February 23, 2015

champignons en croûte

mushroom rolls

A sign of laziness is using a food processor to “dice” mushrooms for a duxelles. The results can hardly be called a dice, and the practice lacks a certain Zen. There is a certain feeling of satisfaction that comes from producing a uniform dice from something as irregular and friable as a common mushroom. more »

February 16, 2015

un écrou pour toutes les saisons

a nut for all seasons

It was like the drugstores common to movies from the thirties and forties. Besides serving as a pharmacy, Bryan Drug House had a lunch counter, a supply of greeting cards, and various candies, ranging from Whitman Samplers to Hershey bars, for sale. It was located in the center of town, directly across West Main Street from the old Nathanial Rochester Hotel. more »

February 9, 2015

pouding de kaki

persimmon pudding

I went to the market today to buy some persimmons. I was looking for the non‑astringent type such as the Jiro or Fuyu varieties, both common in my usual markets two days ago when I last went shopping. Today, all I could find were the Hachiya variety, the traditional astringent persimmon available in my area. more »

February 2, 2015

champignon mariné

marinated mushroom

Mrs. W was a whack‑job—a true nut case—my first sixth‑grade teacher. She was actually, probably just going through some sort of a breakdown. She had decided to eschew the standard curriculum, and instead, we spent our days doing art projects and going on field trips. On one of those field trips, I visited my first mushroom farm. more »

January 26, 2015

flan aux œufs et fromage

cheese custard

The denaturing of protein and its subsequent crosslinking is fundamental to cooking. Every time you prepare a dish of scrambled eggs, that’s what you’re doing. You mechanically denature some its many proteins when you beat the egg. Then, as the egg warms in the pan, thermal denaturation occurs. At about 60 °C (140 °F), the proteins begin to crosslink and form a gel that traps water droplets in a newly created protein mesh. more »

January 19, 2015

tarte à la crème de vin

wine-cream tart

Don’t ask Wikipedia for a list of pies. The list will be too long to fathom. Still, what are the most common pies in America? Apple certainly. All types of berry and other fruit pies. There’s banana‑ and coconut‑cream pie? In the fall, pumpkin pin. At other times, sweet potato pie. more »

January 12, 2015

champignons tirés

pulled mushroom

There was this one patient in the late 1980s that had ignored a ruptured appendix. Apparently, he just sat on his front porch drinking beer and hoping that the pain would go away. By the time he was brought unconscious to Rochester General Hospital, his sepsis was so bad that edema had formed throughout his body. more »

January 5, 2015

gésier rôti

seared gizzard

“Do you fret your gizzard?” That’s a question that Dr. Johnson may have asked you if you seemed apprehensive. In the literary world, there seems to be an illusion that we have a body part called a gizzard. Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary on June 17th, 1668, “I find my wife hath something in her gizzard that which waits an opportunity of being provoked to bring up. more »

December 29, 2014

mousse de cheesecake au beurre d’arachide

peanut-butter cheesecake mousse

Some are good. Some are bad. Some are great. Some are so bad that I want to put my fist through my monitor. I have a love‑hate relationship with cooking videos. As much as I hate most of them, I’m still attracted to them like the proverbial moth. In the past I’ve mentioned two YouTube series, Cooking with Dog and Ochikeron (Create, Eat, Happy), that I subscribe to and watch on a regular basis. more »

December 22, 2014

tomates demi-secs

half-dried tomatoes

Taillevent didn’t write recipes for you or me. Irrespective of the fact that he was writing his recipes in the first half of the prior millennium, or as has been suggested, that he was dictating the recipes since he probably was illiterate, his intended audience was most likely his employer. His purpose was to provide a record of his cooking. more »

©2015 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.