Articles from pete

  1. Mushroom Risotto

    This past Saturday my brother and his wife came up to spend the weekend. The plan was for them to arrive in time for dinner on Saturday and then they and I would head out and hit one of the local haunted houses for a good scare. The wife opted to stay home and take care of our daughter. She may love a good scary movie, but haunted houses, with all the loud noises and people jumping out, at her, just isn’t her idea of a fun time. The weather was cool, bordering on cold and just a little rainy...
  2. Wilted Spinach Salad

    I have fond memories of Wilted Spinach Salad as a kid. It was the only way I would eat spinach. I wouldn’t touch the canned or frozen stuff if my life depended on it. Even today the thought of canned spinach makes me gag and while I do often use frozen spinach I only use it if it is an ingredient in a recipe. If I am sauteing spinach it has to be fresh or forget it. But as I kid I was even more prejudiced against spinach and Wilted Spinach Salads were the only way I’d eat the stuff. I’ve...
  3. Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcake

    It’s the middle of May and that means that the rhubarb I’ve been watching grow for the last 6-7 weeks is finally ready to start harvesting. That may not mean a whole lot to many people, but I get all excited just thinking about it. Yes, I know I need to get out more! But seriously, I love the tart flavor of rhubarb. Paired with strawberries, it becomes the ultimate late spring/early summer food pairing, at least in my book.

    I’ve got 3 huge rhubarb plants in my backyard; enough to keep my...
  4. Triple Fruit Oatmeal Souffle

    A few days ago, I got it into my mind that I wanted to try making an oatmeal souffle for breakfast. I know this is not an original idea, but for the life of me I couldn’t think where I had heard of this concept before. Luckily we have the Internet, that bastion of all knowledge. I figured that the web would be full of recipes and that I’d be able to get the general gist of how to make one and then come up with my own recipe, although I had already pretty much figured out how I would do it....
  5. Rum The Beverage With A Spirited History

    There are plenty of beverages, out there, that are more popular than Rum, but few can capture the imagination or boast of a more colorful history than this Caribbean concoction.  From the slave trade, to brawling Limeys (British sailors) to marauding Pirates, Rum has a spirited history and has become a cultural icon of a time long gone.
    Rum has its start back in the mists of time.  It is thought, among those who study such things, that the precursor of rum was first fermented in either...
  6. The Humble Bratwurst

    One thing I’ve learned, living here in Wisconsin, is that this state is obsessed with Bratwursts. It’s a passion that seems on the verge of mania. If you think I exaggerate I invite any of you to drive through any number of towns on any given weekend and you will see plenty of evidence. On any weekend from May through October you would be hard pressed to find a town that doesn’t have at least one “Brat Fry” going on, and oftentimes larger towns will have 2, 3, 4 or more going on...
  7. Chipotle Spiked Chili

    Winter and the holidays are just around the corner. I love the holidays but it dawned on me the other day that they just don’t hold that same feeling, for me, as when I was a kid. There’s that sense of awe and fascination, the giddiness that comes with anticipation, the joy of being so caught up in the moment. I still have many of the same feelings, but they are no longer all-consuming as when I was a child. I watch my daughter, during the holidays, and I see in her all those feelings and...
  8. Cornbread Stuffed Squash

    Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I can’t wait!! I love Thanksgiving; a day of cooking, eating, chilling in front of the TV, eating, playing board games, eating, hanging with family and/or friends, and eating. This year we are making the 5 hour trek to my parent’s house in Indiana which means I won’t have to do much of the cooking (a wonderful break, as any chef will tell you). I’ll still be involved and will gladly help out as part of the joy of Thanksgiving is having the whole family...
  9. When Is A Cobbler A Grunt Making Sense Of American Fruit Desserts

    Written By Chef Peter Martin
    Cobblers, Crisps, Buckles and Grunts; we've grown up hearing the names but do you know the difference?  What is a Pandowdy anyway and what the heck is a Slump?  And while we are at it, what is the difference between a Crisp and a Crumble?  These are just a few names of fruit desserts that grace American tables.  Ask the average person, on the street, to describe any of these and they might be able to give a description of a cobbler or a crisp.  Ask the same...
  10. Samosas with Tamarind Chutney

    It wasn’t until later in life that I discovered Indian food. It’s not a surprise as I grew up in rural Vermont and rural Indiana. Neither of them known for their diverse ethnic cuisines, especially back then. It wasn’t until I had moved to NYC that I got my first taste of real Indian food. I was instantly hooked, but it wasn’t until culinary school and my travels aftewards that I really came to truly appreciate the complex flavors and spicing of the dishes. One of the first things I fell in...
  11. Slow Cooker Carnitas

    It’s been awhile since I spoke of my love of the slow cooker, AKA Crock Pot. In my early days as a chef, I used to look down on these gadgets, associating them with bad casseroles and 1970’s cooking. I quickly changed my tune though when I started playing with them and realized what great vessels they were for slowly braising all sorts of meats and dishes. It allows me to start a dish in the morning, before work, making for a quick but tasty dinner soon after I get home.

    While you do most...
  12. Grilled Shrimp Ceviche

    I remember 15 years ago when hardly anyone knew what ceviche was. Unless you were well versed in Latin American cuisine or were following the pioneers of Nuevo Latino cuisine in the US then it was not a word or a dish that you came across. Nowadays, the dish is everywhere and on the verge of being passe. Just look at the last few episodes of “Top Chef.” There have been numerous ceviches offered up. It’s too bad that the dish is in danger of becoming a cliche because it is a wonderful, light...
  13. Beef and Mushroom Skewers with Onion Balsamic Glaze

    I came to a conclusion this weekend. I am terrible at keeping friends. It’s not that I am a mean or vile person. I am very personable and make friends quite easily, but I am terrible at keeping long term friendships alive. I have moved around alot in my life, both somewhat as a kid and more so as an adult and I have come to the realization that I tend to close out chapters of my life, when I move, to the point of letting old friendships fade away. You psychologist types out there would...
  14. Refrigerator Pickles

    I have a weakness for pickles. It doesn’t matter what kind: sweet, sour, dill, garlic, spicy, it doesn’t matter to me. Nor am I picky about what vegetables to pickle though I am most partial to cucumbers, the “traditional” pickle, green beans and mushrooms. The only think I demand from a good pickle, especially a cucumber pickle is that it be crispy.

    A few weekends ago we headed down to the Bristol Renaissance Faire, one of my favorite summer time activities. We have a great time each time...
  15. Pasta with Caramelized Cabbage

    When it comes to pasta it is easy to get into a rut, making the same sauces over and over.  For most people that means either red, tomato sauce or a white "Alfredo" sauce.  In Autumn I like to serve pasta with caramelized cabbage and bacon.  This is a great late summer, early fall pasta dish. Slightly caramelizing the cabbage brings a wonderful depth of flavor to the dish, but it still is light enough to not slow you down when it is still warm outside. It’s not the quickest pasta to make,...
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