Radio Kitchen | WYPR

Radio Kitchen

Tuesdays 8:45 am
  • Hosted by Hosted by: Al Spoler and Chef Jerry Pellegrino

Every Tuesday morning at 8:45 WYPR listeners are treated to a tasty serving of culinary advice on "Radio Kitchen."

Hosts Al Spoler and Chef Jerry Pellegrino of the Schola Cooking School, offer up-to-date advice on the best in local ingredients, cooking techniques, recipe ideas and gadgets for the kitchen.

Archive Prior to 2014

The season of spring lends its name to all manner of food.  Spring onions, spring rolls, and especially spring lamb.  Just coming into the market at this time of year, spring lamb is a succulent flavorful meat that fits in perfectly with this season of gentle dining.  And spring lamb has a well deserved reputation for being far milder than its more mature associate, the tough old leg of mutton.

Let's take a look at the classic cuts of lamb and what they are best used for.

 

Every time Al sees a TV show or a movie set in New Orleans his mouth starts to water.  Along with the obligatory shots of Bourbon Street and funky jazz clubs, there will be depictions of folks tucking into big plates of gumbo and shrimp étoufée. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, there's no denying it: the cuisine of New Orleans is mighty tempting.

There is certainly something about spring which calls for gentle cooking methods. And one of the gentlest was invented by the French. It involves cooking food in paper, believe it or not, better known as cooking "en papilotte." And Chef Jerry Pellegrino says this is a pretty unique way to prepare food.

If travel is one of the finest ways to broaden our minds, then Chef Jerry Pellegrino must have one of the broadest minds in Baltimore. The reason being, Jerry has gone about as far away as a man can get from our city on the Bay. He made it down to Melbourne, Australia to visit with his fiancées family.

While in The Antipodes, Jerry got an eyeful of the Australian way of eating.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Chef and Al talk about the endless possibilities for delicious french toast, from sweet to savory.

Artichokes

Apr 8, 2019

As the spring markets open up, we'll start seeing some old friends. The artichoke is coming back for a few weeks, and it's a time to enjoy this surprisingly versatile vegetable.  And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino jokes, a lot of people just sort of look at an artichoke and say, "yeah, what do I do with it?"

Well, quite a lot actually. First the anatomy. An artichoke is actually a thistle flower that hasn't blossomed.  It has multiple layers of leaves with significant flesh at their base, clustered sightly around the thistle down "choke" which is inedible. The principle producers are Spain, France, Italy, California and Mexico.

Get a recipe for stuffed artichokes below. 

It's a truism that if we want to enjoy locally produced food, we have to support local farms.  Maryland has been very progressive about preserving agricultural land, fighting to keep it from over-development. Al mentioned to Chef Jerry Pellegrino, one of the leading lights is Montgomery County, which is why they invited two lovely women who have written a fabulous cookbook inspired by the farms in the Montgomery Reserve.  Claudia Kousoulas and Ellen Letourneau have written a cookbook called "Bread and Beauty, A Year in Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve" and it is self-published.  

It is now officially spring, even if the earth hasn't entirely shaken off winter.  Be that as it may, Al thinks this is a very optimistic time of the year, especially for lovers of locally grown food. One of the first things we'll be able to do is rustle up a bunch of greens and make some salads.  Which is why Al and Chef Jerry Pellegrino invited their great friend Liz Nuttle to join us today.

Baking Tips

Mar 19, 2019

The weather is just starting to warm up a bit, and our collective sap is starting to rise. If you feel like taking on a few little projects in the kitchen, it's a good time to start baking. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has some timely tips for our listeners.

Cauliflower

Mar 11, 2019

A few weeks ago our friendly neighborhood nutritionist Courtney Ferreira was on talking about healthy choices in eating. One thing she mentioned was cauliflower, which is apparently quite a little nutrition bomb.  And Al and Chef Jerry Pellegrino agree that cauliflower may have gotten something of a bum rap and being way too bland.

Neil Hinchley/flickr

Somebody once said that paprika was the most mediocre of all spices. What??!! Well Al supposes that if paprika to you is nothing more than the red stuff on a deviled egg, well then fine. But Chef Jerry Pellegrino, warms us not sell this fabulous spice short!

Paprika is nothing more than ground up red peppers, reduced to a powder. This started in the ancient Americas, was brought back to Spain in the 1500's and then eventually spread throughout the world.  Hungary, India and China all have paprika in their cuisines.

Today many would argue that the best paprika still comes from Spain, where it is called "pimeton".  But world-wide, there are several types.

In deep mid-winter it does get hard to work locally grown food into our cooking.  Some smart folks have put up preserves or done some pickling, but most of us are having a little trouble eating local.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out that if you can get to one of the year-round farmers markets, there are definitely some things we can toss into our market basket.

Here in the last few weeks of winter it's hard to imagine that we can support our local farmers, but with several farmers markets open year-round around the state, it's possible to do just that.  This is the season of the root vegetable, the heartiest and most die-hard of Maryland produce, the food that just keeps on giving.  And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School will tell you, perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy winter root vegetables is in a root vegetable soup.

Right this moment in the dead of winter, we need to remind ourselves  that warmer days lay ahead. Our poor old backyard grills are in sorrowful hibernation, just counting down the days until we fire them up for a barbecue. But why wait? Chef Jerry Pellegrino loves grilling and making barbecue.  But one thing that impresses him is that as you go around the country, barbecue means different things in different regions.

Cynthia Glover

Jan 28, 2019

Traveling has always had a big impact on the way Al Spoler eats. As he moves around the world in his travels, he encounters all sorts of new things to eat, many of which he attempts to replicate back home. Al and Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School invited Cynthia Glover, one of their favorite travelers, to be join them for this episode.

We've been on a eat healthy kick lately, and I hope we stay there. One popular item that will keep folks on track are boneless chicken breasts and thighs. But as Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, boneless chicken breasts and thighs are pretty boring. Nevertheless, he rounded up a bunch of recipes that feature this heart-healthy ingredient. Here they are.

Eating healthy always seems to be a little more difficult in the winter months. Most of the locally produced food items just aren't available, and the tendency is to eat heavier, more filling food. For Chef Jerry Pellegrino and me this is a conundrum, which is why we've asked nutritionist Courtney Ferreira to be with us today.

 

J. Annie Wang/flickr

We're one week into the new year and already the resolutions are starting to pile up. Al's gym at the Y is jam-packed with new faces all intent on treating their bodies better this year. Chef Jerry Pellegrino and Jerry note, a lot of resolve goes into changing our eating habits, which is why we invited nutritionist Courtney Ferreira to join us for today's Radio Kitchen.

T.Tseng/flickr

To anyone who is up and listening to our show today, congratulations! You've gotten the new year off to a good start.  Something that has always fascinated me are new year's traditions. With the help of Chef Jerry Pellegrino, let's see how many we can think of during these first few hours of January the First.

From the American south come quite a few traditions for our first meals of the year. Black-eyed peas, collard greens, corn bread, and pork are guaranteed to get your year off on the right foot. The old, famous dish of Hoppin' John seems to have be created just for this purpose, and is a wonderful cold weather dish.

 

 

To our friends who are celebrating Christmas this morning, we wish you joy of the season. Of all of the traditions that surround holiday dinners, one of my favorites is the plum pudding. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino agrees that there is nothing as tasty as a well-made classic plum pudding, preferably one that uses a recipe from the time of Charles Dickens.

During the holidays I’m apt to forget about dessert discipline and indulge in the occasional cookies or pies.  This very natural inclination is far from rare and we’re going to do nothing to prevent you from enjoying the sweeter side of the holidays.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino loves this topic and has collected a lovely bunch of recipes for delicious savory and sweet pies and tarts that sound quite tempting.

Braising

Dec 12, 2018

There are quite a few ways to cook meat that require a fair amount of attention.  One that doesn’t is braising.  Once the pan goes into the oven, you can forget about it for a few hours and watch some football. Chef Jerry Pellegrino loves braising and says there is no better way to help inexpensive cuts of meat over-deliver than to braise them.

Lobster Tails

Dec 11, 2018
Josiah Lau Photography/flickr

During this festive season, we’re always looking for spectacular ways to entertain our guests.   Any time you want to introduce an element of luxury into an affair, all you have to do is trot out the lobster, and your friends will bless your name.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino has discovered you don’t always have to use the entire lobster to get a good dish.  A simple lobster tail can do a lot of wonderful things with a lot less waste.

Linda Mateos/flickr

The holidays are upon us, and a lot of folks are going to be cooking some pretty fancy dinners.  Now, if you don’t want to do turkey again, may we make a modest suggestion?  Hop right over to your favorite butcher and have him cut you up a rib roast of beef.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, this is truly a festive cut of meat for big occasions.

Baked Apples

Nov 20, 2018
Joshua Bousel/flickr

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days off, we thought we'd give you some ideas for last minute desserts.  You might want to serve something that is right at hand, easy to prepare and sure to please. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School suggests, one dish that fills all those criteria is baked apples.

Ana María Guardia/flickr

With Thanksgiving looming, a lot of us are reaching back for old family recipes that will be perfect for the big feast. An important part of cooking with tradition in mind is cooking with the family's traditional pots and pans.

That old cast iron skillet that Grandma swore by sits on the shelf just waiting to be put in the game.  According to Chef Jerry Pellegrino, there's a few techniques people can learn to get the most out of cast iron. Here's some observations.

jeffreyw/flickr

It's fall and the air is filled with footballs which means I am thinking about appropriate food for watching the Ravens play. This time of year I always end up talking to Shane Hughes of Liberty Delight Farm to see if he's got any bratwurst to sell. I'm glad to say he always does. But why stop at bratwurst? As Chef Jerry Pellegrino would say, let's talk sausage.

Andrea Nguyen/flickr

Frying food is an All-American tradition, and we never seem to tire of the results. There's more than one way to fry that chicken wing, and Chef Jerry Pellegrino, three main options exist for us: deep fat frying, shallow fat frying or pan frying. How do you know which one to use?

Here are some of Jerry's thoughts.

Audio will be posted on Wednesday. 

John Winkelman/flickr

All summer long we've been gazing fondly at the pepper tables of our local farmers markets.  If you love color, texture and intricate shapes, then you can't beat peppers for sheer appearance.  We don't know exactly how many varieties we grow here in Maryland, but peppers seem to thrive.

Shelby L. Bell/flickr

Most of us can't start our day without a cup of coffee or tea.  As beverages go, these two are must-haves.  But there's more you can do with that cuppa joe and pot of tea. Chef Jerry Pellegrino knows a number of ideas for using coffee and tea in cooking.

Pages