Saturday, February 26, 2011

Meat Zeppelin Sliders

Never underestimate the depths of depravity to which the human soul will plunge in moments of sheer unmitigated mind-numbing boredom. My son asked me to make donuts. Why not? So I start dumping buttermilk, butter, flour, sugar, egg, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fennel, almond extract - OK, so I got carried away. And then fried up some zeppolline. Little Zeps.
And then, I recall the zeppo-crema, zeppole filled with sorbet or ice cream. Weird, but a very Sicilian thing. They even put ice cream on a bun. BINGO, says my mind. Hey they put a hamburger on a crispy creme, right? Somewhere in this derelect nation of ours. Why not a diminutive hamburger, pickle, barbecue sauce on a little crispy sweet zeppole? Not bad. My son only asked "Why did you put BBQ sauce on it?"

Friday, February 25, 2011

NPR story on Taco Bell

This is from a series called The Academic Minute which will air on Tuesday. Best, Ken

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

piccole lasagnette

Start with two gallons of raw milk. Proceed to set curds, cut, drain, then boil the whey for ricotta - still warm from the pot, mozarella made from a handful of the fresh curds - still squeeky. A few fresh rounds of paper thin pasta dough in each ramekin, dabs of tomato sauce. And into the toaster oven. It doesn't get any fresher than this.
The larger cheese (aka Felicity) is still under weight, maybe a pound or pound and a half, but quite elegant, in a mold made from a little paint bucket with holes drilled in it. I'll let you know how she turns out maybe three or four months from now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

#13: A Rant

Is the number 13 really unlucky? For reasons that I can't explain as a rational being, I have never ended a paper on page 13, or even stopped chopping on 13 cuts. (And yes, I count, thanks to Sesame Street and Martin Yan.) SO you can imagine the trepidation with which I approached my 13th book. One never knows in what order they will actually be published, and if I were counting as I wrote or edited them, this would be further along, but I'm pretty sure it will be #13. There were serious nightmares dealing with contributors. Late late, lame, dropped out, replaced, followed no directions. The last chapter turned in the day the whole thing is due Feb 1st. Ask me who it was, I'll tell you. Then the past week has been the hell of fixing references. Entirely my fault for not making contributors do it themselves. But we're already a little over the deadline. Like that really means anything after two years! But I have NEVER missed a deadline before. Hate the idea.

BUT! HUZZAH! I turned the damned monster in today, with only two minutes (literally) to spare before picking up the kids. Two years makes it to the finish in 2 minutes. Weird. It's that number again. Funny enought the cover was set a long time ago, I suggested a nice 16th c. kitchen scene and they're using it. Maybe this wont be 13 after all. (BTW. This book is a Cultual History of Food: The Renaissance, one volume in a big set.)

OH, Also just noticed real BEAST of an encyclopedia (FOOD CULTURES OF THE WORLD) is up on amazon. Dare you to pre-order. And on Monday I start proofreading. All 4 volumes. GASP! CHOKE....

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have eaten alligator a few times before, and against my better judgement I have always sauced it or cooked it in a way that obscures any hint of alligatorish flavor. And I have to say, even this relatively simple straightforward beer batter, yeilded results that were delicious, but still left me wondering, where's the alligator?
I wonder how one would cook this so it tastes like something. Option #2 would been gumbo, but maybe I should just have tossed it in a pan with butter? I wont say tastes like chicken, that would be an insult to the poor fowl.