Twice-smoked bourbon-glazed ham is the centerpiece of a traditional Easter dinner. (Credit: John Ross)
The pig has lived only to eat, he eats only to die. … He eats everything his gluttonous snout touches, he will be eaten completely. … He eats all the time, he will be eaten all the time. … His ignoble gluttony is echoed in terrible fashion. … The pig is nothing but an immense dish which walks while waiting to be served. …
In a sort of photography of his future destiny, everything announces that he will be eaten, but eaten in such a fashion that there will remain of him not the smallest bone, not a hair, not an atom. (more…)
Photo by John Ross | Grilling the dough for an individual pizza.
As we begin the New Year, I have thought about the place of cooking in our lives. Yes, we have to feed ourselves and our families to live. But most of us know that food plays a much more important role. That role differs from day to day and occasion to occasion. For me, cooking is therapy that keeps me grounded in something tangible and always gives me a degree of satisfaction. Part of that satisfaction is the ability to sit around a table with others and share the experience of our lives. (more…)
Photo by Katharine Schroeder | The pork roast, surrounded by vegetables, is ready for serving. For dessert, festive baked apples.
We are always searching for traditions in our holiday celebrations. Tradition creates a comfort zone that we can fit into and it seems to give meaning to our existence. Thus, when we cook we honor our backgrounds with Italian, French, Polish, German, Scandinavian, Hispanic and many other geographical, ethnic and religious traditions. Here on the North Fork people from many diverse backgrounds can enjoy a tradition of plentiful food that dates back to the Native Americans and the pilgrims. (more…)
Deep-fried seafood has been a staple of the American cuisine for many years, just as the deep fryer has become the most important piece of cooking equipment in so many restaurants. When I opened my restaurant in the 1970s we had some pretty good fried seafood — it was always fresh, breaded to order (never frozen) and cooked at the last minute. But as time moved on and we became more sophisticated in our eating habits, the deep fryer assumed a lesser role in fine dining and was relegated to the fast food chains. But a crisp outside crust and a juicy center is a great way to enjoy a fish fillet or an order of scallops. And the tartar sauce on the side seems to belong just as much as the wedge of lemon. (more…)
Photo by John Ross | Sprouts and baby spinach are combined in a creamy sauce for penne with Brussels sprouts.
For many people, Brussels sprouts rank right up there with the most hated vegetables in the world. They conjure up memories of strong cooking odors, a mushy texture and a bitter taste. Much of this bad reputation comes from the way they were handled. Good chefs know that the same food product can take on very different characteristics depending on how it is cut, fabricated and cooked. The cooking method can be more important than the food itself. (more…)