Swordfish for Summer Grilling

Xiphias gladius is the only member of the family Xiphiidae. Swordfish are found in the world’s ocean especially in warm and temperate waters. It is a game fish and prized in many cuisines of the world but probably none more so than in the Mediterranean, most especially Sicily. It can be as large as 1,000 […]

Breakfast in Tunisia

The great undiscovered culinary Shangri-La of the Mediterranean in my mind is Algeria and Tunisia. Algeria has been off limits for some 25 years because of the civil war which erupted in the early 1990s, and Tunisia was the initiator of the Arab Spring some years ago and has always been more popular with Europeans […]

Simple, Inventive Cooking for One

One benefit of being a food writer and cookbook author is that eating is pretty good.  One is either recipe-testing, taking photographs, or writing about food. Guests and children love it too because someone has to eat all this stuff. However, when does a cookbook writer have “down time” in terms of cooking? When my […]

Sardinia’s Way with Peas in Soup

Springtime in Sardinia means fava beans, peas, and a variety of other vegetables and fruit. One favorite way with fresh spring peas is in a minestra. A minestra can mean both a soup and a first course. But the difference between a zuppa (soup) and a minestra is that a minestra is usually a thicker […]

Fava In A Moroccan Way

For fava devotees we are about to see those inviting fava bean pods appearing at our farmers markets. A delightful way to prepare the fresh fava beans is a way found in Morocco. In Morocco, this purée is served as a meze and called rafissa al-fūl or rafissa “de fèves fraîches” and can be served […]

Bigoli, The Latest Hot New Pasta

Bigoli is actually not the latest hot new pasta as Venetians have known of it for centuries. However, in America, where food fads are driven by newness rather than tradition you’ll be hearing more about it. Bigoli in salsa, an old and beloved Venetian preparation made on Good Friday. A Venetian would know that bigoli […]

Oaxaca-style Smoky Shredded Pork Tacos

Although I’ve been to Mexico and live in southern California where there are plenty of great Mexican restaurants I also enjoy cooking Mexican food. If I’m not actually getting a recipe from a Latino friend my go-to cookbooks are any of those of chef and cookbook author Rick Bayless’s, especially his earlier ones. This recipe […]

Czech Out Peas and Barley!

Czech it out is a silly expression we used as college students on our first visit to Czechoslovakia.  I couldn’t resist the title. Seriously, one should check out Czech food. Czech food is not something I cook very often although I like Czech food. Part of the reason for that is there are very few […]

Hasu – A Spicy Soup of the Algerian Jews

Bread bakers set aside a portion of yeasted dough to act as a starter for the next batch of bread. This starter is called a sponge, poolish, levain de boulanger in French, and biga in Italian. But in this medieval soup of the Jews of North Africa it is the foundation to a soup. The […]

Mantı, The Turkish and Armenian Delicacy Everyone Should Make

The roots of everyday Turkish cuisine, as opposed to the court cuisine, are found in the Turkic tribes of the Central Asia and perhaps the pre-existing Greek inhabitants of Anatolia.  As the Turkish food authority Nevin Halıcı suggests, a study of the food habits of contemporary Kazan Turks and Tatars might indicate a close relationship […]

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