Something like you find at a pizza shop, made of Romaine and iceberg lettuce cut into chunks, mini-wedges meant to soak up a heady dressing and topped with everything but the kitchen sink, this salad is a simple summer salad. It doubles as a full on dinner salad or as a side. It is laced … Continue reading With What Remains of Summer: Two Salad Dressings
Next to farm fresh brown eggs, nothing conjures up an image of the farmhouse kitchen quite like the site of a pressure cooker. It’s Rockwellian in that it brings to mind iconic images of the aproned farmer’s wife peeling home grown carrots at the counter while on the stove behind her sits a huge pot-like contraption whistling and blowing steam through a small whole in its lid.
The image leaves you with a feeling of wholesomeness much like homemade whole wheat bread. It’s as if the pressure cooker does something magical that only the farmer’s wife knows. After all, for some reason, we always equate wholesome home cooking with the country kitchen. Continue reading “Pressure Cookers + Chicken and Dumplings”
Today was supposed to be a day off from running or lifting but sometimes you just know it’s best to go ahead and put on your favorite running shoes, put your favorite song list on the iPhone, and get it done. It feels better to do it than not.
My nature is not that of a runner. It goes against everything I can think of about myself. But I have been and with consistency. Some days it is much harder then others but running is always better then not running at all.
Lunch today! Continue reading “Thai Collard Wraps (day 5 )”
I ran out of booze last night. It is a rare occasion that I would let that happen but I did it on purpose. Even though I miscalculated by a day or two and because I have no intention of replacing it for a while, this does nothing but allow me to start my fitness … Continue reading A 90 Day Fitness Challenge (Breakfast Day One)
“Last night I had a glass of wine. Not so much to celebrate the new year but more to bury the last, there have been better years.” This is what I had to say on New Year’s Day. I am still mulling over my words.
As is my usual, I didn’t make a resolution. I am more likely to sit in a chair and assess last year rather then try to change the new one. Assess I did, and of all the good things that happened, and good things did happen, I made a conscious decision in October of 2013 to become physically fit. Continue reading “A Simple Smoothie”
As with anything in cooking there are many ways to cook a turkey. It is only limited by your imagination. Beer can, the Louisiana Turducken, deep fried, you name it and someone has attempted it, some with better results then others. Simply put, I am from the midwest. When it comes to the holidays I want to know what I am getting into. On the holidays I don’t like change, I am good with tradition and see no need to break with it. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Turkey”
This recipe is a throwback. It was extremely popular in the 1990s — along with duck confit and tuna steaks, seared rare. I still see it now and again on menus, but it has largely disappeared due to overexposure; we became bored with it simply because it was everywhere. But, it’s been long enough. … Continue reading Barbecue Chicken Pizza (+ How You Should Think About Prep)
Spring always seems rushed. It’s as if we spend months climbing a mountain called winter, and when we finally reach the peak, we’re so grateful that we run as fast as we can down the other side — past spring and directly into summer. It’s even true for the vegetables we’re attracted to — the fleeting cool weather crops that are harvested and eaten before spring has truly begun. Continue reading “Poulet á l’ Estragon (Chicken Tarragon)”
Grilling boneless skinless chicken breast presents a set of problems. I’m a firm believer that leaving the skin on and the bones in your chicken goes a long way to alleviating tough, dried out breast. But it’s an unpopular decision, because of the convenience and the ease with which we can gobble up the boneless … Continue reading 5 Tips for Better Grilled Chicken Breasts
Frying chicken, at its best, is a state of mind formed much in the same way as the quiet back beats of a porch-sitting session with a dear friend. It has a rhythm. It is good company on a sunny summer afternoon. It is pointless to rush. Futile, even. Besides, the comfort of a good friend comes from the effortlessness of meaningful conversation and is further heightened by the knowledge you have nothing you would rather do. Continue reading “The Art of Honest Fried Chicken (A Lifestyle Choice)”
Inside the house a Frank Sinatra record blares loudly from the phonograph, a big stereophonic console meant to look like a fancy sideboard. The family room windows of the atomic ranch-style house are open wide. The music makes its way through the open windows to the patio, soft enough to be background music for the adults socializing on the small concrete patio.
There are tall, slender glass pitchers of Tom Collins set on a picnic table bar next to a faux gold ice bucket, highball glasses, and an assortment of potluck appetizers. The parents sip cocktails and have lively chats. Their laughter can be heard four houses down at the babysitter’s, where all the children are being housed for the evening. Tiki torches release black citronella smoke meant to keep mosquitoes at bay, and in the belly of the kettle-shaped grill the coals glow the color of the suburban sunset. Continue reading “Kebabs Come of Age”
I have a simple rule, whenever I figure out what good restaurant cooks like to make at home I follow suit. It’s because most professional cooks like simple but deeply satisfying meals, roast chicken is one of those, it is a cook’s meal. When I say simple I don’t mean in flavor and not necessarily … Continue reading A Delicious Roast Chicken for Any Night
You can make meatloaf out of anything, from lentils to venison to duck. You can get fancy and have the three meat combo made from equal parts beef, veal and pork or even a seafood loaf made from salmon. The possibilities are endless. From what you choose to make your meatloaf isn’t as important as … Continue reading Turkey Meatloaf with Peas and Gravy
We all know gravy or pan sauce in large quantities might be good for our soul but it isn’t so good for our heart health. After all we are doing nothing more then adding flour or cornstarch to the fat in the bottom of a roasting or sauté pan to thicken it and adding back … Continue reading The Unctuous Possibilities of Pan Juices
Paella to me is the ultimate one pot meal. It also is the time of year where I am not ready for a stew but want something more substantial than the usual summer fare. Paella is a great answer. Although paella is considered Spanish I think this one is more Mediterranean. I use Italian sausages … Continue reading Chicken, Sausage and Red Pepper Paella
I can tell you, with great certainty, how good a restaurant is going to be by the temperature of their plates. If I get a stone cold plate with hot food chances are the dinner will be average. If I get a cold salad on a warm plate just out of the dish machine, again, … Continue reading Sautéed Chicken with Pepperoni and Olives
I think this is one of the best dishes in the Classic French Cuisine repertoire. This dish is amazing with any kind of chicken but if you can lay your hands on a young heritage breed rooster of about 28 weeks of age do so. Depending on the breed the meat can be very dark … Continue reading Coq au Vin
I like to use a wok for these kinds of dishes. Besides everyone should own a good wok. By good I am not talking about those little non-stick thingies hanging from the wall at the five and dime. Those aren’t even big enough to make a half order of fried rice for a toddler. What … Continue reading Bodega Chicken Curry
It is the time of year, at least for me, where I have remnants–odds and ends–coming from the garden. A few rebellious plants refusing to be defeated by a light frost are still putting forth small amounts of tender vegetables. The real fall plants, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts haven’t yet committed to blooming. In … Continue reading Okra and Sweet Corn Purloo
The sausages used in this dish come from the book Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn and is a book I highly recommend if you want to make sausage and any charcuterie in general. Pictured at left are trays of home made ricotta cavatelli. The essay The Great One that generated this recipe can be … Continue reading Chicken, Basil, and Tomato Sausage with Cavatelli
Recently, for what seems like the millionth time, I sat down and watched the original The Hustler. Not because of the story, although it’s a great story; or Paul Newman’s blazing good looks, although his blue eyes are piercing, even in black and white. No, this time I was watching the Great One: Jackie Gleason. … Continue reading The Great One
Good soup is hard to come by but it isn’t hard to make good soup. It’s only as difficult as you want to make it. While I know there are all kinds of prepared soups on the shelves of every supermarket I just can’t bring myself to do anything other than make it from scratch. … Continue reading Chicken and Rice Soup with Saffron
This is a straight up rip of Momofuku’s Asian Fried Chicken. I won’t even call it an adaptation but it isn’t plagiarism. This is credit where credit is due. The Momofuku cookbook has been around for a couple of years now and it is still, hands down, one of my favorite resources of inspiration. I … Continue reading Asian Honey Ginger Fried Chicken
The tiny bright green stars of okra and the fresh lima beans, so tender the veins show through their thin skins, are nestled into a bed of bi-color sweet corn just shaved off the cob. Together they simmer in a liquid that is mostly melted butter, seasoned quietly with salt and black pepper. Succotash is … Continue reading Smothered Chicken