cooking

Food Writing This Week: Sous Vide, Pastry, & More

Since I was named the editor of the Food & Drink Section at Chicagoist, I haven't had as much time to blog here. A lot my writing there isn't going to be particularly interesting unless you live in Chicago, but I have a scattering of pieces that might appeal to a broader audience I will highlight here from time to time with commentary. 

What's on the menu lately

I'm finally updating this page, which I hadn't updated in almost a year. Not that much has changed except I have less meat since I haven't had time to source for meatshare lately. Fewer vegetables because it's still the dead of winter and I only go to the farmer's market in the winter sporatically. Another change is that there is a ton of fermented and canned stuff, to the point where I have almost no room for normal stuff. 

Here are a few of the things I've made lately

The Real Costs of Cooking

“You should spend less time on food and more time on your career”

A boss actually said this to me once. I was the bad employee who took a full hour for lunch. And didn’t just slurp a bowl of microwaved glop while reading tech listservs like some of my co-workers. I also left at the end of the working day to join friends at dinner or to go home and cook a meal rather than reading documentation until the sun went down. 

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria

Author: 
Ferran Adrià
Pic: 
Ferran Adrià is a chef known more for molecular gastronomy than home cooking, but these meals for the kitchen staff and simple and delicious, using very basic health ingredients. Rich series of photographs illustrate each step in the recipe.
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The Taste of Country Cooking

Author: 
Edna Lewis
Pic: 

This cookbook is as fun to read as it is to cook from, Edna's writing takes you back to her family's farm life in Virginia before cooking locally and seasonally was cool.

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Duck, Duck, Goose

Author: 
Hank Shaw
Pic: 

Pastured farmed and wild duck and goose is not like your average supermarket chicken. This book teaches you how to cook it deliciously.

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Holiday Cooking: Matsutake pecans, bacon cornbread stuffing

I had to improvise a Thanksgiving meal today because plans with family members fell through. Unfortunately none of the convenient grocery stores were open, so I had to use things I already had. Luckily I've been cooking a lot lately and I had a decent amount of stuff to work with. Except I had almost no vegetables and no thawed or easily thawable meat except bacon. But our meal, while slightly odd, ended up being pretty tasty.

The Sup Club

My friends and I got a mention in the Chicago Reader's Food Edition for our themed dinner club that we call The Sup Club. It's been a fun year of cooking with them. We've cooked foods inspired by all kinds of places and times.

Broths of Babylon

A few months ago when my friends and were planning another themed dinner party, I submitted the idea for Mesopotamia on a whim and it was picked. So I delved a bit into cooking from the Fertile Crescent, where many foods we eat every day originate. There are "recipes" that exist from this time and place, in the form of tablets from Babylon in the Yale collection written in cuneiform. The problem is that these terse "recipes" have certain ingredients that have not been conclusively translated. Perhaps archeology will fill in the gaps.

Home, here, there, and abroad: The best of what I ate this year

 An incomplete list of my favorites- I set the timer on 30 minutes to sift through my photos (makes me realize why I take them- Schwa, Ruxbin, Blackbird's dinner menu are absent because I didn't take any) and here is what I picked.

@home: lingonberry(frozen w/ no sugar/crap added from Erickson's Delicatessen & Fish), seaweed (Seasnax), reindeer pate (Smoking Goose Meatery), and buckwheat pancake (buckwheat from Chicago winter Greenmarket, soured in sour cream for a day, mixed with egg, cooked in butter)