Articles from pete

  1. Baking Bread-Making a Classic Batard

    Awhile ago I had promised myself to do more baking to regain some of those skills I lost due to not using them much over the last many years. While I have done more baking since I started this blog, I haven’t done nearly the amount I want, so I’ve made that promise to myself again and hopefully will stick with it.

    The bread I baked the other day is the first loaf I’ve baked in quite some time, and I realized just how rusty those skills become without use. Don’t get me wrong, it turned out...
  2. Spinach and Arugula Salad with Grapefruit

    It’s a typical March week here in Wisconsin. One day it’s up to 40°F (short sleeve shirt weather up here) and the next it’s cloudy, gray, foggy and snowy. But what do you expect, it’s Springtime in Wisconsin and that means the weather can change in a heartbeat. I’m just praying for more nice weather. I usually enjoy winter but it’s been a long, cold one and I’m ready for Spring, and not just the occasional teaser. I’m ready for some sustained nice weather.

    Late winter-early spring can be a...
  3. Confessions of a Sell Out Chef

    Written By Chef Peter Martin
    This past fall I found myself unemployed.  With the economy the in the middle of its downward spiral, this was not a good thing.  And being a chef in Wisconsin my prospects were few. 

    While job hunting I got a call from a friend who had recently made the jump from the restaurant world into the world of institutional foodservice.  He claimed that he was enjoying his job and the lifestyle it afforded him, and better yet, he knew of a position open in his company...
  4. Eggnog Pie

    Christmas is just around the corner,  It's my favorite holiday, and time, of the year. Not only is it Christmas, but my wife and I celebrate our anniversary right around that time (Dec. 30th) along with my parents and grandparents. So, as you can see the holiday is a very special time for me.

    I figured I would start the Christmas season off with a simple pie recipe. While it may be simple, it packs quite a punch in the flavor department. I tend to not drink a lot of eggnog. I’m not a big...
  5. Pastitsio-Greek "Lasagna"

    It’s time to dirty a few dishes. Okay, more than a few, but making pastitsio is worth the pile of pots and pans it requires to make it. If you are not familiar with pastitsio, it is a layered pasta dish, kind of similar to Italian Lasagna, most often associated with Greek cuisine although a similar dish can be found throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. Often made with lamb, although beef is common also, the dish starts with a layer of pasta, then a layer of meat sauce, followed by...
  6. Bourbon Peach Slush

    If I haven't already stated if before, I am a huge bourbon fan.  It is, by far, my favorite liquor and at any time you can find, at least 4 or more different bourbons in my home bar.  That being said, I don't tend to drink much bourbon in the summer.  I find it to be too heavy and it often lends itself to flavors more associated with Fall and Winter.  That's not to say I don't enjoy the occasional glass of straight bourbon while sitting on the deck, enjoying the sunset, or one of the many...
  7. Holiday Entertaining-Cocktails

    The holidays are just around the corner and with the holidays usually comes lots of socializing.  Maybe you are will be heading out to a party or 2 or, just as likely, you will be hosting a party, or get together, or maybe just having some family over, either for an evening of eating and drinking, or for an extended period.  No matter what the occasion, you will probably be offering up a few drinks. 

    Of course, you can always stick with the classics.  There is nothing wrong with Rum and...
  8. Apple Cranberry Leather

    I’ve recently be playing around with dehydrating as a form of preserving food, and making tasty treats thanks to my new dehydrator from Chef Talk. You can find the review of that dehydrator here  Nesco Fd 1018 Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator​ In the past, dehydrating hasn’t held a lot of allure for me, but I am the curious sort (for both better and for worse) and am always looking to try new things and experiment with new, at least to me, techniques.

    Of course, one of the first things I’ve...
  9. Making Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut, it's one of those foods that you either love or hate, at least from my experience.  I've never met anyone that has a lukewarm opinion about it.  It's one of those foods that always seems to illicit a strong response.  I happen to fall into that category of those that love the stuff.  While I've always liked sauerkraut, at least as far back as I can remember, it wasn't until I learned to make my own that I came to truly love this German staple.

    Here, in Wisconsin, making...
  10. Making Deli Style Kosher Pickles-A Lesson in Fermentation

    I’ve been on this fermentation kick recently. I just made a batch of Kim Chee, but I also have a large batch of Sauerkraut fermenting away, which, hopefully, will be done in 3 or 4 more weeks, which should give me a chance to get, at least, one more batch fermenting before the end of the local cabbages for the year. So it’s no surprise that, when I found myself with a bunch of dill and a surplus of small, pickling cucumbers, I decided to make up a couple of jars of deli style kosher dill...
  11. A Simple How-To Guide to Making Risotto

    Risotto.  The mere mention of the word often strikes fear in novice cooks.  Only stir the risotto clockwise.  Don't scrape the bottom of the pan.  Don't add boiling liquid. Don't add cold liquid.  Don't add the liquid too fast or too slow.  Don't overcook it.  Don't under cook it.  The list of do's and don'ts go on and on and on.  With all of these stipulations, and more, it's amazing that anyone can turn out perfect risotto at all.  Luckily, risotto is not nearly that finicky.  Yes, there...
  12. Making Hot Smoked Salmon

    I don’t make salmon often since my wife can’t stand it, but when I got my new smoker I knew I had to do a batch of hot smoked salmon, as it is one of my favorite things in the world. I also really like the more traditional cured/cold smoked salmon that often accompanies bagels, but hot smoked salmon just can’t be beat, in my opinion.

    As luck would have it, as I was shopping, last weekend, for things to try out in my new smoker, I came across some wild sockeye salmon at my local grocery...
  13. Grilling The Perfect Steak Part Ii Cooking Your Steak

    Written By Chef Peter Martin
     In Part I of this article I discussed how to choose the perfect steak for grilling, now it is time to discuss what to do once you are home and ready to cook.  From preparation to plating, I will cover all you need to know to Grill the Perfect Steak.
    About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook you need to light your charcoal.  Sure you could use a gas grill and skip this step, but gas doesn’t provide as much flavor as charcoal, in my opinion.  That is why I own...
  14. Pulled Pork

    Barbecue…barbeque…BBQ; no matter how you spell it, that word makes me giddy. I’m not talking when it is used, in the generic sense, meaning any type of cooking on a grill, or over an open fire, but real, god honest barbecue; the kind done slow and low that can turn some of the toughest cuts of meat into melt-in-your-mouth morsels, bursting with smoke flavor. Not that I’m against cooking out, in any of its forms. In fact, a rather large portion of the food I cook is done on a grill, but there...
  15. Barbecued Ribs

    It has been awhile since I last posted about ribs.  Well, it’s high time I posted again about them as you can never have too many rib, rub, or barbecue sauce recipes as far as I’m concerned. Besides, it gives me a chance to play with my smoker yet again. Man, I love that thing! While have gotten quite adept at barbecuing on my Weber kettle grill, life has become so much easier with my smoker. Now, instead of having to babysit my barbecue all day, I can load it up and let it go, checking it...
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