Empanadas de Picadillo Oaxaqueño

Posted by    |  May 5, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless

I’ll admit it.  When the class I’m teaching tonight asked me to make empanadas, I wasn’t even sure I’d ever eaten an empanada- much less made one.

These were surprisingly easy.  Better still, the filling is simple to make in large batches.  With some picadillo in the freezer, fresh, warm empanadas are easy to throw together as an appetizer or snack.

Empanadas are usually deep-fried but I prefer the lightness of the baked version.  You could always opt to deep fry if you’re feeling naughty. Read more

Big Batch Italian Meatballs

Posted by    |  February 17, 2011  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Aside from pizza, is there any other meal that is as sure to get an enthusiastic reception as spaghetti and meatballs?

I’m a fan myself. Five years ago, that big warehouse club bag of meatballs was omnipresent in our freezer. I’d have been as panicked to discover I’d run out of meatballs as Cheerios. However, with my new, make-it-myself way of eating, I’ve lost my taste for them. I’ve also found that- like most dishes- making it myself isn’t a big ordeal. I’ve played quite a bit and have come up with my idea of the perfect meatball to pair with spaghetti and marinara Read more

Love-ya Lasagna

Posted by    |  July 15, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Another great thing about lasagna: kids can easily get in on the act, rolling noodles, drizzling sauce or dolloping ricotta. It is wonderful thing to make your act of hospitality a family effort.


I’m not sure that I’ve ever ordered it in a restaurant- or that I ever would- but lasagna is one of my favorite foods. It isn’t about the sweet/savory taste and cacophony of textures, though a bite of great lasagna is incomparably satisfying. It is a love thing. I’ve yet to discover another food that captures affection on a fork the way that lasagna does.

Lasagna is my go-to food as an offering to other people. They may have just had a baby, lost a loved one or be experiencing health issues. When I need to say “I love you and want the best for you,” I forgo cheesy cards in favor of a cheesy lasagna. Read more

Puerco Pibil (Yucatan-Style Slow Roasted Pork)

Posted by    |  April 19, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Adapted from Recipezaar.com recipe number 86448

Here’s a little something to consider for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo.  It’s a dish that’s a bit of a hybrid of braising and roasting.  It isn’t really roasting because you are containing the juices of the meat to keep the meat moist and flavorful.  It isn’t really braising because the meat isn’t sitting in a braising liquid.  It’s very flavorful and versatile. Read more

Mustard and Panko Crusted Pork Chops

Posted by    |  February 23, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

Oh, you are SO going to love the simplicity of this dish!  It smells absolutely amazing while it cooks- perfuming the house with the fragrance of mustard and thyme.  It is also delicious, of course.
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Pork Chops with Red Cabbage and Apricots

Posted by    |  February 23, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes

This is a trifecta dish: beautiful, simple and delicious.  It is a great example of how to use technique to build great flavor:  the fond and fat of the pork chops are used to flavor the aromatics for the cabbage.  The juices from the resting chops further boost the savory quality just before serving.  When they’re all served together, they all speak to each other perfectly. Read more

Pork Medallions with Pan Gravy

Posted by    |  January 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes

This is the perfect cold-weather comfort food.  Its delicious and re-heats beautifully because of its abundant pan sauce.  This is one recipe I encourage all of my students to try because it offers an opportunity to practice so many essential techniques in one dish.  I originally wrote this without ingredient amounts and with a great deal of descriptive detail to encourage students to use their own judgment when cooking.  I’ve left in the detailed descriptions, which make this a great recipe for the uninitiated. Read more

Pork Shoulder Braised in Hard Cider

Posted by    |  January 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

If you’ve had a baby or been sick over the last two years and I’ve brought you a meal, odds are good that it was either this recipe or Boeuf Bourguignon.  I love both and always have lots in freezer because I make those two dishes in “The Fundamentals” program.  Though I’m introducing all new recipes to that program next session (I personally need a change), I know I’ll always make a big batch for my freezer stash every fall.  It is just so comforting in a way that’s somehow still fresh and bright. Read more

Rustic French Meatloaf

Posted by    |  January 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes


Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, April 2009

When I first made this meatloaf and caught my family’s reaction, I knew this would likely be the kind of dish the kids would ask me to make when they come home from college for the weekend.  I’m not a big meatloaf lover but we all went crazy for it.   Read more