Restoring a Cast Iron Pan

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People ask me all the time about cast iron pans. I always tell everyone the same thing and that is “they don’t make them like they used to.” Lodge is the prominent brand you will find at most stores today.  They have been around a very long time and make a decent product but the pans they make today do not compare to the pans made by the companies that have mostly folded in the 1950s when cast iron pans started falling out of favor.

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In Season: Kumquats

 

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People in developed countries are spoiled when it comes to the availability and variety of food they have access to; especially so in and around urban centers.  Because our food supply chain is so globalized, most people don’t think of when a produce is in season.  The fact that I can make fresh guacamole in New York in the dead of winter is at most a small miracle and at the very least a logistical triumph.  But still, there are some products that remain elusively seasonal.

One of my favorites is the kumquat. Read More

In Season (soon): Fresh Garbanzo Beans

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It is still way too early in the year for the glorious bounty of spring produce to start lining the market bins but the H-Mart near my house had fresh garbanzo beans.  This is a product that is elusive (and cheap) enough to warrant purchasing even with the possibility of off-season disappointment.  And while there ended up being a number of pods that contained undergrown beans, just having them in my refrigerator for a couple of days was a constant reminder of the eventual coming of Spring. Read More

Shrimp Oil

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My wife doesn’t like eating shrimp still in the shell.  As much as I try to convince her that the shell is where all the flavor is, she just doesn’t want to be bothered.  Her loss, my gain.  Every time we eat shrimp, I peel them before cooking them and stash the shells in the freezer.  Once I have an adequate amount, I use them to make shrimp oil. Read More

Vegetarian Croissant Dressing

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Let me start off by saying that this recipe is a pain in the behind.  You will want to start this recipe a few days before you need the dressing because some of these components take time to cook.  But if you want a meatless stuffing that has the full on savory punch of one made with chicken stock or sausage, you’ll find this stuffing well worth your time.

The “meatiness” comes from deeply caramelized onions and dehydrated mushroom powder, both of which bring in complex umami flavors not unlike the flavors of seared meat. Read More

Simple Delicious Corn Sauce

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As summer makes way for fall, you may find yourself with a bunch of corn lying around the kitchen.  The markets tend to sell them for cheap near the end of summer to make way for fall produce.  If you have a bunch of corn left over and you’re sick of corn of the cob, try this simple corn sauce recipe made only with TWO ingredients: corn and salt.  You will also need a blender and a strainer, or better yet a juicer. Read More

Crispy Seared Duck Breast

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The typical recipe for seared duck breast calls for the duck skin to be scored and the duck seared skin side down.  Rendered duck fat is skimmed out constantly.  The breast is then flipped to cook the flesh side.  Sometimes the duck is finished in the oven.

What if there is a more foolproof way? Read More