Articles from pete

  1. Makin' Bacon

    It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been this excited about a project, but my recent endeavors at making bacon really got me pumped up. I mean, what’s not to love about bacon. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s smoky, and it’s got lots of crispy, chewy pork fat, Add to that, the fact that this bacon was made completely at home, from pork that a good friend raised, and you can’t go wrong. I have to admit though, I was also rather nervous. The last thing I wanted to do was to destroy the pork...
  2. Lime Marmalade

    I have no idea why I decided to make Lime Marmalade today. The idea popped into my mind yesterday though I don’t know why. I think the idea first took seed last Friday as we were sitting at our regular breakfast place, waiting for our food to arrive. On the table were those little packets of jelly, one of the flavors being Orange Marmalade. I’ve seen it there many, many times but that day for some reason it caught my eye and stuck with me. The funny thing is, I don’t even really care for...
  3. Grilling The Perfect Steak

    Written By Chef Peter Martin

    Part I  Choosing Your Steak
    Yes, I know, it is still the middle of winter, so why am I writing an article on grilling steaks?  Because, if you are like me, then grilling is a year round pursuit.  Sure, my grills see almost constant use during the summer, but they are also in use for a good part of the winter.  I have even been known to grill in subzero weather and with blizzards raging around me.  What better way is there to chase the winter blues away than...
  4. A "No Turkey" Thanksgiving-Roast Pork

    It’s the beginning of  November and we are just a few weeks away from Thanksgiving, which means the foodie blogosphere is abuzz with all things Thanksgiving related. There are hundreds of recipes for turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sides, and all manner of desserts, but you don’t see a whole lot about alternatives for turkey. Sure they are out there, but they are certainly overshadowed by the number of turkey recipes available.

    I know that there are people out there that won’t be eating...
  5. Funnel Cakes

    This week was the Fond du Lac County Fair so on Saturday we headed over to see what the fair had to offer. Our fair may not be the biggest or the best county fair out there, but it does offer up a lot of fun, excitement, and for my 6-year-old daughter, a bit of an education as she got to watch a calf being born right before her eyes. The fair has all the staples; a midway full of rides and games of chance-you know the ones where you pay a couple of dollars for the chance to win a stuffed...
  6. Onion Sage Focaccia

    I have to admit, I am not much of a baker. Sure, I took all the required baking classes in culinary school, and as a chef I have done my fair share of baking and pastries, but it is not a skill that I particularly enjoyed and thus didn’t really work on developing. I was always more about the rush and the instant gratification of line work as opposed to the more methodical, slower pace of the bakery. Recently though, I have had a desire to flex those old, rusty baking skills. Some experiments...
  7. Chicken Salad - A Lesson in Presentation

    One of the most important lessons I learned as a young, professional chef was that presentation is everything. Even in the finest of restaurants you can serve the most mundane of foods if you create a spectacular, or beautiful, way to present it. Soups were a classic example of this. Many of the soups we made, at some of the best restaurants, I worked at, in Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans, were soups that people make at home every day. The only difference was in the presentation....
  8. Caramelized Cauliflower

    Tonight we picked up our last box, of the season, from our CSA. Well, technically the last regular season box was delivered a few weeks ago, but we had also opted for the late season storage share. I can’t wait to eat my way through all the killer produce that was delivered. But, before I go on, I really should thank Nicole and Joe, and family, of Good Earth Farm. Through their hard work and tremendous efforts my family was supplied with a bounty of produce all summer and fall long. It was...
  9. Udon Noodle Soup

    This is a recipe that I’ve had around for a few weeks and I just haven’t had the chance to post yet. As you’ve probably noticed over the last few months, I’ve been exploring and playing around with Asian foods. One of the problems with making Asian dishes is the fact that they often require special ingredients that one can’t find in many local supermarkets. The up side is that, all across this country, Asian communities have been on the rise and you can probably find an Asian market...
  10. A Brief Tour of American Barbecue

    Barbecue, barbeque, BBQ, or Bar-B-Que, no matter how you spell it America has developed an insatiable appetite for the stuff.  Restaurants specialize in it, competitions abound, and backyard grill jockeys brag about their deftness at creating perfectly tender, spicy, smoked meats.  But with all this hullaballoo, I would bet that, if you asked the average person to describe barbecue the first thing they would mention is baby back ribs slathered with a sweet and spicy tomato based sauce. ...
  11. Roasted Beets with Garlic and Onions

     In the past few weeks I've posted a number of recipes that perfect for serving at your Thanksgiving meal.  For me, Thanksgiving is all about tradition and don't like to change up the menu too much.  I like my turkey, my gravy, my mashed potatoes, and stuffing...well, you get the picture.  I do try to add a new dish, though, every so often, just to change things up a bit.  Today's offering is a wonderful Autumn time side dish, Roasted Beets. Add to those beets some onion and a few cloves of...
  12. Homemade Soft Pretzels

    One of the things I remember most about living in NYC were the pretzel carts that dotted the corners throughout Greenwich Village. Sure I remember the hot dog carts, but to be honest, I’m more of a fan of Chicago dogs than New York dogs (sorry NYC!). But I loved those pretzel carts, serving up hot, soft pretzels drizzled with American style, yellow mustard, none of that dijon or whole grain stuff!!! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. But my love of pretzels goes much farther back...
  13. Leaving the Business: The Dark Side

    A few years ago, I wrote an article for this website entitled “ Confessions Of A Sell Out Chef​.”  In the years between then and now and I've discovered another dark side to this industry that so many of us gravitate to.  This job, this lifestyle, is an addiction.  I’m not talking your  garden variety, “Oh, I’m addicted to my morning coffee” kind of addiction.  I’m talking the gut wrenching, hardcore withdrawal symptoms, battling the urge to sink back into oblivion every day for the rest of...
  14. Hot Fudge Sauce

    One of my favorite memories, from growing up, was making homemade ice cream.  We didn't have one of those electric types.  No, we had an old-fashioned ice cream churn.  You know the type; wooden barrel, metal container and wooden dasher to churn the ice cream.  You would fill the metal container with your ice cream mix, place it in the barrel, attach the dasher to the crank. then fill the barrel with a mixture of rock salt and ice.  Then the cranking would begin.  It seemed to take forever...
  15. Discovering an Old Favorite-A Pancake Recipe

    I don’t buy a lot of new cookbooks anymore. There are a couple of reasons for this; I already have hundreds, I have a limited space for my collection, and I occasionally receive new cookbooks for the purpose of reviewing them. That’s not to say that I don’t buy cookbooks. It’s just that my focus has changed. In the past year or so I have been actively collecting vintage cookbooks and cooking pamphlets, you know the ones, pamphlets that come with new appliances, and those put out by various...
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