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Welcome to our expanded food coverage
Seasoned is a monthly podcast from Connecticut Public that explores our state’s seasonal ingredients and the passionate people who grow and cook our food.
Seasoned Recipes
It's an expensive cut, so there's a certain amount of stress in committing it to the oven, but I'm here to tell you that it's not rocket science.
Yippee-ki-yay! In one of the first action-holiday flicks, Bruce Willis's one-liners are instantly recognizable to those who consider this to be quintessential Christmas viewing.
Latkes (potato pancakes) are probably the best known Hanukkah food in the U.S.A. They come out of the food traditions of Eastern Europe, and traveled across the Atlantic with the many waves of Jewish immigrants from countries like Germany and Poland.
I call it "Jewish" because brisket is the centerpiece of many Jewish holidays. And unlike a brisket cooked on a smoker, this one is made in the oven (and a great reason to buy a big Dutch oven if you don't already have one). And as great as it is for dinner, it's fantastic and arguably better the next day for everything else.
From the time he was a little boy, my son Duncan has always loved eggnog, and as he was growing up, I found that it was really easy to adapt recipes to include the eggnog flavor. The nice thing about eggnog pie is that you don't have to wait until the winter holidays arrive to enjoy it. Vanilla and whiskey in the filling and freshly grated nutmeg sprinkled over the top give that special holiday feeling at any time of the year.
The Bavarian legend of Krampus is explored in this scary and sometimes morbidly funny film. Krampus is a horrible beast with horns, claws, and a frightening face who comes to snatch away naughty children, but even the adults are not spared in this tale.
Honoring that tradition, this recipe takes a well-known American dish-grilled steak, or filet mignon-and pairs it with the tart, piney, slightly citrus flavor of juniper.
You can easily make these matzo balls and add them to my Saffron Chicken Noodle Soup, but I wanted to create a flavorful broth that was easy to throw together, since if you're making matzo balls, you're probably cooking up a storm for entertaining, a holiday, or both.
Pierre Hermá, the famous Paris pastry chef, gave me his recipe for chocolate sablás, a recipe I renamed World Peace Cookies, more than twenty years ago. Over the years, I've made little tweaks that were fine, but none better than the original.
This is where the magic of slow cooking transforms something that, cooked over high heat, would be very tough, into something soft and tender.
I adore any form of shortbread, which is a classic, simple butter cookie. This updated version is baked in fingers, dipped in milk chocolate, and sprinkled with pecans. They remind everyone of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, but they're so much better!
This year, many of us are foregoing that big holiday ham, roast lamb, or standing rib roast in favor of something a little more intimate and practical for feeding the people in our bubble. This salmon fits the bill. It looks fancy, but it's so simple, any home cook can make it.
When my friends found out I was writing this cookbook, several asked if Mami's rum cake would be in it. And so it is. Her recipe uses a boxed cake mix.
The down-and-dirty fast 'n' easy way to make a brisket is to buy a smaller one that will cook faster. This is what I do when I'm not cooking in a competition. A five-pound flat-cut brisket is just perfect for a Sunday family supper.
Even though this is a fall/winter dish, whenever I eat it, I can't help but ruminate on family cookouts when I was a kid. The luscious barbecue spice-infused beans bring back memories of swimming, wrestling with my cousins, and playing video games in between bites of potato salad, baked beans, and other family favorites.
Italian grandmothers are judged on the deliciousness of their meatballs and sauce, and every Italian insists his or her mother makes the ultimate meatball. Living in New York City for a good portion of my adult life, I have tried many meatballs. However, although many have tried to prove me wrong, I can safely say mamma Gina's are simply the best.
These luscious enchiladas are emblematic of the cooking of northern Mexico, where people are crazy about cream, cheese, and Colorado chiles. In true northern style, not only are the enchiladas generously sauced with the region's favorite red salsa, but they also have three kinds of cheese as well as Mexican crema. Some enchiladas, like these, are nestled into baking dishes, covered with sauce and cheese, and baked; others are just filled, sauced, and served.
Jamaican food will always connect me to my parents. This dish is a dream for me: it represents who I am as a chef and celebrates my mother and father's birthplace, Jamaica, as well as the history of my ancestors, the Maroons, the Taino, and the Arawak people. An early form of food preservation used in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica was smoking spiced and marinated food over pimento wood; this is jerk.
Form, function and flavor go hand in hand in hand in this pretty little free-form tart. The scallion goat cheese base is an easy layer of flavor. It's also one of our favorite combos to spread on crackers.
This is something we typically serve our guests at the beginning of the meal as an amuse-bouche. At our restaurant we serve it in mini cones along with quince or fig butter depending on the season, but it is just as delicious spread on crackers or as a dip for cruditás.
I first moved to Brooklyn in 1997 to attend graduate school at NYU. My homeboy from college, Mike Molina, and I got an apartment in Crown Heights on Schenectady Avenue near the Utica stop on the MTA's 3/4 line. Coming from New Orleans, where we went to college, a Black neighborhood in Brooklyn was the perfect place for us to land in NYC.
The word "jerk" evolved from "charque," Spanish for dried meat. It became "jerky" in English. Jamaica has been inhabited by Spanish, British, Dutch, French, East Indian, West African, Portuguese, Chinese, "Maroons,"" as well as native Taínos, Arawaks and Siboney. Jamaican Rastafarians are, of course, vegetarians. We thank Carol Graham for her jerk making expertise.
Without further ado: my greatest hit, the dish I'm asked to trot out everywhere I go. What makes my version of the most classic Italian pasta preparation so crave-able is, I think, that it's the sum of a lot of parts treated with respect: the truly fresh tomatoes, the unhurried 45-minute cook time, and the inclusion of butter, which rounds out the acidity of the tomatoes and olive oil in the finish.
The bones in the short ribs add great flavor to this dish; however, you could also make it with big chunks of beef chuck. If you do, reduce the initial cooking time of the meat by about half. The pestata of almonds and porcini does double duty here, adding a rich earthiness to the sauce and helping to thicken it without flour. As much as I enjoy Italian wine with my meals, since this recipe contains beer, here I would accompany it with one of the good artisanal beers coming out of Italy.
A good chocolate chip cookie isn't just about taste-it's also about texture. The combination of both olive oil and butter in this cookie yields a buttery, delicious cookie with a texture that's the best of both worlds: crispy edges and a chewy center. This is my upgraded version of a chocolate chip cookie, and the results are Insta-worthy and dizzyingly appetizing cookies.
Safoi has many beautiful tagines in her home in Michigan. A tagine is a cooking vessel used in many Moroccan recipes that's made of earthenware and has a domed top that returns all condensation to the food, keeping everything moist (genius!).
When I was workshopping this dish for Misi, the premise was simple: turn the classic spinach and ricotta filling on its head, making the greens, not the cheese, the star. Cheese being cheese, it's hard to replace its texture and flavor and not miss it.
Making meatloaf without a recipe is good fun and self-affirming to boot. For an improvisatory recipe, this one reads especially bossy, even for me. I'll give you the executive summary: you want the loaf to be moist with fats, so that the finished dish is not dry, but packed with flavor. This makes for a fantastic dinner alongside mashed potatoes and sweet peas.
I'm a die-hard pork carnitas superfan, but carnitas is a Michoacano dish that literally means "little meats,"" so there's no reason it has to be made with pork, or any other four-legged land animal for that matter. In fact, my favorite meat for carnitas comes from waterfowl. Succulent, earthy, and fried crispy around the edges, duck carnitas is meltingly tender and offers up fragrant notes of citrus and spices. Serve the carnitas in grain-free tortillas with a sprinkle of crackly duck skin and you'll soon be a convert, too.

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All Things We're Cooking from NPR - Your family recipes and the stories behind them
Becky Ellis, who likes to put her own spin on recipes, added prosciutto to a classic green bean dish.
Becky Ellis
Collage by NPR
Parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs round out this dish. Just don't expect any cream of mushroom soup or fried onions in this twist on a traditional recipe.

Hosted by award-winning food journalist Francis Lam, The Splendid Table is public radio's culinary, culture, and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.
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