Archive for the 'Recipes' Category


Sourdough English Muffins

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

They were pretty damn good, I must say. Toasting one right now….

Here’s a recipe, or as close as possible since I was free-styling it that morning.

SOURDOUGH SPONGE
The night before, take out of the fridge your sourdough starter (see my feature “Taming the Wild Yeast“). Transfer to a clean bowl and mix in the hootch (dark liquid on top) if you like more assertive sourdough flavors; pour off the hootch if you don’t. You’ll need about 1 cup of starter. Stir in about 2 cups of unbleached AP flour and 1 cup tepid, filtered water. Covered with a cloth and let ferment overnight.

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Lunar New Year Sweet Rice Dumplings

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

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The Lunar New Year, or Tet as my peeps call it, brings with it many favorite dishes. Fatty pork and sugar dominate the holiday table, harking back to a time when ingredients fat and sweet were much more difficult to obtain, precious to use, and delightfully rare to enjoy.

While I can now buy a 10-pound bag of sugar and an equal amount of meat for less money than a couple of movie tickets, the most traditional new year’s dishes are still special for one resource that does remain valuable: time.

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Rules of Thumb

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

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There was a time, before Pyrex and Oxo, calculators and even cookbooks, when rules of thumb ruled the kitchen. My mother taught me my first one when I was six and still standing on a barstool to reach the kitchen faucet, the infamous and eerily accurate “one-knuckle” rule for cooking rice. Like all good R.O.T., the measures were flexible. It didn’t matter how much rice or what size pot or what kind of stove. It worked.

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Summer Trifle

Monday, July 20th, 2009

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The best summer desserts are simple to make, portable for picnics, and highlight the season’s sweet, luscious fruit. Trifle would be at the top of my own list.

While its name might lead you to think that this dish is of little consequence, it belongs in the pantheon of fantastic frugal food, along with panzanella (another wonderful summer dish) and pain perdue (good anytime of the year or day). Back when little bits of bread or cake were far too valuable to toss away, even if stale as a board, cooks invented ingenious ways to use up every last crumb. Dry cake has a way of soaking up endless flavor and, in the process, transforming itself into a silken gift.

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Fry Bread and Indian Tacos

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

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As California’s road trip season begins, it’s time to pull out that list of foods that are worth a detour or two. If you’re passing by or through tribal land, allow time in your day and space in your stomach for a stop at roadside stalls offering fry bread or, even better, Indian tacos. Many of us are all a-twitter about the mash-up of Korean bbq and tortillas. But this much quieter and long established blend of taco toppings on soft, still-hot flatbread is better than anything I’ve tasted from digitally hyped menus.

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