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5 Gastronomical Genius  [Free Recipes & Cooking TipsFocusing on seasonal, healthy, local and sustainable ingredients.

Almost VEGAN ~ Almost PALEO ~ Almost ATKINS ~ Full Of UMAMI ~ GLUTEN FREE If You Want It To Be ~ Con CARNE ~ CARNIVEROUS/Carnivorous ~ Fun With RING MOLDS

September, 2023


Hypomyces Lactifluorum: Characterized by a reddish orange color resembling the outer shell of a cooked lobster, the Lobster Mushroom is actually a transformation caused by a parasitic ascomycete fungus that grows on the outside of genera Lactarius and Lactifluus fungi, such as Russula Brevipes and Lactifluus Piperatus, or more commonly: Milk-Caps and Brittlegills. They have a firm, dense texture and a taste that's slightly reminiscent of seafood.

Lobster Mushrooms

Lobster mushrooms are widely foraged but they are sometimes found in grocery stores. I was lucky enough to find some recently at my local produce market while they were in season. These babies only need a few minutes in a hot pan, making an extremely quick snappetizer!

* This basic preparation technique can be used for most mushrooms, and feel free to omit the garlic and chili flake if you're a purist.

Lobster Mushrooms:1-2Caps, Sliced
Garlic Powder:¼Tsp, to taste
Rock Salt:Fresh Ground, to taste
Choice Chili Flake:Tiny Pinch, Optional
Lobster Mushroom Snappetizer


Non-Stick Skillet- Heat on high until HOT, add mushrooms and sear with salt, garlic powder and chili flake..

Sauté- mushrooms for 1-2 minutes on high, stirring ofter.

Add Butter- and reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute more or so until just before the desired doneness is achieved.

Turn Heat Off- and allow the mushrooms to rest in the residual heat of the pan before serving. They should be still firm but cooked through, and the garlic powder and salt should have made a nice crust on the outer edges.

April, 2022


1949:Steve Henson (1918–2007), a plumbing contractor in Anchorage, Alaska, was the inventor of this popular salad dressing. After the Thayer, Nebraska native retired from plumbing, he and his wife moved to San Marcos Pass, California. In 1956 Henson purchased property and named it Hidden Valley Ranch, where he served the now infamous salad dressing to his friend Audrey Ovington, who then sold the dressing to her customers at the Cold Spring Tavern in Santa Barbara, California. By 1957, the dressing mix was available for purchase at retail grocery stores.

*Ranch Dressing is usually comprised of buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, chives, parsley, dill, and most commonly pepper, paprika and ground mustard seed; mixed into mayonnaise or aioli, and may possibly contain sour cream or yogurt.

Ranch Salad Dressing

Okay, I know Ranch Dressing is fairly simple to make from scratch, and the powder packets from the grocery store are actually pretty good - but let's just say that you are stuck with a single serving or more of relatively flavorless house dressing - you know the kind - it may even say it has buttermilk in it like that's supposed to mean it's good (it is not).

Here's how to make that boring cup-o-sauce more palatable…

Chive:Dash Dried
Dill:Dash Dried
Coriander:Dash Ground
Ginger:Dash Ground
Orange Zest:Dash Dried, Ground

Other than adding more chive and dill, I've introduced 3 additional spices. You can use fresh stuff if you have it, but I actually prefer to use the dried stuff here. It's even better the next day after everything has bloomed a little in the fridge. You could even pre-mix these spices and keep them in a small container for on the go, in case you're stuck with super-bland salad dressing and you just can't hang. Your french fries will thank you.

August, 2021


This French spice blend used to be sold by McCormick but was discontinued over a decade ago. Also referred to as Epices Fines, the mixture is usually a chef's personal seasoning, typically consisting of white and black pepper, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, thyme, ginger, and cloves. I prefer to add turmeric and paprika, omitting the bay leaf and kosher salt called for in other recipes. I also use pink pepper instead of black and green pepper instead of thyme. Some recipes call for sage, marjoram and/or rosemary, but you could always add a dash of ground Herbs Provençal or Italian Seasoning.

Peppercorn Medley


Turmeric:2-4 tbsp
White Pepper:1 tbsp
Green Pepper:1 tbsp
Pink Pepper:1 tbsp
Mace:1 tbsp
Cinnamon:½ tbsp
Ginger:½ tbsp
Nutmeg:½ tbsp
Paprika:½ tbsp
Cloves:½ tsp

NOTE: Even though your spices are already ground, pulse them together in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle until they are well blended and resemble a fine powder. You can always add salt later as needed. I recommend sprinkling Parisienne liberally on meat and poultry before pan-searing.


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