FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Sara Moulton

Mastering the fine art of a deceptively simple tossed salad

Summer time is salad time. When it’s hot out and the garden is bountiful, everyone’s in the mood for a light and refreshing entree salad. And what could be easier? You just toss together a bunch of lettuce with some cooked protein, add an excellent dressing, and boom! You’re done. Or not. Turns out that […]

Great potato salad comes down to how and when you season it

I’m not a fan of potato salad that tastes like a bunch of spuds smothered in mayo. I want more. At the very least, I want to taste the potatoes. Trouble is, potatoes are pretty bland if not properly seasoned. They also need to be seasoned at the right moment during the cooking process. Here’s […]

June 24, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

No local lobster handy? Get a lobster roll fix with shrimp

My dad, a native New Englander, is a huge fan of lobster rolls, those heavily-buttered hot dog buns stuffed with chunks of mayonnaise-rich lobster and maybe a little celery for crunch. Wildly flavorful and obscenely indulgent, lobster rolls are a summertime fixture at every seafood shack in New England. Problem is, they can be pricey. […]

June 10, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

In time for strawberry season – a master class in shortcakes

The arrival of local strawberries is a sure sign that warm weather is on its way. So to celebrate, I’m sharing what I consider the absolute best biscuit recipe I’ve ever encountered. It was while I was working in Gourmet magazine’s test kitchen during the ’80s that I was put on the quest for the […]

May 20, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

You need this one-pan approach to getting dinner done fast

As kitchen wisdom goes, I often think the best tricks are the simplest. One-pan cooking, for example. The ability to cook an entire meal on a single rimmed sheet pan – an act that leaves you with nothing but that one pan to clean when dinner’s over – to me is nothing short of magic. […]

April 22, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Freshness, not thickness, matters when buying asparagus

When shopping for asparagus, people often focus on the wrong thing – how thick the stalks are. They think thinner is better. Truth is, asparagus can be delicious regardless of how thick it is. More important is how fresh the asparagus is. That’s where the flavor is. Freshly-harvested asparagus boasts a smooth, firm stalk and […]

April 08, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Getting evenly roasted Brussels sprouts is all about space

With Passover nearly here, I thought it might be nice to suggest a side dish – roasted Brussels sprouts – to complement the feast’s traditional items. Brussels sprouts are the tiniest member of the cabbage family. And I’ll confess that I used to hate them. In the old days they were not only boiled, but […]

April 01, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

This Easter, master perfectly creamy scalloped potatoes

With Easter on its way, my mind has turned to scalloped potatoes, always a big hit at a holiday feast. And really, what’s not to love? We’re talking about sliced potatoes baked in a cream sauce, then topped with cheese or crumbs or both! Still, it takes some care to ensure that the potatoes are […]

March 18, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

In the Super Bowl of pizza, this DIY beats take-out any day

Make pizza from scratch for a Super Bowl party? Come on! Why bother when you can snap your fingers and have it delivered to your door? Here’s why: Homemade pizza tastes better than anything you can buy and it takes much less time and effort than you would think. Making the dough takes just 10 […]

January 28, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

The secret to great tofu is all in the pressing

My mom started traveling abroad when I was in high school. And after each of her trips, we cooked a meal from the country she’d just visited. It was after her trip to Italy that I became a huge fan of veal. Veal, of course, is notoriously bland, so what’s the appeal? I love it […]

January 07, 2015 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Slow cooker short ribs that are worth the trouble

Many people love the idea of a slow cooker because it seems so simple – open the pot, insert ingredients, cover the pot, turn on the heat, then leave it alone. Eight hours later, after a hard day at the office or chasing the kids, you uncover the pot and spoon out a perfectly cooked, […]

November 05, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Tips for breaking through an artichoke’s armor

Artichokes are the armadillos of the vegetable kingdom. There is a tender and succulent heart at the center of each specimen, but getting past its armor of prickly leaves can be daunting. How tough are those leaves? In my innocent younger years, I once tried to pulverize some artichoke leaves in my kitchen sink disposal […]

October 15, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

One simple slicing trick to bake a beautiful tart

Ever walk past a French bakery with one of those impossibly elegant apple tarts in the window, the ones with the apple slices fanned out in the shape of a flower? Nothing you could ever make at home, right? Wrong. It’s so much easier than it looks. That’s because all you really need is the […]

October 01, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Bean there, done that? Learn to love dried beans

I didn’t appreciate the numerous lovable qualities of dried beans until my college years, when I was living on my own in a house with several other women, all of us strapped for cash. As soon as we discovered that beans are a tasty, economical and nutrient-rich alternative to animal-based protein, they began turning up […]

September 24, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Turning your zucchini abundance into no-fry fries

Those darn zucchini! There’s an army of them occupying your garden right now and each one is as big as a blimp. What if I told you there’s a way to transform the whole lot of them into a delicious dish resembling french fries, but without all the calories? The secret involves cutting your zucchini […]

September 10, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Banishing the blues with healthy blueberry muffins

Ripe, plentiful blueberries are such a highlight of summer that some of us are prone to getting the blueberry blues during the rest of the year. Happily, imported and frozen blueberries make it easy to enjoy them all the time. In fact, if you’re really on your game, you can pick extra now and freeze […]

August 27, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Celebrate the season with a triple-tomato salad

At the peak of ripeness, an in-season tomato is one of the things that makes life worth living. Happily, that season is upon us. And this recipe is my ode to that summer tomato. All kinds of tomatoes are at the best just now, big and small, beefsteak and cherry. At the base of this […]

August 13, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Bulking up the classic BLT without adding fat

In terms of flavor and texture, it’s hard to beat a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, reportedly one of the most popular sandwiches in America. Trouble is, it’s not exactly filling. I’ve always thought of the BLT as an air sandwich; it packs plenty of calories but demonstrates very little staying power. So here I’ve […]

July 23, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Phyllo stands in for crust in healthy cherry pie

My all-time favorite dessert is cherry pie. Yes, I rank it higher than any chocolate concoction you can name. I even like the gluey, over-thickened versions served up in diners. But I admit I felt slightly virtuous when I discovered recently that cherries are such a healthy ingredient, rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Naturally, […]

July 09, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Just for Dad, a healthy take on jalapeno poppers

What to do on Father’s Day when it’s time to eat and you want to serve something manly and filling? Other than steak, that is. Here’s a nominee that re-engineers a classic sports bar appetizer – jalapeno poppers. Standard jalapeno poppers are thumb-sized hot peppers stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, then breaded and […]

June 11, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

A protein-packed whole-grain salad that’s healthy!

Back in my restaurants days, we used to make a delicious summer salad of white rice with peas, shredded carrots and radishes dressed with a dill mayonnaise. It was tasty and filling but, in retrospect, I can’t say it was terribly nutritious. But I figured there had to be a way to make it lighter, […]

May 28, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Bringing baked Alaska into a healthier, modern era

When it comes to ice cream, I generally feel it’s hard to improve on a simple scoop right out of the carton. But this time my mind has turned to baked Alaska. I know. . . How retro! Baked Alaska once was the star dessert of cruise ship dining rooms and upscale restaurants. The classic […]

May 21, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

A healthy way with fiery chicken and cooling salsa

It’s barbecue season, and chicken is the ideal candidate to get you grilling. Why? Chicken is light, it easily picks up the marinade of your choice, and it cooks quickly. But this recipe is not for your everyday grilled chicken. This is spicy Jamaican-style jerk chicken. “Jerk” refers both to a unique blend of seasonings […]

May 14, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

A forbidden take on a healthy rice pudding

Speaking as a mom and a chef, let me assure you – one of the nicest things you can do for Mom on Mother’s Day is cook for her. Something sweet is best. And my candidate? Comforting, traditional rice pudding. Or maybe not so traditional. Classic rice puddings are made from plain white rice. The […]

May 07, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

A light and airy fruit pudding from America’s past

Snow pudding is a great old American recipe that dates back to pioneer days, back when resourceful home cooks hankering for a treat had to rely on whatever they had – things like gelatin, lemons, sugar and eggs. In fact, the very first edition of Fanny Farmer’s “Boston Cooking School Cookbook” back in 1896 featured […]

April 23, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

Though carrots often make it into the Easter feast lineup, I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s a nod to the Easter bunny. Typically, we prepare them much as we prepare sweet potatoes (their distant orange cousins) at Thanksgiving – by glazing them and otherwise shoveling on extra sugar. I’m guessing that this is a reaction […]

April 16, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Lighter take on a classic heavy eggplant Parmesan

I’ve always been a big fan of eggplant Parmesan. There are a bunch of ways to make this classic Italian dish, but I’m partial to what you might call the full-fat version: thick slices of breaded eggplant that are sauteed, then baked until creamy, and finally topped with tomato sauce and melted cheese. A vegetarian […]

March 12, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Smoked fish lends big flavor to a light soup

With St. Patrick’s Day nearly upon us, our minds often turn to corned beef and cabbage. This recipe was inspired by that tradition, but swaps out the corned beef in favor of smoked fish (also incredibly popular in Ireland) in a richly satisfying savory broth. Smoked fish happens to be one of my favorite “cheating” […]

March 05, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Healthy duck? For Mardi Gras, we make it possible

With Mardi Gras looming, I thought it might be fun to cook up some New Orleans-styled goodies featuring duck, andouille sausage and Creole seasoning. These rich ingredients are typical of the fare from this town that knows how to party – an instinct that goes into overdrive during Mardi Gras. And in this recipe, I’ve […]

February 26, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,

Serve a bundle of love (and caviar) on Valentine’s

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a luxurious little treat to make and serve at home that may bring to mind your most elite restaurant thrills. It’s based on the beggar’s purse, a signature appetizer at the Quilted Giraffe, a groundbreaking ’80s-era New York City restaurant. The beggar’s purse was a voluptuous serving of […]

February 05, 2014 | Posted in Features | Tagged ,
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