Another Zen Temple Favorite

I got to my in-box one morning to discover an email from my pal Paul in Florida with a link to a Google book called “The Book of Miso.” The book had been written in the 1970s, published originally as one of those old timey paper editions, one would have to assume. It was filled with the line drawings popular with cookbooks of that era.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 8.10.03 AM

“You probably already have it but it is new to me,” Paul said. People often mistakenly assume that I have every piece of information on cooking ever published. I do not. More

Advertisements

Tuesdays with Donnie

I never read the book, “Tuesdays with Morrie.” It sounded sort of depressing. Plus, I have my own more festive, culinary version. I have Tuesdays with Donnie!

Donnie & his saké on a Tuesday evening.

Donnie & his saké on a Tuesday evening.

It all started one particular Tuesday, when I ran into Don and Monica Schneider at school. They’re two of our favorite people, and we hadn’t socialized with them in awhile. “I know it’s Tuesday,” Don said, “But do you guys wanna do dinner tonight?” More

A Mansion of Dreams

When I was a lad, saké was something warm and exotic we drank at the local sushi bar that served underage kids. Not ones for moderation, we used to do something called a “saké bomb,” where we would drop the small ceramic cup of hot saké into our glass of beer, and then down the whole thing.

Saké Still Life (with Sushi Knife)

I remember once, several bombs in, I chucked a California roll at my friend Pat, sitting a few seats away. It hit him on the forehead and fell into his saké-and-beer. He lifted the glass, drank the bomb and ate the roll at the bottom in one epic gulp, and we all applauded. More

Pontocho Road

Ever since I found a very cool cocktail shaker at a garage sale, I’ve been experimenting with my mixology — often motivated by given culinary circumstances (let us not forget our recent adventure into Campari on a warm night when Italian food was being served). Necessity or at the very least context being the mother of invention, I’ve been inspired to some lofty heights with spirits.

One recent evening, I was making Japanese food. My wife, having a rash that she was convinced was yeast related, was off beer. So the Sapporo that I was drinking got the stiff arm. Furthermore, she had spent much of the afternoon organizing the children’s reams of school artwork and bins of toys, and was in need of something stronger — something much stronger. All of which I took as a gauntlet being laid down. Was I mixologist enough to rise to the challenge? More

Salmon Extraordinary

Soon it will be salmon season! (I know you’re not buying that farmed Atlantic salmon that’s dyed orange and is ruining natural salmon runs worldwide.) And rather than that ol’ standby of slapping giant olive oil-and-soy-marinated fillets onto the grill and cooking them until they turn into chalk, I’d like to show you another — I like to think better — way of cooking salmon. (Especially if you’ll be inviting me over for dinner during salmon season.)

More