Archive | March, 2012
Bamboo Cocktail

Friday Night Cocktail: Aperitifs and the Bamboo Cocktail

For one reason or another, most of my alcohol consumption lately has been in the form of wine, which means that cocktails have taken a back seat. But sometimes, even when I’ve already got a wine picked out for dinner, I have that itch that only a cocktail can scratch. For those times, it’s nice […]

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Fluid gel 1

Fluid gel

A common sauce-making technique used in contemporary recipes is the fluid gel. A fluid gel is a substance that behaves as a solid when still, but moves like a fluid when exposed to enough outside force, a property known as “shear-thinning” or “thixotropy”. The textbook example of a shear-thinning fluid is ketchup: in the bottle, […]

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5. Pork, grapefruit, sage, honey

Dinner party: March 24, 2012

When I did my big 6-course dinner party last month, I had originally invited my friends Laura and Mike, but they had to bow out at the last minute to deal with a sick child. Enough time has passed since then that I felt able to work up another menu of restaurant-level dishes for them. […]

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Corned beef SV faceoff

Sous vide faceoff: Corned beef

As I was waiting for my beef brisket to cure for St. Patrick’s Day dinner this year, it occurred to me that I’d never cooked corned beef sous vide. When I tweeted that I was debating the relative merits of sous vide versus traditional stovetop braising, Michael Hay, chef of the Courtyard Restaurant, suggested that […]

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Japanese hot pots: yosenabe

It has long been a source of frustration to me that sushi is so much better known than any other aspect of Japanese cuisine. Even in a big city like Toronto, the ratio of sushi restaurants to other types of Japanese restaurants is about a zillion to one. Japan’s culinary traditions are so much broader […]

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IIF Preserved Lemons

Ideas in preserved lemons

When I said recently that there is very little variation among most of the recipes I have for preserved lemons, I was deliberately omitting one specific recipe from that generalization: the one in Ideas in Food. Obviously, the main problem with the traditional recipe for preserved lemons is the amount of time they take. It’s […]

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Homemade Tofu

“Meat from the fields”: Homemade tofu

The technical term for my first foray into tofu-making is “qualified success.” The parallels between tofu and cheese-making are extensive. (I never used to understand why tofu was glossed as “bean curd,” but that’s probably because the first type of “curd” I ever encountered was lemon.) The biggest difference is, for tofu, you have to […]

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Preserved Lemon Jar

Preserved lemons

I’ve written before about some of the ingredients that have cachet among chefs and food-lovers who really know their stuff: quince, celeriac, short ribs. That list has never aspired to be comprehensive, but I would be remiss if I didn’t amend it to include preserved lemons (aka lemon confit). Naturally, because this ingredient is such […]

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Sous Vide Professional

Is modernist cooking soulless?

A pair of companion interviews with Timothy Hollingsworth and Eli Kaimeh, chefs de cuisine of the French Laundry and Per Se, respectively, were making the rounds on social media last week. They both offer interesting insights into the cultures of two of the finest kitchens in North America, and are both very much worth reading. […]

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Pegu Club 1

Friday Night Cocktail: Pegu Club

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this drink yet, because it was one of the first ones I fell in love with when I started getting serious about cocktails. In fact, the desire to make this cocktail was probably the impetus behind me acquiring my first bottle of orange bitters. In part, my interest […]

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