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

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

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

Play with your food! Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi

(recipe follows) A classic Indian dish, Aloo Gobi is cauliflower and potato cooked with regional variations on spices. Here it’s presented in phyllo dough which has been rolled over a hollow cylinder of wax paper and foil. After baking, the foil is removed for a flakey shell to fill. Here, I placed the Aloo Gobi at either end with several chunks of lamb in the center. Phyllo is traditionally rolled with butter between the layers. To keep with the Indian theme I used melted ghee and in the variations olive oil, canola,… Read More

Play with your food! Spinach curry as strudel

You’ll soon see that I’m in strudel mode. But why not blend food traditions and put Palak Paneer (Spinach Curry with Paneer) inside strudel dough? I made five different curried versions, variations on colors and flavors. They are really delicious. (Can anyone tell me why my iPhone 5S takes better photos than my Nikon S9300?)

Mushrooms in beef stock

A picture is worth a thousand words — and has no calories. Enjoy.