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


Oct 23, 2020
goblinbox via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The other evening as I came in from walking my dog I was eager to put the damp and chill behind me and tuck into something that would warm the old belly. As luck would have it, Vickie had just whipped up a big pot of turkey chili, so all was right with the world. Chef Jerry Pellegrino thinks we have reason to believe that every household across America has its own special recipe for this oh-so-satisfying dish.

Wurst And Sausage

Oct 13, 2020
Erik Forsberg via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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.

Isabelle Boucher via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Even though summer is officially gone, we still will have weeks of pleasant warm weather waiting just ahead. It certainly is way too early to pack up the barbecue grill, so to encourage you to keep it fired up, we have a dinner in mind that is easy and fun to make. It's one of Chef Jerry Pellegrino's favorites, that great grilled meat dish, churrasco.

Sweet Potatoes

Sep 29, 2020
Mike Mozart via Flickr

Although they're with us for most of the year, sweet potatoes seem especially in season these days. As the summer heat gives way to autumn coolness, the sweet potato seems to be at its best as the first frost draws near. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has pointed out, we Marylanders are fortunate that sweet potatoes do so well in our native soil.


jeffreyw via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It's the middle of September and our Maryland pantry is overflowing with incredible locally produced food. And it's so enjoyable to run through the list of our favorite Maryland foods and dream up delicious dishes.

Thangaraj Kumaravel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

One of the great traditions of summer in Maryland is sweet corn. Although our legendary Silver Queen corn is more or less just a memory, there are a lot of other varieties to attract our attention. And luckily for us, Chef Jerry Pellegrino has made a bit of a study of this warm weather mainstay.


Jeanne via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It's been a great growing season here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Backyard gardeners are reporting bumper crops which in turn give rise to the question "what do I do with all this produce?" Chef Jerry Pellegrino has come up with a few very creative ideas about how to handle all that produce.


Think bread. Not your standard flour and yeast bread, but bread made with vegetables. Think pumpkin bread for instance. By grinding up things like squash, zucchini, or corn you can add it to your batter and come up with a very flavorful product. Here are some of Jerry's best ideas.


Via Tsuji via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This is that glorious time of the year when we are awash in tomatoes. They're piled high at the market and friends with carefully nourished backyard tomato plants are dropping off paper bags stuffed with their prized produce. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino agrees, our first inclination is to use tomatoes in a salad, but we can also whip up some very easy and tempting dishes using cooked tomatoes.

American Tobacco Campus via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)

Last week we put on our baking hats and whipped up some summer fruit cobblers, short cakes and tartlets. Today we'll keep those baking hats on our heads and cross over to the savory side of the street. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells me there are a lot of things we can do with Maryland produce that work well with batter and dough.


Jerry is thinking about quiches, tarts, empanadas, and pot pies, all of which can benefit from using local protein and produce. Here are a few ideas.

Ed Castillo via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

Every week when I go shopping at the farmers market I pass by the fruit stands and start wondering how I can use all those beautiful peaches, pears and plums. Not only will I be eating them out of hand, but I will be doing a little baking that will put them to use. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has three ideas for baking a little fruit into our desserts: cobblers, shortcakes and tartlets.

Paulo O via Flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

Maryland is certainly known for its seafood, but I wonder if we get enough of it onto the summer grill. Grilling seafood does take a little finesse, but with a bit of instruction it's very doable. Chef Jerry Pellegrino who is a dab hand at all manner of grilling has some advice on how to handle seafood.

Danielle Scott via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

As we gradually and carefully expand our social circles during the pandemic, many of us are planning small dinner get-togethers with trusted, healthy friends. A barbecue party seems perfect as it will get us outdoors and allow for social distancing. Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I talked about barbecue techniques two weeks ago, so it makes sense to talk about some of the side dishes we can offer up.

samchills via flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

If you accept the idea that grilling and barbecue are not the same thing...grilling is fast cooking over high heat, while barbecue is a long, slow cooking process using indirect'll realize that some days you just want to go long and slow and let time be your featured ingredient. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, sometimes you just don't want to rush things.

DeusXFlordia via Flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

Stand on your back porch any evening these days, and that sound you hear is folks firing up their grills. Wait a little while and that aroma that comes wafting through the air is the succulent smell of food roasting over a hot fire. Chef Jerry Pellegrino is a master griller and before he slaps that steak down on the grill there are a few things he does in preparation.

Jessica Lucia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Last week we made a report on what was available at our area farmers markets, and on top of the list were salad greens. It may seem hard to believe but you can still stroll past the stands and see things you've never seen before. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will point out, you can still get your old reliables but there are an amazing number of choices out there. 

Jo Zimny Photos via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The farm fields of Maryland are in full production now and so far 2020 has been a near exemplary growing season. Sunny days mixed in with occasional rain have been a blessing, at a time when we really need it. Chef Jerry Pellegrino can't wait to pay a visit to the farmers market, which is a real pleasure this time of the year. I've been going fairly regularly, and I was there last weekend to check it out.

The Farmers Market Welcome You

Jun 23, 2020
Rootytootoot via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)

A lot of people in the Baltimore area are confronting the corona virus pandemic with trepidation. There's a lot of conflicting opinions swirling around, complicated by inconsistent facts. When it comes to shopping for food we seem to be in a true quandary. While many people are going to grocery stores armed with face masks and hand sanitizers, many are also reluctant to chance it. I would like to talk about one method of food shopping that I think is quite safe, and that would be going to our farmers markets. And I know Chef Jerry Pellegrino is a big fan.


stu_spivack via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

We often talk about the wisdom of playing to our strengths, and in Maryland that means eating pork chops. Although poultry and beef are our leading proteins, pork comes in at an important third place. And with the rediscovery of heritage breeds, we are living high on the hog. Chef Jerry Pellegrino is very well informed on this subject and knows there is some delicious pork out there.

Root Vegetables Of Spring

Jun 10, 2020
Open Grid Scheduler via Flickr (Public Domain)

When you talk about root vegetables, you might be thinking about autumn and early winter. But springtime has its own crop of veggies that come to us from under the soil, and no kitchen should be without them. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has  a lot of ideas on what to do with these familiar treats.


Foremost in his mind are carrots, turnips and radishes.  As the salad season starts up in earnest, Jerry points out that all three of these can be used creatively in salads... raw! What you want to do is either use a very sharp knife to cut them super thin, or get out your trusty mandolin, which will give you a uniform thinness.


Annie Mole via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

One thing about the quarantine. I've heard that a lot of us are indulging our sweet tooth more than usual. Personally, I can tell you I do get a bit peckish around about 4 in the afternoon, which happens to be is what the English call tea time.


Here in the States we certainly can brew up a pot of coffee and grab a cookie or brownie and "do tea", sorta-kinda. But doing something that resembles a real English Afternoon Tea thing isn't hard at all, if you can master two or three simple recipes. And by the way, you'll probably want the kids to help.

Mike McCune via Flickr (used under CC BY 2.0 license)

I think a lot of us are not dealing with food supply and menu planning quite the same way we did a few short months ago. We're making fewer trips to the grocery store and spending lots of time surfing the web for new recipe ideas. We're also casting a speculative eye at pots and bowls and containers of leftovers. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, when it comes to re-purposing food our refrigerators are actually little gold mines.

The Pulled Pork Variations

May 20, 2020
jeffreyw via Flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0

While we've been in hunker down mode, I've been spending a lot of time with our slow cooker. There is something very appropriate about sitting around the house while the kitchen throws off mouth-watering aromas hour after hour. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, one of the most tempting things you can prepare is good old pulled pork. But of course you don't have to use a slow-cooker.

Colorado State University Extension via Flickr

All of us who are staying at home on a full-time basis are finding that we have a lot of time on our hands. I'm constantly keeping my eyes open for little projects that will eat up some of my spare time. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, a kitchen can be a place for creativity and enterprise.

Jo Zimny via Flickr

It seems that an enormous number of Americans have hit on the same idea for coping with the Big Lockdown: they're learning how to bake bread. Chef Jerry Pellegrino, an experienced baker, knows this is a very worthwhile activity in so many ways.


Baking bread is a fundamental part of being human; we started doing it literally thousands of years ago. The basic concept hasn't changed much. All you need is flour, yeast, salt and water...and a hot oven. But like so many things that seem to be simple, there's a lot of technique involved that takes a while to master.


Nick Olejniczak

During this period of lockdown and social distancing, a lot of us are starting to feel like pioneers living on the prairie. Since we are making fewer visits to the grocery store, we are doing more planning for stocking up on the essentials we need to keep going. Chef Jerry Pellegrino, has given this some thought and has put together a good list.

We've been on hiatus for a few weeks while news has been flooding in about the pandemic. We're glad to be back, and yes, Jerry and I are phoning it in from home. As we all work to get through this period of social isolation, we can still count on a few things to buck up our morale. And what could be more comforting than a big bowl of home made soup in the evening?






We want to wish everybody a happy Saint Patrick's Day, in some respects the last hurrah of winter and the first salute to the coming spring. Here in the states we have a few traditional accompaniments, such as corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and lots and lots of Guiness. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has collected a number of recipes straight for the Auld Sod itself.

With spring just days away, it's not to early to start thinking about renewing one of the season's most succulent dishes, roast leg of lamb.  You can go two ways with this roast, either bone-in or boneless.  As it turns out, both Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I prefer the flexability of the boneless cut, although there is a time and place for a big old bone-in leg of lamb.

Last year when I went to northern Italy, I took a cooking class that taught us how to make fresh pasta by hand. The process is simple to learn, but mastering it is another question. As it happens Chef Jerry Pellegrino received wonderful book  from our friend Cynthia Clover that shines a light on the complexities of a simple dish.

In the middle of winter, hundreds of intrepid Maryland watermen motor into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries to go fishing for oysters. Nearby oyster farms are currently turning out a record haul, keeping hungry Marylanders well supplied. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino would tell you, of all the wonderful way to eat oysters, none is as famous or mysterious as Oysters Rockefeller.