Sourdough Onion Rings

Sorry no pictures on this (yet). This is a good idea for using up old leftover bread starter. Reader Kristin suggests: Thin your starter with a little cold water, salt to taste, and use as batter to coat onion rings (dredge rings in flour first.) Deep-fry until deep golden brown, drain and salt again. Just […]

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Lost toast

So what would you get if you took some very eggy, buttery brioche, cut it thick, dipped it in a custard of eggs, cream and sugar, fried it up in butter and served it dusted with powdered sugar? One mighty happy family is what. Talk about a breakfast worth climbing out of the rack for, […]

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Peach Pie

The same basic rules for peach pie apply to all double-crust fruit pies. For double-crust pies are made by a slightly different method than open-faced pies. Unlike open-faced pies, double-crust pie crusts are not “blind”-baked (i.e. partially baked without the filling inside). Thus extra measures have to be taken to prevent the bottom crust from […]

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Can-at-Arms

unny how so many innovations in food preservation can be traced to armed conflict. But it’s no wonder why. Une armée marche à son estomac, as Napoleon famously said. A large force sitting still will consume every edible resource within reach in two days’ time. Historically, keeping such an army from starving has required either long supply lines or on-the-go, off-the-land foraging. But there are drawbacks to each. Long supply lines make easy targets for the enemy (see Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow), and foraging has a way of ruining civilian morale (ask anyone in the South about Sherman’s March to the Sea…150 years later at they’re still P.O.’d about it). But if you can take your supplies with you, you have a tremendous strategic and tactical advantage.

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A Brief History of Home Canning

It all started back when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor… …or so quite a lot of people seem to think. World War II may have been the historical high water mark for home canning, but preserving the harvest in jars is a tradition that goes quite a bit further back. As I mentioned, it was […]

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How to Make Éclairs

Ah, ze éclair…si simple, si marveilleuse. I feel like eating one right now. Oh, right, I just did. But with all my prepared shells, pastry cream and ganache on-hand, there’s plenty more where that came from, n’est-ce pas? So what am I waiting for? I start by filling a pastry bag with pastry cream and […]

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A quiche is not a pie.

Say it with me. A quiche is not a pie. A quiche is not a pie. A quiche is not a pie. A real quiche is round, flat and with squared corners. None of this American slope-sided pie-plate stuff. That’s not Euro-food elitism talking, it’s simple science. A flat, cylindrical shape heats far more evenly, […]

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Real men don’t eat quiche.

Which works fine for me, I’ll have their helping. Quiche is one of those things that when done well, sings like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The problem that real men have with quiche is that it’s been mostly presented to them in foil pie plates on block party buffet tables. You know the stuff I […]

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Ze Flourless

Flourless chocolate cake has a unique feeling on the tongue. At first it does feel almost floury and cake-like, but rapidly melts into a luscious, molten pool. The density of the cake (and all the fat) prolongs the sensation, meaning a little goes a long way (though not if you’re either one of my daughters…then […]

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Is it safe?

That scene from Marathon Man, I’m sure, wrecked the livelihood of many a respectable dentist. Talk about a classic. Though it’s a pity such a realistic torture sequence could not have come later in Dustin Hoffman’s career, say after he’d done films like Ishtar, Outbreak, Finding Neverland, and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. The scene could […]

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