What makes a chowder a chowder, and not just a fish soup? The name comes from the French word chaudiere, a three-legged cauldron. When ships returned from the sea, every village had a large chaudiere waiting at the dock; each fisherman added a portion of his catch, big pieces of fish cleaned and cut right on the boat, to be served later as a communal meal. It's a shame that most of us no longer get our fish directly from the docks, and that we make chowder in our own kitchens instead of a communal pot. While our way of life has changed, the basic chowder remains the same: a fish-based soup, thick with big chunks of fish or shellfish. This shrimp, corn and bacon chowder gets a double whammy of smoky flavor from pimentón (smoked paprika) and the bacon. I call it a pantry chowder, because I always have shrimp and corn in the freezer, and a combination of clam and chicken broths from the pantry makes a fine substitute for fresh fish stock.
Continue reading "Smoky shrimp, corn and bacon chowder recipe" »
Just when I thought I'd made every turkey meatball under the sun, I spied a few strips of leftover cooked bacon from a spinach salad, and voila! BLT turkey meatballs. The essential components of a classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich are all here: bacon, of course; sun-dried or slow-roasted tomatoes; parsley standing in for the lettuce; mayonnaise; and bread (crumbs). Form the meatballs small, and serve them as an appetizer. Or, make them large, and stuff a pita with lettuce, tomatoes and turkey meatballs -- a BLT inside a BLT. Turkey meatballs freeze well, so if you have time, cook a double batch. You can reheat them in the microwave for sandwiches, or add to pasta for a quick worknight dinner.
Continue reading "Recipe for BLT turkey meatballs" »
When you think of a tagine, you probably picture tender chunks of meat stewed in liquid, with vegetables or maybe chickpeas, poured over couscous or rice. This lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins isn't quite the stew you imagine. I'd call it lamb candy, if that made any sense at all, because the honey and fruit give the meat a sweet, caramelized glaze that is so good, you'll want to lick every bit off your fork. Garlic and lemon keep the dish well balanced, adding just enough savory notes on your taste buds. Though lamb is a traditional favorite, you can make this dish with beef or chicken, too. It's a wow dish for parties, and you'll love the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Continue reading "Recipe for lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins" »
On one of those days in The Perfect Pantry kitchen, with recipe testing in the slow cooker, on the stove top, and in the oven, despite my careful planning I had a few cups of chopped kale left and no plan for it. A quick search in the refrigerator unearthed some bacon (always good with dark leafy greens) and shredded cheese, and just like that, this kale soup with bacon and cheese was born. Broccoli or broccoli rabe would be equally good, though I especially liked the combination of the slightly bitter kale with the salty bacon. This hearty make-ahead-and-freeze soup, with puff pastry croutons, cooks in less than half an hour.
Continue reading "Recipe for kale (or broccoli) soup with bacon and cheese" »