Cook Food Good

American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates

Bre’r Debbil Likes Him Some Seafood – fra diavolo

Pasta Fra Diavolo is not a traditional Italian dish.  It’s origin is more likely in Italian-America than Italy itself.  That’s important only to free you from the idea that when you make Fra Diavolo you have to conform to some ancient tradition and get everything just so.  Like cioppino, it’s more about “catch of the […]

L.A.’s Alligator

DANISH FROM THE SWAMPS OF BEVERLY HILLS High end DIY Danish, who knew? Alligator coffee cake is a Los Angeles thing.  It’s a “Danish,” which as far as I know, was the original creation (the Alligator specifically, not Danish pastry in general, you big silly) of a local bakery, Viktor Benes Bakery, which was located […]

Pecan and Bacon-Pecan Waffles

These waffles evolved from a very simple pancake recipe I developed to help my kids learn to cook.  We called that recipe “1, 1, 1,” because there was one of everything:  1 cup of flour, 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, 1 tsp of baking powder, and so on.  At the same time, my mother-in-law […]

Potato Pancakes – Theme and Variation

Potato pancakes.  Yum. The three names, from Yiddish, German and Danish respectively, highlight a universe of alternatives which are perhpas not so alternative.  No matter what you call them, the proportions are more or less the same.  A few of the techniques differ depending on whether the pancakes are grated or ground.  And ahhh, the […]

Pastrami, Pastrameleh

In the thrilling days of yesteryear and not give a rat’s patoot about cholesterol pastrami was often made with the brisket point, while the flat was reserved for corned beef.  The next time you purchase a brisket for barbecue, you might want to think about reserving the point for pastrami.  Or not. It’s not always […]

Barbecue Brisket – An XI Step Program

Fair notice.  This is (cough) somewhat longer than your average recipe. Barbecue, in its most popular American incarnations, is mostly a child of Southern culture. Barbecued brisket on the other hand, is a part of non-overlapping Texas cuisine. Competition style brisket – essentially Texan – and what this recipe is all about, is cooked so […]

Saucing Basics for the Home Cook – Easy Espagnole and Demi-Glace

Starting off with Espagnole: Espagnole is a classic mother sauce. Since Escoffier revolutionized “French Cuisine” at the beginning of the twentieth century, Espagnole has been an intermediate step in making other sauces (called compound sauces). With the exception of a few individuals, most people don’t like it on its own; and it is (almost) never […]

corned beef hash

  We had corned beef for dinner the 15th of March.  For dinner on St. Patrick’s day, the 17th, we had this hash.  Hash is a very good thing, but because the techniques are so simple, almost to the level of boiling water, and because there are any number of good recipes available on the […]

Fish and chips

The best fish and chips I’ve ever had came from the King’s Head, a theme British style pub which was owned by a couple of Aussies in Santa Monica.  The Aussies are gone, the King’s Head remains.  The fish is wonderful.  So are the chips. As a result of their training, I prefer the coating […]

Irish soda bread

  This is an authentically Irish version of soda bread.  There are a few twists here, but they’re more for conforming American ingredients than for altering taste or texture. Soda bread’s texture and loft depends on the interaction of buttermilk and baking soda and on the strength (percentage of glutens) of the flour.  Irish buttermilk […]

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