Rick Rodgers - cuisine americane

Warm Cheese Strudel with Vanilla Custard

Milk-Cream Strudel overhead sm.jpgAfter a couple of years out of print, KAFFEEHAUS has been reprinted by Echo Point Books.  You'll find it for sale at amazon.combarnesandnoble.com, and echopointbooks.com.  Echo Point has both paperback and hardcover editions, so be sure that you are clicking on the version you and, and not the old Clarkson Potter hardcover.  

To celebrate, I am sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book--which is really saying something considering the treasure trove of recipes that I gathered in Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.  Milchrahmstrudel translates into  "Milk-Cream Strudel," and it is a beauty.  Essentially, it is a cheese strudel, but a vanilla custard is poured around the strudel to create an extra layer of flavor.  Although the book gives detailed instructions on how to make hand-pulled strudel, this recipe uses frozen filo.  Want the recipe? Keep reading...

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Viennese Sachertorte

Sachertorte.jpgSachertorte has been famous almost since its conception in the mid-19th century.  It made its inventor so famous that he was able to build a hotel, one that is still one of the premier hosteleries in Vienna, a city renown for its elegance.  But I will warn you...it isn't for everybody, and it takes a discerning palate to enjoy its subtleties.  

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Couscous Summer Salad for Fourth of July

Couscous_Vegetable_Salad_00344 2.jpgDo you have your Fourth of July menu together yet? If you are like me, the answer is no.  One thing is for sure, I'll need a cool carb- based salad, something that I know will match up well with meat that will be the star of the menu.  My couscous salad has filled that slot on many of my summertime menus.  The Meryl Streep of my summer salad lineup, it is extremely versatile.  It goes just as well with grilled steak as it does barbecued chicken, marinated lamb, or seafood kebabs. It looks great. It taste great.  You can make it ahead of time.  In short: Put it on the menu.  

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Seeded Bread Twists

Seeded_Bread_Sticks_00258.jpgWhen I was a caterer, I learned one of the most important rules of setting up a buffet table: Tall is Good.  Height gives the table some drama.  You can accomplish this with a big floral arrangement, or by putting the platters on boxes to lift them up.  Or...you can do it with the food.  These beautiful bread sticks, decorated with savory seeds, will be a conversation piece, both for their looks and their flavor.  

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Homemade Potato Rolls

Dinner_Rolls_Basket_00284.jpgDuring the holiday season, even those of us who already love cooking seem to expend a little more effort making meals for friends. To me, there is nothing that says "made with love" than homemade dinner rolls on a holiday table. The aroma of just-baked bread in the kitchen on Christmas morning is as wonderful as any fresh-cut Christmas tree--spoken like a true food fan. I have a big collection of buns, rolls, and breads (to be revealed in Ballantine's THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF SIDE DISHES next fall), but these fluffy potato have rolls become my favorite, and they will riding shotgun with my baked ham this year.  Take a look at this tall beauty...Read on to find out why potato rolls are so wonderful.  (Photo by Ben Fink.) 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple and Bacon

KOZXGoFh7HUJLonFLbkvEgflLKbMKgiBEIMa-8E_aEo,Qk_k6ac2Id7mjrlcg_96GRoyLeXZ_V_Jd9Stcuk6iv8,1mPA6WrIT2uDrlAx9J5qoV4WySMoaOwdelA9MLRgxBI,eg9wfS7h2ZcETmnyOd8G1N2QiVdxORGpJI68FAj4gDQ,eFBoAzTq7rQRozbC9pDURyHce6hx6p90JnUDJtOReBs-1.jpgAs I work my way through the 500 recipes in THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF SIDE DISHES, it is easy to repeat myself: "This is the perfect cold weather side dish."  The truth is that there are a lot of perfect side dishes, which is just one reason why they are so beloved. But consider this dish.  Roasted Brussels sprout, sweetened with maple syrup, balanced by salty crisp bits of bacon.  It does give one pause.  And if you can find a side dish that is a better match with a holiday roast pork or ham, not to mention a roast chicken, I'm willing to discuss the possibilities.  (Photo by Ben Fink.)

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Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin

Onion Tarte Ben.jpgSide dishes:  Are they the best part of the meal?  There a many people who think so, especially during the holidays when cooks go to extra efforts to create festive dishes for the big roasts that are (supposedly) the main attraction of the dinner.  For my new side dishes book to come out in Fall 2014, I have been creating a large array of recipes that run from humble (but delicious!) weeknight fare to ones that are fit for company.  This caramelized onion tart is a showshopper.  The recipe follows... (Photo by Ben Fink.) 

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Thanksgiving Hotline 2013

Rodgers_turkey.jpgIt's that time of year again.  I have already made five turkeys for various recipe development clients, so I am staying in practice, even if I not teaching Thanksgiving this year.  (I promise that I will be back in the saddle next year.)  If you have any holiday cooking questions, leave your query here in the comments section, and I will get back to you ASAP.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Cookbook Ghostwriting

whisk.jpgI often get questions along the lines of "What is it exactly that you do?"  Some people have a difficult time imagining a life of a cookbook writer, especially one who loves working with other people to create the book at hand.  Many of my writer friends would never consider co-authoring a book with someone else, much less ghostwrite.  Well, to each their own.  I love learning new things from my clients, but most of all, I love being the guy who comes in on a white horse to wrangle the book into shape.  

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Maple-Raspberry Cranberry Sauce

Thumbnail image for cranberry sauce.jpegI have a burning question: Why would anyone serve canned cranberry sauce when homemade is so easy and delicious? Essentially, you toss fresh cranberries and sugar in a pot, bring it to a boil, and gussy it up with various flavors.  Every year, I create at least one new cranberry sauce and each year, I declare that one my favorite.  This Thanksgiving, I am making this beautiful, garnet-colored sauce, a recipe that I developed for Driscoll's Berries.  The bright red of raspberries complements the darker scarlet of the cranberries, and the flavor is sensational.   


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