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Cook the Book: 'Indian Cooking Unfolded'

Samosas — I find that most of the time they’re too dense and greasy, there must be some tricks to get them moist yet light and not quite crumbly but not dense either.

My 8 Favorite Carne Asada Tacos in Chicago

I would add La Paz at the Maxwell Street Market. It’s (one of?) the only stands that uses lump hardwood charcoal and their handmade tortillas are also thick enough to be creamy tender in the middle and crispy on the outside. If you can, get a packet of Tacos Bernardo’s smoky, black salsa to go on it.

The Nasty Bits: Rendered Lard Cookies

My lard pastry is the ensaïmada. Porky by definition (I render leaf lard expressly for them, the enamel cast iron deserves some love every once in a while), add some powdered sugar and everyone swoons.

Amateur Wine Taste-Along: Pinot Noir Report

Totally unfair to put a côte de nuits in here ;) I'm envious just think of it

Cook the Book: 'Super Natural Every Day'

Heidi's granola is seriously delicious in any variation.

The Best Baguette in New York

The baguette at silver moon is fine, but where they really excel is any and all of their sourdoughs.

The best thing at silver moon for a bread lover, as good or better than almost anything in Paris, is the seeded sourdough whole wheat ficelle. They make it on Saturdays.

The Best Bakeries in New York: French-Style

The French subtly distinguish boulangers from pâtissiers — it seems you have focused heavily on the pâtisserie side of things in your look at “bakeries.”

Silver Moon (which you know about for their Challah) is très French in observing the distinction; they make good but not perfect tartes and brioches, but as with some towering boulangeries (my own favorite is Ganachaud) that’s not the point: their sourdough breads – in particular the sourdough seeded whole wheat ficelle is as good as Eric Kayser’s in Paris. The bread at Silver Moon – not the pastry, again not the point – is better than a majority of Paris boulangeries.

I posit that their regular sourdough baguette would be almost indistinguishable from a flûte gana tradition if they could ever be compared head-to-head; travel time between them precludes this.

Now if only they would make pain aux 4 fruits

Cook the Book: 'Cooking in the Moment'

I look forward to the couple weeks each year when bulb garlic is fresh, beans are just harvested, and tomatoes are at the very end of their season for Tuscan stewed beans and tomatoes.

Food Gallery 32: A Food Court Destination in Koreatown

Anyone have an opinion on favorite soondooboo places? I'm salivating for this one, but more options would be welcome!

Cook the Book: 'At Home with Madhur Jaffrey'

well, I made methi lobhia last night. But my favorite indian thing that I make all the time is probably tayyar shaadum.

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Paprikash

Also— I’ve never had this with garlic. It strikes me as wrong when I think about it. I grew up with this as my ultimate comfort food, as prepared by my grandfather (with lard, no garlic, and homemade dumplings, though noodles are acceptable).

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Paprikash

This doesn’t sound bad, but it also doesn’t sound nearly as good as the real thing. Butter is ok, but lard is better. The technique isn’t wrong, but it is much, much better to braise bone-in chicken for an hour or two. I understand that makes it not so much a weeknight dish, but I would guess that if you went for the real thing, you might not be tempted by the shortcut.

The Nasty Bits: Mapo Liver

I could not be more excited to make this. I bought a beef liver at the greenmarket today.

Cook the Book: 'Appetite for Reduction'

  1. wait until late summer
  2. amass a variety of tomatoes by growing or buying from local sources
  3. acquire or make mozzarella with fresh local small-dairy milk
  4. slice tomatoes
  5. slice fresh mozzarella because most vegan things are better with cheese
  6. interleave and dress with olive oil, sea salt, basil

Gadgets: The Smart Grinder by Breville

Can you compare this to the Baratza grinders? My understanding from various coffee circles is that those are pretty much the best on the market in terms of burr size and quality, consistency of grind, and suitability at least for espresso.

I am considering a second grinder for non-espresso purposes… the espresso one is a Mazzer Mini.

Cook the Book: Maharashtran Lamb Curry

I first had goda masala when my Maharashtran friend’s mom gave me some that she had made following a trip to India. I totally fell in love with it. You also use it in puneri dal (photo)

Cook the Book: Maharashtran Lamb Curry

This isn’t all that helpful because it doesn’t provide how to make the goda masala!

Because it is oily and coconutty, it spoils quickly and should generally be kept in the freezer. I have never found any in an Indian grocery, perhaps because most Indian groceries are run by northerners or Pakistanis rather than Marathis.

There are subtle differences between kala/kaala and goda masalas. Here is a good recipe for a goda masala. Note that it calls for ‘fat cardamom’ which means black (smoked) cardamom. You can (and many maharashtrians would) use regular green or white cardamom but know that it is a different thing. It also calls for dagad phool or lichen, which you might be able to track down in a very good Indian grocery. I have never used nageskar.

Cook the Book: Anjum's New Indian

I don't have a TV! But it appears that they rerun The French Chef, which would is (subjunctive) my choice.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: D'Artagnan Boneless Heritage Ham

definitely some gruyère. probably some apple mustard, but there are a number of French mustards I would consider. Specialty mustards are an easily overlooked item to bring back when traveling in France.


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