Category Archives: Ask Chef Phyllis

Special Sweet Potatoes, 2 Surprising Ways

Sweet potato

Ask Chef Phyllis: The only time I think about or serve sweet potatoes is during the holidays. And I am tired of serving gooey, marshmallow–topped sweet potatoes to my guests for either Thanksgiving or Christmas because I find that most of them only take a taste to remember how sweet they really are. What do […]

Roast Turkey with Sausage, Rice, and Mushroom Dressing: A Thanksgiving to Remember

roast turkey

Ask Chef Phyllis For years, our parents roasted a 25-plus pound turkey that my mom started to cook at 2 A.M. That very large bird was more often than not dry and tough. The side dishes saved the day. Momma made a delicious sausage and Italian chestnut dressing that was bread stuffing. Now with new […]

Garden Ratatouille: Late Summer Variety


Ask Chef Phyllis: My mother never told me of this season in a marriage—I call it “late-summer boring squash season.” My husband (my “can’t waste anything” backyard gardener) brings me ripe zucchinis, some plump as bowling pins and others as skinny as broomsticks, and stacks these and other late summer veggies such as small peppers, […]

Shrimp Scampi from the 1939 New York World’s Fair

Shrimp Scampi

Ask Chef Phyllis: About a year ago, a friend emailed me your Q&A column concerning his parents and their dining experience at the ’39 World’s Fair. We have a disagreement in our family over Shrimp Scampi since the ingredients in most recipes are nothing like what our grandparents ate at that same fair. They said […]

Recipes for Yak Meat: From Sizzling Steaks to Ground Meat

Chili con Carne

Yak meat is growing in popularity and availability. My friends in the know are all talking about it. They say it’s leaner than beef, just like bison, and doesn’t have any gamy taste. That’s a nice catchphrase. But yak meat is sweeter and has a depth of flavor—meaning it hits different taste buds on your […]

Cultured Milk and Cream for Easy Ice Cream Making

Homemade Ice Cream

Summer is the perfect season to experiment with cultured frozen ice cream. Are you ready? How about a classic dessert from India called Shrikhand: rich, creamy Greek yogurt streaked with golden, orangey saffron threads and studded with exotic fruits and nuts. Inspired by this dish, at one of my cheese making classes about two years […]

Heirloom Tomatoes: Summer’s Gift of Love

Heirloom tomatoes

Ask Chef Phyllis: I hear a lot about heirloom tomatoes these days. They’re very expensive in the supermarket, but I must admit…delicious. What is an heirloom tomato? Our short growing season limits heat-loving crops, so I buy them at farmers markets in the summer. Do you have some recipes using heirlooms? —Marianna Appledorn from Cottage […]

Sumptuous Shrimp: Never Out of Season

Sumptuous Shrimp

Ask Chef Phyllis: I love all-you-can-eat shrimp and the shrimp festival at Red Lobster…I never miss an opportunity to get my fill. Though I should mention that the shrimp at these events are good but not great. Recently, my husband surprised me and took me to a little bistro that served shrimp in a wine-butter […]

Riso e Formaggio (Rice and Cheese Casserole)

Rice & Cheese Casserole

Ask Chef Phyllis: Several  years ago, we backpacked through Northern Italy. At local homes or in little specialty restaurants, it was easy to find nutritious vegetarian dishes. The one that lingers in my mind was Riso e Formaggio, a dish baked in a casserole and served hot or cold. It didn’t have broccoli or spinach […]

Substitution Chart for Today’s Cooks

Chocolate chip cookies

Ask Chef Phyllis: Years ago I had a refrigerator magnet that displayed equivalent amounts for baking, like 4 quarts equal 1 gallon and other basic information that most cooks know already. Now I’m looking for a different kind of substitution chart that has more up-to-date equivalents. For example, healthier swaps such as a better fat […]