Cooking in Parchment (video lesson)

Cooking en papillote (French for “parchment”) is a wildly overlooked method of cooking in America. It’s an easy method for a quick weeknight dinner that’s also elegant enough for guests. The smell that escapes when the package is reason enough to try it. This works well for salmon and mild-flavored white fish such as snapper, cod and so on. The best part? No dishes. Just throw the paper away. To assure thorough cooking, … [Read more...]

Review: The Julia Child App

Just in time to celebrate her 100th birthday, a Seattle-based company has released an app featuring 32 recipes from the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, plus clips from the DVD version of "The Way to Cook," plus other content, including excerpts from the book. It's $2.99 from iTunes and available on the Nook, too. A lover of all things Julia, I tried it out on the iPad 2. The simple, classy design easily … [Read more...]

Recipes & Fundamentals: Using a Whole Chicken

On Wednesday I bought a chicken on sale for 99 cents a pound, and cut it up, shaving off the breasts to reserve the back for stock. It left two hearty chicken breasts nearly 14 ounces each, or about eight servings in all. I cut up the back, roasted it to a dark brown, then added it with half an onion, all the skins from the onions I’ve used in the past week, a garlic clove, a carrot and a celery stalk in an eight-quart … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cabbage & Chicken Stir-Fry

       Breakfast: A simple omelet that we shared with a bit of asparagus, a few cherry tomatoes and basil (from my plant). Cost: $1.74.   Snacks: We finished off our cottage cheese today, made a dent in our applesauce and a box of Ok-Mok crackers. Total cost for the day for meals, snacks, coffee at breakfast and dinner for our friend: $11.26 Observations: This week I've realized how reliant I am on what’s in my … [Read more...]

Two People, $12 Per Day For Food

So yesterday, Mike and I started our annual Hunger Action Week cooking strategy. As part of our agreement, we will eat $12 per day at home, the amount that couples receive on food assistance. Breakfast: Mike started the day by making bread using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day strategy. Homemade bread is one of the greatest money-saving strategies and the no-knead versions offer the chance to keep the dough in … [Read more...]

Hunger Action Week: Can you eat for $3 a day?

When people think about the "poor" or the "hungry," it's often a vague concept that leads to visions of hollow-cheeked Third World children.Here's a fact you may not know. About one in six people in the United States don't have enough to eat. The shifting economy prompted the largest percentage of Americans in history to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps). In February, … [Read more...]

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School

Ok, so it's official. Here's the cover and the final title of the new book. Although originally titled Changing Courses, it has been shifted to The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How Nine Culinary Novices Transformed Into Fearless Home Cooks. The book will debut in October 2011, and I'll be on book tour most of the autumn. The book follows a project in which I tried to understand why people don't cook at home. I enlisted … [Read more...]

Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

The more that I study why and how people cook at home, the more that I understand the importance of a book such as Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking (Scribner, 2009). Noted food writer Michael Ruhlman lays out a simple premise: If you understand the fundamental ratios for some basic culinary tasks ranging from biscuits to stock to vinaigrette, the less a cook has to rely on recipes. After all, … [Read more...]