The Splendid Table

Sun 2 P.M.

More than just talking about recipes, Splendid Table explores everything about food: the culture, the science, the history, the back stories and the deeper meanings that come together every time people sit down to enjoy a meal.

http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/

As we near the final days of summer we’re savoring the flavors of the season from our gardens and farmers market including berries, vegetables, fruit, and herbs. But, the tastes of summer don’t have to end here. Just ask Marisa McClellan, the food preservationist extraordinaire who runs the blog Food in Jars and has written three books on preserving. She is all about taking these last days of summer produce and keeping them forever. She talked with our contributor Shauna Sever about some simple ways to do that.

A Quick Introduction to Canning

Sep 11, 2018

A Quick Introduction to Canning
How to pick a recipe, prep your jars and safely process your product
by Marisa McClellan (from her blog Food in Jars)

Jacques Pépin’s La Technique was a game changer for home cooks

Sep 7, 2018

When Jacques Pépin’s seminal book La Technique came out in the 1970s, there was nothing like it. The book takes home cooks through the essential techniques and recipes of French cooking one step at a time, showing them not only what to do but how and why they are done. And it had pictures! - an innovative concept for its time. Manager Producer Sally Swift is a student of the book, as is Bridget Lancaster from America’s Test Kitchen.

Jacques Pépin is a legendary chef well-known for his television shows, cookbooks, and iconic celebrity status. However, he'll tell that when he began is life of cooking at the young age of 13 in the kitchens of France, chefs were on the bottom rung of the social ladder. He learned countless lessons by fire - literally - and over the years he ended up working in some of the most unique kitchens in the world. Through cookbooks and television program, Jacques opened new doors for home cooks as he taught many of us new ways of looking at recipes and cooking techniques.

The Splendid Table's Jacques Pépin Collection

Sep 7, 2018

Above: Francis Lam and Managing Producer Sally Swift with Jacques Pépin at his home-studio kitchen.

Jacques Pépin has long been a friend of The Splendid Table. As part of our recent episode in which Francis Lam visited the legendary chef in his own home, we gathered a collection of episodes, stories and recipes that Jacques has been a part of or shared with us over the years.

Episodes:

Imagine spending a day with a living legend at his home and being lucky enough to join him in the kitchen for a one-on-one cooking lesson. That's what happened when Francis Lam visited Jacques Pépin for an in-depth conversation about his years and experiences working in kitchens around the world. After their conversation, the two went to Pépin's kitchen to make a wonderful dish of gravlax.

As we near the end of summertime, we have two things on our mind: watermelon and tomatoes. Thankfully, Vivian Howard is right there with us. Vivian is a terrific chef, author of a best-selling cookbook Deep Run Roots, and the star of the PBS show A Chef’s Life. But most importantly, she’s a Southern cook with a lot of ideas for cooking with these summer beauties.

It may not seem obvious at first, but the pollination prowess of bees affects much of what, how and why we eat. And it goes far beyond honey served from a jar. Thor Hanson is a biologist and author of the book Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees. Francis Lam talked with Hanson about the importance of bees and honey to not only our food supply, but their greater connection to the evolution of both plants and humans.

Amazing glaze: America's Test Kitchen on cooking with honey

Aug 24, 2018

Most of us have some kind of honey in our kitchens, but it’s not always something people reach for while cooking. Usually it’s either gathering dust in the back of a cupboard or simply being stirred into tea or yogurt. Managing Producer Sally Swift asked America’s Test Kitchen host Bridget Lancaster about the different flavors honey can provide, and for some of her favorite ideas for cooking with honey. Trying using your favorite honey in the recipe for Roasted Whole Side of Salmon.

Beekeeping is all the buzz in New York City, where it’s estimated that there are 500 beekeepers in the city. And there are almost as many adventurous beekeeping stories: people who keep bees in their living rooms of their apartments, people having to their wrangle their bees so they don’t bother Secret Service snipers setting up on hotel rooftops, and maybe most famously, the mystery of the red honey of Brooklyn.

Honey Bee Health: Problems and Solutions

Aug 23, 2018

About 12 years ago, beekeepers started noticing that their hives were getting a little bit weird. Bees were dying or going missing, and it started to happen at shocking rates. Soon, there was a panic, and scientists couldn't exactly understand why bee populations were seeing such a drastic decline. They called it the “mystery colony collapse disorder” and started to imagine a world and a food system without bees. Over a decade later, thankfully, we still have bees, but are we out of the woods?

When we started thinking about big cooking projects for our Project Cooking episode, one of the first people that came to mind was Rodney Scott, the pitmaster and owner of Rodney Scott's Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina. Scott's specialty is whole hog barbecue.

It’s funny to think that many of the things we take for granted are relatively new concepts, like having your own oven in your own kitchen. In some societies, even today, whole villages might share a single oven that someone fires up, and everyone brings their bread to bake or their stews to braise. The idea of community ovens has also taken hold in towns across America. Artist and school librarian Jennifer Burton wanted to see what having a communal oven might do for her town of Johnson, Vermont. So, last year she helped build one in a public square.

Above: Chef Justin Smillie with Francis Lam and a dish of freshly
made summer tomato panade at Upland restaurant in New York City.

America's Test Kitchen makes it easy to cook paella on the grill

Aug 10, 2018

Above: Lan Lam takes notes during one of her recipe tests for paella on the grill.

Enter to win Slow Fires by Justin Smillie

Aug 1, 2018

August 2018 Giveaway

Falafel is classic Middle Eastern fare, often served as a type of sandwich in pita or on its own with a salad and dipping sauces. While it’s not difficult to a good falafel at restaurants, many experiments with making them at home have had mixed results for home cooks. But we’re about to fix that. Elle Simone is a test cook and food stylist at America’s Test Kitchen. Not only does she love falafel, she also has the recipe for perfection, which borrows some help from an Asian baking technique.

Let’s be honest, not all of us are breakfast people. On one end of the spectrum you have dull, bland cereals or oatmeal. On the other end you have sweet pastries, fruit or juices. No, thanks! Maybe our breakfast needs some influence from lunch and dinner. Alison Roman is a cook, writer and the author of Dining In, a book in which she promotes the idea of making more savory breakfasts. She talks with contributor Shauna Sever about the steps to this more satisfying breakfast experience.

Rice salad. As curious as the dish sounds, it may also sound rather bland - which couldn't be further from the truth. After you hear the concept explained by a masterful cook like Rolando Beramendi, we guarantee you’ll be on board; he’ll have you searching for Carnaroli rice - the dish’s essential ingredient – and chopping fresh vegetables to fine bits in no time. Beramendi is an Italian food importer and author of Autentico: Cooking Italian, The Authentic Way.

Why we should be eating more purple sea urchins

Jul 26, 2018

Sea urchins hit all the taste pleasure points – salt, sweet and umami. In a lot of places, sea urchins are overfished, but that certainly isn't the case off the coast of California, where there's such an overabundance of purple sea urchins that it has become an aquacultural concern. Ali Bouzari is a biochemist and trained chef.

Thai rolled ice cream -- also known as stir-fried ice cream -- is a global phenomenon of ice cream delight. This unique style of ice cream is not pulled from frozen buckets by the scoop, instead its liquid base is poured onto a frozen pan and then chopped, mixed, spread and rolled right in front of you. To learn more about it, our contributor Melissa Clark talked with Pheng Vang, who owns two Thai Rolled Ice Cream parlors called Sota Hot & Cold in Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

Considering that Mexico is one of the spiritual homelands for high-quality chili peppers, it’s unfortunate to see that in Mexican restaurants in the U.S. chiles rellenos, the dish where the pepper is the star, is often underappreciated and poorly executed. Bricia Lopez wants to change that. She and her family own Guelaguetza in Los Angeles, which has been called the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country. Host Francis Lam says they make the greatest chiles rellenos he’s ever had.

Photo: Chili peppers growing on a farm in rural Thailand.

America’s Test Kitchen finds the good in all green peppers

Jul 12, 2018

Of all the produce found at the farmers market, possibly none has a more divisive "love it or hate it" reaction from cooks as green bell pepper. But why is that? And what other green peppers are fun to work into your ingredient list to create interesting new flavors? To answer these questions Managing Producer Sally Swift talked with Tucker Shaw, the Editor-in-Chief of Cook’s Country.

Our good friend and award-winning food writer/editor Doc Willoughby has a thing for great ingredients for grilling and indoor cooking. Over the years, he’s introduced us and his readers to countless amazing spice mixes. When we told him that we were doing a whole show dedicated to chilies and hot peppers, he was excited to tell us about his favorite magical French pepper powder, piment d’Esplette.

The food world's love for fine hot sauces has become an obsession. Not so long ago, eating hot sauce was like taking a dare due to the unbelievable, gimmicky, and often unenjoyable amount of heat and Scoville units – the measurement of how mouth-scorchingly hot a pepper is. Thankfully, hot sauce culture has matured into a true craft. While many sauces are still incredibly hot, they are made with culinary consideration towards balance of pepper flavor and heat mixed with other fruit, vegetable, vinegar and spice flavors.

Playing with fire: new barbecue recipes from Michael Symon

Jul 2, 2018

Michael Symon is a renowned chef, especially notable in the world of grilling and smoked meats for his boldly flavored recipes. In his new book Michael Symon's Playing with Fire, Symon combines a lifetime of barbecue obsession with his experience running a barbecue kitchen to improve and inspire your home smoking.

Grill upgrade: better grilling with America’s Test Kitchen

Jun 29, 2018

When we have questions about tips and techniques for the home cook, we often turn to our friends at America’s Test Kitchen. Their crew has put in countless hours at the grill, so we asked Dan Souza, Editor-in-Chief of Cook’s Illustrated, for a guide to grilling. He talked with Managing Producer Sally Swift about different fire setups, proper use of grill vents, and why a small flare up can be a good thing.

You could call fish the underdog of the summer cookout. When you have people getting psyched about racks of ribs and charring porterhouses, grilled fish doesn’t always get the love it deserves. But when you hear Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes and host Francis Lam speak so passionately about grilling sardines in the style of Mendes's home country, you can't help but think of how wonderful plump fresh sardines must taste with a bit of char on them.

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