I accept the fact that I’m a food hobbyist. My two full size refrigerator/freezers are full of brine and cure related things. There are two small cheese caves in my living room. Vinegars are gestating down the hall. I should probably bottle them soon.

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Last bite on earth: Prime-lobster-carnitas-roast. OK, I made that up. But I do think a prime rib stuffed with lobster stuffed with crispy carnitas and then roasted would be out of this world.

Latest Comments

Bourbon Old Fashioned Glazed Pecans

Wow, these look amazingly good. My father-in-law shells pecans all winter and I have several pounds in my freezer. I know what I'm making this weekend.

Creamy Broiled Scallops Mornay

Now I know what to do with those scallops in my freezer. This looks perfect.

Making Two-Ingredient Cream Biscuits, with Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

Oh wow, just made these and they are the most tender biscuit I've ever made. They came together fast and easy. Hubby loved them too. I made the ones big enough to drive a truck through and could only eat half of one. They fluffed up huge. This is a keeper.

DIY vs. Buy: How to Infuse Spirits

Hubby and I made a decent peanut butter vodka using the canister method. No need to wait days for the infusion to be ready. It did tend to separate after a week but it's still tasty.

Cook the Book: 'How to Cook Everything The Basics'

A paperback copy of Betty Crocker's cookbook from 1980. the pages are yellowed and most of the index is missing but my favorites are in that book. The newer versions don't have the same ingredients or procedures. This was my first cookbook ever.

The Food Lab: Deep-Fried, Sous Vide, 36-Hour, All-Belly Porchetta (or, the Most Freaking Delicious Thing to Ever Come Out of My Kitchen)

My electric roaster pan that I use for turkey makes a great sous-vide alternative. It maintains the proper temp over long periods quite nicely and I can set it low enough. I might just have to try this.

Fresh Pork Skin

czken, thanks for pointing me in that direction. I guess I was too excited at trying something new I didn't think to search here before I posted. I'm going to give it a try, you're right, it does sound good.

Yellow Mustard

I go away for a couple of weeks and this is what I get? A new column about sauces?

Maybe I should leave more often if good things like this are going to happen.

Coincidentally, I've been thinking of adding yellow mustard to my arsenal of homemade goods. Thanks for posting this. So far my adventures in mustard are limited to ground mustard+water mixed into a thick paste and used in place of Chinese mustard on egg rolls. Opens the sinuses and adds a great flavor. Seems the longer I stir it the hotter it gets.

French in a Flash: Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine

"...wraps itself around the expectant pasta"

What a great line.

Can't wait to try this one out.

How to Make Crème Fraîche (in One Easy Step!)

@sally599 - You're partially right. The good news is freezing won't kill ALL of the bacteria. The survivors will populate the cream just fine. Home cheese makers frequently use frozen buttermilk as a mesophilic culture to flavor cheese. If using frozen, it is recommended to allow it to sit at room temp for several hours to "ripen" and allow the bacteria population to grow. But I guess adding it to the cream and allowing to sit overnight takes care of that part. :)

A cultured buttermilk and heavy cream mix can also be used to make cultured butter. Good stuff.

Looks good,I wanna like it,keep trying it,but it never satisfies

Green peas. They make me gag. And they are everywhere. Small, wrinkly, evil peas paired with carrots are even worse.


Almond Joy Hearts

@Elizabelle , the silicone makes it easier for the candies to release.

How do make your popcorn?

Dutch oven, oil to cover the bottom, sale, seeds to cover the bottom, medium high heat with the lid off until the sizzle gets so strong I know it won't be much longer. Then add 1/4 stick of real butter, place a paper towel on to pof the pan and set the lid on crooked. The paper towel absorbs any oils that splatter and allow steam to escape. The cock-eyed lid holds the paper towel in place.

I don't even really shake the pan until the pops slow way down. Remove from heat, wait about a minute and scoop out the popped kernals. It's already buttered and salted.

Now here's the good part for those who like the half popped kernals...after removing all the popped kernals out the pan back on the hot burner, cover and cook again while sneaking a handful of popped corn. (Go ahead, no one will notice if you're really quick.) The unpopped kernals will have opened just enough to have a delicious nutty taste. My brother and I used to fight over them when we were kids. Now we just fight. :)

Cooking methods you avoid

Lately I've stopped cooking bacon on the stove top. It gets the oven treatment instead. In the summer I do avoid using the oven. I'll use my big turkey size roaster instead so the whole house doesn't heat up.

Cheesecake that splits.

I always thought the cracks in the surface were due to cooling too fast. Think I read that somewhere.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Southside Market Sausage

Rudy's in El Paso, TX for brisket

Deep Forest in Mount Holly, NC for ribs and pulled pork