Sunday, January 31, 2010

Soon Again - And A New Project

I just bought two pounds of ground lamb...and there will be pine nuts, cumin, mint, cariander, clove, and greek yoghurt in my future and yours.

Also peep on the gorgeous beef short ribs in my freezer (or at least envision them). They'll swim with the carrots/onion/creminis/and cabernets soon enough. WV-ground yellow cornmeal in the cabinet you say? Polenta I retort!

There is a hamsteak that will render tender, and also get going with some red-eye gravy.

Also, I'm writing more these days, just not here. New project. You should read it. Start here. Continue here at 97 MealsPerHour. If you like the snarky bits of the geek, you'll like this. The nostalgia and the actual kitchengeeking I do will stay here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brilliance

Here is my though about food this morning. And it's not mine. Ruhlman wrote it. Carol Blymire said this part:

Americans are being taught we’re too stupid to cook and it’s simply not true.

Get up on it people. Go to the store this weekend. Buy food. Food that requires YOU to do something to it.

Go into your kitchen. Use the stove.

Good on you Mr. Ruhlman.

In practically every single cookbook produced today, the message is, buy this book because we show you easy things to make fast. Only takes a second. Whether it’s Rachael’s 30-minute meals or the quick-and-easy columns in the food magazines. That’s all we hear. Real cooking is hard and difficult so here are the nifty shortcuts and tips to make all that hard stuff quickly and easily.

It’s the wrong message to broadcast (unless you’re a prepared foods exec, in which case you want people to go on believing cooking is difficult—they want your money!). We’re not too stupid and lazy to cook.

If you tell me you don't know how to cook...then focus on this.

The World’s Most Difficult Roasted Chicken Recipe

Turn your oven on high (450 if you have ventilation, 425 if not). Coat a 3- or 4-pound chicken with coarse kosher salt so that you have an appealing crust of salt (a tablespoon or so). Put the chicken in a pan, stick a lemon or some onion or any fruit or vegetable you have on hand into the cavity. Put the chicken in the oven. Go away for an hour. Watch some TV, play with the kids, read, have a cocktail, have sex. When an hour has passed, take the chicken out of the oven and put it on the stove top or on a trivet for 15 more minutes. Finito.

It really is that easy folks. Side dish for that, you say?

Take 4 large potatoes (and for the purposes of this lesson, it really doesn't matter what kind of potato) and cut them in to chunks of about the same size (skin or no skin, your choice). Put them in a pot with cold water. Bring it to a boil and let it go there for 5-8 minutes. Stick a fork in a chunk, if it's easy to do, turn off the stove, drain the water, throw a few chunks of butter, a pinch of salt, and a glug or two of milk in. Mash.

No really. There's nothing else too it. And I will not even give you directions for cooking frozen peas to go along with that. You're a smart cookie. You'll e-mail me if you have questions.