In most cases when one wonders why something does not exist there is a reason – usually surrounding feasibility. However, I like to tinker and try. I like to extrapolate and interpolate. When looking at a photo of a pork pie, I wondered why there are not actual pork pies or tarts, open-faced like pumpkin or apple pies. To me, a pâté en croûte is a fancy pork pie and a little too crust forward. I wanted something a little lighter. I was going to find out if a pork tart was possible by trying to make one. Continue reading
Missing my Irish breakfast on or around St. Patrick’s day was a mistake. Diverting from my daily oatmeal for a plate full of sausages, rashers, and eggs requires a good excuse and St. Patrick’s day is a great excuse. I had even acquired a bit of black pudding from the Butcher and Larder for this very purpose. I missed my chance for a full breakfast and I can own that, but I still had the blood sausage and a hankering for a fry up.
One of the key lessons of buying two whole cow’s heads in a two month span is each head has a tongue, so you have a few options at your disposal. First, you could leave it in its head of origin and cook it surrounded by its cranial neighbors. Or, you could embrace your inner “Game of Thrones” villain and remove the tongue for a separate application. Recently, I made beef sausages studded with tongue, but this time, I focused more on the tongue. Continue reading
Sometimes it is about the big picture, but I have been taking more notice of the elements lately. Recently I noticed, while ordering banh mi, how I have ordered the same sandwich so many times yet have no idea what the “pork roll” is that sits on the sandwich. When I took a look at the sandwich after getting curious, I realized I needed to crack a book and figure it out. Continue reading
Going into July 4th, I was in a cooking rut. With time being more limited due to other obligations and a new commute combined with limited space and tools, I felt stifled. At first, I pressed. That did not work, so I backed off for a little while. Continue reading
Inspiration and ideas are great things, but without execution, they disappoint. This was an idea from a long time ago, but sloppy execution took it from the must-have-again list to the must-try-again list.
It was last fall, as I tossed a bunch of concord grapes into my brussels sprouts with lamb bacon, when the trigger was made. The concords were roasted with the sprouts and the lamb to where you could get a little bit in each bite. Despite being a huge fan of sprouts, I kept pushing them aside to get bites with only lamb and grapes. It was a combo that was unfamiliar but amazingly good. Continue reading
There is a long circular path on which many of my thoughts travel. After making both giardiniera and xo consomme, I had an idea that making an aspic from both of them which encase an egg would be a delicious and interesting dish. Only once I made them, one suspending cauliflower florets in the aspic and the other peas, eating them never quite appealed. I used tumbers to create the suspension which meant that I had eight ounces of aspic per egg and that was far more oddly flavored jello than I was willing to consume in one sitting. The project went on the pile of posts that seemed like a good idea until I actually did them and goodness left the building.
Typically when dealing with meat heroes such as St. Fergus Henderson, St. Paul Bertolli, and others of their ilk, I stay pretty close to the road that they pave. However, once I have done something enough to be able to do it from memory, I feel comfortable making bigger choices of my own. Continue reading
Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is not how we do things. Going to the mattresses at home is one of those things that I get to do pretty infrequently – mostly for larger family gatherings and dinner parties. Making dinner, I do every night, but not like this. Every night is usually a little protein, colorful veg, and green leafy things, but Valentine’s Day is a fun day to go all out.
Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to dine at the Kyoto incarnation of Chicago’s Next Restaurant. Our meal ended with a course that I thought of as a brave way to end a meal. It was a small confection, warabimochi, that was neither overly sweet nor overly savory. The very next week, a friend sent a few of these little numbers covered in toasted soy powder that she had made herself. It finally hit me why I loved these. Continue reading