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Dante and the Lobster

September 17, 2009

Eating a perfectly cooked lobster, like this one here, beautifully prepared by chef David LeFevre of downtown’s seafood palace The Water Grill, (a wedge of lemon, drawn butter in a porcelain bowl like the hull of a docking ship) is a pleasure in its own right. Even more so when an impossibly polite server pins [...]

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Head cheese alert: le Saint Amour opens in Culver City

June 5, 2009

Does Los Angeles need a new bistro or brasserie?  Mon Dieu, no.  There have been so many of these trendy French eateries opening in the last two years that city planners should issue a moratorium. We have officially reached critical mass for pommes frites.  Such moratorium, however, would have deprived us all of the new [...]

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Weights & measures, ratios & scales

May 4, 2009

More than other kinds of cooking, baking relies on precise measurements, which is the reason why many baking recipes (particularly European recipes) call for ingredients to be weighed rather than measured out in cups or liters.  This is especially true of flour, which can be an enormous variable depending on how you fill your cup [...]

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Amaranth cookies

April 16, 2009

Yesterday was a milestone day. Not because it was tax day (although I did drink a cup of tea in honor of the sitting president) but because Kim finished developing the last recipe in our cookbook.  It was an amaranth cookie, made with amaranth flour and ground hazelnuts, cut out in bee shapes, baked and [...]

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Rhubarb tarts on a doily, or not

April 15, 2009

When you’re testing recipes for a cookbook, you generate a lot of food.  For the last weeks and months, the assembly line of breads and cookies and pies and muffins coming out of my kitchen has been astonishing, like an unlicensed bakery that sporadically opens to manic over-production.  So this past weekend, after I pulled [...]

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Citrus on a drying rack

April 14, 2009

Making marmalade is extremely fun, albeit rather time-consuming.  With blood oranges and Meyer lemons coming to the ends of their respective seasons, Kim and I are making 3 citrus marmalade, with bloods, Meyers and Valencia oranges.  (Because there were Valencias at the farmers market, so that’s what I got.)  Since marmalade is made with the [...]

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Muffin recipe testing

March 25, 2009

Muffins are very, very cool things.  Sure, they don’t have the current caché (i.e. hype) of cupcakes, but you can eat them for breakfast without falling into a sugar coma.  Muffins are also how I got to know Kimberly Boyce, as I wrote a story about her whole grain muffin experiments now that she’s home [...]

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Alice’s restaurant

March 24, 2009

Dinner: a catalog of mozzarellas, oven-roasted baby carrots in a riot of colors, a salad like an accidental garden in a bowl, Santa Barbara spot prawns and pork dredged in fennel pollen and rack of lamb all roasted over an outdoor fireplace. This is what you have when Nancy Silverton invites Alice Waters to dinner–and [...]

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