October 11, 2001 |
Several times in our lives, we must delve deep into dusty piles of yellowed paper, strange bric-a-brac, and the accumulated junk of our past. Such excavations are necessary when we move, when someone we love dies, and when we are planning that periodic self-flagellation known as a yard sale. Thankfully, I have not moved in 16 years. After my father's death, I did have to help clean out his house, which was an emotional and physical challenge. But this time, I am bringing the task upon myself.
August 30, 2000 |
It happens a lot, especially if there's only one wine drinker in the house. At the end of the evening, you're looking at a half-full bottle of wine. You hate to see it go to waste, but you don't want you to be wasted either. There are ways to preserve the wine, but there are also some adventurous uses in the kitchen. Reduction sauces are made by cooking the water out of some liquid, reducing its volume and concentrating its flavor. A red wine reduction sauce can be used straight up or it can be added to pan juices from a roast.
April 2, 2000 |
Excellent cuisine with an Argentine flourish presented in a tiny basement dining room gives Cafe con Leche a panache few restaurants can match. At first blush, it might seem that Cafe con Leche (Spanish for "coffee with milk," or the more familiar cafe au lait in French) has everything against it. The tiny Newtown restaurant has been hidden the last 21/2 years in the basement of an old State Street building. You may enter from the street by climbing two steep flights of stairs or from the rear municipal parking lot, next to Isaac Newton's restaurant, where you must carefully climb down four broken slate steps with a rickety banister to a little foyer with tables for eight customers.
February 27, 2000 |
I'd like to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite vegetables: fennel, a.k.a. sweet anise, Florence fennel, finocchio. If you've never cooked fennel or crunched on a mouth-tingling wedge of raw fennel, now is the time to start. This superb vegetable has a cleansing, light licorice flavor and a crisp, biting texture. Fennel seeds are considered so cleansing to the palate that people in India chew them instead of an after-dinner mint. Its flavor is similar to anise, though lighter and less persistent, becoming even more delicate and elusive when cooked.
January 24, 1999 |
Fresh fennel can be a cooking conundrum. Sometimes the supermarkets label it "anise" or "sweet anise. " But it's not. Sometimes, because of its feathery, dark green tops, folks think it's dill. But it's not. No wonder fennel rookies are confused. Often hiding between the leeks and the cabbage, it's the green-tinged-but-almost-white bulb with celerylike stalks sprouting at the top. The stalks are adorned with delicate, fernlike, dark green leaves. It may look a little wacky, but once you've eaten fennel and savored its gentle sweet flavor, reminiscent of mild licorice, you'll never be misled by erroneous labels again.
March 19, 1997 |
What's cooking in men's spring fashion? In a word: Color. We decided to give the owners and chefs in a few of the city's most fashionable restaurants a chance to demonstrate the trendiest new looks. Many guys find it difficult to digest anything brighter than say, navy blue. But this season brings an appetizing way for men to display their bright side. The trick is to use color as an accent in much the same way that a chef might enhance the appeal of a special dish with a raspberry glaze or a slice of kiwifruit.
January 8, 1997 |
Yo, Chefs! I had the best lentil soup at Ozzie's. Would you get me the recipe? Diana D'Angelo Philadelphia Dear Diana, The recipe follows, but first a few words about Ozzie Gallelli, the owner/chef for 22 years at Ozzie's Trattoria, in South Philadelphia. Gallelli and his cousin, Toto Schiavone, owner of DiLullo's, came over from Calabria, in southern Italy, to work at the old Pavio's in the Northeast. Gallelli started out as a busboy. Even though he now owns his own place, he's still a hands-on cook.
January 11, 1996 |
The Earth is covered with white and you've been eating. The car is buried to the windshield wipers and you've been eating. You're cooped up, craving warmth and a little comfort, so you've been eating. And, let's be honest, the snack of choice hasn't been celery. Ovens everywhere have kicked into high heat, roasting and browning and baking. There's something about a snow storm that triggers the appetite. It's a fact, psychologists and diet experts say. The kids are home and there's been an endless cycle of brownies and pies and banana bread.
May 22, 1994 |
Buffalo is famous for more than having a team that loses the Super Bowl. In the competition for best bar food, it has no challengers. Buffalo chicken wings - hot, spicy and, yes, a little greasy - are a winning dish. Especially when paired with blue- cheese-stuffed celery. This dish has a number of contrasts that our senses find appealing. First the flavors: spicy chicken and tangy blue cheese. Then the temperature: hot chicken and cold celery. Finally, the texture: chewy chicken and crunchy celery.
December 22, 1993 |
"We were given some brandied fruit last year during the holidays and loved it. It was great as a dessert topping for cake and ice cream," wrote Emily Barr of Chester. "Unfortunately, I never got the recipe. Now I'd love to make some but don't know where to start. Can you help?" Here is an elegant combination that could be the hit of your holiday parties. As you said, it makes a wonderful dessert topping as well as a warm fruit compote. BRANDIED FRUIT WITH HONEY 1/4 cup muscat raisins 1/4 cup golden raisins 8 dried apricots, chopped 1/3 cup hot water 1/3 cup brandy 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon minced candied ginger 1 tablespoon melted butter 2 peaches, pitted and sliced, or 2 cups canned peach slices In a saucepan, soak the raisins and the dried apricots in the hot water, brandy and vanilla for 30 minutes.