Although I’m fearless when it comes to preparing seafood, I wince when it comes to cooking fresh fish. But every so often, I come across a recipe that prompts me to face my fears and take on one of those scaly creatures. I must admit, however, that having skinned and sliced salmon fillets makes the feat far less daunting.Read more
London Broil with Sun-Dried-Tomato Marinade
A sale and the weather were the main influencers of this week’s post. Because our local supermarket had a great special on London broil, we had decided to break out the grill for the first barbecue of the season. But when the weather forecast put the kibosh on outdoor cooking, I started to consider a few alternatives like pan grilled or broiled, neither of which struck my husband’s fancy. So, I asked him to go through a few of our cookbooks and find a recipe for London broil that would.
An hour or so later he returned to my office, cookbook in hand and grinning. The book was Lidia Bastianich’s Commonsense Cooking and the recipe he chose was “London Broil Steak with Sun-Dried Tomatoes Marinade.” Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand—even the fresh basil, which I had purchased for another dish.Read more
Easy Crispy Baked Chicken
Sometimes I just want or even have to cook something simple yet tasty. Such was the case yesterday, when I realized all the work my initial recipe for this post required and that I didn’t have the time to make it. Consequently, I opted for a far less complicated dish that despite its simplicity yielded loads of flavor: Crispy Baked Chicken.Read more
Roasted Pork Shoulder
When our local grocery store offered us the choice of a free ham, turkey, or bone-in pork shoulder as holiday deal for spending $400 this year, we opted for the shoulder. However, since we order our groceries online and have them delivered, the roast’s exact weight was an unknown. So, when it appeared at our front door, it was a whopping 8.25 pounder, at least three pounds more than I had expected. Consequently, I was forced to shelve the recipe I had chosen for it and look for an alternative.
A search through my cookbooks failed to yield a recipe for a roast of this size. Most that I found were for boneless pork shoulders ranging from 3 to 5 pounds. I tried to adapt them for my gargantuan specimen, but with little success. I even thought of butchering it and making a stew, but my husband and I were set on serving the guests we had invited a roast.
To meet this objective, I decided to google “8 pound roasted bone-in pork shoulder recipe” and, amazingly, the first recipe that appeared sounded perfect. Not only did I have all its ingredients on hand, but the recipe included relatively precise cooking times for roasts ranging from 3 to 10 pounds. There were also copious reader comments with glowing reviews and success stories. Best of all, it required a minimum of effort.Read more
Meatballs: Installment #1
“Meatballs.” Just the word conjures up feelings of culinary comfort for me; and when these tasty morsels are paired with pasta, I’m transported back to my childhood where they often showed up as part of a Sunday dinner. I do know that some Italian-food traditionalists may scoff at these meaty orbs coated with tomato sauce, dismissing them as Italian-American fare. Indeed, I recall having dinner with a friend from Italy who looked at me in disbelief when I ordered one as an appetizer in a well know Chicago restaurant. “Stai scherzando,” (You must be joking) he said. I trust the satisfied expression on my face after I consumed the last tasty morsel proved him wrong.
This post will be the first in a series devoted to meatballs that I plan to publish periodically over the next few months. The recipe, “Pasta with Meatballs” comes from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook Nigella Bites and can also be found online. (I used the latter.) I chose it for a number of reasons: I found some ground pork in the back of the freezer; there was no frying or roasting involved; and it yielded 30 meatballs slightly larger than a cherry tomato. Another motivation came from finding her online version of the recipe, which substituted semolina for breadcrumbs as well as jarred passata for canned tomatoes.Read more