On Your Table: Mushrooms star in TV Chef Nick Stellino’s kitchen

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Mushrooms and arugula join together in this easy side dish for a marriage of flavors (photo courtesy Nick Stellino) “Food is a celebration of life and there’s joy to be found in the kitchen,” according to Emmy-nominated PBS cooking show chef Nick Stellino. I recently had the opportunity to chat with him about Italian cooking, his passion for...

On Your Table: Going for more flavor, not just more food

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Call it by any name, Chicken Cacciatore makes for a great winter dish. At this time of year, many folks are focused on how to eat less. For myself I’m focused on consuming more flavorful, more comforting and more satisfying food.  This doesn’t necessarily mean more food, just better. I suppose this is counterintuitive thinking, but it’s comfort...

On Your Table: Making the best of this year’s apple harvest

By Cathy Branciaroli,  Food Correspondent, The Times Photo Caption:  Brining pork tenderloins in apple cider and spices yields a moist, juicy and flavorful result. Think apples are “As American as Apple Pie”?  Think again.  Apples as we know them today were not native to North America. When early colonists arrived from Europe, they disdained the tiny crab apples they found here and brought...

On Your Table: Don’t rush to say goodbye to summer, just yet

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Pasta with fresh corn, chicken and vibrant vegetables makes a colorful farewell-to-summer dish. September is all about the fine line between saying goodbye to summer and looking forward to the crisp weather and new flavors that fall brings.  The changeover is happening earlier this year, thanks to a hurricane bringing rain and cloudy, humid and...

On Your Table: Savoring Summer’s bounty

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Tomatoes, the jewels of summer. It’s that time of summer when produce beckons.  All of it. From that first bite into butter slathered corn on the cob, to that cherry tomato that bursts with flavor when you pop it into your mouth, to the juicy sweetness of red ripe watermelon.  Even zucchini, that butt of too many jokes.  Well, I’m sure you...

On Your Table: Getting out of your comfort zone with mac & cheese

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Macaroni & Cheese can satisfy anyone’s appetite. This version takes a Mexican twist with chorizo cheese, poblanos and other tasty ingredients. Think you know macaroni and cheese?  Comes in a blue box from Kraft Foods right?  Family standby for decades?  Well, yes, but so much more. Macaroni and cheese is everything someone could want to eat...

On Your Table: Groundhog Day leaves us between seasons – a great time for soup

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Versatile soups such as Vietnamese Pho bridge the gap between winter and spring. Well, will he or won’t he? I’m referring of course to whether Punxsutawney Phil will pop back into his burrow after seeing his shadow.  This is considered to be a predictor that spring isn’t coming soon.  Or, if he enjoys a cloudy day we can hope for its arrival...

Have a happy — and safe — Thanksgiving

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times Whether you’re hitting the road to be home with family, or hosting the brood at your place, there’s a few simple tips from local and state experts to make your travel and holiday safer and happier. First, of course, I’ll throw in one of my own: don’t talk about politics. No, seriously. Don’t. I’d suggest other, less explosive topics such as “how about...

On Your Table: Gumbo is for Mardi Gras

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times Mardi Gras, the New Orleans celebration of Fat Tuesday which is marked by eating, drinking and parading. The raucous event preceding the start of Lent will soon be upon us. Let’s face it, Mardi Gras is an excuse to party, or at least host friends over for a festive dinner. And gumbo in its many variations is at the heart of Mardi Gras celebrations. So...

Last-minute Valentine’s Day desserts

By Cathy Branciaroli, Food Correspondent, The Times A little chocolate can go a long way to saying “I love you” to your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s day is upon us but don’t stress out. Making the day special can be as easy or as elaborate as you’d like to make it. Simple seems best as the clock is ticking down. And last minute dishes can be just as delightful as...