What is? Crème Fraîche

Crème Fraîche is a cream that is thickened and rendered slightly acidic by the bacterial cultures present (imagine a less thick and tangy sour cream). As you can guess by the name, which translates to “fresh cream”, this was originally a French specialty, but it can now be found all over the world.
There are two [...]

What is? Winter Squash

A brief education on winter squashes and their applications is in order. I wanted to try to do this post earlier as they were coming in season, but grocery stores still have plenty in stock and they should be available for a bit longer still.
Winter squash is a general term for a large variety of [...]

What is? Fleur de sel

Fleur de sel, literally “flower of salt”, is a high-end French sea salt and is considered by many to be the creme de la creme of salts (to borrow a phrase from the French). It is traditionally used as a finishing salt–meaning that you don’t cook with it, but sprinkle it on food just before [...]

What is This? Broccoli Rabe / Rapini

The vegetable/lettuce section of a supermarket or farmers market easily overwhelms me. All the various leaves end up blend into one another and have so many names that I usually end up staring blankly at a swatch of shades of green. Confused and lost, I used to simply walk to the washed/prepared lettuce, pick up [...]

What is this? A Learning Experience

I admit, I am a bit of a food snob. I know the difference between salami and salumi. I have duck fat on hand for braising vegetables. I have fleur de sel on my counter… but I wasn’t always that way.
There was a time where I didn’t know how to cook. I would burn toast [...]

What is a Brine?

Essentially a brine is just salty water in which food is soaked. This helps augment the flavor and the texture of the meat. Most white meats (chicken, turkey and pork) can benefit from a soak in a brine. Other flavors (spices, sugar) can be added to a brine, but to be a brine it must [...]