I’ve always loved braising in my Dutch Oven. Tough cuts of meat like brisket and short ribs become meltingly delicious when braised. When my children and grandchildren were with us during the pandemic, they brought their slow cooker and I was hooked. When they left and took it with them, I bought myself one like theirs, a Cuisinart 6 ½ quart that has a sauté function, so you can brown things before you start the slow part. Continue reading →
Once again, as the old year passes and the new year beckons, it has been my custom to look back at my most popular posts of the year. I started this blog back in 2009, and to my surprise, 2022 was its best year yet. It had 81,415 views and 62,614 visitors. Continue reading →
Years ago, friends of ours brought us back a cataplana from their trip to Portugal. A cataplana is both the name of the cooking vessel and the dish that is made in it. The vessel is a clam-shaped copper pot with a hinge. If you don’t have a cataplana, you can use a sturdy pot or Dutch oven with a lid. The dish is a shellfish and pork stew. There are many versions. Here’s mine. Since my cataplana isn’t very big, this recipe is for two, or maybe four with enough good crusty bread and a salad. Continue reading →
I like to make this when the weather gets cold. It’s cheap eats, but good! The ham hocks come in packages of three or four (also sold as “smoked pork hocks.”) The trick is to put them in individual freezer bags and freeze them, so you always have them on hand. You can defrost them in the microwave. This is an easy and delicious soup. Continue reading →
Here’s another easy hot weather summer dish. It’s a quick side dish or can even be a meal. Your good garden or July farmstand produce will make this dish sing. Continue reading →
These last few July days have been too hot to cook. The good news is that the summer harvest of fresh produce is here, and it is a good time to make Gazpacho. I make this every summer when the tomatoes are ripe. My neighbor gifted us a cucumber, and my own parsley is in. I grew the jalapeño pepper in a pot. Continue reading →
We’ve been cooking variations on this recipe on hot summer days for decades. The original “Silver Palate Cookbook“ had a version that called for Brie, but we felt that was too rich for a hot summer dinner.
We only make this in late summer when the good local tomatoes come in, and we have fresh herbs in pots ready to go. You do have to cook the pasta, but the rest is uncooked. I combine all the other ingredients in a pasta bowl earlier in the day and let them get happy. Continue reading →
Lobsters have been pricy this summer, but they had a sale this week at the grocery and I picked up a couple. They were delicious. I’d never made lobster bisque before, but I researched a few recipes, and came up with this for our lunch. Continue reading →
When we were on holiday in Burwash, East Sussex, way back in 1993, it was our June 12 anniversary, and we were looking for fine dining to celebrate. We had Auntie Freya with us to watch the kiddos, so we had high hopes, and we had scouted out what appeared to be the only restaurant in town that wasn’t one of the three pubs. Sadly, when we went to make a reservation, it was closed, night off, bank holiday or whatever.
Not to be deterred we turned to the usually reliable English pub for a back-up. The high street in Burwash isn’t very long, and was then anchored by a pub at either end and one in the middle. The one in the middle seemed busy so we went there. It had “Mixed Grill” on the menu. Continue reading →
I had never had tabbouleh until I met my wife’s family in my early twenties. It was a staple of their summer picnics and I loved it. I seldom make it, as I was reminded yesterday by my unopened Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur with a 2012 sell-by date. A quick trip to Guido’s for new bulgur and I was ready. We had friends over for a Mediterranean dinner last night. We started with pita, hummus, feta and mixed olives, some nice Rose from Provence. Then I made grilled marinated butterflied leg of lamb and grilled veggies with the tabbouleh. Summer dining on the back porch at its best! Continue reading →