Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade noodles are easier to make than you think. Once you try them you will discover how delicious they are, and how many different ways you’ll want to use them. Add them to soups, with saucy toppings, tossed with butter and sprinkled with toasted walnuts and grated cheese, sprinkled with fresh herbs, mixed with cream and goat cheese; the variations are endless. Egg noodles can be a side dish or the foundation for a main course. Continue reading

Savory Mozzarella Bread Pudding

Serve this savory side dish for brunch or paired with spicy grilled chicken for a famous supper. Strings of melted mozzarella follow your fork as you eat it. The flavors suggest those found in a mellow pizza of sliced tomatoes, oregano, Parmesan, olive oil and Mozzarella—served up in a soft custard studded with cubes of crusty Italian bread. This is pure comfort food. Continue reading

Shrimp Stuffed with Spinach and Mozzarella

These are some of my favorite foods all combined in one dish. Breaded shrimp coated with air-dried breadcrumbs sautéed till golden brown in olive oil, spinach blended with pancetta, garlic and onions, tomato sauce, all covered with melted mozzarella. Serve with creamy polenta. You can make this ahead of time. After friends arrive, just bake until warm and bubbly. Have one of your friends stir the polenta so you can take the night off. Continue reading

Mozzarella Porcini Fondue

Gooey, stringy mozzarella blends beautifully with white wine and cream. The nutty flavor of porcini mushrooms adds a subtle note that is enhanced by the mellow cheese. Dip cubes of crusty sourdough bread into this fondue for a rich snack after skiing, during a Sunday afternoon football fest, or a special supper. Try to find Maplebrook Handmade Mozzarella, it has just the right moisture content and consistency. Continue reading

Chicken Braised in Oatmeal Stout with Colcannon

Oatmeal stout adds special aromatics and hints of chocolate, coffee, and toffee, and pairs with thickly sliced mushrooms and leeks. Braising chicken with these elements produces meat that and is tender and juicy swimming in a delicately flavored sauce. Colcannon is a popular Irish dish that combines potatoes, kale, and scallions. It can be a meal by itself, but is also a wonderful companion for this braised chicken. Continue reading

Braised Shoulder of Pork with Porcini, Barley Risotto & Cider Reduction, Served with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

Sounds expensive, but this is a very economical means to an extravagant end result. A shoulder of pork is one of the least expensive cuts of meat; it is also one of the most flavorful. The cider reduction drizzled on the pork makes it shine and adds a nice, sweet balance to the earthy flavor of porcini. By the way, a cider reduction is nothing more than warmed cider jelly. Freshly pressed cider is boiled down until it is syrupy and the flavor concentrated There is so much natural pectin in apples that it sets up on its own. You can also spread it this on toast or popovers if you like. Continue reading

Kapusta [Sauerkraut] with Apples, Onion, and Caraway

Nothing you can purchase in a store tastes like homemade kapusta. Nothing. The irony is that the basic preparation contains only 2 ingredients: cabbage and salt, and very little salt at that. Commercially prepared sauerkraut contains additives that combine to produce something that isn’t quite right. The real thing tastes as if it’s been marinated in white wine, is crisp, and has a tang that compliments a wide range of foods. Besides showing up on a Reuben or served alongside sausages, it can combine with other fruits and vegetables in soups, salads, in dumplings, pastries, and stews. Continue reading