Martin Sparks Profile - Allrecipes.com (11741266)

cook's profile

Martin Sparks


Martin Sparks
 
Home Town: Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA
Living In:
Member Since: Oct. 2009
Cooking Level: Expert
Cooking Interests: Baking, Frying, Slow Cooking, Italian, Southern, Mediterranean, Low Carb, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Gourmet
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About this Cook
I learned basic technique while working as a prep and line cook in a very busy restaurant. I have also worked all aspects of fine dining so I learned about wines and worked under some fine chefs. In my family, the men were always the cooks. My father cooked in the service and I know how to "cook for crowds", there are always leftovers. I find my best meals are wrought through instinct rather than following a recipe to the tee. When I cook, I draw from several recipes and incorporate my own flare.
My favorite things to cook
By standard, I'm what you call a "wartime cook" -- basic Sunday suppers using fresh and indigenous ingredients. Any food or cuisine gets a shot at my hand. I love to cook with fresh vegetables and make something everyone loves. I loathe recipes that list canned or processsed ingredients. Making your own stock, sauces, is easy and healthier. I also enjoy canning.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I do Polish holiday fare well -- every year, the pierogies although it is a long day's work. I do every holiday whether people are here to eat or not and I love to make different ethnic dishes for every holiday. I've been known to try things and then give it away to neighbors.
My cooking triumphs
Coq au Vin, Brisket, any soup/ stew, and I've nailed some crazy baked goods -- many things that were beginner's luck and which I potentially screw up next time around.
My cooking tragedies
I've messed up expensive cuts of beef several times,-- and who hasn't placed a Pyrex dish on a warm element to have it shatter all over the kitchen?
Recipe Reviews 27 reviews
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
I don't get the canned soup part, nor the point of breading the chicken prior. It adds so much more sodium to the dish where the ham is salty enough. I flash fry the chicken and ham , pour it in casserole dish, toss it a bit with a few tablespoons of flour -- along with warmed milk it will thicken on its own when baked. I add mushrooms (pre-rendered so not to add more liquid)and top with buttered bread crumbs -- it is gorgeous, creamy, cheesy and flavorful.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Feb. 2, 2014
Cathy's Banana Bread
This came out SUPREME. I rushed it, had 2 old bananas, used butter instead of margarine and also added 1/4 cup of cocoa to chocolatize it. Greased with spray oil. The sour cream really makes it. Added 10 minutes to time to firm it up. After cooling some, it dropped right out of a pyrex loaf pan. Served with brandy butter and vanilla ice cream. A keeper.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 9, 2013
Lentil and Sausage Soup
First off, 2-3 hours is too long. I loosely followed this recipe and it was done in half the time while holding some of the liquid so it wasn't mush. I didn't have the Italian seasonings so I used Rosemary and Turmeric instead and it came out very good.

0 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Oct. 10, 2013
 
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