MAKE YOUR OWN SUSHI ROLLER MAT

I came up this this DIY diddy in a pinch when I was having a Make Your Own Sushi Party and the store had only two mats that would be shared among 12 people, not good.  Despite regular grocery stores now carrying all the ingredients needed to make sushi, they often don’t stock the tool to accompany the tastes.  I was making the basic items and was having everyone bring a sushi stuffing ingredient of their choice, so there was no chance for a last minute switcheroo. Plans were set.  As I didn’t want a watch and wait type of soiree, I grabbed some bamboo skewers and some extra sake(incase this idea didn’t work) and headed home.  With a little hustle and some creative license I made sushi mats. The additional sake was still consumed despite the crises aversion or to celebrate the success depending on your disposition.  Enough chatter, here is the full instructional: Continue reading

Separating Egg Yolks with a Water Bottle

Saw a video the other day about separating egg yolks with a water bottle. It was amazing, and so much so that I had to try it for myself. After the initial shock of how well it worked wore off, I decided to up the ante by seeing if you can you do more than 1. The answer is ….

Frito Pies: A Childhood Throwback

It was my birthday last week and to celebrate we invited some friends over for a celebratory feast.  I wanted to make something that was a fun throwback to my childhood, a little treat/present to myself that could be shared with friends. With adding another item to the birthday food smorgasbord, it had to be simple enough to be done ahead of time and not take too much effort to serve up to the guest upon arrival.  Simple, childhood, fun…Frito Pies!  Growing up in New Mexico, the Frito Pie is a well-known staple of high school sports concession stands everywhere.  Some will say that the Frito Pie is of Texan origin, made by the mother of the chips inventor, but I among others believe it was the creation of Teresa Hernandez at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Am I being biased? Yes. Yes I am. So I ventured to my local snack chip store, the bodega, and bought every last bag of single serving Frito’s.  On a side note, the look on a cashier’s face when you drop 27 bags of Frito’s on the counter is priceless.  I only thing I said was, “they’re not all for me”, and left it at that.  Onto the cooking! Continue reading

Video: Turning and Ice Dispenser Into A Candy Machine

Coming up on Valentine’s day I decided to make something fun for the lady.  I noticed she always kept candy in the freezer and swore that it tasted better that way.  Fair enough.  So as a little present I decided to turn our refrigerator’s ice cube dispenser into a freezing cold candy machine.  I picked up a few bags of her favorites and armed only with an x-acto knife, tape measure, duct tape and foam core, I made possible so that when the ice lever is pushed on the fridge door candy shoots out!  Instructions after the jump. Continue reading

Fouchebags: Reason #317856 why cooks hate Yelpers.

Shoot me.  In the eyes.  With blinding acid.  Every time I use yelp for more than just finding a location or business hours, I die a little inside.  But, just when I thought I’d lost all hope, in comes Vanessa defending ramen with the fury of a thousand chopsticks:

Oh wait.  Now I feel worse. You can find me at Rai Rai Ken using tears to salt my broth.

Recipe: Turning leftover ham into Asian style pork buns


Whenever I visit my parents, my mother aka Mamma Dukes, seems to take it upon herself to make sure that everyone is full, all the times, day and night.  Bless her heart and the fact that she’s a phenomenal cook makes the whole gesture impossible to deny.  So one night she decided to hit everyone in their culinary achilles heel and serve up a whole ham with all the fixins..  Let us all bow our heads in silence.  Pig has died, pork has risen and I will come again…for seconds.  The homily of ham. Halfway through my second helping, I am already thinking about having ham and eggs the next morning, delicious ham sandwiches for lunch and maybe more ham for dinner.  Skip to two days later.  So. Much. Ham.  Too much.   I needed to change things up.  So, while staring at the tower of Tupperware, I started looking around the rest of the fridge, away from the leftovers.  There were radishes, a bushel of cilantro, ginger, chili paste and some Asian sauces and it hit me.  Pork Buns!  It would change up the the flavor profile thats been lingering for the last few days and we finish off the ham, per the Dukes request.  Two birds, one stone.  Asian style pork buns are one of my all time food favorites and this is a simple way to transform the leftovers into something unique and delicious.  Keep this recipe in the back pocket for when Easter rolls around. Continue reading

The 5 Most Annoying Types of Whole Foods Shoppers

1- The Sniffer:  You want your fruits ripe and your herbs fresh, I’m with you, but do you really have to treat this place like you’re in a doing a promo for a cooking show? When you spend 10 minutes smelling that peach, all I see is soft focus, sunshine lighting and a cheap piano version of a Kenny G ballad. What are you checking for that is taking so long?  Are you making sure the only thing that touched the produce is the pee of a rare Himalayan caterpillar? Or that the sugar plum fairies didn’t mishandle that cilantro before they packed it in the delivery truck powered by unicorns.  Do you need a minute alone with the melons? When smelling produce goes past the point of function, skips through pleasure and resembles arousal…it’s weird.  Stop it. Continue reading

Le Chateaubriand: An Epicurian Uppercut

*If you want to skip to the food pictures, they are after the jump.  I mean, if you want to.  Just Saying.

On a recent trip to Paris, I began calling for a reservation to the famed bistro weeks before my departure date.  Only to be met with a large french sigh of nothing.  Not one table for any of the days were were in the city of lights.  Not easily swayed I continued calling to check for cancellations, the person on the phone enventually took pity and informed me that if I show up at 9:30pm there are a few tables on a first come first serve basis for a second seating.  Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder?   Also, in that second seating we would still be able to order the full tasting menu.  Merci Beau-cu-yah!  Done and done. Upon arriving in Paris, we still tried to weasel a reservation through friends and our hotel concierge but fell short…again.  Taking the phone advice in hand, a decision was made to just go for it.  Or as an old coach so eloquently put it, the ‘F##k It’ technique.   We were going to get into the ever impossible Le Chateaubriand, sans a reservation, on a Saturday night. Continue reading