sarson ka saag (recipe)

I came across a recipe online many years ago for a curry of mustard greens. By chance mustard greens were in season and I bought them not for onigiri, as the Japanese use them, but for Sarson Ka Saag. Since then I’ve sampled dozens of recipes, which don’t vary much. Mustard greens aren’t popular here, so when they come into season I buy them in bulk to freeze. I stem them and blanch the stemmed leaves from the stems separately. I prepare the dish with the tender parts of the leaves for guests… Read More

Tomato Tart Tatin with goats cheese, fresh herbs and a Bloody Mary Granita

Originally posted on ice cream magazine:
?    The wedding of a widowed osteopath marrying a biochemist. He being a first timer, an amateur ventriloquist, an amputee. Creepy Church, begat an organist, a burly lass with a grimacing face, huge bouffant hair, who wore wall to wall tartan. She entered the Church carrying a large, purple velvet goat, her music case, quite obviously? “Conspicuously absent isn’t he?” “Oh, where’s the Groom.” “There’s a wildly held belief that the Groom should be in attendance” said a loud buffoon. Another hooray heckler boomed “There’s…

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

Vegetable Curry, a book and recipe

vegetable curry

(recipe follows) Several years ago the love of my life, Hiro, gave me an unexpected birthday present: A curry cookbook written in both Japanese and English. Until then I had never made Indian food — curry had just never occurred to me. He didn’t know me that well at the time but mine is the personality that when I do something, I devote myself to it and so I bought every single ingredient in the index from Asafoetida to Yogurt and went to work page by page, which created some friction in our… 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

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! 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

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

Cauliflower Soup

broccoli and cauliflower soup with flavored filo shell, salad, rape

Last Sunday I needed something colorful and elegant to go with dinner. I wanted the soft flavor of cauliflower seasoned lightly with garlic in a cream base. I contrasted it with a green broccoli soup flavored with thyme and tarragon. Both vegetables have an affinity for garlic, thyme, tarragon, so combining them in the same bowl enhanced each soup while creating variation in each spoonful. I used onion in the roux for both to give them a common flavor base. To keep it pale white, I ommited anything with color such as… Read More

Chicken Roulade, a recipe (spinach version)

chicken roulade, steps to make

(recipe follows) We accept the shape of the meat we purchase rarely considering that we can mould it into objects, create designs, even fuse meats together. Here is a chicken breast. Pound it with something heavy into a thin sheet of meat. From there we add color through vegetables, sauce, spices, powders, other meats — and then roll it, securing it in waxed paper and aluminum foil. The easiest way to cook a rolled chicken breast (also called Chicken Roulade) is to bake it in a water bath. Wrap the roulade in… Read More