Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Crispy Shredded Hash Brown Potaotes

Crispy Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes

This easy homemade dish beats your local diner’s version

We love breakfast potatoes. And we can eat them any style. But given our druthers, we’ll go for hash browns every time.

We particularly crave the kind of hash browns you can find at any diner. It’s hard to beat those thin, crispy cakes of shredded potatoes. Especially when they’re cooked until both sides are crusty brown.

So serve up these hash browns on Thanksgiving morning (or the day after). And bask in the happy smiles of your guests.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cornmeal Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes

These updated “johnnycakes” are festive breakfast fare

Who doesn’t like pancakes for breakfast? Or lunch or dinner? They’re wonderful anytime.

And they seem particularly suited to festive occasions. Such as Thanksgiving morning (or the morning after).

Cornmeal makes an especially succulent pancake, as colonial Americans discovered. Early European settlers practically lived on a version of cornmeal pancakes called “johnnycakes.”

So what could be more appropriate at Thanksgiving time? Bet you never knew that history could be so tasty.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Spicy Roast Winter Squash Soup

Spicy Roast Winter Squash Soup

Healthy flavor for hearty winter appetites

Our local markets are laden with colorful winter squash. So here at Kitchen Riffs central, that means it’s time for soup.

You can dish up this soup as the starter for an elegant cold-weather dinner. Or for a main course, just serve a large bowl of soup with crusty bread or salad. It’s a whole meal.

Soup’s on!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Yale Cocktail

The Yale Cocktail

Hints of violet add zest to this aromatic drink

It’s back to school time (again).

Last month we featured The Harvard Cocktail. So it’s only fitting that we now highlight a drink named after Harvard’s great ivy league rival, Yale University.

Especially since November is when many US colleges meet their traditional foes on the football field to decide which school gets bragging rights for the year.

In the spirit of unbiased research, we’ll drink to both sides.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mushroom and White Bean Ragout

Mushroom and White Bean Ragout

This make-ahead dish is perfect for Meatless Monday—and fancy enough for Saturday night company

We often eat meatless at our house. Many vegetarian and vegan dishes pack so much flavor, we never even notice the absence of meat.

This mushroom and white bean ragout is a good example. Portobello mushrooms offer plenty of “chew” and savory flavor. White beans add protein. Dish it up over polenta or noodles, and you have a one-dish dinner. Best of all, you can make this ragout ahead of time—it reheats beautifully.

We’ve served this dish to company, and it always gets rave reviews. So be prepared to take a bow.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Easy No-Stir Oven Polenta

Easy No-Stir Oven Polenta

Serve this gluten-free goodie as a side, or as the bed for a saucy main

Polenta is the food world’s shape-shifter. Essentially cornmeal porridge, it’s a dish that can be served any number of ways, any time of day. All good—except you have to cook it first. And traditional recipes are labor-intensive, calling for nonstop stirring for 30 minutes or more. How exciting.

So imagine our delight when we discovered a foolproof way to make polenta that requires little more than measuring out the ingredients. And that cooks virtually unattended. All the great flavor without any of the tedium. Sign us up for that.

Serve this dish at your next dinner party, and the guests will think you spent hours slaving in the kitchen. We won’t tell if you won’t.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Italian Pork Ragu for Pasta or Polenta

Italian Pork Ragu

Think of this as Italian Pulled Pork

Cooler weather has arrived in our part of the world, so we’re looking for heartier fare. Like this luscious meat ragu.

In Italian, “ragù” refers to a meat-based sauce. In the US, we mostly use beef for Italian Pasta Sauce. But pork makes a tasty change.

Serve this ragu by tossing it with pasta or ladling it over creamy soft polenta. But be sure to wear ear protection when you dish this up. Because once your guests taste it, their cheers will be deafening.