Sorry kids, long time no-post. Lots of things happening… lots of new beginnings and endings. Far too much to explain in a paragraph and I refuse to be the blog you need seven full swipes to get to the recipe. Suffice to say it’s a chaotic time for me, and apparently for the rest of the world as well.(more…)
I recently did a talk at Berwick about the history, biology and nutritional value of legumes and wanted to punctuate the talk with a snack made entirely of Fabaceae. Not willing to subject the residents to a black bean slider or yet another variety of hummus I opted to buy a bag of chicpea flour (Besan) from the local Mega-Lo-Mart and set to researching a dosa or roti recipe to accompany my talk.
What I ended up on wasn’t Indian at all but a recipe from the Ligurian Coast of Italy called Farinata or alternatively Socca depending on which end of the boot you’re on. It’s incredibly simple to make and the chicpea batter adapts it’s neutral, somewhat nutty flavour to many types of seasoning from fresh rosemary to chilies to (my favourite) a bit of Lebanese Za’atar.
Despite years of being the “guy who never ever gets sick” I contracted something at the beginning of December which caused my immune system to completely collapse and left me a physical and mental gong-show for the entire month. A month, I might add, in which I was Executive Chef and couldn’t miss a moment of work.
I got vertigo, chest pains, the shakes, heart pounding, random numbness in my extremities and oh yeah, I couldn’t sleep. The few doctors that were available during the holidays couldn’t fix me, hell they couldn’t even tell me what was wrong inside… So, I just sucked it up and suffered through Merry-‘Freakin Christmas and into the New Year.
Perhaps due to all the Zen breathing exercises that I employed back in December to get my heart rate under control I cracked open my long-neglected copy of The Tassajara Bread Book during a particularly sleepless night and started down Edward Espe Brown’s rabbit hole of sponge-fed Buddhist bread making… It was just something to do at 2:00am. (more…)
I know it seems like I throw miso in everything – like Jamie Oliver with all that damned rosemary – but if you’re a fan of oysters stay with me. If you have friends and family that are a little oyster-phobic this is the recipe that will turn ’em around. It’s that damned good!
And that’s impressive because there aren’t many things that people eat more polarizing than oysters. Shuck a couple and half the people at your dinner party will gag while the other half dig in with wild abandon. My wife was one of the former (an unrepentant hater of oysters and most other bivalve mollusks) up until only recently. Now she tolerates a few raw oysters now and then but only if they’re the size of a dime and the larger ones get only scornful looks unless they arrive slathered in miso mayonnaise.
If I had to list my favourite summer food experiences, eating blueberries right off the bush would definitely be in my top five. It’s right up there with the smell of fresh peaches and backyard BBQs, the taste of a good saison and picnicking amongst goats. Yes my friends, the only thing better than a blueberry is a blueberry baked into a muffin… And the only thing better than that is a muffin that I didn’t have to make.