Clay pot cooking

A Muy Porky Spanish Rice Dish for your Garbanzos

August 29, 2017 // 1 Comment

It was a Sunday and guests were coming over and I got inspired. Two books, The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen and Spanish Made Simple by Omar Allibhoy, inspired me. Allibhoy’s recipe was very simple but von Bremzen’s description added context and helped me to improvise, just a little. I like paella and love it when it’s done really well. Mostly, I think of it like Mexican (Click for more)

Simplicity and perfection in a bowl. 

August 1, 2017 // 3 Comments

Special friends were coming over so I decided to use the last of my Marcella beans. We’ve been sold out for awhile but I’d been saving them for an occasion. This was it. (These easily could have been Alubia Blanca beans.) I soaked them for about two hours while I messed around in the kitchen and then cooked them with just half an onion, very thinly sliced with a mandolin and a smashed (Click for more)

Decadent Simplicity: Poached Fish in a Corn Husk

July 6, 2017 // 0 Comments

After biblical winter rainstorms and a scorching season of heat waves, things in Northern California seemed to have calmed down. We’re back to fresh mornings, hot days and fog rolling in for the night. Repeat. It’s a lovely trend and I want to eat outside as much as I can. The rains seem to have washed away all the wasp nests and our usual yellowjacket plague is not happening, knock (Click for more)

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)
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