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charcutepalooza may challenge. grinding.

We’re almost half way through the Year of Meat. We’ve salted, cured, brined, and smoked. Now, it’s time to make sausage. Grinding meat from whole cuts, blending in the perfect ratio of clean fats, and flavoring just to your taste with spices, herbs and more – it’s nothing short of amazing. To prepare for this challenge, I sought out expert advice. You Charcutepalooza-er’s have a lot of fans out there, and some seriously impressive people were delighted to chime in and make sure we’re doing all we can with this great meat-movement. From the beginning, we’ve been talking about sourcing the best meat possible – humanely raised and humanely slaughtered. What better time to reassert that intention then when we make sausage? Controlling the quality […]

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cooking for cooks

It’s my favorite time of year to invite friends to lunch. The garden looks great and smells amazing. Today, the most marvelous group of women gathered for a celebration of Spring, regardless of the rain. The delightful Pati Jinich – I hope you have seen her new PBS cooking show – it’s wonderful. Saturdays, 11:30am . Pati’s Mexican Kitchen Generous, warm Domenica Marchetti, author of four cookbooks, including one that will come out in June – The Glorious Pastas of Italy The elegant Aviva Goldfarb, the firecracker behind The Six O’Clock Scramble and a veritable Scramble empire! The wickedly funny Danielle Turner, the clever chef who makes the great Moment of Clarity videos. They’ll help you in a million ways. And Robyn Webb, the brains […]

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decadent chocolate pudding

It’s snowing, raining and generally miserable in much of the northeast US today. I’m so sorry. It will all be alright. Really. Just make some chocolate pudding. You’ll feel all better in a snap. This recipe was in the box of recipe cards I have from my great-grandmother. She taught me to sew, to crochet, to knit, and to bake. We made latkes, tsimmis, rugelach, and hamentaschen in her little kitchen. Her recipe cards are an inspiration (and sometimes horrifying – oleo!) I’ve updated this recipe a bit, adding a little bit of coffee flavoring, bittersweet chocolate and creme fraiche where she used Nestle’s chips and Cool Whip. When the day has been miserable, when life hands you lemons, when you need a little boost, […]

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the beauty of butchering

It’s taken a few days to absorb the incredible two days I spent in the company of Kate Hill and Dominique Chopolard. Kate is, of course, the generous sponsor of Charcutepalooza’s grand prize, a week at her butchery school in Gascony. She and I had spent plenty of time chatting on Skype, kitchen to kitchen, but nothing prepared me to meet this wonderful woman in person. She’s fabulous. Just marvelous. And Dominique? Everyone who met Dom immediately fell in love. He’s a great guy and completely owns the look – that black beret, a world-class mustache and a true, honest to goodness, twinkle in his eye. Both Kate and Dom are engaged and thoughtful on all matters meaty – watching the collaboration of farmer, butcher […]

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chicken tikka masala

Yes, snow is still on the ground in many parts of the country, and we’re expecting an inch on Sunday (seriously?), but I’m ready to fire up the grill. I made these indoors, on my grill pan. What can I say. It was raining… One of my favorite quick grilled meals is Chicken Tikka Masala. Use this basic marinade and sauce to make up your own tikka masala – yes, with chicken, but also with tofu, beef, pork or lamb. It’s easy, you probably have most of the ingredients already, and when you add my Indian spiced broccoli and potato, and lentil daal, you’ve got a complete dinner, ready in a flash. If you have a few extra minutes, you can even make flatbread. You’ve […]