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2018-01-22T06:20:36.224Z
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There are always bags of broccoli in our freezer. I'm partial to the Whole Foods 365 Organic. It's usually in good shape and the florets are a nice size. When we get tired of salad or can't find any interesting vegetables in the market, we reach for the broccoli. Our favorite preparation is a steamed spicy broccoli that is inspired by one my Aunt Lucy used to make when I was growing up. I add a generous amount of olive oil to a pot with sliced garlic and whole anchovies. Once the garlic has browned and the anchovies have disintegrated we add a healthy spoonful of bottled "bomba" sauce or a good shake of crushed red pepper. Then we add the still frozen broccoli, season with salt, give it a good stir, and let it steam in the pot over medium heat until it is tender. I stir it every so often as it softens, and add more salt as needed. It takes about 20 minutes and the resulting broccoli is earthy and spicy and delicious. The crushed red pepper is what Aunt Lucy used and adds a nice heat. The bomba sauce adds an extra layer of flavor with spice and tang, that rounds out the sweet broccoli flavor, the nutty garlic, and the salty anchovies to perfection. Of course now that we have Italian XO, I'll have to see how that...
Misreading a recipe can lead to new results. I was trying out a new snickerdoodle recipe and I read the amount of flour wrong, seeing 1/4 instead of 3/4. The result was an unusually tender and delicate version of the cookie. What I saw as a flaw, Alex saw as a benefit. A few small adjustments led to a cookie we could both love, that was distinctly different from the snickerdoodle that we we were used to. Sometimes checking out new recipes leads us to something new and different, that may not be what the writer intended, but is exactly what we didn't know we were looking for.   Years Past January 14, 2017 January 14, 2016 January 14, 2015 January 14, 2014 January 14, 2013 January 14, 2012 January 14, 2011 January 14, 2010 January 14, 2009 January 14, 2008 January 14, 2007 January 14, 2007 (2) January 14, 2006 January 14, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change...
    This is a five minute Ted Talk from Marily Oppezzo that will give you an easy technique to become a more creative problem solver. Who doesn't have five minutes for that?   Years Past January 13, 2017 January 13, 2016 January 13, 2015 January 13, 2014 January 13, 2013 January 13, 2012 January 13, 2011 January 13, 2010 January 13, 2009 January 13, 2008 January 13, 2007 January 13, 2006 January 13, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table  
The proximity of kimchi and our smoked salt cured olives in our refrigerator catalyzed a series of ideas. The substitution of ingredients in classic preparations moved our thoughts forward. Olives dressed with a kimchi puree. Pulverized kimchi and smoked olives in puttanesca sauce. A combination of minced kimchi and olives to make a tapenade. Folding olives into a traditional kimchi. Kimchi salt for curing olives. Olives marinated in kimchi juice. Kimchi made with olive brine. More ideas will emerge as we let the combination cook in our thoughts.   Years Past January 12, 2017 January 12, 2016 January 12, 2015 January 12, 2014 January 12, 2013 January 12, 2012 January 12, 2011 January 12, 2010 January 12, 2009 January 12, 2008 January 12, 2007 January 12, 2006 January 12, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table ...
  The idea was XO sauce, interpreted with Italian-inspired ingredients.I combined smoked olives, oil packed anchovies, oil packed Calabrian chilis, hot soppressata and olive oil in a pot. I cooked the mixture on medium heat for five minutes to break down the anchovies and begin to fry the soppressata. I let it cool for a bit in the pan. When it was just warm, I pulverized the mixture in a food processor. Now we have a new condiment and a new model to use to explore other flavors of XO.   Years Past January 19, 2017 January 19, 2016 January 19, 2015 January 18, 2014 January 18, 2013 January 18, 2012 January 18, 2011 January 18, 2010 January 18, 2009 January 18, 2008 January 18, 2007 January 18, 2007 (2) January 18, 2006 January 18, 2005 Ideas...
As many of you know, Brave Tart: Iconic American Desserts was one of my favorite books of 2017. In it, Stella has a recipe for Vanilla Marshmallow Creme that can be modified to make Homemade Cool Whip. I took her recipe and added cocoa to the sugar syrup and then folded melted bittersweet chocolate into the cream to make chocolate cool whip to frost a cake. It's pretty awesome stuff. It takes one great recipe to make another. Thanks Stella! If you want to make your own homemade cool whip be sure to pick up one of her books. That recipe is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her amazing ideas.   Years Past January 18, 2017 January 18, 2016 January 18, 2015 January 18, 2014 January 18, 2013 January 18, 2012 January 18, 2011 January 18, 2010 January 18, 2009 January 18, 2008 January 18, 2007 January 18, 2007 (2) January 18, 2006 January 18, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes...
What would you do with them?   Years Past January 17, 2017 January 17, 2016 January 17, 2015 January 17, 2014 January 17, 2013 January 17, 2012 January 17, 2011 January 17, 2010 January 17, 2009 January 17, 2008 January 17, 2008 (2) January 17, 2007 January 17, 2006 January 17, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table
   Noodle making is its own creative ecosystem. Extruding noodles allows for limitless explorations. On the left are thick spaghetti, die number 13, made with roasted garlic. On the right the thick spaghetti are flavored with yuzu kosho and concentrated red pepper juice. Separately they are both intensely flavorful and delicious. Together they become an incredibly memorable bite. Years Past January 16, 2017 January 16, 2016 January 16, 2015 January 16, 2014 January 16, 2013 January 16, 2012 January 16, 2011 January 16, 2010 January 16, 2009 January 16, 2008 January 16, 2007 January 16, 2006 January 16, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table
  Exploring a process. Years Past January 15, 2017 January 15, 2016 January 15, 2015 January 15, 2014 January 15, 2013 January 15, 2012 January 15, 2011 January 15, 2010 January 15, 2009 January 15, 2008 January 15, 2007 January 15, 2006 January 15, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table
I started by cooking the pepperoni in olive oil, rendering some of the pepperoni fat and flavoring the oil. When the pepperoni began to form inverted cups I added thickly sliced onions. I cooked the pepperoni and onions together until the onions were lightly browned and semi-tender. I added sliced ho fun noodles and cooked them until they slightly softened. I added sliced chunks of lobster that I had marinated in chili-garlic sauce. I folded the lobster into the mixture. It took a few tosses and turns in the pan to bring the dish together and our platter of lobster and pepperoni chow fun was ready.   Years Past January 6, 2017 January 6, 2016 January 6, 2015 January 6, 2014 January 6, 2013 January 6, 2012 January 6, 2011 January 6, 2010 January 6, 2009 January 6, 2008 January 6, 2007 January 6, 2006 January 6, 2006 (2) January 6, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor:...
  I took the cold ho fun noodles out of the refrigerator and cut them into strips. I set a non-stick pan onto medium high heat and added a thin layer of oil. I added the stiff, board-like, noodles to the pan. They sizzled, popped and softened. They transformed into tender ho fun noodles. I even achieved some crispy caramelized bits for added texture. I added a splash of soy sauce to the pan to season these testers. The noodles were supple, crunchy, tender, chewy and crush-worthy. Our chow fun game has been fundamentally changed. The microphone dropped.     Years Past January 5, 2017 January 5, 2016 January 5, 2015 January 5, 2014 January 5, 2013 January 5, 2012 January 5, 2011 January 5, 2010 January 5, 2009 January 5, 2008 January 5, 2007 January 5, 2006 January 5, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work
It's kind of embarrassing to admit that I've only ever used my rice cooker to make rice. After all we are supposed to be super creative chefs and we've used our pressure cookers to make almost anything you can think of. The rice cooker has occupied it's own little corner of the kitchen. I use it at least a couple of times a month for rice and not for anything else. Not only that, but I only use it for sticky rice. Occasionally I may mix some grains in for variety. In case you were wondering, we're partial to Tamaki Haiga. Other than that I've never even cooked any other variety of rice in my rice cooker. It finally occurred to me that this was insanity. This week I decided to try out the porridge setting on my rice cooker with some Castle Valley grits. I used 1 cup of grits, 4.5 cups of water, and just under a teaspoon of fine sea salt. The grits were not done when the porridge setting came to an end so we took advantage of the keep warm setting to continue to cook the grits. Four hours later we were ready for dinner and the grits were silky smooth and just about perfect. All they needed were some butter and cheese to finish them off. We tested the temperature and it ranged from 157°F-159°F, well outside...
My biggest challenge in working with udon was to create the unique, chewy texture without using the insane amounts of salt that are traditionally added to the dough. I decided to look at hydration and texture as separate techniques. Then I utilized our method of adding salt and baking soda to a dough in order to add chew and snap to the noodles. We explored a similar approach in the making of steamed buns, where baking soda is kneaded into a leavened yeast dough to add additional springiness and chew. For our udon noodles we made a basic dough with flour and water. We kneaded it and let it rest several times until the dough appeared silky and soft. Then we added less than 1% salt and 1% baking soda to the dough and kneaded it in. We let the dough rest overnight wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator. In the morning, we rolled it into udon noodles and dropped them into boiling water. The noodles cooked in about 7 minutes. When they first hit the water, they puffed and looked enormous. As they continued to cook, they shrank down...
The smoke mellows the funkiness of the fermented vegetables. It adds a rounded savoriness to balance the spicy tang. A little bit of smoke increases the savoriness. It brings a fullness to the eating experience. Smoked kimchi is delicious all by itself. It is a complex building block in our pantry to use in everything, from sauces to meatballs and from soffritos to noodles.   Years Past January 10, 2017 January 10, 2016 January 10, 2015 January 10, 2014 January 10, 2013 January 10, 2012 January 10, 2011 January 10, 2010 Januay 10, 2009 January 10, 2008 January 10, 2007 January 10, 2006 January 10, 2006 (2) January 10, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table
  Aki made a light, airy, crisp honeycomb. I stole it. I broke it into pieces. I folded it into melted white chocolate. I set it into a block. I chopped it up roughly into addictive little shards that crunch and then melt in your mouth. I was rewarded with a delicious new treat, that will soon grace the top of some doughnuts and frozen custard.   Years Past January 9, 2017 January 9, 2016 January 9, 2015 January 9, 2014 January 9, 2013 January 9, 2012 January 9, 2011 January 9, 2010 January 9, 2009 January 9, 2008 January 9, 2007 January 9, 2006 January 9, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table ...
After tackling udon I realized I needed to gain some efficiency in the production. I reached out to our friends at Arcobaleno to see if there was a thick noodle cutter for our sheeter. It turns out they had exactly what I was looking for, a 4mm cutter. I made a larger batch of dough and put the sheeter and cutter to work. It took a bit of practice to get the noodles right. I learned I needed to dust a bit of extra flour on the dough before running it through the cutter. Once I made that adjustment I was able to roll and cut handfuls of chewy udon. Amaya is my happy noodle junkie, encouraging the creation of v3 of American Noodles to keep her well-supplied.   Years Past January 8, 2017 January 8, 2016 January 8, 2015 January 8, 2014 January 8, 2013 January 8, 2012 January 8, 2011 January 8, 2010 January 8, 2009
Amaya wanted to explore chocolate covered strawberries on a doughnut. We discussed topping a doughnut with sliced strawberries dipped in chocolate. We discussed using "those freeze dried strawberries you use in your glazes daddy." We talked about our vanilla and chocolate dough. As we explored the ideas she asked about glazing our chocolate doughnut with our strawberry glaze. (Now made with strawberry puree.) I loved the idea and tried a few test doughnuts today. They sold extremely quickly. Amaya's curiosity allowed her to cleverly combine ingredients inspired by her own previous pleasurable eating experiences. Creativity at its best.   Years Past January 7, 2017 January 7, 2016 January 7, 2015 January 7, 2014 January 7, 2013 January 7, 2012 January 7, 2011 January 7, 2010 January 7, 2009 January 7, 2008 January 7, 2007 January 7, 2006 January 7, 2006 (2) January 7, 2005 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour...
I was eating baby buffalo mozzarella straight from the container. As I ate one it reminded me in texture, size and flavor of oysters. I began thinking about dish variations, whether we should treat oysters like mozzarella or mozzarella like oysters. I wondered about soaking or dressing these cheesy orbs in oyster liquor. I wondered about dressing oysters with mozzarella brine. The small connections we make allow for unique combinations. Years Past January 1, 2017 January 1, 2016 January 1, 2015 January 1, 2014 January 1, 2013 January 1, 2012 January 1, 2011 January 1, 2010 January 1, 2009 January 1, 2008 January 1, 2006 Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Gluten Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table
  Winter weather has arrived. The temperatures have dropped into the teens and single digits. There is almost always a fire going in the fireplace and I'm reaching for the comfort reads, which are taking the form of the Farmhouse series by Susan Hermann Loomis. She has made a name for herself with her books about life on Rue Tatin: On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town, Cooking At Home On Rue Tatin, and In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France. Susan does a wonderful job illustrating her life as a transplant in France. All of her books will make you hungry and, if you're like me, they will make you head for the kitchen to see what you can create. It's definitely worth searching out her older books too. I've made it a point to collect them all. I like to curl up on the sofa with a pile of her books and thumb through them for inspirations. The stories are as enticing as the recipes and they offer a glimpse into a life that I will never experience for myself. I can imagine it though and I can experience some of the recipes in my own kitchen. Even if I never made a single recipe, the experience of enjoying her writing make the books a worthwhile investment. Cookbooks are...
No one was more surprised than I was when we walked into a Plow and Hearth store and Alex went straight for the peanuts. They had a big display of them for Christmas and several cans were open for tasting. He explained that he had long been curious about these Virginia peanuts and proceeded to thoughtfully taste each and every flavor. It was adorable and he truly enjoyed the nuts, exclaiming over the dill pickle flavored ones and savoring each crunchy little bite. Of course he didn't buy any for himself so I made my way back over to the store the week before Christmas. I bought him three varieties but his favorites were the Dill Pickle and the Honey Roasted. We put them out for the crowd on Christmas Day and he insisted that everyone try the two peanuts together. He savored sharing them as much as he did each bite. They were a huge hit. Sometimes it's the little gifts that have the greatest impact.   Years Past December 30, 2016 December 30, 2015 December 30, 2014 December 30, 2013 December 30, 2012 December 30, 2011 December 30, 2010 December 30, 2009 December 30, 2008 December...