Lucky Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage for New Year’s

Happy New Year!  Around the world you can find people eating lots of different foods in order to bring good luck and fortune.  In Italy the good luck dish is lentils and cotechino (a sausage).  No cotechino laying around la mia casa, but I did have some lentils and some of my garlic sausage so…

Soup Time: Manhattan Clam Chowder

It’s cold and damp out there.  Soup weather.  Now, soup is not that complicated to make so don’t be scared of making it from scratch.  I hadn’t made any in a while (because it was summer) and since Cheryl and I sampled some really good chowder in Seattle last weekend I decided to make a…

Getting Colder Outside, Make a Hearty Vegetable Garbure!

Your first question is what the heck is a vegetable garbure?  Short answer: a ham and vegetable French peasantry stew.  Long answer: a French stew I found in Ruhlman’s Twenty which enabled me to use up the bacon rind I’ve been saving in the freezer from the last time I made bacon.  Doesn’t it always…

Couscous Salad (don’t worry, summer’s almost over)

Ok, back to summer salads!  This particular couscous salad is Cheryl’s favorite.  I’m not sure if there’s a special ingredient in it she really likes or if it’s the combination of everything, but whatever it is she gets very happy when I make it.  As with most of my summer creations, this couscous salad is…

Summer Lentil Salad

Hot summer days require something cool to go with whatever you’re grilling.  Cold salads fit the bill nicely.  As you’ll see, I like making a lot of different salads in the summer.  They can be made ahead in bulk and chilled in the fridge, ready to be served or packed up and taken on a…

Mushroom and Carrot Risotto

Ah risotto.  Siiiiiiiigggghhhhh.  I’d say this is one of those dishes every budding home chef ate at a restaurant or saw Mario make on tv and said to themselves “I have to learn how to make this!”  Risotto’s not quite the Holy Grail of home cookery but I’d say it’s one of the top adventures…

What’s for Sunday Dinner: Braised Pork Ribs with Apple-Curry Sauce

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Chicago.  The sun was shining, temperature was in the mid-60s, and everyone was out soaking it all up.  It reminded me of something I read once about Calvados, the French apple brandy, being like a glass of summer sunshine.  That description has always stuck with me and I think…

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…