Chicken Fricassée

Honest, Abe:  what’s cooking?

Originally appeared in the February 10, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

With Abraham Lincoln’s birthday this Saturday, I thought it apropos to give a culinary nod to one of our most celebrated presidents.  Some texts suggest that Lincoln was indifferent to dining, and that his eating habits reflected the more austere facets of his personality.  Others maintain that Abe had a soft spot for one simple dish in particular.

In A Treasury of White House Cooking (Putnam, 1972), François Rysavy (who served a brief gig as president Eisenhower’s chef) claims that “one of the few entrees that would tempt Lincoln was Chicken Fricassée.”  More after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beef carbonnade

Tough cut, tender result

Originally appeared in the December 16, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

There are several magical features about the science of braising.  One reason is the season:  This is a perfect time for heavy meat dishes served with starchy sides.  Two:  Pacing—there’s nothing quite like the cadence of a leisurely culinary execution.  And the third element is what I’ll call the “underdog” factor.  Check out more after the break: (more…)

Published in: on December 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Boeuf bourguignon (beef burgundy)

Cooking with love a la Bourdain

Originally appeared in the September 30, 2010 edition of the Southside Times.

Henry James said “The great thing is to be saturated with something—that is, in one way or another, with life; and I chose the form of my saturation.”

Ten years ago, I was a fairly naïve guy from the south side of Indy, living in Chicago and attending culinary school—wrist-deep in demi-glace and mirepoix.  I couldn’t articulate it with James’ accuracy and eloquence, but I suspected that I’d tapped into the rhythm of something uncommon in which to be saturated.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on September 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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