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A Country Dinner in the UK July 6, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Green Curry, Naan, Basmati Rice and Spicy Cabbage Salad

Britain is a very livable place, especially outside the big cities. I have always loved wandering the towns and villages. The English, Welsh and Scottish countrysides are unbelievable, especially in summertime. All the rain and the very temperate climate creates a green that you see nowhere else (except maybe in Wisconsin in the Spring). (more…)

The Wandering Foodie in the UK – The George Inn – A Country Pub March 16, 2014

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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The George Inn - Coleorton

The George Inn – Coleorton

We are in the UK for about 10 days helping a friend on some business issues.  We are staying in a stately country home in the East Midlands that has been converted into condominiums  – think a small Downton Abbey with a dozen condo units, all sharing the brilliant grounds.

The East Midlands is about 100 miles NE of London.  The nearest villages to us are Ashby, Swannington, and Coleorton.  This is a wonderful part of England, dotted with small villages that still have a strong rural feel.  It is also the home of many country inns and pubs.  A great one, “The George Inn”, is located 1.5 miles down the road from us.  We adapted it as “our local” upon arrival. (more…)

Tortellini al Tartufo – A Last Fling from Umbria – July 26, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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I Due Cuoci e Degustatori di Vini

Stewart and Bill: I Due Cuoci e Degustatori di Vini

This is my final post from Italy.  You can see my friend and Bravado chef, Stewart, enjoying a glass of wine with me outside the villa.  Note the beautiful hills in the background.  Rural Umbria is a real kick.

I convinced the owner of Ristorante Fontana in our village of Macerino to give me the recipe for Tortellini al Tartufo.  This was one of my favorites dishes in Italy, so I figured we better learn to make it.  It is a very easy recipe and will be a big hit. (more…)

Veal Saltimboca and More – Our Big Night in Umbria July 7, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic Beef/Lamb Dishes, Classic Italian Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Buongiorno di Macerino

Buongiorno di Macerino

On our last night in the mountains of Umbria at the Palazzo Mazzuricci in Macerino (look it up on Google maps), we did our own version of “The Big Night” (I assume everyone has seen that movie – if not, go to Amazon NOW and stream it.)

To get you in the mood, here is a brief slideshow on our place in Umbria. (more…)

The Italians Have It So Right June 24, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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La Gelateria

La Gelateria just before the doors open for the day

 

Is it the food in Italy or the women clad in incredibly short shorts?  Between the two, I may never leave.  On the food front, which is the only thing I’m allowed to discuss by my long legged traveling companion (aka wife of 48 years), the Italians seem have it right.  You look at the stores and you want to cook.  Enjoy these shots and click on them for a close-up view: (more…)

Cooking Lessons in Umbria June 22, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Tossing the Pasta

Chef Jean Luca Tossing the Pasta

Well, we are still in Umbria enjoying our friends’ villa in the remote hilltop town of Macerino.  I didn’t think there was any way to top the experience we had in Ristorante Fontana here in the village or at Ristorante Pizzeria Savour in nearby Todi, but it happened.  We ran into a husband and wife team who own an organic restaurant in Spoleto in Umbria.  They agreed to come to our place in Macerino and demonstrate Umbrian cooking. (more…)

A Feast in Umbria June 16, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Macerino

We are staying in a remote Medieval hilltop village in rural Umbria called Macerino.  To reach this beautiful spot, you exit the A45 expressway and then travel up winding single land roads – sometimes paved, sometimes not – for 30 minutes.  A friend rented the Palazzo Mazzurucci in the village and invited us to stay with them.  Since it has seven bedroom suites, there was plenty of room.  Our suite has four rooms and is more than 2,000 sq.ft.  It even has its own sauna. (more…)

The Wandering Foodie in Umbria – Ristorante Pizzeria Cavour -Todi June 13, 2013

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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todiMain

The beautiful hilltop town of Todi in Umbria

Umbria is a region in Italy located between Rome and Florence, just south of Tuscany.  It is filled with mountainous hills which rise up over 1,000 meters.  Many of the hilltops have towns and villages on them which date from pre-Roman times.  The hilltop towns provided very strong defense while allowing the residents to down into the valleys during the day to tend their fields.  The Romans conquered all of the area and made these towns bigger and stronger, building temples to their gods and adding many public buildings.  In the Middle Ages during the era of cathedral building, the last remnants of Roman ruins were cleared away and many beautiful churches and cathedrals were built in these towns.  The Renaissance brought even further enhancement.  There are probably over 50 of these hilltop towns dotting the Umbrian countryside and they are very cool. (more…)

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding – The Traditional British Sunday Lunch November 29, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic British Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Traditional British Sunday Lunch

Thousands of pubs in Great Britain, especially those outside of London, offer a “Sunday Lunch” every week.  Traditionally, the main feature is a standing rib roast, which is always accompanied by Yorkshire pudding and amazingly crunchy roast potatoes.  You always get a nice dessert (also called a “pudding”) and plenty of liquid libations.  It is truly a great winter classic meal. (more…)

I Love New York September 22, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Think agitation, density, and discombobulation.  Think pristine and filthy, courteous and rude, sleek and grungy.  This is New York, and make no mistake about it, there is no place like it.  And, I have a confession – I love the place and I think everyone needs a couple of days there every year.  (I’ve never tried more than two so I don’t know what happens after that.)

I have been coming to New York for over 50 years and it never ceases to amaze, craze and enchant.  As a wandering foodie, New York is an endless goldmine, which none of us will ever completely fathom.  However, here is my list of the five food related things you have to do in New York.  (I’d love to see all of your favorite things, so make sure you leave me your comments.)

Bagels for Breakfast:

New York is famous for bagels.  (more…)

Laing Family Homemade Pizza May 5, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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The Garbage Pizza
The Veggie Lover’s Special
Cheese Lover’s Special

Guest Post No. 3:  Junior Bravado Chef Alex Laing has stepped in this week with a post on how to make pizza from scratch.  Guest chef Tobin provided the expertise and training, as well as the masterful photography.

(more…)

Annual New Year’s Dinner Award – Horseradish Encrusted Prime Rib February 2, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Beef/Lamb Dishes, Classic British Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Travels and Soirees.
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Guest Post No. 2:

Horseradish Encrusted Prime Rib

The Annual New Year’s Dinner Award goes to Howard Storck – charter member of the Bravado Cooking Society – and Carla Gorsky.  (They, btw, were the ones that triggered the special post about making a one-handed pie crust – a must see with the video clip from “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.)  They were helped by sous-chef Larry Hake and their dog, Charlie.

Boy, Did I Like The Prime Rib – Hope I Can Make It Until Midnight!

Here is Howard’s communiqué:

How about a horseradish encrusted prime rib…with a red wine reduction sauce…homemade creme fraiche….roasted potatoes and onions with sage…and roasted vegetables? (more…)

Julia Child Night January 19, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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Julia Child Night – Guests and Chefs

As part of a charity event, a group of us offered a “Julia Child Night” for 10 people.  It was purchased at arguably one-half its true value by another group of friends.  The kitchen staff somehow managed to serve the meal and nibble and imbibe at the same time.  I am not sure who had a better time.  In any case, 16 bottles of wine were consumed in a flash. (more…)

Visiting Celebrity Chef, London May 7, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Travels and Soirees.
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This was my first stint as visiting celebrity chef (VCC).

I strolled to the High Street every day and selected things for the day, along with appropriate wine, of course.  We saved some of each meal for next-day toddler meals in small containers.  Toddler reviews were positive overall.  He liked everything.  Actually, he used the word ‘incredible,’ which was a little tough to understand, but I got it.

  • Wednesday night:  Quick Bolognese – not bad but not close to all day version
  • Thursday night: Flank steak with Argentine chimichurri sauce, broccoli and salad.  Chimichurri was made with garlic, parsley, cilantro and cumin.  Very good.
  • Friday lunch: Croque monsieur with emmental (Swiss) cheese, grated, and ham – (ham too thick – next time we’ll try sourdough bread with gruyere instead of emmental and very thinly sliced ham).
  • Friday dinner: Risotto with snap peas
  • Saturday:  Dinner at Indian Restaurant
  • Sunday:  Went to farmers Market, bought baking apples and flowers.
  • Sunday Dinner:  Trinidadian Chicken Curry and Tarte Tatin for dessert.  Roasted chicken legs and little apple pies for toddler.

Side note:  Everyone needs a Le Creuset pie pan – it works wonderfully.

  • Monday: Roasted organic chicken with vegetables.
  • Tuesday: Smothered cabbage and rice soup.  Smothered cabbage alone is good.  This was a new recipe from Marcella.
  • Wednesday: Pasta e Fagioli – always a crowd favorite, especially with Henry
  • Thursday:  Meatloaf with gratin dauphinois (Julia) and brussels sprouts
  • Friday: Chicken Fried Rice, Sauteed corgettes
  • Saturday: Pizza and beer from local shop
  • Sunday: Beef Bourguignon served on crusty bread
  • Monday: Julia’s French Onion Soup and Spagetti with homemade meatballs.

Sign up now if you’re interested in a visit from the VCC.

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