For this month’s Whole Chicken Project, we’re going to talk about spatchcocking. Go ahead, giggle. It does sound like an impossibly dirty thing to do to a poor bird. The first time I heard the word, I conjured
up mental images of a raw chicken being trussed up and given a
In reality, you spatchcock a bird by taking a pair of sturdy kitchen shears and using them to cut out the chicken’s backbone. It can take a little persistence to convince your scissors through the bones, but once you remove that one-inch strip, a world of quick-cooking options opens up. MORE …
One of the rules I’ve come to adopt as a life tenet is that sometimes, you just gotta say f— it.
Since my boyfriend and I began dating about five years ago, we’ve been compiling a list of wise saws to live by. (My secret hope is that one day, if/when we live together, I will crochet this list into an heirloom wall hanging.)
So far, we have a whopping total of three. 1. The above. 2. Listen to some good music every day. And 3. Don’t be an asshole.
For a former overachiever, the first has been the hardest to accept. But I know, deep, down, that truer words have rarely been spoken (or yet crocheted).
It goes for food, too. Sometimes, a nice salad or a lovingly braised chicken is just not going to happen. So sometimes my friends, you just gotta say, fry it. MORE …
It was Friday, one o’clock in the morning, four hours into my supposedly two-hour homemade mozzarella recipe, and I found myself standing before a pile of cheese more akin to a ball of warm cauliflower than an artisanal dairy product. The “cheese” crumbled between my fingers like wet sand, and when I cautiously sampled a pinch of my work all that came to mind was damp, salty cardboard.
My desire to make cheese arose from my desire to eat cheese. I have an old habit of researching foods I tend to eat, and that research often results in an attempt to recreate my favorite dishes at home. As a student of the sciences, I set out on my cheesemaking ordeal under the impression that if I could solve differential equations, analyze blood flow models, and pass a course titled “Chronobioengineering,” I would have no problem separating curds from whey to make a little cheese. MORE …
I’m kind of a slob, in spite (because?) of the very organized, on-time, WASPy nature of most of my life. But I’ve made peace. It doesn’t bother me that I can’t see my bedroom carpet because I have a second carpet made out of sweaters I put on then decided they didn’t match my outfit and discarded, and of towels that might be clean, or might not be, whatever. There are always coins and pens and miscellaneous pocket-items in my bed, because I flop onto it with my clothes still on and toss my purse on my pillow and stuff just falls out. I don’t care.
But my significant other does, especially in the kitchen. He’s a hoverer, but not because he knows squat about what I’m doing or has a helpful suggestion. He’s the self-appointed dropcloth. He buzzes around behind me while I’m stirring, swooping in to mop up a drip here or collect a pinch of wayward crumbs there, with a huff. I get very irritated. “Just wait till I’m done and I’ll clean everything once!” I say, of course very calmly and without waving the knife anywhere near his genitals. He shakes his head. “After you make food, everything’s sticky,” he once observed. MORE …
Contrary to popular belief, green teas are not bitter (unless they’re burned with boiling water—but we’ll cross that bridge in a moment). The nuances that linger within green tea can leave your palate with endless taste memories: from rich chestnut aromas, luscious floral flavors, buttery and brothy sips, clean and crisp grassiness that brightens the taste buds, to toasted notes that warm you to the core better than a favorite sweater.
Most green tea that is sipped in the U.S. is often thought of as bitter and lackluster. The majority of green tea found on supermarket shelves is packaged in tiny, bleached paper bags that are filled with low-grade fannings, otherwise known as the tea dust at the bottom of the barrel. And let’s not forget that the green tea is often over-steeped in boiling water. It’s time to flip that cup conundrum on its head and start from scratch with green tea sips that will leave you longing for more. MORE …
Right after I graduated college in 2010, I joined a yearlong nonprofit fellowship program. Along with my public service job I got a spot in one of the organization’s group houses, each planted in a “vibrant” (euphemism much?) Philly neighborhood. There were vermin, there were muggings. But at least there was a kitchen. After four years of cafeteria food and oven-less dorms, I would finally have the chance to cook.
My five new housemates and I decided that we’d sit down for group dinners twice a week to bond and talk shop. We would pair up and take turns cooking. I pictured myself rambling through West Philly’s farmers’ markets like a young, urban Julia Child, searching for ingredients and then whipping them up into a feast for my new best friends, armed with my one cookbook: How To Boil Water. But that is not what went down.