I know nothing about Italian cooking.
Well, let me qualify that with this: I know nothing about Italian cooking as it occurs in Italian homes, as true Italians practice it, or even as supposedly “authentic” restaurants interpret it. All I know about Italian cooking I learned from the back of a risotto box. And some books and other stuff, you know, relatively minor compared to the instructions from supermarket Arborio rice.
When I cook risotto, I follow a fluid procedure, one loosely derived from the broken English instructing me to not “drow [sic] the rice.” Give onions a little color, add the rice and saute it dry, then slowly, ever so gently add liquid and allow each grain to swell near to bursting before pouring in more stock, always stirring, stirring stirring stirring.
Yes, I’m using an oven mitt. Don’t ask why. Continue reading
Although Henri Cartier- Bresson died in 2004, his impact on modern photography has been incalculable. To Bresson, photography was intuitive and inherently creative- the “decisive moment” expressed the essential meaning of an event or action. To Bresson, photography was “putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.”
As I have become more and more involved with photography, I have realized that another still life of well-lighted fruit is all well and good, but engaging photography should include the decisive moment. Sure, one might look at an image of a beautifully iced carrot cake and say, “Wow, doesn’t that look delicious!” Yet, that person has not truly engaged with the image, they have merely paid it a passing glance. Continue reading
In her recent New York Times article “Marijuana Fuels a New Kitchen Culture,” Kim Severson describes the infiltration of stoner culture into restaurant kitchens, specifically marijuana’s influence on the creation of snackable and craveable dishes. From a logical perspective, Severson mischaracterizes correlation as causation–yes, chefs do smoke weed, and yes, those chefs do happen to put out munchy-esque cuisine. David Chang’s pork buns. Roy Choi’s taco trucks. Meatballs, haute sundaes, and high end pizza joints. But Severson attributes this sudden explosion of what the general population characterizes as “comfort food” to contact buzz in the kitchen, when simpler and more reasoned explanations exist: changing economic times, backlash against big money, a glorification of “Mainstreet,” and a rebellion against nutritionism. (Ron Siegel apparently agrees, at least according to Severson.) I’m not writing in direct refutation of Severson’s claims, although her one-sided, biased, and hugely predictable collection of “sources” provides an easy target for attack. Instead, I take issue with the article’s hidden core, the subtext that informs the piece’s angle. Continue reading
Check out this new post from The Ocular Omnivore.
Although I’m sure they exist elsewhere, thin pork chops seem particularly popular in St. Louis. In a city so obsessed with beer, baseball, and pig products of all kinds, one might expect to find big, honkin’ double cut chops walking across the average grill. Most St. Louisans that I know, however, prefer the skinny variety, less meat and more sauce. Typically, these chops come boneless, and pose serious bbq-ing challenges. How to get the pork well-seared while preserving juice and tenderness continues to stump backyard chefs armed with only a cursory knowledge of zone fires and food science. Continue reading
Back home, I’m able to cook much more frequently and with greater creativity than at college. Whether living in an apartment, traveling, or just hanging around with the parents, you can easily take the initiative and put together an unusual dish that shows off your newfound sophistication and faux worldliness.
Pickled Strawberry, Ricotta, and Candied Almond Salad
Finding time to eat during move-out week proves tough—with a plenitude of parties, meetings, finals, and farewells, snagging a simple meal in-between study sessions, sleep, and cleaning forces difficult choices. Should I spend an hour eating or actually try and study for that calc exam? Getting everything done without suffering a heart attack ackackackackack appears impossible. Continue reading
Freshman year notoriously features binge eating, a total devolution of nutritionally sound habits into junk food feasts, and a sense of total culinary apathy. I’ll admit, I have a few food regrets and resolutions for college life in the future: Continue reading
Done with exams and left to wander the city endlessly, I made my way from the Guggenheim down to Momofuku Milk Bar. I first encountered David Chang’s funky fusion concept at Noodle Bar back in 2008, where I enjoyed a blueberry and smoked peach soft serve. Having successfully avoided all David Chang ventures this year (aside from a talk he gave with Eric Ripert on Buddhism), I decided this morning that a visit to his East Village dessert spot wouldn’t hurt me. Debate surrounds Milk Bar, specifically regarding the treats’ general greasiness and salt content: some worship the total disregard for nutrition (and safety?) while others proclaim the products nearly inedible. I figured that after a 15 mile run on Sunday and around 13 miles of walking today, my 19 year old arteries could handle a cookie with an ingredient list including butter at #1 and yes, those are potato chips. Continue reading