Vagabond Cookbook

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

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What’s cooking… without cooking?

Riddle me this! What’s cooking… without cooking? The dream of single mothers everywhere? Probably. But, let’s try a little harder. Need a hint? How ‘bout this li’l ditty? Bright and fresh with ocean brine I go great with crisp white wine Especially on the Latin coast (Mexico, sure, but Peru the most). Tart and tangy, soft and sweet, I am cooked, but without heat. Acid turns me firm and white, Without any fire in sight. What am I? Give up? Clearly you’re not the Riddler-loving, brain-teasing dork I am. That’s OK, though. Ceviche doesn’t discriminate. Ceviche (say it with me now, “suh-VEE-chay”) rules the school of raw-ish fish preparations that now dominate restaurant menus and cooking TV shows (sorry, pesca crudo). At its simplest, it’s just sea critters and lime juice (although tomatoes, cucumbers, and chilies often find their way into the mix). The lime juice denatures the proteins in […]

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Bum rush the show with Flavor bouncin’

Need a showstopping dish for a hot date this summer? Clueless where to begin? No worries — Cook Somethin’ has you covered. Now, there’s a sunny summer dish that’ll drive your she-bear wild. Here we’ve got some coffee-crusted scallops, carrot-orange puree, pickled fennel, and some coffee-roasted carrots. Bonan apetiton! “Dude, your Esperanto is outstanding. But coffee and scallops? Sounds grody to the max!” You’d think that, wouldn’t you? But, it’s not. This dish works. It works really, really well. And there’s a reason behind it. Welcome to the magic world of flavour bouncing. Did somebody say Flava? It’s a simple idea, really. Pick an ingredient. Pick another one that goes with it. Then a third flavour that matches them both. Then a fourth, and so on. (Don’t trust me, though. Watch one of the world’s greatest chefs explain the concept here.) Flavour bouncing is the foundation of everything* that tastes good. Pizza margherita? […]

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Adorable raccoons and the joys of pickling

It always starts out right. You buy a ribeye from your butcher. You follow the Yummly recipe to a T. You stuff a potato in the oven and pour another mojito. Like the Evil Plotting Raccoon, you think everything is OK. AND IT IS! You’re just cooking dinner, not negotiating a hostage handover. Still, it’s a downer when your hard work in the kitchen tastes blah. What can you do? There are only a few things you can do to make your shitty food taste better. Add salt. Add acid (that means lemon juice or vinegar, not the Jimi Hendrix kind). Or, add a condiment full of salt and acid that turns the whole thing up to 11.* That’s right, I’m talking pickles. At the risk of sounding like a hipster stereotype, pickles are rad. They keep food fresh. They last damn near forever. And, they make otherwise whatever food […]