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About the recipes and ingredients

On the recipes
"ART" means at room temperature, typically reserved for butter, cream
cheese, eggs and other baking ingredients

“Famous” dishes are my riffs on classic prepared foods, whether from delis
or restaurants, they are my recipes for your favorite away from home dishes

“21st Century” dishes are my take on American classics and lightening them
up and modernizing them just a touch while still holding all their sentimental
familiarity

"Best of class" is my favorite recipe for a particular dish where there may be
contenders; all are worth sharing, truly

"Million dollar" recipes taste, well ... like a million dollars

On the ingredients in the recipes
Baking powder – always aerated first. One of the ingredients of baking
powder, baking soda, can settle at the bottom of the can if it sits too long,
stir it with a parfait spoon or butter knife. You will notice the difference in
texture immediately

Baking soda – sits in the pantry, not the refrigerator. Keep it fresh and check
the expiration date on the box

Black pepper – If you have ever read a recipe or watched a cooking show on
TV you would be hard pressed to find any savory recipe that does not call for
freshly ground black pepper. The problem is that most recipes give you
ridiculous amounts and freshly grinding those required amounts could take
you until next Christmas to grind. My recipes  ask that you use freshly
ground pepper by keeping whole peppercorns in a pepper mill, but I leave it
up to you as to how much

Brown sugar – is pure cane sugar as noted on the packaging which must
state “Pure Cane Sugar”. If the label does not specify  “Pure Can Sugar” you
are likely buying beet sugar which is inferior in sweetness

Butter – It is time to stop hating on butter, salted butter that is. Salt is added
to butter as a preservative, but in this day and age, companies know how
much salt it takes to preserve butter (which is very little as it turns out) and
are no longer randomly adding small or huge amounts of salt. Consumers are
not able to tell the difference between baked goods baked with sweet butter
and those baked with salted butter; therefore, you no longer need worry
about buying different butters for different tasks

Eggs – are as they are found at the grocery store labeled Large

Fine salt – Fine salt can mean very small granules of sea or table salt and is
usually used for delicate after baking seasoning, like savory pastry. Morton
produces a product called “Popcorn Salt” that I recommend

Flour – is all purpose and always aerated first, then scooped into the
measure. This is the easiest way I can replicate weight without a scale (which
I do have, by the way, and so too should you. If you have an oven, you
should have a scale. Period)

Herbs – are fresh, unless otherwise noted

House salt – This seasoned salt has evolved over the years. I feel like I have
finally come up with the Ultimate salt, though I will stick with calling House
salt at the moment. It could not be easier and it will transform your pasta,
potatoes, rice, eggs, and your every day cooking

Mayonnaise – is Hellmann’s brand, unless otherwise noted

Puff Pastry – is sheets of puff pastry available at most supermarkets in the
frozen dessert case. I prefer Dufour brand, but there are other brands more
widely available. Choose your favorite and follow the package directions for
thawing

Sugar – is white granulated, unless otherwise noted

Sour cream – is 100% natural, full fat, no artificial ingredients added

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