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Marsala Chicken Soup

Chicken Marsala is a staple and favorite dish of Italian restaurants which dates back to the 1800's in Italy. It is essentially chicken with marsala wine sauce. At its simplest, it is sauteed chicken with a marsala reduction. More elaborate versions add mushrooms, prosciutto, and other ingredients. It is Italian comfort food at its best. And, what's more comforting than a warm bowl of soup?

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Bone-In Pork Chops with Mushroom Cream Sauce

I always have bone-in pork chops ready for a quick meal. Although you may be tempted by the seeming convenience of boneless loin chops, if you want the most flavorful, juicy, and tender chops, always go for bone-in, such as a rib chop, the rib-eye steak of pork.

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Hearty Minestrone with Fresh Greens

Italian cookbooks, especially ones concerned with soups, or zuppa (plural zuppe), provide recipe after recipe for minestrona, lest you thought minestrone was one soup. Minestra translates simply into soup, and while minestrone may literally mean 'thick soup' there are as many versions as there are people to make them. Their ingredients depend on the district and the vegetables in season. They generally have lots of vegetables and may include beans, potatoes, squash, and often, cured pork products. Lighter soups are sometimes called minestrina.

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Can I Cook Recipes from Famous Restaurants?

Copycat restaurant recipes, or "restaurant recipe clones," are very easy to find on the internet, at least if you are looking for recipes from your favorite chain restaurants. However, there are copycat recipes then there are vaguely similar recipes. Many online recipes try to either improve the recipes from restaurants, substitute ingredients, or make them more healthy rather than to meticulously recreate every flavor and detail. You cannot know how reliable they are until you cook them. In some cases, you may be able to tell a lot from any accompanying photos. A good recipe clone should look the same as well as taste the same.

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What Are Duchess Potatoes?

Duchess (or duchesse) potatoes are mashed potatoes pureed with egg yolks, whole eggs, or a combination of whole eggs and egg yolks, and butter.

Cheese, seasonings, and other flavorings are sometimes added.

The fluffy pureed mixture is served as a side dish, formed into small shapes or piped from a pastry bag for a decorative accompaniment, or formed into borders for serving other dishes inside. The amount of egg and other ingredient varies per individual recipe.

Dishes garnished with duchess potatoes are called à la duchesse. The French term for duchess potatoes is pommes duchesse.

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When was Chex Mix Introduced?

Chex Mix is a lot older than you might think. Especially once you realize that it was not always produced commercially in packages. In the early days Chex cereal was produced owned by Ralston Purina. Yes, the animal food company.

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Red Adzuki or Azuki Beans for Asian Dishes

Red adzuki (azuki, aduki, adsuki) or Vigna angularis is a cousin the the North American kidney beans and small red beans. They are also sometimes called adanka. They are a native of India or Japan and have been used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking for over 2000 years. Adzuki are used especially for sweet cakes and other delicacies, as well as sweet and savory dishes. The name adzuki comes from the Japanese word for the plant, azuki. They have a less beany flavor than other beans. In Japan, they are known as "the king of beans."

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How Do I Make Homemade French Onion Dip?

If you are a child of the '70's, or earlier, then you probably have fond memories of big bags of Ruffles potato chips and huge cartons of "French Onion Dip," that salty, tangy sour-cream sin that Foodies today probably sniff at, waiting until a midnight run to an out-of-neighborhood 7-Eleven to get their secret fix. However, most of America was not really introduced to "Onion dip" via cartons of French onion found in the dairy case at grocery stores.

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What are Hasselback Potatoes?

Hasselback potatoes are potatoes with fancy talking cars. Oh, wait, I was thinking of Hasselhoff potatoes. Hasselback potatoes are a Swedish way of making roasted potatoes. It is really the technique that is special about this, but it is basically a very cool way of doing a baked potato. They look fancy and they get a great crunchy crust on the outside. They are said to have originated in a Swedish restaurant, from where they get their name.

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What Is Gremolata?

You can't have a fancy food blog without a recipe that has something topped with gremolata. What could sound more gourmet than that? Even the word makes your mouth water, and you don't even know what it is (I'm assuming, or you wouldn't be reading this). Today we have a braised veal shank with gremolata.

Or, let's go even more foodie and call it Osso Buco with Gremolata. More legit would be "Osso Bucco alia Milanese," but then I don't get to say gremolata, and I think it sounds more delicious with the word gremolata in the name. I didn't just choose that at random, mind you. Gremolata is an Italian condiment that is traditionally used to top Osso Buco, which is braised veal shank. But, it can also be used as a zesty topping for other meat or seafood dishes; or even to put a finishing accent on a soup or stew. Basically, you can use it to sprinkle on any dish to which you want to give a tangy, fresh, citrusy lift.

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What is Irish Coffee?

It is easy to see why people in the states don't quite understand Irish coffee. For instance, to some, it is just coffee with Irish whiskey added. Well, that is closer to the truth than what you'll get if you order an Irish coffee in some restaurant, and end up with something that looks more like a parfait than a coffee, with whipped cream on top, and for some reason, whole coffee beans.

Why in the world would anyone want whole coffee beans in their coffee? OK, so, real Irish coffee does not use whipped cream. And here is another hint: You don't need Bailey's Irish Cream to make it. In fact, you don't even need Irish whiskey, although a smokey Scotch would not be a good idea. A bourbon would do nicely.

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Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

I call these classic because buttermilk pancakes are the classic way of making pancakes, or what you will find referred to as griddle cakes in some old diners, or by some old folks. Although you can make great pancakes without buttermilk, these are richer and fluffier. They have the sort of buttery goodness you thought you could only get on a perfect day, during a road trip where everything goes right, including stopping at one of those unassuming little places that dot America's highways and guard the secret of the perfect pancake.

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What is the Secret to the Ultimate Creamy Scrambled Eggs?

Many people think that the way to make scrambled eggs more creamy is to add cream, milk, or cheese. Well, adding cream, for example, will help deliver more tender eggs, as long as they are cooked on a gentle enough heat. If you add any liquid (and cream has some water, milk a lot more), and cook on too high a heat, you will end up, most likely, with watery, rather than creamy eggs. And there we have the true secret to creamy scrambled eggs: low heat. In fact, the French method of making scrambled eggs is more like making a custard, using a double boiler! The slower you cook your eggs, the more creamy they will be. So, when you want to produce creamy scrambled eggs, think low and slow.

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African Style Piri Piri Sauce

The Piri piri, of African Bird's Eye chile, is a small, fiery hot chile that is popular in Africa and Portugal, and is used to make maddeningly hot salsas that are bottled and put on all kinds of food.

Here is given a hot sauce made with piri piri, the kind you might find in Africa and Portugal.

Africans got the idea of sauces made with this little chile from the Portuguese, who are said to be responsible for introducing the chile there.

First, however, the video below gives the Scoville heat rating of the piri piri pepper and some other facts about the chile.

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What is a Navajo Taco?

The Navajo taco is a taco based on Navajo fry bread, sopaipilla, instead of a tortilla. They are topped with various taco ingredients such a refried beans, lettuce, tomato, scallions, avocado, cheese, sour cream, etc., with many variations being welcome, such as meat or chili toppings, corn, green chiles, cilantro, etc. A guacamole relish, salsa, or taco sauce might finish the dish. The Navajo taco was voted the State Dish of Arizona in a 1995 poll conducted by the Arizona Republic newspaper. They are now more commonly known as Indian Tacos and other Indian tribes have adopted them.

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