Wednesday, January 25

Tuna Poke-Style for Two

tuna poke

What better perk-me-up that super fresh tuna and avocado in an umami-rich sauce? Tuna Poke-Style on a pillow of diced avocado always makes me smile.  But we only eat it when the tuna is impeccably fresh. And I have never made it for more than just the two of us.  Fresh tuna is that rare treat we only purchase from a sustainable source. In the Northeast, wild-caught Atlantic yellow-fin tuna or ahi, which we often


Seat-of-the-Pants Soup

Snow pea chicken

Soups rarely require a recipe in our house.  Seat-of-the-pants soup I call it. For the most part, I just chop up a mirepoix.  I sauté it until the vegetables are slightly limp or darker brown for more flavor. It depends on what I’m going to add to the pot. Whatever scraps of fish, meat or poultry I find get added along with more vegetables if we have them and some water.  Or stock. The ingredients


Mirepoix – A Mastermind of Flavor


Much of what we cook during the short cold days of winter start with mirepoix – a mastermind of flavor. It’s the base mixture of carrots, celery and onions used to make soups and stews. Knowing how to make it and cook it will exponentially improve your cooking. It’s simple and versatile too. Mirepoix consists of diced carrot, celery and onion. It is sautéed briefly or left to caramelize before liquid is added. Cook it


Chorizo Squash Soup

Chorizo Squash Soup

The smoky taste of Portuguese chorizo/chouriço is a favorite of mine. We keep it on hand to add to rice dishes, pork stews and soups. This Chorizo Squash Soup falls under the category of seat-of-the-pants cooking. It’s when I step away from a recipe and use my imagination and experience. Now more than ever we’re eating the freezer. This soup and others like it are great ways to eat what’s on hand. In this soup,


Thursday, November 24

Limited Edition Figgy Pudding Spam – I tried it, so you don’t have to

Home for the holidays. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Hot chocolate spiked with rum. And now Figgy Pudding Spam. Ho ho ho. A friend sent me a Washington Post article about the Hormel Corporation’s limited edition Spam flavor. (“A hot dog fruitcake”) I was mildly intrigued. An odd choice, figgy pudding. We eat it, British-style fruit cake flambéed with brandy at Christmas but how many in the US do? And what’s that got to


Thursday, November 17

The Best Bread Ever turns 25!

Charlies Bread

Start your ovens. Weigh your flour. And get baking. Charlie van Over’s book, The Best Bread Ever, turns 25 years!   We love you and your bread, Charlie! (Notice how fermentation often shares its magic in unexpected ways.)   There is nothing more rewarding than having a book of one’s unique ideas published. And Charlie is one lucky guy. Thanks to many people, his simple yet sophisticated technique for using a food processor to make


Sunday, March 20

Chocolate Cherry Babka

Chocolate Cherry babka

Babka is a rich dough usually filled with ground nuts, jam, chocolate, dried fruit or any combination of those things. This Chocolate Cherry Babka recipe is baked under a dome, which traps in moisture causing the rich dough to rise. The dough is filled with a creamy chocolate spread and plump dried cherries. Although complicated in appearance, it is easy to make. This is my final post celebrating national flour month. It’s been a great


Saturday, March 12

Artisan Wheat Blend Slicing Loaf

Artisan Wheat Blend Slicing Loaf with EH mold

When you want a large crusty loaf of bread for slicing, what do you do? Rush out to the grocery store? Call a local bakery to ask them to hold a loaf for you? Might you consider making your own? This savory Artisan Wheat Blend Slicing Loaf incorporates some whole wheat for flavor. It is easy to make because it requires minimal kneading.  Use the amount of yeast as listed to have a loaf ready


Friday, March 04

Rustic Ciabatta

Rustic Ciabatta Bread

A pillowy loaf of rustic ciabatta makes the perfect accompaniment to antipasto, a bowl of minestrone or a salad. There is nothing better to go with a plate of Italian cold cuts or prosciutto either.   This Italian loaf takes its name from its shape, which resembles a dusty, old slipper.   Properly made, a loaf of ciabatta has a thin and dimpled crust. The pronounced holes in the crumb demonstrate its long fermentation.  Jump


Saturday, February 26

Oatmeal Stout Bread

Oatmeal Stout Bread Emile Henry Artisan Loaf Baker

All the flavors of whole wheat and oatmeal come together in this moist Oatmeal Stout Bread liberally flavored with intense dark beer. Make this bread for sandwiches, to serve with cheese or hearty Irish stew. Whichever you choose, know that this dough is a joy to mix by hand and delivers great flavor with the minimum of fuss. Jump to Recipe Welcome to my celebration of National Flour Month and of making quality bread at


"Let no man fancy he knows how to dine
Till he has learnt how taste and taste combine."

-Horace, Satires, 2.4

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