Slate, my favorite news / commentary site, recently introduced a cooking column called “You’re Doing It Wrong.” America’s Test Kitchen has a similar mentality, that many traditional recipes produce inferior results and that there are better approaches. While ATR produces reliable recipes, I’ve always found their approach a bit stuffy and elitist. Their focus also tends to be what tastes familiar and American, which isn’t always what I want.

I was hooked into the column because writer L.V. Anderson makes homemade pizza almost exactly like I do: thin crust, lots of olive oil, very high heat, toppings light enough not to weigh down the crust. It took me years to get to that point, so I was immediately curious about his other recipes.

The chili, which I tried first, was initially disappointing. While I liked his “kitchen sink” flavoring approach—chipotles, beer, mushrooms, chocolate, etc.—the tempeh created an off … continue reading