• Chicken and shrimp recipes share common thread

    Editor’s note: Norm Harding is retiring as Beacon food columnist, effective with the publication of this column. Anyone interested in being the Beacon’s new food columnist is asked to contact Managing Editor Jackie Torok at 754-6890 or editor@brunswickbeacon.com.


    Occasionally, I receive a favorite recipe from a reader that also includes a history of when and where it came from and so on.

  • Proper browning techniques lead to rich, flavorful meat


    So you’re planning to make beef bourguignon, a full-flavored French stew. The first step is to brown the meat, a messy and time-consuming step. But you are short of time and decide to just skip to the next step, just dumping the raw beef chunks into the stewing liquid. Not a good idea. Your shortcut saved you time, but your great French stew will likely taste flat and lifeless.


    Secrets to browning

  • Pair grilled meats with skewer-friendly fruits and veggies

    In case you didn’t get the memo, today (June 21) is the first day of summer. It seems to me, though, it actually started a few weeks earlier.

    We all enjoy grilling meats on our outdoor grills this time of year, especially during these hot, summer months. Heating up the kitchen oven doesn’t seem like a good option for me.

  • Stock up on fresh berries from local farmers markets

    The berries are back again! Available practically year-round at the supermarket, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries just taste better when bought from a local farmers market. Being from the North, we were able to also grow raspberries, which unfortunately is hard to do here in Brunswick County.

    Berries are rich in antioxidants, fiber, folate and potassium. They are also virtually fat-free and low in calories, except when smothered in whipped cream. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying a variety of them in a dessert.

  • Which cuts of meat are best for grilling?

    Most cuts of beef come from either the front quarter or the hindquarter. The better cuts come from the hindquarter, which are more expensive than the front quarter. They include T-bone, sirloin, sirloin tips and filet mignon. The best cut from the front quarter is the rib steak (and roast) section.

  • Whole grain brown rice has many health benefits

    Grains are the foundation of a healthy diet and most dietary guidelines suggest at least three servings of whole grains daily. Yet, less than 10 percent of Americans eat three servings daily and most of us eat an average of less than one serving per day.

    Did you know all white rice actually starts out as brown rice? A milling process removes the rice’s husk, bran and germ, increasing the shelf life of white rice. But in doing so, this process also removes much of its nutrition, including fiber, vitamins and minerals.

  • Celery is excellent as a vegetable, side dish or in stuffing

    We usually take celery for granted, right? It adds crunch to potato salads, flavor to chicken stock and what would turkey stuffing be without celery?

    I’ve been writing this food column for just more than 13 years now, and recently a friend of mine asked me if I could write a column about celery. I said no problem. Luckily, I have many celery recipes, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. We tend to forget how often we use celery in recipes, so I’ve included some common uses and a few recent recipes of mine.

  • Warmer weather means it’s time for chilled soups and salads

    Chilled soups are a great idea for these warmer days when you just want something light. And what would taste better than a cool salad made with cantaloupe and cucumber?

    When I started thinking about making some chilled soups, I came up with a few that are relatively easy to make with ingredients most of us have in the pantry or fridge — no going to the store for an ingredient or two that you probably won’t be using again until the kids leave home.

  • Even the rich and famous can enjoy a home-cooked meal

    Ever wonder how the rich and famous eat when they aren’t under the spotlight or just hanging out at home by themselves? No servants. No personal chefs. No caterers. What about those who hold the highest office in the land and call the White House home?

  • Italian pasta dishes come in a variety of sizes and shapes

    All great pasta dishes start with fresh ingredients. Fresh plump tomatoes, onions, basil, fresh cloves of garlic will make for a delicious and flavorful meal.