The Unveiling: Duck Confit Hash

Breaking through the snow white layer of soft fat, feeling the aged meat, seeing the beautiful colors of charcuterie. There is something magical about digging out a homemade duck confit. The long hours of preparing the food are behind you, the easy part is ahead. No more waiting for the perfect time, no, now you get to unveil your handy work and again expose the duck to air. This particular confit sat about in fridge for the last six months, since a kindly gentlemen had allowed us to kill 3 of his male ducks and to preserve for him. I describe the whole making (in fact, of this exact batch of … [Read more...]

“Marinated Chicken”

"Marinated Chicken" was all the only name by which we knew our favorite dish growing up. We being my two brothers (watch Ben compete in the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions this Friday!) and myself, and the dish we are referring to was actually, according to the NY Times cookbook from whence it came, "Oven Baked Honey Chicken Wings." I like our name for it better. Ironically enough, the chicken isn't even really marinated before cooking. Ahhh, well, such are the etymolygies of family recipe names, right? Marinated chicken night at the Bishop house hold meant mountains of wing bones, people … [Read more...]

Quinoa Tabbouleh, Like, Duh?

Sometimes you can just look at a pile of ingredients and be struck immediately by the dish you should make. This was not one of those moments. All rapidly going bad in various parts of my kitchen were red bell peppers, lemons and parsley. Yet it took a day of mulling it over, thinking about the dishes that I could make, to remember that I had quinoa and could make a slightly modified version of one of my all time favorite dishes, tabbouleh. All of a sudden it was so freakin' obvious. How could I have missed it? There is something about the freshness of the citrus combined with the … [Read more...]

Sometimes Coloring is Fun

Yes, those are Crayola colors in my bowl, but that's no crayon inside. They say you eat with your eyes first, and if this dish doesn't prove it, I don't know what does. These multi-colored whole-wheat gnocchi were truly inspired solely by the colors of the ingredients. I was at the local Vietnamese mega mart the other day and happened to have some purple sweet potatoes catch my eye. I quickly bought up a pile of not only the purple ones, but the nearby orange ones as well. The wheels were already turning as I got home. I roasted two of each color in a hot oven till they were soft and … [Read more...]

A Valentine’s Day Meal

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've already heard about how great of a foodie's companion B is, and probably are thinking, 'enough already, tell me about the delicious eats'. And I'm getting there! "You have two options" B told me over the phone. As an old hand from the restaurant industry, I knew going out to eat was his last idea of a good time on Valentine's Day. But apparently he had gone way down south and scoped out a tiny hole-in-the-wall comfort food restaurant that he felt would be a good dinner, and going there was my first option. "Or," he said hopefully, "I can … [Read more...]

The Easiest Chicken Curry in the World

How easy? Really easy. I'm not calling it authentic, I'm not even sure to what country its authenticity could be attributed, but I do know it tasted damn good and I didn't have to do anything. How good? I had already gone to bed when B came home to eat this and he came upstairs to wake me up, midway through his meal, to let me know how good it was. I'm not even that big of a fan of chicken. It doesn't matter though, because when braised, as this chicken is, it has none of the dry, flavorlessness of chicken breasts, none of the overly greasy, fattiness of fried chicken wings, just meaty … [Read more...]

A First for Pheasant

I have two rules in life: 1) you can fix everything with duct tape and 2) anything else you can fix with bacon. In case you are wondering, the latter is the one that applies here. Recently I was gifted my first pheasant ever. I am fairly certain I had never eaten a bit of this bird before in my life, and yet I was overly excited about bringing my bird home. I picked it up, interestingly enough, at a mutton party, where I had my first bites of the Owensboro, Kentucky specialty of barbecued mutton. It's delicious, as a side note for those who are interested. My friend had just shot it that … [Read more...]

Making Whole Wheat Noodles

I'm okay with healthful food, as long as it tastes delicious. Thus I've never liked the dried whole wheat noodles that are available at grocery stores. Even with many more minutes of boiling than a normal pasta, the noodles have a funny texture. But the texture never gets to normal, or even edible.Then it occurred to me that the best pasta is fresh pasta, so why not try making a whole wheat fresh pasta. And what a pasta. Instead of being hard to cook, the texture has this wonderful melting chewiness that all fresh pasta does. In addition, there is even more texture from the whole grains. It's … [Read more...]

Snow Day Japanese Hot Pot

As six inches of snow piled up on the ground outside my house, I begged B to go for a walk to frolic in the fluffy white stuff with me. We wandered among city blocks, children and adults alike sledding in the streets while cars sat long abandoned. After getting involved in a snowball fight with some neighborhood children and making snow angels in the park with a few friendly puppies, we started to head home, stopping to buy hot chocolate at our local QFC.  And then there he was, a beautiful Lodge enamel coated Dutch oven, on sale for $30. I had been planning on getting one, though the … [Read more...]

Seafood on the Grill: Oysters and Saba

Yup, we're still in America. Nope, that is not meat on my Memorial Day grill. I was at the store (and starving, never a good move) looking for food to grill. B called "Is it okay if I just do seafood?" I asked, standing over an enormous tub of giant Pacific oysters. These puppies were big and meaty. But I couldn't stop there, I went a little overboard. Scallops, for ceviche, mackeral (aka saba) to wrap in banana leaves and grill, big, beautiful asparagus. It was, I must admit a bit of a feast. The ones on the left are topped with lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro in a ceviche style, the … [Read more...]