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May 12, 2013

Recipe for Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs

Rhode Island weiner spice meatballs, a fun appetizer.

The small market in my village surprises me on a regular basis, despite the fact that I shop there two or three times every week. On the day I found both a locally made habañero salsa and a spice mix used in the sauce for Rhode Island's famous New York System weiners, I knew I had to pair the two in a recipe. At first I'd planned to fold the salsa into the meatball mixture, but it buried the taste of the spices, so the salsa became the dipping sauce, and the weiner spices really shine in these meatballs. If you don't live in Rhode Island, you can make your own weiner spice mix. The key ingredient, celery salt, gives these meatballs a distinctly Ocean State flavor. The meatballs make a great appetizer, or you can toss them with pasta or serve on a pizza, as we did in our Rhode Island Recipes cookbook. Make a double batch and stash some in the freezer.

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April 28, 2013

Recipe for roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan johnnycakes {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Mini roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan cheese johnnycakes, a gluten-free appetizer.

Until I moved to Rhode Island a decade ago, I'd never heard of johnnycakes (which are also spelled jonnycakes, so let's get that out of the way up front). Johnnycakes, made of cornmeal and gluten-free, are to Rhode Islanders what pancakes are to the rest of the world. Most often they're served just like pancakes, with butter and a glug of local maple syrup. These savory two-bite roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan johnnycakes fit nicely into the end of the day, as a cocktail party appetizer or snack at a barbecue. As with any recipe that has just a few ingredients, be sure to use the best cheese, basil and pepper you can find. Serve them hot off the griddle, and spell them whichever way you like.

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March 28, 2013

Lemon caper deviled eggs recipe {vegetarian}

Lemon caper deviled eggs, perfect for Easter or summer parties.

Sometimes we overlook the obvious, the recipes that seem so simple, too simple, and we forget that those simple recipes often are really, really good. So there we were, my husband Ted and I, stuck in the house with a storm on the way. I'd planned to cook a few recipes to share with you, and I opened the refrigerator to start pulling out ingredients. That's when I saw the eggs, already hard-boiled. How could I resist deviled eggs? I always have lemons and capers in the pantry, and some fresh parsley (or dill) was a perfect addition. These deviled eggs came together in minutes, and, as it turned out, resistance was futile. Before we knew it, Ted and I had devoured the entire batch. Lemon caper deviled eggs will be a sure hit on your holiday menu.

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February 12, 2013

Recipe for red curry shrimp dumplings

Dunk these red curry shrimp dumplings in a sesame dipping sauce.

Buried in the deepest corner of my freezer, an "emergency" bag of shrimp and vegetable dumplings waits for the times when I crave dumplings and nothing else will do. The dumplings I buy from the Chinese market are okay, not great, not sensuous like these spicy, salty, red curry shrimp dumplings. I can microwave the storebought dumplings in a couple of minutes and get my fix, but it doesn't take all that much longer to create these one-bite shrimp dumplings from scratch, especially with all of the ingredients sitting in my pantry. The technique is the same one I use to cook potstickers: pan fry the dumplings to get a nice chewy crust on the bottom; then, steam them in the same pan to finish the cooking. Once you master the method, you can build your own dumplings with wonton skins and any mix of fillings (chicken, cabbage, tofu) you have on hand.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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