What is a Mortar and Pestle and how is it used? This handy kitchen utensil is the predecessor of the food processor.  It’s a must have for Italian and Mediterranean influenced food.  Place garlic, herbs, pepper flakes in the bowl—the mortar—and mash and mash and mash these ingredients together with the Pestle. Purest insist that…

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Trim the base or root of the onion very carefully maintaining enough of the root to hold the layers together.  Remove the stem or top.  Peel the very thin outer layer.  It is important the onion does not “deconstruct” from this trimming and peeling. Place the onions in a heavy bottom pan and cover with…

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Fava beans will not win the beauty pageant with their appearance.  Their large, soft and often spotted pods make them appear as though they were picked last week and have been left to wither in the basket.  Not true. Fava beans require some busy work to prepare them for cooking.  Have faith.  The resulting product…

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I’m sure we will have Brussels sprouts from time to time in the next couple of months although they are a little early this year due to the intense heat of this summer. The sprouts can be prepared in a great variety of ways from simple to complex. Always begin by trimming the bottoms and…

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Building your cookbook library can be an enjoyable project as well as providing you with excellent sources of reference.  In the next few weeks I’d like to talk about some of the books that I believe are basics; books that provide information about products and techniques rather another new recipe. I’ll start by mentioning a…

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Turnip greens are an extremely nutrient packed vegetable. However, many folks are lost on what to do with them. They may be prepared the same as you would prepare mustard greens, kale, collards, or chard. The less you alter them, the more nutrients you retain. For the healthiest preparation, try simply steaming your greens. You…

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Place the chicken on the cutting board, breast side up.  Remove the thigh‐leg pieces.  Push the thigh away from the body by placing your thumb and fingers between the thigh and the body and then opening your hand.  Carefully cut the skin that should be stretched by this action.  Once the flesh is exposed put…

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Make turkey stock a day early The day before you roast the turkey, use the neck and the first two wing joints to make a stock.  Chop the wing joints and the neck into one inch pieces.  Brown these in some butter with chopped onion, celery and carrot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.   Skim the stock. Add some thyme…

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Making caramelized onions takes some time and patience, but the silky, savory, sweet onions keep well and taste delicious! You can use white, sweet or red onions. Use them on sandwiches, pizza, in pasta, soups or on top of a rich salad. They pair well with acid to cut the fat, so add fruit and vinegar.…

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