On the Importance of a Good Thermometer

Critical to any cook’s arsenal of tools is a good, reliable, accurate instant read thermometer.  In fact, I would argue that short of a knife, this is the most important tool in the kitchen.  Here’s why: A couple of months ago I received one of the greatest honors of my culinary career:  My dear friend…

Herb Crusted Pork Loin with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

This method for roasting a pork loin is the best I’ve found so far.  It yields a juicy, tender roast accented by savory garlic and herbs.  Served with Shiitake Mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes it makes the perfect autumn dinner for those first few crisp, cool nights.  Although it takes a couple of hours to…

Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburgers

To my great happiness, it is once again Hatch Chile Season!  The Hatch Chile hails from the small town of Hatch, NM – arguably the pepper capital of North America.  Hatch Chiles are exactly the same pepper as the well-known Anaheim Pepper, but because they are grown in the rocky soil of arid Southern New…

Argentine Steak with Chimichurri on Crostinis

This classic gaucho-style steak is a sure crowd-pleaser and is a unique way to serve grilled steak on a warm summer evening.  Because it uses an inexpensive cut of meat, it’s also easy on the wallet. Time: 60 – 90 Minutes Level: Easy Cost: $6-8/plate Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: For the Chimichurri Sauce: 1 bunch flat…

Penne with Chicken, Sausage and Sprouts

Looking for quick, easy and delicious one pot meal that will fill your stomach on a weeknight? Here you go! Time: 60 – 90 Minutes Level: Easy Cost: $6-8/plate Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chunked into roughly 1 – 1.5 inch cubes 12 oz – 1 lb smoked sausage (try Cajun…

How to Chop an Onion

The easiest way to chop an onion, hands down. When I started cooking, one of the things I hated most (aside from dicing raw chicken) was dicing up an onion.  For years I would slice it into rings and chop those rings up one by one and it took forever.  Once I learned this handy…

Easy New England Clam Chowder

This version of a New England classic is as easy as it is delicious.  Perfect for a cold night, it is garnished with bacon bits and oyster crackers and is best served with a rustic, crusty bread (for dipping) or warm biscuits. Growing up in Massachusetts my family and I used to take an annual…

The Best Grilled Chicken

Chicken – especially chicken breast – is one of those things that tends to strike fear into the heart of every enthusiastic backyard griller.  Grilled chicken though, should be moist and delicious and a simple alternative to burgers and dogs.  Never fear, this fool-proof recipe can take as little as 45 minutes to prepare start…

Hack Your Gas Grill: Use it as a Smoker

If you’ve got a gas grill, you can still turn out some truly amazing, authentic BBQ.  Here’s how. I know there are those people out there who are going to hate this post.  Trust me, I understand.  But ultimately, I’m about results – And if the technique yields sound results, then it’s a sound technique. …

Seared Lamb Loin with Garlic and Lemon

  Lamb tends to be one of those things that people either love or hate.  For a long time, I hated it because the only way I’d ever had it prepared was slow braised in a crockpot, stew-style, and served with mint jelly.  While that may be some people’s cup of tea, it wasn’t mine. …

Cooking 101: Using Heat

Cooking is about heat.  Being able to control heat , understanding how heat enters food, and what happens to food when it does, is a fundamental skill to master if you want to learn to cook. Fortunately, once you’ve got an understanding of what’s going on, it’s not that hard to figure out. If you’ve…

BBQ Chicken Quarters with ‘Bama White Sauce

Served with an authentic but lesser-known Alabama White Sauce, this BBQ chicken is succulent and tender on the inside with crispy, bite through skin on the outside.  Daintily eat with knife and fork, or gnaw off the bone caveman style.  Your choice. Time: 120 Minutes Level: Intermediate Cost: $2-3/plate (chicken only and sauce only) Serves:…