Author Archives: jamesbradfordgray

Antipasto Salad

This salad is a meal in itself.  Variety is the key here:  Do what you like, but be sure to include lots of different veggies, greens and Italian deli meats.  Also, be sure to make the dressing from scratch – the dressing really livens up the salad, and since you’re having salad for dinner, you […]

Tuscan Style Roasted Red-Pepper and Tomato Basil Soup

This recipe is a riff on classic tomato soup, but the addition of fresh basil and roasted red-peppers bring it a superior depth and a fresh, vegetal brightness that truly elevates this dish to the next level.  Serve with grilled cheese, in a bread bowl, with a rustic hunk of French bread, with soup crackers […]

Lamb Kebabs, Rice Pilaf, Homemade Hummus

I finally broke out – and cleaned – the grill after what was one of the coldest, wettest “winters” on record here in Southern California.  I had a lot of fun making many warming soups and stews and one pot wonders that were perfect for cold winter nights, but now that we’re at the beginning […]

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I vaguely remember my mom attempting to make this St. Patrick’s Day classic one time during my childhood.  As I remember, it involved braising the corned beef by itself in beef broth in the slow cooker, all while every burner on the stove was taken up cooking each ingredient – carrots, potatoes, cabbage, onions – […]

Southern Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad is one of those things that people apparently have really strong opinions about.  That should come as no surprise, considering the number of different versions there are out there; there’s chunky chicken salad, smooth chicken salad, Napa Almond chicken salad.  Some people like to add grapes, some people like to add Indian or […]

How to Cook with Stainless Steel

Stainless steel:  The cookware that strikes fear into the hearts of even the most experienced cooks, largely because it’s known as the cookware that everything sticks to.  This post is about why that happens, how to avoid it, and why you should actually cook with stainless steel most of the time. Note:  The technique described […]

Spicy Fish Chowder

When I was in high school, I had a best friend whose family always treated me as if I were one of their own.  They were always so generous with me.  I remember one time specifically when we went to a high-end seafood restaurant in Boston called “The Four Seasons” – it couldn’t have been […]

All About Pasta: Part I – The Best Pasta to Cook With

Sometimes I just have to admit it:  My wife is right. My wife Claudia is right about a lot of things more often than I would like to admit. One of the areas where I think I am usually right, and she thinks I am usually wrong, is our disagreement regarding her religious devotion to […]

Steaks Sous Vides – The Perfect Steak

It doesn’t get much better than this people. If you’ve spent much time reading this blog, you know that I’m all about temperature, because temperature is the only reliable way to gauge how your food is going to turn out. Of course temperature and heat are different things.  Heat is about how much energy you’re […]

The Best, Easiest Roast Chicken

Stick with me on this one people:  Trust me. If you do, you will be rewarded with the juiciest, tenderest most succulent chicken with the crispiest, most delicious crackling skin you’ve ever had. A good roast chicken should be both simple and delicious rather than fussy and difficult.  The method described in this post is, […]