Archive for October 2006

Making apple butter

I made Erin's apple butter before I went to Maine, but only had a chance to test my work the other night. (Inspired by a dish at Boston's Locke-Ober restaurant, I roasted and mashed a winter squash, then mixed it with some apple butter. They also add Calvados.) Mmm, this apple butter is delicious! I followed Erin's recipe closely, except when she called for a "fine mesh strainer." At first I tried my chinois, but that was actually too fine, and only the faintest apple juice emerged. I resorted to my less fine mesh strainer and that did the trick. I used a blend of locally-grown Jonamac and Empire apples, and I like to think that added depth to my butter. I can't wait try some of this on a sandwich. Great recipe, thanks Erin!

There's something that I call 'chicken guilt,' which is something that has chefs in restaurants making the chicken dish one of the best dishes on the menu because they feel guilty selling a chicken for $28. I've never heard of 'chicken guilt' before, but I love it! Of course, I never order chicken when I'm out because I think, "How good can that chicken be, even if it's $28?"

70 Steps To Foie Gras Torchon. Adam over at the Amateur Gourmet and I are in a bit of a foie gras "contest" to see who makes the best torchon of foie gras (from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook). I'm still at step 23. But somehow I know I'll win!

Four microphones, a table, and 90 minutes of dead air I’m in charge of filling. Michael Ruhlman reports on his sold-out talk (that I missed because of sickness) last week at the 92nd St Y.

Cartoon recipe for creamy corn chowder. Yum! It's always neat to see alternative representations of recipes.

Do we really need a different glass for every spirit and wine? Or is this simply another way to sell us more glasses? How the shape of the wine glass affects the taste of wine, how to chose good wine glasses, and pretty much anything else you want to know about wine glasses.

Common cravings in people with pica include the urge to eat soil, coal, rust, chalk and paper. A French man suffering from pica swallowed five kilograms of coins, necklaces and needles.

Pixar's RatatouilleA rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. Coming next summer from Pixar. Check out the trailor here.

A list of when produce is in season in your area. If you look at the listing for New York, you quickly see how eating local full-time is a real challenge. Here are the nearly year-round New York products: apples, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, winter squash, and turnips. Throw in some oysters and you're eating like it's 1775. No taxation without representation! [via Rebecca]

crawly cakes for halloween
Amazing crawly cakes for Halloween over at Not Martha. They're made from Sno Balls, Ding Dongs, and Little Debbie cakes. Awesome!

Brussels sprouts have arrived at my local farmer's market, which means it's time to start making my favorite Brown Buttered Brussels Sprouts. Between now and spring, I will eat these as much as possible. Brussels sprouts are totally in my top five favorite veggies list, maybe even number one!

You are not one to sit on the cider-lines, you like to be where the action is. According to New York's Apple Country website, that's true about me because "the apple you love best says something about your personality." My love for McIntosh also means "You like to shake things up. You like people and you always enjoy a good party." I think I'd believe this more if they didn't use so many terrible apple puns. "Cider-lines"? Guh.

Gourmet's editors are now blogging about things like vegemite and onions. I like the idea of using a mix of people. But so far, with only one post a day, it's been hard to get a sense of the site's personality. Still, I'll be checking in. I'm always happy to have more food blogs to read.

Battle bloody sleeve

Bloody sleeveYesterday I had the opportunity to spend a little time in the kitchen of Daniel Boulud's eponymous New York restaurant, Daniel. I got to make chicken wings with the man himself for a video a friend is producing. Stupidly, I chose not to wear whites, and thought street clothes would make the bit more "authentic" for the home cook. So I was standing there in a gray cashmere sweater and jeans (I did wear my clogs at least) with an apron tied around my waist. Daniel was demonstrating how to prep the wings, which involved sectioning the wing into three parts. WHACK! He came down hard with his chef's knife on the joint, and blood went flying. Flying right onto the sleeve of my sweater! Daniel was very gracious and tried to wipe it off with a dish towel, but that only smeared it around. We had a good laugh about it and my sweater is now at the cleaners. But I've learned my lesson (a lesson, incidentally, I'd already learned but chose to ignore) and next time, I'll be wearing whites. And standing clear of Daniel Boulud when he's wielding his knife and whacking at wings.

Two examinations of a timely topic: Is eating at home cheaper? and Is Eating Out Cheaper Than Eating In? I love cooking, so I don't want to eat out all the time (or eat out "in" with delivery), but I do wonder sometimes if the cost and effort are really worth it.

Stomach AcheNext time you're sick in bed with a stomach ache, maybe you should snuggle up with this guy. It's a stuffed microbe, about a million times the size of the actual microbe. Don't let Shigella (that's your stomach ache microbe) get you down! [via AT]

These days, the way we farm and the way we process our food, both of which have been industrialized and centralized over the last few decades, are endangering our health. Michael Pollan on spinach, E. coli, and America's centralized food systems.

Looking for sommeliers

A reporter is looking for New York City sommeliers to be profile subjects and part of a piece on the profession. He writes: "I'd love to hear from somms with any level of experience or education, or from anyone who knows any interesting somms."

If you fit the bill, please email Lawrence Marcus at

Ray builds her celebrity out of mixed signals, in this case, the sweet and the savory. An interesting look at the Rachael Ray phenomenon.

Find out the quality of your local drinking water. It's good to know what you're drinking.

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