Pumpkin and Pancetta Risotto

Risotto:  it’s a stir thing

Originally appeared in the October 27, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Risotto—we’ve talked about it before; and if anything resonates it’s probably this:  It’s not fast food.  Of course, this is far from a bad thing.  The risotto method—which resembles a pilaf technique in the opening steps—utilizes a slow-simmering process to coax starch from the squat-shaped grains of rice.  We’re using Arborio for this pumpkin and pancetta permutation (mainly because of its easy-to-obtain availability), but you can also use carnaroli or vialone nano.

And speaking of availability, when it comes to procuring a pumpkin, this is prime time.  (And here’s a fun autumnal addition:  clean your pumpkin seeds, toast them appropriately, and use them as a garnish.  Just a thought.)  Click here to read more: (more…)

Beef and white bean stew

This stew’s for you

Originally appeared in the October 20, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Over and over again, I remind my students that (in addition to endurance, determination, and a good sense of humor) the culinary element that will most distinguish them in the kitchen is memorizing cooking techniques.  And being autumn, with winter scratching its chilly fingers against the door, one of the techniques for which I have a loving affinity is the combination cooking method of stewing.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on October 21, 2011 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Spaghetti alla carbonara

Comfort food to the rescue

Originally appeared in the October 13, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

With chilly temps creeping in, and fall breezes coaxing brittle leaves off the trees, it’s about that time when our eyes and appetites start favoring “heavier” selections on the menu.  Today’s recipe is a classic, and will fit the bill for any comfort-food craving.  Read more here: (more…)

Published in: on October 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fishing for a new dish?  I’ve got the cure

Originally appeared in the October 6, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Okay, okay—so this isn’t a particularly expeditious dish.  But there’s a reason why you don’t see cured salmon as a common centerpiece at the dinner table:  It’s a specialty dish, which takes time and self-control.  In the technique of curing, patience is not only a virtue it’s a necessity.  Yet, aside from properly scaling your measurements, the waiting—as Tom Petty famously noted—is the hardest part.  Read more here: (more…)