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Chili 101 December 18, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Classic Soups.
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Chili with Skillet Cornbread
Chili with Skillet Cornbread

If there were ever an American classic, it must be chili.  And, you will need this dish sometime during the Holidays.  Even though the name sounds like it must have a Mexican origin, the dish is not really known there.  I did business in Mexico for 30 years and traveled extensively throughout the country.  I never ate anything resembling chili.  Take my word for it, this is an American thing – started in Texas and most likely in San Antonio where they still have the great chili cook offs every year.  Actually, there is a Chili Appreciation Society (http://www.chili.org) that lists about 200 cook-offs, of which about 95% are in Texas.

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Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Reduction over Garlic Mashed Potatoes November 14, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Beef/Lamb Dishes.
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So, we are at a dinner party and my friend Bob asks me what is my favorite thing before dinner.  I think he was talking about drinks, but my mind wandered.  (more…)

Friday Night Fishfry – An American Classic September 9, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Fish Dishes.
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Pan Fried Perch

After playing golf, a good friend suggested that I have dinner at his house.  Gary is wine fanatic and I knew there would be some liquid treats involved.   He owns a company that rates wines, The Beverage Tasting Institute, which has a great website.  They have no financial relations with any of the vintners, who have to pay to have their wines rated, and therefore the results are very objective.

His wife Priscilla is a great cook and has appeared before on Bravado Cooking in A Perfect Super Bowl.  When I heard she was cooking perch, I immediately accepted the invitation.

Freshwater perch are, in my opinion, one of the great fish dishes.  When I was young, my grandfather would take me fishing on Cedar Lake in Indiana.  It was a great lake for perch and other pan fish.  Cleaning was laborious, but my grandmother would lightly bread and deep-fry the little filets and we soon forgot the work.  It was wonderful.

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Caesar Salad – An American Classic July 26, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Classic Salads.
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Caesar Salad with Spaghetti alla Carbonara

After WWI a young Italian named Caesar Cardini emigrated to America and settled in San Diego.  He worked in hotels and restaurants while he learned English.  But, Italians have something in their DNA that prompts them to get into the restaurant business, so he opened a restaurant in San Diego in 1923.  The restaurant business wasn’t easy in those days, or did we forget that in 1920, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed and the country entered the era of Prohibition.  Young Caesar wisely spotted this as an opportunity, and he opened a restaurant in Tijuana – 15 miles south of San Diego, but across the border and free of rules about alcohol.  He opened Caesar’s Place in 1924 and later Caesar’s Café and finally Hotel Caesar’s, which still exists today. (more…)

Six-Pack Chicken – An American Classic June 15, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Chicken Dishes, Classic Grilling Recipes, Classic Recipes by Type.
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Six-Pack Chicken

I wanted to continue with our series on French Classics, but I have run out of things that I know how to make.  I usually like to make a dish at least twice so that I can proceed to talk like the renowned expert that I am, but I’m going through a period of laziness and can’t get up for Vol Au Vent.  This languor made me think of Andy’s Six Pack Chicken, a wonderful slow method of making that great American Classic – BBQ Chicken.

Summertime, sunshine and weekends seem to make guys think of firing up the grill and drinking some beer.  This recipe is the perfect answer to that urge and creates some special fun – women get a chance to complain about the beer drinking and the men get to smile at each other and continue dong what they “damn well please”, while having good reason to do so. (more…)

The Cupcake – Definitely an American Classic May 25, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Desserts.
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As you know, I’m hooked on classics.  How can you call yourself a Bravado chef if you can’t prepare some of the great dishes from time past?   I’ve been working on French classics, but we’re visiting grandchildren who are interested in cooking but are not responding to Vol au Vent or Escargots, two that we might have tackled.  The whole French thing was getting no traction with the younger set. (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.

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Dependable Skillet Cornbread April 29, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type.
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Skillet Cornbread

Last week we did a post on an American classic, Jambalaya, which we served at a dinner party with skillet cornbread, another homegrown American classic.  As promised, we’ll now see how to make this wonderful dish.

Skillet cornbread is primarily a Southern dish.  In the North, the tendency is to bake a sweeter, muffin-like concoction.  In the 1700 and1800’s, it was an incredibly simple dish – corn meal, eggs, milk, salt, sugar and a fat of some type – usually lard.   Today, most recipes (but not all) use butter instead of lard and they usually add flour with the cornmeal.  This produces a much lighter texture. (more…)

Jambalaya – An American Classic April 23, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Classic Stews.
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Jambalaya with Skillet Cornbread

We have been doing posts on classic dishes – French, Italian and American.  But, what does that mean?  What is the definition of a classic dish?  I think there are a number of criteria – first, it has to be a dish that is widely known or, at the least, widely known in a certain region; secondly, while the dish might have some ancestors in other countries, it must have its own distinctive personality; and, thirdly, there have to be tons of different recipe variations showing that people have been experimenting for a long time. (more…)

Parker House Rolls – An American Classic April 14, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type.
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Parker House Rolls

A friend asked, irreverently, if there were any rhyme or reason for the posts we have been doing.  I told him that he had missed the point, as he had most of his life.  For others of you also wandering in the wilderness, 2012 is the year of the Great Bravado Classics.  We will be looking at famous dishes from France, Italy, Spain and America.  We’ve already done a number of French classics (Tarte Tatin, Beef Bourguignon, Onion Soup, Coq Au Vin, Gratin Dauphinois and Coquilles St. Jacques).  We’ve done two Spanish classics – Gazpacho and the Tortilla Española.  We’ve also done two American classics –  Mac and Cheese and Chicken Noodle Soup.  By the end of the year, we will try to do 12 from each area – 48 great classics. (more…)

Two Great Ideas for Super Bowl Sunday February 4, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Diary of a Wandering Foodie, Super Bowl.
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You may need something for Super Bowl Sunday – a dish or an appetizer to enjoy during the game or take to a party.  Check either of these recent posts – they’re perfect.

Bravado Mac & Cheese:  You may have to run to the store to get the ingredients, but it is easy to make and the crowd will go wild.   If you are taking it to a party, prepare everything and put it in the oven when you get where you are going.

Cilantro Pesto on Crostini:  If you don’t have the energy to make the Bravado Mac & Cheese, try this one instead.  Ingredients will cost you about four dollars – two bunches of cilantro and one baguette and you can make it in under 30 minutes.

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…)

Sarah’s Magic Chicken Noodle Soup January 27, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type, Classic Soups.
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“I need some chicken noodle soup”

My wife got a cold/flu (Does anyone know what those names really mean?) right after the holidays.  I knew it was time for a true Bravado chef to spring into action.  When someone doesn’t feel well, they really want some extra attention – cuddling, TLC, and something soothing to eat.  Spring into action I did because, as any guy knows, actions in such times will lead to rewards later.

When your friends, family or loved ones get sick, it’s your chance to step up and show them the Bravado way to get better and make a lasting impression with a classic dish.  Of course, you have already guessed what it is – chicken noodle soup.  This is the age-old remedy that everyone talks about, but very few make from scratch.  As a true Bravado chef, that’s the only way we do it – no canned stuff for us. (more…)

Bravado Mac and Cheese January 5, 2012

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Pasta Dishes, Classic Recipes by Type.
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New Year’s Mac and Cheese

We made a beautiful Mac and Cheese for New Year’s Day and I realized that this is truly a great American dish.  If you haven’t started to develop your own personal recipe, make it a New Year’s resolution to do so.

Thomas Jefferson became infatuated with macaroni and cheese while in France during the Revolutionary War.  He introduced the dish to the U.S. where it was a commonly served at the White House during his presidency.

There are three components to a Dependable Mac and Cheese – the sauce, the cheeses, and the “accoutrements” – those things you might add to really set the dish off. (more…)

I’d Do Anything for Some Cilantro Pesto! December 17, 2011

Posted by Bravado Cooking for Men in Classic American Dishes, Classic Appetizers, Classic Recipes by Type.
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“I’ll give you a kiss if you make me some cilantro pesto and put them on little pieces of toast”, she said. He knew he had her in the palm of his hand.

Today we will learn how to make an easy, but very unique appetizer for the Holidays.  You always need something new and different, and this is it.  It is inexpensive – total cost is about $3.00 for a tray of goodies – and quick – about 15 minutes from start to cleanup. (more…)

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