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732 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

What Spring Means To Me

For everything there is a seasonEcclesiastes 3:1 Walking into a grocery store recently I had to navigate my cart around a six-foot-tall display of beautifully crimson tomatoes that were still on their vines. They were unavoidable and the first thing a person saw when entering the store. They were beautiful…bright red, almost shimmering, and heavy for their size; they smelled nice, too. But I couldn’t help but feel a little disheartened. The problem I had was not with the quality of the fruit or how they were arranged, the problem was with what time it was. And by... read more

Squash Autumns Ambassadors

The envoys of fall arrive to greet us well before the autumnal equinox.  Gourds, which include pumpkins, winter squash, and those warty, odd-shaped decorative miniatures, begin showing up in supermarkets and roadside stands in late summer.  Appearing even before the leaves start changing, they're a distinctive harbinger of autumn.  For the gourmet, they're a key ingredient in a variety of seasonal dishes. Squash is the fruit of plants from the gourd family.  Squash originated in the western hemisphere and was being consumed by man at least 5,000 years ago, probably... read more

How To Make Pesto

by: Chef Jim Berman Great endings do not always mean great beginnings. Pesto emerges from a weedy start and develops into a formidable proponent of enormous flavor. Pesto can be an amalgam of various green, leafy herbs with oil, some grated hard cheese and garlic. It can also be fancied with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and the like or made rustic with spinach and walnuts in the Tuscan style. But, if it is the fundamental concoction that keeps the attention of this cook. Pesto is merely the assemblage of basil, god oil, toasted pine nuts, minced garlic and grated... read more

Barbecued Ribs

  • by PeteModerator

  It has been awhile since I last posted about ribs.  Well, it’s high time I posted again about them as you can never have too many rib, rub, or barbecue sauce recipes as far as I’m concerned. Besides, it gives me a chance to play with my smoker yet again. Man, I love that thing! While have gotten quite adept at barbecuing on my Weber kettle grill, life has become so much easier with my smoker. Now, instead of having to babysit my barbecue all day, I can load it up and let it go, checking it once an hour or so. The downside to that is I can’t use barbecuing as an... read more

How To Make Old Fashioned NY Sour Corn Rye Bread

I love rye bread. Buying great rye bread here in NYC is easy. Making it is a different story! Here are my attempts to create an old fashioned NY Sour Corn Rye. First up is my latest attempt. It part of the Magnificent Maggie Glezer Adventure, and id awfully good.     This is the real deal, tight crumb, chewy crust, big flavor!       First things first, converted a firm starter a la Maggie, to a rye starter with two rye feedings.     Here's a little departure from Izzy's NY Rye, which is now a close second in my heart. The "ferments" for only 15-20... read more

Artichokes Al Judeo

When Chef Michael Altenberg, chef owner of Campagnola in Evanston, IL, told the Chef Forum about a dish that he frequently makes called artichokes al judeo, we at ChefTalk.com were intrigued. This Italian dish, which according to Chef Altenberg, originates in the Jewish ghettos of Rome, is unique in that the artichokes are literally smashed with the side of a sturdy knife or the bottom of a heavy pan. The dish uses baby artichokes. Before crushing the artichokes, they must first be trimmed to remove the exterior leaves. The tops of the tender leaves that remain are also... read more

Bourbon Peach Slush

  • by PeteModerator

  If I haven't already stated if before, I am a huge bourbon fan.  It is, by far, my favorite liquor and at any time you can find, at least 4 or more different bourbons in my home bar.  That being said, I don't tend to drink much bourbon in the summer.  I find it to be too heavy and it often lends itself to flavors more associated with Fall and Winter.  That's not to say I don't enjoy the occasional glass of straight bourbon while sitting on the deck, enjoying the sunset, or one of the many cocktails that lighten and refresh bourbon using a variety of citrus juices. ... read more

Kitchen Facts & Fictional Living: Feeding Starving Minds at a Buffet of Questionably Prepared Food for Thought (First Course)

  What follows, and will follow, for what I believe to be a long time as the story is still being recollected and written, is a bit of confabulation and a story-telling apparition. Some truth and some elaborate flights of my own need to sound cooler than I really am. And some details covered over with so much chocolate sauce as to distort what really happened (and happens!) that the innocent remain free of tyranny from speculation and, well, to keep you interested.   Kitchen Facts & Fictional Living:  Feeding Starving Minds at a Buffet of Questionably Prepared... read more

Lemon Verbena

No doubt about it. The rather bland looking lemon verbena, Aloysia triphylla, is not going to be stage center in those herb gardens where esthetics play a strong role, but the wise cook will most assuredly find a place for this homely child; it can work wonders as a flavor enhancer in dishes from desserts to entrees - even in iced drinks. Referred to as "a member of a select group of olfactory ambushers" by a well-known herbalist, one need only smell the scented leaf to understand its culinary value. And yet this exotic herb is seldom seen in recipe books. Considered a... read more

Blackberry Peach Cobbler

  • by PeteModerator

  A few weeks ago I made my first trip to the Little Farmer, one of my favorite places here in Wisconsin, and they start their season the beginning of August with early season apples and peaches that they get from a farmer over in Michigan. The peaches were superb and I had to pick up a bunch, both for eating and for cooking. I really like this year’s crop, sweet and super juicy, yet they seem to have a nice tart kick to them, even when fully ripe.   Normally, if I am going to pair peaches with any fruit it is usually raspberries, but since we are between raspberry... read more

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