Archive for January, 2011


stock or broth

One of the basic fundamentals of cooking is the preparation of stock or broth.
Many soup recipes call for water or bullion but if you have a supply of stock, either chicken, beef, fish, or vegetable, it makes a big difference on the finished flavor of the soup. Not just soup recipes benefit from the use of stock, many other recipes that call for water can be enhanced by the use of stocks . The next time you prepare rice for instance use stock instead of water. Stock also adds another layer of flavor when making a white or cheese sauce when mixed in part with milk. It can even be served hot, alone as a soothing beverage like tea. It’s easy as boiling water and you make good use of kitchen scraps you normally discard.

After dicing vegetables or trimming chicken , beef, pork or seafood don’t discard the scraps or send them to the compost pile just yet. After a seafood dinner save the shrimp, clam, shells and tails, lobster and fish carcasses. Freeze them till you have enough to make a stock. Usually I separate the meat, chicken and fish scraps and add the veggies scraps such as celery , onions and carrots ends, to produce a chicken, beef, pork or seafood stock ( the best for chowder). another reason for buying chickens whole is that you can carve them as needed and the waste scraps go to a good broth. It’s the same for carving beef or pork, save the scraps and fat for a excellent soup or stew base.

add you favorite herbs to the scraps for flavor

In a large stock pot add the scraps, and herbs and water. Bring to a boil.

After simmering the stock for at least an hour, strain it thorough a sieve into a pourable container.

Let cool





























One of the easiest ways to store stock is to freeze it in ice cube trays and then use as needed. For short term storage, mason jars are excellent containers for the fridge.














After the stock is frozen, remove it from ice trays and store in the freezer in a  freezer bag. Now, remove the stock cubes as needed for your soup or stew.


food shopping

The latest prices for the warehouse club.

After much rumor about Sam’s club Closing it was announced on 01/25/2011 that they would be closing the Warwick location on 02/07/2011. There is no details given other than the store is closing with the intention of constructing a new building. No specific date given as to when it would be reopened.Today , 01/31/2011, there is no meat, produce or dairy appears they are not stocking the store with fresh items. No tires either, guess the next time Ill be going to the other Sam’s Club or maybe the Walmart supercenter.


Pasta E Fagioli (pasta and beans)


adapted from The Providence Journal, January 31 2007
Food section Chef’s Secret
“Comfort Food in Johnston”
By Gail Ciampa
Journal Food Editor
From Chef Ralph Battista
Executive Chef Luigi’s



Ingredients: (some of the ingredients are substituted from the original recipe)
1 lb white dry navy beans
olive oil
2 medium onions
about 4 celery ribs with leaves
1/4 lb salt pork
crushed red pepper to taste
1 can 14 oz diced tomatoes with juice
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
cloves of garlic to taste
celery seed to taste
stock, recommended , (or bullion and water)
tubettini or other available cut of pasta 

Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover, drain


Score the salt pork down to the rind with a sharp knife to achive about a 1/4 inch dice.

In a heavy bottom pan heat with just enough olive oil to start, saute the salt pork about 5 minutes or more each side to render flavor. Take your time with this process remember fat is flavor, and as they say, used responsibly it won’t harm you.

Meanwhile, dice the celery and onions, smash and diced enough garlic to taste. You can fine diced or go courser and call it a rustic soup.

After the salt pork has rendered fat, add the diced vegetable and garlic with the salt pork as you know, gentle carmalize them, again, no hurry here for the flavors to develop.


Add the rest of the ingredients except the pasta I use about 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of water to start since the stock is usually on the strong side.

Gently bring the soup up to a boil to avoid splitting the beans and cut back to a simmer, cover, and keep a jar of water available to add from time to time if necessary.
At least an hour of simmering is necessary and this could be accomplished in an electric crock pot or if the day is cold simmer in a slow oven.

Cook the tubettini to al dente when ready to serve. Add the pasta to each serving separately or better yet, let the soup age a day in the fridge. Adjust the seasoning to taste, salt pepper and Romano cheese, usually you can let each person season to taste in the bowl as served, and have available olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese for toppings. the Chef suggests crusty italian bread and Chianti Classico or Barolo. Can be served as a main or smaller first course.


Baked Beans, Boston

Boston baked beans are easy to prepare and are a hearty meal, without hotdogs, it’s a meatless (if you don’t count the salt pork used mostly for flavoring) satisfying meal. With the small amount of time invested in preparation the payout is enormous. There are many recipes and a history around Boston Baked beans . Enjoy !

1 pound of white (dry) Navy Beans

Salt Pork

Onions, thinly sliced , 2 large

Garlic, mashed and diced (or granulated)

Brown sugar, preferably dark


Dry or prepared Mustard

The day before, soak the beans over night in water. Gently boil them to prevent splitting for a couple of minutes to get them started. Score the top of a small piece, about 4 square inches, of salt pork down to the rind spacing the cuts in a 1/4 inch grid. The salt pork will eventually break into small pieces. Add about 1/3 of the simmered beans (drained) to a crock pot or heavy oven proof pot , preferably ceramic or stoneware, ideally a bean pot with a cover. Place the piece of salt pork ,some of sliced onions, a bit of garlic, sprinkle with dark brown sugar, dry mustard, and drizzle with molasses. Repeat with 2 more layers of beans and ingredients. Your total should be about 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup molasses. Depending how sweet you like the beans, the sugar and molasses can be adjusted later. Add water to cover. I add about a inch over the top of the beans.

In a slow cooker electric crock pot, set it on low heat, if using the oven baked method, go low and slow about 300 or less degrees and bake gently several hours or overnight, covered of course. The beans will start to turn brown, add water if necessary. Now how long you bake them them is up to you and how you finish the consistency. You can uncover and raise the heat for a thicker gravy or slightly keep the lid ajar during the last hours to your preference, usually the beans will thicken when cool and are one of those meals thats better reheated following a cool down. When the beans turn a dark color, cool a sample and taste to correct sweetness if necessary.

Usually served with fresh baked parker house style rolls that you bake along with the beans when finishing. (Bean-z-buns) and/or with (hot)dogs. With a thin gravy finish , mop your plate with the rolls.

Baked Beans and Franks, November 24th 2010

In the day Baked Beans were served once a week as a way to eat a mostly non-meat economical meal.


January 2011

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