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A Press Democrat Blog

Proximal Kitchen

Cooking locally, with really sharp knives

When Life Gives You Lemons, Cook Them

Road Trip: Sunday night red-eye from SFO to JFK; mythical quantities of food and booze; a cumulative loss of sleep bordering on some chapter in FM 34-52, the field manual of interrogation techniques. Many of my best and oldest friends and much personal history remain rooted in the concrete canyons of Manhattan, so normally I’d say I get to go to NYC this week, but instead I’ll limp into this post with I have to be there, because – as… Read More »

The Costco Report: Organic Chicken w/ Meyer Lemons & Rosemary from My Garden

The Costco Report: Episodic observations on where to port safely, and what to avoid like a pestilence, when navigating an ocean of consumer non-durables under a sheet metal sky… In today’s edition, a pretty good deal on organic chicken, and a nice way to use your seasonal garden while you cook it. If you insist on eating strictly local products from small family businesses that hold themselves to the highest possible standards of ethics and quality, I certainly won’t be… Read More »

Wild Salmon for Wild Kids

wild salmon w/ pistou, polenta, arugula saladThis dish came about, like so much of what transpires here in the PK, because it was the obvious thing to do: Driving home with my eldest daughter, we stopped by the small but exceptional Tuesday market. We had very little time and were already behind schedule for dinner, so prep time had to be short. And, of course, the ultimate test for any kids’ meal: Would the little monsters actually eat whatever I put in front of them?… Read More »

So what IS pistou, anyway?

ingredients for fresh pistouPistou is seriously good stuff. Made in minutes, from very few (and entirely raw) ingredients, it turns a vegetable soup transcendent, transforms pasta from simple to sublime, and, perhaps less conventionally but no less successfully, it works wonders with certain seafood. The problem is, unlike in the case of its far more famous (and near-mystical-when-done-properly) cousin, pesto, there seems to be no clear agreement on what actually constitutes a true pistou.… Read More »

Giants Win, Garlic Fries Fail.

gordon biersch garlic fries at&t parkAnthony Bourdain once wrote – I believe I’m paraphrasing Kitchen Confidential, but I can’t find the citation – that anyone who cooks with pre-minced garlic should be sentenced never to taste fresh garlic again, and I have to agree: I adore garlic, but the stuff in the jar is just plain nasty and, unfortunately, it is all over the inexplicably famous Garlic Fries at AT&T Park.… Read More »

Corn Salsa Even My Kids Will Eat

Salmon Corn Cakes, Corn Serrano Chile Salsa, Padron PeppersCoaching basketball at the professional level, managing a United Nations peace-keeping mission, and getting kids to eat something for the first time – a category generally construed to mean anything with so much as a twig of the family tree in the Vegetable Kingdom, but often including everything not already vetted and approved via previous personal experience (a logical circularity seemingly lost on my own children) – all depend as much on the application of politics as of force:… Read More »