Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Washing Knives

posted in Knives by Kathy Maister

I wash my large knives by hand, with a soapy sponge.

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Always keep the blade pointed away from you.

I do not recommend putting large knives in the dishwasher.   Small paring knives, with the point down, are fine in the dishwasher, as long as they don’t have a wooden handle. (Wooden handles and dishwashers don’t mix.)

Large knives in the dishwasher are an accident waiting to happen. They could nick or chip dishes and glassware as well as the dishwashing rack itself. (Once the dishwasher rack gets nicked it may well start to rust. Those racks are REALLY expensive to replace.)

If you wash your dishes in a dishpan of soapy water DO NOT toss the dirty knives in as well! Having to retrieve those knives without being able to see where you’re groping is a really scary thought!

Dry off knives with a soft dish towel or paper towel. Remember – with the blade always pointed away from you.

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Be sure to check out my video on Three Good Knives!

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Lasagna with Meat Sauce

print recipe card posted in Main Dishes by Kathy Maister
Difficulty:

When making Lasagna with meat sauce you can add cooked ground beef or cooked ground Italian sausage or cooked turkey-sausage to the sauce for a great tasting lasagna.

To make Lasagna with Meat Sauce, start by reviewing my Spinach Lasagna video below:

Skip adding the spinach!

You could leave it in but there are there are a lot of strong flavors competing with one another!

Mix together the cooked meat with the jar of spaghetti sauce and start assembling your lasagna – just like in the video!

Remember the meat must get cooked completely and the fat drained off before adding it to the sauce.

You can make your sauce from scratch by using my Pasta Sauce with Turkey Italian Sausage (shown below) and use it in place of the store bought jar of spaghetti sauce.

When you are assembling your lasagna, the layering of all the ingredients can get confusing.

Just remember to start with about ¾ cup of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then the order is:

  1. Pasta, sauce, cheeses
  2. Pasta, sauce, cheeses and
  3. Pasta, sauce, cheeses!

Enjoy!

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Wine and Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

posted in Beverages, Sweets by Kathy Maister

I received the following from Natalie MacLean, author of “Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass”.

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Hi Start Cooking,

Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Just share a glass of wine (or three) with your sweetheart. Wine is liquid sensuality: Its heady bouquet stimulates the appetite and its velvet caress soothes that desire. What other drink is described as both ‘voluptuous’ and ‘muscular’? And when you pair wine with the mouth-coating luxury of chocolate, the combination is impossible to resist.

The creamy flavors of chocolate go best with sweet, full-bodied, high-alcohol wines.
My top 10 wine and chocolate matches:

1. Dark Chocolate and Banyuls, France
2. Chocolate-Covered Biscotti and Recioto Della Valpolicella, Italy
3. Chocolate-Orange Cake and Liqueur Muscat, Australia
4. Chocolate with Nuts and Tawny Port, Portugal
5. Milk Chocolate and Tokaji, Hungary
6. Bittersweet Chocolate and Amarone, Italy
7. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit and Icewine, Canada
8. Chocolate Ganache Truffles and Sauternes, France
9. Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Framboise, California
10. Chocolate Hearts with Cream Filling and Cream Sherry, Spain

***

Natalie suggests wines to complement 50 chocolate dishes in her online matching tool at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher. Just click on “desserts” to find pairings for chocolate mud pie to chocolate cheesecake. Her online food-and-wine matcher doesn’t just focus on chocolate. The interactive tool has thousands of wines to pair with any dish: meat, pasta, seafood, vegetarian fare, pizza, eggs, cheese and dessert. You simply choose the food or wine from a drop-down menu to get the pairing suggestions. There are also lots of recipes for those planning a romantic meal. The matcher is updated regularly with new dishes and wines from the 85,000-plus readers who subscribe to Natalie’s free e-newsletter, which offers tips on how to buy, cellar and serve wine.

Natalie has won four James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award. Eric Asimov of the New York Times calls Natalie’s approach “a winning formula,” describing her as “the disarming Everywoman … she loves wine, loves drinking.”

Thanks, Natalie for sharing your expertise!

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