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Cooking with Brook

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…

Squash Any Doubt

L.G. PATTERSON Winter squash doesn’t actually grow in the winter; it becomes ripe in late summer and early fall. Once ripe, the skin has thickened and the squash is ready to store for the long winter. There are many varieties of…

Getting Rid Of Gluten

For some, just the mention of “gluten-free” has them shuddering at the thought of a bread-deprived and pasta-less existence. Although some people are not able to eat gluten due to a medical intolerance, there is a growing debate on the…

Cooking With Mussels

Mussels are not a common dish that people cook at home. There’s a misconception that they are complicated to prepare. The truth is, you clean them and then steam them. Everything else is just fluff (adding flavors, salt and other…

Easy Does It

There’s no need to tend the fire, baste or wrap the brisket. You can go from a fresh brisket to a tender, great-tasting brisket in about 18 hours with only about 30 minutes of work. The Brisket A brisket is one of the nine primal cuts…

So Far, Tso Good

General Tso’s Chicken (aka Tsao’s) is one of my most favorite “Chinese” dishes, but you won’t find it in China. The dish is thought to have originated in the early 1970s in New York, created by Peng Chang-kuei, a Chinese chef from the Hunan…

Truffle Versus Truffle

Truffles or truffles? There is a difference. Many people have no idea what a truffle is. Every time they hear truffle, they think of a chocolate truffle or of the truffle shape. Actually, truffles can be grouped into three categories.…

Give ‘Em A Break!

Raw, fried or stewed — those are just a few ways to prepare the delicious oyster. These bivalve mollusks from brackish water  can be caught wild in shallow waters or cultivated in bays. Oysters have been part of regional cultures for…

Unconventional Turkey

Holidays are hectic enough. The entire family is in town, kids are running around, and the house is at three times its comfortable capacity. The process of cooking an entire turkey can be overwhelming: roasting, resting, carving, plating —…

Sure Cure

Your house may become a revolving door at this time of the year with guests coming and going. Some guests may be more announced than others. Cheese and crackers are great to have on hand, but having something a little more personal can make…

Bite Your Tongue

preconceived notions discourage you — just trust me. I promise, if you like braised short ribs, pot roast or osso bucco, you will love lenguas tacos, or as they say in Spanish, tacos de lenguas. The tacos combine the delicious flavor of…

Just Peachy

We wait throughout the spring for peaches and when they finally arrive we race to the market each weekend to get them. After the first several weeks, the trees are full and the lines are shorter. By that time, we have tired of cobblers,…

Join The Flan Club

Flan, aka crème caramel, is a whole-egg custard (as opposed to its cousin crème brûlée, which is made with only yolks) featuring caramel poured into the ramekin/vessel followed by the custard. Flan was created to help use excess eggs. The…