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Chef John Foster: Consider apple pie or crisp as Thanksgiving dessert alternative this year

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  As a devotee of local foods and a strong proponent of letting the ingredients speak for themselves I feel I must re-visit a topic that I’ve covered before; apples.   I won’t bore you with a long discourse on …

Chef John Foster: It’s too early for Christmas music, but not to think about party appetizers

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  I heard my first Christmas song one day after Halloween! I know the holiday season is coming, I can feel the weight of it starting to creep into my brain – parties, shindigs, get-togethers and gatherings all requesting or …

Chef John Foster: What’s all the buzz about pho? Give it a slurp and see for yourself

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  Soup weather is upon us and with it the opportunity to make and enjoy homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese, hearty minestrone over a few days, and all sorts of purees from potato to butternut squash.   Simple, quick …

Chef John Foster: Changing the tide of processed food not easy but well worth it

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  See my “Quick Teenager-Friendly (and Healthy) Sandwich” recipe below:   At last we seem to be on the right track when it comes to talking, writing and blogging about changing our eating habits and choices. Articles and debate about …

Chef John Foster: Making Portugese Caldo Verde puts some ‘greens’ into a gray day

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  The Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show at Rupp Arena and Heritage Hall in Lexington is now finished for another year, but it was great fun while it lasted.   On a drizzly, damp day with a home football game …

Chef John Foster: Why should pumpkins get all the attention? Other squashes lovable, too!

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  See my roasted butternut squash hash recipe below:   October, for obvious reasons, is pumpkin month.   Oranges, browns and reds color the landscape. Thousands of the things are shilled in front of stores, gas stations and churches. Inflatables …

Chef John Foster: Once called ‘skunk egg,’
the onion is truly the kitchen workhorse

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  See my red onion jam and “brothless” French onion soup recipes below:   I feel once again that I must put in a good word for the onion. Son of a large family with some 325 varieties, of unknown …

Chef John Foster: Time now to focus on quick prep, versatility and foods that fill you up

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  September contains some of the most glorious weather of the year, as it slides from the clinging warmth of August to the crispness of fall. And with it comes the decay of a summer’s worth of gardening and the …

Chef John Foster: Amazing how a ‘little lump’ of pasta can be so good – and so hard to make

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  See my gnocchi recipe below Suddenly, I have a hankering for gnocchi, those beautiful soft pillows of pasta bathed in a parmesan cream or tossed with sage brown butter. The weather’s sudden turn to chilly brings out the sauces, …

Chef John Foster: Bridge the gap to fall, winter cooking with ‘less sexy’ cuts of protein

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  About this time every year I yearn for a little break in the hot weather. Too much humidity and heat combine to make me not want to eat, much less cook, a meal. I end up picking at things …

Chef John Foster: ‘Go Orange’ this month
to bring attention to hunger in America

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  Imagine, if you can, the grocery store or the local farmers market as an assembly line in a factory. Each aisle contains the parts you need to build a …(fill in the blank).   In building a simple meal, …

Chef John Foster: It’s amazing how little connection we have with raw ingredients

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  See my simple peach gelato recipe below I baked two batches of chocolate chip cookies this past weekend, one for home and the other to pack away for my college-bound sophomore son. As the last crumb disappeared several days …

Chef John Foster: Grilling, smoking not just for meats … don’t be afraid to experiment

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  See my Bowl of Red recipe below   Walk through my neighborhood on a weekend and you can catch the smell of wood smoke mingling with cooking meats. In fact, at least a couple times during the work week …

Chef John Foster: Time to rethink, restock and get away from the notion of ‘full plates’

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  In my capacity as a chef instructor at Sullivan University, I daily watch students struggle with the task of preparing a dish. In my “Basic Skills” class, it often starts with the recipe itself; converting it from whole to …

Chef John Foster: Peaches, like most produce, are best used in their time frame – not yours

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Check out the peach recipes below! As a fan and hopefully a champion of the local food system, the arrival of the first regional and then local peaches in the farmers market signals the symbiotic relationship that all food should …

Chef John Foster: Nature can, if allowed, lead us to a much better use of our food resources

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  Making the most of what you had two generations ago was a common theme that ran through American culture from design to food to politics. A country on the verge of breaking out economically was looking backward in time …

Chef John Foster: ‘Three Sisters’ approach
to planting, cooking embraces nature’s best

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  Check out my new (and hopefully improved) succotash recipe below.   Nature seems extremely capable of striking a balance between the extremes. At once frenetic, it can calm to a solitary sunset of unimaginable beauty. Provide bounty in one …

Chef John Foster: Corn, in purest form, is still great; its use in food processing not so much

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  In the biggest picture of the food web we can draw, it always seems to center on our likes and dislikes. That’s even considering the amount of money marketing companies spend on developing slogans and generating buzz. We still …

Chef John Foster: Garden’s bounty is good
to have but better to give away a little, too

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  Take a large ripe tomato, still warm from the garden. Brush the soil from the surface and wash it, if you prefer. Take a sharp knife and slice the tomato into half-inch widths, from top to bottom across the …

Chef John Foster: Don’t cook like your life
depends on it; cook like life is enriched by it

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  When is a recipe not a recipe? Why don’t recipes work for me? Are online recipes better to use than Grandma’s?   I get those questions constantly – from students, people who read my columns and in conversations I …