Word Press just reminded me how lazy I am

When I started this blog just over a year ago I created an overview of posts and topics I wanted to cover and scheduled them to automatically publish to motivate me though them. The are/were largely unfinished recipes without photos,and that first batch just automatically published. So I’m at my desk conniving ways to avoid the gym when my phone starts to send me alerts to WordPress. It took me a few minutes to work out what happened — and, in a panic, work out how to undo everything. Well, I’m feeling… 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

Daikon salad, and then some

(FIVE recipes follow) Well, spring is here. Soon I won’t be able to hide. Pre-blog, I was exceptionally organized. I discovered David Allen a decade earlier and his program made all the difference. Blogging — and then photography — introduced unknown unknowns into my life flow and my over-organized world is now piles of ToDo all over my apartment, on my computer, in my Dashboard. What to do? Well, I finally made myself reorganize. I set goals. I made lists. I decided deadlines. I programed automated alarms into my computers to get me… 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! Stuffed chicken.

(technique) The food industry puts too many chemicals in our food, it’s an idea I wholly concur with, which is part of the reason I do almost everything from scratch. There are enzymes and amino acids which have been lumped into  that idea of chemical which Molecular Gastronomists have embraced and which I use regularly in my kitchen. One of my favorite kitchen toys is Activa, aka transglutaminase. Restaurants and supermarket butchers use it to make uniform cuts of meat. Simply take two small pieces, sprinkle the amino acids, and put them… Read More

Eat more fast food! Salmon and Brown Rice.

(recipe follows) Fast food can be from a rice cooker. In the morning before work I set up my rice cooker with 1/2 cup of brown rice and a large pinch of long grain rice. I lay a piece of salmon, a stalk of celery, and some sliced shallots with a bay leaf. One cup of water and a jigger of dry Vermouth, set the rice cooker to turn on at 11:30 and I’m off — I have to make money to cook. Just before I get back my apartment fills with… Read More

Orange days — Orange Tart and Candied Oranges

I enjoy making candy, all kinds of candy. But I’ve been eating more and exercising less — soon I’ll be making a change, but for now instead of making my favorite Candied Oranges Dipped in Chocolate, I made an Orange Tart. (I also made Melon Granita and Chocolate Mousse, but if I don’t write about them, they don’t count.) This was just a test. I zested the oranges and boiled them in a sugar syrup to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, cooled them with white rum and laid them in a sweet tart shell… Read More

Tofu Steak with Sautéed Enoki Mushrooms

(recipe follows) Shortly after I arrived in Japan I met my new best friend turned roommate, Shawn. At that time, just after university, we were each earning between five and six thousand USD per month teaching English. We had a four-bedroom apartment in Sapporo, Roller Blades, free-time and lots of greenery — life was good. It was spring, hormones were high and Shawn was crushing on a pretty girl with waist length raven hair. The weight pulled her head back so she walked deliberately, with total control. She agreed to a dinner… Read More

Daikon Steak

(recipe follows) I was watching a Japanese cooking program many years ago in which a wizened chef placed six thick slices of daikon in a large cast iron skillet filled with hot olive oil and cooked them until they browned, which took over an hour. My thighs expand just remembering it. A quick lunch or supper for me borrows from his idea. I lightly coat the bottom of the pan in sesame or olive oil and fry boiled daikon on high until the bottoms brown, between five to ten minutes depending on… Read More

pastry

(recipe follows) Pastry is simple, but food stylists, paid professionals, and ideals on what pastry should be have set a high bar on personal expectations zapping creativity and confidence — and the will to try. The only rule for pastry is that everything be cold, but crusts and shells can also be made from hot melted fat, oil, be moulded from ground cracker crumbs or raw dates. For any pastry, flour is mixed with fat and liquid. We add fat to the flour to cover the gluten. Just as water and oil do… Read More

spinach tart

Several years ago PBS released Julia Child’s The French Chef. In a favorite episode she traveled to Provence to make Spinach Tarts with her collaborator Simone (Simca) Beck. You can make a spinach tart simply by combining frozen spinach with Béchamel and placing it (cold) in store bought pastry. You can improve this by starting with fresh spinach boiled in water for three minutes, shocked in cold water, and chopped. To improve the texture you simply pull the the stems from the blades before boiling. Each step changes the dish. Start where… Read More

Decadence: Guineafowl

Imagine the greatest joys in your lives. Think of getting married, having a baby, your first kiss — whatever it is, imagine that bliss as taste, flavor, mouthfeel, satiety. That is the best way to describe this dinner: It’s one of the best things I’ve ever made. The recipe was inspired by Careme’s 1836 work. In short, I deboned the guinea fowl, removed the breast, divided it in two, then cut it almost alway through 12 times each and placed slices of foie gras between. I placed them back into the bird,… Read More