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Brussels Sprout Gratin – With Heretical Technique – Recipe

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 I say it: French technique. Enter the gratin.

A gratin is basically anything (usually a vegetable) baked …

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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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Gateau de Crepes with Chocolate Pastry Cream and Dulce De Leche – Recipes

 

Sometimes I read a recipe and it burrows into a corner of my brain, gathers twigs and moss, builds a little nest, and refuses to move out until I make it. That was the case with this Gâteau de Crêpes from Amanda Hesser in the New York Times magazine back in 2005. The …

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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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The Wrath of Grapes; Grape Expectations; You Ungrapeful Bastard

Never stop playing with your food! This is one of my favorite kitchen creativity games. Take a single ingredient, and cut it as many ways as you can think of, then observe the way the cuts and textures change your perception. Then take it a step further and let those new perceptions suggest simple flavor …

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