July 28, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

palmier de parmesan

parmesan palmiers

Pity the poor palmier! It’s an orphan. No one claims to be its mother or father. No one stands up and says: “I made the first palmier.” Many sources claim that it came about early in the twentieth century, but none give a traceable reference. The earliest mention I can find in my books is in the 1938 edition of Larousse Gastronomiquemore »

July 21, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

faux boules de pain azyme

fake matzo balls

If the average Jewish mother making matzo balls for her family Seder is a sprinter, my mother was a matzo‑ball marathoner. In the 1950s and into the 60s, she’d prepare the matzo balls for the local temple’s community Seder. This usually meant making between 900 and 1000 matzo balls for a single meal. more »

July 14, 2014
Mignardise

panna cotta au sésame noir

sesame-seed custard

There are certain brands for which I can accept no substitute. Heinz Ketchup is the first that comes to mind. There’s no other ketchup that tastes as good on a hamburger or fries. I feel the same about Best Foods Mayonnaise. The latest addition to my “no substitutes list” is Roland Classic Coconut Milk. more »

July 7, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

boulette des crevettes

shrimp dumplings

After 18 hours of flying and 6 hours or so in three different airports, we arrived. It was about two in the afternoon when we plopped on our beds. After an hour of napping, we headed into Singapore’s 35 °C (95 °F) air made heavy with the near 100 percent humidity. We didn’t stray too far from our hotel, but we did take the escalator underground at the nearest subway station to purchase our EZ‑Link cards so we could use the city bus network to get around town. more »

June 30, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

confit de saumon

barely cooked salmon

I’ve attended the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery each summer since 2008. I’m told by outsiders that the food and accommodations were atrocious when the Symposium was at St. Andrews College. Now the food is mostly great, and the rooms—if you know what to ask for—are quite nice. The nicest meal was, I think, in 2009 when Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons prepared the Saturday evening meal for the attendees. more »

June 23, 2014
Mignardise

pleurer les bébés

cry babies

I like old recipes. Maybe it’s an ego thing. Like I know something you don’t. Old recipes work for me. I know that when a recipe calls for pounding the sugar in a mortar and then sieving it, the recipe is from a time when sugar was purchased in solid loaves or cones. more »

June 16, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

crêpe des haricots au fromage blanc de chèvre

“King of the Early” crepe with goat cheese

I first encountered socca walking through the vieille ville (old town) in Nice in the mid‑90s. During one twelve‑month period I saw the chickpea pancake in numerous small cafes near Cours Saleya many times, but each time I was there, my traveling companions didn’t want to try the socca. To this day, I still have not eaten it. more »

June 9, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

salade de lapin

rabbit salad

With a pair of toothed forceps I would lift the belly skin to separate it from the underlying muscles. Then with a small pair of scissors, I’d start cutting along the rabbit’s midline in a cranial direction from near the pubis until the midpoint of the ribs. I would separate the skin from the underlying muscles by sliding my gloved hand between the two, breaking any of the small membranous connections that tenuously connected them. more »

June 2, 2014
Intermède

mochi de thé vert

green-tea mochi

At one point in the 1980s, I was flying close to 200,000 miles a year: All on United Airlines and all domestic. This meant that I was spending more time in the air and in airports than I was at home. When I looked back at the end of one year, I had spent 40 weekends on the road. more »

May 26, 2014
Amuse-Bouche

pain au fromage

cheese buns

It’s a cliché now to talk about the world becoming smaller due to the Internet, but this simple recipe is a good example. It apparently started as a challenge from a Brazilian website called Rolê Gourmet to the Japanese website Cooking with Dog. The challenge was to prepare Brazilian cheese buns called pão de queijomore »

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