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Cooking

  • The Cobb salad is a truly American main dish salad

    The Cobb salad is one of the earliest main dish salads to appear on restaurant menus and continues to be one of the most popular. Its origin is credited to Bob Cobb, owner of The Brown Derby, the famous eatery in Hollywood, Ca., in the early ’30s and ’40s.

  • Corned beef and cabbage makes a good meal any time of the year

    My grandmother on my father’s side was from the Irish “Kirkbride” clan. I had many aunts, uncles and cousins from this side of the family. With this background, I remember eating many traditional Irish dishes, especially corned beef and cabbage, which we always had on St. Patrick’s Day. But we liked it so much we ate it quite often throughout the year.

  • Feature vegetables as a main course, not as the usual side dish

    Vegetables don’t always have to be served on the side. We tend, myself included, to focus on a protein (meat or fish) and some kind of carb, like potatoes or rice, and then just add a vegetable as an afterthought.

    Vegetable soups, casseroles and roasted veggies are great wintertime dishes. So why do we tend to relegate them to a small portion of our plate, especially when they’re so filling? Why not feature them as a main course instead of focusing on the usual proteins and carbos?

  • Hasselback potatoes: an elegant alternative to a baked potato

    This Swedish dish takes its name from Hasselbacken, the Stockholm restaurant where it was first served.

    These thinly sliced, seasoned potatoes, called “accordion potatoes” by most other European eateries, is an elegant alternative to the everyday baked, fried or mashed potato.

    When properly made, the potato will open just like an accordion, into a fan shape. The outside will be crispy and the inside will remain soft and tender.

  • With just a few basic techniques, you can cook seafood like a pro

    Cooking seafood is really rather simple once you know the basic cooking techniques and a couple of tips to ensure success.

    When cooking fresh or even frozen fish, the standard rule of seafood cookery is 10 minutes cooking time per each inch of thickness. This will vary, though, depending on the density of the flesh or whether it’s being stuffed or cooked from frozen. You can tell when it’s done when the flesh becomes opaque all the way through and flakes easily with a fork.

  • Chicken thighs are juicy, tender and can be cooked in a variety of recipes

    I am still amazed I knew almost nothing about chicken thighs until I moved here about 10 years ago.

    We ate a lot of chicken breasts and whole chickens, but always thought the thighs didn’t have much meat on them. Boy, was I surprised. Now I can’t get enough of them. I can’t even seem to over-cook them. They always come out juicy and tender.

  • After bird day, it might be time to think about Christmas cookies

    Goodbye, turkey. Hello, Christmas cookies. The bird may reign at Thanksgiving, but cookies will be king for the next few weeks, when almost every gathering and party will feature holiday sweets.

    A great idea after baking all those holiday treats is to have a Christmas cookie exchange with friends and family. We do it every year and end up with many cookies, cakes and other “sweeties” that we would not usually indulge in.

  • Sauerbraten is a perfect dish for large gatherings during the holidays

    Sauerbraten is a favorite of mine to be served around the holidays. It’s not just a dish you can make for just two, three or four people. Since I start out with a 4-5 pound beef roast, it is more conducive to a larger gathering around the holiday season.

    The meat is marinated for two to three days in vinegar and wine, onions, carrots and celery, along with various spices, such as cloves, juniper berries, allspice and peppercorns.

  • Enjoy classic Christmas holiday drinks with your family and friends

    Over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, it’s a time for family and friends, which means a lot of eating and drinking. Make your holiday gathering special by including some classic Christmas tried-and-true holiday drinks.

    If you’re throwing one of these parties, it’s essential to serve a combination of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for a successful get together. You want everyone, drinkers and non-drinkers, to have a variety of drink options in having a fun night.

  • For entertaining friends and relatives, try these holiday appetizers

    Are you planning to go out on New Year’s or stay home with many of your friends and relatives? We used to go out a lot, but lately we’re just comfortable staying put and maybe having a few friends stop by during the day to enjoy the new year.

    If you’re going to be staying at home and are expecting guests to pop in, why not have some scrumptious holiday appetizers for everyone to munch on while downing a favorite beverage of choice? These are not only good on holidays, but just about any other time of the year.

    Baked Parmesan Artichoke Baguettes