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Cooking

Cauliflower Three ways

Cauliflower Three ways

For years, every spring, summer and fall I’ve made my weekly pilgrimage to the Union Square Green Market to buy the freshest vegetables grown by local farmers  in season.  All winter we have been limited to root vegetables  and other…

Masa: How to Make

Masa: How to Make

Photo: Laurie Smith, www.lauriesmithphoto.com   Many centuries ago Mexican cooks discovered that as good as corn is when eaten fresh or dried, it takes on an exciting new identity when treated with a solution of wood ashes, burnt seashells, or…

Spicy Vanilla Chicken

Spicy Vanilla Chicken

Photo by Cathy Gigante Brown This vanilla chicken recipe is surprisingly easy to make and luscious.  It hails from Papantla, in northern Veracruz, where vanilla was discovered. This has become one of my favorite buffet party dishes by adapting the…

Lentil and Rhubarb Curry

Lentil and Rhubarb Curry

I love rhubarb but do not have a sweet tooth which is how it is usually employed. I found this delicious and beautiful savory recipe on Scissors and Spice.   1 large sweet potato 1 cup small French or Spanish…

Backyard Rabbit and Artichoke Paella

Backyard Rabbit and Artichoke Paella

This is not one of the easiest recipes to prepare but it is a great one-dish mealand one of my favorite ways to entertain.  Tomorrow I will prepare the dish with chicken instead of rabbit and will cook in on…

Scallops with roasted garlic and toasted almonds

Scallops with roasted garlic and toasted almonds

    On April 6, 1983,  I drove into New York City in my beat-up Ford van with a big Zarela Cetering sign emblazoned on the sides. Because it was a cargo van with no regular seats, my seven-year old…

Poor Man’s Picadillo (Picadillo de Pobre)

Poor Man’s Picadillo (Picadillo de Pobre)

Picadillo de Pobre Poor Man’s Hashed Meat   All Mexicans are familiar with picadillo, which is something like our version of hash but infinitely more versatile.  The most elegant kind, a favorite filling or topping for all kinds of chiles,…

Oaxaca Chorizo (Chorizo Oaxaqueno)

Oaxaca Chorizo (Chorizo Oaxaqueno)

ñññ Photo Laurie Smith (www.lsmithphoto.com) but I don’t remember if the original was vertical which would make a big difference to my comadre. (Recipe:  The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Macmillan 1997) My friend, Pedro Luis de Aguinaga pointed out…

Meat Loaf – Pastel de Carne del Istmo

Meat Loaf – Pastel de Carne del Istmo

Photograph www.michaelsofronski.com   It’s too bad that Frank Bruni discover this recipe for this marvelous meatloaf before  publishing his book on the subject. No one can say that this meat loaf is boring!  It absolutely explodes with intense flavors, including…

Stuffed Baby Eggplant

Stuffed Baby Eggplant

    For maybe two or three years, I’d often think of some delicious baby eggplants stuffed with a mixture of pomegranate, lots of garlic, walnuts, and cilantro, then marinated in olive oil that one of my  favorite aunts, tia…