Clay pot cooking

Paula Wolfert’s Unforgettable Sandpot Mushrooms

March 21, 2017 // 0 Comments

I am totally enamored with Emily Thelin’s new biography of Paula Wolfert, Unforgettable. I don’t know how it’s possible that the major publishing houses had no interest in this book and it only came to fruition thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, but such is modern life. Maybe when Paula’s gluten-free microwave cookbook comes out, they’ll be interested. It’s (Click for more)

Modern Problems: Those Pesky Kale Stems!

January 25, 2017 // 2 Comments

I love kale. I also am “thrifty” and the stalks have always been problematic for me. I’ve tried sauteing them until tender before adding the actual kale leaves. It’s fair but not very exciting. I’ve also tried fermenting them but no one who tried them asked for the recipe, if you know what I mean and I think you do. This last weekend I was reading the old book, When (Click for more)

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

January 20, 2017 // 6 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)
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