All posts for the month January, 2011

Sliced ButterHow to Make Brown Butter

Okay, so in yesterday’s post How to Melt Butter, I talked about the fact that for the next several weeks, I am going to concentrate on going over culinary fundamentals.  I really want to cover the basics of cooking, and in doing so, equip all the home cooks out there with the skillz to understand what I (and other food writers) are talking about when we write recipes and to make absolutely glorious food.

And to prove that I wasn’t afraid to really get back to brass tacks, I started the series off with How to Melt Butter.  Today, I want to crank up the level of difficulty a shade or two and talk about how to make brown butter. 

I wanted to do something a little more advanced for a couple of reasons.  First (and most importantly), making brown butter riffs off melting butter.  But I also wanted to show practical applications of various techniques that we discuss.   This should keep things interesting and arm you, o gentle readers, with some extra knowledge in the kitchen.

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Butter Not Yet MeltedMelting Butter

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve blogged steadily.  I apologize.  I got wrapped up in a new project that should be really cool and really perfect for local food producers, but it also has eaten into my blogging time.  (It’s sort of pre-alpha right now.)

Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of great people encourage me to keep blogging, so here I am…  Blogging.

With that said, free time is at a bit of a premium.  So for the next few weeks, I am going to do my best to post 3-4 times per week.  However, the content for these posts is going to be a little unusual. 

See, I’ve been meaning to go back and cover the basics for a while.  I realized while writing some articles for Big Blend Magazine and SheKnows that I take certain things for granted.  Namely, when I say to use a particular technique, I tend to have a general idea of what that means.  Now, if the technique is really wild, I’ll go into greater detail, but for something like melting butter, I just say “melt the butter” and move on.

However, as is the case with most culinary techniques, there’s an art to melting butter.  Seriously.  So I am going to spend the next few weeks going into intricate detail about the basics of culinary manuevers starting with … butter melting.

Also, it has occurred to me when I articulate the purpose of, I say that I firmly believe everyone can cook, but sometimes, novice cooks just need a little know-how.  As a blogger and a food fan, I want to give them that know-how.  Still, I think I’ve fallen down sometimes on know-how providing.

Well not anymore. 

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75th Street Brewery Scallop EntreeKansas City Restaurant Week…

is finally here!  And I know what I said yesterday: that I was going to use Kansas City Restaurant Week to try places I’d never been before.  But…I just couldn’t resist.  I had to go back to 75th Street Brewery for another helping of their amazing duck confit salad.

Which I devoured.  It was so good.  The duck confit was tender and just a little bit salty, the mustard vinaigrette was sharp, the goat cheese mild, and the golden raisins were sweet.  It was as perfect as any salad has any right to be.  So amazing.  I can’t imaginer a finer salad anywhere.  (Note: the picture to the left is the entree scallops I had…not the salad.  I ate that much too quickly.)

Anyway, tomorrow is another Restaurant Week er…day and I think I am headed to La Bodega.  Aww yeah.

And the Obligatory Jasper’s Reference

Hey, I just wanted to remind everyone that Jasper Restaurant’s is doing his own hawt prix fixe special right now.  For $25, you pick an appetizer (I had the polenta, but I could have done the lobster cappuchino), an entree (I had pasta because Jasper’s pasta is awesome, and you get a tartuffo for dessert.  All for $25.  You can’t beat that with a stick.

Although, when I ordered said meal, it’s not like I got the tartuffo.  No, when it comes to ice cream rolled in cookie crumbs, that goes Mrs. WellDone.  I had to content myself with cannolis.

I was okay with that.

Anyway, Kansas Citians, you need to go and eat something.  Try some place new or go back to some place you’ve never tried before.  We have a bunch of great restaurants…what are you waiting for?


…Well, that’s not exactly true.  In 3 hours, it will be Friday, but technically most of the restaurants featured in this year’s Kansas City Restaurant Week won’t open for business until 11 or so.  So, technically, I guess I have to wait a bit no longer.

main_logoWhich is good, because I can’t wait much longer for another edition of

Kansas City Restaurant Week

Okay, real, quick review from last year.  What is Kansas City Restaurant Week?  Well for the next 9 days, restaurants in the greater Kansas City area (including places like Weston and Liberty) will offer special $15 lunches and $30 dinners.  And when I mean special, I’m talking about chef’s special, pull out all the stops, food so good you’ll slap your momma specials.  I still remember the duck confit salad I got at 75th Street Brewery last year.  So good.  Oh, and even better, all proceeds go to help Harvester’s.  Eat well, help the community.  What more can you ask?

Anyway, I just wanted everyone to know that Restaurant Week starts tomorrow and that you only have 18 meals over the next 9 days (well, 27 if you do brunch, lunch, and dinner) so you need to get planning.  Now!

As for me?  Well, I figure I’ll be taking my wife back to Webster House.  If not, I’ll be sleeping on the couch until next year.  But really, my strategy will be to use Restaurant Week to try a couple of places that have been on my list that I have never been to: JJ’s, Trezo Mare, The Majestic, Starker’s and Raglan Road.  Then, given half a chance, I’ll hit The Farmhouse to see my friend Chef Michael and The American, to see my friend Chef Debbie Gold.

And when it’s all said and done, 10 days from tomorrow when Restaurant Week is all over… it’ll be gym month.  I can only imagine the rich, decadent delights I’m about to need to burn off.