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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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September 29, 2013

Recipe for herb and ricotta frittata {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Herb and ricotta frittata, a romantic dinner for two.

In Something's Gotta Give -- yes, yes, it's a chick flick, and I love it -- the most romantic scene catches Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in their bathrobes, in her kitchen, at night, sharing a pan of eggs by candlelight. I think eggs are romantic, too. Maybe it's because they're warm and familiar, or just so silky soft and sensuous. If you love eggs, here's a simple little herb and ricotta frittata a deux. All you need are eggs, fresh herbs (whatever's left in your garden), creamy ricotta cheese and a bit of sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, an onion, candles, and two forks. Or, make this as a treat for yourself, and eat it straight from the pan while watching the movie in your bathrobe.

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September 15, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker tandoori pulled chicken

Slow cooker tandoori pulled chicken.

What's more fun than cooking something until it falls apart, and then coaxing it into a state of total collapse by having at it with two forks? If this sounds like your idea of a good time in the kitchen, you need to get your slow cooker on and make a batch of tandoori pulled chicken. While a slow cooker can't replicate the smoky char of a tandoor oven, the spices do a good job of mimicking the flavor. Use the shredded chicken on wedges of naan bread, as we have here, or in a salad or wrap. You can go a bit further, and dress it up with typical Indian condiments, like yogurt, chutney, or chopped nuts. When I make this chicken, I use a kabsa spice blend I found at a gourmet market; it's easy to make your own, or substitute turmeric, as indicated in the recipe. Tandoori pulled chicken freezes well, so you can make it ahead and have lunch or dinner at the ready.

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August 8, 2013

Recipe for zucchini, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Zucchini, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole (for any time of day).

As a precaution, for the past few days we've taken to locking our car doors. Here in the country, we usually don't do that -- in fact, people leave their keys in the car, and the car running, in the local supermarket parking lot! -- but it's zucchini season, and we have to guard against the random zucchini deposited on the passenger seat. Yes, it happens, and nowhere -- not the porch, the front stoop, the mailbox or the car -- is safe. One of the recipes in my summer e-book, 23 Zucchini: Fast, fun, easy recipes from The Perfect Pantry kitchen, this zucchini, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole is a favorite way to cook those gifts of zucchini from gardening friends or the farmers market. Egg and cheese casseroles are an easy go-to for busy weekdays and lazy weekends; enjoy them for breakfast, or with a green salad for lunch or supper. This is quiche without the crust, which makes it a great gluten-free main dish. (Please check out the e-book for many more ideas for cooking with zucchini. The book -- for iPad, Kindle, smart phone or computer -- is fun, inexpensive, and people are saying nice things about it.)

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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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