Archive for the ‘actual cooking’ Category

Tinned tomatoes are so tomorrow

March 2015

And another can comes into play . . .

Thanksgiving bliss: Cooking for two

November 2010

Washington Post’s idea, fun to do, recipes I’m making again.

Panna cotta, senza zucchero

November 2009

Weekend Kitchen, for the late & lamented Metropolitan Home.

Online now: Singing in four-part harmony

May 2008

Fines herbes: One up from menage a trois.

German chocolate — more than just a cake

February 2008

Los Angeles Times/February 2008

GERMAN chocolate cake looks pretty good for 50 — the combination of tangy-sweet layers and nutty custard is as irresistible as it was when the recipe was first published in a Texas newspaper back in the Eisenhower era. If it were a Reese’s cup or an Oreo, German chocolate cake would be into its 10th reincarnation by now.

But this is one venerable dessert that needs an homage more than a makeover. If you take the same concept, with essentially the same ingredients, you can produce any number of variations with just as much extravagant flavor and texture but with 2.0 attitude.


Beignets: It’s air time

February 2008

Los Angeles Times/January 2008

DEEP-frying is the bacon of cooking techniques: It makes everything taste better. Do it with beignets, though, and you get the irresistible results in a more lyrical package. The word is almost as satisfying to say as the real thing is to eat. Beignets sound so much lighter and airier than fritters, but they are no easier to pass up.


Spanish for pizza, sort of

February 2008

Los Angeles Times/January 2008

“EXPECT the expected” is usually the best slogan when you’re invited for brunch, but what a new friend had waiting on his kitchen counter a few Saturdays ago was not just a fresh idea. It could be the greatest thing since sliced pizza.

My host Bruce Stutz, a writer and obsessive cook recently back from Barcelona,


First with the pan roast

February 2008

Los Angeles Times/December 2007

EXCEPT when it comes to caviar, effortless extravagance sounds like a contradiction in terms. But there is no better description of a seafood pan roast.


Speed-dating 2007 cookbooks

February 2008

Los Angeles Times/Christmas 2007

WALK into the cookbook section of a good bookstore these days and it’s what you don’t see that’s the biggest gift of the season. Instead of the miles of aisles of Food Network-packaged slickness, the interchangeable Paula/Rachael/Giadas that have been so inescapable all year, there are small piles of serious recipe collections from serious cooks. And some big piles, too.

There are so many tantalizing cookbooks out there that I resorted to speed dating — dipping in and out of the most immediately appealing — to see which would work as presents. I soon learned that counterintuitive bits — a promise of foolproof focaccia, say, or a demand to boil oranges for an hour and a half before starting a cake — are likely to lead straight to heartbreak. But I also learned new tricks with a favorite vegetable (squash), found some wild combinations (Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and smoked salmon rock together) and came away with a really nice pile of books to settle down with. (more…)

Online now: Guess what’s coming to dinner

October 2007

LATimes on new potlucks