Chez Villa

A journey through my love of food and the quest to create it

Butter as an ingredient – to use salted or unsalted

Butter is a staple ingredient in my pantry and is found in many a recipe but most home cooks are likely to just use regular, sweet, salted butter almost exclusively. This though is more often than not a mistake and... Continue Reading →


Basted eggs – the best eggs you’ve never heard of

Everyone knows about fried and poached eggs, but what if the two styles forged an alliance and changed your breakfast routine forever? That's a basted egg.

Smoke a brown sugar and honey glazed ham for Christmas

For Thanksgiving, along with the traditional turkey with all the fixin's, I also smoked a ham this year. This recipe is great any time of the year, but would be a fantastic treat for your Christmas dinner. I'll lead with... Continue Reading →

If I had 3 days to go back to school

I haven't been in school for 25 years, but if I could, I would go back to university in a heartbeat - Barbecue University that is.  Steven Raichlen is one of my certified food gods. I mean, he literally wrote... Continue Reading →

20 minute creamy marinara penne is a weeknight lifesaver

With some on-hand ingredients from the pantry you can whip up this quick change to boring, old pasta night. The ingredients 1lb box, penne pasta 1 cup of your favorite jarred pasta sauce 1, clove garlic, minced 1 tbsp, olive oil... Continue Reading →

How the America’s Test Kitchen vs. Milk Street Kitchen saga affects this home cook

Anyone who knows me from the kitchen can tell you that I am a true fan boy of everything from America's Test Kitchen. Over the past several years, whether watching one of their shows on my local PBS station, WGBH, reading a... Continue Reading →

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Wings from Masterbuilt’s John McLemore

Today we are going to a Christmas party. We were asked to bring some sort of appetizer, and that's a great reason to do some of Masterbuilt's John McLemore's sweet and spicy chicken wings! The video inspiration follows, and below... Continue Reading →

The most important thing in your kitchen

Having the right go to ingredients available makes all the difference when you cook, and so, an appropriately stocked pantry will make your life a whole lot easier especially when you need to throw together dinner in a hurry with... Continue Reading →

French Toast for a Snowy Saturday

Whether it be a snowy Saturday morning breakfast, or even a quick weeknight meal, french toast is a favorite in our house. Here's my version.   The ingredients 6 large eggs (plan on 1 egg per person) 12 pieces of... Continue Reading →

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