Mary Pauplis hosts "Cooking Adventures With Mary," a cable access cooking show that has won first place from the Women in Cable and Telecommunications New England chapter.
What began as a family tradition for Mary Pauplis turned into a lifetime passion that has earned the Hudson resident regional awards and multiple cookbook deals.
Growing up as a child in Maynard, Pauplis spent every Saturday with her mother, two aunts, and her grandmother making pasta.
"We were just little children, so we could only do the little things, like straighten out the pasta," said Pauplis. "Finally, after asking to cook, my mom said OK, and gave me a little rolling pin, which I still have today."
While Pauplis may still have the same rolling pin and recipes she used on those Saturdays, her audience has expanded beyond just a few relatives.
Pauplis hosts "Cooking Adventures With Mary," a cable access cooking show that has won first place from the Women in Cable and Telecommunications New England chapter. Her fifth cookbook, "Cooking with Mary," was just recently released.
Many of Pauplis's recipes are from her mother and grandmother and have been family staples for decades. Even as a young child, Pauplis, along with neighboring kids, would start cooking dinner when she got home from school so the food was ready when the parents got off work at the Maynard Mill.
"It wasn't forced on us. We just did it," Pauplis said. "We were the original latchkey kids."
Even during her 26 years working for Hewlett-Packard, Pauplis never strayed far from the kitchen, always spending her nights and weekends cooking or developing new recipes.
"It's 24/7, non-stop," she said. "I can be on a plane, looking at books, anywhere, and I have my pencil in hand, thinking."
In 1997, Pauplis wrote her local cable station asking if she could host and produce her own cooking show, and not much later the first episode of "Cooking Adventures with Mary" aired.
The show airs three times per week on public access and Comcast stations from Boston to Worcester, including Marlborough, Hudson and Framingham.
"I really enjoy making good, nutritious food, and with the TV show, I'm able to realistically show people they can make these foods in their own homes," she said.
Eleven years and five cookbooks later, Pauplis, who politely but firmly declined to give her age, said she has no plans to slow down. She said she will continue her culinary tours of the North End, Boston's famed Italian food mecca, and hopes to start teaching classes at the Hudson Appliance Center.
Once a week, Pauplis tapes her show in front of an audience at the appliance center, with a little help from her "unpaid employee," her husband, Phil.
And for the novice chefs of the world, Pauplis has two pieces of advice: read a few cookbooks and, if possible, grow your own herbs.
"Do some of the basics," she said. "You need to have a base for everything. You can't go into a store and not have any idea what you can do with all the stuff inside."
Matt Lynch can be reached at 508-490-7453 or email@example.com.
Mary encourages adventure
Try these recipes, courtesy of Hudson's Mary Pauplis.
CHICKEN AND PEAS WITH BROCCOLI
1 pound skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound pasta (fusilli, penne, your choice), cooked
8 ounces butter (unsalted)
Extra virgin olive oil
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock
1/2 pint heavy cream
All-purpose flour for dredging
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup Italian flat parsley, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
In a large skillet, add 4 ounces of butter and an equal amount of olive oil. Saute shallots until translucent. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; set aside.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour; shake off excess. Saute chicken pieces until cooked thoroughly, adding additional oil and butter as needed; place cooked chicken pieces aside in a warming oven.
Add white wine to the skillet to deglaze. Add shallots, along with the garlic, then reduce. Add the cooked chicken and chicken stock and reduce further. Add cream; stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley and basil and simmer for a minute. Add broccoli florets and peas; allow mixture to thicken. Using a platter, place chicken ingredients on top of cooked pasta. Garnish with additional parsley, basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
For the buckle:
1/2 cup shortening (solid)
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
For the topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened
Vanilla ice cream
Make the buckle: Cream the shortening and sugar; add beaten egg and mix well. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Using a greased 8-inch-by-8-inch pan, spread the dough. Spread the 2-1/2 cups fresh blueberries over the dough.
Make the topping: Sift together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Spread this topping over the top of the blueberries. Set oven to 375 degrees and bake for approximately 50 to 55 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and freshly whipped heavy cream.