Beet-cured salmon from Gail Simmons’ Bringing It Home.

My love of Top Chef has gotten to the point that I have a section of my main bookshelf dedicated to some of my favorite judges* and cheftestants from the show—though I will admit that Tom Colicchio’s books live up in my New York section, because most of these books came out way after his…

Jamon, jamon, or: the story of the sex ham.

Do you have those foods that you never, ever purchase (usually due to some combination of expense, availability, and no idea what to do with it) but long for anyway? Or foods that you have reserved in your mind to only indulge in for a very specific, very celebratory reason, regardless of whether you’ve ever…

02.12.11/02.20.11: duck ham.

Have you heard about Charcutepalooza yet? Two particularly intrepid food bloggers have deemed 2011 the Year of Meat, and so they (along with about 300 other bloggers) are working their way through Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie with a new challenge each month. January was duck prosciutto, February was pancetta and bacon, and for March corned beef…

06.27.09: dinner. (simple Saturday/accidental Tapas)

Saturday I was in the mood for something simple and dare I say inauspicious.  There were some lovely tomatoes at Romeo’s and I felt comfortably deep enough into the summer to enjoy some nice bruschetta.  I got the notion to proceed in this fashion- there’d be a giant loaf of bread in play, so why…

Ispirazione, parte uno.

While we were at the Baur B&B, another couple was also staying there–an American expat and her Italian husband, Paula and Angelo.  They live in Cinque Terre, an ancient group of towns in Liguria that is now a protected area and a big tourist draw.  They conduct boat tours on their old anchovy fishing boat…