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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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March 28, 2013

Lemon caper deviled eggs recipe {vegetarian}

Lemon caper deviled eggs, perfect for Easter or summer parties.

Sometimes we overlook the obvious, the recipes that seem so simple, too simple, and we forget that those simple recipes often are really, really good. So there we were, my husband Ted and I, stuck in the house with a storm on the way. I'd planned to cook a few recipes to share with you, and I opened the refrigerator to start pulling out ingredients. That's when I saw the eggs, already hard-boiled. How could I resist deviled eggs? I always have lemons and capers in the pantry, and some fresh parsley (or dill) was a perfect addition. These deviled eggs came together in minutes, and, as it turned out, resistance was futile. Before we knew it, Ted and I had devoured the entire batch. Lemon caper deviled eggs will be a sure hit on your holiday menu.

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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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