food & cooking

Spin All the Things!

October 18, 2017
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Visitors to the Belm Utility Research Kitchen, after seeing all of the gadgets and equipment, always ask “Is there anything else you need?” My answer is always the same: I’d like a chamber vacuum sealer and an ultracentrifuge. The former is within the realm of possibility (and budget), the latter remains a fantasy. Ultracentrifuges, even […]

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Salep Happy

August 2, 2014
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Mess around with enough ice cream recipes and you discover the differences in texture created by certain ingredients. My go-to recipe uses egg yolks to make a denser, more custard-like ice cream than Philadelphia-style, which is made without. Adding various hydrocolloids (carageenan, guar or xanthan gums) inhibits ice crystal formation but changes the texture. I thought […]

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St. Julia’s Day 2012

August 17, 2012
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Wednesday would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. For this year’s St. Julia’s Day dinner (previous efforts here, here, and here), I wanted to pay tribute to what I used to call “god’s pantry”: her seemingly infinite supply of ingredients that were always on hand in her fridge, freezer, or cabinets. (If you’ve watched more than […]

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A Better (Batter?) Mousetrap

July 2, 2009
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The recent death of volume-challenged huckster Billy Mays has directed attention to the show Pitchmen, which follows the TV gadget process from home invention to in-your-face late-night advertisement. The inventors really believe in their creations. They have to, since they’ve usually given up a day job to pursue a dream that began with the phrase […]

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I Interviewed Fergus Henderson

June 30, 2009
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Yes, I interviewed Fergus Henderson, the genius chef of St. John Restaurant, where I recently ate the best meal ever. Well, not in person. And I didn’t actually conduct the interview. Ryan Adams, who is documenting his effort to cook his way through Nose to Tail: The Whole Beast at Nose to Tail at Home, […]

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Four Magic Words

June 29, 2009

Tasty salted pig parts. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, there’s no part of that phrase I don’t like. Boccalone is a salumeria in San Francisco, but they also have an online store. Add this to my list of reasons for a trip to the west coast. (Thanks to Yggdrasil for forwarding the photo.)

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Market trends

June 27, 2009

Still overloaded on vegetables from last week’s market trip, I pared down the purchases today. Boston lettuce, red chard, garlic scapes (the curly things), country sourdough loaf, asparagus, first cherries of the season, heirloom cherry tomatoes (tomatoes will be a weekly purchase until the end of their growing season), strawberries (ditto), smoked pork chops, and […]

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Tortilla Española with Chorizo and Scallions

June 22, 2009

In the summer months I try to cook some meals that incorporate more vegetables and less meat, preferably meals made with the local market produce. I had eggs from a nearby farm, chorizo from a newly-opened Portuguese market, and a whole lot of Yukon Gold potatoes. A recipe in the recent Cook’s Illustrated promised a […]

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David and the Chocolate Factory

June 20, 2009

I didn’t include one of the vendors in my original post about the Union Square Farmer’s Market because I don’t consider them a seasonal addition, but rather a permanent fixture in our neighborhood. I’m talking about Taza Chocolate. I first discovered this company at the Paper and Chocolate weekend held in a converted warehouse space […]

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Market Report

June 20, 2009

Another morning spent at the farmer’s market. I’m already back in the habit of pacing myself: not buying something merely because it looks good, but only if I’ll cook it within the week. Sugar snap peas, fresh cut flowers for She Who Must Be Obeyed, eggs and bacon from Stillman’s farm, more mozzarella, peach jam […]

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