29 May 2012
Tags: chicken, confit, duck, french cooking, garlic, goose, preserving, recipes, rillettes, terrine
In the old days before refrigeration, all those trendy rustic preserved things you see on menus these days — cured meats, preserves, terrines, rillettes, all foods pickled and/or fermented — were a matter of necessity. With the fall harvest came too much of everything. And with the desolation of winter around the corner, you figured out ways to preserve all the extra meats and fruits and veggies and grains.
Chicken confit in the Dutch oven
Fast forward to the era of refrigeration, microwave cooking and frozen entrees, and these foodstuffs became quaint reminders of a more difficult epoch. Perhaps it was nostalgia or the recognition of the enduring deliciousness inherent in many preserved… but as the pace of life grew ever quicker, preserves made a roaring comeback, trailing their salty sour tails like comets into the modern era. And that’s a really good thing. More
25 May 2012
in Pork, Recipes
Tags: bar food, cooking, gastropub, hamburger, pig candy, popcorn, Pork, porkcorn, recipes
I was sitting at one of the many new gastropubs that seem to pop up in Los Angeles every week, having lunch with my friend and sometime Skinny Girls sidekick, Greg. We browsed the brews and burgers, trying to narrow our choices, when we noticed “Pig Candy” on the menu.
Skinny Girls porkcorn & a pale ale
“What do you suppose that is?” I pondered.
“Something sweet and salty and fatty and crunchy,” Greg replied.
22 May 2012
Tags: bouillabaisse, bourride, fish, France, french cooking, Nice, pan bagna, recipes, soup, soupe de poisson
While browsing the fish aisle at my favorite Japanese market the other day, I spotted a package of fish bones. Always one to be attracted to the stranger items in the refrigerated section, I added it to my basket.
There really aren’t that many things you can do with a package of fish bones. The most obvious is a French-style fish soup. And since my father was coming for lunch a couple days later to celebrate his 87th birthday and French fish soup is one of his favorite things, that’s what I decided to do! More
18 May 2012
in Observations, Pork, Recipes
Tags: Animal, cooking, food, Lazy Ox, pig, pig roast, Pork, pork shoulder, Spanish cuisine, Umamicatessen
Pork season is almost here!
What is pork season, you may reasonably ask?? Is it the time when the young wild piglets sprout up from the earth after a spring rain? Is it the brief window when the pig molts its old skin, and is tender and new beneath before the new skin hardens?
Henri, napping amidst the rosemary
No, no… nothing like that. It is the time when the weather grows warm, and I begin noticing the racks of baby back ribs in the grocery store. More
15 May 2012
Tags: America, atkins, Claim Jumper, dieting, Diets, food, Nathaniel Parker, pritikin, sushi
My wife has a revolutionary diet philosophy. She calls it, “Eat less, move more.”
Such a simple idea. But I think most Americans do not want to eat less. Or move more. After all, there is a lot of food to be eaten. And a lot of TV to be Tivoed.
Dinner at Claim Jumper, Reno, NV
I can never understand why eating until you’re stuffed is considered an American virtue. Perhaps it has its origins in surviving the Great Depression. Like, you better eat all you can while it’s in front of you, because one day it might not be. But when I eat until I’m stuffed, I don’t feel very good. I can feel my heart struggling in my chest to keep up with the digestive tract’s demands. After a meal, you should feel like taking a pleasant walk, not lying down. More