November 2017

agony

Cheese Soufflé – The Agony And The Ecstasy

A cheese soufflé can be to any chef what the Sistine Chapel was to Michelangelo – it can be either agony or ecstasy, or both.      Any time I attempt to make a soufflé, I am well aware of the possibilities. It might end up being a total flop (agony). But there’s a greater likelihood that it will end up a spectacular dish. It will appear all puffed-up high, a light and fluffy concoction, browned on top and flavorful on the inside (ecstasy). The Magic That Occurs      It’s helpful…

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Ice

You Need An Ice Crusher. Really!!!

Yes. An ice crusher. You need one. You just don’t realize it yet.      What’s the kitchen device or utensil that you think is your most valuable possession – the one you absolutely couldn’t live without? This question oftentimes comes up when cooks assemble. Everybody usually wants to weigh in, and they get passionate and sometimes even emotional about their choice.      It might be their stand mixer or their food processor. Many mention their gourmet knives or pieces of their cookware. Other items mentioned are their coffee or espresso maker, tabletop griddle,…

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Gargantuan Henry VIII

Gargantuan Appetites. Feeding the Beast.

     We are entering the season of overeating. It begins with Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and New Year’s, and then extends through the rest of the winter. Overeating seems to give us an inner comfort and warmth we crave. At least it seems like a good idea. Then, in April, we assess what we’ve done and what’s become of us. And through diet and exercise we begin to pay for our sins. Wretched Excess      There were some whose overeating had no season. They indulged and over indulged excessively most of the…

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sweet

Holiday Side: Candied Sweet Potatoes a la Emeril

Joke: What’s the difference between a sweet potato and a yam? About ten cents a pound. Let’s Get Something Straight      First of all, it’s time to get something cleared up. Contrary to what many people think, a sweet potato and a yam are not the same. It’s true, they are both root vegetables but they belong to different plant families: the sweet potato belongs to the morning glory family and the yam the lily family. In a nutshell yams are sweeter, are larger, but they don’t supply as much nutrition.      …

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cranberry

Holiday Side: Cranberry Sauce Par Excellence

The Obligatory Side      In our family, at holiday meals (especially Thanksgiving) cranberry sauce has always been considered an obligatory side. When all of us are seated at the table, and the bowls start being passed, there is a frenzy as food is piled high on each plate. When the dish of cranberry sauce arrives, most will politely take a dap (so as not to offend the person who brought the dish). And after everything on each plate is consumed (being from the Midwest we do “clean” our plates), usually the only…

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Ham

Ham Bone-in Cooked Shank

A Real Hankerin’      Every once in a while, I get a hankerin’ (it’s the way my people talked) for a taste of a good ol’ bone-in country ham – the kind that my grandma used to make on Easter. If you’ve ever tasted one (which I often did in my youth), the taste was unforgettable. The Kiss Principle Applies Here      My advice is to keep it simple. Something happens to many of the commercial types that are for sale at the grocers. These hams are most likely soaked in brine…

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Rib roast

Beyond The Gobbler – A Standing Prime Rib Roast

Turkey for Thanksgiving? Not This Year      Mention Thanksgiving and a turkey with all the fixings immediately comes to mind. Depending on which historian you read, the turkey may or may not have been served at the first Thanksgiving meal. Many think the meat served was probably venison along with seafood and waterfowl. If there was turkey, it probably was wild turkey. Whatever they served there seems to be clear consensus – the first Thanksgiving involved eating plenty of meat.      Some years I decide to give the iconic turkey a break and serve…

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