The Baker: Hominy Tortillas

Any serious cook or baker eventually tackles making homemade tortillas. I was lucky as one of the staff in my bakery was from Mexico and was happy to show me how to make them. But even she had problems when the dough wasn’t just right.

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The Slow Cooker: Family-style Winter Tomato Sauce

The most famous of tomato sauces are Italian and they are rustic preparations. Marinara sauce is a basic vegetarian tomato sauce. I make a wide variety of pasta sauces in the slow cooker. This is a family sized recipe for a long cooking marinara sauce. It is a pot of fabulous tomato wine sauce, that goes together in minutes using canned tomatoes, that simmers all day.

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My Favorite Buckwheat Crêpes

I adapted my first buckwheat crêpes from this old Chez Panisse recipe that uses beer for the liquid; they are delightfully light-flavored despite the addition of the often intensely musky buckwheat. This recipe, good for sweet or savory versions, utilizes lots of eggs and flavorful flat beer in the batter.

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The Beauty of Raw Greens in Winter

A salad is a dish of raw or cooked foods, seasoned and dressed with a sauce of some type. Salads are divided into three main categories: The tossed garden greens, marinated salads, and composed main dish salads.

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Buying Produce by the Seasons

Food that tastes good and looks appealing will never be out of style and choosing seasonal produce is one of the essential ingredients that make it so.

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Homemade French Vinaigrette with Dijon and Shallots

Invite anyone from France to dinner and they will be horrified if you take out a bottled dressing for the salad. Ohhh mon dieu! It is part of the dinner preparation ritual to have someone at the counter mixing the vinaigrette.

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My Sister’s Zucchini al Forno with Goat Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes


I took this baked vegetable gratin to potluck suppers for years. It is simple. People love it. And it tastes good with all food and in every season. I usually would bake it on site to serve very hot, but…

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Spaghetti with Zucchini, Basil, and Mint


Once I had the combination of fresh basil and mint, I was hooked. Then I find out the partnering has a long tradition in Italian country food. This is a lovely summer pasta, satisfying for those nights when you want…

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Vegetarian Paella

paella

Paella in about 30 minutes? Sure! Paella, a composed dry rice dish very similar to Creole Jambalaya and Mexican Arroz con Pollo, is usually a bit of an extravagance both ingredient and time-wise. Americans have taken the Spanish signature dish and adapted it enthusiastically into a fast, satisfying vegetarian one-dish weeknight meal. Here I use quick-cooking brown rice in place of using the white rice.

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Spinach and Tofu-Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ingredients

12 dried jumbo shell macaroni
16 ounces firm tofu
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Italian cheese blend (such…

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