Prison Gravy recipe inspired by Goodfellas dish, for Feb 23-March 1, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

St Pat’s Day full Irish breakfast    TV kitchen recreations    Celery – preserving, restoring    Who do you know that’s the celebrity chef in their own kitchen???    Title recipe    Girl Scout cookie recipes   Resource links


  St Pat’s Day is just weeks away and what better start to the celebration than that won’t-need-anything-till-dinner meal, the Full Irish Breakfast. And what better authority for how it’s done than the Irish Central newsletter. St Pat’s Breakfast

  Remodeling your kitchen? Want it to look like something from a popular tv series? Food & Wine shows us Home Advisor’s recreations from “Friends,” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Big Bang Theory, ” “New Girl,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” and “Mad Men.” TV Kitchens

  What a bummer when you can whip a celery stalk back and forth like a rubber hose.  The “Extra Crispy” newsletter comes through again with storage suggestions and a recovery solution. Btw, the aluminum foil technique calls for leaving the ends open, but my trick, which is among the tips in my Kindle book, is to close it up tight. Maybe we can try both ways and see which works best.  Celery article    My “50 Fun & Unexpected Food Storage, Prep and Presentation Tricks,” 99 cents

  CS Marketplace Spotlight

“In this house I’M the celebrity chef”

Proclaim it with your morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening cocoa, and what the heck pour in your beverage of choice at cocktail hour.

Make clear to one and all just who rules this kitchen.

For you, your spouse, or a cook-tastic friend or family member.

Other colors available.

Also tees, sweats and hoodies with this design.

My design, crafted by Michigan company SunFrog, where all printing takes place in the USA

See the mugs here  ♦  Shirts  ♦  CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe  

What a clever concept for a cookbook. In its pages Andrew Rea brings us recipes inspired by Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Loversmemorable dishes from the movie world, many of which in effect played a supporting role in the tale: Chocolate Truffles {“Chocolat”}, Tonkatsu Ramen {“Tampopo”}, Il Timpano {“Big Night”}.

There are other food-centric films represented too, “Julie & Julia,” “Babette’s Feast,” “Eat Drink Man Woman,” while others just simply at some point turned the cameras on a notable dish, in sum yielding over 40 recipes here. While I considered several for my first foray into the book, in the end the Prison Gravy from “Goodfellas” won out, just the sauce though since I’m not a meatball fan.

Prison Gravy for Pasta

from “Eat What You Watch/A Cookbook for Movie Lovers”

1 T vegetable oil

1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed

1/2 lb beef shank

1/2 lb veal neck bones, with meat attached

1 T olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced paper-thin

1 med onion, finely chopped

1 T tomato paste

1/2 c red wine

Two 28-oz cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes

2 large basil sprigs

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3 pieces

1 T butter or olive oil for finishing the sauce {optional}

In a very large stainless steel or enameled cast iron pot, heat the vegetable oil over med-hi heat until shimmering. Working in batches, brown the sausages, beef and veal until well browned and a brown crust forms on the bottom of the pot. Transfer the meat to a platter and reserve.

Heat the olive oil in the same pot over med heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 min. Add the wine and stir making sure to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.

Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and crush them with your hands, then add them to the pot. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the basil and carrot and bring to a gentle simmer.

Let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 4 hours total, stirring and scraping the bottom occasionally with a wooden spoon {don’t let anything stick to the pot; it will scorch and ruin your sauce}. Then, using tongs, fish out and discard the carrots and bones. If there is any meat remaining on the bones, remove it and put it back in the sauce. If desired, stir in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to make a richer sauce.

Notes  In the movie, those paper-thin garlic slices were achieved with a razor. If you are using meatballs, make them golf ball size and add them to the sauce during the last hour of cooking. Also, Rea says this sauce freezes and reheats exceptionally well for up to 2 months.

“Eat What You Watch”    Goodfellas videos    The Wise Guy Cookbook by Henry Hill


In many communities this is Girl Scout cookie season and chances are the goodness of your heart has translated into a pretty decent inventory of thin mints, samoas, trios and more. Without questions these are all just fine right from the box, but did you know there are official recipes that can help you use up some of that surplus in quite tasty ways?  What’s even better is they’re sorted by cookie type so you can go directly to the possibilities for whatever has taken over your household  See them here

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you


Nobu’s shrimp for garlic lovers, for February 16-22, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

 Money saving, earth friendly tip    Kid-centric baking    Pancake humor    NutriBullet Pro, best seller    Title recipe    Turbo charge your sack lunches   Resource links



  Avoiding food waste isn’t just good for the environment, it’s even better for your wallet. Acclaimed Chicago chef Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat and The Little Goat and the first female to win Bravo’s Top Chef, passes along some excellent suggestions for transforming instead of tossing to Forbes writer Melissa Kravitz. Article

  Have kids? How much fun is this, goodies that Cooking Light magazine says you and the kiddies can bake together. And though they come with the promise of healthful munching, what comes out of the oven are cookies, brownies, tarts and muffins. Recipes

  A little foodie fun. Here’s some pancake humor thanks to the online newsletter Irish Central: A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. The mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait” . . . Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”

  CS Marketplace Spotlight  

13-pc NutriBullet Pro – I cans sure vouch for this one

This is the #3 best seller on Amazon in Kitchen & Dining {the first two are paper towels} and for good reason. I just LOVE my NutriBullet, and not just for great smoothies but also for sauces, purees and NutriBullet Pro - 13 pcprotein shakes. And guess what else – hot, ready to eat soup.

For any of those, the power is just awesome. The dynamic duo of a 900-watt motor and “cyclonic action,” as Amazon says, “pulverizes the toughest fruits, vegetables, seeds and superfoods.” Also includes a hardcover recipe book.

Four star rating, Prime eligible.

Nutribullet Pro    Other NutriBullet models    Other Nutribullet cookbooks

And just in case you do want the Bounty paper towels {it is a very good price & Prime Eligible}

12 count = 30 reg rolls    8 count = 20 reg rolls  ♦  CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe  

As noted last week, globally renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa has given us a cookbook that is so beautiful as evidenced by one of the photos here, one of many that elevate it to coffee table status. The other image shows this week’s featured recipe.

This dish from his “Nobu Now” cookbook is as elegant as it is simple simple, and ever so full of flavor thanks in part to a lot of garlic and a little bit of sake. By the way, in addition to the cookbook, another recent Nobu publication is his memoir which is just fascinating, depicting how a moment in time with Robert DeNiro eventually led to an empire.

Garlic Sauteed Kuruma Shrimp by Nobu

Serves 4

10 kuruma shrimp {tiger prawns} in the shell, each about 1 oz

Sea salt

Black pepper

3 large tablespoons grated garlic

Olive oil


Chopped chives

Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and devein. Season generously with sea salt and pepper. Add the grated garlic and a little olive oil to a frying pan and heat. When the garlic aroma has infused the oil, turn up the heat and add the shrimp, shell side down, and saute gently shaking the pan from side to side. Halfway through turn the shrimp over and saute flesh side down.

Finish off by sprinkling some sake over the shrimp. Then pile on a platter and scatter with chives.

Nobu Notes The important thing in this dish is the taste and the saltiness. Use plenty of good quality sea salt in order to draw out the natural flavor and sweetness of the kuruma shrimp. Be careful not to burn them while sauteeing.  My Note I have to say I’m a little amused by the indication of 10 shrimp for 4 people – would like to be at the table to witness the fight over those last two {!}

“Nobu Now” 4 1/2 stars on Amazon  ♦  Nobu’s other cookbooks    Nobu’s 2017 memoir 


No more “sad sack” lunches with these tasty ideas. Food 52 has rounded up some great ways to make the middday meal special even at the office. As much as possible though keep your new cuisine to yourself so you don’t encourage the “fridge snoopers.” Hacks

Cook with passion and a party spirit, whether for a crew, or for two, or just for you


Nobu gives this salsa kicky Asian flair, for Feb 9-15, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

  Here comes “Chef’s Table: Pastry”    Easy boozy chocolate strawberries    Star-touched healthful baby food    Top rated Instant Pot    Nobu’s salsa    And how to use it   Resource links



  The Emmy-winning Netflix original “Chef’s Table” moves from savory to sweet this season with “Chef’s Table: Pastry.” Christina Tosi  of acclaimed Momofuki Milk Bar will kick off the series on April 13.

♦  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, take a look a this timely recipe for “boozy strawberries” from “Well Done,” a newsletter that features the dishes from a number of top food magazines. Note that while it’s quite quick and simple, one of the steps takes place the night before. Video

  Well this news goes back to fall, but I just caught up with it and in case you haven’t yet . . . Jennifer Garner and three other co-founders have launched Once Upon a Farm, dedicated to providing “as many children as possible with the best tasting, most nutritious, and highest quality food possible utilizing sustainable methods.”

  CS Marketplace Spotlight  

Thinking about getting an Instant Pot?

Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Yogurt Maker, Egg Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, Warmer, and SterilizerThere’s a reason it has become so very popular, and especially this DUO model which Amazon says, “replaces 9 common kitchen appliances including pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, sauté, steamer, warmer, sterilizer and it makes cake too.”

It’s listed as #2 overall best seller in Kitchen & Dining. Several other options too, all on Amazon.

Instant Pot  ♦  Other Instant Pot choices  ♦  Instant Pot 500-recipe cookbook

  Featured Recipe  

Nobu NowGlobally renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa has given us a cookbook that can easily be mistaken for a coffee table tome, so beautiful, with elegant photos, and lots of them, featuring his artistic creations. Fortunately for the home cook, you can recreate his dishes without necessarily having a fine arts degree.

The book offers recipes in the four basic cooking methods – frying, steaming, grilling and sauteing – others based on courses and ingredients. You’ll also find delectable sauces, including salsas {yep, salsas}, but our feature is the one he puts his name on.

Matsuhisa Salsa

By Nobu

2 oz finely chopped onion

1 T soy sauce

3 1/2 fl oz rice vinegar

1 T grapeseed oil

1/4 t chili oil

1/2 t sea salt

1/4 t chili garlic sauce

1/4 t finely grated ginger

1/3 oz parsley leaves, finely chopped

Rinse onions in cold water to get rid of the sharpness. Drain well. Place into a bowl with remaining ingredients except parsley. Mix well.

Just before serving add parsley. Mix and use quickly.

“Nobu Now” 4 1/2 stars on Amazon  ♦  Nobu’s other cookbooks  ♦  Nobu’s 2017 memoir   


Nobu serves this salsa on quickly cooked mussels and clams. But if you’re like me you’re already thinking of a whole lot of other uses. Like steamed dumplings for one! . . . also note that there’s a cooking tip right in the recipe directions.








Pork & Black Bean Dinner, by top Mex chef Rick Bayless, for February 2-8, 2018

  In the Salon this week  

Giada on eggs + pasta video    Oreo Cookie Club on Amazon    Save {but hurry} on Master Classes on food online {one from the CIA}    Especially for coffee lovers    Title recipe    Slow cookers – what to know and Martha’s cookbook



  I do like to occasionally start the day with eggs, but often prefer fruit, yogurt and cereal in the morning and then eggs for a midday meal – turns out that’s at least one thing I have in common with Giada. Thank Food & Wine for letting us know her take on eggs – no! – for breakfast, on a page that includes a Giada video

  Proceed with caution if you didn’t already know about this. Oh my. Amazon is offering an Oreo Cookie Club, whereby you receive a monthly “care package” of two flavors of Oreo {cookies or candy}, an Oreo-esque gift, and a recipe card in a decorative box. Indulge for 3, 6, or 12 months if you dare

  Hurry!  If you’ve never signed up for a class before at Great Courses, now’s the time to do it at 80% off! The offerings range far and wide, but a couple we’d be interested in are “The Everyday Gourmet/Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking” by the Culinary Institute of America and “Nutrition Made Clear.”  Choose DVD, Audio CD, Video Download, or Audio Download – as just one example of the savings, the CIA DVD is regularly $269.95, but right now $34.95. BUT, must order by Feb 8, 2018. 1.800.832.2412,

  CS Marketplace Spotlight  

Who’s the coffee hound in your circle? All of you???

Well then, here’s the perfect wearable to connect the whole group. Sizes for everybody, other colors too. And while baby it’s still cold outside, also sweats & hoodies.

Complete the “ensemble” with something perfect for that fave beverage. A mug, yeah!

Coffee Shirts    Coffee Mugs    CS Marketplace

  Featured Recipe  

His Chicago restaurants, beginning with Frontera in 1987, are legendary for the authentic cuisine brought back from journeys into the heart and soul of cooks and cooking inside Mexico. Bayless has since also opened a Tortas Frontera at the U of PA and a Frontera Cucina at Disney Springs.

But lots of folks are familiar with this much-awarded chef beyond these venues thanks to his many cookbooks, winning gig on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, and PBS show, Mexico-One Plate At a Time. This hearty and satisfying dish brings his boffo talents to bear on some traditional Mexican ingredients.

Pork & Black Bean Dinner

by Rick Bayless

Go to the recipe on his site right here

Rick’s cookbooks    Celeb chef cookbooks on this site


I love my slow cooker. You too? Then you’ll probably find interesting this article in the Food & Wine newsletter that details five things to know about using this appliance. The guidelines come Product DetailsProduct Detailsfrom Sarah DiGregorio, and are among other tips and recipes in her new book, “Adventures in Slow Cooking: Slow-Cooker Recipes for People Who Love Food” – find it on Amazon – you might also like “Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker” cookbook also on Amazon