Cool Stuff – Sides & Snacks

Irish Soda Bread

I’m 1/8 Irish. I couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without a nod. It is beloved by so many after all. It’s a passport to drink a month’s worth of beer in one day. And to wear buttons demanding to be kissed. But I can’t say it’s a holiday that celebrates my favorite foods. I thought about what to make for a while… and couldn’t bring myself to negotiate […]

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Homemade Bacon

The first time I saw a wild boar smoking slowly under the soot-blackened eaves of a dome-shaped grill I was mesmerized. I was standing 100 yards from the banks of the Mississippi, deep in the beating heart of the Arkansas Delta. The body of the pig was cloaked in thick slabs of bacon which were coated in thick layers of molasses and the whole thing oozed and dripped onto a […]

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How to Caramelize Onions

On Friday when I was showing you my adventures in thin crust pizza, one of the ingredients that I unloaded onto the crust was caramelized onions. And then it dawned on me that maybe not everyone knows how to caramelize onions… Do you know how? Do you want a quick little demo? Hm… I’ll take your silence as a yes. If I were to just go about my life throwing […]

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Chicken Tenders

Chicken breasts are hard to get right. Chicken tenders though… well that’s a different matter altogether. A lot of protein tastes better when it’s cooked low and slow. You can still get the brown crusty outside if you play with the fire… These are perfect for you Super Bowl watchers this weekend.You know who you are. Your guests can use their fingers. It’ll be great. And if you’re still clinging […]

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Yellow Corn Bread with Grandma P.

A few weeks ago Grandma Pellegrini sent me an email. Yes, she does email. She also does facebook. It is the dawn of a new era. She said: “I’m just sitting down to enjoy my soup and my latest triumph in the kitchen.  I decided this morning to put my various cast iron baking pans to good use.   It entailed a major restoration, cleaning, and seasoning.  After several hours of […]

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Red Quinoa Salad

Guess what this is… I’ll give you one clue… It’s not a leotard. Okay, I’ll give you another clue… Now guess? Okay, okay, geez, one more clue! Red quinoa!!! If you’ve never heard of it before, you’re not alone. It’s been slowly rising to stardom recently but hasn’t reached full celebrity status yet. It’s a grain-like crop grown for its edible seeds. It’s considered a “pseudocereal,” whatever that means… not […]

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Cheese Soufflé

Say that 20 times fast. I made a soufflé. I was determined. I had a 102 degree fever and I made a souffle nonetheless. That should tell you how determined I was. So although this may seem like a strange journey with strange pictures taken by a semi-delirious girl, I can guarantee you will see a soufflé at the end. It all began with a golden onion. And a pink […]

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Deviled Eggs and Other Trickery

When you have eighteen chickens and thirteen Guinea hens in your life, there are a lot of eggs to contend with. It is definitely a nice problem to have. I went on a quest recently to find eggs in the store with yolks as bright as the ones my chickens produce, and I have yet to find any. I know their diet in the Winter means a paler yolk, but […]

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34 Morton Street Specials

My grandmother and great-aunt had an apartment together on the top floor of 34 Morton Street in New York City in 1941. It was a nice walk-up apartment building, and they paid $80 for it. They were very frugal, and so had various dishes they cooked together that they considered their specialties. One was called “Slum Gulligan,” made from corn, and green pepper, and baked like a custard. Another they […]

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Turkey Stock

I think of any stock as liquid gold… the sure path to tastier food. And as you know by now, I like to use as many parts of the animal that I eat, as I possibly can. So this Thanksgiving, my turkey carcas became a lovely stock, that made the house smell like Thanksgiving all over again. Here’s how you make it, a little liquid gold from me to you, […]

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