Grilling a Big-Ass Steak

The best reasons for grilling a big-ass steak this summer is it’s easy, it’s perfect for a larger party, and it’s impressive, something party guests love. First, about easiness. One builds a charcoal fire and once all the coals are white hot lay a beef tri-tip on the grill, using a meat thermometer so you […]

Learn How to Make the Catalan Romesco Sauce

One of the two great sauces from Catalonia is romesco sauce, originally from Tarragona. The other famous sauce is allioli more commonly known by its Provençal name aïoli. In Tarragona this preparation is as typical of the region as is paella in Valencia.  Anton Gelabert, a painter from Barcelona wrote a book of romesco sauce […]

Fabulous Canapés To Start The Party

Canapés are little slices of bread or toast topped with any variety of ingredients you like. The more effort you put into these appetizing crowd pleasers before the main event the more enjoyable your party. If I have 8 or more people over for a dinner I usually make 3 different canapés. Although I will […]

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 […]

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