Ok, this time around there is no elaborate backstory. There is no deep, rich history, at least none that I am aware of. There is no connection to greater humanity. It is just freaking delicious.

This recipe is adapted, if not outright lifted, from a Thomas Keller one. I have been making it so long, I can’t even remember from which book or article I saw it. (Sorry, Tommy.)

Simply put, this is fresh summer tomatoes and onions cooked slowly submerged completely in extra virgin olive oil for many hours. …


Does the world really need another aloo gobi recipe? Not really. Does it need one from a 40-something white man from the American South? Definitely not.

Why write this up then? Because I’ve just been completely disappointed by every recipe I’ve seen for this beautiful potato and cauliflower dish. For me Indian cuisine is all about flavor. So when most recipes are little more than lightly-spiced steamed cauliflower, I am motivated to take action.

Often, aloo gobi will be a bright yellow from turmeric. I omit the turmeric from the main dish. Instead I use spiced ghee, butter browed with…


Ethiopian cuisine is wonderful. I started learning to prepare it when I moved back to Virginia and no longer had Ethiopian restaurants nearby. It has incredible richness and depth of flavor, especially in its wide variety of vegetable dishes. Those dishes are must-haves in the repertoire of any vegetarians or vegans.

The foundation of many Ethiopian preparations is the spiced clarified butter called niter kibbeh, or nit’ir qibe. Similar to ghee, it is made by heating butter with spices and sometimes onions and garlic until the milk solids separate and brown.

Most recipes for niter kibbeh you find on the…


Cumin seeds appear frequently in my kitchen. They are essential to much Indian cuisine as well as Hispanic foods. Black bean soup benefits from a healthy dose of the ground seeds and chili is positively insipid without them.

I am a proponent of using toasted cumin in heartier foods as the complexity the heat induces imparts a wonderful depth of flavor. Toasting the seeds is a bit of a trade off though, as the heat drives off or decomposes many of the essential oils that give cumin its distinctive flavor. …


Bone Marrow with White Bean Salad and Natural Leaven Toast

This is a reprint of a reprint of an article I wrote years ago on the book Tartine Bread. I keep returning to it because it reminds me of the prehistoric nature of bread baking. It has not been surprising to me that so many have returned to baking bread during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It binds us together and to our ancestors. It reminds us who we are, where we come from, and who our community is. …


Shrimp and Grits with Home Ground Corn

I have long been fascinated by the hugely important yet largely unsung process of nixtamalization. It looms large in culinary history and has immense anthropological significance. With the recent COVID-19 quarantine I’ve finally had some time to experiment with it.

Nixtamalization is the process of treating corn (maize) with hydroxide, typically in the form of calcium hydroxide (lime) for masa and sodium hydroxide for hominy. It was invented by Mesoamericans millennia ago. Some of the major effects of the process are to hull the kernels, soften them to make them easier to work with, degrade harmful fungal toxins, improve aroma…

Landon M.

Cook, Chemist, Engineer, Generalist

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