Chris Styler

Freelance Food LLC

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Grilled ‘Half-Crocked’ Pork Chops

Grilled ‘Half-Crocked’ Pork Chops

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Kitchen Basics | 0 comments

So they’re ‘half-crocked’ because there is far less salt in this brine than most. It still flavors the chops and keeps them moist but it isn’t the salt-fest that most brines are. I also don’t like the super juicy effect that a heavy brine gives. It reminds of those hams in a can. Orange zest, thyme and honey round things out....

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Tips on Working with Filo (Phyllo) Pastry:

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Kitchen Basics, Secret Weapons | 0 comments

Filo is usually sold frozen in 1-pound boxes. A package of filo dough may be defrosted at room temperature (about 2 hours) or in the refrigerator (about 24 hours). Remove only remove the number of sheets called for in the recipe from the defrosted package. Immediately return the remaining sheets to the plastic bag they were sealed in and wrap the plastic...

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Foolproof Creamy Polenta

Foolproof Creamy Polenta

Posted by on Jan 30, 2016 in Kitchen Basics, Small Plates, Vegetable World | 0 comments

I guess if I were to keep it current, I would call this “No-Fail Polenta.” But using verbs as nouns and vice versa (“I was tasked with making no-fail polenta,” e.g.) annoys me. And being annoyed is the opposite of what cooking is all about. So Foolproof Polenta it is. Polenta, like risotto and soufflés, has an unearned reputation for being finicky. Polenta...

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Secret Weapon: All-Purpose Sauteéd Mushrooms

Secret Weapon: All-Purpose Sauteéd Mushrooms

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Kitchen Basics, Secret Weapons | 0 comments

Mushrooms of one kind or another are always on my shopping list and sautéeing them is almost always on my Prep Day list. With sautéed mushrooms in the fridge I am halfway to a mushroom-spinach omelet or a grilled cheese and mushroom sandwich—two dinner-in-a-pinch ideas no one is ever disappointed to see. Makes about 2 cups 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,...

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Cravings: Clams

Cravings: Clams

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in Kitchen Basics | 0 comments

Years ago, when I worked at the Black Dog Tavern on Martha’s Vineyard, I got myself up to Tisbury Town Hall and applied for a clamming permit. I could spend an entire (and rare) free afternoon clamming in Lagoon Pond, between Tisbury and Oak Bluffs. I’d borrow Charlie Esposito’s row boat, get a little bucket of ice and put a couple of beers in the ice....

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The World Can Be Your Oyster

The World Can Be Your Oyster

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Kitchen Basics, Small Plates | 0 comments

Shucking oysters isn’t the easiest task in the kitchen, but it most certainly is one where practice makes perfect. Start by scrubbing the oyster shells thoroughly with a stiff brush under cold running water. While they are draining in a colander, set up your shucking station and pour enough very coarse salt over the bottom of a platter to form a thick...

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