Page 1

a reference guide for self sufficiency in the kitchen


contents preparation 4

ingredients 20











techniques 14


ratios 35






pantry the pantry

the freezer

mediterranean flavors

dried pasta ribbon such as angel hair, spaghetti, linguini, and a macaroni such as penne, shells, ziti or rotini.

frozen peas

olives – green and black

frozen corn


rice – brown or white canned beans - black beans are multi-purpose, but cannellini and garbanzo are good staples too. canned tomatoes canned tuna or salmon

condiments olive oil vegetable oil - a neutral flavor and high smoke point for frying vinegar - balsamic, red wine, apple cider, and white wine are all good and versatile

capers basil oregano

southwestern flavors cumin mexican Oregano

stock - chicken is multipurpose, vegetable is all-pleasing, and beef or veal is luxury.

dijon mustard

the fridge

a favorite hot sauce


peanut butter

eastern asian flavors


your favorite jam or preserves

five spice


basics for light baking

cheese – parmesan and feta are good long lasting cheeses that make excellent additions to pasta, eggs, salads, you name it. Try to buy these guys whole, not precrumbled or grated or whatever.

honey mayonaise

all purpose flour baking soda baking powder

dried or diced chiles lime cilantro

sesame oil hoisin sauce ginger soy sauce

white sugar


indian flavors

brown sugar



vanilla extract


lemons red or white wine (a little for the sauce, a little for the cook)

versatile spices kosher salt fresh black pepper

garam masala cumin coriander

red pepper flakes cinnamon chili powder 7


tools build an arsenal



Get in your car/on the train/bus and drive right past the big box stores, zip away from the specialty kitchen shops, and don’t stop until you get to your local restaurant supply store. There you can find everything you need to cook like the pros, and at a serious fraction of the cost. This is where all of your favorite chefs purchase their supplies when they’re not being doted on by the manufacturers of fancy shiny things.

8” – 10” stainless steel chefs knife

spring tongs

Pairing knife

wooden spoon with a nice long handle

The most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to look good to work and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to outfit a functioning kitchen. With time you’ll learn which tools you use the most and can upgrade if and when you feel the urge. The key is to take good care of what you own and it will keep serving you for years.

Serrated knife

slotted spoon


heat resistant spatula metal spatula

large plastic cutting board instant read thermometer small, medium, and large mixing bowls colander vegetable peeler liquid and dry measuring cups measuring spoons parchment paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap

service dinner plates bread plates cereal/salad/soup bowls water glasses wine glasses coffee cups or mugs forks


butter knives

rimmed baking sheet


steak knives

medium non-stick aluminum pan oven-safe stainless-steel pan with a lid small and medium sauce pans large stock pot 9” x 13” baking dish

don’t go crazy People have been preparing the same basic foods for centuries before gadgets like the microwave and bread machine came into existence. It’s often not a whole lot harder to do things the traditional way, and the end result will taste like sweet victory. Also, it’s cheaper than therapy.



safety it’s important Not only does food poisoning send more than 100,000 Americans to the hospital every year – it can also have serious long term health consequences. However, it can be pretty easy to avoid the bacteria that causes food poisoning by taking care while preparing food for yourself and others. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends the following four steps:



Wash all surfaces and utensils after each use. Wash your hands before eating, before, during, and after preparing food, before and after treating wounds or illnesses, after using the restroom, after touching garbage, and after handling uncooked eggs, raw meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices. Wash hands with soap under hot running water for 20 seconds, approximately the length of time it takes to sing, “Happy Birthday” twice. Be sure to scrub your hands all over, between fingers, and under fingernails. Dry your hands with a clean towel.

Cooking foods to proper temperatures ensures that any harmful bacteria has been killed, making the food safe to eat. Use a food thermometer to make sure all foods are cooked to the proper internal temperatures. See the temperatures listed in the chart below for common foods for which this is important. BEEF, PORK, VEAL (STEAKS, CHOPS, ROASTS)


separate Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery and then at home in the fridge. See the chart to the right for optimized refridgerator organization.



Once the cooking process is done, be sure to keep foods at 140°F to avoid spoilage.

chill Cool temperatures slow the growth of bacteria, keeping foods fresh and safe to eat for longer than if they were kept at room temperature. Refridgerate perishable foods within two hours of preparation. Thaw and marinate foods in the refridgerator, not on the kitchen counter.



knife skills anatomy of the knife

chop Any cut of varying size and shape.

slice A thin, broad cross section cut from a larger portion.

hold the knife firmly in your hand, with the heel of the knife between your thumb and index finger and the other three digits wrapped around the handle.

large dice / carré ¾ inch cubes

medium dice / parmentier ½ inch cubes

small dice / macédoine ¼ inch cubes

mince / brunois

protect your fingers Use a cupped hand to secure what you are slicing. Curl your fingertips in toward the palm so the second joints of your fingers can guide the knife.


/8 inch cubes

julienne 1

/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 2 inch sticks

chiffonade For leaf vegetables - stack the leaves and roll into a cigar shape then making thin slices horizontally to create ribbons





techniques bake



A food cooking method using prolonged dry heat acting by convection, rather than by thermal radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is gradually transferred from the surface of cakes, cookies and breads to their centre. As heat travels through it transforms batters and doughs into baked goods with a firm dry crust and a softer center.

A cooking technique used in the preparation of fish and other foods. Often associated with Cajun cuisine, this technique was popularized by chef Paul Prudhomme. The food is dipped in melted butter and then dredged in a mixture of herbs and spices, usually some combination of thyme, oregano, chili pepper, pepper, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. It is then cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet.

First the meat is browned on all sides, then a small amount of liquid is added to the pot. The pot is then covered and the meat is simmered slowly over low heat until tender.


A cooking process wherein the food substance, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process.

A method and apparatus for char grilling food in the hot smoke of a wood fire, usually charcoal fueled. In the United States, to grill is to cook in this manner quickly, while bar-becue is typically a much slower method utilizing less heat than grilling, attended to over an extended period of several hours.

baste A cooking technique that involves cooking meat with either its own juices or some type of preparation such as a sauce or marinade. The meat is left to cook, then periodically coated with the juice.

beat To mix by stirring aggressively and repeatedly.



blend To combine so that the separate elements cannot be distinguished

boil To cook by submerging in liquid that is boiling or being brought to a boil. A soft boil has more time between air bubble bursts and should be used for delicate foods, a rapid boil is more turbulent and good for foods that may stick, such as pasta.

brine A process similar to marination in which meat or poultry is soaked in brine before cooking. Equal parts sugar and salt is added to cold water in a container, where the meat is soaked usually six to twelve hours. The amount of time needed to brine depends on the size of the meat. More time is needed for a large turkey compared to a broiler fryer chicken. Similarly with a large roast versus a thin cut of meat.

brochette To food cooked, and sometimes served, on brochettes, or skewers. The French term generally applies to French cuisine, while other terms like shish kebab, satay, or souvlaki describe the same technique in other cuisines.

broil To cook by direct exposure to radiant heat, such as in an oven with a broiler setting.



dredge, bread

To cook until the surface has taken on a darker, browner color.

To cover or spread with a finishing, protecting, or enclosing layer.

To coat a portion of food with a powder like consistency, such as flour or breadcrumbs.



To cook until the natural surgars have thickened and sweetened to a caramel, as with onions.

Meat (as goose, duck, or pork) that has been cooked and preserved in its own fat.

carry over


The phenomenon that food retains heat and continues to cook even after being removed from the source of heat.[1] The larger and denser the object being heated the greater the amount of carry over cooking. After being removed from the heat source (oven, barbecue grill, etc.) the internal temperature can continue to increase. This means that when cooking large roasts or turkeys, for instance, the roast meat should be rested before serving to allow heat to distribute from the warmer outside to the cooler middle, also allowing juices to distribute throughout the meat.

To beat into a creamy froth as will butter, sugar, and eggs.

clarify To make (as a liquid) clear or pure usually by freeing from suspended matter by skimming or straining.

cure To prepare or alter as with salt or smoke for keeping or later use.

cut-in To mix with cutting motions as with butter and flour.

deglaze To dissolve the small particles of sautéed meat remaining in (a pan) by adding a liquid and heating while scraping the surface of the container.



To sprinkle with fine particles, such as flour or sugar.

en papillote French for “in parchment”, or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper, but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminium foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The moisture may be from the food itself or from an added moisture source, such as water, wine, or stock. This method is most often used to cook fish or vegetables, but lamb and poultry can also be cooked en papillote. Choice of herbs, seasonings and spices depend on the particular recipe being prepared.

flambé A cooking procedure in which alcohol is added to a hot pan to create a burst of flames.

To pass from particles into a solution by heat or friction


techniques fold



To incorporate into a mixture by repeated gentle overturnings without stirring or beating.

To smear, daub, lubricate with a fat or oil, so as to prevent sticking upon removal.

To combine or blend into one mass.



A Swiss, French, and Italian dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a portable stove (rĂŠchaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese.

To cook by direct exposure to heat, specifically on metal grates above coals or gas heat. Direct grilling refers to cooking food directly over the flame, indirect grilling refers to food that is cooked further away from the flame, using radiant heat.

Also known as brining or corning, is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). The resulting food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste.



To extract the juice from by force, leaving behind pulp, pith, and seeds.

To reduce by striking heavily or repeatedly.


pressure cook

To work and press into a mass with the hands.

The process of cooking food, using water or other cooking liquid, in a sealed vessel — known as a pressure cooker, which does not permit air or liquids to escape below a pre-set pressure. Pressure cookers are used for cooking food quicker than conventional cooking methods, which also saves energy.

fry To cook in fat or oil.

deep fry To submerge completely in fat or oil so that the product has no content with the container.

pan fry To cook in a shallow amount of fat so that the product comes in contact with the container.

stir fry To cook in a very small amount of fat or oil while keeping the product in constant motion to prevent overbrowning or burning.

marinade A savory usually acidic sauce in which meat, fish, or a vegetable is soaked to enrich its flavor or to tenderize it.

mash To reduce to a soft pulpy state by beating or pressure.

melt To reduce from a solid to a liquid state usually by heat. 18


proof To activate (yeast) by mixing with water and sometimes sugar or milk.

puree To blend into a paste or thick liquid suspension.




To decrease the volume and concentrate the flavor of by boiling.

To soak in a liquid at a temperature under the boiling point with the intention of extracting an essence.

To cook by exposing to dry heat (as in an oven or before a fire) or by surrounding with hot embers, sand, or stones.

The process of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning or smoldering plant materials, most often wood. Meats and fish are the most common smoked foods, though cheeses, vegetables, and ingredients used to make beverages such as whisky, smoked beer, and lapsang souchong tea are also smoked.



To fry in a small amount of fat.

A method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times—72 hours in some cases—at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 55 °C (131 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F) for meats and higher for vegetables. The intention is to cook the item evenly, and not to overcook the outside while still keeping the inside at the same “doneness”.


sear To cook the surface of quickly with intense heat.

shuck To peel off an outerlayer, as with corn husks or clams.

sift/sieve To put through a sieve for the purpose of eliminating variance in size of particles.


spice rub Any mixture of ground spices that is made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before the food is cooked, such that it creates a coating or crust.

To cook a liquid at a temperature just below the boiling point.



To cook over boiling water such that the heat is conducted to the food via water vapor.

To remove (as fat or cream) from the surface of a liquid.

stew To boil slowly or by simmering over a long period of time.

stir To disturb the position of the particles by a continued circular movement .

sweat To sauté until natural juices are exuded, commonly with onions.

toast To make (as bread) crisp, hot, and brown by heat.

toss To mix lightly until well coated with a dressing or until the elements are thoroughly combined.

truss To secure tightly, as with the limbs of a whole chicken.

whip To beat (as eggs or cream) into a froth with a whisk or fork. 19




produce apples



Sweet smell, with a shiny but not waxy skin.

Firm bulb with bright leaves and slender, clean taproots (where the bulb transitions into the leaves).

Firm, smooth, bright orange color.

artichokes Tight leaves, heavy for it’s size. Leaves should squeak when pressed together.

Tightly packed cream colored florets.

Bright, bold, uniform color, definite sweet smell.



Firm, smooth, brightly colored stalks with tight tips. Choose similarly sized stalks for even cooking times.

Firm stalks, compact florets. Avoid yellow or flowering florets.

Firm, but gives slightly when pressure is applied by the thumb. Healthy wrinkled but not quite shriveled skin.

bananas Personal preference. Buy them a bit underripe so that you can have a few days to enjoy them before they turn. For baking, try soft.






brussel sprouts

Firm, unblemished stalks with no yellowing in the stalk or leaves.

citrus Bright uniform color, thin unblemished skin. Crisp scent. Avoid anything soft.

Firm, compact, bright green color.



Bright green husks, moist but not slimy silk. Peel the husk back to peek at the kernels to make sure they’re plump.

Firm, compact, heavy for it’s size.

cantaloupe Sweet smell, well defined netting on the skin with orange or gold color. Blossom end (opposite of the stem) is tender.

cucumbers Uniform green color.




Uniform, naturally shiny skin, heavy for its size. Flesh should give and then bounce back.

Slender, firm and tightly rolled tops.

Naturally shiny, taught, unblemished skin.


Dry, firm bulbs, heavy for their size. Avoid green sprouts.

Firm, plump heads. Avoid blemishes and green sprouts. Green beans - Slender beans that snap went bent.


onions and shallots

sweet potatoes/yams Firm, uniform unwrinkled, unblemished skins.

Sweet smell, tender to the touch.


honey dew


Fragrant, earthy at the stem end. Heavy for their size, smooth and taught skin.

Heavy for it’s size, light fragrance, smooth yellowish green color with minimal veins.

Firm, naturally shiny, heavy for their size.



Firm yet tender touch, no wrinkles or blemishes. Light fragrance.

Sweet smell at the root end. Leaves from the middle will pull out easily when tugged.

leafy greans


Crisp, deeply colored leaves. Avoid anything yellowed or slimy.

Firm, smooth, unblemished.

watermelon These guys are tough. Knock and listen for a “dull thump”.Then cross your fingers and wish upon a star.



rump roast

rump roast ham

sirloin porterhouse t-bone club steak

rib rib steak rib roast short rib

chuck chuck roast arm roast ground beef

brisket brisket

plate plate steak

flank flank steak

round stew meat round

belly spareribs bacon

loin blade roast new york chop porterhouse chop ribeye chop sirloin chop loin back ribs loin country ribs new york roast tenderloin

shoulder boston shoulder picnic shoulder ground pork

slow cook




slow cook



rump loin






whole bird


roaster ground chicken

catfish pike tilapia trout whitefish

breast tenders fillet breast, boneless breast, bone-in tenderloin strip

wing drumette wing wing tip

leg drumstick thigh

poach, boil



broil, bake



slow cook


roast, bake



migratory salmon striped bass

saltwater cod flounder grouper haddock halibut mahi mahi scrod snapper sole swordfish tuna

shellfish clam crab lobster mussels oyster scallop shrimp squid




grilled steak

pot roast

burgers & meatballs

Allow steak to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with salt and back pepper, apply spice rub or submerge in marinade. Preheat a gas grill on high for twenty minutes. For a charcoal grill, prepare a bed of hot coals slightly larger than the steak itself. Once the grill is preheated or the coals are ashen over, lay steak directly over the heat source. When the cut releases easily from the grill it is ready to flip. Use a thermometer to determine doneness. Remove steak from the grill and allow to rest under tinfoil for five minutes before enjoying.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle roast with paprika and brown, about 15 minutes total. Place in Dutch oven or any large oven proof casserole dish with a lid and add bell peppers, onions, carrot, and garlic. In the same skillet used to brown roast, add wine or beef stock, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and salt, scraping to loosen any brown bits; add pepper and marjoram. Pour over the meat and vegetables and cover. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 4-5 hours.

In a bowl, gently but throroughly combine ground beef, finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, and herbs. Form evenly sized patties or spheres. Grill or pan fry with a drizzle of oil to desired doneness. Alternatively, arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 400ÂşF until golden and cooked through.

pan fried steak

beef stew

Allow steak to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with salt and back pepper, apply spice rub or submerge in marinade. Heat a cast iron or stainless steel pan to medium high heat. Drizzle in olive oil. Add meet to the pan. There should be an audible sizzle. When the cut releases easily from the pan it is ready to flip. Use a thermometer to determine doneness. Remove meat from the pan and allow to rest for five minutes before enjoying.

Cut the beef into evenly sized cubes, removing excess fat. Warm a dutch oven or soup pot on the stove with a thin layer of olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the beef in a single uncrowded layer and sear on all sides. Remove the beef and add aromatic vegetables (celery, onions, garlic), tomatoe paste, salt, and worscestershire. Sweat vegetables and sprinkle with flour, stir until vegetables are coated and flour is no longer visible. Deglaze pan with red wine. Return the meat to the pot and add herbs and broth to cover. Cover and simmer on low for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and carrots, cover again ans simmer for 45-60 minutes. When done, meat should flake apart easily and potatoes will be fork tender. Add frozen peas an cook to defrost. Season to taste.

braised short ribs In a bowl, gently but throroughly combine ground beef, finely chopped onion, salt, pepper, and herbs. Form evenly sized patties or spheres. Grill or pan fry with a drizzle of oil to desired doneness. Alternatively, arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 400ÂşF until golden and cooked through.

pork grilled tenderloin

stir fry

slow baked ribs

Remove the connective “silver skin.” Marinate or apply dry rub atleast 2 hours before grilling. Preprare charcoal or gas grill for indirect grilling at a high temperature. Place the tenderloin on the grill, not directly above the heat source. Cover and grill for about 30 minutes or until a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 155ºF. Remove the meat from the grill, cover with tinfoil, and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Slice pork thinly, evenly, and across the grain. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Swirl a drizzle of oil, then add all of the meat at once. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and there is no more pink. Remove meat from the pan and add garlic and vegetables. Stir frequently until vegetables are wilted. Return meat to the pan. Add soy sauce and citrus juice, turn off the heat and stir. For a saucier mixture, add water or broth and heat through. Season to taste. Serve immediately with noodles or rice.

Trim excess fat and any hanging piece of meat from the rack. Season with salt and pepper, spice rub, or marinade. Place rack meat side down in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at Preheat oven to 225ºF. After 4 hours, remove from the oven and carefully flip the meat side up. Apply a layer of barbeque sauce and return to the oven for another 30-40 minutes. Allow ribs to rest for 10 minutes under tinfoil before slicing and serving.

roast shoulder For a 4 lb. shoulder. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rub shoulder with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Set the meat on a rack set into a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 325ºF. Continue to cook until a thermometer inserted into the shoulder reads an internal temperature of 185ºF, about 4 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let rest about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

pan fried pork chop baked ham For a 2 lb. bone-in cooked ham. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Make shallow diagonal cuts 1 inch apart across the skin surface of the ham. Place ham on a rack in a shallow pan. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 140-150ºF. If glazing, apply mixture after first 20 minutes of baking.

On the stove, heat a large ovensafe skillet over high heat. Trim excess fat from pork chop, sprinkle with salt and pepper, spice rub, or marinate. Swirl a drizzle of oil in the hot pan. Add pork chop. After 5-6 minutes, or when meat releases easily, it is ready to flip. Cook on alternate side for 3-4 minutes. Add a spalsh of water, broth, or wine and place skillet in 350ºF oven. After 12 minutes, remove from the oven. Rest for 5 minutes and serve.


poultry whole roast chicken

breaded cutlets

thanksgiving turkey

For a 5-6 lb. bird. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Empty chicken cavity and rinse well all over. Rub outside of chicken with olive oil or butter, season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with aromatics (try: halved lemon, onion, garlic cloves, thyme). Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings underneath the body. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with carrots and halved potatoes. Place chicken on top of vegetables breast side up and roast for 1 ½ hours, until juices run clear from a cut between the thigh and the leg and a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Rinse cutlets and trim any excess fat. Dredge cutlets first in flour, then in beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and pour in enough olive oil for form a thin consistent layer on the surface. Fry cutlets until browned on each side and meat is no longer pink. Remove from pan and place on a papertowel to drain excess oil before serving. Alternatively, bake breaded cutlets at 350ºF for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

For a 12-14 lb. bird. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Empty turkey cavity and rinse well all over. Rub outside of turkey with olive oil or butter, season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with aromatics (try: onion, garlic, rosemary). Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings underneat the body. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with carrots, celery, and onions. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables breast side up and roast, uncovered, until browned, about 30-45 minutes. Add about a cup of broth to the pan and tent the bird loosely with foil. Lower oven temperature to 350ºF and continue to roast for 2 hours or until a thermometer insterted into the thigh reads an internal temperature of 165ºF. Remove from the oven and rest under foil tent for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with potatoes, stuffing, and seasonal vegetables.

baked drumsticks Toss drumsticks in enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, spice rub, or marinate. Bake in an oven-safe dish at 375ºF for 2 hours, flipping drumsticks half way through. Drumsticks are done when a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165ºF (be careful not to let the thermometer touch bone in order to get an accurate reading).


poached chicken Place whole breasts in pot just large enough to hold it with about 3 inches of room on top. Add water to cover by 1 inch. Add whole peppercorns, salt, herbs (try: parsley, thyme, bay leaf), Bring water to just under a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, skimming foam from surface as necessary, until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast reads an internal temperature of 165ºF, 15 to 18 minutes after the liquid reached a simmer. Allow chicken to cool completely in poaching liquid.

chicken noodle soup In a soup pot, sweat onions, celery, and carrots in a drizzle of olive oil with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add chopped cooked chicken (see whole roast chicken, baked chicken, or poached chicken recipes). Let boil for 10 minutes. And noodles and return to simmer for 10 more minutes before serving.

seafood grilled swordfish

steamed mussels

fried catfish

Pat swordfish steak dry and marinate or season with salt and pepper. Brush all sides evenly with olive oil to prevent sticking. Preheat the grill to medium or medium-high and brush grill grates with olive oil. Lay fish over direct heat. Fish is ready flip when it releases easily from the grill. Remove from the grill when fish is opaque and flakes easily. Serve with a squeeze of citrus.

For 5 lbs. of mussels Scrub mussels and remove any remaining beards. In a large stock pot, melt butter and sautee shallots until translucent. Add 1 cup white wine or ale and mussels, cover and steam about 5-7 minutes until shells open. Discard any unopened shells and serve (with crusty bread to soak up the broth).

Pour enough oil into a frying pan to come up half an inch on the side of the pan. Bring pan to mediumhigh heat. Dredge catfish fillets first in milk (try: buttermilk) then in flour (try: 1 part cornmeal, 1 part AP flour, salt and pepper). When the oil reaches 350ยบF, fry fillets until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Place on a papertowel to drain off excess oil and serve.

tilapia en papillote baked salmon Pat salmon fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Place fillets skin down on a non-stick baking sheet and bake at 450ยบF for 12-5 minutes or until cooked through and opaque.

Place tilapia fillets on one half of a piece of parchment paper. Place lemon slices, herbs, and vegetables on top of and around fish. Fold in the edges of the bottom edges of the parchment. Pour in a splash of white wine and lemon juice, then fold in the rest of the parchment to create a sealed package. Bake at 350ยบF for 20 minutes. Carefully open package to release steam and serve.

lobster boil For a 1 lb. lobster Fill a large pot three-quarters full with water. Salt the water until it tastes like the sea and bring to a rapid boil. Lower the live lobster head down into the water. Cover the pot and boil for 12-15 minutes. The lobster will be a bright vivid red when done. Serve immediately.



grains 1 cup uncooked

cups liquid

minutes simmered

cups cooked




barley, hulled











cornmeal (polenta)


25-30, stirring

millet, hulled



oats, steel cut








rice, basmati



rice, brown




rice, jasmine




rice, short-grain



rice, long-grain




rice, wild








ratios batter or dough











pie dough




cut cold fat into flour add enough liquid to form dough. do not to overwork





1 tsp baking powder for 1 cup flour cut cold fat into flour



pâte a choux


pound cake


quick bread


fritter pancake

¼ tsp yeast, ½ tsp salt for every 1 cup flour. knead until dough can be stretched to translucency without tearing pinch of salt. knead until smooth rest 10 minutes before rolling and cutting



















cream butter and sugar, mix in eggs, then flour flavor with vanilla, citrus, nuts, cocoa, etc bring water and fat to a boil stir in flour until dough forms beat in egg off heat


cream butter and sugar mix in eggs, fold in flour 1 tsp baking powder for 1 cup flour combine wet and dry ingredients separately then mix together 1 tsp baking powder, pinch salt for 1 cup flour combine wet and dry ingredients separately then mix together


1 tsp baking powder, pinch salt for 1 cup flour combine wet and dry ingredients separately then mix together.




acknowledgements To my classmates, words cannot express my gratitude towards you all for the unwaivering support, guidance and friendship over the years.

To my Mama, who has taught me everything I’ve ever needed to know about food, patience, and grace under pressure.

This book was designed using Adobe InDesign CS6 with illustrations made in Adobe Illustrator CS6. The photographs were taken using a Nikon D5000 and a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and processed using Adobe Photoshop CS6. The type in this book is set in Didot and Univers. This book was printed at ProPrint in Boston Massachusetts. The cover is printed on Mohawk Astrobrite 130 lb. Cover. The body is printed on Mohawk Astrobrite 100 lb Text. Book design, cover design, illustrations, and photography by Anne Latini.


a reference guide for self sufficiency in the kitchen