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Winter is a good time to enjoy cured meats, particularly if you have a source for good local product. Don't happen to know anyone practicing charcuterie? No problem; do it yourself. Pates, terrines and mousses of various kinds are actually very easy to make, and even easier to enjoy. And, it's a good way to use up left over scraps of this, that and the other.
Continuing a theme we started last week, we'd like to discuss some of the local produce that is still available in the Maryland marketplace. Fresh salad greens are still being grown in high tunnels and greenhouses, but those wonderful root vegetables are still in good supply, coming in from the frosty fields.
Wintertime is that portion of the year when our dedication to eating locally can clash with our need for fresh, nutritious produce. I for one have no qualms about buying fresh, out-of-state vegetables during the winter, but I don't intend to abandon our local growers entirely. Although much of our farmland is non-productive during the winter, there is still a surprising flow of salad greens.
Recently, Radio Kitchen co-host Jerry Pellegrino has been involved in helping a new restaurant get off the ground - Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point, located at 1417 Thames Street in the Living Classrooms building. Chef Levi Briggs will be holding forth in the kitchen, cranking out what Jerry calls wonderfully welcome comfort food.
Two things about the month of January: we're all more or less broke after the holidays, and it's just a tad nippy outside. So it's natural to turn our attention to big satisfyingly hot dishes that are easy on the wallet. And few items fit the bill like a good old fashioned pot roast.
The big night is coming, and whether 2011 was good to you or if it was a year you're happy to see in the rearview mirror, you'll have a chance to bid it farewell in style. Champagne, or some other sparkling wine is the beverage of choice, and nothing goes better with the bubbly than caviar.
With the holidays upon us, a lot of us are looking for inspiration for the big dinners that are coming up. If you're like me, an ordinary meat and potatoes meal just won't cut it. You need to do something a little fun and a little festive. So the holidays are a great time to trot out a few of those expensive, labor intensive recipes that provide such great rewards when presented to the table. Here are three ideas:
Classic Chicken Kiev
If you recall the details of Charles Dickens' immortal story "A Christmas Carol," the featured gift was a goose, to be sent to Bob Cratchet and his family. I don't know how the tradition of a goose for Christmas started...or ended, but we don't often try to cook this savory bird, and that's a shame. But where do you get a goose these days?
Just before Thanksgiving, Al and his girlfriend Vickie had a chance to go to Rome...for both, the first time. If you haven't been, Rome is a totally delightful city. Along with the art and the history comes the food and wine, which are first rate. And as Jerry already knows, it's a great place to eat.
Artichoke is real big in Rome: stewed usually, but often cut up and used as a featured ingredient. At Zeppelin Ristorante in Orvietto, Chef Lorenzo Polegri taught us how to make pasta, and serve it with an artichoke sauce.
The Holiday Season is now officially upon us, and we might as well brace ourselves for the low humor of fruitcake jokes. Everybody seemingly hates fruit cake, they don’t want it as a gift, and would never think about giving it. But...offer somebody a Plum Pudding, and all bets are off. But as it happens, both Al and Jerry love a good fruit cake, provided it is fresh and not deadly stale.