Mother’s Day brunch screams Eggs Benedict? But don’t wait until Mother’s Day to make this iconic breakfast.

Don’t be afraid of making Hollandaise. It really is easy. But, you can also buy a packet from Knorr Hollandaise mix that is very respectable.

This is how I like to make it…using an immersion blender.


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Poached eggs
  • English muffins
  • Canadian Bacon
  • White vinegar
  • Chopped chives
  • Paprika


  • Place the eg yolks, lemon juice, and salt in the cup of your immersion blender.
  • Melt the stick of butter and keep warm.
  • Using your blender stick, blend the egg until well combined and beginning to thicken. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter while blending. After all the butter is in, continue to blend another 30 seconds until everything is doubled in size. Add the cayenne and taste for seasoning. You can keep it warm in a bowl over a pan of barely simmer water while the eggs cook.
  • Bring a medium sauce pot to a low simmer. Turn down the heat so it is NOT bubbling.
  • Toast tops of the English muffin on the “Bagel” setting, or, place them on a sheet pan and brown in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.
  • Lightly grill the Canadian bacon on a flat griddle or skillet until browned.
  • Add about 1 tsp of white vinegar to the water. Using a slotted spoon, stir the water to star a whirlpool then add an egg. Continue to stir until the egg has set, about 3 minutes. Remove the egg and plate on a paper towel lined plate while you cook the other eggs.
  • Place half a muffin on a plate. Add 1-2 slices of Canadian bacon depending on the size. Place a poached egg on the bacon. Spoon on the Hollandaise. Garnish with paprika and chopped chives and serve immediately.


The French Omelette is just eggs and butter. Unlike some of the American “Omelets” we are used to…you know, eggs wrapped around everything but the kitchen sink…this elegant egg dish is painfully simple. But, it’s 10% ingredients and 90% technique. The result will be a fluffy, light omelette that is creamy and custard-like on the inside.

I’ve been practicing my French Omelette technique for a few months now, and am still working on it. To do justice on how to make one, you should search YouTube for “French Omellete Jacques Pepin”, and you will see the definitive technique. I have not reached a point where I have to confidence to film mine for YouTube, but will come soon.

The only other things that go into a true French Omelette would be fresh herbs (chives, parsley, and chervil), salt, pepper, and, I break the rules a bit here…the slightest touch of some Gruyere cheese (I put about 1 tbsp in mix 4-egg omelette).

Having a nice 8-9 inch non-stick skillet is essential…they were made for making a French Omelette. Use good butter (I like to use Irish butter). Placing the skillet over medium low heat, add the butter. Thoroughly beat the eggs, then add a pinch of salt and pepper, plus your herbs (about 2 tbsp)…I used chives and flat leaf parsley.

After adding the eggs, it’s the technique that comes into play. Using the bottom of a dinner fork (not actually touching the pan), start mixing the eggs constantly, occasionally pulling the eggs away from the sides. Once you have obtained lots of small curds and the bottom is set, roll the omelette away from the handle. Using your fist, bump the edge of the skillet on the hand to help dislodge the eggs from the edge of the skillet. Holding the handle upside down, told the skillet over your plate, use your fork to fold the omelette most of the way…then tilt the skillet over allowing the omelette to fall onto the plate. Use your hands to shape it into a French Omelette shape (pointed at the ends). Rub their surface of the omelette with some of the cold butter…and serve. It takes practice, but that’s part of the fun of cooking. When you can successfully plate a French Omelette, it will reignite your passion for cooking…at least it did for me!

Again, please check out Jacques Pepin’s YouTube video for a great demonstration on how to make a French Omelette. My video is coming soon.


I have made Gratin Potatoes, Potatoes au Gratin, Potatoes Dauphinois…whatever you want to call them…dozens of times. There are dozens of recipes and dozens of methods out there on how to make this. Not to be confused with Scalloped Potatoes, you know, the one your Aunt Sylvia brought to pot lucks that has onions and sometimes ham and other things In it?

Potatoes Dauphinois is a simple French dish originating in the Dauphine region of southeastern France. The potatoes, typically yellow potatoes like Yukon Gold, are sliced thin (4-5mmm about 1/8 inch), cooked in cream then baked, sometimes with a little Gruyere cheese, until golden brown (the “gratin” part). If you want to make it in the traditional old French style, you let it set at room temperature for an hour after cooking before serving so the cream will set up with the potatoes. Of course, you can simply scoop out a portion to a plate, or, using a food mold, cut out discs, then plate. Either way, Potatoes Dauphinois are a very flavorful, creamy, and elegant side dish for any entree.

There is a hint of garlic in this preparation (Infused into the cream) as there is a little Gruyere cheese…but definitely not garlic or cheese forward. It’s all about the potatoes and cream. The dish is buttered, but that’s it for the butter. A chef’s note and key to a successful Potatoes Gratin is slicing the potatoes consistently, ie, all the same thickness. If you are confident you can slice them evenly with a knife, go ahead. But, I highly recommend using a slicing attachment on a food processor, or, a mandolin like I used. The later is a dangerous, but essential kitchen tool that, if used properly and safely, will yield the best results. I always use a cutting glove or a guard. I ain’t slicing off the tips of my fingers for any recipe!


  • 3.3 pounds (about 1.5 kg of Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 20 ounces of cream
  • 4 ounces of whole milk
  • 1-2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (black pepper is OK)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thin sliced
  • About 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere
  • Unsalted butter for the dish


  • Peel the potatoes and immediately place them in a bowl of cold water so they won’t discolor.
  • Place the cream, milk, salt, pepper, sliced garlic and nutmeg in a large pot.
  • Using a mandolin or a food processor, slice the potatoes 4-5mm thick (about 1/8 inch). Immediately place them in the cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, lower the heat to very low, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender but not mushy.
  • Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
  • Butter a large gratin or baking dish with the butter. Alternately, you can use smaller gratin dishes for individual servings.
  • Ladle most of the potatoes into the dish making sure they are spread out evenly. Sprinkle on the Gruyere then add the rest of the potatoes. Spoon as much cream as needed to almost cover the potatoes, but not swimming.
  • Place the dish on a sheet pan in case the cream cooks over. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit about 1 hour before serving so the cream will set. You then can serve to a plate (or use a food mold) and reheat in the microwave.
  • Optional, you can garnish with a little chopped parsley, but mostly French chefs do not.
  • These freeze very well, just make sure they are wrapped in plastic and place in a sealed container.


Call them Nachos Supreme, or Loaded Nachos, or Nachos Bell Grande…no matter what you call them, they are fun and easy to make…not just on Cinco de Mayo.

Besides corn tortillas chips and nacho cheese, feel free to go crazy with your other ingredients. Let’s face it…you can get Nachos (chips and nacho cheese sauce) at almost any convenience store or the ball park. So at home…have at it!

Mine are loosely based on Taco Bell’s Nacho Bell Grande. I start with fresh made, lightly fried corn tortillas chips, taco meat mixed with refried beans, and home made nacho cheese sauce, diced tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream. Loretta is a bit sensitive to spicy stuff, so I have left off the sliced pickled jalapenos on the go around.

Instead of refried beans, sometimes I like to use black beans…or both. Besides the nacho cheese sauce, sometimes I layer on some more shredded cheddar then hit it with the broiler for a minute or so. Black olives are another addition that work well too.

Of course, you could buy some canned nacho cheese sauce or use Cheez-Whiz…but its so easy to make your won…and so much better! Usually, I make my own corn tortillas chips, but this time I found some really good chips made in-store at my local grocer. They’re really good.


  • 1 medium bag of corn tortilla chips
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 cup diced yellow onions
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup Pace chunky salsa
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can of Rosarita refried beans
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced avocados (optional)
  • Pickled sliced jalapenos (optional)

For the nacho cheese sauce:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup Velvetta, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Pace chunky salsa
  • Tabasco sauce to taste


For the taco meat:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 1 tsp canola oil. When the oil is hot, crumble in the ground beef and diced onions and cook until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the beef with a wire strainer and return to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl then add to the ground beef, Stir to combine. Add the salsa and water and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer another 10 minutes until the liquid has cooked off. Cover and keep warm.

For the nacho cheese sauce:

  • Heat a small saucepan over medium low heat and add the butter and flour. Cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the cream and cook, whisking, until it is smooth and thicker. Add the cheese and continue to whisk. When the cheese sauce is smooth and combined, add the salsa, cumin, and black pepper, and whisk for another 2 minutes. Taste and add Tabasco to taste. Use immediately or place a piece of parchment paper on the surface of the sauce, turn off the heat and cover until ready to use. The parchment paper helps prevent the surface from forming a skin.

To assemble the nachos:

  • Place your desired amount of corn chips on a small sheet pan. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes until the chips are warm.
  • Mix the refried beans with ground beef. Place the pan over medium heat and heat through until bubbly.
  • Remove the chips from the oven. Place half the chips on a large platter.
  • Spoon on half the beef and bean mixture evenly over the top of the the chips. Ladle on about half the nacho cheese sauce. Add another layer of chips, beef and bean mixture, and nacho cheese sauce. Optional, sprinkle on some shredded cheddar and place under the broiler for a minute.
  • Garnish with diced tomatoes, green onions, jalapenos, diced avocados, and sour cream and serve immediately.


Having been raised in California, specifically Southern California…I’m used to seeing Mexican taco trucks in our area. And of course, one of the staples of these abundant little traveling restaurants is tacos. And these tacos don’t resemble Taco Bell tacos in the least!

First of all, the corn tortillas are miniature compare to Americanized tacos, only about 4 inches across versus the usual 8 inch variety most people are used to. They are warmed on a “plancha” or flat griddle, layered 2 per each taco, and topped with carne asada, beef barbacoa, stew chicken, tripe (stomach), or lingua (beef tongue) just to name a few. Then a healthy sprinkle of diced onions and diced chiles (usually serrano or jalapeno), maybe a little cilantro, fresh lime or lemon juice…and that’s it. No lettuce, no taco dressing, and no shredded cheese. Simple…a bit spicy for most Anglo tastes…and easy to eat in just a couple of bites. Usually comes 2 to an order on a paper plate. Current price: perhaps $3.00 for 2 tacos.

My version below has beef barbacoa (shredded beef), Pico de Gallo, a little Cotija cheese, and some cilantro. I embellish a little from the traditional street taco form factor. And since today is Taco Tuesday and I have an abundance of leftover Beef Barbacoa…time for a few Mexican Street Tacos.


Who does not love bake pasta dishes? Rigatoni, Ziti, Mostaccioli…they’re all good. This one is meatless…with a rich marinara sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes. The rigatoni is tossed with the sauce, and a ricotta/mozzarella/parmesan mix. Then topped with more mozzarella and parmesan. If you bake it right away, it only takes about 20 minutes to cook. But, you can put it together and bake it later…with a longer cook time of course.

This recipe is really cut down using a 9×9 baking dish. Still enough for 4 people.


For the marinara:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thin sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of whole, peeled, San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or to taste
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

For the rigatoni:

  • 7 ounces of rigatoni
  • 3/4 cups whole ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme eaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped + more for garnish
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, 1/2 of it diced
  • 3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Place a medium saucepan over medium low heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and saute about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic for 30 seconds.
  • Add the San Marzano tomatoes and crushed with you hands or mash with a potato masher. Add the fresh basil and bay leaf. Add the salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes. Taste and reseason if necessary. Stir in the sugar and the butter. Optional: using an immersion blender, blend the marinara to your desired consistency.
  • Combine the ricotta, the salt and pepper, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, half the mozzarella, half the parmesan, and the egg. Mix well in a bowl.
  • Cook the rigatoni in salted water for about 9-10 minutes. Drain and don’t rinse. Return to the pan.
  • Place the ricotta mix in the pasta and fold in completely. Add 2 cups of the marinara and reserve the rest for another recipe. Freeze it if you like.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Stir every together until well combined then place in a oil-sprayed 9×9 baking dish. Top with the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 18 minutes. Remove the foil and turn to broil for about 2-3 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven. Tent lightly with the foil and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with chopped parsley and more parmesan.


Also known as a Taco Salad, they are not only tasty they are fun to eat!

What you put on this thing is so up to your individual tastes. This one has spicy ground beef, Spanish rice, kidney beans, Mexican blend cheese, Cotija cheese, chopped tomatoes, green onions, Chili Cheese Fritos,a spicy Sriracha crema, and chopped romaine and iceberg. Of course, feel free to add chopped cilantro, avocado, and salsa if you want.


  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • Avocado oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Pace Chunky Salsa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Taco seasoning (I make my own but you can use the stuff in a packet)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg
  • 1 cup cooked kidney beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese (Monterey Jack and cheddar0
  • 1/4 cup Cotija cheese, grated

For the Sriracha crema:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chile powder
  • 1-2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Spanish rice:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Pace Chunky Salsa


For the ground beef:

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium high heat and add 2 tbsp avocado oil. Crumble in the ground bee and cook until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper and the taco seasoning. Add 1/2 cup of salsa and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook on low about 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until most of the liquid has reduced.

For the Spanish rice:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tsp of avocado oil. Add the rice and saute, stirring, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and the cumin.
  • Add the stock and the salsa and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover, and cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn of the heat and let it set for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Fluff with a fork and keep warm.
  • To assemble, place 2 cups of the lettuce mix in a large bowl or plate. Add some ground beef, then some rice, then some kidney beans.
  • Add the Mexican cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions, crema, Cotija cheese, and the Fritos.
  • Optionally, add chopped cilantro and diced avocado.


I have made Clam Chowder hundreds of times with varying degrees of success, ie, tasting they way I want it to…or, resembling some of the best chowders I’ve had over the years.

This is a great new recipe of mine that kind of gets back to the basics. Please note that I would have liked to do this new recipe using fresh clams, but good chowder clams are not readily available around here (Central California)…so, canned clams.

This version is also cut way down in volume. I did this to minimize the waste if I didn’t turn out…I have “sh*t-canned” many chowder recipes right after cooking. However…this one is a keeper! At least I think so.

The clams I used are whole Bumble Bee Baby Clams, they are much better than the little cans of minced clams. And, a bottle of Bumble Bee clam juice. I might try two bottles next time, but this does have a nice mild clams chowder, and the baby clams chopped, not minced. Keep in mind that canned clams are already cooked, so they need to be heated through. Cook them too long and they become rubbery. One new ingredient this time: Old Bay seasoning.

Here’s how I made it…


  • 3 thick slices of bacon, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle of clam juice
  • 1 (10 ounce) can of whole baby clams
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp chicken or clam base
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp MSG (optional)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of Russet potatoes (about 1 medium), peeled, 1/2 inch diced and cook al dente


  • Place a medium saucepan over medium low heat and add the chopped bacon. Cook the bacon until it is rendered and slightly crispy. Remove bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • To the saucepan with the bacon fat, add the onions and the celery and saute for 5-6 minutes until just softened, do not brown. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp white pepper.
  • Turn up the heat to medium and add the sherry. Let it come to a simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the clam juice and the juice from the baby clams. Do not add the clams yet. Add the chicken base, garlic powder, Old Bay, bay leaf, and 1/4 tsp lemon pepper. Cover and allow to simmer for about 8 minutes.
  • Cook the diced potatoes in salted water for about 8 minutes until just barely tender. Drain and place in a bowl in the refrigerator to cool so they don’t get mushy.
  • Add the half and half to the chowder and bring to a low simmer.
  • Place 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour in a small saucepan and cook for about 1 minute to make a roux.
  • When the chowder is simmering, stir in the roux and allow to simmer, stirring, for about 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly. Add the cream and the baby clams. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • To make it thicker, make the roux with more butter and flour, or, make a slurry with the cornstarch and cold water. Add to the simmering chowder.
  • When ready to serve, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig, add the cooked potatoes and 2/3 of the reserved cooked bacon to the chowder and heat through.
  • Serve with oyster cracker, more chopped bacon and chopped chives if desired.


I wouldn’t dare call this an “alfredo” or a “carbonara”. It has some elements of both, but I won’t call it either.

It is a very easy quick pasta dish that will pair well with a chopped salad and some garlic bread.

Here’s how I made it.


  • 6 ounces of bucatini pasta (you can use spaghetti or fettucine0
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter ( I like to use Irish butter in the recipe)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thin sliced
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 thick slices of bacon, cooked
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives or green onions


  • Cook the bucatini in salted water until al dente, about 9 minutes. Do not drain
  • Place a medium skillet over medium low heat and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the sliced garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer, stirring, for about 5-6 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.
  • Dice the cooked bacon. Add 2/3 of it to the skillet. Add the parmesan cheese and stir in until melted. Add 2/3 of the chopped chives and turn off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Do not drain the pasta. Using tongs, place the cooked pasta in the skillet and toss until completely coated.
  • Plate with chopped chives and more bacon.


These are boneless skinless chicken thighs!

So, how can I be sold bold as to call it Southern California Fried Chicken? Well, first…I was raised in Southern California. And, it’s my name for boneless skinless chicken thighs fried crisp and moist with a crunchy coating of seasoned flour and buttermilk. And here’s how I do it.

To start, the method is important…but not as important as the seasoning. The flour must be seasoned enough. See below.

After trimming some of the excess fat from boneless skinless thighs, I marinate them for at least 2 hours in buttermilk. Then, I season the flour with…wait for it…some Ranch Seasoning. Not the dressing mix, but the seasoning mix in the plastic jar. It is an incredibly versatile seasoning that works well with a lot of recipes. Is it cheating? Who cares. It produces a wonderfully seasoned coating for the chicken. No egg in this recipe. Just the buttermilk, then heavily flour…the back into the buttermilk…then into the flour again. Then, let them sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge. A classic southern fried chicken method that is the most basic. One of the keys: properly seasoning the flour. Besides the Ranch seasoning, I add my salt-free Southwest seasoning (recipe below) and some lemon pepper. No salt added! The Ranch takes care of that. I do sprinkle on a bit of coarse Kosher salt right out of the fryer. And, yes…they are deep fried!!!


For the southwest seasoning:

  • In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp garlic powder (not garlic salt), 2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chile powder, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp cayenne. Mix well and put aside. You will have more than you need.

For the chicken:

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4), excess fat trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Ranch seasoning mix
  • 2 tsp southwest seasoning
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Canola oil for frying


  • Place the chicken thighs in a small baking dish and cover with 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Turn the thighs to make sure they are completely coated. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Place the flour, cornstarch, and the seasonings in a large mixing bow and mix welll. Remove the thighs from the buttermilk and dredge the chicken in the flour…then back into the buttermilk. Then back into the flour. Make sure the pieces are completely coated in the flour. Place them on a parchment lined plate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat about 2 inches or canola oil in a large pot to 350 degrees. Use an oil or candy thermometer.
  • When the oil is hot, fry the thighs for about 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from the oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Place the cooked thighs on a wire rack over a sheet pan in a warm oven while you fry the remainder. DO NOT OVER-CROWD THE POT or they will stick together and not cook properly.