Ground Beef Ragu

Ragu Calzone
A ragu is an Italian sauce or stew, made with tomatoes, ground meat, vegetables, and wine, and cooked for a very long time.  Blognese sauce is a variation on a ragu that most of us are familiar with – though, in that case, a specific regional variation that is a bit heavier on tomato than most.

Ragus are frequently used with pasta, especially spaghetti.  But they can go on just about anything.  Or, in the case of this week’s Pie of the Week, in anything, or at least a calzone.  They are rich, hearty, and full of flavor!
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Cornish Pasty Crust

This is a traditional lard shortcrust pastry dough, useful for making such things as Cornish Pasties, savory gallets, and really just about any savory pastry use.

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Cranberry Broa

Cranberry Broa

Broa is a rustic Portuguese cornbread. Unlike more common Midwestern American cornbreads, which are leavened with baking powder or soda and fairly sweet, broa is yeast leavened and savory. It’s great with the addition of cranberries and made into small boules you can scatter about the celebratory table, so everyone can cut or tear off a hunk without waiting for it to be passed! No kneading (but a bit of advanced planning) required.

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Blueberry Basil Muffins

A plate of blueberry-basil muffins

Blueberry Basil Muffins

July in Indiana brings two of my all-time favorite flavors: Blueberries and Basil.  And they’re wonderful together.  Things have been really crazy lately, with hot, long days working in the field.  My body was crying out for a rest, with a long, hot, four days of Culver Lakefest on the horizon.  I didn’t really have the time, but I opted to listen to my body and spend some time in the kitchen this morning.  Haven’t spent any quality time in there since Hole in the Woodstock, anyway.  So, I came up with these Blueberry Basil Muffins to celebrate. Continue reading

Pecan Rolls

Pecan Rolls

Yummy, sticky, sweet, spicy… Pecan Rolls!

I wish I could make pecan rolls as good as Joann McCormack, “The Cinnamon Roll Lady.”  Alas, I must limit myself to those little sticky plops of ambrosia to summer, when I can get them at the Tuesday evening Culver Farmers’ Market.  Mine, though, are still pretty durn sticky-good.   My version is also easy and quick to make.  I can put it together in time for breakfast even on a busy Sunday with parade, chapel, or other commitments. Continue reading

Refrigerator Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough

Make and refrigerate (or freeze) a large quantity of brioche dough, and you can make a wide assortment of fresh goodies in little time

Things have been a bit really crazy lately, allowing not so much time to cook, let alone bake.  Yet the ducks kept laying eggs, even as the days get shorter and colder.  Normally they would have slowed nearly to a stop by now.  The result?  I’m running out of egg storage space!

So, on a stormy Sunday with no work duties(!) and a lot of studying to do, I decided to do something about it.  I made up about a 4 1/2 pound batch of refrigerator brioche dough!

Brioche is a (very) enriched bread dough, with lots of egg and butter, and sweetened with a bit of honey.  It’s often baked in a typical loaf shape, but can be substituted for challah, made into cinnamon rolls, or beignets filled with chocolate or jam (though that requires deep frying,  a mess I seldom want to deal with). Continue reading

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boat

Pizza Stuffed Zucchini Boat

So, I wanted something a little different for the daily zucchini adventure today.  Something a bit more filling.  Something savory and rich.  And I enjoyed the squash and Italian Sausage flavor combination from my Rotini Tromboncini the other day.

Well, our main zucchini variety is Costata Romanesca, an Italian heirloom variety that we really love.  Italian zucchini, Italian sausage….  What could be more faux-Italian (yet really American) than pizza? Continue reading

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes with wild blackberries

Zucchini Pancakes with fresh wild blackberries

Back to creative outlets for our zucchini glut.  Zucchini for breakfast (or brunch)!  Pancakes are an underutilized food group.  They can be savory or sweet, salty or caramelized.  Eggy, floury, or, in this case, loaded with zucchini.  This is a great way to boost the nutritional profile of your pancake, yet still good with berries and maple syrup (grade B, of course!).   Continue reading

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad's Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

Chad’s Brandy Glazed Zucchini Bread

It’s the heart of zucchini season, and so that means zucchini bread.  I ran out of printed copies of my recipe at the market, and since, I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me for my recipe, with the urgency of most people with a refrigerator overpacked with squash.

Well, I promised I’d post it this week.  I just barely made it, but here it is for your weekend!

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