Ratatouille

I have not posted this dish, which is a favorite of mine, because it is a bit of a chore to make it right. But its time has come. The occasion was dinner for four. I served soft shell crabs on a bed of ratatouille. Ratatouille is a vegetable stew always comprised of equal portions …

Fennel Pollen

The Wall Street Journal had an article about this stuff. So I got some from The Spice House in Milwaukee–my reliable Internet go-to supplier. Lift the lid and one can smell and almost see the power of this aromatic spice. It is described as a flavor booster. Not many of them around: MSM, garam masala …

Tomato Concassé

Tomato Concassé, which is French for a coarsely chopped tomato mixture that is prepared and then used for the tomato based dishes of the day. A concassé (kawn-ka-SAY) is a roughly chopped product not ready for the table.  It’s a base-tomato,-tomatillos, -potato, or whatever.  The idea here is that, during the height of the tomato …

How to Purée Garlic – Advanced Knife Work

According to Herbst, garlic is a member of the lily family, which includes leeks, shallots, onions, chives, and garlic chives (try them).  It is an edible bulb that grows under ground.  The bulb is made of sections called cloves.  Each clove is tightly wrapped in its own parchment-membrane, which resists removal.  Garlic is available year-round.  …