Hot Tomatoes!

Rick’s mother, Kath Wise, regularly served tomatoes lightly sauteed and blanketed in a lush, sour cream sauce, as a hot dish. So did Kath’s sister, Rick’s beloved Aunt Joy. There was a titter of family dispute over who made up the dish, Kath or Joy, both claiming to be the first. No matter the true answer, they … Continue reading Hot Tomatoes!

Steak Tonight: The Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, and A Truly Simple Meal

As I was developing this blog entry, it turned out “everyone” was dreaming on steaks: food mag covers, other food blogs, newspaper food sections, all were headlining steaks! Here’s my offering of a hearty American steak, done Italian style, with a story. It begins with an al fresco lunch at a ristorante on the Piazza della … Continue reading Steak Tonight: The Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy, and A Truly Simple Meal

Turkey and Pine Nut Meatballs with Cranberry Ancho Chili Topping

Once strictly the revered centerpiece for special winter holidays, turkey now joins table fare year round, especially as ground meat. Low in fat and mild tasting, it fulfills the need for protein without offensive calories or gamy taste. As such, though, it can be perplexing how to make it appealing rather than just bland. Fortunately, turkey … Continue reading Turkey and Pine Nut Meatballs with Cranberry Ancho Chili Topping

Breakfast Soup of Spinach and Scallion with Sieved Egg

My very first cookbook, a gift for my 20th birthday, was Michael Field’s Cooking School. Michael Field was an acclaimed concert pianist who later turned his creativity to cooking. He became equally renowned in culinary endeavors as a chef, cooking teacher, and editor of the first, priceless Time/Life Foods of the World series. (There was, later, a second … Continue reading Breakfast Soup of Spinach and Scallion with Sieved Egg

French Lentils with Scallions and Feta Cheese

Around the world, in colors ranging from brown to yellow, green, white (!), and red, lentils provide culinary goodness across the courses–appetizers to entrees. A salad/side dish of lentils with scallions and feta cheese is by now almost iconic in my repertoire, starting from the beginning of my shop, Pig-by-the-Tail, to countless picnics, backyard barbecues, … Continue reading French Lentils with Scallions and Feta Cheese

Trending Home with Potato, Leek, and Celery Soup

My mother had a repertoire of soups she made from scratch. It wasn’t a huge list, just three strong, but that was perfectly sufficient. They were potato soup, celery soup, and beef soup with tomatoes and carrots. Unvaried, they nourished and succored through many a meal. Nostalgia factor aside, though, curiosity eventually led me to tinker … Continue reading Trending Home with Potato, Leek, and Celery Soup

Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine with Dried Figs and Turnips

The shank is a cut from below the knee of either the foreleg or the hind leg of the animal, in this case lamb. The hind leg shanks are larger and meatier compared to the leaner, lighter forelegs. There’s little taste or texture difference between the two except for a slightly more delicate nuance with the forelegs. … Continue reading Lamb Shanks Braised in Red Wine with Dried Figs and Turnips

A Savory Pear Side for Autumn and Winter

Pears are so convertible. Top up or top down, they breeze through town lending a bit of culinary exotica to the dark days of winter. Cooked, they provide a welcome blast of fruity, subtly spicy perfume for many a dessert, think pear tarts,  pears poached in syrup of one sort or another, etc., etc., etc. And then there are cooked pears, not sweetened, that lend an aura of mystery to the savory side of the menu. One such is this, adapted from my latest cookbook Bold: A Cookbook

Glazed and roasted Bartlett and Comice Pears. Photo © bt Rick Wise. Left click on the photo to see it full screen.
Glazed and roasted Bartlett and Comice pears. Photo © by Rick Wise. Left click on the photo to see it full screen.

of Big Flavors (Workman, Dec. 2013), co-authored with Susanna Hoffman. While we designed the dish to accompany roast duck, it easily segues to almost any warming meat, poultry, or game dish. Continue reading “A Savory Pear Side for Autumn and Winter”