December 20, 2012 |
Modernist cooking - call it "molecular gastronomy" only if you're willing to suffer the wrath of its pricklier practitioners - is gaining favor with more and more chefs who see value in the cuisine's vacuum sealers, water baths, and dehydrators. Home cooks, by contrast, happily cling to the classic techniques. Several factors play into the modernist movement's low impact with us house-bound hash slingers, costs and degree of difficulty prime among them. But as scientist-turned-cookbook-author Nathan Myhrvold recently noted, home cooks have long been at a disadvantage, too. They haven't had many resources to explain, in the necessary depth and detail, all the tools, gels, powders, and processes behind modernist cooking.
December 13, 2012 |
CHRISTMAS WITHOUT the swine? Not in Jose's world. Although he was born in Chicago, "Iron Chef" and restaurateur Jose Garces is a product of his parents' Ecuadorean roots. While other families were passing the Pillsbury dinner rolls and carving the holiday Butterball turkey, his clan reveled in roasted leg of pork with sides like black beans and roasted hominy salad. In his family, like those of millions of other newly minted Americans, embracing a new home came with a heaping helping of old homeland comfort food on the side.
December 13, 2012
Even if you never put pot to flame, this year's batch of cookbooks are so beautiful, you'll want to give or receive them just for the photos and the imagined flavors they produce. From Thomas Keller's baking primer Bouchon Bakery, with recipes for the boules and baguettes and croissants of your dreams, to Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton's invitation to their rustic table and their ragu Bolognese in Canal House Cooks Every Day , these books transport you to kitchens filled with the dishes and desserts you would love to make for your family and friends - if you were so inclined.
November 28, 2012
DINAH BUCHOLZ isn't the only author who adapted beloved books into cookbooks. The Free Library of Philadelphia's Dena Heilik compiled some other book-to-cookbook adaptations for us. A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook: From Lamb Stew to "Groosling" by Emily Ansara Baines. Love At First Bite: The Unofficial Twilight Cookbook by Gina Meyers. Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey by Anne McCaffrey and John Gregory Betancourt.
October 26, 2012 |
At Brown Betty Dessert Boutique, they're selling cakes, of course, but there's something more: It's a story of family, and you can see the names on the products in the display cases of the Northern Liberties-based bakery. There's "To Miss Mary," a sweet-potato cheesecake named after an aunt who ran a beauty shop at 48th and Fairmount. And a sweet-potato cake called "Only for Eliza," after a country woman from Virginia with a soft touch for anyone needing a meal. And a chocolate sour-cream cake called "Dear Ruth," in honor of a woman who died young but is remembered for her fashion sense.
October 26, 2012
MY MOTHER has passed on now, but my memory of her homemade poundcake - a buttery almond-scented confection with a thick golden-brown crust and fluffy yellow center - is as alive as ever. She would bake it in a 1970s-era autumn-gold oven, and the rich smell would waft through the entire house. It was the only homemade cake I ever knew her to make, and she considered the recipe hers, even though she'd gotten it from a friend. It's written down in a dusty old recipe book in my loopy fourth-grade script.
September 14, 2012 |
Dine out enough, and you're likely to compile a mental list of your favorite dishes: Dan dan noodles from Han Dynasty, edamame ravioli from Buddakan, linguine with cockles from Paradiso, salade Lyonnaise from Parc. Would it be nice to have the recipes, and maybe the stories behind them? April White, a food writer and communications manager of the Food Trust, offers 50 recipes, including a few cocktails, while putting the Philadelphia dining scene in context in the new cookbook Philadelphia Chef's Table (Lyons Press)
September 7, 2012 |
GUILLERMO Tellez Cruz will never forget his first. First cookbook, that is. Tellez Cruz still has it - the official recipe book for International House of Pancakes, where he worked close to 30 years ago. Tellez Cruz, whose family hails from Mexico, was living in Chicago when he got his first restaurant job, working his way up from dishwashing to flipping flapjacks at IHOP. "I was so proud when they gave me that book," he recalled. "I treasured that book. I couldn't read English, but I could look at the pictures and start to pick out a few words.
September 6, 2012
HERE ARE some recipes, printed verbatim (unless otherwise indicated) from cookbooks in Guillermo Tellez Cruz and Sandi Foxx-Jones' collections. CHEESE BLINTZES WITH LINGONBERRIES For the crepes: 4 eggs 1 cup milk 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking For the filling: 1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature 1/2 pound farmer's cheese, at...
September 6, 2012 |
This summer my family joined first lady Michelle Obama in battling obesity by eating homegrown food from pots on our deck: 47 cherry tomatoes, 13 jalapeños, 8 cucumbers, and various herbs. We accomplished this without hiring a gardening staff. But now the 2012-13 academic year is upon us, bringing with it a different culinary challenge: wedging nutritious dinners into the tempo of life containing homework, afternoon sports, and parental work schedules. Add to that a renewed focus on moving children toward healthier meal choices by involving them in the cooking or growing process.