January 31, 2011
January 27, 2011
When I first started as a pastry chef, I was handed a recipe for a chocolate-hazelnut torte and told to fix it. Not just make it, but make it special. I think I succeeded, and apparently so did the judges at the very first Taste of Ashland (Oregon), who awarded this torte a first for flavor.
January 26, 2011
January 24, 2011
There are times when only chocolate and roses will suffice; Valentine's Day is often one of those times. With décor chocolate, also known as modeling chocolate and sometimes chocolate plastic, you can have chocolate roses. I first learned how to make décor chocolate from a chef who'd learned from someone who learned from Roland Mesnier, White House Pastry Chef for a quarter century, so you know it's good stuff.
January 20, 2011
Having a good basic quick bread recipe in your repertoire makes life easy when you want to use up some bananas or zucchini, or find yourself hosting a brunch, or just want something tasty while you watch the snowstorm blowing outside your window. Michael Ruhlman's Basic Quick Bread/Muffin Ratio from his book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking is an ideal place to begin.
January 17, 2011
January 13, 2011
Capelli d'Angelo in Brodo is a classic soup, its peasant origins clear. Bring some broth to a boil, add Angel Hair pasta, cook until just done, let rest, and serve with a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano. It's the thing to make when your pantry is down to a few bones, a bit of flour, and some cheese.
January 10, 2011
I love making scones. When you know that while working as a pastry chef I made scones by the gross on Sundays, and made as many as 150 dozen on Mothers' Day, you might be surprised that I still love making them. But I do, because then I get to eat them. Here's a good, basic guide to scone making, the old-fashioned way, by hand.
January 6, 2011
January 3, 2011
I really enjoy good food, but I don't necessarily want to spend all day every day slaving over a hot stove. Having a Ragù di Peperoni e Pomodori sitting in the refrigerator means I can have the flavor of hours of cooking in just a few minutes.