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Cooking with Brook

Inner Beauty

Pizza is great, but inside a pocket it can be even better. This is a bit of an over simplification — a calzone is so much more than a pizza pocket. While the outer crust is pizza dough, the inside can be so much more than just random pizza…

Sweet and Savory Sensation

Fall is almost here, the time when we see an influx of root vegetables and winter squash. Just about everywhere you look there’s an abundance of potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, carrots and more. For some reason as a kid I was…

Just the Basics

Summer and fall are great times for potato salad. There are two main types: German and American. Not surprisingly, German Potato Salad originated in Germany. It has a vinegar-based dressing and is served hot. American Potato Salad…

Pineapple and Mango Chutney

This time of year you can make a cool and refreshing chutney to go with just about anything — to top your favorite seared fish, to top a chilled or hot soup, to serve with cured meats, chips or just about any other use you can come up with.…

Baked Mac and Cheese

Baked mac and cheese is just one of those dishes that is good any time of year. It is easy to transport, keep hot and makes great leftovers. There are lots of great recipes with intricate measurements that make “The Best Mac and Cheese” but…

Fantastic Fried Chicken

I am not sure if I’ve ever met a person who didn’t like fried chicken. Not everyone loves fried chicken, but most will chow down if it’s at a cook-out or Sunday dinner. That being said, you need a go-to recipe. I am by no means saying this…

Steak Savvy

Photos by L.G. Patterson Cote du Boeuf, ribeye, Scotch fillet, cowboy ribeye, Delmonico, tomahawk, or whatever you want to call a steak from the rib primal section of beef. There are nine primal sections of beef, only three are…

Indispensable Ricotta

If you have ever eaten lasagna or cannolis you know how indispensable ricotta is in many recipes. Ricotta has become common enough to find in most grocery stores, but it might only come in small packages — and might set you back a bit.…

To Heaven and Back

I can’t do beignets justice nor have I met anyone that could do them as well as Café du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans — though this recipe is close. The inside is so soft and pillowy with a crisp skin doused in powdered sugar.…

A New Take On Chili

Take a break from the high acid of tomato chili with white chicken chili, which has many of the same flavor profiles and spice, but adds a whole new dimension to an old favorite. MEAT You can use ground chicken or turkey,…

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…