Articles from pete

  1. Spicy Grilled Artichokes-AKA Angry Artichokes

    I don’t know why I don’t prepare artichokes more often. Every time I make them I swear I am going to start eating them more often, but usually don’t get around to making them again for 5 or 6 months or more. It’s not that they are difficult to prepare. Sure they can be a little time consuming if you want to grill them as in the recipe below, but they can also be made without much fuss. Just peel the stems, pop off a few of the outer leaves then simmer them in acidulated water until tender....
  2. 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...
  3. Grilled Vegetable Salsa and Guacamole-Summertime on a Chip

    I’m a pig and a glutton, sometimes. I admit. It’s true.. The other day, for example, I made a wonderfully simple salsa, packed with the fresh flavors of late summer. That, in and of itself, doesn’t make me a glutton, but the fact that once I started eating it, I didn’t stop until I had polished off half of a family sized bag of tortilla chips does. In fact, for 2 nights salsa, chips and PBR (that’s Pabst Blue Ribbon-beer- for those not in the know) was my dinner. I look at it this way; at...
  4. Rhubarb Refreshments

    The last couple of weeks, here in Wisconsin, have been unseasonably warm. We hope for days in the 70’s in May, though often it only gets into the 60’s, but the last week or two has seen temperatures in the upper 80’s and even lower 90’s. Looking for ways to cool off I decided to make a few drinks based on rhubarb, seeing as I have a huge patch of the stuff just begging to get used up.

    Rhubarb has the same tart quality that makes citrus fruits such wonderfully refreshing drinks when the...
  5. Coriander Crusted Pork Chops with Lime Glaze

    It’s getting close to midnight and although I sat down at the computer about 2 hours ago I’ve now started to type up this post. Instead of writing I got sucked into yet another bunch of political debates….okay, arguments. Without getting into politics here on my blog, let me just say that some people really piss me off. Our country has become so divided between the right and the left, the liberals and the conservatives, I sometimes wonder if we haven’t passed the point of no return. Of...
  6. Crab Stuffed Shrimp with Linguine and Ramps

    Last Saturday I took my daughter out to the woods. Not only would I get a chance to spend some time with my 3 year old as we stomped through the woods, but it also gave my wife a little quite time without the 2 of us. Besides, though a little early, conditions seemed pretty good for hunting down some morels. The trip was both a success and a failure. No morels were found, but the land around the creek was bursting with ramps (wild leeks) of which I grabbed a few handfuls. I’m planning on...
  7. Potato and Green Garlic Soup

    Our weather, here in Wisconsin, has been up and down, like much of the nation’s. One day it’s 85° and the next it’s 55° so I decided that I wanted to make a soup that would taste great either hot or cold. That way I had all my bases covered. Heat it up and it would be perfect for a cool, rainy day or serve it chilled, with a salad of the baby greens we received in our share, for a light, hot weather lunch. Potato soup is perfect for this kind of application as it often works both as a hot or...
  8. Vegetable Tagine

    In my effort to add some more vegetables to my diet, I’ve been going through my numerous cookbooks on the cuisines of the Mediterranean region and I’ve come across many wonderful recipes for vegetable “stews.” While many of these countries have numerous vegetarian dishes and stews I am most intrigued by the vegetable tagines of North Africa. I think it is because of the heavy use of spices in these dishes that I am so attracted to them. I have found that I, personally, am less apt to miss a...
  9. Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

    On a number of the cooking sites and forums I belong to, the topic often comes up about great local and regional sandwiches. Sandwiches that always get mentioned are Muffulettas (New Orleans), Philly Cheesesteaks, Kentucky Hot Browns, Chicago style Hot Dogs, Italian Beefs, Brats, along with some lesser known sandwiches. But there always seems to be one missing from this list, and that is the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. Found sporadically around the Midwest, this sandwich reaches its apex in...
  10. Jambalaya

     I spent my first culinary internship at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, in the French Quarter. There I experienced a wide range of the foods New Orleans has to offer. At Begue’s, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant I was taught many of the more refined creole dishes from Oysters Bienville and Shrimp Etouffe to modern twists on things such as Shrimp and Grits, Tomato Tasso Bisque, and Souffles. Desire oyster bar, with frontage on Bourbon St., gave me a crash course in all things cajun, from oysters...
  11. Sauerkraut Soup and how to make Kohlrabi "Sauerkraut"

    It’s Monday afternoon, and a cool, overcast, rainy, Autumn day. I worked all weekend so worked a couple of hours early this morning and am taking the rest of the day off. I’m not, normally, a huge soup fan, but when the weather gets like this I find myself, occasionally, craving a bowl of soup. I’m more of a stew, or chili, kind of guy. The last few days, though, I’ve been craving soup, specifically Sauerkraut soup, which is strange as I’ve never made any such thing, or even eaten something...
  12. French Toast with Bourbon Peach Sauce

    I don’t often eat breakfast. On days that I work I leave the house too early to even think about eating. It’s not that I dislike breakfast fare, it’s just that I’d much rather spend the extra few minutes in bed than take the time to eat breakfast, besides, if I eat too early I just feel sick to my stomach. That’s not the case on weekends though, when I can get up at a decent hour and slowly adjust to being awake. Then I’m ready for breakfast….well brunch, considering the time, but let’s not...
  13. 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...
  14. 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...
  15. Spinach and Ramp Strata

    Last weekend my parents came up from Indiana to celebrate my Mom’s 70th birthday. Neither of them were very familiar with ramps so I figured I could make a few things that showcased them. On the night of my Mom’s birthday I created the Grilled Ramp Salad that I wrote about for the Chef Talk article, while the following morning, Sunday, I baked off this wonderful Strata, aka, Egg Casserole. My Dad also expressed some interest in how to hunt for ramps so I took him to my favorite foraging spot...
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