• Appetizers,  Poultry

    Crouton’s Hot Party Wings

    Ditalini and I try to have a special meal on Friday night. It’s our way of marking the end of the work week, less stressful than drinking and partying all night. Sometimes we’ll bring home takeout hot wings from Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings, but they’re never as good as home-made. Honestly, the only reason we resort to takeout is that the task of making hot wings at home seems intimidating, but last night, after Ditalini and Escargot hid the car keys and forced me to make them myself, I have to admit they’re not really that much work (except for cleanup, of course!), and the results are more…

  • Cookblogging,  Meats

    Crouton’s Sloppy Joes

    Ditalini had a busy day planned and asked me to make dinner. She left a packet of Sloppy Joe mix on the kitchen counter, along with a pound of ground beef to thaw. I was underwhelmed by the idea of using…

  • Crockpot,  Meats

    Crouton’s Crockpot Venison Roast

    Ditalini’s sister Gina Cannolini came to visit from Michigan, restocking our freezer with venison from our brother-in-law Lengua’s most recent hunting trip. Among the cuts were two bone-in roasts. I decided to look for a good recipe, and one titled…

  • Cooking Club

    Eleventh Rule of Cooking Club

    It’s Paul Ryan’s fault. The On On Gourmet Hash House Harriers met last night at one of Magret de Canard’s many casas to prepare and consume Portuguese food. Magret prepped and cooked the main dish, Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa,…

  • Seafood,  Soups

    Clam Chowder

    This is a second-generation DeMenthe family recipe, passed down by my father, Chateaubriand deMenthe.  He made clam chowder every Christmas Eve and we carry on the tradition. Merry Christmas to you, dear readers, from Crouton and Ditalini! Notes We doubled the recipe…

  • Stews

    Crouton’s Beef & Guinness Stew

    We had the richest, beefiest stew at a friend’s home last winter. She told me it was beef & Guinness stew and that I’d find the recipe on line. I pulled a big chuck roast out of the freezer the other…

  • Italian,  Pasta & Rice

    Crouton’s Pasta alla Puttanesca

    This is my interpretation of spaghetti alla puttanesca (whore’s spaghetti), a simple yet robust pasta dish that’s easy to make with around-the-house ingredients (well, our house anyway). Don’t be squeamish about the anchovies … they add flavor to the dish, but without the…

  • Appetizers,  Soups

    Ditalini’s Gazpacho

    Ditalini’s adaptation of a recipe from a New York Times cookbook: Note: peeling & seeding tomatoes is big, messy work, and there are probably canned alternatives. Some people (Philistines, no doubt) may be tempted to substitute tomato juice.

  • Cooking Club

    Tenth Rule of Cooking Club

    Less is more. When we planned our August culinary trail, we decided on salad Niçoise and cold soups, appropriate to a hot summer in the Southwest (gazpacho, Vichyssoise, cold ramen, and so on). The menu evolved as the date approached,…

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