Inside My Shopping Cart

By staff October 23, 2006

Shortcut spaghetti Bolognese and dining at Derek’s.

By Judi Gallagher


I always appreciate it when I’m in the grocery store and people recognize me from my cooking shows. Yet many of them make little eye contact. I used to think maybe people were shy or that I’m so tall they’re just uncomfortable stretching their necks. But I’ve finally realized the reason most people do not make eye contact is that they’re too busy looking in my shopping cart. Perhaps they’re looking for innovative ideas for dinner. Or maybe they’re trying to catch me out with a box of Hot Pockets or microwavable fettuccine alfredo.


I must admit that on more than one occasion I have purchased a box of fried chicken at Publix, (good stuff, trust me) or a few jars of prepared red sauce. In fact, I rarely have have four to six hours these days to make a classic Bolognese sauce. Using a pound of Italian sausage, chopped  and pulled out of the casing, and a pound of lean ground chuck with a half pound of ground veal, I can whip up a fast version of this old Italian favorite. Brown the meats and add two jars of Barillo mushroom and garlic sauce, simmer for an hour with four fresh minced cloves of garlic and one fine diced onion and a teaspoon of fennel seeds. Ten minutes before serving add about a half cup of cream and simmer. Serve over fresh pasta and no one other than the people looking in your grocery cart will know that you didn’t slave all day.


The other day I enjoyed a leisurely lunch with fellow blogger and new buddy Kim Hackett at Derek’s on Central Ave. How wonderful to run into restaurant great and good friend and client Sean Murphy (the Beach Bistro)and his great bartender Fred. We joined tables and the eating began, or perhaps I should say never stopped.


Dining with “Murph” is a feast not easily forgotten. First, he orders nearly everything on the menu—my kind of friend. Then just when you think he didn’t miss a thing, he orders every dessert! The find of the week, if not the month, is Derek’s poached pear with goat cheese and caramel black pepper sauce, an exotic spin on a classic French dessert. Derek’s Culinary Casual, 514 Central Ave. (941) 366-6565.


Those apple recipes are looking great, so remember to send your in before Oct. 31. The winner will receive a $100gift certificate to 5 One 6 Burns. Email me your recipe at [email protected].

Have a great week in the kitchen!
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