Category: tricks & techniques

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07
Oct
2016

Bay Leaf Seasoning

Penzey’s Spices used to put out an herb mix that was great for roasting  chicken. Apparently, I was the only one who bought it, because they stopped selling it a couple years ago. Here’s how to make it yourself. Aside…

14
Jul
2012

How to pack okra for pickles

After you’ve trimmed off a bit of the stem end, and a bit of the pointy end, pack your one pint sterilized jars with okra, first filling the bottom with the enough okra to fill the bottom of the jar,…

09
Jan
2012

Best Damn Smoked Chicken Recipe, period

This may be the best thing that could ever happen to a chicken. I get a whole lot of compliments on this one. There are some members of my extended family who insist I bring this to any family gathering,…

10
Aug
2010

Bolognese Ragu

I ended up getting a bumper crop of red plum tomatoes from my garden this week, so I made this sauce. I prepared the tomatoes by peeling the skins off (dip into boiling water for 30 seconds), then cutting them…

27
Dec
2009

Better Roast Chicken

So it seems pretty straight-forward, but I never actually tried it until last week. A better way to roast a chicken. I’ve often lamented the fact that the thighs and drumsticks are rarely ever completely cooked to my liking, or…

27
Jul
2009

Eleven Herbs and Spices Revealed?

Ron Douglas, author of America’s Most Wanted Recipes, claims he has discovered the secret recipe after lots of chicken, and years of testing. According to an article in The Guardian, the secret ingredients are : 1 teaspoon ground oregano 1…

08
Jul
2009

Julia’s Method for Cheeseburgers

I watched an old episode of Cooking with Jacques and Julia, on the topic of beef, and they demonstrated their methods for making hamburgers, so I decided to give Julia Child’s method a try for dinner last night. The result…

28
Jun
2009

Pan-roasting the Best Steak

My wife and I have pretty much stopped ordering steak when we go out, since I seem to be able to cook it better than they can, for less money… granted, I can’t say how my steak compares to the…

03
Jun
2009

Portion Control and Plate Size

I’ve never been much on the importance of plate presentation, and I’ve got no scientific proof to back it up, but I can tell you that if you’re looking to lose weight, one of the first things you could do…

18
Mar
2009

Why are people afraid of pressure cookers?

Don’t let your grandma’s tale of kitchen terror dissuade you from using this great time-saving device.

04
Mar
2009

Hook, Line and Sinker

Ok. So I fell for it. I watched Jacques Pepin make chili con carne in an electric pressure cooker. I didn’t even know these things existed. I’d been contemplating purchasing a regular pressure cooker for awhile now. I added one…

04
Jan
2009

Jacques Pepin’s No-knead Bread

2½ cups lukewarm water a couple teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon yeast 4 cup  flour Combine in a non-stick pot, stir with a spatula until gooey dough forms. Put on lid, and proof at room temp for 60-90 minutes. Stir the…

21
Dec
2008

Roast Beast

I just tried a new technique for taking a relatively inexpensive cut of beef (the eye round roast) and turning it into a juicy and flavorful roast beef dinner. As usual for the meals I post about here, it’s not…

10
Dec
2008

Mysterious Food on the Internets

Daily Lunch is a japanese site detailing one obsessive artist’s lunch box, and their artistic creative presentations. How frozen pizzas are made. What’s in a twinkie? (Amazing. Twinkies have been around for 78 years! They’ve been around as long as…

07
Dec
2008

Cornbread Stuffed Pork Roast with Pomegranate Glaze

I bet you could replace the whole sage with fresh thyme in both or either parts of this recipe with good results. And if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the glaze, I’m thinking that a…

25
Nov
2008

My Turkey Plans

(Note : Updated 11/26) I usually don’t have to give much thought to serving Thanksgiving, since we’ve gone to my in-laws for the last decade, without fail. Aside from one year, when I decided to try and mix things up…

26
Sep
2008

Lamb and Wild Rice with Roasted Autumn Vegetables

A good project for a lazy Sunday. It will fill your place up with some great aromas. This recipe is a mixture of rich, tender roasted pumpkin, flavorful root vegetables, and earthy lamb and wild grains, and is based on…

28
Aug
2008

Pickling in the News

“[P]ickles are kind of show-offy, even more so than bread. If you make your own, for some reason, it really knocks people out.” The Washington Post has a longish article on a local woman who is starting a small business…

21
Aug
2008

Compound Butters

I had a huge bunch of organic dill sitting on my counter, waiting to shrivel and dry up, so I decided to make a compound butter — I tossed the dill, a shallot, some salt, and some softened butter into…

14
Aug
2008

Different Ways to Coat a Cutlet

Flour, egg, and then what? You’re confronted with it every time you want to cook up a cutlet, whether it is a chicken breast, a turkey cutlet, or a fillet of fish. A batter dip is an option, but I…

11
Aug
2008

In Season Now : Plum Tomatoes

Roasted Balsamic Tomato Sauce will reward you with a delicious aroma while it cooks in the oven. Every August, I end up making a couple of batches of this sauce, when the prices for plum tomatoes hits the floor, but…

23
Jul
2008

In Season Now : Peaches

Stores are selling peaches at a cut-rate price now. Sweet and juicy, now’s the time to think about canning some so you can have that flavor all autumn and winter, too. Look for the best you can find … firm,…

17
Jul
2008

Alternatives to Reusable Canvas Grocery Bags

How To Carry Groceries With A Square Of Cloth

16
Jul
2008

Fish Market : What to Buy, What to Avoid

Monterey Bay Aquarium provides an excellent list of which fish and seafood to buy and which to skip. It’s fully hyperlinked, so you’ll find out why you should avoid a particular fish. Orange Roughy, for example, is a fish I’ve…

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