Martha+Tom

Technique

Faisan au Vin

“They just don’t make cocks like they used to.” So laments just about every modern recipe for coq au vin, the venerable French braise of rooster in wine. The story goes that the dish was developed as a way to use the meat of tough old roosters past their prime; only a long braise could […]

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Meet Grinder

As much as I love to cook, I am really not a fan of kitchen gadgets. This is partially out of necessity; our very small kitchen doesn’t have room to store every species of specialized tool for making every conceivable cooking task a breeze. I also have a deep aversion to spending money, so when […]

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Croquetas Two Ways

When it comes to Spanish bar food, I don’t need much more than a plate full of jamón serrano to accompany a few cañas of beer. But for Martha, there is no better tapa than the croqueta: a deep fried little log of gooey delight (beer doesn’t hurt here either). Always looking for ways to […]

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Pasta: Cappellacci dei Briganti

In mid-nineteenth century Italy, as power passed from one faction to another fighting to control the unification of the country, many lower-class people – ever ignored by political elites – resorted to brigantaggio, or brigandage, both as a means of securing a living and a form of resistance against occupiers foreign and domestic. In the […]

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Making Tamales

With the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe right around the corner – tomorrow, in fact – I took the opportunity to become acquainted with one of the most important traditions surrounding this sacred festival: tamales. While I’m an avid tamale consumer, I’ve never actually made them. So when I heard the kitchen at Church […]

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Bread: How much do you knead?

My ideal bread–the bread I want to have for breakfast every morning, around my sandwiches at lunch, and to sop up the remains of whatever sauce adorned my dinner–is a crisp-crusted, chewy, open-crumbed bread, flecked with bran. This is the kind of bread perfect with a slice of cheese, some large-grained cured sausage and a […]

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A Martha & Tom Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. This was the second year in a row in which I was cooking in isolation from my extended family in Michigan since relocating to Minnesota. I miss having my whole family together and all their different contributions to the meal. On the other hand, cooking in Minneapolis for a […]

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Stuffing or dressing?

It’s almost Thanksgiving,which means the various food blogs I read are dissecting every aspect of the annual feast. When the stuffing versus dressing debate came up on Serious Eats, I was taken aback by the certainty with which two authors brushed aside the controversy. First Erin Zimmer, in a post comparing boxed stuffing options, offered the caveat: […]

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Is delayed fermentation worth it?

When someone I respect as much as Peter Reinhart claims to have discovered a technique that “has the potential to change the… bread landscape in America,” it’s worth taking notice. In The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Reinhart writes: [Delayed fermentation] has the potential to change the entire bread landscape in America. I’ve begun teaching it to […]

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Fall Food: Braised Pork, Apples and Cabbage

The light chill today was a reminder that fall – my favorite cooking season – is upon us. Fall brings many hearty possibilities ruled out by summer’s heat; suddenly it is possible, even desirable, to have the oven on for a few hours. Enter the braise–meat and vegetables stewed in rich liquid until tender. This […]

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