Clay pot cooking

More on Soaking. Sometimes, It’s a Very Good Idea.

January 20, 2017 // 5 Comments

I almost hate to bring it up because everyone has such a strong opinion about it but normally I don’t soak. Sometimes I do. I really think the best beans come from very low and slow cooking after a strong 15 minute boil. Soaking can help speed things up and some claim it helps the texture. I’m not sold, but I have no problem with people who insist on soaking, unless they say something (Click for more)

Leftover Strategies: Grits with Black Eyed Peas and Bacon

December 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

Earlier, I wrote about cooking on my wood-burning stove and the success I had making grits. It was simple and fun but even having given away a lot to my mother, there was still plenty left. This morning, I gently heated the grits with a little chicken stock. Meanwhile, I sauteed some chopped bacon pieces, drained the excess fat and then stirred in some leftover Black Eyed Peas. I made a bed for (Click for more)

Hearth Cooking: Soup, Grits and Beets

December 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

I know there’s little that’s more obnoxious than a Californian complaining about the cold but here goes: This last weekend was too cold. At my place, it hit 30F. I know, it’s likely to have been colder where you are but we’re just not set up for this here. My place came with a wood burning stove, which is dandy when I’m at the house for long stretches but it’s (Click for more)

Look, Ma! I Made Me a Cassoulet!

November 25, 2016 // 3 Comments

I spent Sunday finally making a cassoulet. I’ve been curling up with Kate Hill’s Cassoulet: A French Obsession, for a week or so and finally decided to take the plunge. I will admit I’d been working myself up into a frenzy about this and now that I’ve done it, I can say in all honesty that it’s easily within anyone’s grasp to make an excellent cassoulet. I made a few compromises but (Click for more)

Guisado de Lupe: A Delicious Tomato Surprise That Will Make You Flip

September 9, 2016 // 4 Comments

In Hidalgo, a meal with my pal Lupe is essential. She is a great cook. I would almost describe her cooking as colonial. She prefers good olive oil to manteca (lard) and while she’s fiercely patriotic and loves all aspects of her Mexican culture, there’s a European sensibility to a lot of her dishes. When we were filming the article that featured the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project for (Click for more)

Cooking Superior (Nay, Perfect!) Brown Rice in a Clay Donabe Pot

March 17, 2016 // 6 Comments

I always laugh when I hear Alton Brown and his followers declare, as an absolute, No single purpose kitchen gadgets! When did this become a law? There are many of us who don’t put up such barriers to happiness. There are many of us who go overboard and do have too many toys in the kitchen, but I’ve got bigger things to worry about. Alton Brown, you’re not the boss of me! Of (Click for more)

The Simplest and Best Soup I Know and the Trick to Make It Magnificent

January 21, 2016 // 4 Comments

If you love beans, you want beans. You don’t want a lot of other things getting in the way. But if you’re making soup, you do need to do something. My answer is to fry stale tortilla strips. I know for most of us, frying isn’t something we do everyday. It can be messy and if you don’t use the oil again, it’s seems wasteful. I have a  very small cast iron skillet and (Click for more)

Buyer Beware! Not All Clay Pots Are Equal!

December 2, 2015 // 2 Comments

My recent habit has been to make a tomato sauce with fermented green chiles and then poach an egg in it, via a small clay cazuela. I’ve been using my Mexican clay and it’s been working like a charm. Plus, it’s a delicious way to start the day. I know that not everyone has a Mexican clay mini-cazuela (what kind of world do we live in that this has to be true?) so I thought (Click for more)

Heirloom Bean-Mushroom “Carnitas” Casserole

August 4, 2015 // 1 Comment

This beautiful little casserole has made several inspired dishes out of what were essentially leftovers. I’ve cooked 90% of my dishes on the stove-top and it’s kind of funny discovering the oven after all these years. A gorgeous little casserole of heirloom beans, tomatoes and mushroom “carnitas” The technique for the mushrooms comes from the blog, He Cooks, She Cooks. (Click for more)
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