Vagabond Cookbook

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

Mushroom-lentil pâté

The most controversial snack around (and a wicked alternative if you need it)

Take a seat and put down your coffee, ‘cause this one’s a doozy. I’m drawing a line in the sand here and, with it, I fear I’m entering a world of pain. There’s a dirty little secret ingredient out there, hated by everyone (except chefs). It’s bold. It’s controversial. It’s the root of legislation across Europe and the U.S.But, can we all put aside our differences for a second and agree on one thing? Foie gras is unspeakably delicious. “#$%@#^! ASSHOLE! YOU’RE WORSE THAN A KLANSMAN! FEEL MY TWITTER WRATH!” See what I mean? Short of certain customs in foreign lands, no other foodstuff fans the flames of hatred like a bit of fatty duck liver. People have their reasons, I suppose. At this point, foie has become a byword for animal cruelty (whether or not those claims are justified). Plus, there’s precious little sympathy for a delicacy so strongly […]

Pan-Fried Cod with Stewed Lentils and Smoked Paprika Aioli

This surprising ingredient is a huge waste of money

“If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack / to sit in the synagogue and pray / and maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.” – Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof Sadly, Reb Tevye and I just don’t see eye to eye. Now, I love Fiddler on the Roof (weirdo that I am). The Imperial Russian setting. TheChagall nods. The klezmer wailing. But, if I were a rich man (ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum), there would be no big, tall house with rooms by the dozen. There’d be no discussing holy books with learned men. No, if I had a small fortune, it’d look more like these guys. Not that it matters. Agree with Tevye or not, I still ain’t rollin’ on 20s. Cash rules everything around me and I need to take note when I go to get CREAM. Rather than […]


’70s soul, oven temperatures, and the sweet folly of youth

“Y’know what? Fuck ovens. They’re slow as shit and you can’t control them at all. What possible reason is there to use an oven — unless you’re Sylvia Plath?” — Devon Wells, circa 2012 Ovens didn’t work out so well for Old Syl, either. Ah, the sweet folly of youth. True, I used to hate ovens. I lived by the speed of the stovetop. Maybe cooking in China trained me to avoid them. Maybe I just watchedApt Pupil too many times. Either way, if you caught me the summer of Pitch Perfect, I’d trash talk the hot box like it slapped my sister. (Kitchen appliances get me worked up, what can I say?) To be fair, I wasn’t wrong. Ovens are slow. They need preheating. They use Fahrenheit temperatures no one understands (200℉? 500℉? Hot is hot, amirite?) Most importantly, you can’t fix flubs on the fly. With an oven, […]