April 21, 2014

biscuit à la milanaise


For my mother, it was the dessert version of “taking coals to Newcastle”. Maybe I should say she “brought firewood to Newcastle”? When she and my father ate at the best restaurant in town, she brought homemade cookies for the two of them to eat for dessert. She also brought extra cookies to give to the kitchen help. more »

April 14, 2014

« tokoroten » de bœuf

beef-flavored gelatin noodles

Across the door on each side of every truck was written: “Find a need and fill it!” It was the slogan of the sand and gravel company that occupied a long, narrow stretch of land between my hometown’s main road and the railroad tracks. Somewhere along the gravel road of life, I adopted a similar attitude. more »

April 7, 2014

cake pounti auvergnat

Auvergne-style quiche

I didn’t plan to make a quiche. I didn’t even plan to make a custard. In the end, I did both. I thought I was making a cake. The recipe called for a cake pan. The recipe included flour, eggs, and baking powder. There wasn’t much milk in the recipe. When I cut off the first slice, I could see that the crumb was smooth and dense. more »

March 31, 2014

vin rouge aux épices

spiced red wine

The date was Friday, September 29th, 2006. The place was the Hostellerie Saint‑Georges in Gruyères, Switzerland. The chef handed me six brown, one‑liter bottles and instructed me to empty them into the large Staub cocotte on the induction burner. At first, I didn’t know what was in the bottles. Their shape reminded me of the chemical bottles I used in the darkroom in college. more »

March 24, 2014

tuile de fromage et de cacao

cocoa-cheese wafer

When we last left the subject of roasted, peeled, and ground cocoa beans the thought was: “This preparation will require more work”. The cocoa‑cheese wafers were not ready for prime time. With a little rehearsal and a touch of rewrite, the show is ready to premier. The cocoa beans I used were produced by Claudio Corallo the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe off the coast of Africa. more »

March 17, 2014

algues mijoté

simmered seaweed

Hijiki is really a neat sounding word! The Latin equivalent Sargassum fusiforme is not so much fun. Both names refer to a brown sea vegetable harvested on the coasts of Japan, Korea, and China. By the time I purchase it in its dried form, it resembles small, black twigs. Even after rehydration, it doesn’t look particularly appetizing. more »

March 10, 2014

fondant au noix de coco

coconut candy

I drove back and forth across the country four times between August of 1967 and May of 1969. It was actually between Menlo Park, California, and Rochester, New York, a distance of 2,750 miles. The first trip took four days. The last trip took just under two days. Except for traveling through Pennsylvania and New York, the entire trip each time was made on Interstate 80. more »

March 3, 2014

tapenade de fèves de cacao

cocoa-bean tapenade

It was our annual walkabout. We do it on the first nice Sunday of each year. Although we live just a couple of blocks from our small downtown, when we go there we drive to the store or restaurant and don’t really see the area from ground level. The walkabout is different. more »

February 24, 2014

farce de dinde

turkey stuffing

I was thunderstruck. It just wasn’t fair. What would I do now? I had come to this market to purchase two loaves of traditional San Francisco‑style sourdough bread. These are long loaves made by old‑time bakeries. These are not artisan breads by the modern definition, but they are nonetheless very good. more »

February 17, 2014


baked custard cake

A controlled burn sounds like something relating do the management of forests rather than cooking. Usually it does. If we think about it, there may be no flames, but the surface of food goes through a controlled burn in many different preparations. The process of searing is a means of controlled burning the food surface. more »

©2014 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.