Jenkins perfects new-age pasta

April 13, 2007
Considering where I’m from (California), a lot of you are going think, “Whole-wheat pasta with cauliflower, walnuts, and feta cheese is hippie food.” You’ll be right: It is hippie food, at least in the sense that it uses odd, healthful and touchy-feely ingredients to create a milder, less traditional and admittedly less masculine pasta dish. »

No hint of garlic? Then fall, Caesar

March 30, 2007
The first rule in cooking should be, “Never take yourself too seriously.” The second rule in cooking should be, “Unless you’re making salad.” Let me tell you about the chapon. The chapon (shah-POHN) is a piece of stale bread, preferably the heel, that has been rubbed all over with garlic or dipped in garlic-flavored oil. »

Recipe for way of no flesh

March 2, 2007
My housemate is considering becoming a vegetarian. I think it’s a great idea. But not because she won’t be eating meat. I’m as quick as the next high-minded sustainable food advocate to condemn modern meat habits. Caging steers in Confined Animal Feeding Operations and stuffing them full of corn and antibiotics is not a very »

Cook until simmering

February 9, 2007
Last year around Valentine’s Day, I wrote an article praising the sensuality of cabbage. This year, I realized why I was missing the point. It’s not serving a certain dish to a loved one that’s sexy, it’s cooking together with a loved one, entering into a shared bond to satisfy your mutual appetites. The human »

Convolvulus coins, and a history lesson to boot

January 26, 2007
Before I can say anything else about sweet potatoes, I have no choice but to shock you with the following statement: sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing. According to the Oxford Companion to Food, the sweet potato is “the starchy tuber of a vine of the convolvulus and morning glory family.” It’s »

Goats(’-milk cheese) go(es) to heaven

December 8, 2006
Cheese is a food made by coagulating milk curds with rennet (a preparation made from the inner membrane of a calf’s stomach), separating the curds from the whey, and pressing the curds into a solid mass. Everyone likes cheese. Goats’-milk cheese is the same thing made with goats’ milk, which has less fat and sugar »

Stew snack-o’-lanterns

November 10, 2006
Cooking small foods inside big foods makes delicious foods. Take “turducken.” What a food! A de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck stuffed with a de-boned chicken stuffed with whatever you please, usually breadcrumbs or Cajun sausage. I have personally tasted turducken, and I will personally tell you that it’s delicious. There’s something very seductive »

Achin’ for bacon? Read on.

October 27, 2006
So I don’t really like breakfast. That’s a very personal opinion: I don’t mind if anyone else likes breakfast, and I’m not going to convince them they shouldn’t. But I do think there’s great potential in breakfast food, especially in eggs paired with starches, so I’ve taken to cooking a more refined — which is »

Gnocchi-ing on heaven’s door

October 13, 2006
Imagine you’re eating gnocchi. Okay. Let’s make it easier: Imagine you know about gnocchi. (If you know about gnocchi, imagine you don’t. Sucks, right?) Tiny, egg-shaped, soft, white, wonderful little potato dumplings, fluffy like clouds except not actually that fluffy because as they spread across your tongue they’re still velvety and substantial. Oh, gnocchi! (I’m »

Bell Pepper’s sweet summer echo

September 29, 2006
The thing about cooking is that it’s really not hard. I’m not just saying that because I cook and I want you all to think I’m really great. Cooking isn’t hard, if you approach it from the right angle: Focus on the ingredients, not the spectacular results. There is no good cooking that doesn’t start »

Sweet, sweet (corn soup) love

September 17, 2006
Of all the wonderful things I ate this summer — chicken liver pate; stinging-nettles risotto; raw veal sausages flavored with nutmeg; eggplant carpaccio; boiled pig’s-blood sausages; raw beef pounded into mounds and drizzled with olive oil; giant briny oysters still full of seawater; thin ribbons of cured lard; fermented cheese curds; braised bone marrow; donkey-meat »

True greens to nourish bodies, souls

April 21, 2006
Salad should not be a side dish. For one, it’s not a good side dish. The texture and form of a light, simple salad is not complementary to sharing space on a plate. Its flavor can rarely stand up to robust main courses. Even a heavily-dressed salad doesn’t mix well, and, more importantly, a salad »