Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Roast Asparagus

Roast Asparagus in Baking Dish, Overhead View

Roasting Intensifies the Magnificent Flavor of this Springtime Favorite

Springtime means asparagus.  Oh sure, asparagus is available in our supermarkets year round.   And often it’s pretty good.  But early spring brings locally grown asparagus — the freshest and most succulent of the year. 

With Easter coming soon, what better vegetable to grace your table?  Not only is asparagus seasonally appropriate, it combines well with the ham or lamb that many people like to serve. 

Although asparagus is wonderful no matter how you cook it, I have a soft spot for Roast Asparagus.  This veggie has extraordinarily good flavor to begin with, but roasting deepens and concentrates it.

Roast Asparagus tastes equally good hot from the oven or cooked ahead and served at room temperature.  What’s more convenient than that?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce in Glass Serving Bowl, Sauce Dripping from Spoon

Easy to Make by Hand or Blender

Making Hollandaise Sauce is something a lot of cooks — good cooks — shy away from.  Too many things can go wrong, or so they think.  They might overheat the egg yolks, causing them to curdle.  They might not be able to form a proper emulsion.  Their Hollandaise Sauce might be too thick, or too thin.

But if you pay attention to just a few details (easy ones), you should have no fear.  And if you do run into problems, almost all are easy to remedy.

Besides, Easter is coming up.  For many people asparagus is an Easter tradition — and what’s asparagus without freshly made Hollandaise?

So promise yourself that this year you’ll learn to make Hollandaise Sauce.  And you’ll have the best Easter meal ever.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage with Bacon

Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage with Bacon, Overhead View

This Traditional Hungarian/Polish Dish Delivers Rich, Satisfying Flavor

This dish is popular in many countries.  Particularly in Hungary, where it’s called Káposztás  Kocka.  And in Poland, where it’s known as Kluski z Kapusta.  In some US ethnic communities, it’s called Haluski.  Same recipe, different names. 

When a dish is so widely loved, you know it has to be tasty.  And this one is.  The cooked cabbage becomes tender and sweet, melting into the noodles.  It delivers the sort of Old World flavor that you pay a chef big bucks to create.  But why go to a restaurant when it’s so easy to make at home?

You may have leftover cabbage (cooked or uncooked) from St. Pat’s.  If not, cabbage is currently plentiful and inexpensive in many supermarkets.  So now is the time to make this charmer!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Easy Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash with Fried Egg, Overhead View

Top With a Fried Egg for Extra Flavor

What to do with leftover St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef?

One popular option is just having a whole second dinner — complete with leftover cabbage and carrots. And because cold Corned Beef sliced thinly makes a dynamite sandwich, that’s another idea.

But my favorite way to use leftover corned beef is to make Corned Beef Hash.  It’s delicious served neat, and even better when topped with a fried or poached egg.

And it’s versatile!  You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Or even as a late-night snack.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Steamed Vegetables

Steamed Cabbage Wedge and Carrots on Plate

The Perfect Way to Cook Your St. Patrick’s Day Cabbage 

This Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day, and many people will be celebrating with Corned Beef and cabbage.

It’s tempting to boil the cabbage in the same pot with the Corned Beef.  After all, you already have a big ‘ol piece of beef simmering in water, so why not plop your cabbage in along with it? 

Well, that works, and might be traditional.  But the salty broth your corned beef cooks in can mute the flavor of the cabbage.  And most people cook cabbage too long, resulting in an odor many find offensive.

A better way to cook cabbage — or just about any veggie — is to steam it separately.  It will taste much better, look more attractive, and retain more nutrients. 

And steaming is almost as easy as boiling.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Corned Beef

Corned Beef on Black Acrylic

With or Without Cabbage

When was the last time you cooked Corned Beef?  If you’re like most of us, it was some St. Patrick’s Day in the past. 

It’s one of those dishes I seem to cook only every 3 or 4 years.  I always wonder why.  I love the flavor.  And although Corned Beef is available at every deli counter, it’s rarely as good as home cooked.

So this year I decided it was time to cook Corned Beef again.  It’s a simple dish to make, even if you add the traditional cabbage (and other vegetables).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour in Cocktail Glass with Cherry Garnish

This Lemony Cocktail Once Was America’s Favorite

For over 100 years, the Whiskey Sour was the most popular cocktail in the United States.  It’s easy to understand why.  The drink has great flavor, a lovely bouquet, and looks mighty attractive.

Getting thirsty?  Let’s make one!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Roast Pork


The Trick to a Perfectly Cooked, Juicy Pork Roast

Pork is trendy.  Pork cuts of all descriptions have become favorite menu items at chichi restaurants in recent years.  And no wonder.  It’s a tasty meat that combines beautifully with many side dishes.

Roast Pork is one of the first things I think of when I’m cooking for company or preparing a festive dinner.  And I’ve found an easy way to make sure that it turns out perfectly.