Vagabond Cookbook

The best you ate on vacation? Make it at home tonight.

Shakshouka -- eggs in tomato sauce

I am the egg man (Goo-goo-ga-joob!)

Whoops! I promised to send another newsletter last week and I totally bailed. Sue me. This guy can help you out. While waiting for The Hammer to clear his schedule, chew on this: You should eat more eggs. Sure, you treat yourself to a Benedict when out with the girls, but I guarantee your meal plan can handle another surge of huevos. True to the slogan, eggs are indeed incredible (and edible). They’re super satisfying. They’re a nutrition bomb. And they’re cheap as chips. Seriously, even an omelette will only run $1.50, all-in. Eggs are a nexus point in the good-cheap-healthy Venn Diagram. “Right, Doofus. You’re telling me to eat eggs, as if my cholesterol wasn’t bad enough. Besides, who’s got time for a full English on a workday morning? Get real!” To that, I have three words: You’re spouting so much anti-ovum jabber I should call the Easter Bunny. […]

David Chang hates your stupid burger toppings

What’s Yr Take on Burgervetes?

I’m fixing to have something good for you a little later this week, but this Burger Manifesto bears sharing tout de suite. The whole idea of half-steamed veg on top of your burger is the dumbest fucking thing I could ever think of. And I will say this: if you enjoy it, you’re an idiot. – David Chang And I’ve got freedom rockets, not freedom fries. Chang is a hustler, baby (chef, publisher, entrepreneur, professional jackass) and my love of him is no secret. No surprise, I largely agree with him on that most American of sandwiches. (Still, even he gets a few things wrong. No mustard? Please.) I’ve always thought there were two kinds of burgers, just like there are two kinds of bathrobes, Britpop fans, and condom buyers: One patty, about an inch thick. Cheddar cheese (or blue). Romaine or Boston lettuce. Fresh tomato slices. Raw onion slices. […]

Rabbit cacciatore

What Bucky O’Hare can show home cooks

Bored of pork? Sick of chicken? Well, well, well, have I got the protein for you. Don your deerstalker cap, Elmer, ‘cause today we’re going after rabbits. Be vewy, vewy quiet. People are touchy about wabbits. “Dios Mio! Not Little Bunny Foo Foo! Devon, you’re a monster!” Not so fast, Dinner Police! Rabbit is a fantastic ingredient and, honestly, there are only two reasons you’d even have that reaction. One, you’re a vegetarian. Fair enough. (I have mad appreciation for vegetarians, especially for a guy with a potful of bunny in his fridge.) It’s the other reason that gets me. If you eat meat but you bristle at rabbit, there’s one thing for certain: You’re North American. Everywhere else in the world — from the mountains of Peru to the sands of Morocco — people lap up rabbit and ask for seconds. But, run a quick poll at the neighbourhood […]

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Ugly birds and the problem with Asian cooking

It’s no secret I love Asian food. I started cooking in China. I subscribe to Lucky Peach. I made char siu bao for my Masterchef audition. It’s a thing. But, one thing about Asian food drives me mental. MSG? Nope, MSG is fine (do your research). Excessive deepfrying? It’s a little greasy, sure, but at least it tastes good. Hatred of rice? Hardly (see Cook Somethin’ Issue Two). No, my problem is with Asian chefs’ most outrageous obsession — decorative vegetable carving. Seriously, WTF! Look at that shit! Sure, it’s impressive, but so are sideshow geeks and dance marathons. Chinese restaurants must staff legions of cooks armed with scalpels and toothpicks to craft dragons out of pumpkins. Then, we gawk at ‘em for a second, toss ‘em in the trash, and turn back to the egg foo young. If you want to fix the food waste problem, start here (or […]