Tag Archives: featured

easter pies

Since my sister and her family recently moved to North Carolina, my mother and my littlest sister drove up there for Easter.  My mom and I usually make the traditional Italian Easter pies on Holy Saturday and serve them up on Easter Sunday.  We were fortunate to be invited to a friend's house to celebrate Easter tomorrow, so I'll be making the pies solo this year to bring with us.  For many people, Easter isn't Easter without a ham; for me, it's these pies. I've written about the savory pie Read more [...]

curing corned beef

With assists from Michael Ruhlman and The Spice House, I began curing a brisket this past Saturday for St. Patrick's Day on Thursday.  I used Ruhlman's recipe, which calls for corning spices and curing salt (a.k.a. InstaCure #1, Prague Powder #1, pink salt, or by its chemical name: sodium nitrite), both of which I got via mail order from The Spice House in Chicago.  It's essentially a long, slow brine, so you have to know ahead of time that you want to do this.  I almost didn't have enough time Read more [...]

[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 [...]

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 [...]