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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey and Corn Chowder

It's that time of year again - time to figure out what to do with all that leftover turkey. Every year, I try a new soup. Here's this year's entry. It's adapted from a recipe in Rick Rodger's The Turkey Cookbook. His recipe didn't use any bacon, but as far as I'm concerned, it ain't chowda unless it has bacon.

Turkey and Corn Chowder
(serves 8)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Another request - for polenta. Polenta is a nice change from potatoes, rice or noodles. Polenta or corn grits is an interesting food. Polenta is not the same as hominy grits. Polenta is dried corn that is ground. The corn is not treated in any way. This is actually quite important. Corn is deficient in niacin, an important B vitamin. Masa and hominy came from Native Americans who figured out how to treat corn with an alkali, such as lime, making the hulls less tough. Something vital happens because of this process. It changes the availability of the niacin, so that the treated corn is no longer deficient in niacin. Sadly for the Italians, the technology for treating corn did not travel across the ocean with the grain. Parts of Italy - very poor parts - embraced corn like the Irish embraced the potato. But, because they didn't know how to treat the corn, they were afflicted with pellegra, niacin deficiency. Native Americans didn't suffer from pellegra because they know the secret to unlocking the niacin in the corn. One has to wonder how they figured this out.

OK, enough nutritional history! Since we're all well-fed and get plenty of niacin from other sources, we can eat it without worry.

This recipe comes from The Turkey Cookbook by Rick Rogers (1990). Since we are approaching Thanksgiving, this seems like a great time to mention this cookbook. It's one of my favorites. I love turkey and it is packed with hearty delicious recipes. The polenta is paired with thighs in a herbed tomato sauce which I'll post at a later date.

(serves 4-6)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walnut Tart from Saint-Paul-de-Vence

I made this cake yesterday for a party. It's not a traditional cake, more like a tart made to look like a cake. It took all day. I'm not going to post the recipe since it's 6 pages long. There are 3 separate components and then assembly.

First you make the cake filling. Then you make a double crust of rich pastry. Line the tart pan and fill it.