Strong Influence


Special occasions call for memorable meals, and for many North Americans, “Japanese” steakhouses such as Benihana or Shogun stir fond recollections.  These places value entertainment, and they feature flashy, wisecracking chefs preparing meals, teppanyaki-style, on an iron griddle immediately in front of guests.  The freshest ingredients served alongside puns (some cringe-worthy, some not), knife gymnastics… Continue reading Strong Influence

Just Peachy, and You?


Is it possible even to be in anything other than a great mood when peaches are enjoying their moment? Bursting forth from every basket, table and shelf, from every roadside stand and farmers’ market, the globes are filled with fifteen times their weight (or thereabouts) of juicy, sweet, tangy, summery nectar. Seems to be the… Continue reading Just Peachy, and You?

Make Your Own Dinner!


Why not?  All the ingredients are before you – the thin tender chicken slices, marinated in lime juice, cumin, chili powder and other Mexican-forward spices.  Then there’s the smoked poblano peppers, also sliced thinly, the rich crema (Mexico’s version of crème fraiche or sour cream) surrounding it taming the heat.  Also present are cooling sprigs… Continue reading Make Your Own Dinner!

aka Muffin, aka Doughnut…


The suspect is a master of disguise, mixing undetected among both muffins and doughnuts.  It bakes like a muffin, and even takes on its form, yet it’s robed in the cinnamon-sugar livery associated with doughnuts.  Opening one reveals the dense essence of a doughnut too, down to the traces of nutmeg. Cook’s Country dreamed up… Continue reading aka Muffin, aka Doughnut…

All Kinds of Fixins’


Right here we have a whole heap of buttermilk biscuits, fluffy, buttery and still steaming from the oven.  They’re savory just by themselves, but all sorts of toppings, fillings and other accompaniments wait  to take these to the next level, where they’ll satisfy not just the stomach, but also stir the soul, creating future nostalgia,… Continue reading All Kinds of Fixins’

The Devil, You Say!


No, it’s true!  Despite the demonic titles, both of today’s selections are legitimately delicious, a combination that, despite divergent sources, pair well.  Deviled Beef Short Ribs and Salad with Devil’s Rain Dressing only sound diabolical, but they taste, well, glorious.  It’s Halloween after all, meaning a shiver or two are in order, but first and… Continue reading The Devil, You Say!

The Right Wood


Anyone involved in barbecue will tell you a good combination of woods produces a subtly-smoked roast that not only falls off the bone, but is tender enough to shred easily.  Involuntarily in fact.   All the more so when the meat is laced with a mustard-based sauce, making the quintessential Carolina Pulled Pork. By the… Continue reading The Right Wood

All Dressed Up


What if you took chips and salsa, a combination so pedestrian and somewhat inauthentic Taco Bell has a version, and gave it major enhancements, taking care to make everything from scratch, down to pulling your own tortilla chips from the oven?  Then you’d have chilaquiles, a flavorful and satisfying dish much more likely to be… Continue reading All Dressed Up