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677 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Wilted Spinach Salad

  • by PeteModerator

  I have fond memories of Wilted Spinach Salad as a kid. It was the only way I would eat spinach. I wouldn’t touch the canned or frozen stuff if my life depended on it. Even today the thought of canned spinach makes me gag and while I do often use frozen spinach I only use it if it is an ingredient in a recipe. If I am sauteing spinach it has to be fresh or forget it. But as I kid I was even more prejudiced against spinach and Wilted Spinach Salads were the only way I’d eat the stuff. I’ve long gotten over my fear of fresh spinach, but still, every summer when fresh... read more

Big, Bad Babka!

  A shaping twist on the babka from Maggie Glezer  ​      This is the same babka formula we have visited before, in 2 new shapes.     The first is babka as pan loaf.   The dough gets rolled out to about 1/4" thick. THe trick is to make sure the sough is not too thin. Lest the filling poke through.     Schmeared with a butter, cocoa and sugar mix. The a layer of raisins, chocolate chunks and walnuts.   Rolled and read for the pan.       In the second part of out adventure, the dough is rolled into a round this time, about 1/4"... read more

Herb Pot de Creme with Rhubarb Compote

  • by PeteModerator

  The other day my wife took our daughter to see one of my wife’s clients, who she had become good friends with. Her friend has a small farm and my wife took Genevieve to ride the horses. Genevieve (aka Gigi) is 4 1/2 years old and just recently told us that she wants her own horse. This has created no end of amusement for my wife because ever since Gigi was born I have been writing letters to Santa that Gigi has “dictated” to me. Most of them revolve around the idea that she wants a horse by the time she is five, so needless to say when she exclaimed that she wanted... read more

The Humble Bratwurst

  • by PeteModerator

  One thing I’ve learned, living here in Wisconsin, is that this state is obsessed with Bratwursts. It’s a passion that seems on the verge of mania. If you think I exaggerate I invite any of you to drive through any number of towns on any given weekend and you will see plenty of evidence. On any weekend from May through October you would be hard pressed to find a town that doesn’t have at least one “Brat Fry” going on, and oftentimes larger towns will have 2, 3, 4 or more going on simultaneously. These are usually fundraisers for community or high school groups from... read more

Creamy Potato and Ramp Soup

  • by PeteModerator

  Last Saturday dawned gray and rainy, so my morning plans of fishing were put on hold. Yes, I admit it, I am a fair weather fisherman. To me it is more about the act of fishing than actually catching fish, though catching them is an added plus. Since this is the case, I prefer my fishing days warm and sunny, and usually accompanied by a few beers! But since we had canceled our fishing plans I decided to head to my favorite spot to pick ramps (wild leeks). The trees would keep the worst of the drizzle from reaching me and the wet ground would make digging ramps rather... read more

Julia Child's French Bread

This is an older piece I did after the passing of Julia Child.   Since the recent passing of Julia Child there has been much discussion of her French bread recipe. Here is my first attempt.     It's a direct method dough, but it uses long fermentation and proofing. It comes close to a preferment.       On the left is the just mixed dough. On the right is after the second rise. The blue line is where the first rise got to. The first rise was just over 3 hours. The second was about 2. As printed, the dough was 87% hydrated. I thought this a tad extreme, even... read more

Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone!

Despite a rather strong body of opinion, man does not live by bread alone. At least not this man anyway. Variety is the spice of life. All bread and no cake makes Jack a dull boy. You pick the adage. Every once in a while my sweet tooth gets the best of me and I succumb to the sugar beast that dwells within.   Every year, in December, my office feeds itself. From about the 5th of the month on, one person brings breakfast and another brings a snack. Thankfully, no one has shown up with Graham Crackers, little containers of milk and collapsible paper straws I picked a... read more

Classic Cocktails- Whiskey Sour and Homemade Sour Mix

  • by PeteModerator

  I am a huge Bourbon fan. While I’ve never met a Whiskey I haven’t liked, over the years I’ve found that I prefer Bourbon to all other Whiskeys, including Scotch. I’ve always been a Bourbon fan, at least since my college days, when I drank copious amounts of Jim Beam. While in culinary school I discovered Basil Hayden and the rest of the Super Premium Bourbons and haven’t looked back since. Basil Hayden is still one of my favorites, although I can’t afford it often so my “go to” Bourbon is Maker’s Mark or Buffalo Trace.   While in college I usually drank Jim and... read more

Pi Day and a Trio of Pies

  • by PeteModerator

  It seems like nowadays there is a holiday for everyone and everything.  Of these made up holidays, March 14th is one of my favorites - Pi Day; the day we celebrate the mathematical constant, Pi, by baking and eating pie.  For those of you with no inclination towards math, Pi is the ratio between a circles diameter and circumference.  In other words, if you know a circles diameter, you multiply that by Pi and you get its circumference and thusly if you know a circle's circumference you can divide that by Pi to get its diameter.  So what is Pi exactly?  Well that is... read more

Canning-The Food Lovers Hobby.

  If you love to prepare food but haven’t learned to can yet, now is a great time to begin. Spring is here and with it the arrival of truly fresh fruits and vegetables. With farmers markets popping up everywhere, fresh produce is easier to get than ever. Canning allows you to create your own delicious recipes with all those fresh fruits and vegetables and enjoy them year round. It isn’t very complicated and can be done without a major investment of money.          Canning, despite the name, does not typically involve the use of cans. Glass jars with sealable lids are... read more

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