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A Press Democrat Blog

Proximal Kitchen

Cooking locally, with really sharp knives

Larks’ Tongues in Aspic

What did you listen to when you were young? And do you still play the same records? Looking back, I may have been indicted as excessively broad, as wantonly eclectic for its own sake: Experimental jazz, baroque classical, LA punk, progressive rock (whatever that means), and lots of metal, a scattershot gang of vinyl finery parading across my turntable.… Read More »

A Nicoise Salad in Winter, and The Rules

Perhaps Will Shakespeare lived in Northern California and craved a salad in winter when he spoke of those days, green in judgment and cold in blood; or maybe I’m just projecting because, as recently as yesterday, I was talking about this salad I had made, borne of winter crops, which still I took to be a very-nearly-classic Salade Nicoise, but for the outrage of tomatoes in absentia, and it got me thinking: What, really, constitutes the One, True Thing, the Nicoise that casts its shadow on the wall?… Read More »

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Upgrades

With less than 36-hours until the feast hits the table, I’m sure we all have too much to do and not enough time in which to do it, so today’s is a post with a purpose: Fast, easy, small little things you can do to elevate some of your Thanksgiving Day standards – mashed potatoes, green beans, glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, stuffing – from the delicious but possibly tired to a more lively yet still traditional level.… Read More »

Cooking for Date Night, Naughty ‘n Nice

sweet n salty vodka whipped creamWhipped cream for dinner, because Saturday night, with any luck at all, means date night. Date night – at least around our house – is at least as likely to mean a raid on the wine cellar and a bag of tricks from the farmer’s market as a babysitter and a night out on the town, because we live in a sleepy wine country town where most of the bars shutter their doors around the same time my kids shut their eyes…… 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 »