Summer Berry Tart with Whole Wheat Crust

Someone asked me recently why I didn't study pâtisserie at Le Cordon Bleu. The honest reason? I'm not keen on most sweets and I don't like chocolate. (Yes, you read that correctly.) If there's a choice of dessert or a cheese plate, I always go for the fromage. When I started to review restaurants back in the 1990s, I routinely left a report on desserts out of my reviews. I was working then with Tom Sietsema, now the … [Read more...]

Recipe: How to Make Vegetable Stock

Despite the name of this recipe, there’s actually not such a thing as vegetable stock. By definition, stock is made from simmering bones in water. No bones? Then it’s broth. So, let us commence with vegetable broth. In my own kitchen, I collect and save the trimmings from the likes of carrots, celery, onions, the green tops from leeks and spring onions, stems from herbs and the skins from onions and garlic. If I am … [Read more...]

Reader Q&A: Why Ditch Table Salt?

I was inspired by The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, but I was wondering why you're so against iodized table salt? I've heard that people need a certain amount of iodine so it is added to salt because it's impossible to get otherwise. Any clarification would be helpful! - Sally B., Madison, Wis. Kathleen says: I've had a few people ask about this, and even one person posted a comment on the site. So let me clarify. I'm … [Read more...]

Recipes: Deviled Eggs & Easy Thai Curry

Tofu is widely regarded with suspicion by those on low-income budgets as it can smack of sprout-loving vegans, but I think it’s often overlooked. It’s high in protein, low in fat, endlessly versatile and inexpensive, about $1.50 a pound, or 38 cents per four-ounce serving. What to do with it? Mike makes great Thai food, so I’ve never tried it. But inspired by the most recent issue of Fine Cooking, I wanted to see if Thai … [Read more...]

Why you should eat insects

The Wall Street Journal reports that if you're really serious about sustainable food, you might want to consider  adding insects to your diet. " Raising insects requires relatively little water, especially as compared to the production of conventional meat (it takes more than 10 gallons of water, for instance, to produce about two pounds of beef)," reports WSJ. "Insects also produce far less ammonia and other greenhouse … [Read more...]

What’s in your fridge?

For The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, my friend Lisa and I spent a lot of time with other people's kitchens. There's something deeply intimate about what's lurks in the fridges, freezers and cupboards of strangers. As the site TrendCentral.com notes, the interiors of fridges have become happening places. Last November, NPR devoted one of its Food Photo Fridays to the subject, while the site FridgeWatcher catalogs what … [Read more...]

Kitchen Shelf: No Knead Bread Books

We rarely buy bread anymore. As I write this, a vat of whole wheat bread dough languishes in our fridge. Mike made the dough over the weekend and has since fashioned four loaves for various holiday eating events. All of this is possible due to the no knead artisan bread phenomenon. Most people credit the whole thing to Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York. Food writer Mark Bittman documented Lahey's method … [Read more...]

The End of the Line

What would the world be like if there were no more fish? It’s a possibility based on current fishing practices laid out in the excellent, if devastating book The End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing the World and What We Eat by British journalist Charles Clover (University of California Press, 2008). The book is the foundation of an utterly depressing documentary The End of the Line that debuted at the Sundance … [Read more...]