Category: Culinary Classics

National Chili Dog Day is Coming… What’s Your Style?

Once a year on the last Thursday in July, we celebrate the convergence of two iconic foods—hot dogs and chili—in observance of National Chili Dog Day.

While each is remarkable on its own, when brought together in a single bun with personalized condiments, chili and dogs reach euphoric new heights.

The sum is greater than its parts. It was a fusion before fusion cuisine became hip.

Like many food legends and lore, there isn’t much clarity or agreement about the origins of chili dogs. There are, however, lots of colorful claims.

But just as chili and dogs converge, the chili portion of the equation is where the paths diverge.

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Get Your Taste Buds Ready for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that commemorates the victory of Mexican forces over the French occupational forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

While celebrated only regionally in Mexico, this holiday is often observed as a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture in the United States.

Why not bring the festivities into your kitchen as well with some south-of-the-border flavor? We’ve got plenty of great selections for the occasion, plus delicious video recipes and culinary DIY guides.

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Culinary Classic: Carnitas

One of the staples of Mexican cuisine is the slow-cooked pork dish that originated in the state of Michoacán, known as carnitas.

The traditional method of preparation calls for braising a pork shoulder in lard until tender, much in the same way the French make confit, in which duck or chicken is simmered in duck fat until tender.

The literal translation of the word carnitas is “little meats.” The preferred cut for authentic carnitas is well-marbled pork shoulder, or Boston butt, which is cut into largish chunks of about 2 inches.

Photo courtesy of Pork Checkoff. For more information about pork, visit pork.org.

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Culinary Classic: Colcannon

“Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”

When a dish inspires the lyrical connection between soothing recollections and mom making a family favorite, that’s comfort food with clout.

The focus of that ballad is colcannon, an Irish dish born of frugality from ingredients that were available even in the worst of times.

Originating from the 16th century when potatoes were introduced to Europe from the New World, colcannon became a year-round staple of the impoverished.

Today, it is a comfort-food classic, the kind of food that takes the blues away.

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Culinary Classic: Tacos

October 4th is National Taco Day. Not only that, but National Taco Day also falls on a Tuesday this year, making it a Super Taco Tuesday! How much do you know about everyone’s favorite Tuesday-night, build-your-own, family dinner dish?

Taco

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Culinary Classic: Steak au Poivre

Steak au Poivre is a classic sauté dish in which primary flavor component comes from crushed peppercorns that are pressed into the surface of a cut of steak. After the steak is seared and sautéed, it is topped with a flamed cognac-cream pan sauce.

Filet Mignon

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Culinary Classic: Beer-Can Chicken

The origins of Beer-Can Chicken are not clearly defined. But, at some point in the 1970s, drinking beer and eating barbecued chicken at college tailgate parties just wasn’t enough.

Beer Can Chicken
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Culinary Classic: Boeuf Bourguignon

When venerated chef, cookbook author, and TV celebrity, Julia Child, launched her groundbreaking televised cooking show “The French Chef” in 1962, she chose for her first recipe on her first show a classic peasant stew of beef, mushrooms, onions, and red wine: Boeuf Bourguignon.

Beef Burgundy

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Culinary Classic: Seafood Chowder

On a cold wintry day, nothing satisfies like a steaming bowl of chowder.

To say that chowders are popular and come in all varieties would be a gross understatement. Type “chowder recipes” into Google and in less than half a second, you’ll get more than a million results.

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Culinary Classic: Spaghetti alla Carbonara

How can so many home cooks and restaurants bastardize one of the most fantastic and classic Roman pasta dishes as if it doesn’t matter?

Originally created from pantry staples for a fast, late-night meal, Spaghetti alla Carbonara is so sorely misinterpreted. It is difficult to find the real thing unless you make it yourself.

Carbonara

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