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

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.

Market Report

Oct 9, 2018
Gemma Billings/flickr

What a long strange growing season it's been. Heat, rain, heat, rain all at the wrong time, it makes you wonder how are things going down on the Maryland farm? And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, it's not hard to get answers if you shop at our local farmers markets. Early October is usually one of the richest market times of the year, but what about this year?

Winter_1983/flickr

Jerry is constantly looking for more ways to get more vegetables into his diet. One of the best and most versatile is to start using a wok, or something very much like it. According to Chef Jerry Pellegrino, the wok is a simple tool, but there are some techniques you can learn to make your stir fries go better. Here is some of his advice and a few recipes.

Kārlis Dambrāns/flickr

If you really want to have some fun in your kitchen, buy a pasta making machine.  They start at about $30, so it's something of an affordable luxury.  Now the thing is you have to decide what to do with all this hand made pasta.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, we could tell people to "stuff it"!  Here are some of his thoughts.

Khairil Zhafri/flickr

At any given time I can dig no fewer than five different mustards out of my refrigerator.  A hot dog is not a hot dog unless it has classic Yellow Mustard on it, but all those others have so many uses.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I asked our friend Liz Nuttle to come on and give us her take on this extraordinarily useful condiment.

Peter Stevens/flickr

On a long ago vacation in the South of France I came across a dish that I brought home with me and made it a standard.  Salad Nicoise is one of the easiest and most appealing salads I know. Chef Jerry Pellegrino says, even though we can't always get those classic tiny nicoise olives, we do have everything we need right here.  But one thing I thought you needed, isn't one of the classic ingredients: lettuce!

Ceviche

Sep 5, 2018
Luca Nebuloni/flickr

There's been a recent push by  the Maryland seafood industry to work Blue Catfish into our repertoire of recipes. This very tasty species is available in abundance, and folks are trying to engineer a decline in its numbers.

One way was to have a contest for Blue Catfish recipes and one of the winners was an idea for Catfish Ceviche, something that intrigued us.

Personal Creations/flickr www.personalcreations.com

There's an enormous variety of veggies out there in our Maryland markets and grocery stores.  And as students at La Schola cooking school can tell you, one of life's treats is to go shopping with Chef Jerry Pellegrino and fill your basket with whatever captures your fancy at the farmers market.

One thing you can do is whip up a vegetable-heavy summer casserole. 

Click on the image for recipes. 

 

Luca Nebuloni/flickr

During the cold of mid-winter it makes sense to warm our insides with big bowls of piping hot soup.  So, conversely, wouldn't it make sense to cool down our tummies during the summer with bowls of fresh cold soups? Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School points out, so much of the summer produce can be used this way.

Gazpacho

Aug 15, 2018

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!  They're really rolling in now, and the varieties seem endless.  Classics like Big Boy and Beef Steak, heirlooms like Cherokee Purple and German Stripe, and petite cherry and grape tomatoes are all out there.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino tells us, all this variety can be put to good use when you talk about making Gazpacho.

 

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