Tag Archives: cooking

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

For most large gatherings and holidays vegetarians have to suck it up – they’re lucky if there are enough sides at a meal to put three colors on a plate.  This dish adds variety to the meal and doubles as a main course for vegetarians or a side for meatetarians.

great as a main course or side dish

If you’re cooking for vegans, you can substitute vegetable stock and olive oil for butter and cream in the mashed potatoes.

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Filed under Main Courses, Sides, Vegetarian

Potato Pancakes

Food processors cut down the prep time for this from hours to minutes.  Potato pancakes, or latkes, are great as a main course or side.  And like anything fried, they’re just as good as leftovers.

an all-time favorite

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Filed under Main Courses, Sides, Vegetarian

Seasoned Oil – the Key to Frying

Promoting fried food is bad.  Bad in such a good way.  But even worse are failed attempts that produce limp and pale food.  (For a geekalicious explanation of why it’s hard to fry in a home kitchen check out How to Read a French Fry by Russ Parsons.)  The short answer on why it’s hard to fry at home is that oil repels water, and most foods contain a lot of water.  To break down this barrier the oil should first be seasoned.

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Filed under Technique & Dirty Secrets

Turducken!

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”  With this endorsement from a loving spouse I set out to cook a turducken.  My rationale?  “It’s my birthday.  I’ll cook what I want.”

easy to cook, easy to serve

Relegated to the universe of food porn & possessing those unfortunate first four letters, turducken’s much better than its reputation.  First, it’s efficient.  The recipe below is the size of a small turkey but serves 15 people.  It’s also fast.  Cooking time is a little over 3 hours.  And it’s good.

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Filed under Main Courses, Poultry

Chicken Stock

I post a lot about cooking with boned chicken and fish.  It’s great presentation and easier to eat (why else would markets sell filets and breasts?).  It’s also the way cooking used to be done, because bones have all the goodness of marrow and texture of gelatin, and who wants the yummy firm stuff going to waste?  So use the bones for stock.

at the heart of most things savory

Making stock requires a bit more organization in the kitchen.  After a few times it becomes habit.  And there’s no comparison between the tepid stuff you bring home from the market and a quart of fresh stock waiting in the back of the fridge.  This is a basic recipe, so add whatever herbs you like, or a full bouquet garni if you want to get fancy.

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Filed under Condiments, Soups & Stews, Technique & Dirty Secrets

Sweet Italian Sausage (Chicken or Pork)

No sausage grinder?  No problem.  If you have a Cuisinart you can have fresh sausage for patties, sauces, stews or stuffing.  You can even make links, but that’s a bit more involved.

making this takes less time than driving to the store...

Here’s a basic recipe for either chicken or pork.  The pictures are chicken, but the basic idea remains the same.

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Filed under Poultry, Sides

Stuffed Flank Steak

This is a full bodied recipe.  It’s got big taste, rich flavors and bold colors.  You have the fatty goodness of meat and cheese, the tangy spinach and aromatic carrot and pepper.  And the colors – green, orange and red – to liven up the meal.

tender goodness from tough meat

Great hot or cold.  This technique is know as rouladen in Germany, paupiettes in France, or rollatini in Italy.  If it’s that popular it’s gotta be good.

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Filed under Beef, Main Courses