Category Archives: Cool Cooking Techniques

Triscuit Sandies

When a cracker turns into a cookie.
When a cracker turns into a cookie.

A tisket, a tasket.

A Triscuit, a…cookie?

Yes, leave it to the zany minds behind Milk Bar to come up with crazy crunchy, brazenly buttery cookies made out of pulverized Triscuits.

“Triscuit Sandies” are just one of dozens and dozens of fabulously fun recipes in the new cookbook, “All About Cookies: A Milk Bar Baking Book” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

In the intro, Milk Bar owner Christina Tosi writes, “For those of you who think a cookie is just a cookie, and all cookie cookbooks are the same, welcome, my friend, to our crazy, amazing love affair with the most unsung hero of pastry. Bake a few batches with me, and I promise, you’ll never look at cookies the same way again.”

Indeed, these recipes are full of novel ingredients and approaches, such as “Cheeze-Grits” (tiny, crunchy, cheesy cookies made with corn grits, sharp cheddar and Pecorino), “Peach Shortcake Cookies” (loaded with dried peaches and real shortcake crumbles), “Lemon Poppy Ribbons” (glazed cookies filled with microwave-made lemon curd), and “Cookie Cake” (using cookie dough with favorite mix-ins to create an 8-inch cake).

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Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

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Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s 2-Scalloped Potatoes with Chimichurri

All eyes will be on this potato dish at your holiday table.
All eyes will be on this potato dish at your holiday table.

Why have just one type of potato when you can have two?

After all, the holidays were made for going big on excess.

Even so, I’m sure I’m not alone in trying to shave a calorie or two here and there wherever it won’t be missed.

So, while I swoon over decadent scalloped potatoes with all that heavy cream and oodles of cheese, sometimes it’s a bit much even for me.

That’s why I was thrilled to discover “2-Scalloped Potatoes with Chimichurri,” a dazzling spiral of Yukon Gold and sweet potato slices cooked not with cream, but chicken or vegetable stock instead that gets finished with a drizzle of bright, garlicky Argentinian chimichurri sauce.

The recipe is from the new “Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

It’s the newest Ottolenghi Test Kitchen cookbook by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi. The latter, of course, is the acclaimed London restaurateur and best-selling cookbook author; and the former is the head of his Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

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Noodling Around

Is it pasta? Not quite.
Is it pasta? Not quite.

Hungry for supple strands of pappardelle smothered in deep red sauce?

You’ll be forgiven if that’s exactly what you think this is.

Yet it’s not.

Peer closer to discover it’s not noodles at all, but a clever tangle of egg omelet strips instead.

“Charred Red Pepper Sauce with Omelet Noodles” is a genius recipe from the new “Mezcla” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.

“Mezcla” is Spanish for “mix,” “blend,” or “fusion,” which aptly describes the food by its author, Ixta Belfrage. It’s the first solo cookbook by this disciple of Yotam Ottolenghi, who worked for five years at his Nopi restaurant in London, before moving on to work at the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

Belfrage considers this cookbook a tribute to the three countries that have most shaped her, and her style of cooking: Italy, where she lived as a child; Brazil, from which her mother hails; and Mexico, where her paternal grandfather lived.

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The Fun of Grilled Sticky Rice Skewers with Peanut Sauce

For fans of sticky rice, this is the bomb.
For fans of sticky rice, this is the bomb.

If you are a sucker for the crispy, crackly texture of Persian tahdig or the smoky, charred exterior of Japanese grilled onigiri, then you’re sure to go wild for “Grilled Sticky Rice Skewers with Peanut Sauce.”

I know I sure did.

In fact, this recipe, which supposedly feeds four, was roundly devoured in one fell swoop by just my husband and I.

Because I’m sure two regular people can — and will — easily lay waste to this dish, I changed the number of servings to reflect that in the recipe below.

It comes from “Rice Is Life” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook is by Caryl Levine and Ken Lee, the founders of Lotus Foods, the Richmond, CA company that imports rice grown on small family farms in Asia to the United States.

In business since 1995, Lotus Foods definitely knows all things rice after pioneering its black Forbidden Rice in 1995 and introducing the first certified organic jasmine rice in the United States.

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