Articles from pete

  1. Making Sense Of Food Thickeners Part I

    How Do I Thicken My Soup?

    Slurry-finished by nicko posted Dec 29, 2018 at 9:42 AMWe rarely think when it comes to thickening soups and sauces. We usually just reach for that box of cornstarch are whip up a quick batch of roux, never really thinking of what we are doing. But do you really understand when to use one thickening agent over another? Why do most gravies use flour or a roux and why do many fruit desserts use cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca?

    In part I of this series we will...
  2. How To Make Roux Making Sense Of Food Thickeners Part II

    Written By Chef Peter Martin
    In Part I of this series on food thickeners we looked at a variety of different items that can be used for thickening. In this part we will be focusing exclusively on flour, as a thickener, as that is what most people turn to when something needs thickening. As stated in Part I, flour is not the thickener of choice for everything. Fruit sauces, clear soups, certain meat glazes, and many pie fillings are just a few examples of items that do not do well being...
  3. Featured

    Caramel Filled Apple Dumplings

    If you haven’t realized by now that Fall is my favorite season and that apples are one of my favorite foods then either: 1. you haven’t been paying attention, or 2. you are new to this blog and haven’t yet read many of my previous posts. Either way I am not going to bore you today with a rehashing of my previous sentiments. Read a few earlier posts from the last few weeks and you’ll get the picture.

    The only thing I will say, before moving on to the recipe for today is that this recipe...
  4. Chorizo Empanadas with Avocado Cream

    So we finally had a beautiful weekend, and just in time. This weekend was the first farm event, of the season, for our new CSA. After not joining a CSA for the last few years we decided to get involved again and chose Good Earth Farm, in Oakfield, WI as our new CSA. The event, this past weekend, gave us a chance to meet Nicole, one of the owners, along with a couple of people working for a share. While not much is happening in the fields yet, except for garlic, the greenhouse was in full...
  5. Crabcake Benedicts with Bacon Hollandaise

    Once again we are just a few weeks from the Holidays, here in the US.  With both Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner many of us will be hosting family, sometimes for multiple day stays.  Usually I like to keep breakfast an easy affair when hosting family, whether it is bagels from the local bagel shop, overnight breakfast casseroles, or quick, and simple, breakfast breads such as coffeecake or muffins.  But occasionally, I like to pull out all the stops and do something that...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. Summer Vegetable Pasta

    Here, in the US, we have a tendency to, usually, serve pastas with heavy tomato sauces or white, creamy cheese sauces, but some of the best pasta dishes are simply pasta tossed with a good amount of olive oil (or butter) and some fresh or sautéed vegetables, especially come summertime when those vegetables are at their peak of ripeness.

     I absolutely love the subtle anise (licorice) flavor of fennel and the fresh flavor it can bring to so many dishes. I will often shave it paper thin and...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. German Apple Pancakes

    For years I have wanted to travel the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive in Autumn. It’s a beautiful drive that takes you through the Kettle Moraine State Park as well as a number of cute, little Wisconsin towns. I was determined that this year we would take the drive. With my work schedule about to get crazy again, yesterday was our only opportunity to do it, so, despite the low clouds and almost constant drizzle we loaded up the van and took the drive.

    The northern end the drive starts about 45...
  14. 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,...
  15. 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...
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