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A Press Democrat Blog

Eat this now

Seasonal Pantry at your fingertips

One’s Too Many, A Hundred Ain’t Enough: Some things are just too good

A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend who is also a fellow chef and teacher. Between us was an enormous bowl of lemons, the leftovers of a bushel that friends had given me. As we chatted about what we like to do when we have a lot of lemons, we both mentioned lemon curd and how we rarely make it. “Too dangerous,” I said and my friend laughed. I could tell she understood. When I made this… Read More »

More Favorite Mexican Dishes

As promised in yesterday’s Seasonal Pantry, here are links to some of my favorite Mexican dishes. In that column, which featured recipes for snapper ceviche, Drunken Chicken, orange, onion and jicama salad and strawberry-hibiscus agua fresca, I also promised a recipe for one of the best appetizers ever. It’s true–Queso Fundido, which is simply melted cheese with a few delicious embellishments, is so good that you risk ruining everyone’s appetite. You may even want to make it the centerpiece of… Read More »

More Superbowl Foods, Part 2: Chef Michael Mina’s Cioppino

San Francisco Chef Michael Mina is one of our culinary titans, with 17 restaurants in 8 states. (For details, visit his web site here.)  He’s also a big 49ers fan and is currently in New Orleans for the game. Also, as many top chefs do, Mina uses ingredients that are not in season right now, specifically, basil stems and red and yellow bell peppers. I’ll leave it up to you to decide to use these ingredients or not. As you… Read More »

More Downstairs Food: Cottage Pie, Shepherd’s Pie and More

In this week’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here, I talk about some of the differences between upstairs food and downstairs food, as seen in the classic Masterpiece drama “Upstairs Downstairs” and the hugely popular “Downton Abbey,” which started its third season this last Sunday evening. Interestingly, Sunday’s plot turned–in part–on food. These days, the lines are blurred, though more so in the United States than in England, which was true back then, as well. We’ve always been a… Read More »

Don’t Call Me Ma’am!

It’s really just a little thing but, honestly, I hate being called ma’am. The only person who can call me ma’am is a tall thin Texas cowboy with his thumbs hitchin’ up his jeans and a cowboy boot brushing floor as he says something like, “Aww, shucks, ma’am, you’re just so pretty I don’t know what to say.” I thought about this on Saturday, as I munched a delicious muffaletta at the new Parish Cafe (you can read my post… Read More »

Your St. Patrick’s Day Traditions + My Recipes

The weather certainly is cooperating when it comes to celebrating Irish cooking, isn’t it? Rain, fog and rolling green hills make lamb stew, corned beef, botxy, colcannon, soda bread and such taste that much better, don’t you think? And while we’re at it, it’s St. Paddy’s, not St. Patty’s (which would refer to St. Patricia). End of today’s lesson. Now it’s time for show-and-tell. In today’s Seasonal Pantry, I ask about your St. Patrick’s Day traditions, food, drink and otherwise.… Read More »

Muffuletta Wars

The day after Christmas, I was walking along Decatur St. in New Orlean’s French Quarter, heading to Central Grocery Co. for a muffuletta to take home to Hattiesburg. Just as I was realizing the famous store was closed, a scruffy guy about three-quarters of the way into a serious drunk, leaned over and said, “Hey, baby, it’s closed and that’s a good thing. Frank’s muffuletta is better and they’re open.” He pointed a few doors down and I followed his… Read More »

Foie Gras on New Year’s Eve, Now or Possibly Never

If you want to indulge in foie gras, unquestionably a celebratory delight, to see in a new year, 2012 may be your last possibility, at least in California. On July 1, 2012, California Senate Bill 1520 (SB 1520), which forbids the production and sale of foie gras produced by “force-feeding,” goes into effect. If you’re unfamiliar with the issue, Marissa Guggiana does a great job exploring the issue in a recent article in Edible Marina and Sonoma, which you can… Read More »

Wear This Now, or Never

Although this is not exactly about food, if you will stick with me for a moment you will see a connection. And as far as never goes, it’s not quite true. Read on and I’ll explain. Lili Butler, a phenomenally talented designer who lives in Sebasotopol, is closing her retail store for now. If you already known Lili’s extraordinary designs, make sure you catch that last part, for now, before you panic. If you haven’t, take some time to peruse… Read More »