- Ten ways to spice up pumpkin seeds.— Chow
- Kale and bacon make one delicious combination. — The Epi Log
- Josh Ozersky questions the patriotism of the humble hamburger. — Vanity Fair
- Fabio Viviani's latest gig? Pizza delivery man. — Grub Street NY
- Cook's Illustrated's editor, Christopher Kimball, is ready to wage war on the blogosphere. — Eat Me Daily
- The Bocuse d'Or USA is now searching for its next national team. — Eater
- Jazz up classic pasta carbonara with peas and ricotta. — Serious Eats
Yesterday we ran part one of our interview with Christopher Kimball — editor, TV personality, and all-around food superstar — and today we've got part two. In this section Kimball compares gourmet cooking to gourmet sex. If you want to know exactly what that means, you'll just have to keep reading.
YumSugar: When you cook for yourself, do you follow recipes, or do you just make things up as you go?
Christopher Kimball: I have preached the value of a limited-recipe repertoire at home for years. Most folks should start with just 25 or so recipes until they can make them from memory and make them well. Then expand from there. So I have my repertoire and for those, I don't need a recipe. Plus, there are master recipes for roasting, braising, sautéing, stewing, etc., which — once one gets the hang of it — can be improvised. That being said, if I am making someone else's recipe, I always follow it religiously the first time. If it looks suspect or something seems out of whack, I just won't make it at all.
YS: I read an interview with you in which you said, "I think the gourmet cooking thing is over. That happened in the '70s." With our easy accessibility to fancier ingredients and exotic spices, do you think this is true still? If so, why?
CK: Gourmet cooking is for restaurants, not home cooks. This is hobby cooking and, for the most part, I am against it. It implies that everyday cooking is a chore and something to be avoided. I would rather focus on really good, everyday cooking — from-scratch oatmeal, a really good pancake, the perfectly-cooked skillet steak — then get all caught up in exotic ingredients and cuisines that most of us are not intimately familiar with. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't try new things once in a while for fun. But what would you think of someone who was promoting "gourmet sex" or "gourmet childrearing?" What's wrong with the day-to-day stuff? And isn't that more important anyway?
For the rest of the interview — learn all about his four freezers! — read more
The folks behind America's Test Kitchen have just released a new book called America's Best Lost Recipes. It's a collection of heirloom recipes that could have easily gone missing forever if it wasn't for this collection.
Recently we had a chance to ask editor Christopher Kimball — the one with the bow tie — a few questions. He chatted about the new book, what goes on at the test kitchen, and why you should quit trying to be a chef, and start trying to be a great cook instead. Here's what he had to say:
YumSugar: What brought about the Lost Recipes collection?
Christopher Kimball: I am a huge fan of old cookbooks and old recipes but have wondered for years where all of these great old recipes went. But I wasn't interested in recipes that were purely historical or anthropological in nature — I wanted tried-and-true recipes that still resonated today. That is, one would really want to make and eat them. So, we started with a nationwide recipe contest for "lost" recipes and received 2,800 responses, selected 300 that seemed the most interesting, cooked them all, and finally whittled the list down to 121 recipes that were interesting, delicious, and also still, I hope, relevant for modern cooks.
YS: What was the most unexpected thing to come out of this collection?
CK: Oh, all of those cooking techniques that I had never heard of before. Baking a pound cake in an oven that is cold when you put the pan in. Or, making a chocolate cake with no eggs, milk, or butter. Or, and this was our winning recipe, putting peeled peaches around a pie plate, placing an upside down ramekin in the middle, drizzling a caramel sauce over them, topping with pie pastry, baking, and then, when baked, turning the whole thing upside down and all the juices have been sucked up into the ramekin. Now there is a magic trick for you!
To read the rest of part one of our interview with Chris, read more
Twenty seven years ago on May 31 Christopher Kimball, a prominent figure in the culinary world, founded Cook's Magazine. In 1993, he relaunched the magazine as Cook's Illustrated, the only non-glossy food magazine of its kind - all of the images are illustrations rather than photographed pictures. Kimball is the author of many cookbooks including The Cook's Bible and host of the television show "America's Test Kitchen". Here are his tips to being a success in the kitchen:
1. Read the recipe carefully. Read before you start so that you are adequately prepared.
2. Be prepared: Pull all the ingredients/tools you need BEFORE you start cooking, so that you know you have everything you need.
3. Follow the directions: Be sure to prepare the food as instructed in the ingredient list. Food that is uniformly and properly cut will not only cool at the same rate, but will also be more visually appealing.
To read the rest of his tips, read more