How To Bake Bay Scallops, And Prove That Size Isn't Everything

Seems like bay scallops get kind of a raw deal, doesn't it? At my local purveyor of seafoods, the big honkin' fist-sized sea scallops get a place of honor in the glass display case, while the bay scallops are stuck over in the freezer across the way, packed by the dozens into grim plastic bags, frozen, largely… » 1/24/15 11:55am Saturday 11:55am

How To Make Sausage And Peppers: A Guide For The Stir Crazy

This column originally ran on February 16, 2013. However, I've been laid up with strep throat for the past few days, so I'm resurrecting it, both because I haven't been able to cook at all this week, and also because this is what I will cook and eat as soon as I am able to swallow things again. » 1/17/15 11:46am 1/17/15 11:46am

How To Roast Butternut Squash, Which Is Phallic And Fantastic

There's the versatility of, say, a boneless, skinless chicken breast—it tastes bland and uninteresting pretty much no matter what you do with it, so it "goes" with everything, like gustatory khaki—and then there's the versatility of the butternut squash, which is so outrageously goddamn good that you could wrap it in… » 1/03/15 1:50pm 1/03/15 1:50pm

How To Make Eggnog, The Festive Holiday Booze-Shake

In the abstract, the notion that some people don't want to drink eggnog makes sense: diabetics, say, or the lactose-intolerant or egg-allergic, or those principled self-denying oddballs who prefer not to replace their entire body mass gradually with dietary fat and cholesterol until they resemble nothing so much as… » 12/20/14 1:51pm 12/20/14 1:51pm

How To Sear Some White Fish, Now That You "Care" About Your "Health"

A recurring rite of adulthood, for the harried and haggard and sad, is feeling ugh so terrible all the time, I'm like a sweaty, gross walrus, it hurts when I do things and my chest makes sounds like a dehumidifier, bluhhhhhh, and making a half-assed resolution to start doin' the right things, dammit, start takin'… » 12/06/14 12:52pm 12/06/14 12:52pm

How To Eat Your Thanksgiving Leftovers: Three Good-Ass Techniques

The morning following Thanksgiving is a bleary, cotton-mouthed, dead-eyed time—a time for questions, a time of Reckoning. "Oh, Jesus, how much did I drink yesterday?" and, "Am I going to die?" and, "Why do I keep doing this to myself?" and, "Am I in Fort Worth? How did I come to be in Fort Worth?" These are all very… » 11/28/14 12:35pm 11/28/14 12:35pm

How To Eat Thanksgiving Dinner: A Strategy Guide

How does one eat a Thanksgiving meal? On its face this might seem like a ridiculous question, and also everywhere else too. I mean, who doesn't know how to eat? (Excepting the British, of course.) Thanksgiving is marked, more than anything else, by its abundance of tasty foodstuffs; practically speaking, it is a… » 11/27/14 12:34pm 11/27/14 12:34pm

How To Make Potatoes Au Gratin, A Step Beyond Good Ol' Mashed Taters

Hey, look, mashed potatoes are wonderful. They're smooth and hearty and comforting; they land in your stomach with a satisfying, almost audible whump; they are the food equivalent of dropping your entire body onto a soft, overstuffed sofa. Kids love them, grownups love them, everybody loves them. Mashed potatoes are… » 11/22/14 11:51am 11/22/14 11:51am

Times Of Day To Have Some Damn Peace And Quiet Around Here, Ranked

When you are a Sad Dad, one of the things you spend the most time pining for—after, like, an actual grown-up date with your spouse, a window of more than five minutes in which to take a shower, and relief from the constant background awareness of your own bottomless inadequacy—is some damn peace and quiet. "Can we… » 11/17/14 3:59pm 11/17/14 3:59pm

How To Stir-Fry Beef, The Most Harrowing And Wonderful Thing

The problem with stir-frying is the common perception that it's this simple, quick way of throwing together a good dinner. I don't really know what to make, and I'm running late getting home from work, so I guess I'll just whip up some stir-fry is the thought process that leads, inexorably, to the 5,973,221st… » 11/08/14 1:01pm 11/08/14 1:01pm

How To Make Fried Mozzarella, Instead Of Getting It At A Crummy Bar

It's a perverse testament to fried mozzarella's greatness that even in its shittiest incarnations, even when it's just battered and deep-fried sticks of rubbery Polly-O string cheese prepared and served at your local dire corporate chain eatery with all the care and enthusiasm of a wino tumbling down a flight of… » 10/18/14 11:55am 10/18/14 11:55am

How To Braise A Big Chuck Roast, And Stave Off Scurvy, For Now

Living the life of a regular person—teetering indefinitely on the edge of total destitution, that is to say—you get familiar with the tension between the limits of your financial wherewithal and the ugh like totally selfish desire to not just eat pasta and plain rice and cereal all the time and get scurvy. » 10/11/14 2:51pm 10/11/14 2:51pm

How To Make Roast Pork Tenderloin, The X-Rated Cut Of Meat

There's simply no way around it: The pork tenderloin is weird-lookin'. It's shaped—well, dammit, it's shaped like a big ol' penis. You unwrap it from the butcher paper and you step back and you go, damn, man, this pork tenderloin looks like a dong. Can I manipulate this giant dong? This seems weird. Is this weird?… » 10/04/14 1:15pm 10/04/14 1:15pm

How To Make Chili, Instead Of Just Arguing About It All The Damn Time

Summer is over, pretty definitively: The mornings are cold and crisp and the leaves are beginning to change colors and the soupy yellow humidity-haze is gone from the air and there's Halloween shit on display in the grocery stores and, uh, like, also literally?—summer is actually over. It's autumn now. There was a… » 9/27/14 10:31am 9/27/14 10:31am

How To Make Pasta With Leeks And Prosciutto, While There's Still Time

Oh shit, dinner is still A Thing. It exists. Disaster. This is you, creeping incrementally homeward in the transportation gridlock of your locale and mode of transit, flop-sweaty and wild-eyed like John Lithgow on the airplane, doing a frantic mental inventory of the nigh-barren refrigerator waiting for you and the… » 9/20/14 12:10pm 9/20/14 12:10pm

How To Make A Baked Egg--Yes, Goddammit, A Baked Egg

You say "baked egg" and people look at you like they're concerned for your wellbeing and go, "... baked egg?" And you go, "Yeah, y'know, like a shirred egg, only more Italian," and they go, "What in the damn hell is a 'shirred egg'?" And then you say, "Oh, goddammit, now I'm gonna have to write about this in my… » 9/13/14 12:32pm 9/13/14 12:32pm