Fennel Salad from Algeria Perfect for May

In North Africa salads of all kinds are a favorite dish, served as part of a meze table, called qimiyya in Algeria, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats.  This recipe from Algeria is simply called salāṭat bisbas, fennel salad.  Although I love raw fennel which makes both a great dipping implement and sliced thin for […]

Spareribs Braised with Artichoke and Fennel Leaves

The first thing we think of when we hear pork spareribs is barbecued spareribs. Rightfully so, as it is classic. There are other ways of cooking spareribs and here’s one of them. In this preparation the spareribs are cut into their individual ribs and then braised with artichoke foundations and fennel leaf in a little […]

Melange of Vegetables, Simply

Home cooks love the idea of simple food, but as soon as we’re in the kitchen things aren’t so simple.  It’s actually hard to cook simply because we always want to fiddle or add things or just not stand around looking at “simple,” because after all simple doesn’t require much, that’s why they call it […]

How To Cook Lamb The Roman Way

In terms of meat in Lazio, the region of which Rome is the capital, the place of honor went to abbacchio, milk-fed lamb.  The name probably derives from bacchio, that is, the stick used for herding.  Dictionaries of Romanesco dialect define abbacchio as just-weaned baby lamb whose season in the centuries following the stabilization of […]

Belgian Waffles at Home

The first written mention of a waffle is from Le Ménagier de Paris, a late fourteenth-century French aide-memorie. There it is stated: Gauffres (waffles) are made in four ways. In the first, beat eggs in a bowl, then salt and wine, and add flour, and moisten the one with the other, and then put in […]

Fūl Mudammas – A Levantine Arab Meze Par Excellence

This is a famous Lebanese breakfast dish and meze dish, although it is made throughout the Levantine Arab world.  This version is very different than the Egyptian one, also famous, and called the Egyptian national dish, which is more like a soupy stew.  Although most common for breakfast, Arabs will eat it at any time […]

Lamb and Grapes Delights

Leave it to the Greeks to combine lamb and grapes. At first blush you might scratch your head, but then you realize it’s a great idea. This combination also looks very pretty. The recipe requires lamb shanks which is one of my favorite cuts of lamb but increasing difficult to find in a regular supermarket. […]

Quiche with Pine Nuts from the Moors of the Camargue

The cheese pie from France known as a quiche has its origins in Lorraine, but this recipe called quiche aux pignons, traces its roots to the garrigue (moors) of the Camargue of Provence. Although simple to make, its taste is luscious. To make this properly, you will need to focus on the bacon lardons. Make […]

Pastitsio, A Greek Baked Macaroni

The traditional method of baking in Greece was to use a beehive-shaped oven called an avli built on the side of a house.  Those who couldn’t afford an oven would send their food to the local baker’s fourno (oven) for cooking.  Pastitsio, baked macaroni with meat sauce and white sauce, with its Italian-derived name but […]

Christmastime in Venice with Cuttlefish in Its Ink

The cooking of cuttlefish in its own ink is a method that goes back at least to the fourteenth century, as we know from an early cookery manuscript fragment from about 1300 (Frammento, Biblioteca Universitaria della Università di Bologna, MS 158, ffº 86r – 91v) where it is cooked with leeks, garlic, and spices to […]

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