Monday, October 28, 2013

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Sometimes you are asked to bring “something simple, like a salad” to a cookout or potluck. Please, please make it yourself! Unless you get that request while you’re driving to the party there is no reason to bring store-bought. Pasta salads can be as varied as your imagination allows, but all too often they end up tasting the same, so let’s put some punch in our pasta.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hearts and Sole

Baked Sole with artichoke bottoms

Just down 63rd street from Midway Airport in Chicago, the French Kitchen (now just a memory) served a dish called Sole en Sack. It doesn’t take a degree in the romantic languages to translate that, does it? There was nothing complex about the cooking method, seasoning or the presentation. When it was brought to your table, you tore open the paper lunch bag and ate the delicately steamed, lemon scented fish.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beef and Bean Enchurritos

Beef and Bean Enchurritos

Mexican influenced cuisine was never part of our family fare when I was growing up in suburban Chicago. The first time we experienced anything close was during a vacation trip to Los Angeles in the very early 1960’s when my older brother begged my parents to try something he had heard about called a Taco. The fact is that most of what is referred to, here in the U.S., as Mexican food is actually only a bunch of really distant cousins to the cuisine of our southern neighbors. (This is not all that different from our westernized versions of any other culture’s foods!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

365 BBQ Ribs

BBQ Ribs

One of the best things about cooking barbeque is being outdoors. However, when the temperature outside is colder than the beer I don’t do a lot of prolonged grill work. But that doesn’t mean that I give up enjoying BBQ’d food.

Barbeque Sauce Starter Kit

Never discuss politics or religion or barbeque sauce with friends. Barbeque sauce preference is one of the most deeply held convictions a person can cherish. Everyone has their favorite BBQ sauce. Yours might be a particular store bought version and if you don’t cook a lot of barbeque that is entirely understandable. But if you’re serious about getting serious about BBQ, I suggest that you start with this sauce and take it from there. You’ll want to develop your own signature sauce that you’ve spent countless hours perfecting. And then you will never, ever share the exact recipe with anyone – not even your spouse. That’s just how BBQ Sauce works.