Raising the bar… Truffled Macaroni and cheese with shallots

Some days nothing but the homiest of cooking will satisfy, and the old favorites beckon.  If you’re already going down that less than healthy path it may as well be done in good form and with the best of ingredients.  Here is a recipe for a wonderfully rich and decadent macaroni and cheese dish.  It adds smoky bacon, roasted shallots, and a  little truffle oil to sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. As an added bonus, it can be made up to three days ahead of time.  Here, it is cooked and served in individual ramekins.  This is adapted from a Tillamook recipe from Brenden Mesch. Read More

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Soup on the stove… Ham bone soup

There was a fleeting little tease of spring weather the  other day and it was unexpected and of course wonderful.  But now we are back to bluster, cold, rain and wind, and will have to get our warmth from a pot of soup rather than the sun.  Here is an adaptation of a wonderful recipe from the New York Times a few years ago.  It uses up a leftover ham bone, and is full of fiber, green vegetables and flavor.  The bacon could be eliminated to save fat and calories but it sure does add a wonderful smokiness, and besides a little indulgence can also brighten up a grey day. Read More


Grandpa’s pound cake

Well, who knew– March 4 is National Pound Cake day! Now this is a cake truly deserving such an honor, as a good pound cake is simple perfection, rich, moist, creamy and with a slightly caramel butter flavor that is just heaven. Cooking lore tells us the name came from the fact that a pound of butter, sugar, flour and eggs were required.  Even though recipes are typically scaled down now, in order to keep those delectable qualities, the ratio is generally the same. Read More


A new and wonderful toy

 

Here is the Breville Smart grill and griddle, the most fabulous small appliance, one which brilliantly surpasses all expectations and will quickly earn a favored spot right on your kitchen counter!  When space, weather, time or energy limitations prevent outdoor grilling, this wonderful tool solves all kinds of vexing problems.

As an example,  consider satay, skewers, and kebabs, quick and tasty as appetizers, perfect for both entertaining and kid friendly meals, and very attractive with nice brown grill marks.  But if you have to bake them, they are pallid, pale and rubbery, and broiling can result in charred or flaming skewers. This griller has ridged removable plates, which makes grilling skewers a breeze,  and in a matter of minutes– or even minute– you will be enjoying a perfectly browned, moist mouthful without even putting on your shoes.

Aesthetics aside, the cooking speed is phenomenal. Grilled sandwiches, meat, fish and poultry of all kinds can fly out of your kitchen, and– this is the best part– heating up frozen Costco food or picking up take out food no longer seems like the best choice on a busy week night. 

A few final notes: clean up is a breeze, as every thing goes right into the dishwasher, the grill plates need no oil or grease, and the machine folds up to fit into a cupboard. 

Commercial over, and recipe for tasty skewers to follow!

 Dakkochi (Korean Skewered Chicken) 500