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October 17, 2013

Chili powder (Recipe: turkey tacos)

First published in August 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos and links. We love this spicy turkey filling in tacos, on salads, or as the topping for a rice bowl with a dollop of guacamole and a big plop of sour cream. 

Super easy turkey tacos.

Some like it hot.

I like it really hot.

I like it hot enough to make my scalp tingle, my sinuses drip, and my eyes water. (Do I need to mention that I'm talking about food now, not the weather?) I wasn't always like this, but a trip to New Orleans years ago started me down the pepper path, and there is no turning back.

Sometimes, though, unadulterated heat isn't the goal. When I want a more complex depth of flavor in Mexican and Southwestern dishes, I often reach for chili powder.

Are you confused by the whole chili/chile thing? Many people are, and product packaging doesn't really help, with the willy-nilly and often interchangeable use of chile, chili, chillie and chilli.

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October 13, 2013

Recipe for Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon

Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon.

Later this morning, our family from up North will crowd around the small dining table here at the log house for coffee and juice and fried eggs, and Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon. My husband Ted requested a Canadian recipe for my latest e-book, A Flock of Meatballs: Easy turkey recipes with around-the-world flavors, and when I asked him what, exactly, a Canadian meatball might contain, he didn't hesitate: "maple syrup, bacon and beer!" These turkey meatballs coated with a maple-bacon-(non-alcoholic)-beer glaze have it all, and happily take the place of bacon and sausage on any breakfast menu. They're actually quite good atop a green salad, too, so don't limit your meatball intake to first thing in the morning. You can make the basic meatballs ahead and keep them in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to serve, defrost the meatballs and boil the glaze, which takes only a few minutes on the stove top.

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September 8, 2013

Recipe for savory Southwest cornmeal waffles {vegetarian}

Savory Southest cornmeal waffles, with fried egg and salsa.

In the house where I grew up, my dad took charge of weekend breakfasts. Every Saturday, he made challah French toast, with rich, eggy bread left over from Friday night dinner. The surprises came on Sundays, from a repertoire that included "spit in the ocean", fried eggs and salami, and eggs scrambled with cheese or, if we were very lucky, leftover spaghetti and meatballs. I still eat eggs for breakfast on most mornings, and I like something sturdy to hold them up. When Cousin Martin visited a few weeks ago, we made these savory Southwest cornmeal waffles with red cornmeal from Rhode Island's iconic Kenyon's Grist Mill. I much prefer heat to sweet for breakfast, so we topped our slightly crunchy waffles with fried eggs and some spicy habañero salsa. You could go the maple syrup route, too.

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September 1, 2013

Herbes de Provence (Recipe: marinated mozzarella) {vegetarian, gluten-free}

First published in June 2008, this updated ingredient post features new photos and links. Marinated mozzarella cheese takes just minutes to make, and a few days to steep in the good flavors of the herbs. For a quick appetizer, just add toothpicks.

Marinated bocconcini, small balls of mozzarella in herbs.

Who was more ingenious, the Provencal cook who first tossed together a few herbs growing on a hillside and gave it a fancy-sounding name -- herbes de Provence -- or the person who thought to market those herbs in an adorable ceramic crock ?

(You have one of those iconic little crocks on your spice rack, don't you? Me, too.)

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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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