Polenta Cakes

Making polenta only involves bringing milk to a simmer, adding polenta and continuing to stir. You can make it with water, but milk or stock gives it a better flavor. The ratio of 3 or 4 parts liquid to 1 part polenta (yield about 3 ½…

Going Greens

Collard greens are the new kale (or Brussels sprouts, anchovies or liver). You may not think you like it unless you’ve had this soul food staple properly prepared and seasoned. Maybe you had greens out of a can as a kid — without seasoning,…

Homemade onion rings

One of the best things about eating a burger is the condiments and sides. My favorite is onions rings. Fries and chips are great, but they can’t compare to the explosive flavor and crunch of onion rings. Making your own is easier than you…

Homemade Ice Cream

Ice cream is amazing — even more amazing when it is hot and muggy outside. Try elevating your sweet treat game to the next level with salted caramel. This recipe is a great base to make just about any ice cream flavor you would like. The…

Easy Hummus

You may have noticed hummus growing in popularity; it is now offered as a spread at some bagel shops and is even commonplace at franchise restaurants. There are many good reasons for this. The thick Middle Eastern condiment is delicious and…

Great Chicken!

There is something special about a smoked chicken — crisp skin with moist and juicy meat that bursts when you bite into it. There are many methods to smoke chicken, but here are a few techniques that guarantee great chicken every time.…

Buttering Up

L.G. PATTERSON I love butter. I don’t use it all of the time or on everything, but most dishes benefit from good butter. I paid a little less than $10 for a 2-pound salted Amish butter roll. The price recently increased by $2 and…

Opa!

If you’ve been to a farmers market lately, you’ve probably seen an abundance of spinach — one of the first crops of spring with so many uses: spinach salad (warm or chilled), omelets, creamed spinach and stuffed pasta, to name a few. One of…

Carbonara Made Simple

Pasta carbonara is a very simple Italian dish from Rome with many variations. In its simplest form, it can transform dry pasta from a box into a steaming, tasty dish in less than 15 minutes. Even when making basic carbonara, you have…

Happy As A Clam

L.G. PATTERSON This time of year, you need a hearty soup, like chowder, to keep you warm. There are many varieties, but New England clam chowder is my favorite. Once you learn the method, you can substitute the clams for corn, or…

Bonjour, Monsieur!

Bread Thick and crusty bread works best. You want bread that can soak up the Mornay sauce, but still have some structure. Thin sandwich bread will work, but it won’t be as hardy. Toasting the bread before spreading the mustard on one side…

Always In Style

Shrimp is a great party snack or just to munch on while watching a movie at home. You don’t have to buy cocktail sauce in a jar; most ingredients you probably have at home. You can easily make a sauce that meets your flavor preference.…

The Day After

There is a general rule people follow when buying a raw turkey for Thanksgiving: You need about 1 pound of turkey per person if you are buying a whole bird (with bones), or one-half pound per person if you are buying a boneless breast or…

People-Pleasing Panzanella

L.G. PATTERSON Everyone has bread that has gone stale or become too dry before it’s all used. Real bread, without additives, dries and becomes stale within a few days. Don’t toss it out! You can make breadcrumbs, bread pudding and…

Go Fish!

Fish tacos are a great summer dish. They are a nice change from the everyday grind. You can use fish that you caught or lean white fish from the market. There are enough varieties of toppings that you can make just about anyone happy.…

Guac Talk

Food editor Brook Harlan demonstrates how to make the perfect guacamole. L.G. PATTERSON Avocados have a mystique about them. Why do they look like dinosaur eggs? How do I get into them? How do I tell if they are ripe? In the…

Pudding It On The Line

Real bread — without any additives to make it retain moisture without molding — will stay moist for only a couple of days. It will start to dry out and, in a day or two, become hard as a rock. If you don’t want the bread to be a total…

Twist & Shout

I love good soft pretzels, but they are a little hard to come by if you’re not close to a bakery that makes them fresh. A good beer, a soft pretzel, and some mustardayonnaise (equal parts course mustard and mayonnaise) and you are set for…

A Winter’s Tail

L.G. PATTERSON It seems like every culture has its own twist on oxtails. An oxtail is not necessarily only from an ox; it is the common name given to the tail segment of a cow, ox or steer. Any culture that eats beef has numerous…