Category Archives: General

[recipe review] dry-brined turkey

Just to recap, I followed the advice of Russ Parsons (Food Editor of the LA Times) and dry-brined the turkey.  The process began on Monday afternoon with the application of 3 TB kosher salt (Morton's) to a 16 lb. fresh, free-range turkey.  Double-wrapped in plastic bags (no leaky turkeys here), it was flipped and turned around and around for a couple of days until I pulled it out on Thanksgiving morning. I made an herb butter with fresh sage, thyme, and unsalted butter and smeared it underneath Read more [...]

turkey time twenty-ten

Last year it was brined and high-temp-roasted.  The year before it was brined, air-dried, and spun around and around on the rotisserie.  The year before was my first year on the rotisserie; I burned the turkey because I hadn't figured out how to configure the burners on my gas grill.  (Turns out when you have a front-to-back three-zone grill you leave the middle one off.) This all goes to support the fact that, for a fairly traditional family, I'm given a lot of leeway with turkey techniques. Read more [...]

gaggia mdf grind settings chart

I've had a Gaggia MDF coffee grinder for a while.  It's a great "pro-sumer" burr grinder, with 34 distinct grind settings.  Over my history using it, I've really only used steps 5-6 (for espresso) and 30-34 (for French press).  Recently, I got into manual pour drip coffee (Hario/Clever).  Most people recommend a "medium-fine" grind, but there isn't a chart for my 34 settings that tells you where that is.  To help anyone out who has one of these, I decided to explore all 34 settings and figure Read more [...]

cook’s illustrated iphone app

The folks (everyone refers to them as "the folks") at Cook's Illustrated have come out with a pretty cool iPhone app.  Well, they probably hired someone, but regardless it's cool - especially if you are a subscriber to When you install the app, you get a few recipes, but if you log in, you get access to all of their thousands of recipes.  I've actually dialed into on my iPhone in the supermarket when I was trying to remember ingredients.  This will Read more [...]

sous vide chicken

There's really no meat that is better served by being cooked sous vide than chicken.  That's bold, considering how well pork does in the low-n-slow cooking environment, but it's true.  Maybe it's because chicken is so often mangled by being dry and overcooked or, worse yet, bloody, gelatinous, and undercooked.  The truth is that chicken (white meat in particular) has such a small window of perfection that if you miss it at all you wish you had ordered a pizza instead. The issue is mainly that Read more [...]