An Unusual Chinese-inspired Duck Sandwich From England

This delicious sandwich or wrap is thought to have been invented in Great Britain, perhaps around Brighton, where a duck wrap is also a vulgar expression denoting a particular sex act. There’s nothing vulgar here, rather it’s pure ecstasy when you … [Continue reading]

A Provençal Stuffed Cabbage for A Cold Day

Sou fassum, the Provençal name, is known in French as chou farci à la Niçoise. It is a specialty of the region around Grasse. Traditionally, the stuffed cabbage leaves are placed in a net made of thick threads called a fassumier that is then lowered … [Continue reading]

Meatballs and Rice in a Middle Eastern Way

This preparation popular in Lebanon and Syria was not always so. In the eighteenth century Damacenes, like all Syrians, preferred wheat and switched to rice and other grains only when wheat became too expensive or was in short supply. But rice was a … [Continue reading]

Stew as the Wife of the Cordoban Farmer Would Make It

This delicious winter stew from Córdoba in Andalusia is called olla cortijera de Córdoba in Spanish and is long simmered cabbage and chickpea stew. Andalusians are quite fond of cumin as a spice. The plant was brought to Spain from North Africa … [Continue reading]

Rib-sticking Whole Wheat Pasta for Winter

Winters were much colder when I lived in New England and rib-sticking meals like this pasta dish were meals often made. In southern California it never really gets cold enough to want something rib-sticking, but I love this preparation anyway even … [Continue reading]

Puntarella Chicory Arrives!

Chicory is an herbaceous wild biennial or perennial found all over the Mediterranean. The leaves of chicory have a basal rosette of runcinate leaves, that is, with lobes are deeply incised and recurved at the tip. The heads are large with loose, dark … [Continue reading]

Andalusia’s Dried Bean Soup for A Winter Weekend

A winter weekend soup that can more or less be an entire meal is a dried bean soup from Andalusia. Dried beans are popular everywhere in the Mediterranean.  They also have a flavor a tad different than the fresh bean, which means they are ideal in … [Continue reading]

Cold Weather January Soup Is A Lentil Bulgur Soup from Turkey

Winter is a time for soups. This soup is one I came across during a particularly cold April in Turkey. In Turkey, soups are favorite preparations during the winter.  One forgets how cold it gets in the Mediterranean and these soul-satisfying soups … [Continue reading]

Spinach is the Queen of Vegetables, Captain of Leafy Greens

Spinach is an annual plant with dark green leaves that enjoys cool weather.  There are two kinds of spinach, prickly-seeded and round-seeded.  Most spinach on the market is derived from the round-seeded kind.  Spinach is also classified by the shape … [Continue reading]

Yorkshire Pudding for Christmas

It’s not clear how Yorkshire pudding got its name, but the idea of cooking batter in fat drippings is, after all, what a pancake is all about, and Yorkshire pudding is nothing but a risen pancake. Traditionally, the English serve it with a standing … [Continue reading]

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