Chicken Pepperoni Parmesan, May 15-May 21, 2020

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

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It’s like they had a crystal ball

Magazine articles are prepped many months in advance of publication. So check this out from Food & Wine for March: “The comfort of working from home is your one saving grace. Not only can you stay in pajamas all day and watch movies while sending emails, but you can also cook some seriously comforting food. Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat.

But here’s the thing. The first sentence actually was, “When it’s March and it’s blizzarding, times are truly bleak.  And the full final sentence was, Here, the 25 things you’ll definitely want to eat while snowed in.” While much of the country is likely not snowed in, some of the country is in, and comfort food is ever so welcome.

Our Featured Recipe comes from that list, which also has such tempters as bacon fried rice with avocado and fried eggs, cheesey nachos with fried eggs and giardiniera, meatloaf with red wine glaze, individual chicken pot pies, and pralinc brownies, 25 in all. View as a slide show or scroll down for the full list.

The chicken pepperoni parm is already a plate of flavor. But in fact I did add some Italian seasonings to the tomato sauce or you could certainly use a jarred marinara. I also sauteed the chicken in butter/olive oil instead of breading it. More good news – it all bakes on a sheet pan.

Next week: Chilaquilies, layers of flavor

Recipe   Food & Wine magazine F&W comfort food list 


Shopping, cooking, storing, substituting, using up, helping, amusement, health & safety

  Did you want mashed potatoes tonight, but no fresh taters, no flakes, none in the freezer? One other question – did you make the loaded baked potato soup we featured in our 04.24.20 Salon? If that one’s a Yes, do this. Put the frozen soup in a non stick skillet over low heat and when you can begin breaking it up and stirring it around. Keep stirring as it loses liquid and begins to thicken. Continue until it has the consistency you want. It will actually be more like whipped than mashed but will stand up to gravy. And, oh boy, the flavor!

  Take a can of beans. And then – wow – look what you can do. This pantry staple can be transformed into soups, stews, chili variations, salads, casseroles, skillet dinners, dips and ethnic treats. Some nicely spicy stuff too including the honey chipotle steak hot dip. And even goes sweet with bean spice cake, brownie truffle bites and chocolate fudge cookies. These treats on the Bush Beans recipe page can be searched by course, bean variety, recipe type and more. {Photo from Bush site}

  As with people food pantries, in some areas there are also pet food banks. And as with the people ones, tap into it if you need it, donate if you can. I didn’t find a central source for this kind of information, but you should be able to search for any that may be near you.

  “Produce Pool”? A funny photo circulating on the web shows one way to pass quarantine time – a guy is at his billiard sized kitchen table with what might be a cue stick taking aim at a tomato, ready to “break” a formation of limes. Pairs of bananas serve as the targets. Thanks, Peggy.

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Martha’s slow cooker carne guisada {that means gravy!}, for Oct 12-18, 2018


Misty shows you what you’ll find in this week’s salon

  TIDBITS – best ever one-pots / eat well & do good / awesomeness for your 9×13’s    CS MARKETPLACE SPOTLIGHT– best cookers / pet warmers {M – let the dogs have ’em, I never go outside}    FEATURED RECIPE – boffo tacos    TIP – José plays, you drink  ♦  THE WEEK – chop chop / yum to come / “genius” tips

Misty’s History    Misty’s Gallery


Newsy, schmoozy stuff for cooks 

♦  Stew season! The folks at Food & Wine have culled through decades of recipes from their pages to bring us “Best Recipes Ever: Stews and One-Pot Dishes.” The lineup features downhome favorites, regional preps and ethnic specialties, all rich and hearty.

  Need a break from the kitchen now and then? Or maybe on vacation? If so, and one of José Andrés’ restaurants is in the area, maybe consider making this your destination one night. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting this Beard-winning, Michelin-starred chef, notable for his world class tasting menus, and can confirm he has a larger than life personality – but we now know he also has a larger than life heart. Andrés organized kitchens that served 3.6 million meals to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico and to date more than 80,000 meals in the Florence-bashed Carolinas.

  Move over sheet pans, and make room for your 9×13 cousins. Taste of Home is showing a dozen preps, and woohoo all are contest winners. One I found interesting is for monkey bread, single layer instead of the usual bundt style {and the grand prize winner}. And one you can bet I’ll be trying, and sharing, is the double layer cheesecake bars.


Stew all day – dinner, not you

One of the things I love about Amazon is that whatever you’re looking for it’s likely you’re going to find lots of choices. What keeps it from becoming confusing is that you can zeroElite Platinum Maxi-Matic Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker in on your preferences with the options listed in the left side menu.

While for all of you, my friends, that is of course a personal decision, Cadet Crock-Pot SCCPVL600S Cook' N Carry 6-Quart Oval Manual Portable Slow Cooker, Stainless Steelthere’s a particular selection I like to make when featuring something here in CooksSalon. And that is, what are the top offerings. So pretty much any time I’m showing such items, beyond a Electric Rice Cooker Food Steamer - Small 5 Cup (Uncooked) Mini Rice Maker Steamer for Grains and Hot Cereal with One Touch Control and Automatic Keep Warm Functionspecific product you’ll also see a link to best seller, best rated, or both.

Inspired by the stew recipes noted in this week’s Tidbits, thought we could take a look at slow cookers in that regard. Nice, many of them are prime eligible.

Best selling slow cookers    Best rated slow cookers

At CS Marketplace: “Especially for . . .” – “Cooks”  “Readers”  “Dog Lovers”

Extra for Dog Lovers – here comes cold weather, time to get out the warm coats for you and the puppydogs. Don’t have any for the four-pawed ones? Browse right here with these direct links to Amazon or Zazzle.


Tacos from the slow cooker – yep!

So, thanks to a bunch of Yelp-ers, I learned the difference between carne asada and carne guisada. The former grills the meat and the latter simmers it in a savory gravy.

Onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, broth and seasonings are all in the mix. And then the slow cookers infuses all those flavors into browned cubes of beef chuck or bottom round.

Even better, the prep comes from the kitchen guru Martha Stewart. See more of her slow cooker recipes in the link below, and a lot more in her dedicated cookbook.

Recipe    39 more slow cooker recipes from Martha

Her slow cooker cookbook    Her other cookbooks


Sipping the Andrés way

José Andrés plays with his food. His website has a page of videos showing exactly that and while all are quite fascinating and fun to watch, most are not really for the home cook, calling into service, e.g., sous vide, sheets of ice, flamethrowers, exotic ingredients, or complex steps.

But at least one of them does fall reasonably within the home kitchen realm. It’s a drink for two and quite appealing both in appearance and probable taste. How about though if both of the people at those straws pledge no driving afterward.

Just for your amusement, may want to check out some of his other videos.

Señor y Señora Sandí-Tiki Cocktail demo    Andres’ page of videos


Please join  me in my kitchen &  parlor

  Do you have one of those small choppers, either hand crank or electric? Why did I have to see someone else do this to realize how perfect it is for mincing garlic and ginger, both otherwise a bit of a pain in the patootie. Works great!

  In the process of browsing Jose Andrés’ site, found so many recipes I’d like to  try. I think the first one is going to be something he says is inspired by a kimchi bowl he serves at his Beefsteak restaurant – but actually the kimchi is a topping and as such I’d call optional {a good thing, not a fan} – everything else comes together so flavorfully, may well be an upcoming Featured Recipe.

  And the beat goes on. Here, BuzzFeed shares some “genius” slow cooker tips, for meats, chili, dumplings, bread pudding, mac & cheese and more. All from notable chefs, each has a brief explanation and then a link for more information.

So far next week: ice cream for breakfast, potato chips for breakfast, sweet potatoes for a crowd, smokin’ bagels {literally!}

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