How I Taught My Brother To Cook

Improvisational Tuscan-Provençal-Catalan Cookery (and other good stuff to eat)

Patrick's Blog (80)

Buy Bulk & Stow It!

In (sort of) conjunction with Johnny's blog on leftovers, it is most frugal to buy in bulk if possible at reduced prices, repackage, if necessary, and stow it in freezers, root cellars or whatever. Food retailers (or any retailer for that matter), buys in bulk in order to cut their cost and realize a greater profit. As individuals, we can use this same approach, but obviously not on such a grand scale, but a significant one none the less in order to reduce costs in a high cost economy. You need… Continue

Added by Patrick on September 8, 2008 at 11:31am — No Comments

The Mayo Clinic

A very common staple in the kitchen, mayonnaise, also known as, mayo. As versatile as it's sister staples, ketchup and mustard in adding to recipes but rarely eaten on its own (by the spoonfuls) but added to something whole or to create a mixture. Like butter, it has very basic ingredients that manufacturers can mess up by adding other things but the better ones are just made with the basics. I have my favorite which is Cains. I don't know if it is a regional brand or a national one like… Continue

Added by Patrick on September 1, 2008 at 1:57pm — 3 Comments

All American Bean Soup

Cooler weather is approaching so get out your died beans and make a pot of hearty bean soup.

1 pound of great northern/navy beans, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves, salt & pepper and ham pieces or bones.

Soak the beans over night. Rinse the next day and let drain. Chop up onion, celery, carrots and sauté in some olive oil. add the beans, ham pieces/ham bones and bay leaves. Cover with cold water and add S&P. bring to boil and simmer slowly for a few hours until… Continue

Added by Patrick on September 1, 2008 at 11:40am — 3 Comments

Blowing The Lid Off The Canned Tuna Industry

The sly and unscrupulous exec's at the canned tuna industry are up to no good much like all their peers in any other industry.

If you have not noticed, canned tuna is half liquid nowadays. I noticed this a year or maybe more ago when I was opening a can of solid white in water and it became tricky not to have water spilling all over the place. It is commonplace for this glut of liquid to occur regardless of the brand. Exec's have their ways of playing games with the public. In this… Continue

Added by Patrick on August 25, 2008 at 4:58am — 2 Comments

Roadside Quest .....time to put some thought into your cooking

My friend Rich and I will try to go out on our "motorsicles" every weekend and search out a hole in the wall roadside eatery. So far, what we have found is extremely typical. Let me clarify first that we aren't looking for fancy restaurants but simple places with simple food, ie; a really good dog and a chocolate malted. Simple, right? In theory, yes. In practice these places thus far have failed the grade. Yesterday, we stopped in a place that has been touted as being an active drive-in since… Continue

Added by Patrick on August 18, 2008 at 8:28am — 9 Comments

On Olympic Steroids and Mass market Food

It's Olympics time and that means, of course, controversy. The controversy is there in everyday sports too, but take on global proportions during the Olympics. My point here is the use of any drug or drugs used to enhance ones performance beyond natural levels. Feats of physical endurance and accomplishments mean nothing if they are enabled using enhancements to boost levels. In my opinion, any athlete caught using them should be ousted from ALL future involvement in sports whether it be a… Continue

Added by Patrick on August 11, 2008 at 5:46am — 2 Comments

Homemade Roasted Peppers

Roasting peppers on your outdoor grill or over the flames on your gas stove is simple and the results are fantastic. I used red peppers here but you can use many other types.

Put some peppers on your grill and cook until skins are well charred. Remove to a bowl to cool covered with plastic wrap. Once cooled enough to handle, remove the skins which should peel away very easily and remove the core and seeds. Do not do this process under running water as it will wash away wonderful… Continue

Added by Patrick on August 4, 2008 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

The Dope On Olive Oil

I am not a connoisseur on olive oil or wine. Nor am I one on peach juice or frog legs. However, I do know that unless you are a connoisseur on a specific product, the finest in the land is not that important. I hate olives. But I like olive oil and therefore I use it. However, I govern my selection by just selecting an oil that is at least specified as virgin. Anything less and you may be getting a "blend" or really inferior olives. I have no need to buy extra virgin, first squeezed, unfiltered… Continue

Added by Patrick on August 4, 2008 at 8:27am — 2 Comments

Why I Seldom Eat Out

Not everybody has a happy, lovely and fantastic day, every day. This is why I rarely eat out. People in commercial kitchens have the opportunity to do whatever they want to the food which you are going to be served. For example, take the cook who just had his car vandalized. Now he isn't very happy now is he? So he figures, why not sneeze into the sauce or come out of the bathroom after doing god knows what, hands unwashed and begin kneading some pasta dough? Hell, he might as well flick a… Continue

Added by Patrick on July 28, 2008 at 12:26pm — 1 Comment

Come on, man....What are you trying to prove?

This little bitch and moan session was spawned by a New York Times blog regarding French chef's who are taking the burger and turning it into some sort of arrogant, pretentious signature dish. Turns out there is some French restaurant (and others following) who are turning out a $56.00 burger and idiots are buying it (got nothing better to do with your money?....send it to me). Now I don't mind letting the creative juices flow but chefs tend to go beyond the simplistic origin of a dish to an… Continue

Added by Patrick on July 22, 2008 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Waste Not, Want Not

I don't know about you or your family, but Johnny and I were not raised to waste food. Our parents lived through the depression and hence became very frugal even when later they didn't have to be. We left nothing on our plates. There was no leaving the table until everything was eaten off your plate. Today, I see kids who take a bite of something then leave to play claiming they don't want anymore or they are full. Into the garbage the food goes. What's even worse, are the adults I see who… Continue

Added by Patrick on July 14, 2008 at 5:35am — 7 Comments

Ribs, Ribs and More Ribs.....

This is not so much a recipe than it is a technique. I use this technique mainly for ribs but can be used for chicken, etc. Take a look at the chicken wing video to see the technique in action. For these ribs (seasoned only with salt and pepper), they are slow gilled over pans of water (to which I added a bottle of beer) to avoid direct contact with the flames. Slow cook these over medium heat for about 2-4… Continue

Added by Patrick on July 14, 2008 at 5:12am — 2 Comments


Well, we've been hearing about the politicians wanting restaurants to list calorie content and stop using trans fats. At least this is what's going on around here in NYC. Now they are attacking bakeries to stop using trans fats. They interviewed a bakery owner in Little Italy in the Bronx where, as it turns out we get our favorite cannolis and he said the new action against bakeries is "excessive". He goes on to say, "if you eat nothing but cookies all day then you're going to get sick". We… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 30, 2008 at 4:04pm — 1 Comment

I Remember Eating As A Kid...................

Very frequently I hear people saying things like; "my mother used to make......, my aunt had the best..., my father made the best......our grandmother cooked.....etc". My question is, " then if it was so good then why are YOU not making it?" I am not saying these dishes were not good, only that the continuation of making these foods disappears with time for whatever reason. You need to find these recipes or relatives who do know how to make them so you can continue your culinary heritage… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 30, 2008 at 5:14am — 3 Comments

Tuna Fish & Peas On Toast

Part of the "What We Ate growing Up" series. Not an elegant sounding dish but who cares except the people who need to attach fancy names on something before they will eat it. This is a very simple, quick and good tasting dish which also lends itself to versatility if you choose to use other types of fish, etc. So here we go............

Couple cans of drained tuna, flour, butter, olive oil, milk, peas, parsley and S&P.

Make your roux using the flour, butter and… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 30, 2008 at 4:56am — 2 Comments

The Lowly Hot Dog, Or Is It?

The hot dog, really a sausage, has really been bastardized and cheapened in this country. When you hear hot dog you think very little about it other than give the mention of it a casual and almost lackluster acknowledgment of its existence. However, hot dogs when made properly are a true treat and can very much be the talk of the barbecue. Johnny has proved this with his homemade white hots. I have been on a search for a decent store/butcher/deli dog for awhile and have only found one worth… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 16, 2008 at 12:42pm — 1 Comment

Patrick's Garlic Oil

Keep this around the kitchen to add subtle garlic flavor to your dishes.

Smash and peel a few cloves of garlic and put in a jar of olive oil. Let sit for at least 24 hours before using to draw out the flavor. You could add herbs and the like to it but then your complex oil may not fit with what you are making so I choose to keep it simple with just the garlic.…


Added by Patrick on June 16, 2008 at 12:25pm — 8 Comments

Yogurt: A Homely Girl Made Up & Dressed Up To Act The Prostitute.

Yogurt has been around for as long as the "oldest profession". However, plain yogurt just is not the most wonderful tasting product I've ever had. For the same reason, it is why it is hard to find plain yogurt amongst the multitude of flavored yogurts overflowing the shelves. Good for the manufacturer but not so good for the buyer. They have actually taken a non-popular tasting item, dressed it up and are acting the pimp to their big "yogurt prostitute ring". Read the ingredients on the… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 5, 2008 at 9:04am — 1 Comment

Nut Allergy Epidemic or Are We Just Nuts?

I realize there are people out there allergic to certain nuts (and other foods) and that can be very frustrating like any other allergy. However, I just don't get where this "sudden" epidemic came from, excuse me. When I was a kid I didn't know of anyone allergic to nuts. Golden rod and cats were the allergic rage back then. So, where did all this hoopla about nuts come from? Everything is marked that it may contain nuts or was made using machines that process nuts. Is this nut allergy so… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 2, 2008 at 3:54am — 24 Comments

Jeanette's Cobb Salad

Jeanette's beginning to get more involeved in the kitchen scene. Here is one of her recent dishes that is very good and perfect for summer: Cobb Salad by Jeanette

Chicken breasts (sauteed in butter and bacon/pancetta until golden brown on both sides then shredded), , hardboiled eggs (sliced), avocado (chopped 1/4" chunks), carrots (chopped or shredded), celery (chopped), chick peas, black olives, red bell pepper chopped small), green bell pepper (chopped small), bleu cheese… Continue

Added by Patrick on June 2, 2008 at 3:30am — 5 Comments

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