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Cooking

  • When making your own tomato sauce, use only the best ingredients

    If you love pasta as much as I do, a good tomato sauce is one of the first things you should learn to make. You can either cook the tomatoes for a very short time or let them simmer and bubble for at least 40 minutes. Tomatoes only begin to release their acid juices after about 10 minutes, so it will take at least half an hour simmering to evaporate.

  • Picnics today are usually more casual affairs

    This time of the year is perfect for a picnic or a cookout. Everyone wants to get out and take in the warm, sunny weather and spend some time at one of our many beaches, but at some point, we’ll all get together and enjoy the bounties of homemade offerings at a cookout or picnic.

    The word picnic actually comes from the French “pique-nique,” which means “a fashionable social entertainment” in which each guest brings a contribution to the feast. In other words, it was just a fancy way of saying “potluck.”

  • Burst of berries just the thing from local farmers markets

    Berry season is in full swing, so now is the time to take advantage. Available practically year-round at the supermarket, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries just taste better when bought from a local farmers market.While they’re in season, you can devour these berries right after they’re picked at the farm, by the bowlful or prepared as a scrumptious, calorie-laden dessert.

     

    Raspberry, Avocado and Mango Salad

  • Eye of round is the easiest roast you’ll ever cook

    Once again, it’s time for a refresher course for cooking one of my favorite cuts of meat. It has been by far the most requested recipe from readers of this column, but many are still unsure of the cooking temperature and time.

    An eye of round roast is roasted at 475 degrees and takes a very tough piece of meat and makes it really tender and delicious. A recipe with few ingredients, it’s probably the easiest roast you'll ever cook.

  • Italian stuffed beef rolls (braciole) is a classic Italian-American cuisine

    Beef roll-ups have always been a favorite of mine, much like the popular German Rouladen, where thinly pounded beef is smeared with whole-grain mustard and rolled with bacon, onion and pickle spears, and then braised until tender.

  • A mix of greens, fruit, cheese and nuts makes ‘the perfect salad’

    As the temperatures have risen in the last few weeks, the appeal of crisp, healthy and delicious summer salads has been increasing. Salads are probably one of easiest dishes to prepare and you can choose from a variety of different type of greens, fresh veggies, cheeses, nuts and fruits.

    For all you meat lovers out there, salads can work as either an appetizer or a meal and feature hot-weather favorites like grilled chicken, steak, shrimp and salmon tossed with some fresh greens, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

  • Burgers, burgers and more burgers on the Fourth of July!

    Everyone becomes a grilling expert on the Fourth of July and we all enjoy endless varieties of hamburgers cooked on the grill.

    You’ll know when a hamburger is done right: smoky, char-grilled outside and juicy on the inside. Just stack it between a toasty bun and covered with your favorite condiments. That’s what a burger is all about!

  • Barbecue is still king in the Carolinas

    When you go to your favorite rib joint in the Carolinas and ask for a plate of barbecue, you’re going to get a plate of steaming pulled (or chopped) pork, along with some coleslaw and hush puppies.

    If you have the time though, most of us would prefer making our own barbecue at home. The exception would be attending one of the many pig pickin’ events in the area. We used to have one every Fourth of July back at “The Brick” in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Regardless of what a lot of outsiders may say, in the Carolinas, barbecue means pulled pork!

  • Cooking fresh seafood requires just a few basic techniques

    With our abundance of fresh seafood here in Brunswick County, it’s really a rather simple process to prepare and cook seafood once you know the basic cooking techniques and tips to ensure success.

  • Cobb salad is as popular today as it was back in the ‘40s


    As the temperature rises, my appetite goes down. Heavy food tends to take a back seat during these warm days and lighter meals seem more appealing.

    The Cobb salad is one of the earliest main dish salads to appear on restaurant menus and continues to be a very popular salad. Its origin is credited to Bob Cobb, owner of The Brown Derby, a once-famous eatery in Hollywood in the early ‘30s and ‘40s.