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. […]

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 […]

Black-eyed Peas and Tomato Salad for Meze Table

Although this preparation of black-eyed peas and tomatoes is called a salad, in Lebanon it is usually an addition to the spread of various dishes found on a meze table. This salad is perfect for an end of the summer meal.  Serve it with romaine lettuce leaves to be used as scoops. For ease of […]

Horta – Simple Greek-style Boiled Greens

In Greece and its islands, horta is the name of any kind of boiled wild green, derived from the Greek word for “small garden,” a word that also gives, through the Latin, the Spanish word for large vegetable garden, huerta. There are many varieties of dishes called horta because there are many wild greens, cultivated […]

Exotic Watermelon Pudding from Sicily

Watermelons are a typical, and beloved, conclusion to an American summer grill party. In Sicily, watermelons are also popular eaten in their raw state as well as being the main ingredient in an amazing sweet pudding for dessert. The main ingredients of this Sicilian gelu ‘i muluni, watermelon pudding, were all introduced by Arab farmers […]

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 […]

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 […]

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