Monday, February 11

Poussin en Cocotte – Baby Chicken Roasted with Vegetables

Poussin en Cocotte – Baby Chicken Roasted with Vegetables

Toujours simple, always simple, is my culinary philosophy and a mantra attributed to many of the great French masters. Sometimes it’s such simple dishes like this homey classic, Poussin en Cocotte – Baby Chicken Roasted with Vegetables, that give the most satisfaction. The baby chicken braises in the oven in a covered casserole on a bed of aromatic vegetable, stock and wine. As it cooks, the bird and vegetables release steam, which bastes the meat.

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Monday, December 31

Fromage Fort

Fromage Fort

Any variety of cheese may be used to make this pungent spread called fromage fort or strong cheese in French.  It’s ideal to make with all the leftover bits of cheese on hand after a season of entertaining.  We make it to tame inventory in the cheese drawer.  Restaurateurs make it too, often as a house specialty.  (Chef Jacques Chibois served a memorable version made by a local fromager to compliment the aromatic cooking served

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Thursday, December 20

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Deep smoky caramel married with dark chocolate makes for an addicting sweet condiment. Keep this Chocolate Caramel Sauce on hand when you feel a craving coming on. Or when you’re having friends over. And it’s incomparable as a DIY gift. The trick to making caramel is taking care. Make sure to use a pan that is deep enough or the sauce will bubble over when the cream is added. A 1 – 1 ½ quart

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Saturday, November 24

Holiday Baking for Smart Cookies

Holiday baking for smart cookies (1)

For many years, I taught a cooking class called Holiday Baking for Smart Cookies. I’d forgotten about this until Pem McNerney of Shore Publishing asked me for some cookie baking tips. Like most time-pressed cooks, I follow a few steps to avoid the holiday baking frenzy. Breaking down the work into short bursts of activity helps me avoid last-minute frenzy. Even if you only bake a couple different types of cookies, I hope some of

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Chocolate Diabolo Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Diabolo Thumbprint Cookie

The flavors of Mexican hot chocolate inspired these Chocolate Diabolo Thumbprint Cookies. They are my riff on the holiday cookie tray staple, the chocolate snowball.  If you love surprises, this cookie might be for you. It’s got warm spices and a kick from cayenne pepper. The trick is to build flavor at each step. Use quality dark cocoa powder such as Ghirardelli. And use fresh spices. Toasting the nuts before adding them to the dough

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Monday, October 22

Roasted Squash Rings Stuffed with Quinoa Mushroom Salad

Roasted Squash Rings Stuffed with Quinoa Mushroom Salad is a good dish for a Thanksgiving buffet. Cook the squash rings and make the quinoa salad a couple of days ahead.

Quinoa is the Mickey Rooney of grains, small in stature but big on texture and taste. Slices of squash are the perfect portion control for the nutty grain in this recipe for Roasted Squash Rings Stuffed with Quinoa Mushroom Salad. You can even include it on your Thanksgiving buffet. Cook the squash rings and make the quinoa salad a couple of days ahead and you can serve it on your Thanksgiving buffet. Jump to Recipe

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Pear Almond Polenta Cake

Pear Almond Polenta Cake

Not too sweet with an intriguing combination of flavors, this Pear Almond Polenta Cake is the perfect autumn dessert.  Serve it at a holiday meal or make it to eat for breakfast over a long weekend. Jump to Recipe Pears and almonds make great partners.  I love a pear frangipane tarte, tender pears tucked into a bed of creamy almond, butter and egg filling.  But it’s fussy to make because you need to poach the

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Friday, October 19

Butternut Squash Leek Apple Curry Soup

Butternut Squash Leek Apple Curry Soup

Cozy season means snuggling in and savoring the last bits of warm sunlight each day. Soup is the king of comfort food we turn to for contentment and what the Danish call hygge. I hope this Butternut Squash Leek Apple Curry Soup gets you into the soup making mood. It’s more than the sum of its parts, somewhat salty, sweet and a touch piquant. Jump to Recipe This chunky soup combines chopped leeks and rough-cut

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Thursday, September 06

Wild Blackberry Preserves

Wild Blackberry Preserves on yogurt

My grandmother taught me to pick wild blueberries. On the lake in southern New Hampshire where we spent our summers, blueberries grew in the profuse underbrush. Picking them kept a bunch of active kids busy those long sticky days. Me, Charlot, Chris, Rolo and Annie followed the sandy road from our camp north to the neighbors’ yard where a narrow path led into the woods. The low bushes appeared in a clearing.  We ate as

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Friday, August 10

Homemade Almond, Cherry Coconut Granola

Homemade Almond, cherry coconut granola

A great batch of granola needs to be crispy and not too sweet.  It needs nuts, dried fruit and crunch. The idea for this homemade Almond, Cherry Coconut Granola comes from my internet friend Jeanette.  She emailed “consider creating a granola with almonds and almond butter. My grand kids would love that.” What a delicious request.  Eleven Madison Park’s granola recipe serves as my base. (They give it out to guests. I consumed my pint

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"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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