Archives for March 2015


Fresh Garlic Substitutes

by Elizabeth Skipper March 31st, 2015| Ask the Chef
I don’t use garlic all that often in my cooking and was wondering about my different options. If I don’t have fresh garlic on hand, would either jarred, minced garlic or powdered garlic be an acceptable replacement? Is one of those better than the other?

Fresh is my choice for
caesar dressing

My Favorite Caesar Salad Dressing

by Michele Pesula Kuegler March 30th, 2015| Recipes, Spreads & Sauces
It is no secret that I adore salad. Give me some fresh greens and interesting toppings, and I am a happy person. Whether it be strawberry, green beans, and almonds; black beans, corn, and peppers; or simple Caesar, I love eating salad. It is so refreshing, healthy, and delightfully
celery bunches (400x400)

Celery, From Seed to Root

by Jane Wangersky March 27th, 2015| Cooking Basics
After writing about celery for the past couple of weeks, it’s occurred to me that I need to remember there’s more to this vegetable than the stalks -- even though they’re what most of us picture when we think of celery. So, after a few more notes about celery
celery salad (400x400)

Sweet Crisp Celery Salad

by Jane Wangersky March 26th, 2015| Recipes, Simple Solutions
Though I wrote last time about using celery in fruit salad, I’d never actually done this with it myself. And to be precise, that’s not what I did this time either; this isn’t a fruit salad so much as a salad with fruit. Here’s how it came about.

We still
rice pilaf (400x400)

Rice Pilaf Two Ways

by Elizabeth Skipper March 25th, 2015| Chef Recipe, Recipes
Using a bland food like rice or mashed potatoes is a good way to sample different seasonings. Here’s a way to taste the difference between the flavors of a mirepoix, the quintessential French flavor base, and a trinity, the flavor base of Cajun and Creole cooking. The cooking technique
french dish

Mirepoix vs. The Trinity

by Elizabeth Skipper March 24th, 2015| Ask the Chef
From various cooking shows and recipes I have learned the difference between a mirepoix and a trinity. Do you find them to be fairly interchangeable, or when following a recipe, do I need to stick with the noted ingredients? The reason this comes to mind is that recently I
cream of celery soup

Low-fat, Homemade Cream of Celery Soup

by Michele Pesula Kuegler March 23rd, 2015| Recipes, Soups & Stews
I never thought of cream of celery soup as anything more than a punchline, an ingredient from a 70s cookbook. Sure, my mom made a number of dishes that included a can of cream of celery soup, but it wasn't a soup to be served on its own.

Move forward
celery stalks (400x400)

Celery 101

by Jane Wangersky March 20th, 2015| Cooking Basics
Until I tried the organic kind, I never realized that celery actually had a flavor. All the celery I’d tasted before had just filled my mouth with a slight impression that I was eating some crisp green vegetable. Still, it was cheap and healthy, and thus useful for filling
baked celery

Baked Stuffed Celery with Ricotta

by Jane Wangersky March 19th, 2015| Recipes, Simple Solutions
Being a fan of healthy food that mimics something much less healthy, I sometimes make vegetable lasagna -- and by that I don’t mean lasagna with a vegetable based sauce, but lasagna with sliced vegetables instead of noodles. I just layer them with ricotta cheese, put on some tomato
chicken stir fry rice (400x400)

Celery & Chicken Stir-fry

by Elizabeth Skipper March 18th, 2015| Chef Recipe, Recipes
Celery is often a supporting flavor, not the predominant one, in different cuisines and dishes. Unlike stir-fries with several different vegetables, in this one celery takes a star role – and it’s delicious. No need to use the inner stalks; this is a case where the stronger flavor of
celery (400x400)

Reviving Wilted Celery

by Elizabeth Skipper March 17th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I hate throwing out unused food. Sometimes I buy a package of celery, use a couple stalks for a recipe, and then no one remembers it until it has lost its firmness. Can I refresh it, like lettuce, by placing it in water? Is it ok to eat celery
braised celery

Quick Braised Celery- A Unique Side

by Michele Pesula Kuegler March 16th, 2015| Recipes, Side Dishes
Although we could write about noodles for many a week, our new organizational scheme calls for two weeks per ingredient. Thus, noodles are finished, and celery is to begin. For me (and most, I'd assume), celery is more of an accoutrement and less of a focal ingredient. When I