June 2, 2013

Recipe for turkey burgers with chipotle ketchup {gluten-free}

Turkey burgers with chipotle ketchup, perfect for summer grilling.

Truth be told, I love a good hamburger with drippy cheese, oozing and dribbling down my chin. Turkey burgers don't ooze, and that's something I've learned to accept when I opt for healthy eating. However, this chipotle ketchup can drip and dribble with the best. The smoky chipotle flavor here is quite mild, as the recipe calls for the adobo sauce but not the actual chile peppers. If you like your sauces hot, add a bit of chopped chipotle chile (with or without seeds) right into the ketchup mixture. Greek yogurt keeps the burgers moist, so they can cook through without drying out. It's the same trick I use when I make turkey meatballs, and it works every time. You can make the ketchup ahead, even a couple of weeks ahead, and store it in the refrigerator.

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May 30, 2013

Recipe for egg and cheese casserole with artichoke hearts and feta {vegetarian}

A box of frozen artichoke hearts inspired this egg and cheese casserole.

While I was cruising the aisles at the market the other day, a box of frozen artichoke hearts jumped out of the freezer case into my shopping cart. (I'm amazed at how often that happens to me. Does it happen to you, too?) As is often the case, I didn't have a plan for them, but I had beautiful farm eggs and a chunk of feta waiting to be called to action, and the idea for this egg and cheese casserole came together in an instant. I'm a huge fan of protein-based breakfasts, and almost forgot to snap some photographs before I nibbled away too much of this dish. The salty feta doesn't overwhelm; rather, it balances the creamy, mild artichokes. The casserole (call it a crustless quiche, if you prefer) would be equally good for a vegetarian lunch or light supper main course. Using plain artichoke hearts -- not the marinated ones -- and steaming the vegetables in the microwave keeps the casserole lower in fat, without sacrificing any flavor.

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May 26, 2013

Black pepper (Recipe: Laurie Colwin's roasted pepper chicken) {gluten-free}

First published in February 2008, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. If you haven't reread Laurie Colwin's books recently, this chicken recipe will remind you of her honest approach to cooking.

Roasted pepper chicken, good hot or cold.

A few days ago, when I was searching for the source of a literary fragment rattling around in my brain, I stumbled across this:

It takes four men to dress a salad: a wise man for the salt, a madman for the pepper, a miser for the vinegar, and a spendthrift for the oil.

Anonymous, who supposedly said this, obviously didn't know the guys I know.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I know wise men, madmen, cheapskates and spendthrifts. But I think that any of them, especially the ones who come to cook in my kitchen, could pull off a proper vinaigrette without the help of three other guys.

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May 19, 2013

Cocoa powder (Recipe: cocoa-cumin-allspice rubbed rib-eye steak) {gluten-free}

First published in July 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos, links, and significant changes to the recipe, just in time for the holiday weekend. Get your grill on!

Get your grill on! Rib-eye steak rubbed with cocoa, cumin and allspice.

Sometimes I uncover an item in my pantry that's a bit of mystery. I know I should have it. In fact, I'm never without it. I just don't know why.

Cocoa powder is the mystery du jour.

What, exactly, is cocoa powder? What makes some of it Dutch-processed? Is natural cocoa powder better, or just different?

Here's what I've learned.

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May 2, 2013

Recipe for grilled Asian turkey breast with soy, garlic and chili paste

Grilled Asian turkey breast, great for sandwiches, wraps, or pasta salad.

TRUE CONFESSION: I am that crazy woman who stands outside in the middle of winter in a coat and scarf and mittens, tending the grill on the back porch, at the mercy of the elements. The first time I made this Asian-flavored turkey breast, shot through with soy, garlic and my favorite chili paste, that was the scenario; in fact, it was snowing, which made the act of grilling heroic and the result worth every moment of frozen-fingered suffering. Now that the weather is warmer, I grill more often, and more comfortably. Put thoughts of the all-day Thanksgiving turkey out of your mind; boneless turkey breast cooks quickly. If you can't find a whole boneless turkey breast, buy a bone-in and ask the butcher to break it down for you (save the bones, wings and neck for stock). I use this garlicky, spicy turkey to add spark to sandwiches, summer rolls and pasta salads.

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  • 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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