Chinese Long Beans

I mentioned that I used Chinese Long Beans in the taco pasta recipe. In Houston, I buy them in Asian markets, where you'll almost always find them. Specialty grocers may have them occassionaly, but I can't recall seeing them. And I think you'll never find them from a mainstream grocer.

The beans are indeed long. In the picture below, the beans are on a 13" wide cutting board. I put the stick of butter there as another frame of reference to their size.

Long beans, even when very fresh, have a few mottled dark spots. They are a little thinner in diameter than our typical green beans, and have a slightly chewier texture, even when well cooked. That's why I like them so much in the taco/pasta recipe - that crunch was a nice counterpoint to the soft(er) pasta.

Dry Fried Long Beans

In traditional Sichuanese cooking long beans are often dry-fried. This means they are cooked in a small amount of oil in a wok for 6-8 minutes until the skins get a little blackened and blistery. Since we usually can't generate the super high heats needed for good wok cooking, we have to carefully cook over high or medium high heat for about 10-12 minutes.

After frying the beans, they are set aside while ground pork, xiao xing rice wine (like sherry), soy sauce and ya cai (a pickled mustard green) are suateed, then finished with salt and sesame oil and recombined with the beans. Delicious.

Taco Pasta and Long Bean Salad

Wednesday July 28, 2010

We're going on vacation tomorrow, so are cleaning out the fridge. And since Alex is back home after a week+ at Boy Scout camp, he's picking our menus. He wanted tacos, and knew nothing of the Mexican feast we had Sunday.

I generally don't care for "one-dish" meals. However, we had ground turkey in the freezer, some leftover tri-color rotini pasta, and a fresh package of Chinese long beans (more on long beans later). So I decided to mix up a taco seasoning, and combine all those ingredients. Frankly, it looks  like a lame suburban "throw it together" dish. However, there were some very nice flavors, subtle enough for picky eaters, and at least the dish didn't get its taco seasoning from a foil package.

Actually, the package of taco mix is often used in my house, just not by me. Like most busy households, we've got a few shortcut, go-to dishes that the kids like and are truly fast to make. However, I'll contend that my dish is only 5 minutes slower than Margie's fast taco night.....especially if you don't have to cook the pasta or make this as just a taco dish with tortillas.

Ground Turkey and Bean "Taco Pasta"

1 pound fresh green beans or Chinese long beans (see note), trimmed
1/2 pound or more cooked pasta, such as rotini
1 medium onion, chopped. A little more than 1 cup.
1 red bell pepper, chopped. A little less than 1 cup.
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
20 ounces ground turkey (that's the common package size in my stores)
1/2 cup chicken stock, white wine or water
3 tablespoons tomato paste

  1. Bring beans to boil in salted water. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Taste for doneness. Drain and rinse under cold water to keep the beans from overcooking.
  2. If needed, cook pasta and drain. Let cool.
  3. Add onion to a saute pan with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. After 2 minutes add red peppers and garlic. Cook vegetable about 4 minutes more. They don't need to be soft yet.
  4. Add all spices and stir to combine, then add turkey. Cook about 7 minutes, breaking up turkey into smaller pieces.
  5. Add chicken stock and tomato paste and turn heat to high. Stir paste and stock to combine. Allow some of the liquid to cook off slightly (evaporate). Keep cooking until just a small amount of liquid remains.
  6. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips and lime wedges.
Why do I believe this recipe is better than the pedestrian, newspaper-clipped, clap-trap that finds its way around suburban kitchens? Or compared to taco mix in a package? Here are a few thoughts:
  • Using ground turkey. Turkey will absorb the spices and other flavorings better than beef. It's also got far less fat than beef. So much so that you can cook it without draining off fat. That's why we didn't have to brown the beef first, drain it and later return it to the pan with the seasonings and vegetables.
  • The simplicity and focus of a few high quality spices. Margie uses a high quality packaged taco mix called Pioneer Brand. It's good, not great. It's quick and the kids like it. The spices listed are: chili pepper, salt, maltodextrin spices, MSG, food starch, bleached flour, cocoa powder (really?), spice  (which is what??) and citric acid. Compare that to chili, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Focused and simple.
  • All fresh ingredients. That package of taco mix also listed onion as the first ingredient, and you know what that means (largest quantity). Of course it's dried onion. Also listed - garlic. Dried. Compare those to spending less than 5 minutes (and for some of you, less than 3 minutes), chopping a little onion and garlic.
  • One last thought. The reddish color in the packaged version: food coloring. Mine: tomato.

Authentic Mexican Feast from Rick Bayless

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We got in the mood for some Mexican tastes, so I consulted Rick Bayless' recipes online. EVERY single recipe I've made from him (about 10) has been incredible. Here's what we had:

Dishes (Clockwise from top-left): Queso, Grilled Chicken, Creamy Chicken,
Pickled Onions, Tuna, Tortillaa. Mushrooms in center

  • Bacon with Carmelized Onion and Sun-Dried Tomato Queso Fundido
  • Fresh Flour Tortillas
  • Tuna in Jalapeno Escabeche
  • Grilled Chicken with Escabeche Sauce
  • Creamy Chicken and Greens with Raosted Poblano
  • Pickled Onions
  • Stewed Mushrooms with Onion and Garlic
The Queso had excellent tastes, but the Queso Blanco I used didn't melt well and got clumpy. Tastes were good enough to try again.

Tuna  is a very good dish that I've made before. You won't believe how it developes a sweet/sour flavor, not just spiciness. Cut jalapeno / liquid in half to make a mild version. Maybe a good topping on crackers for cocktail hour.

Creamy chicken was the clear winner. Incredible tastes, nice spice. Used leftover cubes of chicken breast.

All recipes are available on Rick's website:

Cajun Chicken Cordon Bleu

Thursday July 22, 2010

A friend asked me for advice about making the long-time classic dish Chicken Cordon Bleu. If you don't recall, it's a paillard (flattened) piece of chicken topped or stuffed with ham and cheese, dipped in an egg batter and bread crumbs then suateed or otherwise fried.

After sharing a little advice about keeping the dish as simple as possible, and to use high quality (and expensive) Gruyere cheese, I mentioned that I'd probably make that dish soon. So a day later, with chicken breasts on sale and a quick trip to grab some gruyere, I got underway.

However, I wasn't keen on breading and frying. I also had freshly made bread. So I decided to grill the chicken, use fat slices of andouille instead of ham. I also grilled some red and yellow peppers. I pictured kind of an open faced chicken, cheese, andioulle sandwich - using bread instead of breadcrumbs. Well - the grill looked nice:

I pictured this as being quite I heated some butter with garlic slices, and spread a bit on the chicken pieces and the bread slices. I hid the Grueyere under the chicken when I stacked up the ingredients, so it would melt and be a "surprise" when bitten into. Having already departed from the original ingredients by adding the red peppers, I also added carmelized onions that were left over from a day or two ealier.

OK - at this point, the dish has little to do with Chicken Cordone Blue other than chicken and cheese. Here's what it looked like:

How was it?  Dry. Not too interesting. Not bad. Not great. Melt cheese over top instead? Probably would help.

Cajun Chicken Cordon Blue/Bleu

2 pounds chicken breasts, flattened to 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound andouille, sliced
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper
4 ounces gruyere cheese, sliced
8 slices high quality bread

-- Melt butter with garlic, do not brown.
-- Slice peppers into 4 parts, cutting around seeds and core. Place on grill skin side down until charred.
-- Place andouille slices on grill, and cook 5 minutes.
-- Brush butter lightly over chicken pieces, and grill 2 minutes per side.
-- Brush remaining butter on bread slices, and toast on grill
-- Remove skins from peppers

Assemble stack: bread, cheese, chikcen, pepper, sausage.

Potted Cherries

First made July 5, 2010

Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home, Thomas Keller

Cherry Balsamic Vinegar

Pits from 1 pound of cherries
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
--- Bring vinegar to a boil, add pits and remove from heat. Cool for 1 hour or more.

Potted Cherries

1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
3 sprigs fresh tarragon, approx. 4" in length
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cherry balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
25 black peppercorns

--- Bring sugar, vinegar, water and peppercorns to a boil, stirring to combine.
--- Allow to cool, then remove peppercorns and pour over cherries.
--- Add tarragon to mixture and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. The cherries taste best after 4-5 days and last a few weeks, refigerated.

Serve sauce and cherries over grilled chicken or pork, as a topping for ice cream or other desserrts, or add a bowl of the cherries to a cheese tray.

Andouille Stuffed Hamburgers, Carmelized Onions, Pickled Okra and Remoulade

Tuesday July 20, 2010

Andouille Stuffed Hamburgers, Carmelized Onions, Pickled Okra and Remoulade

<<sorry no picutres this went to Boy Scout camp in West Texas with my son>>

Found this on epicurious, apparently the winner of a burger contest in Napa Valley. A lot of potential here, but a few criticisms and adjustments.
  • Original recipe called for making a spicy mayonnaise with Cajun spices. I skipped that, but shouldn't have. However, using a true Remoulade would be an even further improvement.
  • Original called for Blue cheese on the burger. Maybe it was because I used such a strong, high quality cheese (Maytag), that the cheese dominated the other flavors.
  • The use of slices of pickled okra was brilliant.

Part 1: Cajun Mayonnaise - I recommend my Remoulade. Alternately, 1/2 cup mayo, 2 teaspoons cajun spice mix, S&P.

Part 2: Carmelized onions - 2 pounds onion sliced, 4 garlic cloves sliced, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 sprigs fresh thyme. Cook over medium-high heat for 25 minutes or until browned to your satisfaction.

Part 3: Burgers - 2 pounds fresh ground beef, 80% lean; 2/3 pound Andouille sausage, chopped into 1/4" cubes. Combine beef with S&P and sausage, gently folding the sausage into the beef, so that most cubes are held inside the burger by the beef. Cook 3 minutes per side on medium-high grill.

Part 4: Buns - toast high quality buns.

Part 5: Toppings - slice pickled okra pods in half or thirds lengthwise. Rinse shredded lettuce or watercress.

- Put carmelized onions on bottom bun.
- Place burger on onions
- Lay okra slices atop burger,
- Lettuce or watercress
- Spread Remoulade on top bun to complete

Braised Chinese Salmon, Sichuan Style Zucchini with Garlic, Fried Rice

Monday, July 19, 2010

  • Sichuanese Braised Salmon
  • Zucchini with Garlic
  • Fried Rice, using flavorful ground turkey from 7/18.

Sichuanese Braised Salmon
  1. Marinate 1.5 pounds of salmon fillets skin side up in 2 tablespoons XiaoXing Rice wine, 4-6 slices of fresh ginger, 2 chopped scallions and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
  2. Assemble sauce components: 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 tablespoon ginger, 2-3 scallions chopped. An a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon xiaoxing rice wine, 1 tablespoon dark soy, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2/3 cup stock, 10 whole sichuan peppercorns, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1-2 teaspoons red pepper oil.
  3. Brown Salmon 1 minute in peanut oil, put in 450 degree oven 4 minutes. Remove to marinating plate. 
  4. Start sauce with vegetables, then add liquids and spices. Bring to a boil, add salmon and spoon sauce over salmon. Simmer if salmon or sauce need additional cooking.

Sichuan Style Zucchini with Garlic
  1. Cut 1 pound zucchini into 1/16" julienne strips using a mandoline. If desired, cut long strips in thirds.
  2. Sprinkle zucchini with kosher salt and let drain for 20 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon sliced garlic, for 15 seconds. Add zucchini and cook, tossing for no more than 2 minutes.
  4. Serve hot or chilled.

Sichuan "Hamburgers" and Fried Rice

Saturday, July 17

Homemade Vegetable Fried Rice - proportions from How To Cook Everything
Steamed Edamame
Sichaun "Hamburgers"

-- Marinate ground turkey in  XiaoXing Rice wine, chunks of ginger, chopped scallions
-- Assemble sauce of garlic, ginger, scallions, xiaoxing rice wine, dark soy, sugar, stock, whole sichuan peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick, red pepper oil.
-- Saute turkey in peanut oil, add sauce ingredients, simmer.
-- Top with sesame oil.
-- Serve over bun (like sloppy joe) or side-by-side with rice.

Grilled Tuna, Pasta Corn and Mozzarella, Creamy Gazpacho

Wednesday July 14, 2010

Creamy Gazpacho from NYT 7/14/2010 issue.
--- Pretty good. Simple. But really requires straining, a little less yogurt. Careful of strength of garlic and basil

Grilled Tuna adapdated from Cuisine Rapide
--- S&P, then cumin, paprika, ginger, lemon zest rub. Add oil and lemon juice.

Pasta Corn and Mozzarella
--- Barilla "cut spaghetti" (great shape/taste), 8 oz fresh mozz, 4 basil leaves (very light so kids will like it), kernels cut off two ears cooked corn. S&P, oil. Serve warm/cool.

Steak and Corn with Albuquerque Butter, Lemon Potato Salad

Sunday July 11, 2010

Strip Steaks
Corn on the Cob
Albuquerque Butter - for steak or corn or both

Lemon Potato Salad
4# Yukon Gold, 1/2" cubes
----- cook approx 7 minutes, ice bath
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
3-4 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
2 lemons - zest chopped fine, juice squeezed
1 large celery rib, very finely chopped
---- combine and add to cooled, drained potatoes

Fast Grill Recipe #48

Last week I shared an article by Mark Bittman from the New York Times called "101 Fast Recipes for Grilling". The article is available free online. It contains lots of simple ideas, both familiar and innovative flavor combinations, and enough variety to keep you stocked up with fresh recipes and fresh food all summer long.

I had some shrimp on hand and checked the 101 article for ideas. One recipe calls for dusting shrimp with Chili powder, and finish with cilantro and juice from grilled limes. This is a combination of flavors I've been making for years, and recommend it.

I took a pass on that recipe because it's so familiar to me. However, I was surprised at the next shrimp suggestion. It was SO simple, with SO few flavorings, I wondered if it would really have any character at all. Recipe #48 recommends:

Rub shrimp with olive oil, salt and cumin. Finish with juice from a grilled lemon, garnish with marjoram.

It seemed to me that for this recipe to be good, it needed more spice, pepper or garlic. I tried it, not expecting much.

It was a pleasant surprise. Because there were so few seasonings, the flavors seemed more concentrated. The grilled lemon almost had a hint of sweet/sour and was far less sharp than simple lemon juice. Fresh marjoram (or oregano) is not used all too frequently, so it's a refreshing change of pace.
The only tricky part is to determine how much cumin and herb to use. I'd say we used about a teaspoon of cumin for a pound of shrimp, then a little more than a tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano.

Here's Something to Go with the Shrimp

We've enjoyed a summery dish of fresh corn with red peppers for many years. We cut corn off the cob, sauté it with scallions and chopped red peppers, seasoned with cumin and garlic.

Oddly, the southwestern-style flavorings for this dish were passed on to me in the cookbook Cuisine Rapide, by Pierre Franey, a classically trained French chef. In the 80's and 90's Franey published a weekly column in the New York Times called The 60 Minute Gourmet, which was a precursor to what Bittman writes today.

These two men share a lot of common ground. They believe that people should cook at home more often; they make home cooking more accessible and less intimidating than most people take it to be, and they strongly promote the use of simple fresh ingredients and a small number of flavorings to create a wonderful dish.

In his cookbook Franey calls for a slightly different proportion of ingredients than I recommend. Here's my version:

3 ears fresh corn, shucked, cut in half cross-wise, then cut kernels off lengthwise with a large knife
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper
----- Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium-high heat
----- Add all ingredients to the pan and sauté about 3 minutes, until slightly softened.

Many people don't realize that corn is very widely grown throughout China. In fact, you'll see field upon field of corn, sometimes in proximity to enormous rice paddies. Something that really surprised me on a trip to the Sichuan province a few years ago, was to find virtually this same preparation of corn and peppers on the menu at a local restaurant. It's also included in the one truly authentic Sichuan cookbook,
Land of Plenty, by Fuscia Dunlop. In the Sichuan version, the corn and peppers are simply cooked in peanut oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Chinese Summer Grill

Thursday July 8, 2010

Steamed Red Bean buns
--- Frozen from Chinese market

Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs in Soy Glaze
--- Proportions from How to Cook Everything

Chilled Rice Noodles
--- with garlic, ginger, soy
--- sichuan red pepper oil for those who want to add it

Fresh Corn Sauteed wtih Fresh Red Pepper
--- 3 ears corn, 1 large red pepper
--- saute in peanut oil
--- touch of red pepper oil
Surprisingly, this is a traditional Sichuan vegetable dish

New Brisket Rub and BBQ Sauce

Friday July 2, 2010

We make smoked brisket often on summer holiday weekends. The technique and dry rub mixture I've been using was published in Cook's Illustrated some time ago. But I've tired of that mix. It's good, but has a sharpness to it that I'm not liking so much any more.

So this past weekend I changed the dry rub to my own version, using Pimenton - smoked paprika from Spain. I also switched to pecan for smoking and made a BBQ sauce from scratch using the dry rub ingredients and drippings from the cooked brisket.

Shown above is brisket with Celery Apple Slaw.

Dry Rub:
6 tablespoons smoked paprika (sweet, or sweet-bitter)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 tablespoon sugar
1.5 tablespoon ground cumin
1.5 tablespoon chili powder
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
----- Combine all ingredients
----- Reserve 4 tablespoons of dry rub to use for the BBQ sauce.

BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
------ Heat in a medium saucepan until onion is wilted
4 tablespoons reserved dry rub
------ Add and stir to combine
2 cups crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatos blended with a stick blender)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Cayenne pepper to taste
---- Combine, bring to a boil, simmer 15-20 minutes.
Drippings from cooked brisket
---- Add drippings to sauce. Try a small batch with a 50-50 mixure of drippings to sauce, to determine the texture and tase you prefer. Mix remaining sauce and drippings in your preferred proportion.

Cooking method for a 9-11 pound brisket
  1. Apply dry rub, wrap in plastic wrap and refigerate for 2-24 hours. VERY important step.
  2. Smoke over indirect heat 90 minutes. I've used hickory many times, lately pecan and/or cherry.
  3. Wrap in heavy duty foil and cook in 300 degree oven 2.5 - 3.5 hours, until internal temp reached 210 degrees.
  4. Unwrap, reserve drippings, allow to rest 15 minutes.

Grilled Shrimp with Cumin and Fresh Oregano

Thursday July 1, 2010

From Bittman's NYT article "101 Fast Grill Recipes".

1 lemon, halved
----- Grill lemon cut side down until browned
1 pound shrimp
cumin to taste - approx 1 teaspoon
Kosher salt to taste - approx 1 teaspoon
a drizzle of olive oil
---- toss, thread on skewers
---- grill appox 2 min per side (depends on heat on grill)
Fresh oregano or marjoram, chopped - about 2 tablespoons
---- Remove shrimp from skewers, add oregano and squeeze grilled lemon juice over

Served with Garlic Herbed rice

Garlic Herb Rice

2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups rice
----- heat oil, garlic then add rice. Cook until it talks to you a little
4 cups chicken stock or water\
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs tarragon
1 tablespoon salt
----- Add rest, bring to a boil, cover and cook 17 minutes on lowest heat.

Ventian Crab Soup

Thursday July 1, 2010

Interesting recipe from Gourmet in 2009. Crab soup made with whole shrimp shells cooked in a typical vegetable base (onion, celery, fennel), then ground and strained.

I'm not sure why the recipe called for chicken stock, while first including 2# of shrimp shells. Maybe shells + fish stock would be overpowering.

Finished with cubes of potato and celery root, then crab.

Decent results. A very complex series of tastes, but consistency was far too thin. I had kept crab to the side and added to individual servings. Second day I blended the potato / celery root to thicken the soup and added all the crab. Much improved.

I thought this would be a good soup  served chilled, but it wasn't at all. Definitely needed to be heated. Interesting.

Here's the source recipe:   Venetian Crab Soup on

Would You Eat This?

This week I got an email from a national, highly recognizable magazine suggesting a recipe with the list of ingredients below.  The features stated in the email were: "Quick and Healthy Weeknight Dinner", "4 stars (of 5) review", and it was tagged "Suitable for a Special Occasion". Here's the ingredient list.

Pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican-blend cheese
Fat-free milk
Egg substitute
Ground cumin
Ground red pepper
Canned cream-style corn
Box of corn muffin mix
Canned chopped green chiles
Cooking spray
Jar of red enchilada sauce
Shredded, cooked chicken breast - the first REAL, fresh, non-packaged ingredient !!
Fat-free sour cream - oops.....finish with chemical white stuff

Here's a picture - can you tell what it is?
Does it look tasty to you?

Would you make, let alone eat, a recipe that called for this list of ingredients? It has literally TWO fresh ingredients, and even one of those is from a bag. Everything else is from a can, box, jar or is a processed food-like substitute. I can't imagine serving this to my children. Special occasion? Don't let me suggest in detail the kind of occasion this is suitable for, but I think there's a double-wide involved.

Further, this recipe is probably only quick if you happen to have shredded, cooked chicken breast in your fridge. If you don't, add more time to prepare the chicken too, before or while you make this recipe. No thanks. In fact, I'm outraged. Sort of. Maybe just still a little cranky.
How About This?

As a reader of my cooking thoughts, you know that I prefer a small number of high quality cookbooks, rather than the "quick recipe of the day/week/month" from a magazine, email or website. One of the most reliable sources for everyday cooking is Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything. In fact I just sent a copy to my Mom so she can break out of some old routines.

Bittman also writes a weekly column and an online blog for the New York Times (a job I wouldn't mind taking over when he retires). This week he published an article titled "
101 Fast Recipes for Grilling". Unlike the articles and emails I complain about, I can report that every, single one of the 101 items is indeed fast and fresh and in 90% of the cases something you'd readily want to eat.

Why 90%? There are a few entries that require a strong palate (grilled whole fresh sardines with lemon), or are somewhat innovative or unusual – such as grilled skewers of strawberries and cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and basil (which, oddly, I'm looking forward to trying).

I strongly encourage you to read, save and cook some things from the article. Here are few samples:

#4: Peeled, whole carrots, rolled in salt, pepper, cumin and brown sugar. Cook over high heat until brown, then move to low heat until cooked through.
#30: Chicken leg quarters tossed in garlic, fresh rosemary (or thyme, or oregano,….), olive oil and the juice of a grilled lemon. Grill away from heat.
#48: Shrimp with olive oil, salt, cumin. Finish with the juice of a grilled lemon and chopped fresh marjoram (or oregano, or parsley,….)
#41 [My favorite description, not that I'm sure I'll indulge]: Bacon wrapped hot dog. Admit it. You want one.

The only downside of an article like that is that he doesn't provide detailed recipes with proportions and measurements. However, the flavors and combinations are almost foolproof. It's grilling, not fine dining or high end cooking.

Besides providing nice flavor combinations, Bittman very frequently calls for fresh herbs. You may remember newsletter issue this spring called "The Only Shortcut to Becoming a Great Cook". In it were thoughts about planting your own herb garden, or simply using fresh herbs. If you planted anything a few months ago, the payoff has already begun.

If you don't have fresh herbs in your yard or windowsill it's not too late. You can still buy small pots of herbs at garden centers and even grocery stores.

Fresh herbs are something you almost can't go wrong with. It's possible to overpower a dish if you put in too much of an herb or mix too many kinds of herbs together. But even that's pretty hard to do. You'll be fine. Try it.

Bittman's Grill - Notice the sardines in the center!
Related Posts with Thumbnails