Saturday, July 31, 2010


I pass no comment on the throngs of barbarous unwashed Stocktonian masses who descended upon the mess I set forth. But I must share some images with you.

S. Margot tells me I should shut off the flash and strive for subtlety and I think she may be right. Please do give me feedback. I'm still new at the food photography thing.

The first is a bacterially fermented assemblage of tiny cukes (cut up afterward), peppers and cibollata onions. It worked because we had a serious cold spell for several weeks,

and these guys did their thing on the counter. Woo! Pucker sour and spicy with Thai chilies.
Then this morning I baked a bread. Actually started it last night. Left it for 8 hours to rise, and just look at the poufy even crumb! A little sour, good crust. When it works it does work. I'm glad I have all this for myself this week.

And here's that bungy salami. Toscano Piccante, right? Spiked with chili pepper, otherwise not much different form the smaller one, but bigger, dried less, with a pronounced sourness that somehow is really fetching. I have a feeling I am seriously getting the knack of this.
I wish you could taste it. Drop by. In lieu of that, let me know if this new flashless mode works.
I do always like a good flash though.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I have been told about this rare malady, but I never suspected it would afflict me. Who ever does? Apparently I am unable to eat anything without taking a picture and posting it first.
In my defense, I've got the house to myself for a few weeks, and can cook whatever I please whenever however I like. It's quite liberating.
So let me explain. The first night I had to answer a friend - localkitchen who tried the swazi sauce in the cookbook and was not overwhelmed. I realized I haven't cooked it according to the basic recipe in years. Beer, ketchup, lemon, pepper, honey, tabasco. None of these flavors are actually discernable in the end, but it was so moist and flavorful. I'll stand by it, as long as I get to play with the recipe. Add raspberry jelly, or cinnamon and za'atar. Gorgeous.
Here it's served with basmati rice studded with currants and pine nuts. And Lisa's eggplants and squash, and a lovely salad of cukes also from her garden. It was a lovely cool night, perfect for sharing a simple meal.

Then yesterday I hit the fridge, determined not to shop. I found some collared greens, leeks and bok choy. Why not? Chuck em in a pot, finely ground and boil em. Note, my cue is from Leah Chase herself who told me how to do a gumbo z'herbes. Of course I forgot much of what she said. So I threw in a cured smoked goose leg and neck. Cooked the hell out of it. Can I testify now? This is one of the few things I really utterly crave in life. Greens. Broccoli rabe is best, but any bitter stewed green will do.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Corn Skivers

At the peak of corn season when you have some extra ears, hang them up to dry. I was thinking of something like Cope's Dried Sweet Corn, a childhood favorite from the Amish Country. If you can find it, absoltuely beautiful stewed or baked in a creamy casserole. But no reason not to DIY.
They come off the cob very easily. After hanging in the sun a few weeks. Just rub vigorously with both hands.

Then grind into a coarse meal. If you use a blender it will be much quicker. But I like the labor.

Then mix one cup of meal with 1 tablespoon fat. Butter would be great, but I'm out, so I used goose fat. Add a pinch or two of salt, a dab of baking powder, and a teaspoon of sugar.
Then but a spoonful into the well greased depressions of a munk pan (for abelskivers) and turn over when brown on one side. Cook them very well.
At the end they're very fragile - because there's no wheat flour, a little crunch and toothsome, but taste very much of sweet corn - not ground field corn, which is what you buy as cornmeal. I saved a cup or so and will try using it for breading fish or chicken, who knows? But this one is a keeper. Very unusual and delightful sublimation of corn. I bet it would go wonderfully in a casserole too. Add egg, cream, butter, and bake in a hot oven an hour or so. A rich corn pudding. But these are much quicker and very tasty.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Your Goose Cooked

Sorry for my absence, I've been in England this past week, great symposium in Oxford. And side trip to Cotswolds and Cornwall.

My blog on goose is on the Penguin Website this week as a guest. If you're turned on, come to the book launch in San Francisco at 18 Reasons this Thursday, when these geese among other things will be there to taste.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Lost Art Of Real Cooking

IT IS official RELEASE DAY!! The Lost Art is for sale. Click on the red book to the right. And on day one out of gate, not bad for an amazon rating at # 6, 712 as of right now, number 9 in food books and gastronomy I think. It's cute, cheap, informative. Buy a copy and I'll make about six cents per sale. Honestly, my intention is to get people into the kitchen, that's all. So please let me know here if you've seen it, and hopefully tried something out. Mangia!