Savory Cauliflower Bites

(recipe follows) I was going to call them truffles. It just sounds better, doesn’t it? When someone asks what you had for lunch Cauliflower Balls doesn’t have the same panache. Looking for middle ground, I decided Cauliflower Bites captures what these are nicely. I got the idea from here from Molecular Recipes. Chef Digilio’s idea involves making a truffle from cream and garlic and coating them in bread crumbs. I tried it and the texture was wonderful — they melt in your mouth, unexpected for something savory. I rolled half of hs garlic… Read More

Chocolate Rye Crackers

I came across a blog awhile back that featured rye crackers. I have stoneground whole rye in the pantry and got it into my head to make crackers with it. While I respect his recipe, I wanted something different. I went online to foodpairing.com and did some research on what pairs well with rye flour. I made a list of the ingredients I wanted to use — cocoa nibs, apples, brown sugar, caraway, black olives, lard, mustard, olive oil — and went to work. I went with three flavor pairings, the best… Read More

Candied Pumpkin Pie

You can candy most anything with slight adjustments for the fruit or vegetable. It all starts with an idea of what you’d like to do with the finished product. Here we have candied kabochya, a Japanese pumpkin, much denser than the American varieties. Here, I simply sliced the pumpkin and put it in a plastic ziplock bag with leftover orange syrup for two weeks. I did this to show you how hands free candying can be. During that two weeks, twice I poured the syrup into a pot and boiled it for… Read More

Apple Strudel Your Way!

(recipe follows — red text areas are links) I started working with Filo shortly after starting this blog (you might remember some of the teaser posts). I couldn’t bring myself to publish anything I’d written. I was unsatisfied with the pictures I took and unsure how to present filo dough in a way which would peak your interest, especially as an undeserved reputation as being difficult to work with. Filo needs just three ingredients: Flour, fat, water. To that you can add salt for flavor or stevia for sweetness. The principles for… Read More

Savory Pie — Your Way!

This is really very easy to do. You all have the skills, I know you do. It’s just a lot of baby steps leading towards something visually stunning and delicious. You’re going to be layering different fillings in a pastry, sealing it, and baking it. Everything going inside the pastry is already cooked. You’ll simply be baking the shell to meld the flavors. What you put inside is entirely up to you. In traveling through France I’ve eaten several versions three of the layering suggestions I like best are: Sautéed spinach, ham,… Read More

The Onion Sandwich — Caramelized Onions

(recipe follows) People who comment or send me mail tell me I can improve my blog by talking more about my life. From their advice I have been adding bits and bytes. A part of my life story I never speak about is poverty: I grew up poor. After my parents divorced my mother and I were so poor we couldn’t afford a vacuum. My mother borrowed one every couple of months from her half-brother’s wife. (To clean the carpet we used the back side of tape.) We were poorer than most… Read More

Sautéed Spinach for (can you guess, yet?)

(recipe follows) Sautéed Spinach is one of those dishes best made as improve. Knowing what flavors suit spinach, you combine flavors that match whatever you’re having it with or in. You can use frozen spinach, but fresh is of course better. You can use the whole leaf, but stemmed, spinach is smooth and creamy in the mouth. If you dislike spinach, it try it freshly stemmed quickly cooked quickly with these flavor combinations. Western: Bacon, garlic, onion or shallot, lemon juice or vinegar Indian: Cumin, garlic, lemon juice or yogurt or creme… Read More

Sautéed Mushrooms, you’re going to need this for (something)

(recipe follows) This is the recipe used for savory pie but is also an easy side dish. In my local market there no fewer than 20 different types of mushroom at any time. I combinations of mushrooms, chop them, and cook them together. You’ll need to work with what’s in your markets, but shitake, button mushrooms, portablello are generally easy to find, I hear, so you may want to start with those. When adding to Savory Pie, tarts, or turnovers avoid Enoki mushrooms as they are strings when cooked, but they are… Read More

Candied oranges

  (recipe follows) Yes, I really do curl up on the sofa reading “gode” “cookery” books or food histories. Two summers ago I spent two weeks in Provonce retracing Julia Child’s footsteps. So, yeah, I’m kinda single these days, but I can apply what I’ve learned from medieval cookbooks to make some of the best candied fruits you’ll ever eat. Candying fruit was something I taught myself through trial and error by following the directions from 16th century manuscripts. Much later I learned the science behind what I was doing and was… Read More

Raw Apple Pie Your Way — Play with your food!

(recipe follows) When I was younger my credo was to try everything at least twice (in case I got it wrong the first time). Keeping an open mind this way, I learned — and shaped — my preferences. With food, over time, I developed a leaning towards the healthful. Even when cooking with butter, or cream, or sugar, or meat in my mind I work through variations. One fairly new approach I’ve been thinking about is raw food. Interestingly, dehydrating foods under 118 degrees Fahrenheit is still considered raw by many which,… Read More

Play with your food! Poultry, oven roasted.

(recipe follows) My father and his family immigrated to the US from the Azores sometime in the late 60’s. My mother moved to Los Angeles from Marietta, Georgia around the same time. Announced or unannounced, when you visited my father’s family there were home made breads in the pantry, cakes in tins, cookies in jars, soups on the stove. The women could make anything in no time at all. My mother’s side filled their cupboards with Pop Tarts, Ritz Crackers, and cheese that came from cans. They bought soda by the case… Read More