Monthly Archives: December 2011

Rye Pecan Pie with Buttermilk Ice Cream

We have a new contributor—he prefers to remain anonymous, so we’ll just call him The Baker. His recipes review classic American cookery from new vistas. With his admiration for tradition but penchant for innovation, he brings an alternative aesthetic to conventional desserts.  

Rye Pecan Pie with Buttermilk Ice Cream (Recipe after the jump.) Continue reading


Filed under Recipes, The Baker

Eat Piglet, Eat Rabbit

“The photographs are not illustrative. They, and the text, are co-equal, mutually independent, and fully collaborative.” James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, xi.

Piglet is squealing.

Mark Ladner, chef at Del Posto, wears square granny glasses and blue latex gloves. With a practiced snap to check for fit, Ladner bends over the cutting board.

Pig: Sus scrofa domesticus: child-like. Its hairy and pink skin reflexes upon palpitation; it snuffles to the human touch. Cradled in the arms of a pubescent girl, its heart beats in languid, muffled, contented ka-thumps. It avoids cold, wet, and windy weather, preferring the safe habitations of a straw-lined litter. In the bluster of a kitchen, the pig peeks its pointed head between open oven doors, inquires into burbling pots, and trips, nervous, as though made uncomfortable by the warm voices far overhead. They speak of dinner and death. Continue reading

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Filed under Columbia University, Essays, New York City, Theory and Criticism

RUB BBQ Review Supplement: Multimedia

In my last review of the semester, I call RUB BBQ  “New York’s only sincere barbecue joint, the only spot where the anonymity of city life slips into an ecstatic rejoinder of recognition.”

Here’s the music that inspired the review.

Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth

“Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout” by Gary Snyder

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Filed under Columbia University, Reviews

Minus Mayonnaise Chicken Salad

After stewing a chicken in butter, I had a thigh, a breast, and a drumstick left over. For lunch the next day, I made chicken salad—only problem: no mayonnaise. Frankly, I’m not a huge mayonnaise fan, and my ____ salads (tuna, ham, chicken, turkey, etc.) trend towards easy on the mayo. Still, ____ salad needs a creamy, sweet edge. I did my best with a limited pantry, and I think the resulting chicken salad, minus mayo, turned out exceptionally well. Whether you want a respite from goopy, gloppy salads or have mustard no mayo, this recipe does the trick. Continue reading

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Filed under College Life, Columbia University, Recipes

Chicken Stewed In Butter

Thomas Keller poaches lobsters in butter, so I figured I could do the same with a chicken. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a gallon of melted butter, so I cheated with a little stock. It’s imperative that you use a high quality butter—Land O’Lakes isn’t going to cut it, if only because it lacks a really pure ‘butter’ flavor. I used a cultured, European style butter. The extra buck or two pays off—with a lighter wallet, you can look forward to a rich, comforting pot of chicken lovin’. Continue reading

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Filed under College Life, Columbia University, Recipes

Love Letter in a Lecture Hall

I don’t write very much poetry, and I don’t publish most of it here (The Donut Shop, Natchez, Mississippi to the contrary). Wednesday night, I was sitting in my U.S. Intellectual History 1865-Present lecture, listening to a talk about James Baldwin and company, when I felt inspired to jot down a quick poem. Its tangential commitment to food makes it appropriate for this website (which I suspect will be publishing more content with no relationship to food whatsoever soon).

Love Letter in a Lecture Hall

she smelled like tandoor and buttered nan
thick curry, chaat, chutney, paneer

[in electric lecture halls
the press of flesh and coffee cups make
mapping scent
like finding fiends in cham cham clouds]

she held a blue Bic and I loved it
Dear Blake, she wrote, her face obscured
behind my blinkers,
stewed love in secret pots.

Love told can be
scratched out before
the pumping pause of hearts unhinged.

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Filed under Columbia University, Poetry