Smoked salt

Because I don’t have a proper smoker, my experiments with smoking foods have been pretty limited. Really, smoking can be viewed as two different processes: a cooking process, and a flavouring process. Smoking on a gas grill like mine mostly falls into the “flavouring” category, because the heat of the grill’s burners, rather than the […]

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Friday Night Cocktail: Gin and Tonic

On a hot summer day, there is no drink I would rather have than a Gin and Tonic. So I’ve been drinking a lot of them lately, which finally gave me the impetus to make my own tonic syrup, which is then combined with club soda to produce tonic water. The defining feature of tonic […]

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First steps in equilibrium brining

One of the terms that came up frequently right after Modernist Cuisine was released was “equilibrium brining,” but it took me a long time to fully internalize the concept and get around to trying it out. Traditional brining involves placing meat in a relatively concentrated salt solution for a short length of time. You have […]

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Mokha-Java

I was very excited recently to see that my preferred green coffee supplier, Sweet Maria’s, had a supply of coffee from Yemen, specifically named for the Yemeni port city of Mokha. As well, they had a variety of coffees from the Indonesian island of Java. These are two of the oldest sites of coffee cultivation […]

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Chilli jam

The first Thai cookbook I ever bought was Simply Thai Cooking by Wandee Young, which I gave as a gift to my husband. (At the time, it was the first edition!) It remains a go-to book for both of us when we want a weeknight Thai dinner, without having to go to the trouble of pounding […]

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No crying over spilt milk: Cereal milk truffles

Last weekend was the annual eGullet chocolate and confectionery workshop, held this year at Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The first night of the workshop usually functions as a sort of “show and tell,” where the chocolatiers and confectioners who have gathered from across North America share samples of the treats they’ve been working on […]

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Tournant

One of the funny things about being a stagiaire is that you don’t usually work a specific station. One minute you’re trimming elk tenderloins, the next you’re making an Italian meringue for buttercream. This certainly has its drawbacks: without being assigned to a particular set of dishes, it can feel like you have no “ownership” […]

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Kitchen lingo

As a translator, I continue to be fascinated by the specific language that develops in kitchens. Lately, I’ve been noticing a tendency to take nouns and turn them into verbs. I once had a lengthy discussion with a friend who’s a server about when a table of diners should be “breaded.” (After which, presumably, they’re […]

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On the road

I’m currently on the road, in Ottawa (where I enjoyed the “grilled cheese sloppy joe” pictured above at Art Is In bakery). I’ll be here for the entire month of March, staging at a number of restaurants. Rather than putting my blog on hold for that time, though, my goal is to try and post […]

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Bâtard! Bouchon Bakery bread

After the success of the other Bouchon Bakery recipes I tried, and in light of my efforts to bake bread more regularly in order to better understand the process, I thought it would be interesting to try the Bouchon Bakery “Master Recipe” for bread. Nearly all the breads in the book call for a pre-ferment, either […]

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Friday Night Cocktail: Airmail

I don’t make cocktails with sparkling wine very often, because good sparkling wine can be expensive, cocktails alone rarely use the whole bottle, and it tends to lose its fizz too fast if stored. But sometimes you just need the effervescence that only sparkling wine can provide. We first tried the Airmail cocktail at Beretta […]

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Baking with Bouchon Bakery

My husband gave me a copy of Bouchon Bakery as a gift in December, bringing my total collection of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group cookbooks up to four. After opening it, I wasted no time in diving in. The book approaches baked goods, both pâtisserie and boulangerie (with a little confectionery thrown in for good measure) in […]

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Pressure-cooked oatmeal

Until now, I have always made oatmeal exclusively with rolled oats; although I know connoisseurs swear by the steel-cut variety, it always seemed like too much of a time investment for a breakfast food. (And yes, I know I’m saying this as someone who has cooked his own English muffins for eggs Benedict.) But if […]

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