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Cooking For A Crowd The Dos And Donts Of Entertaining At Home

Have you ever experienced a party blackout? Not the kind induced by too much wine but rather the blackout induced by working so hard on preparing and serving food that your party memories consist of the pre-dinner prep, greeting guests, and end with loading the dish washer. What happened? The following do's and don'ts offer some helpful advice to help you plan and prepare so you can party at your own party. Do choose your menu wisely. This is the most important aspect of a successful event. Consider what type of gathering you're hosting, buffet, barbecue or intimate... read more

Duck In Place Of Chicken

by: Chef Jim Berman I have often debated aloud as well as alone the one troublesome question that just about every cook worth his or her grease stained apron has asked at one point or another: For whom am I cooking? Do I prepare food as I would art? Is it self-expression - each dish a work borne of my own insight, hard work and wonton desire? Or is cooking a medium for which to deliver food and turn a profit? This can be tumultuous if you are one of those 'type a' personalities, like myself, that likes to work with a clear goal in mind. More aptly put, when working in a... read more

Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcake

  • by PeteModerator

  It’s the middle of May and that means that the rhubarb I’ve been watching grow for the last 6-7 weeks is finally ready to start harvesting. That may not mean a whole lot to many people, but I get all excited just thinking about it. Yes, I know I need to get out more! But seriously, I love the tart flavor of rhubarb. Paired with strawberries, it becomes the ultimate late spring/early summer food pairing, at least in my book.   I’ve got 3 huge rhubarb plants in my backyard; enough to keep my family constantly in rhubarb desserts for the next 2 months and still have... read more

Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato Panini

  • by PeteModerator

  It’s that time of year, and the tomatoes have started popping up in our CSA share. I always look forward to these additions to our weekly boxes. For most of the year I’m not much of a tomato fan, mainly due to the fact that most supermarket tomatoes (those wrongly named vine-ripened included) are tasteless and have the texture of cardboard and water. But come the end of July and the beginning of August that all changes as local, truly vine ripened tomatoes start showing up at the farmer’s markets, roadside stands, and, especially in our CSA boxes.   The Caprese... read more

Slow Cooker Carnitas

  • by PeteModerator

  It’s been awhile since I spoke of my love of the slow cooker, AKA Crock Pot. In my early days as a chef, I used to look down on these gadgets, associating them with bad casseroles and 1970’s cooking. I quickly changed my tune though when I started playing with them and realized what great vessels they were for slowly braising all sorts of meats and dishes. It allows me to start a dish in the morning, before work, making for a quick but tasty dinner soon after I get home.   While you do most of the cooking, for this dish, in the slow cooker, it does need to be... read more

Jerk Chicken

  • by PeteModerator

  As I stated in my previous post, work has been keeping me pretty busy the last few weeks. Not only am I working 6 to 7 days a week, but I am also working 10-12 hours each day. That has left precious little time to do much serious cooking, though I have occasionally found the time. Where it really hurts is when it comes to grilling. My grills (1 gas, 1 charcoal and a smoker) have all remained more idle, for the past few weeks, than I like. Summer usually finds me grilling out at least a few times a week, if not more often, unfortunately that hasn’t been the case... read more

Employee Background Checks A Needle In My Mashed Potatoes

Not that there aren't restrictions to foreign objects in food dishes, but considering the new twists and turns American standards have been assuming since "911", it's easy to understand how vulnerable we can be with our food supplies, drinking water and, not to mention, the kitchens of our favorite restaurants. There are many procedures and regulatory conditions our cafeterias, kitchens, delis, food stands and fast food operations are required to go thru in order to ensure proper health management and basic food preparation. One health inspection company, HACCP, an... read more

Cooking With Parsley

Parsley, More Than a GarnishMany already know this but some do not, and for those who have been wrongly misinformed throughout life let it be said that parsley is a culinary herb that is full of flavor as well as color and is not merely a garnish. Parsley is without a doubt the most popular and widely used culinary herb in the world. It grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year. It's unfortunate, though, that parsley is also one of the least appreciated herbs in America, its subtle flavor is often overlooked and not even considered it's usually... read more

Malaga, a walk along tapa bars

- Málaga is this town in Andalucía where I always want to come back to for the past 30 years. Let's explain first that I prefer to reside in a nearby town, Torremolinos, which has a metro-style small train that travels continuously to Málaga in less than half an hour for only a few euros. It allows me to visit Málaga as many times as I like. Especially these last years, Málaga has grown into a place that seems to attract more and more city-trippers and other tourists... I heard Málaga many times being called "Little Barcelona", and that is so true! Málaga is not exactly... 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

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