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.
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…)
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.
The importance of bread in the history of civilization cannot be overestimated. Learning to grow and process grain turned people into farmers rather than hunters and foragers. This led to the further development of agriculture and the eventual development of towns rather than nomadic tribes.
Bread has evolved from prehistoric times, as the elements that go into it have evolved: the grains and how they are milled, the microbes that leaven the dough, the ovens that bake the bread and the people and their cultures who make and eat the bread. (more…)
Oysters roasting on the grill. (Credit: John Ross)
The North Fork had a rich heritage of food long before the English settlers arrived in 1640. The Native American tribes of the Northeast educated the settlers about indigenous foods while the English brought new cooking methods with them from Europe. Turkey, wild rice, corn, lima beans and green beans, peppers and tomatoes — in addition to fish and shellfish — are examples of foods from the Americas. The following modern menu for six features some of these foods: (more…)
Fettuccine alfredo, one of the author’s favorite dishes. It’s made up of just three ingredients: cheese,butter and pasta. (Credit: John Ross)
We experience cheese, one of the world’s first convenience foods, in many ways: on an appetizer cheese board, in a salad, in a sandwich or on a burger. But especially in the summer, cheese makes a delicious and comforting entrée. (more…)