5@5– Chef David Bazirgan
February 8th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

These days, it's hard not to channel your inner sourpuss - especially when you look out the window to find a four-foot, trash-speckled snowdrift. Why not sweeten up those winter doldrums with one of the season's fruitful bounties, the Meyer lemon?

Meyer lemons are sweeter and less acidic than other lemons: a love child between the typical Eureka variety and a mandarin, with a smooth printer's yellow skin.

Most Meyer lemons grown in the United States come from California, much to local chefs', like David Bazirgan, delight.

Bazirgan is the executive chef at Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, California. Before joining the Fifth Floor team, Bazirgan had been named one of the San Francisco Chronicle's “Rising Star Chefs," as well as worked in Baraka, Jackson Square, Chez Papa Resto and the James Beard Award-winning No. 9 Park.

Five Recipes for the Meyer Lemon: David Bazirgan

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Filed under: 5@5 • Make • Recipes • Think

Down the rabbit hole
February 8th, 2011
01:15 PM ET
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Rabbit meat is delicious. I wish I didn't know that.

Rabbits bond for life. For most, instinct drives them to seek out another creature - usually one of their own kind, but it’s been known to encompass cats, guinea pigs, dogs or even birds. They’ll groom, cuddle and grieve palpably upon the other’s absence or loss.

Claudette, my nine-ish year old Hotot / dwarf mix (pictured above) is, as I was informed by my local rabbit rescue guru, bonded to me. She expresses this via chin rubs to shoes I’ve not previously worn around her (rabbits have scent glands with which they mark territory), a distinct drop-off in the bitchy behavior she demonstrates to nearly all other humans she’s encountered, and tooth-grinding purrs as I stroke her silken fur. We belong to each other.

At the same time, I can’t pretend that the most astonishing bite of food I ate in 2009 wasn’t a smoked rabbit kidney. In my defense, I didn’t order it; it was a gift from the chef of my favorite local restaurant. The rich, gamey, smoke-soaked flavor built in my mouth and did not ebb for many minutes. It made me grateful to have a tongue.

I debated for a minute or two before I ate it, and I apologized to my rabbits (there is another besides Claudette) upon my arrival at home. Yes, I sometimes anthropomorphize, but I felt genuine guilt when I looked into their faces. I take care of these animals. I enjoy and yes, love them. It is truly unnerving to know, quite specifically what is under their fur and how it tastes.

Box lunch
February 8th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Babies introduced to solid foods before 4 months of age are more likely to become obese. - Los Angeles Times

  • A man survives a stabbing via a kebab sandwich. - The Sun

  • These start-ups are bringing the "co-op to your laptop." - Food 52

  • Ruth Reichl, the former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine, talks words and food. - Dartmouth Now
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Vintage Cookbook Vault: Night life eggs
February 8th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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The Vintage Cookbook Vault highlights recipes from my insane stash of books and pamphlets from the early 20th century onward. It's a semi-regular thing.

This intriguingly-named recipe hits a bit of a snag once you start to delve into the directions. To recap - you fry chopped-up hard boiled eggs with onions, stir in two egg yolks, milk and cheese, douse it in lemon juice and serve on toast with tomato.

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