Cool Stuff – Spring

34 Morton Street Specials

My grandmother and great-aunt had an apartment together on the top floor of 34 Morton Street in New York City in 1941. It was a nice walk-up apartment building, and they paid $80 for it. They were very frugal, and so had various dishes they cooked together that they considered their specialties. One was called “Slum Gulligan,” made from corn, and green pepper, and baked like a custard. Another they […]

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Turkey Stock

I think of any stock as liquid gold… the sure path to tastier food. And as you know by now, I like to use as many parts of the animal that I eat, as I possibly can. So this Thanksgiving, my turkey carcas became a lovely stock, that made the house smell like Thanksgiving all over again. Here’s how you make it, a little liquid gold from me to you, […]

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Grandma’s Spinach Dip

I recently received an email from Grandma Pellegrini. Yes, she does email now, she has a gmail account, and most recently a Facebook account, and is quite good at it. She is also good at ordering interesting things on amazon. Mostly cooking equipment. Just the other day I walked into her kitchen and a new ice cream maker was buzzing, churning some terra cotta colored apricot ice cream which had […]

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Solo Brining and Dining

I had a pork chop yesterday. I was dining alone, and I ceremoniously made myself a proper meal. I took a visit to the butcher who had all sorts of glossy selections piled high in the coolers, and I settled on a pork chop, bone-in. It was a good choice because it was well aged, and came from a good place and when it hit the pan I could tell from the sizzling […]

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A Garlic Mincing Trick

One of the first little bits of wisdom I learned when I decided to get serious about cooking, was how to make garlic into a paste in under 30 seconds. It was a revelation and I thought, “Wow! These are all the shortcuts that pros know!” So then I began to work in professional kitchens and was peeved to see people mincing their garlic the same way I’d done it as a “civilian”… […]

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Devils on Horseback

These are some very fine treats. The kind of thing that leaves a lasting impression. The kind of thing that becomes seared into your mind the moment your teeth chomp down on that first bite and the sweet, salt, and tang begin to crawl along your taste buds. That is why they are called Devils on Horseback I suppose… they gallop along your tongue, too good to be good. I […]

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Bananas Foster Cupcakes, (a.k.a. The Nielsen Ratings for Food)

In preparation for my book… I’ve been testing out quite a lot of recipes. These I like to call “Bananas Foster Cupcakes,” because they celebrate cream and rum and cake in three lavish bites. (There’s cream inside!) I’ve discovered that to get a truly unbiased opinion on a recipe, it is best to set it in the kitchen of an anonymous office where people whisk in to grab a diet Mountain […]

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A Master Class in Brussels Sprouts

As you know, I like changing people’s minds. It makes me fuzzy inside. Most people don’t like brussels sprouts. It’s the black sheep of vegetables… “eeew brussels sprouts,” is the default way to use it in a sentence. But they really are lovely little things, if you cook them to the edges of crispiness rather than the edges of mushiness. And they’re so fun to snap off of the tall […]

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Sunday Roasted Chicken

There’s been so much rain in the Northeast this summer, that the quince trees have borne rotted fruit. I’ve missed most of that rain though, and I never thought I’d say so, but I miss it. I’ve spent most of this summer in arid climates where you can’t count on rain to wash away the sidewalk stains. Last night, I felt my first rain in months. It was misty and […]

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Grandma’s Bundt Cake

“I just found the best bundt cake recipe in the entire United States,” so said my grandmother as she handed me a piece… she tends to modify recipes often, adding a bit of this and that along the way. Some yogurt here, some honey there. So you’re never quite sure how it got to be so spectacular… something in her kitchen air. The little bundt cake holes can be filled […]

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