What I’m Reading Today

Mid-Seventies and sunny have us all fooled out here in SF.  Indian summer is alive and well and the smell of grilling is in the air.  Gotta love these whacked out seasons we have.  Whether it’s hot, cold, wet, or dry where you are, enjoy a few of these links for some kitchen inspiration.

I don’t know why I don’t think about clams and mussels more often when it’s time to plan a last minute dinner.  Shellfish like these cook up in minutes and their fairly mild flavor lets you spice them up big time for a hearty dinner.  In the NY Times, David Tanis takes his to southeast Asia to make Spicy Green Mussels with a homemade green curry paste.  Even the making of the curry paste is quick, the whole dish can be on your table in under 20 minutes.  If you aren’t a mussel fan clams work here too and, in a real pinch run to your favorite Asian market and by some green curry paste already prepared.
Michael Ruhlman has a new book called “Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto“.  In today’s LA Times Russ Parsons says of the book, “There is so much good information in “Twenty,” and even more good sense.”  Aimed at the well established home cook, Rhulman aims to distill cooking down to twenty basic techniques, the how and why behind everything from salt to pastry dough.  Parsons had his wife put it to the test and when she was so proud of her dishes she photographed them to email to her friends, he knew it was a success.  You can try it out too, making Mac and Cheese with Soubise (a Bechamel sauce pureed with slow cooked onions).
Monday night I  was lucky enough to join 1,400 other people at San Francisco’s Castro Theater to hear Ferran Adria, thanks to Omnivore Books’ amazing event.  His new book, “The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria”  is truly practical and simple.  The visual steps for each recipe are stunning and the timelines outlined for each menu show how to execute the dishes in no time.  In today’s Washington Post you can find Adria’s recipe for Roasted Eggplant with Miso Dressing.  Like the others, it’s aimed at a busy cook who doesn’t want to break the bank, or spend all night, making dinner.  No foams, liquid nitrogen, or calcium chloride necessary.
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!
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