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Rank #156 in Food category

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Food
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Cooking in Real Time

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #156 in Food category

Arts
Food
Health & Fitness
Read more

A podcast for practical kitchens

Read more

A podcast for practical kitchens

iTunes Ratings

28 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
1
1
2
2

An engaging time in the kitchen

By anonymüs - Apr 14 2019
Read more
It’s like hanging in the kitchen with a knowledgeable good friend who’s teaching you about cooking.

Entertaining and no-nonsense

By Corvi - Sep 16 2009
Read more
Great lessons and tips that cut through the fog.

iTunes Ratings

28 Ratings
Average Ratings
22
1
1
2
2

An engaging time in the kitchen

By anonymüs - Apr 14 2019
Read more
It’s like hanging in the kitchen with a knowledgeable good friend who’s teaching you about cooking.

Entertaining and no-nonsense

By Corvi - Sep 16 2009
Read more
Great lessons and tips that cut through the fog.
Cover image of Cooking in Real Time

Cooking in Real Time

Latest release on Nov 12, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 4 days ago

Rank #1: RERUN Episode 18: Novice Cooking Blunders

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This week, I explain some of the most common mistakes new cooks make–and how you can fix them. It’s surprisingly easy.

Jamie Oliver hearts us.

There are a handful of very simple-to-correct mistakes that novice cooks make. In this episode of the podcast, I discuss seven common blunders. They’re taken from a cookbook I wrote with Tamara Reynolds, called Forking Fantastic!, first released in 2009 and now available as an ebook titled How to Throw a Dinner Party…without Having a Nervous Breakdown.

Although the book focuses on parties–unlike this podcast–there’s still a lot of great advice that new cooks will find helpful, as well as a lot of very accessible recipes.

It slices, it dices.

One of the blunders is using the wrong knife for the job. Many new cooks are a bit scared of big knives, but they’re really the only good way to get the job done. Big knives can also be scary because they’re expensive! Victorinox, though, makes a very good starter knife that’s lightweight but sturdy, and easy to care for. It’s an easy investment in vastly improved cooking!

Jul 16 2019

11mins

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Rank #2: RERUN Episode 19: Crab Cakes with Tomatoes and Corn on the Cob

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This week, I put together a very quick late-summer meal: Maryland-style crab cakes, sliced tomatoes and corn on the cob with butter. (Note: after this episode, the podcast will be on break until August 20.)

Shopping list

  • Lump crab meat, 1 cup or so (about 1/3 or 1/2 pound)
  • Egg
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Old Bay
  • Bread crumbs or saltine crackers
  • Baking powder
  • Ripest, juiciest tomato you can find
  • Corn on the cob
  • Butter

Baltimore-style Crab Cakes

More summer on a plate!

First, a disclaimer: the ingredients here are all Maryland, but the actual shape of the crab cake is not. (I guess I instinctively replicate the salmon cakes my mom used to make for dinner.) For a more authentically Baltimorean look, see the note and the photo at the end, both provided by Peter.

Now let me just say: there is nothing better than a really simple crab cake with very good crab. So, while there are some varieties of canned crab that are passable, most of them are awful, and you should make an effort to get fresh (or at least pasteurized) crab meat–see the note at the end for more details.

Serve with sliced ripe tomatoes, generously salted, and corn on the cob, boiled in salty water for just a couple of minutes. In the podcast, I drain the water off the corn, then toss a bit of butter into the pot with the hot corn and shake it around to coat everything–much easier than trying to smear butter on at the table. Be sure to drizzle any remaining butter-and-corn-water over the corn and tomatoes when you put it on your plates.

Serves 2 with summer (ie, somewhat light) appetites
1 egg
1 cup lump crab meat (about 1/3 pound; see note)
Large dollop mayonnaise (about 1 tbsp)
Small dollop Dijon mustard (about 1 tsp)
Old Bay, to taste
1/4 tsp baking powder
1-2 tbsp bread crumbs or crushed saltine crackers (see note)
1 tbsp butter

Whisk the egg up in a small bowl until the white and yolk are well blended. Place the crab meat in a larger bowl, then drizzle in about half of the whisked egg. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay (start with about 1/2 teaspoon; add more if you like spicy, or if your Old Bay is showing its age) and baking powder and mix well. The mix will likely be beige-orange from the Old Bay, and fairly wet. Add the bread crumbs, starting with 1 tablespoon, and adding a bit more if the mix still looks like it won’t hold its shape when scooped with a spoon. (If you’re making the mix in advance, don’t add any extra crumbs–as the mix sits, the crumbs will absorb more of the moisture.)

The raw crab cakes.

Shape the mix into two crab cakes, as in the photo (or see the more traditional method in the notes below). Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, slide the crab cakes into the skillet and turn the heat to medium-low. Place a lid over the skillet for about 2 minutes to cook through to the center of crab cake. When the bottom is nicely browned, after about 4 minutes, flip it and brown the other side. The crab cakes are done when they’re nicely browned and moist but not oozing liquid inside.

Notes:
Crab: If you live on the East Coast, you can probably get fresh, cooked lump crab meat from a good fish store. Backfin crab meat is good too–a little more shredded, and so a little cheaper, but also often tastier, and a fine texture for the crab cakes. Elsewhere in the country, whatever crab meat you get will be pasteurized, and not quite as tasty, but not bad. Marylanders of course use blue crab only, but king crab meat (from Alaska) is also delicious, though Dungeness crab doesn’t (in my mind) have quite the same sweetness. I did once use a passable brand of canned crab, but I have never been able to find it again.

Bread crumbs: In the podcast, I use panko, or super-crispy Japanese-style bread crumbs. This is very handy to have around the house, and it lasts forever. Look for it at Asian stores. You can of course make your own bread crumbs, but avoid the supermarket-standard bread crumbs, especially any with any kind of seasoning, as they tend to glom together too much. It’s traditional in Maryland to use crushed-up saltine crackers (ideally unsalted saltines, which is a paradox), though I can’t say for certain whether they’re better or worse than the other options.

Tennis ball crab cakes, as they should be.

Shaping your crab cakes: Peter bit into these crab cakes and said, “I’m torn between saying how delicious they are and criticizing them.” He objects to the shape. It’s true, they ought to be more rounded, as in the photo–and it is quite nice to have some little shaggy bits of crab sticking out to get more browned than the rest. And Peter also prefers to broil his crab cakes, for about 4 minutes on a side directly under the broiler (use a heavy skillet, so they’re easy to rotate around under the heat if necessary). If you take the broiler approach, cut the butter into four pieces, then put a dab on top of each crab cake when you slide it under the broiler; then, when you flip them, add another dab. Really, a little butter makes all the difference.

(On my old food blog, I explained how I got this crab-cake recipe.)

Reminder: a lot of my cooking advice is also available in How to Throw a Dinner Party Without Having a Nervous Breakdown, my cookbook with Tamara Reynolds. Available where all fine ebooks are sold.

Jul 23 2019

25mins

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Rank #3: RERUN Episode 17: Salade Nicoise

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This week, I make a salad that is the perfect summer meal: easy to put together, little heat required, not heavy but still nourishing.

***PLEASE NOTE: Due to some tech problems, the egg boiling in this episode does not happen in real time–I had to cut out about three minutes. So set your own egg timer, and don’t rely on the recording. Sorry about this!***

Shopping list

  • Lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Potatoes (Yukon Gold are good; Red Bliss also work well)
  • Eggs
  • Tuna (packed in oil)
  • Olive oil
  • Red-wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic

Salade Nicoise

Summer on a plate.

This French composed salad makes a nourishing summer dinner. The basic ingredients are included here, and you can also add black olives, capers and/or fresh herbs (toss the herbs with the warm potatoes, or mix them into the salad dressing). Don’t skimp on quality tuna, however–you definitely want the kind packed in olive oil. For more on boiling eggs, see Episode 4, Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs. For more on salad dressing, see Quick and Versatile Salad Dressing in Episode 1-2 (scroll down).

For one serving
1 egg
2 or 3 baby potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red Bliss)
3 or 4 large lettuce leaves
Handful grape tomatoes
Handful fresh green beans
Half small can tuna packed in olive oil

For the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar, or more to taste
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper

Boil the egg according to the directions in Episode 4 (short version: boil 9 minutes). When done, run under cold water and set in a bowl with ice.

Wash your potatoes and cut them into quarters (or more, if they’re larger potatoes) and boil in heavily salted water for about 10 minutes, until a potato piece slides easily of a fork. When done, rinse in cold water then drain well.

Rinse lettuce and dry well.

Slice grape tomatoes in half (see note).

Wash and trim green beans, and boil briefly in salted water, until bright green but still crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water.

Make salad dressing, following instructions in Episode 2 (short version: shake everything together in a tightly sealed jar). It’s a good idea to make more than the amount given here, so you have the extra for future salads later in the week.

Assemble salad: lay out lettuce leaves, then place additional ingredients, including the tuna, around the plate. Keep warm ingredients (egg, potatoes, beans) off the lettuce so the lettuce doesn’t wilt. Pour over dressing. You may also want to sprinkle a little salt on the tomatoes, eggs, potatoes and beans.

Note: If you’re making enough for two servings of salad, try using the nifty slicing trick I describe in the podcast, which I learned from Saveur magazine back in the day. Take two lids from plastic quart containers (often used for takeout food–at least here in New York). Place one on the cutting board with the rim sticking up, and arrange the tomatoes on the lid.

Then set the second lid on top, upside-down.

Hold the top lid in place and slide a serrated knife across to slice through all the tomatoes. Voila!

Reminder: a lot of my cooking advice is also available in How to Throw a Dinner Party Without Having a Nervous Breakdown, my cookbook with Tamara Reynolds. Available where all fine ebooks are sold.

Jul 09 2019

19mins

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Rank #4: RERUN Episode 20: Back to School Pep Talk (and Cookbook Plug!)

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This week, I talk about ways to get motivated for cooking in the fall. And I discuss my new [now 10-year-old!] cookbook, Forking Fantastic: Put the Party back in Dinner Party.

Fall means back to school…so get back in the kitchen, you summer slackers! In this podcast, I talk about a few ways to get back in the habit of cooking.

One of the best ways is to invite someone over for dinner. But if that gives you palpitations, then please check out Forking Fantastic! Put the Party back in Dinner Party How to Throw a Dinner Party…without Having a Nervous Breakdown, my new decade-old-but-still-amazing cookbook with Tamara Reynolds. It’s due out October 6, and you can preorder it at available as an ebook from Amazon and other online booksellers.

Finally, it’s official–Cooking in Real Time is scaling back to once every two weeks. [This happened in 2009, so what the heck, we’ll do it again now!] I will be busy promoting the cookbook, and I want to be able to concentrate just on the cooking segments, and not so much on the recipe decoders, etc.

And I would greatly appreciate positive reviews of the podcast on iTunes, and any word you can spread on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks so much for listening, and keep the requests and questions coming! [All still true, 10 years later!]

Aug 20 2019

9mins

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Rank #5: RERUN Episode 21: Indian-Spiced Fish Tagine and Sweet-Hot Carrots

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This week, I make a fish tagine–essentially, fish cooked in a stewpot–with spices from a favorite Indian recipe. On the side: carrots with cinnamon, honey and red pepper…and some potatoes that take a damn long time to cook.

Shopping list

  • Filet of white fish (tilapia, cod, etc)
  • Carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Whole lemon
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Fennel seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Whole cinnamon stick
  • Aleppo or other red pepper
  • Honey
  • Rice, couscous, orzo, potatoes–your choice

Indian-Spiced Fish Tagine

A tagine is a Moroccan cooking pot with a cone-shaped lid. The cone-shaped lid helps condense the steam created in cooking and keeps the food moist. But, happily, you don’t actually need a tagine to make this–any heavy cooking pot with a good lid will do. (Here’s an example–Cathy puts her pot in the oven, but you can just as easily keep it on the stovetop.) For more on tagines, see the note at the end of the recipe.

Tagine is also the word for the stew cooked in one of these cone-shaped pots. But the spice combo here is from a great Indian recipe for eggplant, so, really, if you don’t use a tagine to cook it, and it’s not a Moroccan spice mix…I guess you can’t exactly call it a tagine at all. But it’s delicious regardless, and the basic technique is a great one to know because it’s so versatile.

You can serve this fish with virtually any kind of starch. In the podcast, I boil some potatoes because I happen to have them, but couscous is of course good, as is rice or even orzo (rice-shaped) pasta. So as not to repeat my blunder in the podcast, you may want to start cooking whatever starch you prefer before you embark on the fish.

Serves 2 modest portions
1-inch chunk fresh ginger root
3 or 4 cloves garlic
2/3 pint (or so) grape tomatoes
Olive oil
About 1 tbsp whole fennel seeds
About 1/2 tbsp each whole cumin and whole coriander seeds
1 large filet tilapia or other mild white fish
1/2 tbsp butter
Salt
Zest from 1/2 lemon
Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Slice ginger into 1/4-inch-thick rounds–3 or 4 slices. Peel and roughly crush or chop garlic cloves. Slice tomatoes in half (use this technique).

Place your tagine (or heavy pot) over medium heat. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil, to coat the bottom of the pan. When oil is hot and shimmery, add the whole fennel, cumin and coriander and immediately stir to coat in oil. Continue stirring until they are fragrant, usually only a few seconds. If you’re afraid your spices might burn, feel free to yank the pan off the heat. Otherwise, quickly add the ginger and garlic–this will help lower the temperature of the oil–and turn down the heat to low. Stir the garlic to coat in oil, then add the tomatoes and stir everything to mix well, along with a big pinch of salt.

Lay the fish fillet over the tomatoes, and scoop a bit of the oil and a few tomatoes over the fish–but make sure there’s a good cushion of tomatoes for the fish to rest on. You don’t want the fish to actually touch the bottom of the pan and cook via direct heat. Put the dab of butter on top of the fish, and grate the lemon zest over it.

Put the lid on the tagine and cook, on low heat, for about 10 minutes, or until the fish just flakes when you poke it with a fork. If the rest of your dinner isn’t quite done yet, just turn off the heat and keep the lid on.

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, if you like.

Note: I have a yuppified tagine, from Le Creuset (shown here). It’s a coated cast-iron base and a clay top. Because the base is so sturdy, I can put it directly on the flame on medium heat. But if you’re using a traditional tagine, with a clay base, you should prep all your ingredients in a separate skillet, which you can crank the heat on with no risk, and then transfer everything to the tagine, lay in the fish, and set it to cook on a low flame.

Sweet-Hot Carrots

Carrots and cinnamon are a common Moroccan combination, and a dab of honey only enhances the sweet fragrance of the mix. But to balance out the sweetness, I always add a bit of hot pepper. These carrots cook up quickly in a covered pan on the stovetop–the tiny bit of liquid cooks away and leaves a nice glaze of spices and honey. I tend to think the butter adds a nice bit of richness, but it’s entirely optional.

Serves 2, with leftovers
3 large carrots
Olive oil
Dab butter (optional)
1 whole cinnamon stick
Squeeze of fresh lemon or (better) orange juice
Very small spoonful honey
Salt
Large pinch Aleppo pepper, or smaller pinch of cayenne or crushed red chile
Generous grind of black pepper

Peel carrots and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Place heavy pan (it should have a lid) over medium-high heat. Drizzle oil in, just enough to coat the bottom, and add a dab of butter. When the oil is hot, add the whole cinnamon stick and stir, then add the carrots and stir to coat with oil. Squeeze in the citrus juice and add a pinch of salt.

Cover the pan and turn heat to low. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until carrots are tender and liquid has cooked away to leave a glaze. If the carrots are tender, but there’s still a bit of liquid, remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium to make the liquid boil away.

Near the end, add the red and black pepper and stir well. Remove the whole cinnamon stick before serving.

Reminder: a lot of my cooking advice is also available in How to Throw a Dinner Party Without Having a Nervous Breakdown, my cookbook with Tamara Reynolds. Available where all fine ebooks are sold.

Sep 03 2019

32mins

Play