Category: Main Dishes

Jacques’s Macaroni and Cheese – How to Cook with your Grandchildren

Jacques Pépin did this macaroni, spinach, and ham gratin recipe with his granddaughter Shorey. The cookbook A Grandfather’s Lessons – In the Kitchen with Shorey tells the beautiful story. In the book, we find that Jacques’s macaroni and cheese recipe is a dish with flavorful additions that would make any child happy.

So, if you have grandchildren, this is a great recipe to make with them. This SFH Test Kitchen post and the linked YouTube video will show you how to do it.

Jacques's mac and chees

Hello, my friends.

It’s important as grandparents to spend time with your grandchildren and teach them how to how to cook. You know, it’s just a wonderful sharing experience. Here’s just one memorable example from over 20 years ago.

My Junior Chef Masters Chocolate Chip Cookies

When my first grandson was two, he and I made cookies together. It was such a beautiful experience for both of us.

Here is my junior chef with a chocolate chip cookies recipe in hand. As you can see, he has already put on his apron and is ready to head to the kitchen. – He intends to master that recipe.

When cooking with your grandchildren, keep in mind that the world is a bigger place for them than it is for you. However, what they lack in size, they will make up for with enthusiasm. – Let them feel like the kitchen belongs to them.

Your grandchild will learn how to cook by watching you. They see how you read directions from the recipe. When you pick up a bag of chocolate chips, they will do the same. Sometimes they will even copy your facial expressions. – Judging from my grandson’s expression here, I must have really had some concerns about what to do with these chips.

When you’re cooking with your grandchildren, remember, the kitchen is not a classroom where you have to be. The kitchen is the heart of the home and a place where you want to be.

When all is said and done, the truly magic moment is when your grandchildren taste something they made with their own hands.

That is a moment that both of you will cherish and remember forever.

Jacques’s Macaroni and Cheese Test Results

Unfortunately, no grandchildren were available for this Test Kitchen adventure. That meant I had to work with my dear Hubby. Although he has some childlike characteristics, I wouldn’t say he’s a good substitute for any of my 13 beautiful grandchildren. Nevertheless, he did his best. – That might be because macaroni and cheese is one of his favorite dishes.

Here’s what the able staff of the soon-to-be-world-famous SFH Test Kitchen learned during this test.

1. Level of the Challenge

This is not a difficult recipe. It is well-suited to a youthful palate. A young person can easily grasp the approach Jacques and Shorey used with this dish.

2. Selection of Good-quality Ingredients

Most of the ingredients used are commonly found in the kitchen or easily attainable. The only exception in Jacques’s recipe was Spanish Paprika. In a case like this, you can provide your grandchild with a simple explanation about an unusual ingredient.

For example: Paprika is a spice made from dried and ground chiles. In Spain, the name for paprika is pimentón, which is Spanish for pepper. If you use Spanish paprika instead of regular paprika, it will add a smoky flavor to the dish.

3. Use of Cooking Techniques

For sure, this recipe employs several cooking techniques not used in a simple chocolate chip cookies recipe. You are the best judge of your grandchild’s abilities. You can decide if this recipe is too advanced or just right for your junior chef.

4. Development of Macaroni and Cheese Taste and Flavor

The introduction of spinach and ham bring a new dimension in flavor to the classic comfort food we call mac and cheese. Because the spinach is chopped and blended in with the other ingredients, children won’t really think of this as a vegetable dish.

How to Cook Macaroni and Cheese Jacques’s Way

Jacques's macaroni and chees

So, without further ado, here is Jacques’s recipe as adapted and tested by the SFH Test Kitchen.

The original recipe appears on page 114 of the cookbook A Grandfather’s Lessons – In the Kitchen with Shorey. The cookbook was written by Jacques Pépin in collaboration with his granddaughter, Shorey. It contains recipes that are simple, elegant, and fun to prepare.

Jacques's mac and cheese

Macaroni, Spinach, and Ham Gratin

Jacques Pépin did this recipe with his granddaughter. It's a mac and cheese dish with flavorful additions that would make any child happy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Large saucepan
  • 1 Medium saucepan
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 Large bowl
  • 1 Small bowl
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 4-cup gratin dish


  • 4 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces about 4 cups, loosely packed spinach, washed and chopped
  • 4 ounces boiled ham cut into strips or cubes (about ¾ cup)
  • 4 ounces aged Vermont cheddar cheese grated (1½ cups)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon paprika Jacques uses Spanish paprika in his recipe.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin



  • Bring 2½ quarts salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the macaroni, bring back to a boil, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. The pasta should still be firm (al dente).
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Drain the pasta and rinse in a colander under cold water to cool it to room temperature, then place it in a large bowl.
    Jacques's mac and cheese


  • Cut the ham into strips or cubes (about ¾ of a cup)
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Place the chopped spinach in a bowl and heat it in a microwave oven for 2 to 3 minutes, to wilt it.
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Cool for 10 minutes, then mix the spinach with the pasta.
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Add the ham, grated cheese, salt, and pepper and mix with pasta.
    Jacques's mac and cheese


  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Add the oil and flour and mix well with a whisk.
  • Cook for 30 seconds, then add the milk, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally with the whisk, until the milk comes to a boil.
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Cook for about 30 seconds, then mix with the pasta.
    Jacques's mac and cheese


  • Mix all the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Arrange the pasta mixture in a 4-cup gratin dish and sprinkle on the topping. (The gratin can be covered with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to cook.)
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • At cooking time, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the gratin for 25 to 30 minutes, or until browned on top and hot throughout.
    Jacques's mac and cheese
  • Serve.
    Jacques's mac and cheese


This recipe was adapted and tested by the SFH Test Kitchen. The original recipe appears on page 114 of the cookbook A Grandfather's Lessons - In the Kitchen with Shorey.
Keyword Jacques Pepin, Macaroni, Spinach, and Ham Gratin

We Need Your Help

Dear Friends & Followers, we at Serendipity Farmhouse need your help.

Blondie, Mr. Monte, and I have been working hard to develop our blog Our goal is to provide folks like you with interesting and entertaining content. We focus on our simple, faith-centered, farmhouse life. The blog presents our take on cooking, gardening, RVing, and life with an overly intelligent, 24-pound Maine Coon Cat.

Your comments and suggestions to improve our format and content would be greatly appreciated.

We also need new subscribers. If you like our posts, share them with your friends.

Serendipity Farmhouse YouTube Channel

Recently, we started a Serendipity Farmhouse YouTube channel. We think the video format will add a useful dimension to the way we present the joys and foibles of farmhouse living. Learning videography techniques has been a challenge, but we’re getting better. Today, we’re premiering a video demonstrating Julia Child’s recipe The Way to Cook Chicken in White Wine.

Earlier this week, we posted the recipe on this blog here. Today, we published a video version for our YouTube audience.

Here’s the link to the video:

The Way to Cook Chicken in White Wine

way to cook chicken

Please check out the video and tell us what you think. Your input will help us work out the bugs and make our channel worth your while. If haven’t already done so, please subscribe to our channel.

By the way, we know we need to work on our audio recording technique.Mr. Monte’s working on it now

Yes, we need your help. Your support means so much to us. Many thanks in advance and God bless! – Serendipity

The Way to Cook Chicken in White Wine

You probably know many ways to cook chicken, but do you know Julia Child’s way to cook chicken in white wine? In this post, the Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen explores Julia’s master recipe Chicken Simmered in White Wine.

way to cook chicken

Hi! Now that Autumn has arrived, let’s see what Julia Child has to offer that suits the season.

For us at the SFH Test Kitchen, chicken immediately came to mind. When poached or simmered with vegetables, the aroma fills the kitchen with the promise of a warm meal. Better yet, when prepared in white wine or vermouth one can only feel a sense of Autumn cheer.

A grouping by techniques

My amazing kitchen staff and I are well versed in four primary cooking techniques. They are dry-heat cooking with fat, dry-heat cooking without fat, moist-heat cooking, and combination cooking.

Julia’s recipe is an excellent example of moist-heat cooking. That’s because, depending on which variation of her master recipe you use, you will be poaching or simmering.

way to cook chicken

Throughout her book The Way to Cook and DVD set, Julia emphasizes the logic of grouping items by cooking techniques or methods. In her words:

“The technique is what’s important here, and when you realize that a stew is a stew is a stew, and a roast is a roast whether it be beef, lamb, pork, or chicken, cooking begins to make sense.”

Combination of Techniques

way to cook chicken

Julia demonstrates how various techniques are combined within a recipe. She starts with a master or template recipe and then adds to it. In the case of chicken cooked in white wine, she adds aromatic vegetables. The vegetables are julienned. Item #115 in the Way to Cook DVD shows you how to do it.

Choice of White Wine

Although you can use almost any type of dry, white wine with this dish, you may want to take a tip from Julia. She recommends that you use a fine, dry French vermouth. This adds a noticeable accent to the overall flavor.

Vermouth is a fortified white wine. But don’t worry, the alcohol is cooked away during the 25 minutes when the chicken is simmering. – We found out years ago that Julia’s favorite vermouth was Noilly Prat. We always keep a bottle in reserve for Julia’s recipes.

So, let’s gather our mise en place and get to work. You can do it the way we do it, or you can try out any of the variations offered by Julia. Whichever you do, have fun and –

Bon appétit!

Did you like this post? If so and you want to see other Julia Child recipes tested by the SFH Test Kitchen, please subscribe to our website. Of course, your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.

Recipe Resources

If you would like to learn more about Julia’s way to cook chicken in wine, here are some resources that will help.

Chicken Poached in White Wine – In this video from “The French Chef” TV series, Julia demonstrates a technique for poaching chicken in white wine. This is a very basic version of the recipe. In the same video, Julia demonstrates how to modify the recipe for serving in a casserole.

In 1989, Knopf released the cookbook The Way to Cook. Internet Archive has posted the complete cookbook here. A version of the recipe we used, Chicken Simmered in White Wine, is on page 144.

In 2009, Knopf released The Way to Cook DVD. The accompanying booklet lists the recipe our Test Kitchen used in item#114. the booklet uses a slightly different name for the recipe – Chicken Poached in Wine with Aromatic Vegetables.

More resources are listed in the Wikipedia article – The Way to Cook.

way to cook chicken

The Way to Cook Chicken in White Wine

You probably know many ways to cook chicken, but do you know Julia Child's way to cook chicken in white wine? In this post, the Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen explores Julia's master recipe Chicken Simmered in White Wine.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • A covered flameproof casserole, chicken fryer, or electric frying pan that will hold the chicken and vegetables comfortably


  • cups each julienned carrots, celery, and onions. See item #115 in DVD booklet. We only used a cup of each vegetable.
  • 2½ to 3 lbs. cut-up frying chicken
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ Tb tarragon
  • cups dry white vermouth or white wine
  • 2 cups more or less of chicken stock, canned or homemade
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Julienne 1½ cups each of carrot, celery, and onions. See item #115 in DVD booklet
    way to cook chicken
  • Mix julienned vegetables and strew one-third of them in the bottom of a heavy casserole.
    way to cook chicken
  • Place dark meat of chicken (legs and thighs) on top.
    way to cook chicken
  • Season with salt and tarragon.
    way to cook chicken
  • add another layer of vegetables. Then then add the white meat (breasts and wings).
    way to cook chicken
  • Season again, and top with remaining vegetables.
    way to cook chicken
  • Pour in wine and enough stock almost to cover chicken. Add the bay leaf.
    way to cook chicken
  • Bring just to the simmer and cover.
    way to cook chicken
  • Cook at a slow simmer 25 minutes, or until done.
  • Serve as is, over steamed rice. We used wild rice.
    way to cook chicken


Accompaniments: Serve the chicken and vegetable julienne over a bed of steamed rice or wild rice basted with the chicken juices.
Keyword chicken in white wine

See Chef Blondie’s video demonstrating this recipe: Here!

Serendipity Chicken with Cream Sauce

Jacques Pépin’s Chicken in Cream Sauce (Poulet à la Crème) is an adaptation of his mother’s recipe. Jacques added white wine and mushrooms to the basic recipe. This change brings about a subtle sophistication in the flavor. Of course, the Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen staff and I knew this would be a perfect dish to try out and share with you. – So, let’s head to the kitchen and make Serendipity Chicken with Cream Sauce.

Jacque Pepin Poulet a la creme

Hi! Thanks for joining me today.

There are few places I’d rather be than cooking in the SFH Test Kitchen. Yes, even now in the midst of the longest heat wave of the year, this kitchen is a joy. That’s because this is where my Hubby and I can be together and share the adventure of cooking.

Why test Jacques’s recipe for chicken with cream sauce?

Jacques admits that his mother might not approve of the changes he made to her recipe. But he notes that his recipe “is easy, fast, and good.” We at the SFH Test Kitchen understand that the essence of creative cooking is the desire to take an excellent recipe and make it your own. So just as Jacques adapted his mother’s recipe, we too will add our own personal touches. – Our goal is to take a simple French country meal and turn it into a simple everyday farmhouse meal.

Level of the challenge

I take Jacques at his word when he says his recipe “is easy, fast, and good.” Unlike the adherence to technique demonstrated by some chefs, Jacques follows a more relaxed approach. This is easy to see when one reads his recipe and then views two or three videos showing how he cooks the dish himself. – It’s never done the same way twice.

This is a meal meant to be cooked by the average mom, just like Jacques’s mother cooked it for him. It could be a great restaurant meal, but it works quite well in a simple farmhouse.

Selection of good-quality ingredients

Jacques’s recipe calls for fresh tarragon. But none was available. Fortunately, last year Hubby dehydrated our homegrown SFH tarragon. It worked quite well as a taste substitute, though it was lacking in its visual presentation.

Skillful, creative substitution is what separates a good chef from an apprentice short-order cook.

Using good-quality ingredients doesn’t mean you have to pay a premium price. Most of our ingredients were purchased at Aldi, Walmart, and Sam’s Club. We shop our own pantry, Aldi “red tags”, and all the sales. Rest assured; this is a meal that doesn’t have to be expensive.

Use of cooking techniques

This recipe does not require a master chef to be in the kitchen with you. No, this is a meal that can be handled by a dedicated amateur cook. – Nevertheless, basics are basics. How you hold the knife, how you brown the chicken, and how you make a simple cream sauce, these are techniques that must learned and practiced. All of these skills are essential to making this recipe work.

Development of superior taste and flavor

Now, I’ll let you in on a little cooking secret. A chicken thigh without the skin is not necessarily my favorite thing. That’s why, when I read this recipe, I was a bit perplexed. Despite my deep respect for Jacques, I chose to leave the skins on.

Here’s why. – The primary taste components of this dish are the chicken and the creme sauce. Unfortunately, the taste of chicken without the skin is overcome by the cream sauce. When the skin is left on and browned, the taste of the chicken and the cream sauce are united. – It is a marriage feast of flavor.

Ironically, in a video you can watch here, Jacques left the skins on. The video was made a year after this recipe was published. Thanks to my Hubby for finding the video. Now I know Jacques and I are not so very different.


Jacques chicken cream sauce

Jacques says that his mother would serve this dish with rice pilaf. However, he makes no recommendations concerning how the dish should be served.

My sweet hubby suggested that since it is a rustic, country dish, it might go well with homemade sourdough bread. So, he made a loaf, and guess what? – He was right!

Jacques Pépin was absolutely correct. His Chicken in Cream Sauce (Poulet à la Crème) “is easy, fast, and good.” – So, try it out and tell us what you think. Until then.

Happy Cooking!

Recipe Resources

If you would like to learn more about Jacques’s recipe for chicken with cream sauce, here are some resources that will help.

  • 2015 – Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen – This is the cookbook with the recipe and background commentary by Jacques.
  • 2015 – Poulet à la Crème – This is an article containing a full excerpt of the recipe and commentary from the book Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.
  • 2016 – Jacques Pépin’s Chicken with Cream Sauce – In this episode of the Rachael Ray Show, Jacques demonstrates how to prepare this dish. This video is fun because Jacques’s daughter Claudine and granddaughter Shorey join him in the cooking.

Did you like this post? If so and you want to see other Jacques Pépin recipes tested by the SFH Test Kitchen, please click here. Of course, your questions and comments are greatly appreciated.

Jacques chicken cream sauce

Poulet à la Crème - Serendipity Chicken with Cream Sauce

Jacques Pépin's Chicken with Cream Sauce (Poulet à la Crème) is an adaptation of his mother's recipe. Jacques added white wine and mushrooms to the basic recipe. This change brings about a subtle sophistication in the flavor. Of course, the Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen staff knew this would be a perfect dish to try out and share with you. - So, let's head to the kitchen and make Serendipity Chicken with Cream Sauce.
Prep Time 10 minutes
50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 People


  • 1 Large saucepan


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs: about 3 pounds, skin removed (about 2 ½ pounds skinned) - We used 4 chicken thighs with the skin on.
  • 8 mushrooms; about 6 ounces, washed and sliced.
  • tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine We used chardonnay.
  • ¼ cup water You can substitute chicken broth.
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon; optional We used dried tarragon.


  • Add olive oil and butter to a large saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Add the chicken thighs to the pan in one layer and brown over high heat for about 2½ minutes on each side.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and sprinkle on the flour.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Turn the chicken pieces with tongs so the flour is dispersed evenly.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Stir in the wine and water and mix well.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Bring to a boil and add the salt and pepper.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Cover, reduce the heat, and cook gently for 25 minutes.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Add the cream, bring to a boil, and boil, uncovered, for about 1 minute.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce
  • Serve sprinkled with the chopped tarragon, if desired.
    Jacques chicken cream sauce


This recipe is a modified version of the way Jacques Pépin's mother prepared this dish. We decided to leave the skins on to add extra richness in flavor.
Keyword Chicken with cream sauce, Jacques Pepin, Poulet à la Crème

See Chef Blondie demonstrate this recipe: Here!

Simple Rice with Mushrooms & Asparagus – Jacques’s Way

Jacques Pepin’s Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus is a most simple and tasty meal. It’s perfectly suited for cooking in an RV or a small farmhouse kitchen. In this post, the formidable Serendipity Farmhouse Mobile Test Kitchen chefs will show you how it’s done. And I, Pierre LeChat, will provide invaluable tips on technique and creative cooking.

In his post Mobile Test Kitchen on the Shenandoah, Mr. Monte described the deployment of the Mobile Test Kitchen (MTK) to a perfect site along the Shenandoah River. That clever cat documented every move made by the MTK chefs. Now, after four days of painstaking review, I have organized and evaluated all of his most excellent notes, images, and videos. Once again, Mr. Monte has been awarded Persnickety Pierre’s Paw of Excellence.

Here’s the story behind this recipe test.

In his cookbook Quick & Simple, Jacques Pépin endeavors “to make your life easier.” And, while Jacques emphasizes times savings for people on the go, I find that his recipes are easily adapted to smaller kitchens such as one might find in an old farmhouse or recreational vehicle (RV). To prove this point, the amazingly skillful Chef Blondie took on the challenge of preparing this recipe in the tiny kitchen of the 24-foot RV she calls the SFH Mobile Test Kitchen.

Level of the challenge

Chef Blondie purposely chose this recipe because of its simplicity and readily available ingredients. She knew that she would have to make adaptations in ingredients and preparations. – In her view, any amateur chef can make this at home or on an RV trip.

Selection of good-quality ingredients

“Adapt and create!” That is a foundational principle for cooking in the MTK. Chef Blondie strives to use the best ingredients. But she knows quite well that sometimes the best ingredients just aren’t available. Likewise, there might not be sufficient time for shopping for a specific ingredient. That’s when you have to substitute.

For this MTK test, Chef Blondie deftly handled three such problems:

  • Rice: Jacques specifies the use of Carolina rice. Since Chef Blondie did her shopping at Aldi, there was no Carolina rice to be found. Because Carolina rice is a long grain variety, Chef Blondie substituted Jasmati rice she had in the SFH pantry.
  • Stock: Jacques specifies chicken stock. Two days a week the MTK staff abstains from meat. Therefore, Chef Blondie used vegetable stock.
  • Asparagus: Aldi’s is not the best place to buy quality asparagus. Because time was limited, however, Chef Blondie used the Aldi product. She had to discard quite a bit of the asparagus, but there was enough remaining that she was able to prepare the meal.

Despite the need for substitution and one low-quality ingredient, Chef Blondie’s adaptations and substitutions worked perfectly.

Use of cooking techniques

Jacques’s recipe requires that a cook possess but a bare minimum of skills. That is quite fortunate, because Chef Blondie needed Ol’ Fuzz Face to do some of the food prep. – He did moderately well and did not hurt himself.

Although technically not a technique, planning for a series of RV meals is an art form. When you are out in the wilderness, if you don’t have a key ingredient, you won’t have a meal. Chef Blondie and Chef Fuzzy have developed a very satisfactory method for making menus and ingredient checkoff sheets. – It’s really worth the time and effort.

Development of superior taste and flavor

Now, you might wonder how I can speak to taste and flavor of this dish in this evaluation. I wasn’t there when this test was conducted. It’s actually quite simple. The recipe yields six servings. Consequently, I was able to share a meal of leftovers with the MTK staff when they returned from their riverside adventure.

Because of that, I can attest to a very important point. This meal is tasty and satisfying even when served as leftovers. – Yes, the mushrooms held on to all of the original flavors. Wonderful notes of herbes de Provence continued to ring with clarity. – I can only imagine how delightful this dish was when first prepared by the able hands of Chef Blondie.

Presentation of Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus

Keep in mind, dear Reader, a 24-foot RV is not the Inn at Little Washington. But for the staff of the Mobile Test Kitchen, every good meal deserves a proper setting.

Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus

In this case, a glass of wine bathed in the warm glow of candlelight brings joy to the heart. Likewise, a well-executed dish conceived by a master like Jacques Pepin brings happiness to the palate. – This table presentation brings both.

Happy cooking!

Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus

Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus

Jacques Pepin's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus is a most simple and tasty meal. It's perfectly suited for cooking in an RV or a small farmhouse kitchen.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 6 people


  • 1 large saucepan with lid


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • cups coarsely chopped onion (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cremini or portobello mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 2 cups any long grain rice
  • 4 cups light chicken stock vegetable stock also works
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 stalks asparagus with firm tips


  • Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onion for about 2 minutes, until it is almost transparent.
    Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus
  • Add the mushrooms and herbes de Provence and cook for another 2 minutes.
    Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus
  • Stir in the rice, stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
    Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus
  • Cover tightly, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
    Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus
  • While the rice is cooking, using a vegetable peeler, peel the lower third of the stalks or cut them off and discard.
  • After the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, lay the asparagus on top of it and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is cooked but still firm.
    Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus
  • Serve the asparagus with the rice on individual plates.
    Jacques's Rice with Mushrooms and Steamed Asparagus
Keyword rice mushrooms asparagus

See Chef Blondie demonstrate this recipe: Here!

Back Porch Baby Back BBQ

What could be better than baby back ribs for the 4th of July? Here at Serendipity Farmhouse, the answer is nothing could be better. For eight years, we’ve used our special back porch baby back rib recipe. We’ve enjoyed it, refined it, and perfected it.

Whether it be for honored guests, for close family, or just for Blondie and me, this recipe has never failed. And today, I’m going to share our family tradition with you.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Okay. I’ve donned my official SFH Test Kitchen Chef’s apron. I’m ready to go out onto the back porch. It’s hot and humid out there! (After all, this is Virginia in July.) But I’m not worried about that. Nope! – With the exception of little bit of up-front tender loving care, I won’t be out on that hot deck for long.

Allow me to lay out for you our baby back rib BBQ cooking secrets using Persnickety Pierre’s Criteria of Excellence.

1. Level of the challenge

We originally came across the basic recipe for Foolproof Baby Back Ribs at It worked well for us, but we soon realized tweaks and changes were in order. We had a good recipe in hand. Our challenge was to make it better.

A large part of our testing would be focused on documenting the proper cooking temperatures. That’s because the original recipe was not specific. – If the goal is to have a good recipe that’s repeatable, it’s necessary to eliminate as many variables as possible. Temperature is a tremendously important variable. So, our big challenge was determining and documenting the cooking temperatures that would bring about consistent results.

2. Selection of good-quality ingredients – It’s the Baby Back Ribs

Our Test Kitchen staff emphasizes that proper sourcing of the baby back ribs is critical. We’ve found that the ribs sold at Sam’s Club are consistently high in quality and they are affordable. – Make sure you shop around and get the best in quality and price.

3. Use of cooking techniques

Earlier, I talked about not being concerned about the heat on the deck. That’s because the first steps in cooking the ribs are minimal. The ribs will spend an hour cooking, and they should remain covered. All you need to do is check the temperature of your covered grill periodically (Every 10 to 15 minutes).

When you preheat the grill, try to get to 450℉. Once the ribs are on the upper rack of the grill and the cover is in place, let the temperature drop to about 350℉. That’s where the temperature should remain for the entire first hour.

Note 1: Suppose it’s a rainy day or a blizzard is heading your way. This recipe can be adapted for use in your kitchen oven.

Note 2: If you want to cook some corn on the cob like we did, feel free to open the cover and quickly place the corn on the lower rack. When you do the periodic temperature checks, quickly turn over the corn and close the lid immediately.

Except for a few temperature checks, you can vacate the hot deck and seek out a cool place to relax.

For sweet Wife and me, that means it’s time to enjoy the SFH signature drink – The Serendipity Cocktail! (See: French Cuisine & GRITS)

4. Development of superior taste and flavor

Pay attention to the spices you choose for the rub. For example, my dear, sweet Blondie has trouble with some types of garlic powder. To avoid this problem, we have substituted onion powder in the rub. – Voila! That solved Blondie’s problem and good flavor is retained.

Consider the personal tastes of your guests and their dietary preferences. Be prepared to modify the ingredients for the rub accordingly.

5. Presentation of the Baby Back Ribs

Remember, this is a 4th of July or other summer holiday meal. Presentation is not the primary concern. However, keep a large supply of paper napkins or paper towels nearby.

Happy cooking!

Back Porch Baby Back Ribs

What could be better than baby back ribs for the 4th of July? Here at Serendipity Farmhouse, the answer is nothing could be better. For eight years, we've used our special back porch baby back rib recipe. We've enjoyed it, refined it, and perfected it. - Whether it be for honored guests, for close family, or just for Blondie and me, this recipe has never failed.
Note: This recipe can be adapted for use in a kitchen oven.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Gas grill or oven


  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder You can substitute garlic powder.
  • salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 3 lbs pork baby back ribs
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce Use your favorite or make your own.


  • Place aluminum foil on lower rack to capture drippings and prevent flare-ups.
  • Preheat gas grill for high heat. (Try to get to 450℉)
  • In a small bowl, combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper Mix well.
  • Trim off the membrane sheath from the back of each rack. You can do this by running a small, sharp knife between the membrane and snip or "shimmy" off the membrane as much as possible. (We prefer just to slit the membrane between the bones.)
  • Sprinkle or "throw" as much of the rub onto both sides of the ribs as desired. Do not rub the spices in, because the ribs will turn too dark and spicy. You may have some spices leftover, depending on your taste.
  • Brush grate with oil, and lay ribs on top rack of grill.
  • Reduce heat to 350℉, shut grill, and leave undisturbed for 1 hour. Try not to lift lid at all during this time period! Check temperature every 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After one hour check for doneness, depending on your grill you may need to continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes (our grill takes one hour exactly). Brush ribs with barbecue sauce and grill an additional 15 to 30 minutes until sauce is slightly absorbed and a little brown around the edges.
  • Serve ribs as whole rack or cut between bones and pile individual ribs on the platter or plate.
Keyword Baby Back Ribs

Chicken Livers – An Interesting Way

Jacques Pépin just taught me how to make chicken livers in an interesting way. I’ve always loved fried chicken livers. Growing up, I could count on them always being on the menu. I just couldn’t get enough. But I never had chicken livers anyway but fried. Well, on Mother’s Day, that all changed. That’s when lovely Daughter #1 gave me a new cookbook – Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple. And that is when I first learned about Chicken Livers Persillade.

Hi! Chef Blondie here.

Serendipity Farmhouse

I have to admit that it was my dear Hubby who found the recipe. He and I share this love for liver of all types. As soon as he stumbled upon the recipe on page 318, he shouted, “Eurika!” or some such thing. When he showed me the recipe, my first words were, “Where can we find some chicken livers?! The SFH Test Kitchen is going to make this ASAP!”

Testing Jacques’s Chicken Livers Persillade

We had planned to publish a gardening post today. But Jacques’s cookbook with its great new recipe, combined with the availability of chicken livers and other ingredients, demanded that we disregard our weekly posting schedule. Well, to be more truthful, Hubby and I wanted to have chicken livers, and we wanted them, “Right now!”

It was to that end that we hastily mobilized the entire staff of the soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen. They all assembled, and we discussed the task. We quickly came to complete agreement on the course of action and grabbed our aprons.

Using Persnickety Pierre’s Criteria of Excellence, we explored why this recipe introduces one to the preparation of chicken livers in an interesting way.

1. Level of the Chicken Livers Persillade challenge

By its very name, Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple, the title describes the level of challenge in this recipe – “Quick and Simple.” The basic technique of sautéing is at the heart of preparation of this dish. However, because Jacques recommends that the livers be cooked at high heat, the butter and oil will have a tendency to splatter. – A word to the wise, be prepared to cover the pan with a splatter screen. Cleaning up oil splatters takes time and detracts from the enjoyment of the meal.

2. Selection of good-quality ingredients

One great joy of cooking is being able to use ingredients of your own making or from your own garden. How unfortunate it was that our homegrown garlic had run out just a few days earlier. We had to use store-bought.

On the other hand, the parsley in our herb garden was thriving. So, we were able to enjoy its fresh flavor in the persillade. (Read more about persillade in Criterion 4 below.)

One big bonus in ingredient selection, was the fact that Hubby recently scored a huge success with a sourdough bread recipe. Not only had the bread come out just perfect, but for the first time, some of our own home-milled hard white wheat was incorporated in the recipe.

When toasted, four slices of this loaf became the perfect foundation for the cooked chicken livers persillade.

3. Use of cooking techniques for Jacques’s Chicken Livers

The two primary techniques used in preparing this dish are quite simple and straightforward. The liver is sautéed, and then the persillade is added. At that point, the pan is immediately removed from the burner. So simple – So elegant. This recipe can make a beginner look like a pro.

4. Development of superior taste and flavor

Persillade is a sauce or seasoning mixture of parsley chopped together with seasonings including garlic, herbs, oil, and vinegar. Jacques Pépin uses persillade in a range of diverse dishes. For example, in his Roe and Liver Persillade recipe, he demonstrates that a persillade adapts just as well to a fish dish as it does with chicken livers.

Persillade is a common ingredient in many dishes. You might think of it as a standard sauté cook’s mise en place. It is basically built around parsley and garlic. In Jacques’s Chicken Livers recipe, the persillade is added at the very end of the cooking process. That way, the garlic and parsley remain in the foreground and work side-by-side with the flavor of the sautéed livers. – Nothing is hidden.

On the other hand, if you add the persillade early in the cooking process, the parsley and garlic flavors mellow out, and they give an entirely different presentation to the flavor and aroma of the dish.

5. Presentation

Chicken Livers Persillade is a simple dish. It’s rather rustic and the use of toasted slices from a large country loaf like our homemade sourdough bread enhances the impression. So, no need to be fancy. Simply serve and enjoy.

A Couple of Practical Notes

At $1.96 for 1¼ pounds of chicken livers, Chicken Livers Persillade is a gourmet meal without the gourmet expense. According to Jacques, 12 ounces of chicken livers will provide four servings. The SFH Test Kitchen staff had no idea what it would do with the extra 8 ounces of livers. That is when I stepped in and said, “We will cook them all.”

So, we cooked them all. – – Please refrain from asking the obvious question, “Were there any leftovers?” My staff is sworn to secrecy.

chicken livers; Jacques Pépin

Chicken Livers Persillade

This quick dish should be prepared at the last moment and served immediately. It makes a nice appetizer for a dinner, and it can also be served with salad as a main course for a brunch or light lunch.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4


  • 1 Nonstick pan at least 9 inches in diameter


  • 12 ounces chicken livers, about 14 preferably plump and pale in color
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil We used EVOO.
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine (2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 slices from a large country loaf, ½ inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter, toasted We used homemade sourdough bread.


  • Separate each liver into its two halves, discarding any connecting sinews.
  • Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a nonstick pan at least 9 inches in diameter.
  • When the mixture is a hazelnut color, add the livers in one layer and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Turn and cook on the other side for 1 minute, taking care to avoid splatters. (If using more than 12 ounces of liver, cook a little longer on each side.)
  • Add the persillade (garlic and parsley) and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Mix well.
    chicken livers; Jacques Pépin
  • Place a slice or two of toast on each plate, top with the liver, and serve immediately.
    chicken livers; Jacques Pépin
Keyword Chicken livers

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin Jacques’s Way

The menu for the week was blank. Blondie and Ol’ Fuzz Face were in torrid disagreement on what to do. All they could find in the freezer were two pork tenderloin steaks. There was great unhappiness in the air. In a desperate move, I, the one and only Pierre LeChat, made the decision. We will learn how to cook pork tenderloin Jacques’s way.

farmhouse cuisine

No, the freezer wasn’t bare. However, over the last week, Blondie and Fuzzy had prepared beef, lamb, and chicken. They would not speak of vegetables, pasta, or fish because they had just finished a Lenten season in which they voluntarily abstained from meat three days per week.

So, they had to shop their pantry for something different, and pork tenderloin was all there was. Unfortunately, the soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen had no recipes for that particular cut of pork.

The Quest for a Jacques Pépin Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Taking my decision to heart, my amazing friends searched high and low for how Jacques Pépin would prepare pork tenderloin with the ingredients they had on hand. None of their standard reference cookbooks contained such a recipe.

Ever onward, they searched through the Internet. Alas! There were no recipes that fit the bill. Blondie and Fuzzy were, to say the least, most frustrated. They needed help.

As we have come to expect, it was Mr. Monte who stumbled across a KQED episode of Jacques Pépin Cooking At Home. The dish Jacques prepared was called Pork Tenderloin Steak with Mushrooms and Corn. But, this was just a video, there was no written recipe. True, the footnotes to the video listed the primary ingredients. It was up to the viewer to interpret and remember what Jacques did and what order he did it.

That is where I stepped in and transcribed the entire episode. The recipe in this post is taken from my copious notes.

Persnickety Pierre’s Criteria of Excellence

Although this SFH Test Kitchen adventure was not planned, Chef Blondie decided to record the proceedings and make the results available to you, our esteemed and faithful viewers. Of course, the test would be conducted in accord with my personally developed – Persnickety Pierre’s Criteria of Excellence:

  1. Level of the challenge
  2. Selection of good-quality ingredients
  3. Use of cooking techniques
  4. Development of superior taste and flavor
  5. Presentation

In the SFH Test Kitchen, we take our work seriously. We test recipes under the same conditions and with the same challenges that confront any amateur home chef. The only difference is the SFH-TK staff is scientific and methodical. We record each step of the recipe process and analyze the results. Our end goal is to have a fail-proof, go-to recipe that can be listed on your weekly menu with the highest degree of confidence.

It works for the SFH-TK and it will work for you. 

Test Results & Commentary

As this was not a scheduled recipe test, the Test Kitchen staff had to make a lot of preparations on the fly. This, of course, can lead to some missteps and consume valuable time. Nevertheless, under firm guidance from Chef Blondie, every staff member performed admirably.

It goes without saying, but I shall say it anyway, Jacques Pépin has a range and depth of culinary skill that cannot be matched. This particular recipe presents both the essence of simplicity and an unusual element of surprise. The inclusion of frozen corn caught us off guard, but it contributed greatly to enjoyment of this dish.

1. Level of the Challenge

This is meant to be a simple, low-cost meal. It’s perfect for preparation in an old farmhouse or average home kitchen. Although our recipe allows 20 minutes for preparation and 40 minutes for cooking, the meal could easily be made in half that time. This is a meal that could be used by an entry-level home chef as a means to learn and perfect simple cooking techniques.

2. Selection of Good-quality Ingredients

Sometimes the recipe dictates the ingredients. In this case, however, the ingredients dictated the recipe. This is what the SFH-TK had on hand. The quality of the pork was excellent. The onion and corn were waiting for someone to use them. The mushrooms were fresh and ready take on subtle shades of flavor from the other ingredients. Unfortunately, we had no chives or suitable substitute, to use for a garnish.

3. Use of Cooking Techniques

This is meant to be a simple, low-cost meal. The SFH-TK staff encountered little difficulty in preparation of this recipe. The techniques used are simple and straightforward.

4. Development of Superior Taste and Flavor

Here is where the Test Kitchen staff deviated from Jacques’s video presentation. He chose to use V8 juice to develop a certain degree of acidity. Prior to adding the juice, he mentioned that you could use wine instead, but he did not specify white or red. The SFH-TK pantry had no V8 juice, so we opted to use red wine. We found the results to be quite satisfying. During our tasting session, we found the flavor to be well developed and we did not sense any deficiency in the level of acidity.

5. Presentation

The use of red wine changed the appearance of the dish. It made the meal components take on a reddish hue that tends to detract from the more natural colors of the pork and mushrooms. V8 juice produces the same effect, but to a lesser extent. Perhaps a good choice for us in the future would be to use a white wine.

Obviously, Ol’ Fuzz Face did not read my review Jacques’ Lentil Salad – SFH TK Test. Once again, he trotted out the Willow Pattern China for presenting this dish. Badly done, Fuzzy! That pattern is a distraction. Next time, be more careful in plating.

Remember, I’m watching. And they don’t call me Persnickety Pierre without good reason.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin Jacques’s Way

So, without further ado, here is Jacques’s recipe. We’ve included pictures showing how the Test Kitchen employed his techniques. – If you desire to learn more about Jacques’s approach to cooking, check out his book Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques.

Jacques's pork tenderloin steak

Pork Tenderloin Steak with Mushrooms and Corn

This is meant to be a simple, low-cost meal. It's perfect for preparation in an old farmhouse or average home kitchen. Although our recipe allows for 20 minutes of preparation and 40 minutes of cooking, the meal could easily be made in half that time.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4


  • 1 Frying pan


  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup sliced onion
  • ¼ cup red wine or V8 vegetable juice
  • 8 oz. coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • chives


  • Remove thick skin on top of the steaks using sharp knife.
  • Makes four 4-oz. steaks.
  • Add butter and oil to skillet
  • Place steaks in pan. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side. The pan doesn't need to be covered, but Jacques partially covers it to prevent splattering.
  • Add sliced onions to pan.
  • Remove steaks, they should be slightly pink in the center
  • Continue to sauté onions and add wine or V8 juice; reduce, then pour over steaks.
  • Add butter and oil to pan
  • Sauté coarsely chopped mushrooms; add a bit of water if necessary
  • Add 1/2 cup corn; salt & pepper to taste
  • Add chives as garnish; sauté slightly
  • Add mushroom & corn as side for loin steaks
    Jacques's pork tenderloin steak


Keyword Pork tenderloin steak

How to Enjoy S&B Golden Curry

I placed the small serving bowl filled with S&B Golden Curry at the center of the table. Beside it was a pot of steaming sticky rice. Side dishes of sliced cheddar cheese, dill pickles, and corn chips sat around the curry. Four of us sat down at the table, Daughter #2 was already in her highchair. We were ready to eat our favorite comfort food, S&B Golden Curry with beef and onions. Unfortunately for my Hubby, this would not be a regular meal.

The Attack of the Curry Monster

For several years, this particular dish had been our family favorite. Although the meal is based on a store-bought mix, over the years, we had adapted the meal with our own selection of spices and sides (e.g. cayenne, garam masala, curry powder, corn chips, dill pickles, and cheddar cheese).

We knew that one pack of curry mix would feed the entire family. In fact, there was always enough for dear Hubby to have seconds.

S&B Golden Curry

Well, on this particular evening that all ended. When the serving bowls were passed around, Son #1, took a larger portion of sticky rice than usual. Hubby looked on with concern. Then, when Son #1 had the curry bowl in his hands, he scooped an enormous portion of the curry sauce and covered the mound of rice from end-to-end.

I could see Hubby’s jaw drop and then tighten. I could read his every thought. And his every thought was right. When the serving bowls finally got to him, there was barely enough to feed our parakeet Elijah. – There would be no seconds for Hubby tonight!

It was a little boy who had come to the table that day and it was a full-fledged Curry Monster that walked away.

S&B Golden Curry – What You Need to Know

A special thanks to Hubby for doing the background research for this section.

A couple of points up front. The soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen is not sponsored by any commercial entity. The Test Kitchen gets nothing for recommending any product. – You can be sure if we say something good about a product, we mean it.

Next, if it seems that you have read about S&B Golden Curry in this blog before, you have. (See: El Camino Del Monte – Cooking with Gas and What’s Your Favorite Comfort Food?)

We have two reasons for publishing this post.

  • First, we never gave you our full, official Test Kitchen recipe before. We feel it would be a great service to our almost-huge audience to do so.
  • Second, this year, S&B Foods is celebrating its 100th anniversary. S&B Golden Curry has been the basic ingredient for literally hundreds of our family meals for almost half of that 100 years. We think that it’s only fitting for Serendipity Farmhouse to celebrate along with the folks at S&B.

今年で エスビー食品100周年!- A Little History

S&B Golden Curry

Curry spice did not come to Japan directly from India. Rather, it was introduced to Japan in its European form by the British during the Meiji Era (1868–1912)

In 1923, just a bit before Serendipity Farmhouse was built, Yamazaki Minejiro (山崎峯次郎), created Japan’s first domestic version of curry powder. The success of the spice blend, a “culinary masterpiece of its time”, led Yamazaki to found the Higashiya Company, which was rebranded S&B Foods Co. Ltd. in 1949.

S&B Golden curry was introduced into our household in the early 1970’s. It is now the SFH-TK Golden Standard.

What’s inside the S&B Golden Curry Package?

Inside the S&B Golden Curry package you will find 3.2 oz. of curry mix. The ingredients include: Wheat flour, Vegetable oils (Palm oil, Rapeseed oil), Salt, Sugar, Curry powder, Monosodium glutamate, Caramel color, Malic acid, Pepper, Chili pepper, Garlic, Disodium guanylate, Disodium inosinate, Celery seed, Mustard. – We’ll let you be the judge if any of these ingredients do not fit your dietary preferences.

What the mix does not contain is any form of meat or fish. This means it can be used with no concerns as the base for a meatless meal.

S&B Golden Curry

Is There an Alternative to the Mix?

Perhaps you want to experiment and prepare your curry a little more from scratch. Or, perhaps you want to avoid some of the ingredients in the Golden Curry mix. Well, the alternative is quite simple. Use the original spice blend created by Yamazaki Minejiro.

You will find that the names of the ingredients are all pronounceable. Here’s what’s in the container: Turmeric, Coriander, Fenugreek, Cumin, Orange Peel, Pepper, Chili Pepper, Cinnamon, Fennel, Ginger, Star Anise, Thyme, Bay Leaves, Cloves, Nutmeg, Sage, Cardamom.

S&B Golden Curry Mix is Versatile

I don’t mean to go on-and-on, but there’s so much our family has done with this curry mix. The recipe at the end of this article will give you our most frequent rendition. However, there have been times when we have had to make wild changes to our recipe. For example, Son-in-law #1 is not on speaking terms with most known vegetables, especially onions. Consequently, when we introduced him to our traditional family meal, we substituted onions and beef with mushrooms and shrimp. – He’s been eating S&B Golden curry on a regular basis ever since.

Our three children each have their own particular version of curry. But each version is based on S&B Golden curry mix. – We have heard anecdotes from our children that the spawning of the Curry Monster in 1981 was not a singular incident. – Beware! There are Curry Monsters everywhere!

(We have referred the recent uptick in Curry Monster sightings to the world-renowned kaiju researcher, the Toku Professor. See some of his most classified studies here. Perhaps he can determine to what extent the world’s curry supply is threatened.)

By the way, this product’s versatility is complimented by its variety. S&B Golden Curry mix is sold in three levels of spiciness, mild, medium, and hot. We almost always use the medium and add cayenne and other curry powders to increase the heat.

Is S&B Golden Curry Mix Affordable?

There’s no need to discuss inflation here, but it’s always important to keep meal preparation costs down. S&B Golden Curry Mix can be found in many major grocery chains. Here are links to current prices at Walmart (here) and Amazon (here). Do your own homework – it’s up to you.


Now you have some basic knowledge of S&B Golden Curry and how it is intertwined with our family history. The Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen continually experiments and tinkers with variations. We’ll keep you informed on our adventures with this product and with other secrets we brought back with us from our years in Japan.

If you would like to see a Japanese perspective on S&B Golden Curry, watch this YouTube video from Kenji’s Kitchen (here). You’ll see that the SFH-TK is not alone in it’s appreciation of this curry mix.

S&B Golden Curry

S&B Golden Curry - Our Way

This is the Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen recipe for preparing curry rice using Medium Hot S&B Golden Curry mix. This recipe has been used by our family for over 40 years. It's stood the test of time with children and grandchildren. With a track record like that, it's got to be good!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 5


  • Large, deep skillet


  • 1 lb. Beef, cut into cubes Chicken, Lamb, Shrimp are optional
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2⅓ Cups Water Beef or chicken broth optional
  • 1 pack S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp Ginger, minced
  • 1 Tsp Garam masala spice mix Commercial or home-mixed
  • 1 Pinch Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tsp Other types of curry powder


  • Stir-fry beef with olive oil, garlic, ginger, and other spices in a large skillet on medium heat for approx. 5 min.
  • Add water (or broth) and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until ingredients are tender, approx. 15min.
  • Turn down the heat, break S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix into pieces and add them to the skillet. Stir until sauce mixes are completely melted. Simmer approx. 5 min., stirring continually.
  • Serve hot over Japanese-style sticky rice. (Our dear friend Reiko insisted that Calrose Rice was the best.)


Liver & Onions in Honor of Tim

Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen

In March of 2019, my Hubby committed the soon-to-be-world-famous Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen to a challenge. He committed us to making liver and onions in honor of his brother Tim’s birthday. He even went out on a limb (as he often does) and said that the SFH Test Kitchen staff would attempt to master Sauté of Calf’s Liver with Onions from Julia Child’s book The Way to Cook.

My hotshot husband figured that we in the kitchen staff would all jump to the opportunity. That’s because we had watched Julia make the dish on a video. He said Julia made it look easy. Surely, we could pull it off. But, when Hubby says we, he usually means me.

So, let me tell you the story about how the SFH kitchen staff staged a mutiny. In fact, they even went so far as to maroon Ol’ Fuzz Face in a desolate and deserted kitchen as a punishment.

Continue reading “Liver & Onions in Honor of Tim”