Weekly Newspaper Column

Chef Linda Hoffman contributes a weekly column in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper.  Previously published articles are archived here on the Come Back to the Table Website.  So if you forgot to clip or print the recipe a few months ago, you may be able to find it here!

Bechamel Sauce and Spinach Au Gratin

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Sauces can be formal and historical, such as the French “mother” sauces: velouté (white stock-based sauce thickened with flour), béchamel (milk-based white sauce), Espagnole (brown stock-based sauce), allemande (velouté augmented with egg yolk and cream), and emulsion sauces like Hollandaise, mayonnaise, and vinaigrette.   Sauces should enhance the flavor of the dish, not overwhelm it.  Often,…

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Salad Suggestions for Hot Weather

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Who wants to cook in this heat?  Not many of us.  Dinner at a restaurant every night is not an option for most of us, and the less expensive carry out choices are not especially healthy ones.  Processed and prepared foods are full of the cheapest ingredients, fillers, and additives.  How to beat the heat? …

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Uses for Fresh Basil Pesto

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Fresh basil is abundant in both our gardens and the Farmers’ Markets right now, a most welcome fragrance and flavor indeed.  High summer is basil season, wonderful torn and tossed into salads, sprinkled over flavorful heirloom tomato slices, perhaps adding fresh mozzarella cheese.  A great favorite is fresh basil pesto, the classic Italian “paste,” if…

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Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Balsamic vinegar is an ingredient relatively new to American cuisine, but in just one generation has become the best-selling vinegar in the U.S.  Produced in northern Italy for centuries, it was so highly prized that it was often included in wedding dowries, to be used one valuable drop at a time.  Today the grocery store…

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Black Bean Salsa for B Vitamins

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

B vitamins support healthy heart, liver, muscle tone, nerves, skin, hair and eyes.  In fact, a shortage of B complex can lead to the malfunction of almost every organ and gland in our bodies!  Whole grains and legumes (peas and beans) are the best source of water soluble B vitamins, but they are also found…

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Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

A good friend called today looking for a menu suggestion for a graduation open house over the weekend.  She wanted a chicken “something” to cook in a crock pot to serve as sandwiches, along the lines of Sloppy Joes.  Mentally, I couldn’t get there.  First, I don’t know such a recipe.  But with 95° temperatures,…

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Fresh Asparagus Soup

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

The drive to Casper wasn’t as long as I expected, and it was certainly more beautiful than I remembered: lots of open, empty country, stark but majestic, and a reminder of the stretch of road between Fort Collins and Denver in days gone by.  I had been invited to speak at the Master Gardener’s Conference…

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Asparagus with Quick Lemon Butter Sauce

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

In my first column for the Coloradoan 2 years ago I wrote about asparagus, a great family favorite.  Once again, asparagus is both abundantly available and reasonably priced, although not yet our local asparagus.  As the concept of local food is more understood and accepted, we’ll see more or it available from northern Colorado sources. …

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Asparagus Wontons and Wild Salmon and Asparagus Salad

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Asparagus is a surprise member of the lily family, along with onions, garlic, leeks and chives.  It grows from a rhizome, or crown, planted almost 12 inches deep in any soil with good drainage.  Asparagus hates wet feet!  In Colorado, an asparagus bed can produce for about 20 years without replanting, a very attractive attribute. …

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Asparagus and Muenster Cheese Quesadillas

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Spring has officially arrived, and that brings a welcome change from heavier foods that we’ve enjoyed all winter.  As much as I love beets and butternut squash, I’m ready for something different.  Asparagus fills the bill.  Of course, asparagus is our newest year-round crop, arriving every week, October through March, from Chile.   But at mid-March…

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Brunch Recipes

By Linda Hoffman | January 23, 2013

Brunch is an easy and informal way to entertain over the holidays because so much can be made ahead, leaving only details for the last minute.  Our favorite banana bread and blueberry muffins can be made even a week before and frozen, thawed the day before the event.  Pie crust for quiche can be made…

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Baked Artichoke Hearts

By Linda Hoffman | January 23, 2013

Anyone who has worked with fresh artichokes knows they are members of the thistle family, handled with care.  Actually the immature flower of the plant, they must be harvested young to be edible.  They’ve been cultivated in Italy for at least 2 thousand years and were brought to America by Italian immigrants who settled along…

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