New Kitchen Book – Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain

It’s not often you see me write about stuff other than food I’ve been cooking or sausages I’ve been making. That should tell you something about this particular acquisition. If you are into making sausages and curing meat you need to get yourself a copy of Charcuteria: The Soul of Spain, by Jeffrey Weiss.

Merry Christmas!

Merrrrrrrrry Christmas! A very abbreviated post today since it’s Christmas. 

Homemade Mustard – Condiment Making 101

Mustard. Chicago’s favored hot dog condiment and one which comes in many forms. There’s spicy, sweet, honey, stone ground, Dijon, country-style, Chinese, German, sharp and tangy…I could go on and on. If you take a look at the ingredients you’ll find, no matter which is your favorite, mustards are pretty much all made with the…

Pollo alla Milanese Vestito (Breaded Chicken Cutlets)

Sorry for more Italian but I’ve been on a roll lately and couldn’t resist making Pollo alla Milanese this week.  Cheryl’s been swamped at work and this is one of her favorites.  It’s also her birthday week so I thought this would be a nice weeknight dinner to prepare for her.  That and pollo alla…

Some Tips on Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for the First Time

So this is it!  This is the year you’re not dealing with all the hassle of traveling and will be making Thanksgiving dinner for yourself and a few friends.  Good for you!  Despite all the drama you’ve witnessed throughout your life surrounding Thanksgiving dinner it’s really not terribly difficult to prepare if you’re sensible.  If…

Herb Butter – Kitchen Essential

Herb butter.  Compound butter.  Hotel butter.  No matter what you call it, it’s one of the easiest items you can make and add to your kitchen essentials cupboard.  It’s also a good example of how a simple uncomplicated item can have tremendous effects on anything you cook.  Finish off your vegetables with it, plop a…

Homemade Gnocchi – It’s Taken a While but I Finally Did It

Ah gnocchi.  When gnocchi is made right they are like light and airy pillows; when made wrong like heavy and dense globs of potato.  They are one of Cheryl’s favorite foods and always in the running if we’re at an Italian restaurant and gnocchi is on the menu.  Gnocchi are made with the simplest ingredients,…

Pureed Potato and Leek Soup (and a Kitchen Essential!)

So after a weekend in New Orleans we needed something a little, um, well, less larger than life which could be heated up quickly for the many (many) gym nights we’re going to need this week.  The cupboards were looking a little bare, not quite Old Mother Hubbardish, but I did have a big bag…

Kitchen essentials – Demi-glace

Still back home visiting but I crafted this entry before leaving when I realized the only “essential” I’ve mentioned is truffle salt.  If you’ve read any of Anthony Bourdain’s books you know he is a big proponent of demi-glace.  Traditionally it’s made with veal stock and sauce espagnole and reduced.  Making some can be a…

I Love My Panini Press

A long time ago I bought something from Williams-Sonoma which of course put me on their email list.  One day I received an email from them about a big sale on a Breville panini press.  It was pretty heavily discounted so I bought it.  One of my most favorite purchases.  Plug it in and while…