Nice and Easy, Fresh Peppers with Fish

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“Let’s keep it nice and easy.” I’m with Frank Sinatra on this, in cooking as well as in love. To give fish big flavor, pan-searing filets coated with crushed black peppercorns is as nice and easy as it gets. Good for salmon and swordfish, it turns even bland tilapia into a treat. (Chicken cutlets and a lean cut of beef like iron steak like it as well.)

Chefs who obsess about ingredients go on about salt, specifying when to choose coarse or fine-grained salt and whether to use kosher, sea salt—and from which waters—or pink salt from the Himalayas. On pepper, “freshly ground” is pretty much all they say. Read more… “Nice and Easy, Fresh Peppers with Fish”

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    Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, A Juicy (Healthier) Barbecue

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    My bucket list has always centered on food.

    Item: Stroll home from my local boulangerie with a fresh baguette tucked under my arm, like a true Parisienne. Check – I did it many times when I lived in Paris apprenticing as a cook.

    Item: Eat freshly made ricotta cheese in the mountains of Sicily. Check – It was as rustic and delicious as it sounds, arriving at sunrise with mist rising from the valley and a light breeze carrying sheep smell as we warmed our hands around wooden bowls filled with creamy, slightly grainy curds of ricotta just made by shepherds over a wood fire.

    Item: Eat genuine barbecue. Double Check. The first time was while driving through Texas Hill Country. I cannot recall the name of the place but their brisket, slow-cooked over wood, was to die for. The second time was pickin’ pig with Julia Child in Atlanta. Standing with other guests, including Julia, at a specially arranged barbecue, around a whole pit-roasted pig arrayed on a picnic table, pulling off meltingly tender strands, we agreed it was divinely messy and memorable. Read more… “Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, A Juicy (Healthier) Barbecue”

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      Chocolate and Berries Breakfast, Bring Romance to Valentine’s Day

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      This year, I am not sharing Valentines Day with someone special. But I will celebrate it with chocolate, starting with the indulgence of Chocolate Blini with Raspberry Drizzle for breakfast.

      I created these petite pancakes to serve as dessert, perhaps at a romantic dinner for two. With Valentine’s Day this year falling on a Sunday, I realized they would also be a sensuous way to start the day.

      Hazelnut Blini_07smallThese pancakes are called blini because they are about the same size as the little ones that Russians serve with caviar or smoked salmon.

      Read more… “Chocolate and Berries Breakfast, Bring Romance to Valentine’s Day”

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