Pan-seared Porterhouse

Posted by    |  December 23, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

I know. I said I’d be on hiatus ‘till the New Year. I’m cheating just a little for a good purpose. Bill and I decided to send a custom-cut porterhouse steak and some Campeche shrimp from Gourmet’s Choice as Holiday gifts to some of his closest work colleagues. While I was working out the details of the order with Jim, I realized that there are probably a lot of folks in the world who might feel a bit daunted by this gorgeous slab of meat.

The truth is that just a few years ago, I myself would have been intimidated. Should I make a sauce to go with it? It’s too cold to grill, so how can I cook it in a skillet? How do I know when it’s done? Read more

Cast Iron Pans

Posted by    |  June 9, 2010  |  Filed under: Equipment, Home

Have you ever known a bubbie?  I’m talking about one of those Eastern European grandmotherly types.  Her face reveals the days of joy and sorrow she has lived in its lines and folds.  Her body is sturdy though her movements are deliberate.  Her hands are knowing and confident in all that she does.  Her eyes still twinkle.  She understands so many things you don’t.  She knows you can’t yet understand them.

Cast iron pans are like bubbies.  They’re reliable, versatile, functional.  They’re absolutely beautiful with their dark sheen, dings, and the patina qualities that only come with age and use.  I can’t imagine buying a new cast iron pan from a store.  There are so many floating around garage sales and flea markets.  The older they are the smoother their surfaces and deeper their seasoning.  There’s also a sense of being a part of history- continuing a culinary tradition that someone else began in that pan 50 or 75 years ago. Read more

Really? The Brown Stuff Has a Name?

Posted by    |  February 23, 2010  |  Filed under: Technique

I will always remember my amazement the first time I read that the brown stuff that’s left in the bottom of the pan is called fond. Someone gave that stuff a name!? Even more mind blowing was the revelation that you should eat it, rather than attacking it with an SOS pad. I read on and learned that fond is created by the Maillard reaction. Read more

Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Shallot Oil

Posted by    |  October 28, 2009  |  Filed under: Recipes


We eat these like French fries.  They’re just that good.  Roasting them allows me to pop them in the oven about 15 minutes before I serve dinner and not really have to think about them.  I really love the Maillard reaction that gives them such great flavor on the part that makes contact with the pan. Read more