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June 27, 2010

Wine you'd be happy to drink (Recipe: grilled beef and potatoes with chimichurri sauce) {gluten-free}

Perfect for a holiday cookout, grilled beef and potatoes topped with a tangy chimichurri sauce.

You know that I seldom give relationship advice here in The Perfect Pantry, and when I do, it is the very best advice. So you can trust what I'm about to tell you.

If you are seeking your life partner, and you are a non-drinker who likes to cook with wine (like I am), ask yourself these very important questions before you give your heart away.

First, does your prospective partner drink wine, and will he or she be happy to drink whatever is left from your cooking? (This is the best case.)

Second, if you ask this partner-to-be to bring home a bottle of wine you'd be happy to drink (if only you weren't a teetotaler), will he or she know that cooking wine is not wine for cooking?

Third, will he or she ask the all important question: what are we having for dinner?

Fourth, will he/she be willing to knock on doors with an empty measuring cup to borrow a cup of wine from a neighbor when your own supply runs out?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you are on the road to a happy life together. Trust me.

Continue reading "Wine you'd be happy to drink (Recipe: grilled beef and potatoes with chimichurri sauce) {gluten-free}" »

June 20, 2010

Capers (Recipe: grilled tuna sandwiches with tartar sauce)

Grilled tuna sandwich with tartar sauce

True confession: I don't love capers all that much.

More than once, the long-stemmed giant caper berries from The Gourmet Outlet, so beautiful on an antipasto platter, have tempted me. More than once, a tin of medium-sized salt-packed capers from France has leapt off the gourmet shop shelf and into my cart.

The fancier the capers, the more I've wanted to love them.

I've tried, really. More than once.

Nevertheless, there's always a jar of capers, from the supermarket or local Italian market, in the door of my refrigerator. Some dishes just need the flavor of capers, and nothing else will do.

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June 1, 2010

Ground turkey (Recipe: Greek turkey burgers with yogurt and feta sauce)

Turkey burger, souvlaki style. 

Why does a whole chicken taste better than a whole turkey, but ground turkey tastes better than ground chicken?

I don't have the answer, but I always have ground turkey in my freezer.

In the small market in my town, I can choose from several types of ground turkey, with varying amounts of breast and thigh meat, and varying amounts of fat. I like 93% fat free, but I can buy it as lean as 99% fat free. The less fat, the less flavor, so a little bit of fat is a good thing.

Ground turkey substitutes for ground pork in everything I cook, especially Chinese stir-fry dishes and wonton filling, and Tex-Mex specialties like enchiladas and tacos. 

And though I've tried to substitute ground chicken for ground turkey, it never tastes the same to me.

How about you? Chicken, turkey, or both?

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May 25, 2010

Unsalted butter (Recipe: chive and parsley butter) {vegetarian}

Asparagus, grilled and topped with chive and parsley butter

Visitors to the 2009 Iowa State Fair saw Michael Jackson's moon walk.

At this summer's fair, they'll see Neil Armstrong's moon walk.

I guess one moon walk sculpted in hundreds of pounds of unsalted butter just wasn't enough for Iowa.

Bakers prefer unsalted butter for its consistency. Salted butters vary in the amount of salt they contain, so by starting with unsalted butter, a baker can determine exactly how much salt to use in a recipe.

I wonder how much salt goes into a butter moon walk.

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  • 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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