Tomato Clafoutis

How this Site Is Organized

This site consists of blogs of seasonal dishes with fresh ingredients that I started posting in October 2017.  Each blog is categorized by season (fall, winter, spring, summer),and the blogs are in chronological order from most recent to oldest, so you will always see the blogs for the current season on top.  You can see all of the other blogs from the same season by clicking on the season name at the bottom of the blog.  Some blogs are of foods that span more than one season.

Each blog is also categorized by meal/course (breakfast, sandwich, starter, cocktail, salad, fish main, veggie side, sauce, dessert).  You can see other blogs with foods for the same meal/course by clicking on the meal/course name at the bottom of the blog. Click on the “Continue Reading” button to check one out. Some blogs include foods from more than one meal/course.  The photos in the gallery are grouped by meal/course category.

The blogs are also tagged by their principle ingredients, and by the source of the recipe if it is from a cooking school or a cookbook.  By clicking on one of the tags at the bottom of the blog, you can see other blogs that incorporate the same ingredient or come from the same cooking school or cookbook.  Again, just click on the “Continue Reading” button to check one out.

To get to the blogs from this Home Page, just hit “Go To Blog” at the bottom of the page.  Or hit the blog tab in the menu bar above, or if you are on your phone, hit the “hamburger” menu icon in the upper right of your screen, then the blog button on the menu. Then hit the “Continue Reading” button for the blog you want to see..

You can also use the search window to navigate the site.  Type in a word and you will see a list of any blog or page in the site that contains that word.  Hit the “Continue Reading” button on the blog or page you want to explore.

Below are some quick links into a few of the blogs:

Cooking with the Season

The central theme of The Perishable Cook is the idea of cooking in season with fresh ingredients.

In the spring, that means using ingredients like Shad (see The Taste of Spring: CT River Shad) or Ramps (see Ramps!).

In the summer, it means ingredients like local tomatoes (see the recipe for Tomato Clafoutis in Fig School 2 and pictured above)  or zucchini and basil (see Courgetti with Pesto).

In the fall, it’s all about ingredients like pumpkins (see The Grail Achieved: Curried Pumpkin Mussel Soup III) and Macoun Apples (see Pumpkin/Macoun Soup II).

In winter, our tastes turn to hearty soups (see Swedish Winter Soul Food: Yellow Split Pea Soup) and heavier bean dishes (see Snow Time is Cassoulet Time!).

Farmers markets inspire me

From Memorial Day through Halloween, I shop at the Old Saybrook Farmers Market once or twice a week.  I don’t go to the market looking for ingredients for dishes I have decided in advance to cook.  I do it the other way around.  I buy what looks good at the market, then figure out what to make from it.  It’s a really fun way to cook and to eat.  Every week is a new adventure. I did a blog about the eight dishes I made from the produce (see above) I bought at the OS Farmers Market in September 20, 2017 (see The Last Farmers Market).

I was able to keep my farmers market-to-table mojo going through the winter with a CSA from Trifecta Ecosystems, a hydroponic greenhouse in Meriden.  Every Monday, Trifecta sends an email that includes links to recipes inspired by the contents of the week’s CSA.  I have been making most of these recipes and blogging about some of them.  My all-time favorite was The Trifecta Green Gumbo Challenge.

Fennel Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna with Fennel Slaw, Broccoli Rabe and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

I wonder how they made that?

When I eat something I like, I try to figure out what’s in it and how it was made.  Pictured above is a Fennel Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna with Fennel Slaw, Broccoli Rabe and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes that I recreated from a dish I had at Liv’s Oyster Bar in Old Saybrook. (See Fish and Fennel).  Liv’s was also the inspiration for two winter soups (see Curried Cauliflower Soup and Celery Root Soup with Fried Capers and Crème Fraiche).


I love cook books and cooking classes

I will buy a big hard cover cook book to read on a plane.  I will read them before I go to sleep.  My blogs include dishes from my three favorite cookbooks: Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (see Chermoula Eggplant with Bulgur and Yogurt), The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (see Chili Over Savory Jalapeño Cornbread), and The Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking by Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner (see A Turkish Feast).

I also love cooking classes.  My blogs include recipes I learned at cooking classes, such as Asian Tuna with Mango Avocado Salsa (see Fig School 1) or Ceviche Nikkei (see Divertimenti Cookery School: Japanese Peruvian) or the Fish Tacos I learned to make on Cinco de Mayo at Weekend Kitchen (see Shad Tacos with Pickled Ramps ).

A lifelong love of food

I have always been passionate about fresh food in season, especially produce and fish.  Even as a kid, I would order fish whenever my family ate out, always opting for a type I hadn’t had before if there was one on the menu.  I used to hang out as a 12-year old at the LA Grand Central Market with its stalls of fruits and veggies, meat and fish.  This involved a 40 minute bus ride each way from where I grew up in the suburbs!  (Put “fish” in the search window to see the many blogs I have done about delicious fish dishes, including Bacalao a la Vizcaina).

I rode my bicycle through France in college and stayed with a dozen French families.  Most had kitchen gardens where they grew lettuce for their meals (see above).  They showed me how to soak and spin the lettuce leaves, and how to make dressings from scratch.  That knowledge is specifically what I brought to my marriage for our shared kitchen.  I could make salad!  (Put “salad” in the search window to see the many blogs I have done about salad, including The Romance of Caesar Salad).

From there I worked my way up to soups, then to all the chopping and other “sous chef work” and finally to the point where I was ultimately doing all of the cooking.  My wife of 40 years, Marilyn Piurek, and I made two editions of Marilyn and Kip’s Favorite Recipes for our family and friends.  Some of my blogs come from that personal cookbook (see Polish Winter Soul Food: Bigos).

Our combined family backgrounds, coupled with places where we lived or traveled, brought a rich ethnic diversity to our cooking: Polish, Swedish, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Mexican, Greek, Indian, Moroccan, as well as our favorite versions of some New England classics.

Marilyn passed away in March 2017.  Cooking has been my salvation, my grief therapy, a living sensual memory of meals shared, places explored and friends made.  I discovered Facebook after her death and have been oppressing my FB friends with pictures and stories of what I am cooking.  Finally, they said “Enough already!  Get a blog!”  So here it is.

Check out my blogs.  Join the conversation.  Contact me with ideas or questions.

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