Cooking archived articles

Subscribe to the RSS feed for this category only

Consumption and Cooking06 Nov 2011 at 1:25 by Jean-Marc Liotier

How dare Fortnum & Mason call Sir Nigel’s Vintage Orange Marmalade “thick cut” ? This effete excuse for a preserve may barely contain ten weak bits of chewy peel in each pot. Give me Wilkin & Sons Tiptree ‘tawny’ : proper English orange marmalade with actual thick cuts ! Signed : yours truly – Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.

Cooking and Health and Meta09 May 2011 at 13:03 by Jean-Marc Liotier

I used to be the worst local emitter of greenhouse gases. This was not just a matter of occasional mild annoyance for a few unlucky individuals in my immediate vicinity, it was a permanent Bhopal-scale industrial catastrophe unleashing wide-area soul-rotting pestilence on hapless populations… Who did not run away fast enough from the invisible abomination was left twitching on the ground, gasping for non-existent air. Needless to say, my apartment was a strictly non-smoking area.

I was also an expert at going on as if nothing happened while feigning to ignore the origin of the pollution, so credibly playing innocent that some of my co-workers suspected an actual problem with sewer piping in our high-tech office building – the Camorra’s illegal toxic waste disposal operators would be proud. But contrary to widespread rumors, none of my co-workers has ever been spotted bringing a canary along to his workplace.

Anyway, I’m relieved to come out with apologies and a hopeful announcement that those days are past… Afters years of unsuccessful experimentation with various remedies and diet alterations, I have finally found the cause…

Activated charcoal had no effect, anything else my physician prescribed had no effect, antibiotics given on occasion of some intestinal infection did help temporarily but there was the collateral damage of killing all intestinal flora – and antibiotics are not a long-term solution anyway. Contrary to most suspicions, the humongous volumes of vegetables I ingest daily were not the cause – nor was my high-fiber diet. My physician was short of hypothesis to test and even less of potential solutions.

Gone on a personal crusade against intestinal methane-producing bacteria, I ended up systematically eliminating food classes from my diet, each over a week-long period, and noting the incidence on my flatulence. The conclusion of my research : I have become lactose-intolerant.

Eliminating all dairy consumption from my diet reliably reduced flatulence to negligible levels – it took less than two days for the effect to become manifest. I have also long known that dried fruits such as apricot are notable contributors, but the effect if marginal compared to what lactose does to me. For a while I had put the blame on breakfast cereals, but that was the result of a mistake in my experimental protocol : eliminating the breakfast cereals reduced milk intake at the same time.

It feels a bit strange – I had become so used to the permanent bloating, intestinal rumblings and disturbed lower intestinal tract that I had forgotten how life is without them – especially as they had notably worsened in the last years. The feeling of relief is simply awesome and a big cause of the smile I have been harboring for the past few days. As a bonus, I suspect that lactose may have been a contributor to some of my mild knee pains.

Anyways – enjoy the good news and if you have a similar problem, be sure to check that you are not intolerant to lactose. And if you suffer from an ailment for which no one finds the cure, despair not – take the matter in your own hands and start experimenting… After all, no one knows you as well as yourself. So there, a message of hope – sometimes the solution has always been in front of you, waiting for you to see it if you make the effort of looking for it with even the slightest amount of scientific inquiry.

Meanwhile, I’m now enjoying the wonderful flavours of rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, horchata de chufas, spelt milk, quinoa milk and many other sorts of grain milks and vegetable milks – all different and all tasting great. I liked them before ending my cow milk consumption, but I was finding them a bit pricey… Now I have the perfect pretext to splurge on better quality food ! In addition, that fits nicely with my health policy of reducing consumption of animal proteins in favour of  proteins from vegetable sources. Did I mention I’m happy ?

Cooking17 Jun 2006 at 12:49 by Jean-Marc Liotier

I’m feeling in a party mood this week-end so here are my favorite ways of mixing rum, irish cream and coffee liqueur…

  • Snowplow – irish cream, coconut rum, cocoa cream in creamy hot chocolate with a dash of cinnamon. Sweet ! Metromelt is the same with rum added.
  • Fuzzy duck – irish cream, coconut rum and and brandy. Does he ? Rather strong stuff – More orgasms is about the same but vodka replaces the brandy.
  • O & cream – rum and Irish cream. Maybe a bit strong.
  • Mudslide – irish cream and coffee liqueur. Perfect balance.
  • Chocolate buzz is a Mudslide tamed by the addition of chocolate milk. Hey bitch come here is its sophisticated cousin.

To conclude this list let me introduce to the world my own contribution to the advancement of the ethylic art… Cupid’s blowjob ! Mix 55% banana nectar, 25% irish cream and 20% coconut rum in an old fashioned glass and serve chilled. Raise your glass to the hardy researchers who brought you this sweet recipe !

Cooking06 Jun 2006 at 0:27 by Jean-Marc Liotier

Let me introduce some crepe goodness to the english-speaking world ! Considered by most non-French people as a rare delicacy, crepes are in fact a very easy and extremely cheap popular dish. The making and the eating of crepes are quite related to what practitionners of the american pancake are used to.

This is my own favorite interpretation – one of the many ways to prepare this folk dish. I tried many variations but settled on this one after much trial and error. This recipe is theoritically suited to salty fillings, but since I’m lazy I don’t prepare a separate bowl of sweet-specific mixture and eat this one with the sweet stuff just as well.

Ingredients :

  • About 500g buckwheat
  • About 1.35l whole milk
  • Six eggs.

All that makes twenty-one generous crepes – three crepes with filling feed an adult human nicely so the basic recipe should be good for seven guests. Multiply the quantities according to your guest’s apetites.

From separate ingredients to twenty-one crepes should take about thirty minutes.

Preparation : mix everything with enthusiasm. Other recipes recommand several hours of settling – mine does not : the liquid mash is ready immediately. How much simpler can it get ?

Cut a sliver of butter onto the hot pan, pour just enough mash so that by gently tilting the pan around you cover its whole surface with a thin continuous film. Then wait a few dozen seconds until the crepe unsticks naturally from the pan. Do not try to unstick it using a spatula as this will most likely result in a sticky messy heap of half-cooked crepe. Just wait until the crepe’s pan side is lightly brown and effortlessly turn it. When the second side is also lightly brown the crepe is ready. Stack it and prepare another one.

If Just In Time processes are more your thing, or if you are just an impatient glutton, set the filling on top of the crepe while the second side browns and eat your hot crepe right out of the pan.

Else you can store the crepe stack in the fridge with a foil cover to keep it from dessicating. A day or two should be the maximum : crepes are best fresh.

When you feel like eating a crepe, reheat it on the pan with grated cheese and a slice of ham on top of it, and from time to time an egg for a change – these are the basic classics. I also enjoy a mix of mushrooms and crême fraiche, but you can really fill a crepe with anything that suits your fancy – just open the fridge and try anything…

Make sure you have some lettuce on the side to compensate for all that heavy stuff. Your favorite cider shall go along nicely as cider and crepes are both native of western France.