Slow Braised Short Ribs

Slow braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus

This dish is from Hugo Ortega’s Backstreet Kitchen cookbook. I prepared it for a cooking club dinner the other night, and it was a hit. Although it may appear complicated, it’s actually easy to prepare (if you don’t count peeling the cipollini […]

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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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Separating Egg Yolks

Don’t worry about the language. You’ll get it.

Is that cool or what?

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Technique: Peeling Garlic

I saw this floating around the InterTubes a while back and thought, “bullpucky.” Tonight, I tried it. Holy moly … it works!

Why didn't I know this before? All those years wasted, peeling one clove at a time!

And you know what? If it works for me, it’ll work for you!

[…]

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Boeuf Bourguignon à la Julia Child

Boeuf bourguignon with potatoes and broccolini

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 […]

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Preserving Lemons

Preserved lemons have many uses, but we primarily use them to prepare two Moroccan recipes: Chicken Tajine (aka Rotten Chicken), and Chicken Tajine w/Harissa, Artichokes, & Grapes.

Ingredients & Equipment

6-12 lemons sea salt or kosher salt 1 qt fruit jar w/lid

Directions

Prepare preserved lemons 4 weeks ahead of need.

Cut the ends […]

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Beer Can Chicken on the Barbie

Beer can chicken on the barbie (with sweet potatoes)

Everybody has a barbecue beer can chicken recipe. How is mine different? It isn’t, but I’ll try to make up for that by discussing good techniques for cooking it.

Ingredients

whole fryer chicken seasoning half a can of beer

Directions

Remove the giblets, rinse and […]

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Italian Family Barbecue Revisited

Here’s the original recipe, if you want the details.

Grilled artichoke, polenta with onions & peppers, Italian sausage

A few variations this time around. We recently bought a new gas grill, and in my zeal to protect it and make it last forever, I’m using grilling pans and sheets. You can see them in […]

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Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™

I’m going to start an equipment & technique section on this blog. This post is the first entry for the new section . . . the subject is Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™; specifically some techniques for setting up and using a Weber Smoky Mountain cooker.

In the past Ditalini and I have smoked and devoured […]

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Baking Potatoes on the Grill

Sweet potatoes (w/beer can chicken)

This works well with baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, or yams:

Under running water, scrub dirt off potatoes and rinse, then pat dry. Leave skin on. Pierce potatoes lengthwise with shiskabob skewers, then wrap in foil.

The skewer does two things: it pierces the potato so that steam can escape, […]

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