Dinner Parties and More

Chicken Liver Pate’

Chicken Liver Pate’ Ingredients: 2 slices            Bacon (thin slices will crumble into bits better) ¼ cup              Onion (finely chopped) 1 Tbsp            Shallots (finely chopped) 1 clove             Garlic (minced) ¼ cup              Tart apple (Granny Smith peeled and coarsely chopped) 2 Tbsp            Butter 8 oz                 Chicken livers (washed and trimmed) 1 Tbsp            Cognac 1+ Tbsp          Heavy cream 2 Tbsp            Butter (cold and formed) 1 Tbsp            Lemon juice 1 tsp                Worcestershire sauce Add red pepper flakes to taste Note: Makes slightly more than one cup Directions: Time ____________ (At least one…

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Rib roast

The Standing Prime Rib Roast

A Regal Presence On The Table      Preparing and serving a prime rib roast is always an event. Its regal presence on a table makes the occasion special, and its aroma can get my digestive juices flowing faster than any other food. It’s also interesting to watch our guests catch the first whiff of what’s in the oven. When they realize it’s prime rib, their excitement is almost palpable.     As human beings, we seem to continue to love meat. Our long history of the way we’ve consumed our eatables goes all of the way…

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Fresh Fish (with skin) Poached in Butter

Fish As Comfort Food? True “comfort food” is usually high in calories and carbohydrates. It tastes great, but later it can leave you with a not-so-great feeling (to say nothing of the associated guilt). But I also think of fish as comfort food, but not in the traditional sense. When I eat fish, it not only tastes great at the time I’m eating it, but my body seems to sense that this was a good choice. It’s nutritious (a good source of protein) and offers other good vitamins and minerals…

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coq au vin cuisine

Your Go-to Classic Cuisine

     To be considered a great dinner party host, you need to have a dish representing a classic cuisine when you want to impress. It’s the one you’ve served many times and can prepare with a relatively high chance of success.      Over the years, it’s been changed so that it agrees with your particular tastes, and it’s the dish that has made you a living legend. It’s one of the reasons people want to score an invitation to sit at your table.      My go-to classic is Coq au Vin (click on this link to find my recipe…

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How To Add Pizazz To Your Hosting

Pizazz In The Kitchen – It’s Showtime, Folks      After our dinner party guests have arrived, it seems they to like to congregate in our kitchen. And it’s especially true if it’s a small dinner party (six or less). I think they do this for two reasons: (1) they want to socialize with their hosts and (2) they know this is where the magic occurs..      In the early stages of my introduction to hosting, I recommended to keep things simple. But after you’ve become more accomplished and you’ve established your reputation, you can now…

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Bowl of chili

Chili And The NFL

    I’ve always associated baseball with hot dogs, basketball with popcorn, and football with chili. Most people I know associate football with tailgating, but to me it’s chili. During most football Sundays, I’ll cook up a pot, and all afternoon the aroma will waft up into the loft where we’re watching the game(s). NFL football and a bowl of red – a match made in heaven. Going Public      I’ve refined my recipe over the years, and it suits my taste to a tee. Every other recipe I have I’m quick to share with…

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Poutine – Comfort Food At Its Best

I would like to note: THE NATIONAL DISH OF CANADA IS NOT RACHEL MCADAMS – It’s poutine. I know. This is exactly what I don’t need. Another type of comfort food. For those of you who aren’t aware, it’s pronounced poo teen, and it’s a gloppy snack which consists of French fries, gravy, and melted cheese curds, and it’s absolutely died-and-gone-to-heaven good. McDonalds sells it in Canada. And in several lists of the ten greatest Canadian inventions, it came in ahead of the electron microscope, the Blackberry, and the paint roller….

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late corn grits

Corn Grits From Late Season Corn

Simply Perfect      The chef, Jacques Pepin, was asked what dishes he would request for his last meal. He said one of his choices would be hand-picked freshly-shelled peas straight from the garden with butter and sea salt. This shows a great culinary experience doesn’t have to involve exotic ingredients, dozens of spices, and complicated techniques. It can be a simple dish. As a matter of fact, in the case of Pepin’s peas, any further additions would detract from this basic but perfect concoction. Another Great but Simple Dish      I recently…

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Summer Tomatoes. It’s A Waiting Game.

     I TELL MYSELF TO BE PATIENT. That it’s a waiting game. I wait all year for that first taste of the perfect homegrown tomato. And when it happens, it’s sheer ecstasy.      But I always get impatient. In June I see those perfect-looking red tomatoes in the grocery stores and on the farmers’ market stands. I have to remind myself, THESE ARE THE IMPOSTERS. I am looking at hydroponic tomatoes (grown in sand, gravel or liquid) or hothouse tomatoes (from temperature-controlled buildings for rearing plants out of season), and…

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A Trinity Of Passions – Food, Love and Tango

     Of all the dances we have to choose from, the tango offers the best means for us to demonstrate our individuality, uniqueness and style. But it’s teasingly incomplete.  We must  decide on the recipe for our own individual tango. Like a cooking recipe it requires interpretation, iteration and alteration.  Simmer it on the dance floor and it can become interesting, alluring, and sensual. And like great food the result can be a dish that is absolutely heavenly.      According to a recent ABC News poll, nearly nine out of ten people in our country say they believe…

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