Brussels Sprout Gratin – With Heretical Technique – Recipe

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Brussels sprouts are such a trendy ingredient, and we've all learned how terrific they are roasted or sauteed at high heat until caramelized and nutty-tasting. Still, sometimes it is good to look back to a more traditional technique. Dare …

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Phyllo Wrapped Feta and Chard with a Citrus and Olive Salad

Phyllo Wrapped Feta and Chard with a Citrus and Olive Salad

One of the really cool things about working at Cafe Flora is the open menu, where any employee can propose seasonal dishes to be added to the quarterly menu, and then a manager’s meeting selects the best ones. The picture above is an item I’ve …

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Anti-griddle Pudding Pop, Bruleed Mango, Black Sesame Tuile – Recipe

 

This was my dish for the MasterChef auditions that took Seattle by storm last weekend. I guess it must have been ok, it earned me a callback for a second round interview. There were no cooking facilities for the audition, so the judges made allowances if your food was intended to be served …

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The Value of Acid – Making Your Food Pop, Part 2

When cooks talk about “acidity”, what they mean is simply sourness. Scientifically, they are the same thing. The sour taste buds fire when an acid meets water and releases hydrogen ions in your mouth. End of chemistry class.

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Salt
Acid
Fat
Crunch
A Telling Failure

At least in America, acidity is a quality frequently missing from home-cooked meals, …

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Tiny Eggplant and Okra in Lime-Scented Tamarind Sauce – Recipe

I didn’t have a definite plan when I picked up these gorgeous little eggplants, I just knew they had to come home with me. I ended up rubbing them with spices and roasting, then serving them in a sweet-tart tamarind curry. Later I realized that I’d made a little joke – they were kind …

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Salt, Acid, Fat, Crunch – Making Your Food Pop, Part 1

Ask a professional chef to taste and evaluate a dish, and odds are that if they think it needs something, that something will be salt, acid, fat, or crunch.

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Salt
Acid
Fat
Crunch
A Telling Failure

Why? Because these are fundamental elements that make food pop. They aren’t going to turn undercooked eggplant into a silk purse, but if …

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Creamy Grits with Crispy Leeks, Leek Jus, and Cilantro-Epazote Pesto – Recipe

 

Breakfast for dinner doesn't have to be just pancakes or eggs and toast. I grew up in the South, and was always appalled to watch folks mix together waffles, bacon, maple syrup and everything else on their plate. Thirty years later, I think that mixing sweet, savory and salty flavors is pure genius. …

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