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.
December 7, 2012 |
The other day, a friend who had moved to Santa Fe was in town so I asked him over to dinner. It was a weeknight and I didn't have a whole lot of time to fuss in the kitchen, and also, because it just seemed like that kind of day, I made a roast chicken. My standby used to be Marcella Hazan's method, just stick a whole lemon inside and let it lightly perfume the bird. But lately I've been making it Simon Hopkinson's way, from the British chef and food writer's book “Roast Chicken and Other Stories.” It has to be among the best roast chickens I've ever tasted.
October 31, 2012 |
It was probably inevitable. But this quickly? Clarkson Potter just published a "Fifty Shades of Grey" parody cookbook titled "Fifty Shades of Chicken," (written by the pseudonymous FL Fowler rather than EL James). "50 Chicken Recipes Bound to Be Delicious" it promises on the cover. It's pretty funny, in a calculatedly cheesy, snickeringly naughty sort of way. The cover photo is of a beautifully bronzed roast chicken resting on its side, carefully trussed. Most of the book is unquotable, including the back cover excerpt, though the attribution should give you a taste of what's to come (heh-heh)
October 11, 2012 |
For years I faithfully made Marcella Hazan's roast chicken, which basically involved roasting the bird with a lemon in its cavity. But once I tried Simon Hopkinson's recipe from his quite wonderful cookbook “Roast Chicken and Other Stories,” there was no going back. I absolutely crave this chicken and could eat it once a week, no problem. What's the difference? Well, butter. Hopkinson was famously the chef of Sir Terence Conran's restaurant Bibendum in London and since those heady days has gone on to write a regular column for the Telegraph in London.