The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


August 10, 2013

Cooking with Simon: Seasonal Favorite Marks First Anniversary

PALESTINE — The other day I was looking back through all of the stories I have written for this column and I realized that next week I would be celebrating my one-year anniversary. I can’t believe it has been that long.

Even more shocking, I can’t believe I have written a year’s worth of stories. It’s a lot of work to actually get a recipe out of my head and onto paper and every week it seems like that deadline comes sooner and sooner.

But all the work aside, I am truly blessed by the great response I have had from readers of this column and feel humbled to know that you look forward to reading each week. I always enjoy running into people around town and hearing that someone has tried one of the recipes or is shopping for ingredients to make one of the recipes.

Often people ask about my favorite dish or what I like to cook for myself. Really I don’t have a favorite because what I enjoy most about food is whatever is fresh, flavorful and seasonal right now. Whatever that ingredient might be, it is the best tasting thing right now, but a month from now it probably won’t be so good.

The one thing I am beginning to crave is fresh figs. They haven’t come out yet, but a friend of mine who has a fig tree says they will be ready soon. I can’t wait to get a big bag of them to use in so many ways. I love them in salads, on pizza, in preserves or just by themselves.

Last summer I did a recipe for a fig and goat cheese tart. If I had to pick, this would be one of my favorite recipes from this column. So find out who has a fig tree in your neighborhood and be really nice to them so they will share some of their figs.

Next week I will have a review of all the recipes of the year and you will have the chance to pick your favorite. And for next year I would love to hear about some things that you would like to learn how to cook. It’s always fun to try new things and perhaps stumble upon a new favorite.

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  • Seafood Timbale COOKING WITH SIMON: Master classes

    You might have seen the article announcing the cooking class that I held last week.
    We’re holding a series of classes we’re calling Master Classes. They’re designed to give you the fundamental information and techniques needed for various areas of cooking.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SIMON Chocolate Cake COOKING WITH SIMON: Entertain with easy chicken entree

    Easter and Mother’s Day are right around the corner and that means family gatherings.
    And when it comes to serving a crowd you’re better off picking a recipe that is easy, yet full of flavor.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stuffed chicken breast COOKING WITH SIMON: Entertain with easy chicken entree

    Easter and Mother’s Day are right around the corner and that means family gatherings.
    And when it comes to serving a crowd you’re better off picking a recipe that is easy, yet full of flavor.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • black bean salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Black Bean Salad

    One of the great things about spring is the beginning of fresh salads, but not just the leafy kind, instead the ones filled with varieties of beans and peas.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayonnaise COOKING WITH SIMON: Which came first? The yolk or the white

    If you do a lot of baking or dessert making, like I do, you might have a large amount of egg yolks on your hands. There are many recipes, like my New Zealand Pavlova, that call for the egg whites, but not the yolks.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • seeds COOKING WITH SIMON: Planting seeds for the future and the plate

    My workload just got a lot easier and more interesting. Why? Because soon I won’t have to shop for produce and I get to start creating some fun new dishes that incorporate all of the wonderful vegetables and herbs that will be growing in my garden.

    March 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mardi Gras 1 COOKING WITH SIMON: Mardi Gras time in Palestine

    The good times were definitely rolling down Palestine Main Street last Saturday and the food sure was too. It was a great weekend with parades, floats, parties, Cajun recipes, zydeco music and plenty of Palestine area wine.

    March 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • eggplant sandwich COOKING WITH SIMON: Feeding the steak eaters and the vegetarians

    Texans are known as meat eaters and enjoy they’re big juicy steaks. But sometimes it’s nice to eat a meal that is just vegetables and follow the new Meatless Monday trend. Chefs always need to have some good vegetarian dishes in they’re repertoire because vegetarians and vegans don’t want to just eat salads and pasta.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hibiscus Champagne Cocktail COOKING WITH SIMON: Don’t forget the Valentine’s Day flowers

    Happy Valentine’s weekend! Well, at least for those of you who remembered it was Valentine’s and at the very least bought a card. Otherwise you may be spending the weekend in the doghouse.

    February 15, 2014 3 Photos

  • mushroom potato soup COOKING WITH SIMON: Keeping warm with healthy, hearty soups

    The groundhog saw his shadow so it looks like we are in for a few more weeks of winter. I am hoping he might be wrong because some trees are already starting to bud and I am ready to get busy cutting back the grapevines, planting vegetables and doing the spring pruning.

    February 9, 2014 1 Photo