So, half-sour

Apparently means not sour at all. There is no vinegar in half sour. Just salt and not even that much of it as far as I can tell. Brad from Bon Appetit (Oh, Bra-ad) puts all sortsa crap in his…rose buds (???!), fennel pollen (just no), dill pollen (why?). You can see his take on the half-sour here. Personally I went with something more simple just dill, garlic and mustard seeds. Plus, I just ran out of fucking fennel pollen.

This is the second batch of pickles I’m making in my quest to find my favorite pickle. This one requires a week to 10 days. I can’t say the pickles are exactly reproducing like Tribbles (it’s a good thing that the google exists because I’d never have come up with this useless bit on trivia). There’s one vine loaded with flowers but not a single cucumber on the thing. I expected that at this point my refrigerator would have been packed with pickles…you know, all Peter Piper. Well, the summer is still young…oh god no it’s not. It’s half over. More good news.

Bolognese maybe

This is a mushroom and cauliflower pasta sauce. Bon Appetit calls is Bolognese but certain elements of the food law enforcement establishment seem to find this to be an impossibility, possibly criminal. 

I had a head of cauliflower and a box of mushrooms when this recipe landed in my lap. While I can say it doesn’t really sound that tempting, it turned out to be really very good. Once the processed mushrooms cook down you add the processed cauliflower, tomato paste and rosemary and once that got all cooked up it sure looked like Bolognese anyway.

Mortadella, who knew?

This seasonal pizza featured sausage and mortadella. My associates at Bon Appetit unanimously said that mortadella pizza is the best pizza. So I made a trip to Groppis because Glorioso, my preferred Italian store is boarded up and closed. I made half sausage because I really didn’t think mortadella would be all that good. I’m here to tell you. It is. 

Get in the goddam corners

Inspired by my dear friends at Bon Appetit I made Grandma’s pizza. It just looked too fabulous to not try. And honestly, if Carla’s making it, I’ll eat it. Well, not if it’s anchovies.

“Take the dough and spread it out to fill the pan.” Yeah, right. This was like fighting with a 2 year old. At one point I yelled out loud GET IN THE GODDAM CORNERS. Eventually I was just like Fuck it and left one corner that was particularly unhelpful not quite there. I par baked it to take to my nephew later today. Then I lopped an edge off for my own dinner.

It was so worth the effort. It was amazing and as an added plus it makes the house smell like what I imagine heaven will smell like when I get there. I’ll meet you at the bar. (Well not some of you, you know who you are)


I have recently discovered the Bon Appetit YouTube videos. This is riveting viewing. Seriously. Every recipe they make (with the exception of most of the fish thingsā€”curried salmon, jesus god no) makes me want to make it. While I find all of them engaging, each of the chefs has a distinct style and their own set of annoying foibles. For instance, Andy Baraghani, seen way below, ends every sentence by raising his voice like it’s a question. He also wears tight t-shirts so everyone can see his muscles. (Not that I mind that)

I also like that they do not actually have recipes. Or tell you ingredient amounts. It’s just about cooking and food concepts. They don’t, like they incessantly do on the cooking shows (I’m lookin’ at you Cook’s Complicated), explain that you must wash your goddam hands.

They also always look like they are enjoying themselves and each other, and in general having a good time. I am jealous. 

 Carla Lalli Music and Claire Saffitz

Molly Baz and Chris Morocco 

Chis Morocco with Andy Baraghani who seems to be in the background constantly

And Andy Baraghani and his muscles

Smashburgers my ass

I’ve been reading about this new crazy sensation “smash burgers” which are just hamburgers done on a grill plate and squashed to death. Nothing medium rare here. Squashed hamburgers. I watched Adam Rappaport of Bon Appetit make them with all his attendant oohing and aahing and drooling and “ooh-this-is-the-besting” and decided to try it. I was not really convinced but I’ll give anything a shot. OK, not anchovies. 

I dragged out the ol’ rusty grill plate and scrubbed it down with salt the way the internet and possibly a certain horse riding food vigilante may have suggested so it was all prepped and ready to squash hamburgers on.

I had my beef tallow a-roiling just next to the grill (yes outside so there would be no stink inside) so I could deep fry and smash at the same time.

I did not get any pictures once everything was done because aside from the manic confusion of the smashing and deep-frying, I was covered head to toe in splattered tallow and/or burger grease (Also tallow I assume) and was too greased up to touch my iPhone. Plus once all the food was done I had to get it in front of people. We ate although secretly I wanted to strip my clothes off, dispose of them in some dramatic fashion, and hose myself down with bleach.

Smashburgers….meh. Not again in my life time. Just sayin.’

Icebox cake

I love this name. It reminds me of the “olden days” when we actually had things like “icebox cakes.” And iceboxes. Actually we never had ice boxes, although there was an old one in the barn of the house we moved into when I was nine.

I think I saw this being made on the Bon Appetit website. I think. I dunno, I get so damn many food emails and watch so much other food related video stuff, shows, YouTube I can’t keep it all straight. But where ever I saw it I thought it sounded like a great idea. This took less than 5 minutes to make. Although I added another dimension that took another 5 or 6 minutes.

An icebox cake is not baked. When I was a kids my mother made one with chocolate wafers and whipped cream. It was pure heaven but probably since we rarely had desserts anything would have been fine. In this case I used something like the key lime pie filling, minus the eggs. Lemon and lime and sweetened condensed milk. When they are whisked together cream and citrus acid thicken dramatically. This then gets layered with Ritz crackers or in my case Club crackers (the preferred cracker of my aunt Florence) and the cake sits overnight so the crackers can absorb the lustrous liquid from the lemon-lime mix. I threw my usual key lime topping of cream and cream cheese onto it and topped it with the entirety of my blueberry harvest (so far).

This was awesome!! And eye opening. I can hardly wait to see how I can improve on this to make it my own.

Winter meals

I’m not sure this is something I’d ever normally have made for myself. Ribollita. I got an email from Bon Appetit (we’re on really good terms) and I just decided to make it. It was super easy and it was fantastic. I followed the recipe exactly. Well, not exactly, I halved it. You make the soup then add a freaking loaf of bread to it and then bake it until the bread’s soaked up a lot of the liquid and the top is crusty. It was luscious.

Although I could have lived without the kale. Kale. Meh.

Lime pickle chicken

I love lime pickle. A tiny bit as a condiment with a curry and some raita it is rollicking good. So when I saw the recipe in Bon Appetit for lime pickle marinated roasted chicken thighs I was all over that like a cheap suit. Whatever that means. Ginger, garlic and mayonnaise blended with the lime pickle and marinated for a few hours and then roasted at a high temperature sitting on potatoes (sweet in this case) and onions. Sounds like perfect to me.

After about 5 minutes in the oven I was a little concerned because the smell was sort of strong. After 40 minutes my condo was overwhelmed with the fragrance.

In fact, the chicken was overwhelmed entirely. Everything tasted like lime pickle. I may as well have just hottened up the bottle and ate it. I spent the night breathing the bouquet and anticipate the aroma lingering still in my condo waiting patiently for me to come home so it can assault me one more time.