scotch eggsSo, Rick Sebak and I made these on the OVER EASY show last week and everyone wants the recipe.  Well, technically, we showed the recipe to entice people to become members of the station and to get the DVD’s and the cookbook.  But since the recipe is so simple and since many of you may already be members – here you go:


First, put six eggs into a saucepan of cold water.  Bring the water to a boil, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.  Set your timer for 12 minutes.  Pour off the water and give the eggs a little shake to crack the shells.  Run under cold watrer to stop cooking.  Gently remove the shells.

Divide a pound of breakfast sausage into 6 pieces.  Spread a little breadcrumb on your work surface and press out each sausage ball into a very flat circle, around 5″ in diameter.  Place a boiled egg in the center of the circle and carefully fold the sausage up and around the egg to enclose completely.  Roll in some beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs to coat.  Spray with some non-stick and bake at 375 degrees until the sausage is completely cooked and niceloy browned  about 20 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes and then cut into halves or quarters and serve with some nice coarse mustard.


We’re getting ready to cut the Timpano!  We has such a great response to the Big Night Dinner at D’Imperio’s on Monday, May 7 that we decided to add another night.  There are still some seats available for the dinner on Monday, April 30.  It will be the same great 5 course dinner with matching wines and music by Jimmy Sapienza.  I’ll be there to enjoy this incredible feast with you and maybe even sing a few songs with Jimmy.

If you think you’d like to join us, call the Member Hotline at 412-622-1370.  Hope to see you there!



Yes, that is a heavy wooden spoon standing straight up in a batch of chili.  That’s the kind of “stick to your ribs” consistency I like in a bowl of hearty beef chili.  I guess it is not technically a “soup” but it is my Fenbruary entry in the series of SOUPS OF THE MONTH.  Last night was the first real winter storm of this relatively mild year.  Every tastebud in my mouth was screaming, “CHILI,” as the roads got covered with snow and I anticiapted a long weekend of couch sitting.

Now usually I would put chili in the category of improvisational cooking.  I can’t say that I have ever made the same batch of chili twice in exactly the same way.  But this one turned out so well that I have put down the ingredients and proportions so that it may be replicated in the future.  If you’re going to try this one at home I suggest that you prepare it as listed and then chanage it up in the future to make it your own.  So many chilis I have tasted at competitions are ruined by the addition of strange ingredients added in the name of individuality.  So be careful.  Let it be chili first.  Then if you just can’t help yourself you can start to add pineapple, ham, maple syrup, cinnamon, chocolate, bourbon, champagne, beer, wine, cardomom, sweet potato, zucchini, kale, carrots and marshmallows (all these things, and more, have been ingredients in chili I’ve tasted at contests.)  With a batch of this bubbling away in the crock pot it doesn’t seem like winter can last long enough.


1 pound dried red kidney beans

1 package onion soup mix

2 cups beef broth

4 cups water

1 each dried guajiaa, New Mexico, Ancho and Pasilla Negro peppers

Rinse and sort through the dry beans to remove any dirt or small pebbles.  Put in the crockpot with the whole dried peppers and cover with the water and brotgh.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove the peppers from the pot and discard the stem and seeds.  Add the chilies along with a cup of the liquid and 1/2 cup of the beans to a food processor.  Process to a smooth paste and return to the pot.  Add:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon medium chili claro (pure chili powder)

1 tablespoon chhipotle chili powder

2 tablespoons corn meal

In a large skillet, brown 3 pounds of beef that has been coarsely ground.  Really cook this well until it is browned.  This adds a tremendous amount of flavor to the chili.  Add the meat to the beans.  Coarsely chop on onion and cook slowly in the same skillet until the pieces are very soft and caramelized.  Add these to the pot.  Cook on low for another 4-6 hours.  Season with salt to taste.

Stick a spoon in the middle and if it stands straight up, the chili is done.



This kitchen tool is as much a part of my childhood as Coney Island and Davy Crockett. The Foley Food Mill was put to use every Sunday morning to grind the plum tomatoes for Gram’s Sunday Sauce. It breaks down the tomatoes and removes the seeds so that the resulting sauce is smooth and sweet. When each of her children were ready to fly from the nest, my mom made sure we had one of these and an …8″ Faberware fry pan so we could make proper manicotti shells. I guess she figured that with these two tools we could find our way in the big world and still stay true to our roots. It’s hard to make a small batch of this sauce but here’s a recipe that uses just one can of tomatoes.

Sunday Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 can (28 ounces) San Marzano Peeled Plum Tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
few red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
meat: meatballs, sausage and/or spare ribs

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook gently until they are wilted and translucent. Grind the tomatoes into the pan over the cooked onions. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the garlic and spices and simmer for an hour. Stir in the tomato paste. If using meat, it should be browned before adding to the sauce. Bring back to a boil then reduce again and partially cover. Cook another 2 hours at a very low simmer. Add more salt if necessary. Remove the bay leaf before serving.


“Whatta we do now boss?” “First, we wash our hands!”  So goes the running gag in the Marx Brothers movie, “A Day at the Races.”  Every time Chico asks the question, Groucho gives him the same answer.  And every time you want to make soup, the answer is “First you make stock.”  Sure, you can use boxed or canned stocks, and some of them are pretty good.  I like the richness of Kitchen Basics.  But there is nothing as good as home made chicken stock.  I keep a freezer full of 1 quart bags of concentrated stock that are just enough for a single batch of soup.  So, here’s the primer.


Place a whole chicken or four pounds of chicken parts in a large dutch oven or stock pot.  Cover it with six quarts of water.  Add one onion, unpeeled, two stalks of celery, with leaves, two carrots, roughly chopped, a dozen peppercorns and two bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and simmer for two hours.  Remove the chicken and let stand until cool enough to handle.  Remove the meat and save for another purpose.  Return the skin and bones to the pot and continue to simmer for another two to three hours.  Strain the stock through a double layer of cheesecloth.  Allow to cool and then refrigerate overnight.  Remove all the fat which will have hardened on the top of the bowl.  The cooled stock will be like jello.  Ladle into four one quart zip lock freezer bags.  Each bag will make one batch of soup.



1 pound ground beef

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 cup grated romano cheese

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

salt and pepper

1/2 pound acini di pepe pasta

1 bag baby spinach

1 cup shredded cooked chicken

1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced fine

1 stalk celery, sliced fine

1 tablespoon butter


Melt the butter over medium heat in a soup pot.  Add the onions, carrot and celery and sweat until the vegetables are soft.  Add 8 cups of chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Mix the meatball ingredients well and form into 1/2 inch round meatballs.  Drop into the simmering liquid.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken, spinach and acini di pepe pasta.  Bring back to a boil and then let simmer until pasta is tender – 8-10 minutes.  Serve with crusty bread.

You can make the soup ahead of time.  Just don’t add the pasta and spinach until 10 minutes before serving.





Rocky Mountain PBS, PBS Chef Christy Rost and OXO®

host a live facebook chat with renowned PBS chefs


Katie Brown, Rick Browne, Chris Fennimore, Daisy Martinez,  Sara Moulton and Jeff Nathan among participants.   

Rocky Mountain PBS will give away $75 OXO®gift baskets to five lucky foodies.

Wednesday, November 16, 8 – 9 pm ET


 Katie Brown, Katie Brown Workshop 

Rick Browne, Barbecue America

Chris Fennimore, Holiday Table with Chris Fennimore and Dede Wilson

Daisy Martinez, Daisy Cooks!  with Daisy Martinez

Sara Moulton, Sara’s Weeknight Meals

Jeff Nathan,  New Jewish Cuisine with Jeff Nathan and Friends 

Christy Rost, A Home for Christy Rost:  Thanksgiving – Chat Moderator and Host   


 Live facebook chat with PBS chefs on “The Thanksgiving Table and Beyond”

 PBS chefs will discuss what’s on consumers’ minds.  Topics include:

 Balancing health, nutrition and flavor with convenience and budget in today’s fast-paced climate;

Wonderful cultural influences in our increasingly diverse array of cuisines in the United States and how this influences the holiday experience in our country now;

Conventional v. organic ingredients and buying local;

Cooking exceptional holiday meals on a budget;

Tips for on convenience as everyone’s schedules are busier all the time, with a discussion; and

A forecast on trends for 2012.

Everyone is welcome to join this facebook chat, hosted by Rocky Mountain PBS and OXO, and moderated by national PBS Thanksgiving show host Chef Christy Rost, for the rare opportunity to ask some of America’s best chefs about everything from food to lifestyle.

Courtesy of OXO, Rocky Mountain PBS will give away five $75 OXO gift baskets. 



 Wednesday, November 16

8 p.m. – 9 p.m. ET  (6 p.m. MT)



 Nearly 400 years following the first Thanksgiving feast, the United States’ family table continues to grow in fabulous ways that reflect the cuisines and cultures of Americans who settled here from around the globe.               

Chef Christy Rost, Rocky Mountain PBS and OXO are bringing together public television chefs from across the country for a lively and insightful conversation on facebook. 

 It’s a rare chance via the wonders of social media – particularly near the holiday season – to get one-on-one time with an entire group of America’s most beloved chefs. The founding home of American culinary television, PBS and CREATE TV feature a diverse group of chefs, who energize, educate and inspire viewers with techniques, flavors and ways to enjoy life through food every day.

Food, wine and culinary television fans are invited to join the conversation and get the chance to win a spectacular OXO gift basket!


When I was in New York last week for the Your Father’s Mustache Reunion at Carnegie Hall, I couldn’t resist a slice of New York Pizza.  It was just a little hole in the wall place near the hotel on 57th street, exactly like 1,000 other shops on nearly every street in Manhattan.  There wasn’t even room in the store to stand and eat your slice.  I had to go stand outside.  But the crust was perefectly thin and crisp, the sauce was mild but distinctively tomato, the cheese was gooey with a rich milky flavor.  You CANNOT duplicate this at home.  And apparantly, it cannot be duplicated in any other city in the world. Viva New York Pizza.


PBS has launched a new site to feature all the great cooking on public television.  There are blogs, clips, and tons of recipes including lots from QED COOKS!  You can get to the site here and then explore.  I think the site is very cool and it demonstrates that public television was not just the first place for cooking programs but it is still the best.

Buckwheat Festival

We’re headed out to Ohiopyle this weekend for the Fall Buckwheat Festival at the Firehouse. They’ll be serving “all you can eat” buckwheat or regular pancakes along with whole hog sausage, home fries, applesauce and pickles all day Friday and Saturday, October 14 and 15. The funds raised are plowed right back into the community to support fire and emergency services. See you there!

Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe

Serap Ozcan was good enough to send me the recipe to share for the stuffed grape leaves.  So here you are:

Leaves Stuffed with Rice, Pine Nuts, and Currants

Zeytinyagli Yaprak Sarmasi (Yalanci)
Serves 4-6 (recipe adopted from Ozcan Ozan,The Sultan’s Kitchen, A Turkish Cookbook)
This is a popular summer meze along the Aegean Coast and the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. These stuffed grape leaves are very good served with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
This recipe is called yalanci, which means “fake,” because the rice, pine nuts, and currants are substitutes for meat in the stuffing.
1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves, drained (I used the ones I brought from Turkey)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 tbsp lemon salt
Lemon wedges
2 tablespoons currants
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts (I used walnuts)
2 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 cup medium grain white rice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh/dried dill (I used both)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh/dried mint (I prefer dried mint)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, crushed red pepper, pinch of cumin
Soak the currants in warm water for about 15-20 minutes. Drain them and set them aside.
To prepare the grape leaves, bring 2 quarts water to a boil, unroll the grape leaves, and place then in the boiling water for 2 minutes to soften the leaves and rid them of the brine. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leaves from the water and drape them over the edge of a colander to drain. With a sharp knife, cut out the small protruding stem from each leaf (my leaves were the young ones, so I skipped this part). Set the grape leaves aside.
To make the stuffing heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook the pine nuts for about 2 minutes, until they’re golden brown.Add onion and slowly cook until they are tender, not brown.  Add the currants, rice, sugar, cinnamon, and 2 cups hot water. Stir the mixture, cover the pot, and cook gently for about 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the dill and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper, red pepper and cumin. Let the stuffing cool for 30-40 minutes. (You can even eat this!!)
To assemble the sarmas, line up 36 of the grape leaves side by side, vein side up and with the notch where you removed the stem closest to you. Place one tablespoon of the stuffing at the end of the leaf close to you fold the end nearest to you over the filling, then fold both sides of the leaf over the filling. Roll up the leaves-but not too tightly or they will burst.
Line a st-steel shallow pan with half the remaining grape leaves. Arrange the sarmas on top of the leaves, seam-side down. Pour 2 cups hot water, the olive oil, and the lemon juice/lemon salt over them. Cover the sarmas with the remaining grape leaves. Place crumpled wet parchment paper over the grape leaves (I did not use it), and weight it down with an heat-proof plate (one small enough to fit inside the dish).This is importan, if you don’t use it, dolmas can unwind). Cover the dish, and on the stovetop over medium heat bring the liquid to a boil (about 5 minutes). Lower the heat and cook gently for about 45 minutes, or until the sarmas are tender and the water has been absorbed.
After cooling to room temperature (if you don’t, they dry quickly and get darker), transfer the sarmas to a serving dish. Cover them and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Afiyet Olsun