Mon | Meatless meal
Here's a Stuffed Pepper recipe from Bea Dreier of Tampa. She cuts red, orange or yellow sweet peppers in half, drizzles them with vegetable broth and fills with cooked yellow rice, then layers on cut-up vegetables — her favorites are asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion — and tops the peppers with shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — At a news conference a little light on details but soaring with excitement, a group of organizers on Friday officially launched the buzz campaign for E.A.T. St. Pete, a three-day food, wine and arts festival to be held in a variety of venues in November.
Initial plans for the Nov. 15-17 event leaked out in January but this was the first time sponsors HSN, Bill Edwards Presents and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater gathered publicly to talk about the event, which will include appearances by celebrity and local chefs. ...
I have this theory about home cooks. Most of us have about 10 meals in our dinnertime repertoire, and they revolve with infuriating frequency.
You know: grilled chicken, something Mexican, big salad, something Italian, soup, pork chops, something grilled, etc. Repeat. Boredom sets in. Take-out beckons.
It's this theory, based mostly on my experience, that led me to start Stir Crazy, the column that has appeared on Page 2 of this section every Wednesday since May 21, 2008. This month marks the column's five-year anniversary, and I had no idea when I started how many ideas I'd have to come up with to get us to this point. I am grateful for all the generous readers and colleagues, cookbook authors, clever magazine editors and inventive bloggers who inspire me. Without them I wouldn't have been able to provide 1,300 dinner ideas, with a few repeats along the way. ...
This is the introductory column of Stir Crazy. It ran on May 21, 2008, the Wednesday before Memorial Day.
Mon | Memorial Day
Just because you've been off all day doesn't mean you want to spend it in the kitchen. Get outside and grill some Greek Burgers topped with grilled onions, feta cheese and thinly sliced cucumbers. Make a Greek salad or Mediterranean potato salad by dressing cooked chunks with an olive oil vinaigrette, scallions and chopped green pepper. Don't forget the kalamata olives. ...
Mon. | Meatless meal
Meaty mushrooms add bulk and earthy flavor to many vegetarian dishes including Orzo with Pecorino and Mushrooms (recipe below). This recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, which are young portobellos and sometimes labeled baby bellas. Slice them thickly to give the dish more heft. Serve with a spinach salad topped with dried cherries, sliced almonds and goat cheese bits dressed with a fruity vinaigrette....
04/30/13 Taste Test
Mon | Meatless meal
Everybody loves a grilled cheese sandwich and figuring out a way to make it a little differently is always a challenge. Consider a Green Goddess Grilled Cheese, stuffed with herby goodness. In a food processor, blend 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro, basil, shallots, 2 garlic cloves with a bit of olive oil to make it a paste. Stir in grated mozzarella and white cheddar. Spread this on bread and make the sandwiches as you usually do, spreading the outside of the slices with butter. I use sourdough for this. Serve with a white bean salad made with canned, drained beans; diced red onions; lemon juice; olive oil and; any fresh herbs you'd like....
Pepper is hot.
And earthy. And aggressive. And sneeze-inducing.
It's also ubiquitous, sitting alongside the salt shaker on nearly every table, home or away, in America. But although salt and pepper go together in our minds and often in our cooking, they can stand solo, each adding something unique to food and causing a different reaction on our taste buds. In fact, putting them together doesn't always make sense. Salt enhances natural flavors; pepper brings its own punch....
I stand in a crowd at a corner of the Sunday market on the main square in Saint-Chinian shaded by plane trees and hypnotized by a large rack of rotisserie chickens rotating over a bed of sliced potatoes. The roasting chickens drip, drip, drip. When all is cooked, I taste the meat and it is exquisite, and then I try the potatoes and join the rest of the crowd in a loud sing-with-your-mouth-full chorus of "Vive la chicken fat!"...
There's a handful of Southern cookbook writers who also are ambassadors for the way of life that brought us shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy and sweet tea.
Among them are Matt and Ted Lee, brothers from Charleston, S.C., who have embraced their native dishes and become chroniclers of what some say is the only original American cuisine. Their love affair with Southern food led to the Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, which specializes in Southern pantry staples (view it online at boiledpeanuts.com), and a string of award-winning cookbooks, including The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners (W.W. Norton, 2006). They are frequent guests on Food Network and Travel Channel shows. ...
Mon | Meatless meal
Kale is all the rage these days and reader Bea Dreier in Tampa shares this quick Kale and Chickpea Soup that features the healthy, leafy green. Bea uses either a bag of chopped kale or buys fresh and chops it herself. She cooks it with a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes flavored with onion and green pepper. (Bea doesn't like the texture of the tomatoes so she purees it in the blender first.) Add 1 teaspoon or so of dried thyme leaves (or 3 teaspoons fresh) and simmer for about 20 minutes until the kale is well wilted. Add a can of drained chickpeas and cook another 10 to 15 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add vegetable broth....
This city — and the French Quarter specifically — is a place of joyful excess. Here you have an abundance of remarkable food, an overflowing cup of history and architecture, and enough soulful music to push you toward the spiritual in times of trouble.
There's a boozy overload, too, especially on Bourbon Street, where drinks are sucked from plastic fish bowls swinging from lanyards around willing necks. Even at 10 a.m., the Easter-egg-colored frozen drinks spin from banks of dispensers, twirling like clothes dryers on high and beckoning passers-by who may not have even been to bed yet. The sidewalks are wet, thanks to a powerful hosing to rid them of spilled beer and more unsavory leftovers from the previous night's indulgences....
It's our anniversary!
This May marks five years since I started suggesting easy meal ideas for readers. I've never been particularly good at math, but that will be about 1,300 dinner ideas, with a few repeats now and again. Wow. Even I am surprised by that number. You've heard plenty from me over the years, but now I'd like to hear from you. Tell me: Which ideas have made their way to your dinner table? Are we over rotisserie chicken? What would you like to see more of? And most importantly, I'd like your opinion of the column. Look for your input in a future section....
It seems like forever that pizza has been our favorite go-to, last-minute weeknight meal.
At the end of a hectic day, it's so easy to call a favorite pizzeria to order a pie for pick-up or delivery. But while there are a rash of delicious toppings to pick from, there are still many more combinations that are usually unavailable. Goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes? Ratatouille with smoked mozzarella? Yukon gold potato and rosemary? Those you'll have to make yourself....
04/09/13 Taste Test
The Wedding Edition
Mon | Skinny soup
Whether you're the bride or groom, or any other wedding participant wanting to make sure that special outfit fits fabulously, you might want to eat light in the days leading up to the big event. This special wedding edition of Stir Crazy is going low-cal, starting with a simple Vegetable Soup. You can use anything you have on hand, but here's one combination: Saute diced onion and garlic in a wee splash of olive oil. Add chopped carrots, green peppers and celery. Saute for another 10 minutes. Pour in a box of vegetable broth, bring to a simmer and add diced zucchini, a can of drained white beans and 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. When zukes are soft, the soup is done. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Apple slices on the side....
Want a taste of the nation's best New England clam chowder? The one that's made in Cedar Key?
Tony's Chowder, which has won the annual Knorr Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, R.I., three years running, is now available as a condensed canned soup in about 100 Publix markets from Sarasota to Gainesville, including most in the Tampa Bay area. Kellie Parkin, a spokeswoman for Tony's, says if you don't see it on the shelf, ask. The product is so new it might not be stocked yet....