Frenchman’s Franks & Beans

1 T olive oil 1 large leek 1 stalk of celery, diced 2 carrots, diced 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme 1 sprig of rosemary 1 bay leaf 1 small to medium russet potato, peeled and quartered stock or water 1 cup puy lentils bunch of fresh spinach, chopped fine salt…

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Hungarian Goulash

2 large red bell peppers 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 lb boneless beef shank, or normal stew beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces Kosher salt & pepper 2 large onions, chopped 4 large cloves of garlic, minced 2 t caraway seeds, toasted and ground 3 T Hungarian sweet paprika…

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Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a list of recipes and techniques from the archives. What’s a “Heritage” Turkey? — information on whether you should bother with this expensive variety of turkey. My Turkey Plans — This post has a recipe and instructions for brining a turkey. Roasted Turkey : An Old-Fashioned Method — Larding…

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Wild Rice Stuffing

Tried this in a chicken last week. I’m usually against putting stuffing inside a chicken or a turkey, since it means longer cooking time, and increases the chances of bacteria, but I figured if I didn’t make the stuffing too tightly packed, and if I put it in the bird…

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Roasted Delicata

In one way, I think my wife usually dreads the autumn, because that’s when I start doing things with winter squash. For the most part, she’s not into them. I think it has something to do with the way they sort of stick to your teeth, and their tendency to…

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Coca Cola Barbeque Sauce

12 oz / 355 mL Coca Cola 1½ c / 355 mL Heinz ketchup 1 medium onion, chopped fine ¼ c / 60mL cider vinegar ¼ c / 60 mL Worcestershire sauce 1 t chili powder 1 t salt hot sauce (Tabasco, Texas Pete) to taste Bring all of the…

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Rikers Island Carrot Cake

Each batch makes 25 nine-and-a-half-pound loaves of carrot cake. The kitchen crew at Rikers apparently make 2,500 loaves of this cake a year, which is served on holidays. Each loaf serves 20 inmates. As for the quantities, I don’t recommend down-sizing the quantities and hoping to get the same results.…

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Honeycrisps are back!

The best apple in the whole world is back for the season… the HONEYCRISP. I spotted it at the Alexandria Farmer’s Market this past Saturday sold by a West Virginian farmer. I’ve already eaten all the ones I bought for myself, so I’m hoping that I can score some more…

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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 in half, removing the seedy goo inside, and dousing them…

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Refrigerator Pickles

5-6 lbs pickling cucumbers 1 c pickling or kosher salt 3 quarts (12 c) water 1 quart (4 c) white vinegar crushed garlic fresh dill black peppercorns Cover the cucumbers in a large non-reactive bowl with water, and add ¼c salt, and let them soak for 8 to 12 hours. Sterilize…

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Alabama Smoked Chicken

Caught a random episode of Cooks Country this weekend where they made an unusual barbecued chicken recipe. I tried to replicate it, though I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. The weird part about the recipe is that the barbecue sauce is mayonnaise based, as opposed to ketchup based, and it…

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Jamie Gets a Surprise

So, in this clip of Jamie Oliver’s new television show, he demonstrates to the kids how processed foods are supposed to be awful and terrible. He cuts up a chicken, removing all the normal chicken parts, and is left with a carcass. He tosses it into a food processor and…

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BBQ Pork Chops

3 or 4 thick cut natural pork chops, rib cut, on the bone 1 onion whatever fresh herbs you have on hand (rosemary, thyme, sage) 3 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon sugar water 2 tablespoons oil ground black pepper 2 ounces port wine ¼ cup of your favorite bbq sauce In…

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Strawberry Jam

This jam in midwinter tastes as fresh as the berries tasted the previous summer. The secret is to make small batches and to not overcook. The jam tends to be thinner (excellent for pancakes or ice-cream topping!) and less gummy than store-bought, but the fresh flavor cannot be beat. If…

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Broccoli Supreme

This is my sister Lyn’s recipe, and I traditionally ask her for it every year at  Thanksgiving, because everyone loves it. I think I must’ve done it for at least 15 years — probably more. You’d think I’d remember it by now. I recently came across a booklet of family…

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Aaron’s Favorite Lasagna

My grandfather loved to cook, even back in the Eisenhower days, where the men went out to work, and the women stayed home and kept the house. He was a fabulous bread maker and started my mother on her endless cookbook collecting. He is also very much remembered for this…

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Sorry for the lack of updates…

I’ve been completely distracted with buying a new house. If any of you have had to deal with a short sale, especially with Bank of America, I feel for you. We put our offer in on a house in June — an offer about $10k more than the asking price.…

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Recent Food Neologisms

A look at some of the new words and phrases about food. Foodoir n. A memoir that includes recipes or that is focused on food, meals, or cooking. [Blend of food and memoir.] Whole Foods Republicans n. “Independent-minded voters who embrace a progressive lifestyle but not progressive politics. These highly-educated…

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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 if they are, the breast meat is completely overdone. Taking…

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Mincemeat Tartlets, Update

So here’s what I ended up doing from my last entry, trying to come up with mincemeat pies that would better survive the shipping process, since the shortbread I used was really just too fragile. I next tried my standard pie crust recipe, which ended up quite flaky and delicious,…

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Mincemeat Tartlets

I saw a version of this recipe on Nigella Lawson’s Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen and thought I’d make them and send them off, far and wide, to distant relatives for the holidays. In the end, though, they’re really just too fragile for shipping, so only my local loved-ones will get these…

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Braised Lamb Shanks with Barley and Winter Roots

2 or 3 lamb shanks salt 1 onion, chopped fine (or substitute the same quantity of leeks) 3 or 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces 3 or 4 parsnips, ditto 2 or 3 turnips, ditto 1 can of tomato paste 6 whole cloves of garlic 16 oz.…

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Boston Baked Beans, take 2

You might find, in the Cooking Monster archives, an entry I wrote about my attempt to make a batch of homemade baked beans, and how I lamented that the results really weren’t worth the effort. Well, urged on my my brother, I have since purchased an authentic bean pot in…

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Beef & Barley Stew

Now that Gourmet Magazine is no more, I’m getting emails from their successor, Bon Appetit. The other day, they sent me an email that described a stew that sounded great, although their recipe was fully vegetarian and relied on mushrooms for the umami. Mushrooms just don’t cut it in my…

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