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!

Clam ChowderServings: 6Time: 2 hrsDifficulty: mediumPrint Ingredients


1/2 lb bacon 4 carrots 1 med onion 3 […]


Ditalini’s Gazpacho

Ditalini’s adaptation of a recipe from a New York Times cookbook:

Ditalini’s gazpacho w/garnishes

Ditalini's GazpachoServings: 6Time: 1 hr, plus refrigerationDifficulty: mediumPrint Ingredients

2 small cucumbers (1 1/2 cups when peeled & chopped) 4 ripe tomatoes (3 cups when peeled & chopped) 1 red onion (1 cup when peeled & chopped) 2 tsp finely […]


Not Gazpacho

Not Gazpacho (with antipasto platter)

. . . but close! Not GazpachoServings: 6-8Time: 20 min, plus refrigerationDifficulty: easyPrint Ingredients

46-ounce can or bottle of Clamato hot sauce (Texas Pete or similar), to taste 2 lemons, chopped, w/peel 12-14 large shrimp, peeled 1 red onion, chopped jalapeños, chopped, to taste 1 avacado, peeled & chopped […]


Crouton’s Easy Split Pea Soup

Relatively easy, that is! You can prepare it in the morning or early afternoon, then reheat and serve for dinner. Actual kitchen prep time is about half an hour; cooking time is less than two hours.

Crouton's Easy Split Pea SoupServings: 6Time: 2 hrsDifficulty: easyPrintIngredients

1 pkg dry split peas 1 medium yellow onion, […]


U.S. Senate Navy Bean Soup

We’ve experimented with different navy bean soup recipes over the years; this time we’re trying an authentic-seeming Food Network recipe (I compared it to the actual U.S. Senate cafeteria recipe listed on Wikipedia and it’s a match in ingredients and relative proportions, right down to the mashed potatoes). So why not just use the recipe […]


Crouton’s Off-the-Shelf Navy Bean Soup

I’m going to make an exception here and put in a recipe from a package of dried navy beans, modified only by the addition of a smoked ham hock. I love this particular navy bean soup, and if you haven’t tried it, you should.

Dried navy beans typically come with one of two recipes […]


Ditalini’s Oxtail Soup

When I was a kid, living in Germany with my USAF family, one of my favorite dishes was ochsenschwanzsuppe — oxtail soup, a thick and flavorful beefy broth. In later years, married and living in the USA, I’d sometimes pick up a package of Knorr Oxtail Soup Mix, surprisingly good for an instant soup mix, […]


Moroccan Meatball Soup

Moroccan meatball soup

A friend posted a photo of this soup on Facebook. It looked good, so I asked her to post the recipe and last night cooked up a pot for Ditalini and me. It didn’t take long to make, maybe half an hour to get the meatballs ready, maybe 20 minutes for […]


Year-End Wrapup: More Holiday Gluttony

Ditalini and I drove to Las Vegas with our daughter Escargot and doggies Mortadella & Ubracio to spend Christmas with our son Baguette, daughter in law Truffle, granddaughter Biscotto, and grandson Pesce. All the deMenthes together again!

Of course the holidays are all about eating. Baguette activated Fortress of Smoke™ Las Vegas, and when we […]


Christmas Eve Seafood 2010

We’ve always trimmed our tree on Christmas Eve. During our first overseas posting in the early 1980s, we started inviting single friends over to help us hang the decorations. Even though we’re settled down in Tucson now, we still invite our single friends over for the tree-trimming party, and of course we wine and dine […]