Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipe from a Coleslaw Addict

Yes, I must admit, since I can remember nothing could satisfy more than good classic creamy coleslaw.  Notice the word good, I honestly don't know how many don't meet this classification.  Most often it's okay, or fair, or just another coleslaw.  But take it from a connoisseur of coleslaw, this recipe will meet the most discriminating taste buds while satisfying old-fashioned uncle Ted at the next pig roast.

When shopping for ingredients, whatever you do, don't skip the white balsamic.  This is the secret.  This is the ingredient that makes people go, "Yes, they brought coleslaw again!".  And one last tip, when people ask for the recipe (this is not an "if" they ask) don't tell people what vinegar you use when you hand this recipe out.  It will drive them nuts.  Just write "vinegar", let them have the hassle of discovering what vinegar to use.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Ice Cream Challenge!

In the past few weeks, Connecticut, like many parts of the country have been suffering from triple-digit heat.  During summer heat waves, nothing is more satisfying than a food frozen treat like ice cream.  As a gourmet, the typical vanilla and chocolate flavors were a bit redundant.  With a motive to find a contemporary twist, I asked members of a food forum where I regularly contribute for exotic ideas on ice cream.  After trying nearly one dozen flavors, these two have stood out.  Judging was based on simplicity, ease of ingredient access, and of course, taste.

Please click on "Read More" for recipes.

This ice cream is SO ADDICTING!  The first bite: BOOM, the thick and fudgey chocolate flavor with a slightly bitter mocha coffee taste.  But then, the ice cream begins to melt in your mouth and WHOA!   The heat of the peppers mixed with the frozen feel on your tongue is genius.  A slow and growing spice continues to build after each bite.  Once your spicy sundae is gone, you'll have to fetch a glass of water!  This ice cream is made in a traditional custard-style so it has the richest flavor and will call you back to the freezer after each bite.

Whoever thought of putting cantaloupe and vanilla together in one bite?  Well, apparently Diane K. of New Jersey did!  This is the greatest twist on the classic vanilla ice cream since Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, I swear.  When pureeing the cantaloupe, be sure to leave little bits of cantaloupe to make this a summer dream dessert. Serve in a halved cantaloupe for a beautiful presentation!  Opposed to the Chocolate Red Pepper Ice Cream, this is made in Philadelphia-Style, which means it is simply cream based without any egg yolks.  This makes this recipe significantly easy and is perfect for the beginning ice cream novice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The New "About" Page

From fresh baked apple pie to catering private functions, Jonathan Miller's unique approach to the world of food is refreshing and straight forward. With over 10 years of experience, he has successfully produced and created hundreds of dishes. He has worked as a freelance sous chef, and has been titled with "Connecticut's Best Apple Pie" in 2006 by the Association of Connecticut Fairs. He is also ServSafe certified by the National Restaurant Association.

The History Behind Smacznego: A Blog
Great Grandmother Adele Rosia Cooking with her Protege
           Smacznego: A Blog is the first attempt in a plan to expand the horizons of home cooks looking for a new way to approach food: the professional way.  Since the start of this blog in March of 2011, many people have questioned why the name Smaczneo.  The term Smacznego is loosely translated into Polish as "May This Meal Be Tasty".  No, Polish is not my native language; however, my roots are based in the European countryside of Poland & Lithuania.  The name is in honor of the traditions of our family legacy; to never let a guest leave hungry.  Each holiday that passes by is filled with stories from both sides of the aisle on how the Lithuanians perfected the cuisine of the Poles.  Laughter is always the center of conversation, but food is what brings both sides to the table asking for more!

          Smacznego: A Blog rests in the loving memory of my Lithuanian great grandmother, Adele Rosia, who started a restaurant that became the hot spot for dinning in a small lake village in Holland, Massachusetts.  As time continued, it became tradition after our supper prayer for the family to burst out in one accord, SMACZNEGO!  Though the privilege of this family tradition came before my time, I respect the roots of my culinary heritage.

~ Please, come in and sit down for good times with Smacznego: A Blog! ~

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cracking the Convection Oven

Samsung 30" Electric Convection Range
Do you own a convection oven?  If so, what kind and how do you like it?  Please Comment Below.

If you have any questions concerning convection ovens, please read the FAQ section at the bottom of the article.  If your question is still unanswered, please feel free ask it in the comment section!

Unless you were employed in the culinary industry, convection ranges were virtually unheard of a few decades ago.  The world's most affluent were among the select few that installed these commercial beasts in their own home.  The electric output was costly, and special fans and ventilation needed to be installed for these stoves to be compatible in the kitchen.  It was no wonder that convection cooking was left to the professional world of food.

It was not until recent media exposure on topics incorporating gourmet meals in the kitchen that the home cook began to explore new cuisines in their own kitchen.  Thanks to few, but popular television networks, the world of professional cooking at home began to take interest to many.  This "food craze" is what has many companies searching to improve professional technology for the pleasure of the home cook.

One of the greatest improvements to modern day kitchen appliances is the convection range.  However, many people are uncertain with this cooking method and are unsure if this is just another gadget or a technology that has staying power.  As a professional in the food industry, I am pleased to announce convection cooking here to stay!  It is true that there are convection ovens on the market that promise to deliver but in fact only disappoint.  But it is possible to find an excellent standard size home convection oven model within a reasonable price range.

So lets get cooking and Crack Open the Convection Oven!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May's Featured Ingredient: Cilantro

Cilantro is an herb that closely resembles parsley.  A relative of the carrot family, it is extremely fragrant and flavorful.  Natural compliments to this refreshing herb includes garlic, citrus, tomatoes and onions.  It also helps to add a savory component to sweet tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, and papaya.

Cilantro is best known for its pungent flavor in Mexican inspired cuisine, such as in pico de gallo (fresh salsa).  However, its use is not limited to Central American cooking.  In fact, cilantro has been cultivated in other international regions for thousands of years prior to its use in Mexican foods.  Cilantro can be found being grown and harvested in South East Europe, Egypt, India and parts of China.

The term cilantro is believed to have originated from the Greek word "koris", literally meaning "bedbug".  Cilantro is said to have a similar aroma that of bedbugs; this may be a disgusting fact, however, true!  Cilantro was used in ancient potions said to give women fertility and the immortalization of human life.  Cilantro is said to be an appetite stimulant.

Alternative names for cilantro include Chinese parsley, and koriandron.  Though some refer to cilantro as "coriander", the term coriander typically refers to the seed of cilantro rather than the leaves of the plant.  Coriander (cilantro seed) is referred to as a spice, while cilantro (grown coriander) is classified as an herb.

When selecting cilantro, leaves should be rich green in color; never yellow or brown.  Leaves should be securely fastened to the stem of the plant.  Before storing, rinse leaves gently in running cool water to wash off any excess dirt that can cause cilantro to prematurely rot.  Cilantro should be moist when storing, but not excessively wet.
~ Smacznego! ~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Orange & Dill Vinaigrette w/ Tomatoes & Mozzarella

         Using April's featured ingredient, dill, this vinaigrette is perfect for any type of spring time salad.  Serve these marinated tomatoes over a bed of fresh baby spinach, al dente cooked penne pasta, or simply eat alone as a healthy snack choice.

        For mozzarella, I find that the individual sized cheese sticks are great for cutting bite-size circles.  However, you may decide to use fresh miniature mozzarella balls, or cut the block mozzarella in tiny squares.  If you arrange a plate of salad, as seen in the picture, you will notice the round pieces of mozzarella arranged in between the halved cherry tomatoes. 

        In the photograph's, there are two types of serving ideas.  One is the more traditional salad plate, and the second is in a medium sorbet cup.  This would also present nice in a regular size martini glass.

Click on "Read More" for Recipe.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April's Featured Ingredient: Dill

         Dill, known as Anethum graveolens, is most often remembered as the flavor that brings those crunchy summer pickles to life!  The flavor of dill is often underestimated, and if used correctly, can bring a new dimension into the home cook's repertoire of herbs and spices.

        Dill is native to the Eastern regions of the Mediterranean, and parts of Russia.  Dill is named after the Old Norse term dilla; meaning to calm or soothe.  Historically, Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was used between 800 A.D. - 1300 A.D.  The Romans and Greeks viewed dill as a sign of luck and wealth, often believing it had the power to protect against witchcraft.  The use of dill could be seen hung over a doorway, or a child's cradle to protect them and keep evil spirits at bay.

        In cooking, dill can be used as an herb or a spice.  It's fern like leaves are often confused with that of fennel/anise leaves.  The infamous dill weed is a popular herb that can be added to enhance flavors similar to fennel and caraway.  As a spice, dill seed can be used, and has a similar flavor profile to that of the dill weed; this is the popular use of dill in Scandinavian and German cuisine.  Going beyond the traditional pickle, dill is often used to flavor cured Salmon, borscht, and other Eastern European soups.

Borscht w/ Sour Cream & Dill
         When using dill weed/seed in cooking, fresh is preferred over dried, as the oils can dissipate weakening the potent flavor of the original fresh weed.  When purchasing dill, look for even green coloration with feathery leaves.  There should be no yellow or brown leaves, and never be slimy.  Select leaves that are soft to the touch, and are securely fastened to the plant.  Fresh dill should have the appearance as if it was just picked from the garden.  Because dill is widely available in stores, one should not settle on quality upon selection.


         Incorporating dill into a regular diet can be an essential part of healthy living.  Dill weed is high in calcium, magnesium and iron.  It is also attributed to soothing upset stomachs and helping maintain a healthy digestive track.

Keep checking Smacznego: A Blog throughout the month of April for recipes containing Dill...


Saturday, April 9, 2011

New England Peak Seasons

This chart is sponsored by's Grown in Connecticut campaign.  Though this list is specific to Connecticut, it is generally unchanged throughout New England and many other Northern American states.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Must Have Ingredient Substitution List

Have you ever been in the middle of baking your favorite cookies, only to discover, OOPS you ran out of baking powder!  Here is the “must have” list of substitutions for any kitchen.
Click On "Read More" Below For Substitution List

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mint Scented Lemonade with Honey & Sea Salt

A twist on a classic beverage, this lemonade is meant for breezy spring afternoons rather than the hot dog days of summer.  This drink is perfectly paired with Arugula Salad with Walnuts tossed in Raspberry White Balsamic Dressing.

The trick behind this lemonade is the addition of sea salt.  Adding salt to drinks allows maximum flavor potential, as our taste buds detect sweet, sour, bitter, AND salty.  Typical lemonade provides sweet, sour, and bitter, but without the addition of salt, lacks in providing full potential.  The use of Mint provides something called umami, which is detected by nerve endings in the tongue and mouth.  This is the same sensation that is provided when eating something that is described as texture, i.e. hot, spicy, velvety, thin, crunchy, smooth, gritty, wet, or dry.  All these mouth sensations are felt by the presence of umami.

Then to tie it all together, distilled water is used to preserve the fresh taste of the fresh squeezed citrus, as it flirts with the honey and sea salt.   ~ Smacznego! ~

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cherry Smoked Turkey w/ Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

If you don't own a smoker, no worry, just use a gas grill.  Below are instructions on how to use your gas grill as a smoker.

This turkey recipe uses cherry wood chips.  Smoking with cherry wood adds a slightly smoky, fruity flavor.  If you prefer a heavy wood smoke taste, use hickory or red oak chips.  You may also try combining different types
of wood chips according to your preference.

This recipe takes approximately 3 - 4 hours smoking time.  Also figure another 1 - 2 hours for preparation of  the wood chips, spice mixture and chopping the vegetables.  This recipe does take quite a few hours to create, but is perfect for outdoor parties when your guests will be able to smell the delicious meal as it cooks!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Flour Difference...

The story is all too common; you're in the middle of baking when you read a recipe and it calls for a special kind of flour.  Having no clue what the difference is, you scoop in the regular all-purpose flour.  Then the oven timer goes off, and to your dismay, you find the results are less to be desired.  Most home bakers don't make the correlation that they may be using the wrong type of flour!  After reading this article you will be educated enough to understand that the flour in a recipe makes all the difference.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato....Pasta!

If you enjoy the flavor of bacon, lettuce and tomato, then you will love this pasta!

Click on " Read More " for Recipe!

~ Smacznego! ~

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Smacznego: A Blog Launches Facebook Page & Subscription by Email

Now you can find Smacznego: A Blog on Facebook...


Smacznego: A Blog, the Facebook Page!

Now you can even subscribe to Smacznego: A Blog's posts via email.  Just enter your email address in the box on the left-side panel, and we will send you new posts as they are written!

Please Join Our Community ... May All Your Meals Be Tasty.



Jonathan Miller, Founder of Smacznego: A Blog

Monday, February 21, 2011

Smacznego: A Blog's Top Cookbook Recommendations

Since the launch of Smacznego: A Blog, many readers have requested a list of recommended cookbooks titles.  I have come up with a short list of six titles.  These resources are not just packed with recipes.  But each one has an educational value of teaching the science of why things happen.  This is what makes these titles valuable.
I hope you enjoy these titles.

Smacznego: A Blog loves to hear from its readers!  Please add your favorite cooking titles in the comment area below.

May you discover new adventures on the cooking trails ahead!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Around the Corner, Iced Tea on the Mind

Here in the North East, the bitter winter has been brutal with continual snow storms.  However, the other day a glimmer of spring began to show its seemingly long arrival may be around the corner.  The sun came out, and a high of 50 F degrees felt as though I was in the tropics of the South.  I began to think, it is never too early to contemplate homemade iced tea sitting in the sparkling sunlight.

The perfect iced tea is made with the simple science of using the natural rays of the sun to percolate the tea into a crystal clear, dark champagne drink of health!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Welcome to Smacznego: A Blog

Dear Smacznego: A Blog Readers,

Smacznego: A Blog is designed with the home cook in mind. The word "Smacznego" is a polish term loosely translated, "May This Meal Be Tasty". At Smacznego: A Blog you will find the resources necessary to make all your meals exceptionally tasty!

Please comment, write and give feedback. Please suggest topics of interest that you would like Smacznego: A Blog to feature.

Cooking is an art, and like all art, is only worth the opinion of the people. This blog will only thrive on constant feedback.

Together, Smacznego: A Blog will be successful!


Jonathan Miller, Founder of Smacznego: A Blog

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: The Most Romantic Dessert

Cheesecake: one of earth's most romantic desserts. But what happens when you add 70% bittersweet chocolate? Luxury on a fork! This cheesecake is smooth and dense, reminiscent of a New York style cheesecake.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Leftover Bones After Making Stock? Try a Remouillage!

The term "remouillage" is a French word meaning "rewetting". A remouillage is produced by reusing the bones after making a stock. See the "Brown Turkey Stock" post.

To make a remouillage, add fresh mirepoix, herbs & spices. Fill with enough water to cover the bones, and simmer for 16 - 18 hours.

Click Here to Go to the "Brown Turkey Stock" post to find information on making a mirepoix.

How to use a remouillage?

A remouillage is weaker in flavor than a traditional stock. It is perfect to use in recipes that you typically wouldn't want to add a predominant meat flavor, but yet want a fullbodied texture and aroma added to the final product. I use a remouillage whenever I want a delicate poultry flavor, like in cream of tomato soup. A remouillage is also perfect when replacing water in your bread recipe, or making rice. Try adding a tablespoon to your eggs before scrambling them for breakfast!

~ Smacznego !

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Guide to Purchasing Knives

Find "Recommended Knife Brands" on left panel.

A good knife is the most important tool in the modern kitchen. Without a knife we would find ourselves tearing and breaking our food in the manner of cavemen.

Often times, the home cook is found purchasing common knives at the local department store that become dull and useless after continued use. If you continue to find yourself in this prediciment, keep reading because this is the post for you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jonathan Miller Featured in Taste of Home Cookbook

Photo Courtesy of Taste of Home
Cheese Tomato Egg Bake

Taste of Home: Click to View Recipe

This recipe is featured in

Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

Brown Turkey Stock

Everybody loves to have chicken soup on those cold winter evenings. For those of us that have made our own stock, we know the quality is far superior to any store bought bullion. For those of us who still dissolve those salty cubes in boiling water, I urge you to try making your own stock. It is surprisingly easy.

What this post is going to explain is how to make a brown turkey stock. It is different than the traditional chicken stock used as broth in chicken noodle.

Brown Turkey Stock is best for soups like Pasta Fajoiloli, Minestrone, & tomato based cream soups. If you like, you can also replace the water in your bread recipe and add sun-dried tomatoes for savory breadsticks for dinner.