"The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star."Anthelme Brillat Savarin from The Physiology of Taste 1825
Our philosophy about food is simple. First of all it must taste great. We try to create recipes that are easy to make and that take advantage of fresh seasonal products with a minimum of processed ingredients. We try to avoid really hard to find ingredients. If you have any ingredient questions, check out Meat Cuts, Ingredients, and Glossaries. Sometimes we recommend specific brands, and we choose them for flavor, availability, or price, not because we are paid. To duplicate our recipes, try to use the ingredients called for. But that doesn't mean that other brands won't work as well or maybe even better.
If a recipe calls for sugar, we are referring to white table sugar. Salt is Morton's Kosher Salt unless otherwise specified. This is important because the salinity of table salt and kosher salt is different, and there is even a difference between brands of kosher salt. The Science Of Salt. Flour is all-purpose flour (APF), milk is whole milk, eggs are large, and butter is unsalted unless specified. We prefer unsalted butter because you can always add salt but you can't take it away.
We know you like to play with your food, but we strongly recommend that the you follow our recipes closely the first time. You will then know what it is supposed to taste like. You may want to substitute honey for molasses, but the sulfur in molasses can interact with beans differently, making the dish less, shall we say, noisy? We have worked hard to get it right and there is a good reason for everything our recipes and all have been well tested. Try it our way the first time, please. Then, on your second go round, you can customize it.
One of the most important keys to success is mise en place, a technique practiced by all professional chefs. It means get all the ingredients and tools out and trim the meat, chop the onions, peel the carrots before you start cooking. Scurrying to chop an onion at the last minute can mean a burned sauce. We help you by listing the ingredients in the order they will be used. Prep and cooking times are based on our experience but your mileage may vary. As we have tried to make clear, you must cook with a thermometer, not with a clock. Click here to read about what influences cooking time.