Category Archives: side dish

Perfect Rice Recipe

I have a confession to make: I have not been very good about cooking rice. It either comes out watery, gummy or scorched. Those days are now over since I have found this recipe on the New York Times cooking site. I have made it many times and the rice comes out perfect every time.

Note: To get the lid on the pot to fit tightly, I take two lengths of aluminum foil, fold it a few times and wrap it around the lid of the pot before I put the cover on.

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7-Up Glazed Carrots

Back in the 1970s there was a prime rib chain called Lord Charlie’s that had the best glazed carrots. I asked them how they cooked their carrots that made them taste so good. They told me the secret ingredient: 7-Up. More than 30 years later I found a recipe from Alton Brown for glazed carrots and was able to adapt it to recreate the Lord Charlie’s recipe.

Note: The easiest way to cut 1/4 slices of carrot is to use a food processor with the medium (6mm) slicing disk. If you don’t have a food processor, a mandolin will work.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

This is flavorful recipe that you would swear had cream in it, but it doesn’t. The creaminess comes from the eggs which are cooked by the residual heat of the spaghetti. The traditional recipe uses guanciale (cured pork cheeks) which you can get at Whole Foods but I find that bacon works just as well so long as it is thick cut and high-quality.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit.

Note: You can put the extra egg whites into ice cube trays and freeze them for later use or you can make meringues (bit that’s a different recipe).

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Italian Cassoulet

Looking for a quick and easy meal? This one can be done in about 30 minutes and doesn’t require cutting anything up. Easy enough?

Italian Cassoulet

This recipe is based on a recipe on Serious Eats.

Notes:
1) You will need a 10″ – 12″ cast iron pan or a saute pan with high sides.
2) The best way to prepare the garlic cloves is to separate them from the head, take each one and smash it as hard as you can under the broad side of a chef’s knife. At this point you can easily peel the skin off leaving the rest of the smashed clove.

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Chocolate Chip-Pretzel Bars

This recipe is based a recipe from Food & Wine. If the edges are crisp and the inside is a bit gooey you made it correctly.
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Ham and Cheese Scones

I found this Associated Press recipe in my local newspaper. You can make it in advance and cook it when you want to eat it. My wife thought it reminded her of quiche (although it has no eggs). I think it is good enough to order in a restaurant (which is the goal of recipes on this blog).
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Root Vegetable Gratin

I found this recipe in the December 2010 Sunset magazine. I had never cooked with parsnips or celery root before this. They bring an earthiness and sweetness that is great on a cold winter evening.

To reheat this dish put it in a 325° for about 30 minutes. If you reheat it in the microwave, it will lose its crispiness.

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