January 26, 2014

Worcestershire sauce (Recipe: curry dip)

Originally published in May 2007, this updated ingredient post features new photos and links. Sometimes we forget about the simple appetizers, and how well they can set the stage for a meal. This dip takes just seconds to make, and it's always a hit. Serve it with chilled crudites, or with crusty roasted vegetables.

Curry dip, best if made ahead. Serve with roasted veggies or crudites. (The Perfect Pantry)

In July, 1981, the US Department of the Army was "honored" by Taxpayers for Common Sense with their Golden Fleece Award, for spending $6,000 to prepare a 17-page manual on how to buy Worcestershire sauce.

Seriously.

Never fear, my friends; you don't need to read the report. I'm going to tell you how to buy Worcestershire sauce (I'll even tell you how to use it), and my advice won't cost you a penny.

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January 7, 2014

Recipe for whole wheat penne pasta with Greek red lentil, feta and olive sauce {vegetarian}

Whole wheat penne pasta with Greek red lentil feta and olive sauce, for Meatless Mondays (The Perfect Pantry).

'Twas the week after a week of holiday parties, and all through the house, nobody felt like standing over the stove, not one single person, and especially not me. And yet, people needed to eat. The pantry presented all sorts of possibilities, and before I knew it, I'd thrown together lentils and pasta and olives and feta. What evolved was this Greek-inspired pasta dish with enough protein and heft to satisfy vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Lentil sauces for pasta are more common than you'd imagine, and tossing a handful of lentils into a traditional marinara boosts the nutritional value by adding plenty of fiber. I pulled the sauce off the heat before the lentils collapsed, because I love the more rustic texture, but you can let them cook a few minutes longer and watch them melt into the tomato sauce. Opa!

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December 29, 2013

The Perfect Pantry's favorite egg dishes for New Year's Day brunch

The Perfect Pantry's favorite egg dishes for brunch.

Quick -- run to the store, right now, today, and grab some eggs. You've got plenty of time to plan a great brunch to start the new year, but for that, you really must have eggs. While you're at the market, add some bread, any green vegetable, and a bit of your favorite cheese to your grocery cart. I love to make a fuss over breakfast or brunch, on holidays or on the weekends, yet most of my favorite egg dishes are a snap to make, and not at all fussy. Combine eggs with whatever you find in your pantry, and you can start the year with a brunch to remember. Eggs are key!

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December 26, 2013

The Perfect Pantry's top 12 party appetizers for New Year's Eve

12 favorite appetizers for New Year's Eve (The Perfect Pantry).

Are you ready for New Year's Eve? Whether you're hosting a celebration for many, or an intimate affair for two, all you really need is an assortment of some favorite appetizers, the more variety the merrier, and plenty of bubbly. Add a few streamers or noisemakers, and mood music, and welcome, 2014!

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December 22, 2013

Sweet Rhode Island coffee-dunked turkey appetizer meatballs recipe (slow cooker)

Sweet coffee (decaf!) meatballs, made in the slow cooker. (The Perfect Pantry)

Did you grow up in a meatball house? In the house where I grew up, there were two kinds of meatballs: big red ones, cooked in sauce made with a packet of Spatini, and small sweet-and-sour ones, made by my dad in nothing smaller than five-pound batches. Never did we have anything approaching the sheer nirvana of these sweet Rhode Island coffee-dunked turkey appetizer meatballs. This recipe, from my e-book A Flock of Meatballs: Easy turkey recipes with around-the-world flavors, pretty much requires that you buy a bottle of real Rhode Island coffe syrup (my favorite local product, hands down, is Dave's All-Natural Decaf Coffee Syrup), used to make Rhode Island's official state drink, coffee milk. You can substitute strong brewed decaf coffee plus molasses, and it will be good, though not authentically Rhody. These meatballs freeze so well that you might want to double the quantity, and stash some for last-minute holiday appetizers.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, 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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