• The Pantry

    My Top 10 Beef Cuts for Grilling

      1.   The Porterhouse Steak is cconsidered the “King of Steaks”, because it is actually two steaks in one. One side is a New York Strip, and the other side is a large sized filet mignon.   It is perfect grilled but can also be broiled, sautéed or pan-fried. 2.  T –Bone steak is named for its T-shaped bone.  It is the same as the Porterhouse, yet with a smaller portion of the filet mignon.   Best grilled, or broiled only to medium rare, as the meat near the bone cooks more slowly than other parts of the steak. 3.  The Ribeye is a favorite of steak lovers being well marbled, which…

  • The Pantry

    Pot Stickers 101…sort of!

    I love Pot stickers; however, I have never made them before.  I’d rather not admit it, but it took me three tries to get it right!  Maybe it’s because I lost my wok in a move a couple of years ago, so I used my old faithful non-stick skillet.  But that really is just an excuse…I think. Here’s what I learned by attempt number three…Hot pan!  Hot Pan! Hot pan!  Duh!  Cooking 101.  When the directions say: “cook on high heat until golden brown”, just do it!  Cook on high heat!  I had so many dumplings that I was trying to cook too many of them at one time which…

  • The Pantry

    Chinese Cuisine, a little background

    In Chinese culture it is important to find balance and harmony in every aspect of life, including food.   And good cuisine has much the same effect of Chinese medicine, as in prolonging life, sustaining good health, and the promotion of energy.   Chinese dishes, are meant to be simple.  The goal is to create the right balance of flavors and textures throughout the whole meal.  Try to vary the meat and vegetables in each dish, so that there are an interesting variety of flavors, textures, and colors.   Most dishes are meant to be prepared quickly.  Partly because freshness and natural tastes are considered fundamental to Chinese cooking, but…

  • The Pantry

    Learning to Cook Chinese food…My Journey

    Sure, I’ve made many Chinese meals, but the truth is I am just following recipes.  Now is the time to give the great art form that Chinese cuisine is its due.   I’m going to learn to cook Chinese food as it should be, with respect to tradition and culture.  To do that, I will be doing research and experimentation right before your eyes.  I encourage your input, comments, secrets, and recipes, on my Chinese cooking education journey.   This is what I know today:   The art of Chinese cooking is thousands of years old, and steeped in tradition.    There are four major schools of Chinese cuisine:   MANDARIN: …

  • The Pantry

    Lunch in Los Olivos

    We all need to get away every once in a while, even if only for a day or two.  What makes it better is to coerce a friend to come along.  Christine and I have been friends ever since we cooked together years ago at Malibu Riding & Tennis Club.  Even though we live only about 30 miles from one another (that’s almost an hour away in LA driving time), we don’t get to see each other often enough.  But whenever we do get together, usually for lunch, we are the kind of friends that just pick up where we left off.  It’s great to have someone in your life…

  • The Pantry

    Leek as an Onion Substitute

    Last week I was talking to my friend, Karla, about a client of mine who doesn’t like onion. How can I possibly cook without onion? I’ve cooked with leek many times before, but never have needed an onion substitute. Karla told me when her sister-in-law, who is not an onion lover visits, she replaces onion with leek. So that Sunday when I went to the Brentwood Farmer’s Market, I bought a huge bunch of leeks. Huge! They are at least 15 inches long. So, I have been using leek everyday since then. I especially like them in my scrambled eggs. Native to the Mediterranean countries, the leek is a vegetable…

  • The Pantry

    Restaurant review; BAR FOOD

    Found a great new place to go for drinks and small plates; BAR FOOD, opened March 17th, St. Paddy’s Day, which is very appropriate since owner/chef, Jason Killalee, hails from Dublin, Ireland.   It opens every afternoon at 5pm, and serves free hot dogs (usually $2) until 6pm—I think.  At least my friend Helen and I got them for free.  Nice touch.  We weren’t real hungry, so we actually only ordered the Calamari for $8.50, and we both were very, very pleased with it.  It came very lightly battered with a spicy mayonnaise dipping sauce and lemon.  I actually preferred just a bit of lemon with it because it was cooked…

  • The Pantry

    Appetizers for 150

    I just made appetizers for a party of 150 people! It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. My friend Carol helped me prepare seven different dishes; a fruit and cheese platter, two chicken dishes, cucumber cups, salad skewers, quesadillas, and brownies. Didn’t have much left, so I guess they liked it.

  • The Pantry

    Meatloaf I Actually Like!

    My most hated supper when I was growing up was MEATLOAF! Hated it! And by the way, I never use the word “hate”. To me it’s just a four letter, bad word. But meatloaf (I’ll call it ML from now on) just made me want to cry and throw a tantrum (please no comments from those who knew me as a child). For about a hundred years since my childhood, I have resisted ordering ML in restaurants, even when it is on the “specials” list…oh, please, it is NOT special, its MEATLOAF! I am usually up to trying anything, but ML, no can do. Well, today I was searching for…

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