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Carl and Mark, part 3

I’m already past the halfway point. I’ve made 15 of the Minimalist’s 25 favorites. Including this bad boy:

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Carl and Mark, part 2

So! We continue with five more recipes from The Minimalist’s “25 favorites.” This set includes one of the biggest cooking disasters I can remember—and perhaps the most delightful thing I’ve ever cooked:

Oh. My. Cod. This was magnificent. Black cod with miso. Broiled black cod fillets with just three ingredients: miso, sugar, and mirin. How did I not know? How could I have gone so long without eating this? This dish makes the whole thing worthwhile. The whole “learning how to cook” thing. Not that it wasn’t a worthwhile endeavor already. But this dish really seals the deal. And it took no time at all to put together. Cod, rice, salad. Why go out? Why go anywhere? BTW, I believe this was originally a Nobu recipe that Mark adapted.

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Carl and Mark, part 1

In January, I was sad to learn that the Minimalist column in the New York Times was ending. I’ve learned a lot from the Minimalist over the years and could always count on Mark Bittman to surprise and delight with a new recipe. And each new recipe usually involved learning a new technique. So it’s been a great education. Around 2007-2008 I was pretty devoted to the column and made whatever Bittman was making almost weekly. And I know I wasn’t alone. In the final column, Bittman chose 25 of his favorites from over the years. Out of a mixture of curiosity and gratitude (and hunger), the moment I saw the list I decided to make all 25. It’s a Minimalist Julie and Julia. But it should be a lot of fun and a good way to celebrate the food column that taught me so much.

I’ll be posting my results in chunks of five. Here are the first five…

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So yeah, I’ve been making muesli. What can I say, I’m caught up in the muesli craze. It’s not a global phenomenon or a new Bay Area breakfast trend, it’s more of a hyperlocal fad centered around our apartment and along the famed Muesli Belt that I imagine roughly follows the Switzerland-Germany border.

The traditional recipe calls for oats soaked in water with lemon juice, cream, diced sour apple and nuts. Some people use orange juice.

In my version, yogurt becomes the acid. I toast some oats and coconut, add vanilla yogurt, plain yogurt, and almond milk in a ratio that balances sour, sweet, and overall fluidity. I add a bunch of dried fruit and nuts. By the next morning it has softened up and turned into a sloppy paste, to which I add more almond milk and whatever fresh fruit I can find. Serve with butterbrot and coffee for a Birchermüesli complet. Or just eat it.

Heath Ceramics tour

Karl and I toured Heath Ceramics last weekend. They’ve just finished their best year ever, producing around 275,000 pieces. They’re still in their original factory space in Sausalito. It’s an interplay of handmade work, slow chemical processes, and large-scale efficiency: It takes a piece of pottery at least a week to go from clay dust to final product.

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The Bees of Crockett

Here’s an opportunity to get your hands on some extraordinary honey. A friend of mine, Earl Flewellen, has started a Kickstarter campaign to expand his backyard apiary in Crockett, CA.

This honey is serious. Definitely the best I’ve tasted.
And Earl is so passionate about beekeeping.

A jar of Earl’s honey, shipped to your door, is 10 bucks.
Pretty amazing.
I mean, you can hardly buy a piece of paper for $10 anymore.

You won’t get the honey in time for the holidays this year (it’s winter, after all).
But as you build anticipation, you’ll be helping Earl build capacity.

Here’s the project; go get some honey!

Not stinky. Aromatic.

Whatever it is, give it to me brewed, yeasted, cured, affinaged, pickled, brined, vinificated, fermented in rice bran, wrapped in banana leaves, and buried in mud for the winter.

Karl started brewing kombucha to feed his addiction. His first batch, made with green jasmine tea, was amazing. Here he is with his mother:
karl with his kombucha

Continue reading ‘Not stinky. Aromatic.’

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