Surely others have preserved blood oranges in salt before. If they haven’t, and if you haven’t, next winter give it a shot and you will find the same unexpected result that I did. I have preserved lemon, preserved buddha’s hand, and preserved smoked limes in a similar fashion and the results of the lemon and lime were expected. They were deceptively savory. In fact, there would be almost no pastry application that I would advocate for with either of them. The buddha’s hand is one of my favorite condiments. It is sweet and acidic – it is like adding salt and acid in a large amounts. My thought with the blood oranges was that it would be similar to the lemons and limes and turn into a mysteriously savory ingredient. I was wrong. Continue reading »
As alluded to multiple times this Winter and Spring, we are moving. We are moving next week. Holy Moses. Moving is awful, but moving away from a place you love is worse. I moved to Chicago 13 years ago and love this city. I love Chicago, but once we had kids, our clock started running. Still I love Chicago.
There are infuriating aspects about Chicago, to be sure. It is huge city made up of little burghs with individual personalities all their own. Like people, some of the neighborhoods here are jerkstores and, with others, there are not enough hours in the day to spend with them. It is a city big enough to become lost in, but friendly enough to never feel lost. There is art, green space, and amazing restaurants. My adult life has been spent in the city. Many of my most memorable moments have happened here. Continue reading »
When in Alice Waters’ name is Spring going to get here? I have resorted to buying less than stellar asparagus to stave off the Spring fever. With an abundance of miso, mirin, and sake from ramen experiments, I thought of a miso pickle with a bundle of the West coast asparagus. Continue reading »
There are times where you make something you like, in this case cured eggs, and it makes you wonder how else it can be done. Almost immediately after finishing the egg yolks cured with salt, I read about miso-curing egg yolks. A few months later when I was deep in making smoked meringues, I had a few yolks sitting around, so I made the miso-cured yolks.
I may have some hair-brained ideas that I, perhaps too frequently, post here, but when it comes to what I like to eat when I go out, it seems that the dishes seeming the simplest hit me in the stomach heart the hardest. Whether it is the tongue pincho at Vera or the birria at Zaragoza, my favorites are not typically tweezer food. I loved Grace and like Next/Alinea a good deal, but when I visited Elizabeth, here in Chicago, in November, I was a skeptic. Iliana at Elizabeth has won me over, hook, line and sinker. Continue reading »
In November, I was sitting in a waiting room killing time when I picked up Time Out Chicago. I typically would rather read the ingredients in commercial ice cream (yes, Polysorbate 80 is the most delicious polysorbate) than Time Out, but when I opened to an article written by someone I have admired from afar, Martha Bayne, I was compelled to read it. Continue reading »
Sometimes the little things remind me how great Chicago is. Chicago is great for places like Next and Grace, for places like Vera and Butcher & Larder, but little things like finding an offbeat chile in your corner bodega really make Chicago special. Each Monday, I race home to take care of the girls. Their mother, my extraordinary wife, works in the evening and I handle child care solo. As part of this duty, I relieve and pay the baby sitter and, as I do, I do not want to rely on her to have change. Continue reading »
As I have gone on at length, likely at too much length, when the cold smoker gets fired up, look out. There are few limits to what might end up being bathed in pecan/bourbon barrel smoke. While there are some duds (pears and apricots), there have been some finds. This kimchi, made with with smoked savoy cabbage, is one of them. Continue reading »
One of my stated goals for 2013 is make things a little easier – make things simpler. One of the ways that I found as a good stepping off point for that goal was to use what I have in the house in creative and simple ways before going out of my way to make things more complex. Continue reading »
Since first trying a barrel-aged beer in my early 20s, I have been one of the “bourbon-barrel” chasers. I will try most everything with a little aging in barrels. I think, if done well, it gives depth of flavor to nearly everything it touches. Now, some of this stuff gets out of hand, as far as aging goes, but I was always curious how someone could do this at home. It seemed as if exposure to barrel wood was the key, but I could not be sure. Continue reading »