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My father used to say, “Chuck doesn’t do anything in halves.” He was right: sometimes its a virtue and sometimes a curse. He and my mother taught me to cook, sometimes using cookbooks, like Julia Child's, but more frequently just winging it. This site is a roller coaster ride of recipes, articles, ingredients and anything else that involves cooking and presenting food. There is something here for everybody from beginners to experts.


Cooking Temps

Chicken breast 165, Chicken thigh 170 or more. Pork med well 145, Pork med 140, Rack of lamb med rare 131, Beef very rare 125, Beef rare 130,Beef med rare 135, Duck Breast 126, Salmon med 118, Disclaimer: USDA stds dictate much higher temps. To be super safe, cook everything until it is dry and crunchy, then toss it in the trash

Incredible Smoked Meat

One of our residents at work, Zach Frabitore, is a member of Pappy and Roley's Appalachian BBQ team. They recently won best Ribs in a national BBQ Competition in NC. The guy knows BBQ to an astounding level. To put it mildly, competition BBQ requires a depth of understanding and attention to detail that is difficult to fathom. I had no idea what a deep dive this can be. Every meat is treated very differently. You don't just throw it in the smoker and expect a good result. Endless experimentation, a bit of science, and luck produce the formula for a winning presentation.

Zach has shared many of the ideas and recipes with me. I have begun to post these under the Articles section. This weekend I gave Brisket a try.


I have never been that fond of brisket; It is frequently dry, a bit chewy, and desperately in need of sauce. So I followed Zach's basic brisket method. I bought a Prime grade brisket at Strip District Meats. This was basically half a brisket called the Point, and did not include the leaner part called the Flat. The night before I injected it with a broth made of beef broth and Kosmos injectate. The next day I smoked it for a few hours and then baked it.

The result was the best brisket I have ever had with the exception of Zach's. This was a BBQ Home Run, Hat Trick, TKO, and Smack Down rolled into one. Flavorful, tender, and not dry!!!


Last Chance at This Year's Incredible Olive Oil

Super viscous, with deep pure olive aroma and peppery finish. This is one of the best EVOOs we have offered. We always save some for the XMAS/Holiday season. The price is still. $20 for 750cc bottle This is a bargain for olive oil of this quality. Kept in a cool place, it will store for at least a year. Send Requests to clawmd@mac.com

This started out as a quest to get really good EVOO at a good price. Buying off the shelf was hit-or-miss even for expensive bottles. It turns out that over 50% of Italian EVOO is fraudulent. There is big $ in selling inferior oil as EVOO. Also, even if it starts out legit, there is no way of knowing how it has been treated and stored prior to purchase. So I started buying from a highly reliable online source that was very good but absurdly expensive at $30/375 ml. The answer was to buy larger quantities directly from the producer.

My first bulk purchase was 15 gal, that was shipped directly from the producer. The oil was great, and I sold the extra amount to friends. Unfortunately I didn't have nearly enough; lots of people heard about it and wanted some. I started increasing the amount until I got up to two 55gallon drums! That is a lot of oil. 48 cases of regular size wine bottles. This worked well for several years, and then disaster struck.

The company in California that I was purchasing from decided to stop selling high grade EVOO and instead started to blend it with cheap oil. I started looking for other sources but this is not an easy task. However, at this same time, my daughter Susan was at a farmers market in Vermont and came across an olive oil vendor. They explained that they owned olive trees in Greece and had decided to make their own oil rather than sell the olives to other producers. She tasted it and realized it was super high quality. She told them that her dad was looking for a source of EVOO and would be interested in buying bulk. "How many bottles would he want" they asked. Their jaws dropped when she said, "110 gallons!" We have been buying from them for the past 4 years

The EVOO is produced, goes straight into 55gal drums and is shipped to me. The oil is not filtered or treated in any way. I bottle it with a special bottling machine that pulls the oil into the bottle with a vacuum so no impeller is ever used. The bottles are high grade, dark green, with push up bottoms for sediment to settle.

After harvest they send me up to six bottles that represent micro lots and I choose between one and two of the lots for each year‘s offering. I make the selection based on a series of blind tastings with family and some friends who are experienced in tasting olive oil. I also get a chemical analysis on each batch as well.

The oil is always made from the same olives. It always has a pronounced olive flavor and a modest amount of pepper in the finish. It is consistently free of any off smells or old notes, just super clean olive smell and flavor.

It is best stored out of the sunlight and in a cool environment. I do not recommend it for high temperature cooking since this damages the finer nuances of the oil.

Chemical Analysis is done to confirm the oil meets International OliveCouncil (IOC) requirements for EVOO. This is necessary to know that you have authentic EVOO. You won't see this on other olive oil.

Perfect Pan Seared Salmon

Check Out the Article. Step-by-step guide Here. Super easy to do (A squirrel can be taught to do this) Puts restaurants to shame.

Everything you need to cook perfect salmon every time!!!!!

Favorite New Spice (Updated12/

Achiote Annato

Achiote paste is a popular coloring and flavoring in Central American, Mexican, and Caribbean cuisines. I saw it on a Netflix series about tacos (worth watching!). Made from annatto seeds, salt, garlic and other stuff like cumin and coriander. The flavor is earthy, sweet, spicy, and slightly smokey. It can be used as a sauce, marinade, or rub for meat, chicken, and fish. It comes in a block that is almost like clay. I chop it up and let it sit awhile with water to help dissolve it. Available on Amazon


This is product is easier to use

Combined with some Shark Brand Sriracha on Salmon

New Favorite Sriracha

Not very hot, slight sweetness and great flavor. From Amazon.

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