Eggs and Ham

Breakfast is the meal of the day that most cooks keep simple. At best they might use some leftovers to dress it up, but no one want to prep food in the morning.  When I say breakfast, I don’t mean early brunch. If you’re eating breakfast after 10 am I consider it brunch.  A real […]

Savory Pie in a Cast Iron Skillet

There’s something fun and easy to old-fashioned cooking in cast iron, such as this savory pie made in a cast iron skillet and topped with puff pastry. Savory pies were far more popular in the early part of the last century than they are today. They are waiting to be rediscovered.  This recipe is not […]

Switzerland’s Hot and Cheesy Casserole Named After A Disease

Goms is a valley in the rugged mountainous canton of Valais in Switzerland, where this pie originated. The unusual name of this pie, Gomser Cholera, derives from the cholera epidemic that hit Switzerland hard in 1836. Rather than leave the house and risk infection, people tended to prepare meals with the food they had on […]

Spicy Catalan Stew of Haricot Beans

The role of dried common beans in the cuisine of Catalonia is unique in the Mediterranean. They play a role in the staple diet more akin to the role of beans in Mexico than with any other region of the Mediterranean. Although it’s true that beans are a staple or near-staple everywhere in the Mediterranean, […]

Country Soup-Rustic Corsican Soup for Winter

This is the most famous of all the Corsican soups. The soup is simply called minestra which in the Corsican culinary pantheon is simple soupe paysanne, country soup.  Although it’s called a soup, it’s meant to be so thick you could eat it with a fork. Shepherds would take some leftover with them into the […]

Make A Spicy Jewish Soup from North Africa

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 […]

Potato Gratin with Swiss Chard is for Wintertime

Potato gratin is one of those preparations that speaks to people.  When a gratin comes out of the oven it is one of the most inviting foods.  It’s also a dish perfect for winter. Swiss chard developed from the beet and was first mentioned in a book about plants published in Basel, Switzerland in 1596. […]

Cocido, the Quintessential Spanish Stew from Andalusia

Spiced sausage, cumin, saffron, black pepper, and garlic flavor this stew that some call the national dish of Spain. These spices had their culinary roots in Islamic Spain, but the trade in spices itself was coming through Lisbon to the great spice markets of Seville and Barcelona. This chickpea stew is found throughout Spain in […]

Lentils and Sausage for Winter Dinners

There is a winter dish from the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy of cooked lentils topped with slices of boiled stuffed pig’s trotter called zampone.  Decades ago I was lucky to live near an Italian deli that regularly carried a domestically-made zampone. Then they went out of business and once the internet was invented and […]

Christmas Eve Risotto from Venice

This is a typical Christmas Eve dinner preparation and is unusual for two reasons: it is not cooked according to the risotto method even though it’s called a risotto, and it combines cheese with fish. The dish probably evolved from a simple fish pilaf, one using, perhaps, gò (goby, an ugly little fish that lives […]

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