Shrimp with Tarragon on Wilted Greens

It started as this small thing, just a tiny container from a local nursery. Then, like something out of a 1950s horror film, by August last summer, my French tarragon grew into an embarrassment of riches on the patio of my Seattle home. On a chilly day in late autumn, I hacked most of it back and dried it to make my own fine herbs, that classic combination that's a mainstay in French cuisine. The traditional ingredients … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pasta with olives, tomatoes and tuna

This is a cheap and easy meal to craft from pantry staples. The tuna bumps up the protein quotient, but it's optional. You can use fresh or canned tomatoes, but if you use the latter, be sure to drain them well. Cook the pasta in liberally salted water, and then reserve some of the water for the sauce. Be sure to taste before salting the final product; the salt from the olives and the pasta water may offer plenty without … [Read more...]

Recipe: Braised pork with cabbage, tomatoes and pasta

First, you’ll want to do a simple braise of the pork. Braise simply means to simmer in a bit of liquid with a tight cover to keep in the steam. It’s a vital lesson to learn to utilize inexpensive cuts of meat. You’ll need about 3-ounces of pork per serving. Leave the vegetables, but remove the rest of the pork and refrigerate for other meals. The key to a good braise is to brown the meat thoroughly. You’ll likely collect … [Read more...]

Recipe: Basic Risotto, Chicken Risotto

As part of my devotion to cooking from my freezer, I turned to risotto. Risotto sounds posh, but it’s a great value food and offers a splendid way to use up leftovers or clear out the fridge. Arborio rice can be found for as low as $1.69 a pound. To this basic recipe you can add virtually anything – a handful of leftover vegetables, shrimp, chicken, chorizo – whatever you’ve got that you don’t want. I once made a … [Read more...]