Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie

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Ok, I promise, this is it with the Meyer lemons. You’re sick of them–after this post, and that post–I know, I know. And when Lindy drew lemons (that sort of look like Meyer lemons) into my banner this month, who knew I’d be writing so much about them? Unless this was Lindy’s master plan? What if she works for the Meyer lemon industry? What if her banners are prophecies and whatever she draws in them comes true? What if next month’s banner features me…DEAD?! This is like an episode of the X-Files!

But even Mulder and Scully would tell me to come off it and just get to the recipe for that gorgeous-looking pie in the lead photo.

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Salted Caramel Sauce

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For those of you daunted by the rainbow cookie recipe, fear not: here’s a one-pot dessert sauce that, with a tub of good vanilla ice cream (I like Häagen-Dazs), will transform your entire weekend. It’s salty, it’s sticky, it’s sweet and it takes just a few minutes.

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How To Make Your Own Matzoh

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Moses had the burning bush which talked to him and told him to free the Jews from slavery and to lead them out of Egypt; I had a burning piece of matzoh. My burning piece of matzoh didn’t talk to me or tell me to do anything, but it did fill my apartment with so much smoke I had to open all of the windows during a rainstorm. If I were superstitious, I might wonder if this burning matzoh was punishment for my non-seder at Five Guys Burgers the night before where, instead of dipping bitter herbs into salted water, I dipped French fries into ketchup. Regardless, this was my first attempt at making matzoh and it all happened because of a mysterious package that arrived earlier in the day.

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Momofuku Milk Bar’s Compost Cookie Recipe

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My mom loves Regis Philbin. Growing up, she’d watch Regis & Kathie Lee religiously; she even once went to a shopping mall, somewhere on Long Island, to get Kathie Lee Gifford to sign a copy of her book. These days, she and my dad Tivo Regis and Kelly in the morning and watch it at night. I’m a View man myself (though Whoopie is no Rosie; I miss the compulsively watchable hysteria of Rosie vs. Elizabeth) but once I went to a taping of Regis & Kathie Lee, almost ten years ago, because my friend Dana was Harrison Ford obsessed and he was the featured guest.

Why am I telling you all this? Because if you’d asked me last week, “Who are the last two people you’d expect to have the key to unlock the mysteries of one of New York’s greatest cookies” I would not have said “Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa.” And yet, thanks to this post on Eater New York, it became evident last week that if I wanted to make Momofuku Milk Bar’s compost cookies at home, the recipe was right there on Regis & Kelly’s webpage.

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French Onion Soup

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The idea of a secret ingredient is a funny one. I think it’s based on a modern American notion of shortcuts; the idea that instead of working hard to be successful, you can win the lottery or appear on a reality show or read the Cliff’s Notes and still pass your A.P. English exam (I did that actually: sorry, Hester Prynne). This American obsession with getting everywhere as quickly as possible, to FastPass your way to accomplishment, doesn’t translate well to cooking. Which is why, I think, so many Americans don’t cook. They’d rather fast food it, or frozen dinner it, than stand over a stove. And when they do stand over the stove, they want “quick tips” and “30 minute meals” and the magical, secret ingredient that’ll propel their dinner to greatness. But the truth is no one ingredient can propel your dinner to greatness; greatness comes with patience and practice, over time.

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The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Had

It’s hard to get excited about meatloaf. That is, unless you’re standing in the kitchen at Craft in New York and Chef Damon Wise (Tom Colicchio’s right-hand man) is mixing together ground beef, pork, crisp shitakes (that taste like bacon), golden soffrito, soy sauce, fresh oregano and Parmesan cheese. The resulting meatloaf–which Chef Wise called “Umami Meatloaf”–was, without question, the best I’ve ever had. And then, as you’ll see in the following Food2 video, I went and recreated it at home. All the proportions and ingredients and steps are listed in the video, but, just in case, I’ll share them after the jump. And now, without further pause, here’s one killer meatloaf:

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My Favorite Recipes of 2009

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Craig’s sister Kristin and I joke that I should have a catchphrase, that when I meet new people I should declare, with mock-sincerity: “Food is my passion.” Ok, maybe you have to be there for that concept to be funny, but regardless, food IS my passion and this year I feel like my cooking is entering the realm of “he’s no amateur.” Sure, I had my doozies. Remember my burnt sticky buns? My flambé incident? And yesterday, I made hummus for lunch in my blender and added way too much chickpea water so the result was rather pukey. But otherwise? I’m riding high on a wave of culinary competence. And these, my friends, are my Top 10 success stories of 2009. Are you ready? Let’s get cooking.

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How To Make Fried Chicken

The undisputed master of fried chicken here in New York City is Chef Charles Gabriel of Rack n’ Soul and now Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken (there’s a big article about it in today’s New York Times.) Chef Gabriel is such a master, it was an absolute privilege this summer to stand at his side in his Harlem kitchen watching him pan fry chicken the way it’s been done in his family for generations. What follows is our latest Food2 video, which not only gives you the recipe for Chef Gabriel’s legendary chicken, but also shows you my efforts to recreate it at home (with some comedy thrown in):

The only note I’ll add here is that, in the video, it doesn’t mention that Chef Gabriel also puts the spice mixture on the raw chicken too, so it gets seasoned on three levels: the chicken, the batter and the flour. I’ve now made this chicken several times and it really cant be beat.