Crouton’s Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa

I hate grocery store and chain restaurant salsa, with its chunks of tomato and green pepper swimming in tomato-flavored water. Here in Tucson a local restaurant called El Charro makes its own salsa, thick, smooth, and … even though the main ingredient is tomato … not tomatoey. I love it and have been attempting to […]

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Third Rule of Cooking Club

Pull your own weight. We come to cook, not just to eat.

Last night we tried something different. At earlier meetings, members prepared their assigned parts of the meal at home. Once we gathered at the host’s house we sat right down to eat.

Ditalini and I hosted this meeting, and we decided we’d have […]

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Ditalini’s Scotch Eggs

Scotch eggs

Ditalini recently learned how to make Scotch eggs, the popular pub appetizer. While we were in Las Vegas with our family for Thanksgiving, she walked daughter-in-law Truffle and grandson Pesce through the process.

Ingredients

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled 1 lb Jimmy Dean’s hot sausage bread crumbs

Directions

Cut the sausage in […]

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A Birthday Dinner Photoblog

It’s been an annual tradition for several years now: Osso Bucco, our friend from Las Vegas, comes down to visit during my birthday week (his birthday is a week from now, so we celebrate together) and we all go over to Poulet en Crote’s house for a gala dinner.

This year Ditalini prepared three appetizer […]

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Sausage & Spinach with Fettuccini Alfredo

We went to one of our favorite Italian restaurants a few weeks ago. We were with a crowd, so we ordered appetizers. On the appetizer menu was a dish labeled Sausage & Spinach. Sounded good, so we tried it, and it was a hit with everyone. Naturally, I had to try making it myself at […]

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Making Peanut Brittle, Take #1

We made peanut brittle from a Food Network recipe. The idea was for Ditalini to bring some to work, and to make small gift packages of what’s left. We’re not totally happy with the results of the recipe, though, so most if it will stay at home and get gradually consumed here. Too thick, not […]

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deMenthe Thanksgiving 2013

We were all here for Thanksgiving: Crouton & Ditalini, our son Baguette, daughter-in-law Truffle, and grandson Pesce, along with our daughter Escargot and her boyfriend. Underfoot, of course, were Mortadella & Ubriaco, along with Baguette’s dog. Our poor old cat spent the day hiding in a closet.

What a great feast we had! Relishes, turkey […]

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Appetizer Ideas

We went to a dinner at Poulet en Crote’s last night. Poulet prepared the main course while guests brought side dishes. Ditalini was responsible for bringing appetizers, and here they are:

L to R: deviled eggs, vegetable platter, stuffed cherry tomatoes, seasoned boiled shrimp, asparagus with prosciutto

There are hundreds of ways to make […]

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Crouton’s Hot Party Wings

This is a standard recipe for buffalo wings, and very simple. But I’ve found that if you stick with the standards and keep things simple, your wings will turn out fine every time!

Ingredients

2-3 dozen chicken wings 1 12-oz bottle Texas Pete or Franks’ Hot Sauce 1 stick butter 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes […]

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Not Gazpacho

Not Gazpacho (with antipasto platter)

. . . but close!

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 cilantro, chopped, to taste 2-4 stalks celery, chopped […]

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