My Pizza: Test Drive


Baker extraordinaire Jim Lahey of Sulivan Street Bakery and Co. has followed up his brilliant My Bread with a pizza-oriented sequel, My Pizza: The Easy No-Knead Way to Make Spectacular Pizza at Home.

With a single recipe for pizza dough (see below) as a starting place, the book is more or less a pizza topping book, with recipes for pies topped with everything friom leek and sausage to a wintry combination of brussels sprouts and chestnuts. There are also a handful of recipes for soups, salads, and desserts, including gelato and some especially delicious-looking chocolate chip cookies.

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Stracciatella Ice Pops

Icepop Another ice pop post? The frozen treats seem to be turning up everywhere this summer, and, yes, here's one more pop paen.

The edible appeal of ice pops is obvious, but they're also easy to make. Unlike homemade ice cream, you don't need to keep an ice cream machine insert pre-freezing in the freezer, and (for most recipes) you don't even need to pre-chill the base. This is expecially true of fruit pops. Except for the freezing time, they're an almost spontaneous treat.

I've been making a number of fantastic ice pop recipes from Fany Gerson's Paletas, including lime-infused watermelon pops, blackberry pops, and almond-enriched Mexican chocolate pops.

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With Bricks and Foil, a DIY Yakitori Grill is Born


Last summer, following the advice of Russ Parsons in an old Los Angeles Times article on yakitori, I took my first attempt at home-cooked yakitori. Before that, I had only experienced the yakitori made by the professional grillers at the now-closed Yakitori Torys. This summer, my education in making yakitori at home is expanding light years with the publication of Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat's The Japanese Grill: From Classic Yakitori to Steak, Seafood, and Vegetables.

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Korean Oven-Fried Chicken Wings


I don't want to overplay this technique, because it will not fool anyone who has experienced the crispy glory that is Korean fried chicken. It will most definitely lose in a wing fight. On the other hand, not too shabby for baked chicken wings.

It's also really easy and doesn't require the mess of deep-frying.

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Almost Instant Risotto


This risotto cooks in six minutes. Unbelievable, right? Providing, of course, that you soak the rice for a good two hours before cooking. But, still, that's almost instant in terms of cooking time.

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Rozanne Gold's "Opinionated Way to Roast a Chicken"


For years, I've stuck to Jacques Pepin's method for roasting a chicken as my go-to technique.

Per Pepin, it basically involves roasting the whole chicken on one side, and then turning it twice more during the cooking process. The placement of the breast directly against the hot surface of the pan gives the skin awesome color. Not per Pepin, sometimes I slick the pan with olive oil and stuff the cavity with herbs, garlic, and lemon. The whole chicken gets a rub of salt and pepper at the start.

Now that I've tried Rozanne Gold's "Opinonated Way to Roast a Chicken," I'm rethinking my roast chicken ways.

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Ligurian Inspired Pasta With Shellfish


Reminiscent of a Ligurian insalata di mare, this pasta with shellfish couldn't be easier to make.

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Green Garlic Redux


I ripped up my Square Foot Garden the other day after attempting (and failing) to plant some spinach, carrots, peas, and chives from seed. I still don't know what exactly went wrong, but I'm blaming the seeds.

I filled the rest of my square-foot plots with garlic cloves to grow green garlic, which I had successfully harvested last summer. That time, the cloves sprouted tall shoots about the size of a scallion, but this time the growth was very subdued, so I pulled them out.

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Test Drive: Adam Perry Lang's Grilled Pork Chops


I recently wrote about BBQ 25, the new, stripped-down grilling cookbook by chef Adam Perry Lang.

As I noted earlier, nearly all of the recipes (including this one) are designed to serve 6 to 8 people, which presents a problem if you're not cooking for a dinner party and just cooking for 2 to 4 (or 2.5 in my case).

Nevertheless, in actually tackling one of the recipes, this did not turn aout to be a huge deal. Taking Lang's recipe for grilled thick-cut pork chops for a test-drive, I cut the amount of meat in half and just left the ingredient amounts for the marinade as is. So, although some food was wasted, the dish wouldn't ultimately be affected.

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Charred Fresh Garbanzo Beans

I recently discovered that Whole Foods is trafficking in underage garbanzo beans: tiny, puffy green pods each containing a fresh bean, maybe two if you're lucky. Smaller than garbanzos sold dried (or dried and canned), these immature little green beans somewhat resemble shelling peas wrinkled from spending too much time in the pool.

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