Category Archives: Ask Chef Phyllis

Stuffed and Fried Squash Flowers

The last recorded song by John Prine is a beautiful ballad called “I Remember Everything,” and it says a lot to me. John Prine, a man of simple words but extreme talent, reached into the hearts of so many. At the very least, I should say that I don’t remember everything, but I do remember […]

Nana’s Sunday Tomato Sauce

Sauces define French cuisine. Although there is some debate, most sources credit Auguste Escoffier as the creator of the five French “mother” sauces: béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato. From this original list, a plethora of secondary sauces were also created. For example, tomato sauce is one of the five sauces, but its secondary daughter […]

The Best Colcannon Recipe

I married an Irishman whose mother was from County Kerry and whose father was from Thurles, Tipperary. (Now that’s a county you’ve heard of.) I was married to my husband Bill for nearly 56 years—almost as many times as I made corned beef and cabbage for our St. Patrick’s Day tradition. Each year, I would […]

Soup Is Hot!

The ultimate comfort food, soup is in the news! Whether it’s an old favorite that’s been around for years, a familiar soup with a new twist, or a beloved classic from grandmother’s kitchen, we love them all. On the home front, as we’ve been overusing our kitchens for the last ten months, soup has enjoyed […]

Christmas Chestnuts

Christmas chestnuts roasting on an open fire…or right in your oven. Here’s to bringing this underused fruit/nut to your holiday table. I’m a New Yorker through and through. Though I’ve lived in Colorado for some 40 years, my East coast accent is still detectable. Back in my younger days, I’d walk to work in high […]

Shrimp de Jonghe for the Holidays

Many years ago, at a Christmas party, the hostess served a dish called Shrimp Dijon. It was delicious. I live in Chicago, and this dish is a favorite served in many restaurants, but none are as good as the first time I tried it. Not only that, but the restaurant versions had no Dijon mustard […]

Solutions for Your Turkey Leftovers

Ask Chef Phyllis I have this problem every year so I decided to call the turkey hotline for answers. They were helpful with the cooking of the bird, but with the leftovers not so much. I like leftover turkey with dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise on a sandwich. Most often, I slice the turkey […]

Fire-Roasted Salsa

I never could have guessed that one day I’d be writing a post while taking refuge from a wildfire at a friend’s home during a mandatory evacuation. Life has a mind of its own, it seems. But on second thought, I have made—with and without fate interfering—many of my own choices. I chose to reside […]

Tomato Abbondanza? Make Cosmo Salad!

Tomatoes love the heat, and right now it seems like hundreds of small, homegrown cherry tomatoes, bursting with flavor and aroma, are growing before our eyes each day. (At least it seems like hundreds when you’re the kid picking them!) Who doesn’t love layering a thick slice of beefsteak tomato, dripping with its seeds and […]

Cabbage:
The Cold-Storage Vegetable that Lasts Forever

Grilled Cabbage

The most forgettable vegetable is currently having its day in the limelight (or day in the sun, if you prefer). Kale was in, but now it’s so last year. Brussels sprouts were all the rage—but after roasting them in the oven, they gave many of us gas. (Which says more about the state of our […]

Liver and Onions Country Style

When I moved to Aurora, Colorado, in the early 1980s my first job was at Wag’s Restaurant in the Aurora Mall. Like Woolworth’s, Wag’s had a soda fountain. We had table service, or patrons could sit on stools along the front counter. The restaurant was cheerful, and everybody enjoyed the familiar ice cream-parlor atmosphere. Our […]

Beef Steak in the French Style

Ask Chef Phyllis While traveling in Germany and France many years ago, we had the good fortune to eat in a small town near the French border. Their specialty was a steak, so tender and succulent, with onions and potatoes. I’m not sure if you ever answer questions like this, but can you shed some […]

Vegetarian Moussaka:
A Classic Casserole from Greece

When I receive more than three emails from readers on the same subject—especially when they’re requesting recipes that go beyond mac and cheese or beans and rice and want more exotic fare—my interest is piqued. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of interest in vegetarian casseroles. It crossed my mind recently that casseroles have lost […]

Traditional Finnish Cardamom Bread:
Breads of the World #6

It’s been ages since I’ve even thought of making Christmas breads. But now, with our world turned upside down, many of us have been making our own bread—so I thought, why not? These aromatic and spicy loaves are simple to make. Although it’s a yeast dough, the process is still uncomplicated, and your dough hook […]

Chicken and Broccoli Divan from Leftovers

When it comes to leftovers, it often seems that the husbands rather than the children don’t want to eat yesterday’s meal. (But as I’m fond of saying, this is the meat and potatoes of another post.) My dear readers, perhaps you’re old enough to remember that ladies’ luncheons in the 1960s always served chicken divan. […]

Chicken Cacciatore:
One Dish, No Fuss Cooking, Huntress-Style

Ask Chef Phyllis My family loves a good chicken dish. They demand chicken breasts, although my mother always bought whole chicken and used every part. I usually make chicken breasts in the slow cooker, and though it’s good, the breasts get too dry and lack flavor after six hours in the pot. I have a […]

Reflections on Baking:
How to Make a Dessert Out of Nothing at All

Here’s a novel idea: a sumptuous dessert from your already depleted pantry. And it’s easier than you ever imagined. Did your mom ever make fruit cobblers? Or perhaps a baked apple with cinnamon and raisins in the middle? Nothing is easier than a baked apple, and in my opinion, nothing appeals to the senses quite […]