August 3, 2013
The Chianti region is large, and while the wines from the Classico region are the best known, for price and quality, look to the lesser-known Chianti Rufina, a small area in the northeastern corner of Chianti proper. Selvapiana is one of the best estates in Rufina, turning out first-rate Sangiovese-based reds. I've been buying its Chianti for years, keeping it on hand for pasta nights and grilled skirt steak or chops. A deep ruby in color, the 2010 Selvapiana tastes of bright cherries and plums, but a touch of earth gives it some weight.
April 13, 2013 |
Funny how the chicken has become our most beloved bird. My neighbor is raising some exotic chicks, but even those of us who don't go to that extreme have our own favorite named chickens to buy - Rosie, Rocky, Mary or the more exotically named Jidori. Roast chicken is the go-to dish for every chef I can name. And chicken is a perennial favorite on most restaurant menus - fried, pan-fried, rotisserie-roasted, in tagine , salad, soup, pot pie, curry and every which way. Here are three of my favorite chicken dishes in L.A. Bouchon Bouchon may be famous for its lusty fried chicken, and that is one of the great fried chickens of the world, but my heart is firmly fixed on Thomas Keller's roast chicken grand-mère , which may be the prettiest chicken dish in L.A. It arrives tall and proud, the breast stacked on top of the leg and thigh, with dainty pearl onions, demure fingerling potatoes, button mushrooms and bacon lardons strewn around the plate in the bird's winter savory-infused juices.
April 1, 2013 |
Ever since I got Seattle chef John Sundstrom's cookbook and iPad app " Lark: Cooking against the Grain " (Community Supported Cookbooks, $50 for the book; $9.99 for the app), I've been cooking out of the book like crazy. For a Sunday supper, his mustard roasted chicken with drippings, potatoes and chard is easy as can be. Basically he mixes together equal parts Dijon mustard and whole grain mustard with minced shallot, thyme leaves, a glug of olive oil and a big splash of white wine.
January 12, 2013 |
Meghan and Carter are getting married. Like so many friends of my daughter, they are bright, funny and, sometimes, almost preternaturally serious. A couple of weeks ago, they asked my wife if we would talk to them about how to stay married - and about how to cook. The first, I'll leave to Kathy; after almost 34 years, it's still a mystery to me. But the cooking part is right up my alley, and, even better, I figured it would give me a chance to try out some of the ideas I've been on a soapbox about for the last couple of years.
December 10, 2012 |
Ooooh, the holiday season does bring out the cranky in some people, doesn't it? When our S. Irene Virbila wrote a blog post the other day about her new favorite roast chicken - from British chef Simon Hopkinson's “Roast Chicken and Other Stories” - some of the online commentary got a little hot. The issue is one of timing - Hopkinson (and Virbila) call for roasting the chicken for 40 to 60 minutes with the oven first on high heat at 475 degrees, finishing at 375 degrees. Someone calling himself “wordsmyythe” wrote: “I guarantee if you follow these directions exactly as stated, you'll have raw chicken on the inside.” And that was mild compared to the ironically named “decentdiscourse” who opined, “Where did they find a food writer who believes a whole chicken at 400 degrees will be ready for basting in 15 minutes and ready to eat less than an hour later?
December 8, 2012 |
Always on the lookout for a juicy California Pinot, one with some character and grit, I think I've found it in the 2011 from August West. The label is a collaboration between Ed Kurtzman and growers Howard Graham and Gary Franscioni. The grapes - a tiny crop this year - came from the vineyards Rosella's, Sierra Mar and Sberanes. Tasting of black cherry, plums and earth, this latest vintage of Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands, their fourth, has gorgeous fruit and ripe tannins.