Cook

Cooking at Home

Seared Pork a la minute!

A pork chop is like a blank canvas. Seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and a twist of pepper, it’s the perfect foil for creating a meal of the moment, or as zee French say, “a la minute”. That’s an expression that has fallen out of style, but I wonder why. What is more contemporary than making a quick sauce from ingredients you have on hand, in the same pan you cooked the pork chop? Quick, economical, inclined to be seasonal; I say it’s time we resurrect ‘a la minute’ cooking.

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Kitchen Confidence at an all time high!

The results of our Kitchen Confidence survey are in! There are some surprising food and cooking trends: 23% of you use your microwave as a butter melting device, and no one buys bottled salad dressing. Oh, really now…. ?

Here are the delicious details:

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Tiramisu

Tiramisu

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Recipe for Wonderful: Summer Shrimp & Zucchini Spaghetti

What is a summer shrimp? It’s shrimp that are eaten when the sea is at your doorstep, the air is hot, and the wine is chilled.

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Eating Alberto Il Magnifico: from beak to tail.

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Alberto Il Magnifico was a capon, raised with loving care and surrounded by our growing appetites.
In case you are wondering, a capon is a castrated rooster. According to Wiki, the Romans ‘invented‘ capons as a way to get around grain rationing for chickens. Those crafty Romans would snip the little testicles off their roosters, feed them grain and they would grow to be twice the size of a chicken. And here is your word for the day: caponization. Yup, that means snipping off of the balls. Now, use it in a sentence and report back.

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Grocery Shopping NYC Style: Seriously Whole Food

But, I had to break down and buy some food. All I had in the fridge was a lone bottle of Bud that my nephew had left there over the summer, and Budweiser just doesn’t work as a coffee substitute in the morning. Maybe for some of us…
As I’m walking down Mott St., checking out the vegetable stalls to see what looks good, there is a spiffy looking new storefront, aptly called: “New York Mart”. It looks intriguing, so in the name of neighborhood research, I wander in.

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Faro Salad

Faro Salad

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50 Shades of Salt

Let me see a show of hands. Are you a sweet or a salty person? Potato chips or gelato? And for the smug amongst us who are voting for umami..sit down. That’s a story for another day.

I’m salty. I’ll take a good pickle over a pastry anytime. Which is a good thing because living in Umbria, you better like salt.

Good sea salt is about 20 cents a kilo in Italy, so we
use it with wild abandon. You can pour an entire kilo onto a baking sheet to roast a fish and not blink a parsimonious eye. Which also means you can take salt for granted, and not pay attention to all the flavor possibilities.

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Dinner Power & A Beer Can Chicken

While our son was growing up, we worked crazy long hours. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. One other fact of our life is that we always ate dinner together. Even if it meant me riding my bike home from Gleason’s Boxing Gym like a mad woman to get to Gourmet Garage before it closed, then making dinner by 9:30; that’s what happened at our house most every night.
I don’t think any of us ever really thought about it too much; it’s just the way it was. We watched a movie together while we ate, checked to make sure homework was done. Regular stuff.
Dinner has always been our connection time and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Never Eat the Same Gazpacho Twice

We’ve slid off the spatula of our searing African weather, into the low boil of Italian summer heat. After the abrupt shift to summer, we’re now getting the chance to become adjusted to our new life style. Which means we barely want to eat anything more than prosciutto and melon, or gazpacho. Gazpacho with caviar. Cucumber & pistachio gazpacho.

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Let the Season Begin! Oven Roasted Tomato & Onion Pasta

My man knows the way to my heart.
Yesterday I came home to the peace and quiet of Montone, and there were stunning roses in the living room and a full sideboard of vegetables in the kitchen. I haven’t had time to go to the grocery store yet, so it meant putting something together with what was on hand. The first decent tomatoes of the season were sitting there, just begging to be roasted, along side some of those onions, so it was pasta with roasted vegetables for lunch.

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Shooting Our Next Cook Vook

We’re on the move again; this time back to NYC to shoot the video for our next cook Vook. I hope we have half as much fun shooting this as we did last summer. At least this time, if a light bulb blows out it won’t be catastrophic. After three days of working perfectly, with a major converter box, the main lights blow. In four minutes we went through our entire stash of back up bulbs. It’s just like watching cash burn.

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