Radio Kitchen

Format: 2014-04-24

 
At this time of the year, as we ease into warmer weather, our instincts lead us to eating lighter foods.   High on the list of lighter fare are savory tarts, crisp flaky pastries filled with all sorts of good things.   These are great for breakfast, lunch or as an appetizer, and they are tasty without being too filling.

You have a lot of options with tarts.   You can make a full sized tart and cut it into modest slices, or you can make smaller individual tartlets, or tiny little tart cups filled with the featured ingredients.

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Every now and then on our show, we like to get back to basics and try to cover some of those essentials of cooking that it is important to keep in mind.   Working with dairy products is just such an example, which as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen points out, we're really talking about molecular chemistry here.   Here are some tips:

 MILK

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Passover and Easter are coming up soon, and it's a day of the year when families really like to get together for a lovely springtime meal.   I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that we could recommend quite a few dishes that would be appropriate for both traditions.   Of course Passover is a a special meal with an abundance of ritual, including special foods, but there is always room on the table for something a little extra.   And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen points out, there are many recipes that are suitable both for a Kos

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Every year as the fields of Maryland slowly get back into production, we start to see evidence of the first greens of the season.   Salad greens and spinach immediately come to mind, but there is an entire class of greens that are about to make an appearance, and those would be the savory full flavored cousins of the garlic tribe.   And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen reports there are a lot of very tasty things coming up out of the ground.

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I have to confess that I have a weakness for a little piece of pastry every now and then, and the lighter the better.   Mine must not be a rare preference, because pastry chefs everywhere have a special concoction that plays right into this craving, and that would be something called the Genoise Cake.   Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen loves making this light spongy bit of pastry.

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A few weeks ago the topic of French food came up on Dan Rodricks' "Midday" show, and Chef Cindy Wolf described a dish of eggs poached in red wine.   Hold on, I thought, that's one of my favorite French dishes, "Oeufs en Meuette", something I always order when I'm over there.   And as Jerry notes,  it's amazing how often poached eggs work their way into recipes these days.

The neat thing about poached eggs is that they make their own sauce.   Once pierced, the yolk runs into whatever else is on the plate, adding flavor and texture.

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Traditionally, a good chef not only had to be adept with the preparation of food, he also had to be a dab hand at assembling a creative mixed drink.   Not only do ardent spirits come into play, but also liqueurs, cordials and that piquant elixir, bitters.   And as Jerry will point out, there is an enormous variety of bitters out there, all of them quite useful.

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With March coming in a few days, we can't help but think about the return of Spring.   And for many of us, that means we start thinking about our gardens.   Growing our own food has become popular recently, even in the middle of the city where space is at a premium. 

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Because Al is such a huge fan of Spanish wines, he has started going through his cookbooks looking for ideas for Spanish dinners.  One of the classics is "cocido," the famous stew of Madrid.   This is a complicated dinner in terms of process, and simple in terms of actual technique.   Cocido is one of Spain's signature dishes, practiced at the family level across the country.   It's one of those dishes like chili con carne or bouillabaisse that has as many variations as practitioners.   But here are the essentials:  it's a meat and vegetable

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First off, Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there.   With all the sweet sentiments floating about today, we though it would be a good idea to talk about that most essential sweetener of all, sugar.  And there is a lot more to this subject than meets the eye.  

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