01/07/17 6:00am

Braised lamb shanks with cannellini, cranberry and garbanzo beans. (Credit: John Ross)

Dried beans, a member of the legume family, have all the characteristics of a monumental food: They have been cultivated for some 9,000 years; the many varieties are identified with culturally significant dishes throughout the world; and they have unusual potential for improving human health.

We often pass by that long row of dried legumes in the supermarket, thinking that they are not very exciting, are hard to cook and don’t taste very good. I have discovered that using dried instead of canned beans and cooking them at low temperature for a long time produces a delicious result. Here are two recipes that will warm you up on a cold winter day. (more…)

12/17/16 6:00am

 

Rib-eye roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables. (Credit: John Ross)

Rib-eye roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables. (Credit: John Ross)

Much of our culture we inherited from the British, and none more than our love for meat and potatoes. America is more famous for its steaks and hamburgers than for its roasts, but beef has always been our choice for many special meals. This is the time of year, during the holidays, to indulge your family and guests to a “joint” of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The following menu, inspired by the British, was enjoyed by my friends and family.

Potted Shrimp with Wilted Spinach Salad
Purchase 1 pound (21-25) of medium-sized shrimp. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add 2 teaspoons salt and cook the shrimp until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and de-vein the shrimp, then cut them into small 1/4-inch pieces. (more…)

12/03/16 2:44pm
Heringssalat, a salad tray that features marinated herring and pickled beets. (Credit: John Ross)

Heringssalat, a salad tray that features marinated herring and pickled beets. (Credit: John Ross)

Julius Caesar is said to have inspired the German tradition of sauerbraten as he sent amphoras filled with beef marinated in wine over the Alps to the newly founded Roman colony of Cologne. However, since Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 B.C. and Cologne wasn’t founded until 50 A.D., this is highly unlikely.

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11/19/16 5:57am
The Thanksgiving turkey, broken down into parts and surrounded by all the fixings. (Credit: John Ross)

The Thanksgiving turkey, broken down into parts and surrounded by all the fixings. (Credit: John Ross)

Perhaps the crowning glory of Thanksgiving dinner is that moment when you bring the golden roast turkey to the table and set it in front of the host or hostess to carve.

But after that fleeting moment you are left with a messy job of trying to separate the parts of a bird that may be vastly overcooked or, worse, has blood flowing from the joints. One alternative is to break the turkey down the day before cooking into the legs and thighs, the breast and the backbone. Now you can make a rich stock with the bones; you can braise the legs and thighs for complete doneness and lots of flavor; and you can roast the breast to juicy perfection. You can even make a beautiful presentation at the table.

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11/05/16 6:01am
North Fork kale creamed

Creamed kale served in a roasted pumpkin. (Credit: John Ross)

According to the internet publication “Medical News Today,” the top 10 healthiest foods in the world are: 1) apples; 2) almonds; 3) broccoli; 4) blueberries; 5) oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel; 6) leafy green vegetables such as kale, collards and spinach; 7) sweet potatoes; 8) wheat germ; 9) avocados; and 10) oatmeal.

Eating these foods on a regular basis can help prevent many diseases and eliminate the need for a long list of pills. The challenge is to make them part of a delicious meal that you want to repeat time after time.

This column will focus on kale, one of the healthiest of leafy greens that is becoming more popular every day. In addition to a long list of vitamins and minerals, kale contains antioxidant nutrients, anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates. Here are some ideas for how to enjoy this “super” food: (more…)

10/22/16 6:10am
German apple cake with cream cheese frosting. (Credit: John Ross)

German apple cake with cream cheese frosting. (Credit: John Ross)

Apples appeared in the Kazakhstan mountains before recorded history and migrated from Asia to Europe thousands of years ago. Apple seeds landed in Jamestown with the Pilgrims in 1607. They grew into apple trees that produced a sour apple that was used for cider. Slightly fermented cider was the drink of choice for settlers, as it was safer to drink than contaminated water. The apple spread to all of the United States and is now the second most consumed fruit next to the banana. (more…)

10/08/16 6:02am
A 'cave man' pork chop with poblano pepper sauce, cornbread, broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash. (Credit: John Ross)

A ‘cave man’ pork chop with poblano pepper sauce, cornbread, broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash. (Credit: John Ross)

Pork, in all its fresh, processed, preserved and cooked forms, is the leading meat of the world. Before the invention of the railroad and before the invention of refrigeration, preserved meat and fish were the only way to feed much of the population.

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