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Coconut Rice

Plain white rice. It bores me. Sure, white rice is great as a neutral starch, soaking up the sauce from a stir fry or stew. But on its own? I get tired of it. Unfortunately, my kids love it, so I make a lot of Plan White Rice. And for them, it has to be Plain White Rice. (Yes, you can hear them saying it with the capital letters.) Nothing fancy is allowed, or they’ll push their bowl away and say they’re “not hungry”. Coconut rice is the exception. Replacing some of the water with coconut milk adds a subtle sweetness to the rice. Even better, it doesn’t register with the kids “not hungry” sensor – it leaves the rice looking like Plain White Rice. Until I got wild and crazy…and added shredded coconut. It seemed like a great idea, adding a little color and crunch to the rice. But I knew I had a sales job to do on the kids. The first time I made it, I gave each of them each a …

All-Clad Factory Sale: Winter 2011

All-Clad Factory Sale: Winter 2011The dates for this winter’s All-Clad factory sale have been announced, so I’m posting my usual heads-up to my readers… All-Clad’s factory is located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Twice a year, on the first weekend in June and December, All-Clad holds a factory seconds sale at the Washington County Fair and Expo Center. The 2011 winter sale is Friday December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd. Hours are Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Location:Washington County Fair and Expo Center:2151 North Main StreetWashington, PA 15301Phone: 724-225-7718Website: WashingtonFair.org This is about a two hour drive from the Akron area. You get prices from 40% to 70% off on factory seconds. In most cases, the damage is just cosmetic; a little scratching on the stainless, or a lid handle that’s a bit offset from center. They have most of their line of cookware available, but not all, and some favorites (like the 12″ stainless fry pan, and its lid) are hard to find. Overall, though, it’s …

Video: How To Butterfly A Chicken

A friend asked how I like to grill chicken. Me: I butterfly it, then grill it over indirect heat. Butterflied chicken cooks evenly, and it cooks quicker. Friend: Butterfly it? What’s that? Me: You cut the backbone out, then squash it flat. Here, let me show you: What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts: Grilled Butterflied Chicken, Thai Brinerated Grilled Butterflied Chicken, Dry Brined Kitchen Shears: My shears are a Williams-Sonoma house brand. I’ve been using them for years. When they finally give up the ghost, I’ll want this take-apart pair: Wusthof Come-apart Kitchen Shears. I like the idea of easy-clean shears. *Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe using your RSS reader or by Email, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, or buy something from Amazon.com through the links on this site. Thank you!

Duma Meats and Farm Market

If you are in the Akron area, and are serious about meat, you owe it to yourself to take a trip to Duma Meats. Duma’s is a full service butcher. And by full service, I really mean it – they raise their own cattle on site, and sell everything from a 400 pound side of beef down to their own homemade bologna. They have two locations: the original store in Mogadore, and their new location in the Hartville Marketplace. Either location is worth a visit, but I prefer the original store.*The original store has cattle wandering in the field out front, chewing their cud and watching you pull into the parking lot.**Special thanks to my neighbor, Missy, for telling me I had to try Duma’s Duma Meats Farm Market857 Randolph RoadMogadore, OH 44260(330) 628-3438dumameatsfarmmarket.com Duma’s Hartville Marketplace1289 Edison Street (Stands #2 to #8 in the Hartville Marketplace)Hartville, Oh 44632(330) 587-0032dumameatsfarmmarket.com My Top 5 list of favorite things they sell:1. Meat bundles: Beef bundle, Pork bundle, Chicken bundle, or Mixed Beef, Pork and Chicken bundle.The guy …

Walnut Vinaigrette

I’m on a Walnut Vinaigrette binge, inspired by my brother-in-law, Travis. He left a bottle of walnut oil behind at our summer cottage. When I saw the bottle, I knew what I had to make. Now I’m hooked – it has replaced balsamic vinaigrette as my go-to salad dressing. I think of this as a “French” vinaigrette. It’s a variation on a dressing Susan Hermann Loomis taught me in her cooking class in Paris*. I didn’t realize quite how much of a variation until I went back to her original recipe. The original wasn’t a walnut dressing…it was a hazelnut dressing. And it used red wine vinegar and thinly sliced shallots, not sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard. Oops. Sorry, Susan. Oh, well, my walnut version is quite good anyhow…*Did I mention that I took cooking classes in France? No? I’m going to go back there someday… Recipe: Walnut VinaigretteInspired by: Susan Herrmann Loomis Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin Cook time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 1 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard pinch salt 1/2 teaspoon fresh …

Road Trip: Lehman’s Old Time Hardware

Lehman’s Old Time Hardware, located in Kidron, Ohio, specializes in non-electric tools. Their plan was to sell to local Amish communities, but when people found out about them, their business blossomed. The store started as a barn, and now it sprawls across multiple connected barns and buildings. I love to wander around and see what I find in the nooks and crannies.Last time I saw a full-sized scythe handle on the wall. I half expected to see Death in line at the checkout counter, bony hands sticking out of his robe, pushing a shopping cart with the handle inside. Why do I love Lehman’s so much? Because a ton of those non-powered tools are for home cooking. Cast iron pots, cutting boards, cutlery, canning jars, camp stoves…and that’s just the items that start with “C”. Need to satisfy your kitchen gadget lust? A trip to Kidron is just what the doctor ordered.*After seeing their stock of cast iron, I may be underestimating. It might be two tons of home cooking equipment. Lehman’s Old Time Hardware 4779 …

Weber Gourmet BBQ System Review

The Weber Gourmet BBQ System is a set of cast iron, porcelain enameled cookware designed for use on the grill. I love the concept – I’ve been experimenting with cookware on my grill for years now, and I wanted to see what Weber came up with. The Gourmet BBQ System consists of four pieces: Griddle  Sear Grate  Wok  Grill grate with removable center piece, to hold the cast iron cookware I should include a fifth piece. While not absolutely necessary, the Gourmet BBQ system was made to work with Weber’s charcoal baskets. The charcoal baskets are the perfect size to fit underneath the hole in the grill grate, or to move the charcoal over to the side for indirect heating. I’m glad Weber chose porcelain coated cast iron for these pieces. I love the heavy, heat absorbing cast iron combined with the no-fuss maintenance of the porcelain coating.I never have any luck with regular cast iron. Eventually, it starts to rust on me. I’m sorry, Greg. I’ve strayed from the one true path of black …

Grilled Shitake Mushrooms, Yakitori Style

A vegetarian is coming to my cookout, and I’m grilling dinner. What do I do? Grab some mushrooms. Grilling is a great way to cook mushrooms; it enhances their “meaty” flavor. *My apologies to any vegetarians out there. I don’t know how else to describe the flavor. It’s the umami; mushrooms are loaded with umami, and the best way to describe umami is as a “meaty” taste. **At least, that’s what Wikipedia says, so I’m sticking with it. I usually grill portobello mushrooms; they are easy to grill (because they are so big) and the results are perfect to stuff a vegetarian burger. I had some shitake mushrooms lying around from my CSA, and needed to use them up. My sister, the vegetarian in the family, was coming for a cookout, so I grilled the shitakes for her. A few minutes after they came off the grill, she had cornered me, demanding the recipe for my brother-in-law. I tried one, and was amazed at the difference between the shitakes and the portobellos. Portobellos are thick, …

Review: Man With A Pan by John Donohue (with Giveaway!)

Review: Man With A Pan by John Donohue Man with A Pan is a collection of essays by guys who share my passion: cooking for their families. Not just one or two showy meals, not just grilling while the wife makes the rest of the meal in the kitchen. They find satisfaction in cooking every day. Some are writers (including some of my favorite food authors, like Michael Ruhlman, Mark Bittman, Mark Kurlansky, and Paul Greenberg), most do something else for a living. They all love to cook. This book felt like walking into a room full of old friends. Every essay had a note that resonated. From the satisfaction of feeding your family, the pride of well-honed kitchen skills, to the frustration of kids who only appreciate hot dogs and chips. These guys are my tribe: men who decided to be the primary cook in their house. They came to that place from a variety of starting points, but they all want to be in the kitchen when dinnertime rolls around. I loved reading …

Book Review: On A Stick! (With Giveaway!)

Review: On A Stick!, by Matt Armendariz Ask anyone…They’ll all tell you the same thing: eating food on a stick is fun, festive, and just plain delicious. Matt Armendariz, On A Stick And with that, Matt (from MattBites.com) is off and running. He covers traditional kebabs, like Greek lamb souvlaki. There are inspired ideas, like caprese salad on a stick, perfect for a party nibble. He has lowbrow recipes (corn dogs!), highbrow recipes (Korean BBQ pork belly skewers), and wild recipes (spaghetti and meatballs on a stick…how in the world?) *Can anything on a skewer really be considered highbrow? Discuss amongst yourselves. Can you tell I love this cookbook? It is filled with imagination. I see Matt and his partner, Adam Pearson, brainstorming ideas and laughing while they say “That’s a great idea! But how do we get it to stay on the stick?” Thanks to Matt’s photography and Adam’s food styling, On a Stick is also a visual treat. I was wondering how they would take eighty different pictures of a stick with food …

Pickled Asparagus With Hot Peppers and Garlic

I’ve become a canner. Last year, I took the plunge, and canned a bunch of vegetables from my CSA. The best part of canning? Learning about all the different things you can pickle. I love pickles; salty, vinegary, sharp, cool and crunchy. A new-found favorite is pickled asparagus. Yes, pickled asparagus sounds weird. I wondered why someone would do that to poor, defenseless asparagus. I mean, you can grill it, saute it, roast it, steam it…why bother pickling it? Two reasons. One, asparagus is perfect for pickles. The vinegar brine is a great counterpoint to the strong taste of the asparagus. The second reason is to stretch out asparagus past its late spring season. I try to buy my food seasonally; if I pickle asparagus, I still have it later in the summer. Asparagus season is so short…why not stretch it out? Now, if canning is not your thing, don’t worry. You can make refrigerator pickled asparagus. Ignore the “process in a water bath” part of the instructions, and store the pickles in the refrigerator. …

Farmers Market: Saturday in the Cuyahoga Valley, Wednesday at Highland Square in Akron

I can’t believe it – my annual farmers market update is late! The weekend Countryside Farmers Market in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park started on May 14th…and I forgot to mention it. It runs every Saturday, 9AM to Noon, from May 14th through the end of October. *If you don’t live in Northeastern Ohio, make sure to find your own local farmers market. Countryside’s weeknight market moved to Wednesday nights at Highland Square in Akron. It runs every Wednesday, 4PM to 7PM, June 1st through the end of September. I’ll see you at the market this summer! Here are the addresses: Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow 4040 Riverview Road Peninsula, OH View Larger Map Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square Corner of West Market Street and Conger Ave Akron, OH View Larger Map More information is available at their website: Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy Related posts: My list of Ethnic and Gourmet stores near Akron, Ohio.

All-Clad Factory Sale: Summer 2011

All-Clad Factory Sale: Summer 2011The dates for this summer’s All-Clad factory sale have been announced, so I’m posting my usual heads-up to my readers… All-Clad’s factory is located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Twice a year, on the first weekend in June and December, All-Clad holds a factory seconds sale at the Washington County Fair and Expo Center. The 2011 summer sale is Friday June 3rd and Saturday June 4th. Hours are Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s the link to the location of the sale: Washington County Fair and Expo Center. This is about a two hour drive from the Akron area. You get prices from 40% to 70% off on factory seconds. In most cases, the damage is just cosmetic; a little scratching on the stainless, or a lid handle that’s a bit offset from center. They have most of their line of cookware available, but not all, and some favorites (like the 12″ stainless fry pan, and its lid) are hard to find. Overall, …

Frito Pie with Buffalo Chili

It’s time for my Super Bowl chili recipe. This year I’m serving a Texas standard: Frito pie. Frito pie is traditionally made by ripping open a bag of Fritos, topping them with chili, and covering with Velveeta. It is against everything I believe as a locavore…but if Frito pie is wrong, I don’t want to be right. The crunchy chips, gooey cheese, and beefy chili make for a killer combination.And by killer, I’m talking both amazing taste, and cardiac arrest. Don’t make this a regular in your meal plan, OK? Serve it with some vegetables at least. And would it kill you to tuck in your shirt and stand up straight? Um…ahem…sorry, got stuck in Nagging Dad mode there. Robb Walsh’s fancy Frito Pie with Venison Chili was my target – it is clearly Frito pie, but it has enough real ingredients in it to get over my “eat local” objections. Instead of venison, though, I used buffalo. When I was in my fanatic weight loss mode, I would always substitute buffalo for beef. Buffalo is …

What Do I Do With: The Bok Choy Issue

My question about what to do with Celeriac brought in some great ideas.  My favorites were: Mashed celeriac (just like mashed potatoes, with or without some potato) Celeriac soup (made like potato-leek soup but substituting the celeriac for the potato) Celeriac remoulade (julienned celeriac tossed in a mayonnaise vinaigrette). I liked the suggestions so much that I may make this a regular feature. *I really, really loved the celeriac soup.  Delicious.  Thank you for the idea, Tom! My next cry for help is about Bok Choy. Bok Choy is one of the stars of winter farmers markets.  Even in the depths of our cold season, I can find good looking Bok Choy.  But what do I do with it?  I think of it as an Asian vegetable; it is commonly referred to as Chinese cabbage.  So I stir-fry it, or I…well, I stir fry it. I have two stir-fry recipes for Bok Choy, and I use them over and over.  My base technique is to separate the white stems from the leaves and slice them both …

Road Trip: Al’s Quality Market

Al’s Quality Market is an old school Eastern European butcher and sausage maker in downtown Barberton, Ohio. If you are looking for ethnic sausage made the old fashioned way, you need to check out Al’s. Their motto is worn proudly on their t-shirts: “It’s all about the sausage.” And, if thinking about that sausage makes you hungry, stop at Al’s Corner Restaurant, located right around the corner from the market. The restaurant only serves lunch, from 11AM to 2PM on weekdays. Hot and mild Hungarian sausage, stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, pierogies, cabbage and dumplings…I couldn’t decide, so I got it all with their sampler platter. *Lisa Abraham at the Akron Beacon Journal did a great writeup on Al’s last year. Check it out: Old World Flavors [ohio.com] Al’s Quality Market151 2nd Street NorthwestBarberton, OH 44203Phone:330-753-7216 Hours:Tuesday to Friday: 9 – 5:30Saturday: 8 to 4 My top five list of favorite things they sell are, in no particular order: Smoked sausage: This is the star attraction at Al’s; they make and smoke their own sausages. Hungarian, …

Turkey Soup with Chickpeas and Vegetables

The second best part of Thanksgiving is making soup from the leftovers. *The best part? Sitting at the table, surrounded by friends and family, while gnawing on a turkey leg from a grill-smoked turkey. Every year, I make a big pot or two of turkey stock with the carcasses from my birds. I use that stock to make one old fashioned batch of turkey noodle soup, then I use my stock to go on a world tour. *You are making turkey stock from your carcass this year, aren’t you? This year, I was aiming for an Italian style soup, with pancetta and greens. I wound up farther south on the Italian boot that I thought.  I was aiming for Tuscany.  I probably wound up in Sicily, because my freezer was missing some key ingredients! Prosciutto replaced the pancetta, chickpeas replaced the white beans, and baby spinach became the green. Even though I wound up improvising, the results were worth it. The smoky turkey stock, made from grilled birds, was the perfect broth for the shredded …

Winter Market in Cuyahoga Valley 2010-2011

The Countryside Farmers Market in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park has switched to their winter schedule, starting this weekend.  Time to stock up on local produce for Thanksgiving! The market will be held at Old Trail School this year, right next to their usual Howe Meadow site.  The market will be open on Saturday mornings, from 9AM to Noon. *If you don’t live in Northeastern Ohio, make sure to find your own local farmers market.  Yes, they usually run through the winter! The schedule is: November 20 December 11 December 18 January 22 February 5 February 19 March 12 March 26 April 9 April 23 Here’s the address: Countryside Farmers’ Market at Old Trail School 2315 Ira Road Akron, OH 44333 (330) 666-1118 More information is available at their website: Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy View Larger Map Related posts: My list of Ethnic and Gourmet stores near Akron, Ohio. *Enjoyed this post?  Want to help out DadCooksDinner?  Subscribe using your RSS reader or by Email, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, or buy something from Amazon.com through the …

Grilled Fajitas

Fajitas. The recipe that put a Mexican restaurant in every strip mall in America.* Really, Fajitas are Tex-mex, a blend of styles born from the Norteno border of Mexico and the Southwestern border of the US, where the cooking doesn’t let a little thing like a line on a map stop it.The holy trinity of Tex-mex cooking: Fajitas, Margaritas, and tortilla chips with salsa. I’m getting hungry just typing this. I learned a fascinating fajita marinade from Robb Walsh in The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook. There are two surprise ingredients in the marinade, that don’t sound very Mexican – Pineapple and Soy Sauce. Soy sauce is full of umami, which I’ve talked about before; it adds extra beefiness to the steak. Pineapple juice is the really interesting part – it contains an enzyme, bromelain, which is proteolytic (that is, it breaks down protein).* I had to double check that sentence with my wife, the chemist. Pineapple juice tenderizes the tough cuts of meat that are used in fajitas; skirt steak (fajita, in Spanish)*, flank steak, …

Road Trip: BayLobsters Fish Market

Update 2015-12-31: BayLobsters Fish Market is closed.   For my Four Fish Week posts, I needed to find a good fish market.  I can find decent seafood at my local megamart, but when I want the best, I go to a fish market. I’ve been meaning to check out BayLobsters Fish Market in Twinsburg, and reading about sustainable seafood in Four Fish gave me the push I needed to make the trip. I knew I was in the right place as soon as I opened the door. The briny, slightly sweet smell of high quality fish greeted me as I entered the store. That is my first test for a fish market – does it smell right? BayLobster sure does. The display case of fish is a work of art – whole fish and sides of fish, carefully arranged to show how beautiful they are. And, the place was hopping – it is clambake season and they were doing a brisk business. There was a steady stream of customers during the Friday lunch that I …