Venison Chili à la David Rainier

This, over the past year, has become my go-to chili recipe. It’s not the kind of chili that’ll win a Texas-style cookoff, but it’s rich in flavor, homey, and satisfying. —Crouton

The Cannolis, Ditalini’s sister Gina and her husband Lengua, visited over Christmas, bringing with them venison from deer hunter country, upstate Michigan. The […]


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 day and decided to make it myself. Perhaps I chose the wrong recipe, because […]


Caldo de Birria

I discovered this stew at a Mexican restaurant in Tucson. So far I’ve found only one other local restaurant serving it. I’m told it’s street food, highly regarded as a hangover cure. What impressed me was its rich beefiness, reminding me a bit of German oxtail soup: a thick broth with plenty melt-in-your-mouth meat […]


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, […]


Green Chile Beef Stew

I tasted this green chile beef stew at my friend Gusti Come Pollo’s house. It was so good I chained myself to the front porch and refused to leave until she shared the recipe. Yesterday I finally got around to making it at home. Not only is it as good as I remembered, it’s simple […]


Crouton’s Bouillabaisse

The deMenthes always have seafood on Christmas Eve. Since we were visiting our son Baguette and his family in Las Vegas this year, and since our son had announced he was going to make clam chowder on Christmas Day, I decided to try my hand at bouillabaisse for Christmas Eve. This recipe is my version […]


Crouton’s New Mexico Green Chile Stew (Updated)

Yesterday someone set up a gas-fired roaster in front of the local Safeway and started roasting fresh Hatch green chiles. They smelled so good I couldn’t resist buying a bag and rushing home to make a pot of New Mexico green chile stew. I know, there’s another green chile stew recipe here at Crouton’s Kitchen, […]


Ditalini’s Goulash

This is the Czech version of goulash, as served at the Tábor Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, modified by Ditalini. Traditionally it is served with dumplings, which I’ll include in the recipe, but we serve it with pasta, as shown. The recipe will serve four.


Dumplings 3 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp dry yeast […]


Boeuf Bourguignon à la Julia Child

I finally tackled a long put-off project, the famous boeuf bourguignon (beef stew in red wine with bacon, onions, and mushrooms) from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

This is a recipe you’ll need to study and understand before you start, especially if you’re going to prepare it by yourself. You’ll need […]


Ditalini’s Chicken & Dumplings

What made this dish special was Ditalini’s home-made chicken stock, so I’ll include both recipes here.

Ditalini's Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken Stock Ingredients

2-3 saved chicken carcasses 4-6 baggies full of saved chicken giblets water 1 onion, chopped 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped 4-6 stalks celery, chopped salt & pepper to taste

Chicken Stock Directions