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By Betty Rosbottom and Betty Rosbottom,Tribune Media Services | September 30, 2007
When we returned after being away on vacation for several weeks, some good friends suggested that we all catch up by having a pizza supper together. The hosts offered to pick up several varieties of pies from a local pizzeria (one that specializes in inventive creations) and to make a couple of sorbets for dessert. I volunteered to be in charge of the salad. At first I was going to toss together my mainstay "insalata" of mixed greens coated with a red-wine dressing, but in the back of my mind was the memory of an unusual recipe for a salad of arugula and baby spinach dressed in sherry vinaigrette garnished with thinly sliced cantaloupe and prosciutto.
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NEWS
By Renee Enna and Renee Enna,Chicago Tribune | September 5, 2007
The dwindling days of summer don't always lend themselves to culinary ambition: It's hot and I'm lazy. So, taking a cue from the nickname, I make the hot dog my supper of choice. When there's a baseball game scheduled the evening of my culinary dog day, all the better. Even when you dress up the pup with a zesty slaw and assorted accouterments, this supper is speedier than a fastball. Because the franks are precooked, the microwave heats up the entree in about a minute. Before you know it, it's time to step outside, turn on the radio and enjoy supper.
NEWS
By [Michael Dresser] | August 29, 2007
2004 Mettler Family Petite Sirah From: Lodi, Calif. Price: $25 Serve with: Grilled lamb, roast beef Petite sirah was long regarded as a poor relation among California's red-wine grapes, but lately it has gained a well-deserved cult following. This excellent example is lush, ripe, intense and complex. The wine is packed with blackberry, black pepper, smoked meat and herbal flavor. It has the structure to age for a decade but can be enjoyed now.
NEWS
By Regina Schrambling and Regina Schrambling,Los Angeles Times | June 3, 2007
The original pasta primavera recipe, most often attributed to Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque in New York City, includes broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes and basil, none of which is exactly in peak supply in June. But why not reach for morels, asparagus, peas and dill? My primavera is the essence of the season, and you can prepare it well in advance -- even the day before. This recipe is pretty flexible. If you want to use pea shoots, for instance, but leave out the fresh peas, that's fine; leeks may be substituted for ramps.
NEWS
By [Michael Dresser] | May 9, 2007
From: Amador County, Calif. Price: $13 Serve with: Hearty stews, grilled red meat This feature usually avoids wines with limited distribution, but this was just too compelling a value to withhold. It's an intensely peppery, complex and well-balanced red wine with authentic old-vines character. The rich blackberrry fruit is enhanced with nuances of black pepper, chocolate and herbs. Despite a hefty 14.9 percent alcohol, the wine is all smoothness and no heat. It easily holds its own with zins at twice the price.
NEWS
By Erin Mendell and Erin Mendell,Sun reporter | April 18, 2007
Super Natural Cooking By Heidi Swanson The Produce Bible By Leanne Kitchen Stewart, Tabori and Chang / 2007 / $29.95 Because the focus is on fresh fruit and vegetables, it seems as though Leanne Kitchen's book should be divided by season, but it is divided by type of produce. Within fruit, for example, there are citrus, stone and tropical sections. Flipping through to figure out what was in season was awkward. The Avocado Salsa was simple, fast and delicious. With chunks of avocado, tomato and onions, it would make a good salad, too. The Pear Tarte Tatin, made with puff pastry, is a delicious dessert, though I would cut back on the sugar next time.
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,Sun reporter | February 14, 2007
Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation By Christopher Styler Puff Pastry Perfection By Camilla V. Saulsbury Cumberland House / 2006 / $16.95 Want to make your guests think you fussed, when you really took the easy way out? This book is for you. All 175 recipes call for a secret, corner-cutting ingredient: store-bought puff pastry. Making "the royalty of pastries" takes a lot of work, but Camilla V. Saulsbury says the store-bought frozen stuff is good enough to pass for homemade.
FEATURES
By Betty Rosbottom and Betty Rosbottom,Tribune Media Services | January 27, 2007
When good friends who live in Washington telephoned recently to say that they would be in town for several days, I immediately marked a date on the calendar when we could get together. Originally, I had thought that we might dine out, but while testing recipes this past week, I realized that a new dish I had been working on would make a perfect entree to serve four. That recipe was for sauteed scallops dusted in smoked paprika, served atop a mound of saffron and orange-scented couscous.
NEWS
By Regina Schrambling and Regina Schrambling,Los Angeles Times | January 24, 2007
Forget arugula. The true symbol of how far American cooking has come in the past few decades is black pepper. When I went to restaurant school in 1983, our bible of ingredients, "Wenzel's Menu Maker," listed only two varieties, Malabar and Tellicherry. It insisted that "the only use of black pepper is as a condiment." And its recipes never specified freshly ground pepper in an era when big tins of pallid powder were stored near the stove and every table held a pepper shaker, not a mill.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,Sun reporter | January 17, 2007
Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen By Charlie Palmer A Man & His Meatballs The Hilarious but True Story of a Self-Taught Chef and Restaurateur By John LaFemina with Pam Manela Regan Books / 2006 / $27.95 "Hilarious" might be a stretch, but this memoir/cookbook will be surprisingly absorbing for anyone who's idly dreamed of starting a restaurant. John LaFemina tells an entertaining tale of New York entrepreneurship. A jeweler, he got into the restaurant business as an investor, then an owner and only then decided to master the art and science of cooking.
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