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Cooking

  • If one food really captures the essence of summer, it’s salad

    Anything can be a salad in the summertime. When fruits and vegetables are at their peak of the season, you don’t really have to do anything fancy…just toss them into a salad bowl and enjoy their natural goodness.

  • The difference in barbecue depends on your region in the state

    Regardless of what a lot of “outsiders” may say, in North Carolina, barbecue means pulled pork. The word “barbecue” is used as a noun, not a verb or an adjective. When you ask for a plate of barbecue around here, you’re going to get a plate of steaming pulled (or chopped) pork, along with some coleslaw and hush puppies, as well.

  • Corn on the cob is plentiful and available at our local markets

    Even though it’s available year round, I really love that first ear of corn in late spring or early summer, when they are at their peak.
    Like tomatoes, corn is best when grown locally. Check out our local farm markets and farmers markets. Usually, the corn sold there has been picked that morning, unlike corn sold in the local super markets. Corn loses it freshness very quickly.

  • Preparing your catch-of-the-day could take a little thought

    Memorial Day weekend on the South Brunswick Islands signals the beginning of a new season of various beach activities, fishing, golfing and cookouts or just relaxing at home, soaking up the sun and taking it easy.
    For the many fishing enthusiasts in this area, it also means, “What do I do with my catch-of-the-day once I return home?” The first part is easy: cleaning and filleting the fish. The next part takes a little thought.

  • Fried shallots bring some of their own flavor to the party

    Instead of the using the traditional onion rings, why not garnish your next dish with some fried shallots? They are highly versatile, lending themselves to a variety of preparations and cooking methods.

  • Celery is more than a pretty garnish for a Bloody Mary

    The custom of using a celery stick as a garnish for a Bloody Mary supposedly originated at Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel in the 1960s. As the story goes, an unnamed celebrity ordered a Bloody Mary. With no swizzle stick available to stir it, he grabbed a stalk of celery from a nearby relish tray and history was made.
    Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, celery was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a flavoring. The ancient Greeks also awarded winners of sporting events with a stock of celery. Marathon runners were often seen carrying it.

  • Chicken and shrimp with a seven-ingredient de jonghe sauce

    Have you ever had a really fantastic meal at a restaurant that you wish you could duplicate at home? If only you knew the exact ingredients…how to prepare that special sauce…and how long to cook it. No matter what, there will be an ingredient or two that you’ve left out, or it just doesn’t taste quite the same as what you had in the restaurant.

  • Masson wins coastal award for The Brentwood—again

    The 2012 Coastal Uncorked Chef’s Challenge took place on Sunday, April 28, at the site of the Old Pavilion in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Four area chefs competed to cook against Chef Eric Masson in the last round.
    Masson, having won the title in 2011, was allowed to skip the qualifying rounds and face off with the challenger for the title of winner of the Coastal Uncorked Chef’s Challenge.

  • Finding a use for that leftover rice from Chinese takeouts

    All of us enjoy a takeout meal once in a while, and one of my favorites is Chinese takeout. While clearing the table after dinner recently, I noticed the container of white rice that came with our takeout hadn’t been touched. Nobody ever touches it. It usually gets put in the refrigerator only to be thrown away a week or so later.

  • Stir-fried pepper steak is a most colorful and flavorful dish

    Lean and boneless, a flank steak is one of only two steaks cut from the underside of a steer, the other being a skirt steak. A thin, oblong-cut mingled with tough meat fibers, a flank steak is loaded with great flavors and responds well to marinades and to high-heat cooking, if only for a brief amount of time.
    It’s best when eaten medium-rare, so be sure to take it off the heat while it’s still rare and allow it to set for a few minutes to retain its juices. For maximum “chewability,” flank steak should be cut into thin slices across the grain.