This weekend has been the first for over three months with full access to a kitchen. After stacking meats in the freezer for months, I went to the lamb liver I had been holding onto since making lamb liver pudding. The idea I kept coming back to wa a sausage I have eaten plenty, never made, and was high on my list – braunschweiger. 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 are cookbooks which you breeze through and pick things out as you flip pages quickly, never actually reading much. Then there are cookbooks where you read every word, then you read every word over again and you keep reading the book from cover to cover and accidentally forget to ever cook anything from the book despite the book overflowing with dishes that appeal on most levels. The Art of Living According to Joe Beef is the second kind. To me, it is an instant classic – mixing retro French cuisine and their own playfulness. The book exudes fun and punches pretension in the throat, but sadly I have taken only inspiration, but not any dishes. On Easter, that would change. Continue reading »
I am a hoarder. I admit it. In fact, I admitted it to a communal dining table on Saturday evening. Granted, the table was filled with a few friends, others known online and a few less than that, but, in my mind, the first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one. Admitting that I hoard animal fat was the start I needed to solving the problem. 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.
Creativity need not start with a seismic shift. An idea is born sometimes with a simple slight deviation from something standard. One of my favorite and most successful food projects has been nduja. While nduja is not exactly standard, it is a thing, it is something. What isn’t something? Spreadable merguez. It is now. It is something and it is something. Continue reading »
Last week was hot as hell, but, like Memorial and Labor Days, the Fourth of July is a BBQ holiday. There is no wiggle room in my rule book when it comes to BBQ holidays, even for 100 degree temperatures. With that in mind, since we were in the Northwoods for the week, I was planning on pit smoking a suckling pig. When looking at yield and cost, I opted for something that I thought would have less flair, but ended up being the opposite. Continue reading »
In April 2010 when I took a Slagel lamb belly and made both bacon and pancetta from it, there were virtually no examples of either in the real food world, online food world or in books. That made things difficult for a novice meat curer, but recently lamb bacon has been a very popular item not only on menus and blogs, but in cookbooks as well. Hell, even lamb pancetta made it to a blog or two since my first go around. Continue reading »