April 26, 2012 |
Most anything tastes good folded into the richness of macaroni and cheese, but in the mushroom mecca of Kennett Square, where the fungus is as fresh as it gets, there is a special irresistibility to a gooey slice of macaroni whose lily-shaped pasta tubes are studded with roasted maitakes, shiitakes, and oyster mushrooms. Add an indulgent Mornay sauce with good cheddar and gruyère, plus a little spark of Dijon mustard, and it is almost as if Talula's Table fused the macaroni casserole with a particularly sublime cream of mushroom soup, topped, of course, with crunchy garlic bread crumbs.
March 19, 2009
TUNA CASSEROLE certainly isn't a gourmet dish, but it's a homestyle favorite that can save money and put dinner on the table in a hurry. I took a typical recipe for this casserole and made some healthy changes. Using multi-grain pasta adds fiber and extra protein without altering the taste. Leaving out the cheddar cheese while stirring in reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup and fat-free milk cuts more calories. Instead of topping things off with crushed potato chips, I make my own fresh breadcrumbs with wheat bread and a little light butter.
September 26, 2001 |
Call it the bomb-shelter mentality. But when catastrophe strikes, as it did Sept. 11, my first reaction is to go into hiding. It comes with being a child of the '50s. Remember the fortresses that Americans built in their basements before we realized that, on any given Sunday, the Soviet Union was not about to drop a bomb on us? What fascinated me most as a kid was wondering what people would eat in their shelters if the Cold War ignited. Things that came out of cans, no doubt - baked beans, Spam, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, SpaghettiOs - and things in jars - peanut butter, jelly.
July 2, 2000 |
With dishes that range from very good to very poor and dining conditions for nonsmokers that border on the unbelievable, the oddly named neighborhood restaurant Fingers rolls on from year to year despite obstacles that might sink other places. Clearly, the good outweighs the bad at this mostly friendly place, but for an outsider, the bad is very noticeable. That's particularly true for those seeking to avoid cigarette smoke, for although most restaurants have long since redesignated their more attractive dining rooms for nonsmokers, Fingers bucks the trend by doing the opposite.
January 23, 2000 |
Sandy Cadwalader's culinary epiphany came 30 years ago in Mexico, where she was studying Spanish after graduating from Smith College. Having grown up in Blue Bell in a family that wasn't particularly food-focused, she had never regarded cooking as an art form, or eating as a foundation for good fellowship. But in Mexico, a French priest who took great delight in feeding the language students left an impression so profound that, two decades later, she wrote an essay about it: "An energetic whirlwind flying around in his guaraches, Francois was the kindest man I'd ever met and his endless favors seemed only to increase his capacity for joy. He was always laughing, and his booming laugh was never happier than when he could corral a group of people to cook for. "I remember the beaming grin on his face as he lugged home a giant red snapper from the fish market.
January 12, 2000 |
The sensible homemakers of the Delaware Valley did not exactly "hoard" tuna fish in anticipation of some millennial catastrophe that would end grocery shopping as we know it. They cannot even be said to have "stockpiled. " But quietly, perhaps even unconsciously, they picked up an extra can here and there during their regular weekly shopping trips in the final months of 1999. And those unremarkable transactions added up. In the inventory-control systems at Acme, individual shoppers' collective behavior registered as a quantifiable "uptick" in tuna sales, according grocery chain spokesman Walt Rubel.
October 13, 1999 |
Cream soups play a vital role in our Desperation pantries. They're such a staple we practically take them for granted. Then a conversation with one of our respected colleagues made us stop and think. "I'd never do a recipe with cream soup," she declared. "Why not?," we asked. "I just wouldn't. " The contorted look on her face told the rest of the story. For a couple of years afterward, we found ourselves second-guessing our cream-soup instincts. Finally, we decided to test the waters by printing one of our favorite skillet dinners that included a can of cream of mushroom soup.
June 17, 1998 |
Timing is everything. And in the case of Grill Fish and Co., a casual yet somewhat sophisticated new restaurant on Haddon Avenue in Westmont, the time is just right. Restaurateur Pete Delimaris, who previously operated the Spaghetti Castle on the same site, says he developed the concept for Grill Fish several years ago. He knew the time was ripe to bring it to fruition because of today's skyrocketing demand for freshly-prepared seafood. Delimaris must have a crystal ball. Just two months after opening, Grill Fish and Co. is bustling, even on a Tuesday night.
December 10, 1997 |
A neighborhood restaurant is a treasure. In Washington Township, where neighborhoods bloom like azaleas in springtime, Steph 'n Ed's restaurant, sports bar and package goods complex is a reliable fixture featuring a comprehensive menu and a choice of venues. A unique feature of this four-year-old operation is that the sports bar/package goods facility is in a separate building from the dining room, which also has a bar and an outdoor deck. This is particularly nice for those diners who prefer the hum of conversation to the cacophony of hooting and hollering sports fans.
January 12, 1994 |
When the going gets tough, the tough pick up the can opener. Cream soups, canned beans and vegetables, quick-cooking rice, instant mashed potatoes, pasta and onion soup mix form the backbone of the pronto pantry. Top meat choices are ground meat and skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, with tuna making a strong showing. When pressed for time, cooks invariably opt for one-dish meals, either baked or assembled stovetop, in a skillet. Some people have embraced the new generation of low-fat products, sculpting meals around cheese, sour cream and other reduced-fat items.