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Chef John Foster: Popeye still would be loving spinach if he’d tasted that grown in Kentucky

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  Popeye was right all along. In his travels through 20th-century cartoon America, he became the de facto spokesman for one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. Low in calories, high in iron and folic acid, it may not …

Chef John Foster: Monthly in warm weather, students make magic from farmers’ market

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  And now, a word from our sponsor: Sullivan University chef and students will be cooking local foods at the market this Saturday, April 12, from 9-11 a.m. or until the food runs out.   As part of Sullivan’s commitment …

Chef John Foster: Time for adaptive ‘bridge cuisine’ between cold and warm weather

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  Finally, the stars have aligned. The Cats are playing well, up to their potential, temperatures are in the high 70’s, where they should be (and stay), and I can put away the Crock-Pot. With any luck, I won’t have …

Chef John Foster: To juice or not to juice is
a question best answered by the individual

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  To juice or not to juice? I juice, she juices, we have juiced. Pretty much any way that you express it, this 21st century, new/old phenomenon of juicing still sounds strange to the 20th century ear (and palate).   …

Chef John Foster: When stumped for dinner, go simple and satisfying with breakfast fare

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  When in doubt, go simple, direct and without shame.   I favor scrambled eggs, bacon, buttered toast and some fruit. My sons will sometimes opt for an egg sandwich with the works – big, sloppy and satisfying.   If …

Chef John Foster: Is a chef’s work obsolete since even meal planning done by computer?

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  The subject of taste and flavors came up in conversation today, spurred on by a blog post on NPR’s The Salt sent to me by a colleague. To summarize: The IBM supercomputer Watson, which was a recent Jeopardy winner, …

Chef John Foster: In the kitchen, it’s trial and error and not Google that ensures success

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  One of the greatest joys in teaching is to see the “light bulb” moment when a student finally gets it. At this moment, all the frustration of teaching and learning seems to melt away into satisfaction, or happiness or …

Chef John Foster: Creative magic can happen with one pot, a good pantry and a little time

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  Take one pot of boiling water and imagine the things you can create with it. This is the ultimate challenge to undertake if you are a chef, or the one person responsible for feeding the family every night.   …

Chef John Foster: Key ingredient in this menu idea is one of the oldest in the world – grains

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  Another day and more snow. Ice forming on ice, covered in … you guessed it, ice.   With no end in sight and the prospect of a late spring, I am running out of menu ideas to keep you …

Chef John Foster: Food is powerful; chef’s role is to optimistically harness that power

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  Full speed ahead I say, as the waves crashing over the bow freeze into really neat ice sculptures! Call me crazy or chalk it up to cabin fever, but I’m staring at the oregano in my garden and willing …

Chef John Foster: So much culinary expertise in Lexington, but when will we promote it?

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  I seem to be a little off this week, possibly because I’ve been at a conference in Charleston, S.C. The weather here is an abrupt change from the 60 degrees F and sunny I enjoyed on my trip, a …

Chef John Foster: Time to put down the pre-packaged food and make memories in kitchen

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  I have been increasingly dismayed at the amount and diversity of pre-packaged prepared food that is currently on the market. It seems everywhere I shop the space allotted to these time saving options is growing, and the marketing of …

Chef John Foster: In 2013, our focus has been on better, healthier choices – a gift to yourself

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  Christmas week means Christmas Dinner with all the trappings, holiday parties with relatives and friends, and snacking. Yes, I said snacking, plain and simple – about as simple as a bag of tortilla chips, fresh salsa and, maybe, even …

Chef John Foster: Shake up holiday staples with punch-packing dips, spreads, tapenades

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  Dips, spreads and tapenades are one of the basic holiday staples for any cocktail party you might have. They are relatively cheap to produce, easy to manufacture and pack an intense punch for the size.   Tapenade is derived …

Chef John Foster: Let’s party by stocking up on upended traditional Christmas fete fare

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  Let’s party! Or rather let’s think about, fool around with, experiment and come up with some food to eat when we party this holiday season.   I don’t mean stuffed mushrooms or crudité, even artichoke dip is out unless …

Chef John Foster: Let’s talk turkey! Think simple, don’t overcook and baste, baste, baste

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  In the last of this year’s Thanksgiving installments, I’m talking turkey.   There have been some winners and losers in my household over the years. I remember with a shudder the maple syrup glazed turkey early in my career, …

Chef John Foster: Never been fan of foods in a can; iconic canned cranberry relish the worst

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  I have never been one for canned goods.   With the exception of some good canned tomatoes and Amy’s vegetarian chili for my enchiladas, canned goods to me always represented at best a necessary form of preservation and at …

Chef John Foster: Don’t treat your stuffing like a casting extra; give it some true character

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  Dressing or stuffing, baked or steamed, inside or outside, oyster, sausage, cornbread? Of course maybe you don’t even serve it at dinner, but millions of people every year have to make all sorts of decisions about a dish that …

Chef John Foster: Fight food fatigue by eating out for fun, new foods and sense of adventure

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  I’m tired of eating; it’s as simple as that. The very idea that I need to fix dinner tonight fills me with a sense of obligation not joy.   Call it food fatigue or look at it as a …

Chef John Foster: Yes, it came early, but don’t despair; planning leads to good winter eating

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  Imagine that you have just finished pulling the last of the tomatoes off the frozen vines and harvested the last basil before it blackens or the last chilies before they shrink from the cold. I didn’t think it would …