Shrimp


The Jennings Sisters’ Boiled Custard

  Stir and chat. Chat and stir.   That is all you need to know to make a good batch of boiled custard. That and to completely disregard its name. If you bring boiled custard to a simmer, let alone a boil, you will have a lumpy scrambled mess on your hands.   The term […]

Aunt Peggy’s Bestever Cake

  The cake above is not just any cake—it’s not even just the bestever cake, it is the last thing I ate prepared by my late aunt Peggy. I got news of her sudden and unexpected death a few weeks ago. That night as I lay sleepless, recalling her, I remembered that she’d made this […]

Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream

  This custard-style ice cream is for devoted black walnut lovers, and wannabe lovers. It gives a double dose of the nut’s unique flavor: First, toasted nuts are ground into a flour and steeped in the cream and milk to impart their flavor, sight unseen; second, at the end of churning, finely chopped toasted black […]

On the Verge with Salted Herbs

  There is comfort in stasis, in trees that are barren, and fields that are resting.   In those frozen, darker times, time is generous. You can make it your own and, with inexpensive switch-button illumination, it’s easy for everyone to make more of it.   Then comes the notion of soft rains falling—not yet […]

Leap Year Black Walnut Parsley Pesto

  Usually, black walnuts are folded into fudge, cakes, pies, ice cream, and other sweets, where their wonderfully pungent and earthy flavor off-sets cloying sweetness, and where sweeteners round out some the nut’s sharper notes.   But, when eaten out of hand, the flavor of black walnuts, America’s own native nut, can be something to […]

Bloody Butcher Cornbread—The Official Bread of Halloween

  Owing to its phenomenal flavor, striking blood-red color, suitably macabre name, and Old Dominion pedigree, I name Bloody Butcher Cornbread the official 2015 Virginia State Bread of Halloween.   Even though not as commonly associated with Virginia as, say peanuts or ham, Bloody Butcher corn traces its roots directly to the state, where the […]

Holly’s Cow Peas — Authentic Country Cooking

It’s honest, simple food that speaks plainly of its origins, its parts, and aspirations. It’s the humblest of food that fit for a king, and it’s startlingly delicious.   Like Hank William’s “Lost Highway,” it’s direct and from the heart; it cannot tell a lie. Like the vernacular dogtrot house or Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling […]

Bean Cuit

  I wrote this post more than a month ago, when green beans were still plentiful. Then, before I had a chance to put the finishing touches on it, I got a story assignment, my first since moving to Richmond. (It’ll be published in the November/December issue of Edible Richmond Magazine). Of course I fell […]

Succotash—More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Succotash is a perfect subject for this posting, my first on the foods of Virginia. You could argue that no dish is more Virginian than succotash, going way back, as many claim, to the Powhatan Indians, a tribe that lived along the eastern shore of what is now called Virginia. And it’s the dish that […]

Best-Ever Wings

photo by Heath Robbins   I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you. I’d already blown my wad on three permission requests for Jap Chae, Pork Ribs with Fresh Ginger, and Tofu and Clam Hot Pot, all equally good but in very different ways, and all from The Korean Table. But then I tried […]

Polar Vortex Food

  Right about now, whether you live in the north or the south, this is what you want to eat: a hot pot of steaming, spicy, and nourishing broth. This hot pot takes its name from pillowy soft tofu, but there’s much more going on in this soup besides sundubu (tofu): there’s pork, clams, egg, […]

5:15 p.m., 70°F in Richmond, Virginia

That was day before yesterday. Maybe one of the last possible days to enjoy a pomegranate-ginger smash—a lemony, minty, sweet-tart concoction served over crushed ice—even in Richmond, Virginia. October 21st is way beyond the date of wanting such a thing in Vermont—the place where I lived for seven years before plopping myself down here exactly […]

Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts

  What do stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts and sloppy joes have in common? Not much, on the face of it. One is an exotic, aromatic dish with Turkish origins found in the cookbook Jerusalem, and the other, a quintessential American school cafeteria food.   But on the palate, they’re not that far off, […]

Prince Pilpelchuma’s Hot Chicken

  There is no Prince Pilpelchuma, at least not as far as I know. (Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.)   Though fictional, Prince Pilpelchuma’s name is taken from two very real foods: a fiery hot condiment called pilpelchuma, a recipe for which can be found in the cookbook […]

Potato and Egg Scramble with Pilpelchuma

  Bulked up with potatoes, this Middle Eastern scramble is hearty and satisfying. I learned to make it from a Palestinian Muslim, sans pilpelchuma. This make sense because pilpelchuma, according to Jerusalem authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, is used by Jews from Tripoli. Ottolenghi and Tamimi go on to say that it’s great whisked […]

Tofu with Oyster Sauce and Scallions

One day, wanting to make use of some tofu and scallions in the fridge, I came up with this very simple stir-fry. Having just spent several weeks cooking from Grace Young’s cookbook The Breath of a Wok, I felt emboldened to improvise with what I had on hand. Once you do some wok time with […]

Make Rice and Liberate Yourself

  If you’ve got some rice, some water, and a saucepan you can cook rice. There’s no need for measuring cups and no need to measure the rice or water. All you need is your index finger.   I learned this freewheeling finger-in-the-pot method from Grace Young’s cookbook The Breath of a Wok, the current […]

Mama’s Noodles with Mushrooms and Ham, and Her Special Bowl

  Today Chinese people all over the world are enjoying the Lantern Festival, which marks the last day of the Chinese New Year season. The traditional food for the festival is Yuanxiao dumplings, made with sticky rice flour.   Instead of dumplings, I made a rice noodle dish found in the cookbook The Breath of […]

The Peace Bagel with Za’atar and Labneh

  I once dated a Palestinian man. He taught me how to make a proper plate of hummus, and he introduced me to za’atar, which turned into a life-long love affair.   Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made with the herb za’atar, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt (and sometimes

Bhakti’s Chopped Liver

Introducing Guest Blogger Bhakti Ziek I’m very happy to be introducing Bhakti Ziek to you. If you read my previous posting about Jewish Corn Bread, her name will be familiar to you. Bhakti has her own blog (click here to go to it) where she writes about textiles, life, food, and more. More importantly, to […]

Roast Turkey with Two Dressings

This posting includes clear instructions for roasting a fine turkey for your Thanksgiving table, courtesy of David Leite. What it’s really about, though, is the stuffing. Because that is what everyone really wants, isn’t it? Now that I’ve lured you in with the word stuffing, a word that always elicits anticipation among my family members […]

Blueberry Batter Pudding

This is Nigel Slater’s redo of clafoutis, a French rustic dessert that is traditionally made with cherries. Slater’s version is a good showcase for the flavor and color of blueberries: the amount of sugar doesn’t overwhelm their tart aspect, and the pretty blue juices of the berries stain the batter as they burst. The sides […]

Strawberry-Rhubarb Galette with Suet-Butter Pastry

Filled with seasonal, locally grown strawberries and rhubarb, this galette recipe could be in the newest DCCC pick, Ripe, a gorgeous book devoted to 23 fruits and nuts. But it is not. I haven’t quite left Fat yet, the last DCCC pick. (The club seems to be on a trend of sensual, single word titles.) […]

Rendering Lard

I like lard. It gives a silky, luxurious texture to foods. (See my story on Thai stir-fried pork.) It has good keeping qualities and is stable when heated, making it an excellent choice for frying. According to Jennifer McLagan, author of the DCCC pick Fat, foods fried in lard absorb less oil than when fried […]

Browned Butter Cookies

These are my favorite sort of cookie: buttery and sturdy enough to dip in tea. To provide a subtle nutty flavor, the butter is browned, a step that is not difficult but requires the attention of an undistracted cook. Finely grated lemon zest is added to balance the richness of the butter, and sea salt […]

The Raymond Jennings

This cocktail, developed while cooking from the previous DCCC pick, Thai Food, is based on a category of drinks called the Smash, also known as, according to David Wondrich in Imbibe!, the Smasher or Smash-Up, referring to that happens to the herb, traditionally mint, when it is shaken vigorously with ice, not what happens to […]

Stir-Fried Pork with Beans and Green Peppercorns

David Thompson, author of Thai Food, the most recent DCCC cookbook pick, describes this pungent stir-fry as a “spicy, dry, yet oily curry.” It is all of those things, with a heat level that warms you from the inside out, from top of your head to the ends of your toes, with a double porky goodness […]

Thai-Style Eggs, and the Hens That Laid Them

The Eggs: One of the plates of eggs shown above is for Jack Sprat, the other, for his wife. Both preparations—deep-fried eggs and steamed eggs—are found David Thompson’s Thai Cooking, the current DCCC pick, where they are presented more as method than recipe.   The process of making deep-fried and steamed eggs was an interesting […]

Extra-Green Thai Green Curry from Crescent Dragonwagon

A couple of weeks ago I offered you a cocktail while waiting for dinner. Well, here it is, though not from Thai Food, the current DCCC pick, but from Bean by Bean, the latest cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon. If that name sounds familiar, and who can forget a name like that?, it’s because she’s the […]

Siamese Cocktail

Right now I’m waiting to hear from the publisher of the current DCCC pick about whether my request to post a few Thai food recipes on the DCCC blog will be granted. I don’t post recipes from cookbooks without receiving permission first, unless I’ve adapted a recipe considerably. And there has to be a good […]

Drinking Chocolate, Southeast Asian Style

  This is galangal. It is not the same as mandrake, the root that Ofelia, the protagonist in Pan’s Labyrinth, placed under her sick mother’s bed. But it’s nearly as

One-Pot Joloff Rice

A cookbook devoted to all of the great rice dishes of the world. Now that would be a dream project: Traveling from country to country researching the most authentic versions along with the myriad regional variations, traditional and contemporary, that would surely exist. Such rice dishes, where every biteful

Joloff Rice—Fancy Style

The Indians have turmeric, the Europeans, beets, and the Africans, palm oil—an intensely colored oil extracted from the fruits of the oil palm that adds a shot of deep orange-red color to whatever food it touches, including this

African Drinking Chocolate

Grains of Paradise. This, the most poetic and beguiling of the names for melegueta, a pungent spice native to West Africa, has finally found a place in my kitchen. I learned of grains of paradise years ago in an early colonial hearth cooking class. The instructor, clad in a period-style dress, had many antique props, […]

A Soup for Peanut Lovers

Does two of anything make a trend? If so, peanut soup is trending in Vermont, where I live. I’ve enjoyed peanut butter–pumpkin soup at the nearby South Royalton Market, and peanut curry soup at Cockadoodle Pizza Café in the neighboring town of Bethel, where it was recently the soup of the day. Both were delicious […]

Collards—from Sir Prince to Ethiopia

It was at 2551 Kennilworth Road in Cleveland where I had my first taste of collard greens. They were a gift from “Sir Prince,” who dated Miss Anna Szolnoky in apartment 2B, across the hall from me. A retired school teacher who still sometimes substitute taught, Anna evoked another age: She typically wore dresses, accentuating […]

The Best Chocolate Pudding

The mission at Cook’s Illustrated is “to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods.” Who can’t recall creamy chocolate pudding as a favorite food, if from a distant childhood past? The problem with those childhood versions, however, is that they lack the amount of dark chocolate oomph needed to appeal to […]

Frothed Mexican Drinking Chocolate

On the Day of the Dead, or any day, I like Mexican drinking chocolate served chilled and “on tap,” with a head. Thus began frothing sessions with a molinillo, a whisk, and,

A Plea for Soft-Cooked Vegetables

“Mellow, “unctuous,” and “melting away in the mouth” are some of the words Lesley Porcelli uses to describe vegetables that have been cooked using “The Soft Approach,” a form of low and slow cooking and the name of her story, part personal revere and part well-defended thesis, published in this month’s Saveur magazine. I like […]

Evil Jungle Grilled Chicken with Red Curry, and the Recipe Telephone Game

Earlier this month, over Labor Day weekend, I took a rewarding and inspiring writing workshop lead by Crescent Dragonwagon, a warm and nuanced, broadly talented, and gifted writer who has been thinking about, writing about, and teaching about the process of writing for a lifetime. The workshop, called “Fearless Writing,” takes a holistic view: There […]

Mayan Chicken with Spicy Citrus Marinade

This recipe, from Global Grilling by Jay Solomon, was inspired by the cuisine of the Yucatán, the land of Mayan culture. The marinade features some key, commonly used ingredients from that cuisine: citrus, in particular the bitter orange; chili pepper; and achiote oil, which is made from simmering annatto seeds in oil. The annatto seed […]

Lunch for Lynne: Grilled Antipasto with Basil Oil

We’ve had great weather for grilling enthusiasts this summer in Vermont. Until one day last week when I planned a lunch with my friend Lynne. With constant rain coming down, and a wounded chicken to tend to, I decided to cancel our lunch date. The ingredients couldn’t wait until Lynne’s next day off from the […]

Chicken Teriyaki and Avocado Sandwich: A Collaborative Adaptation

After writing Global Grilling, published in 1994, Jay Solomon went on to publish several more cookbooks, but he still makes a number of recipes from GG, this sandwich among them. When I mentioned to my neighbor and DCCC club member Sam Heffernan that the Chicken Teriyaki and Avocado Sandwich is one of the author’s favorites […]

Pretty Little Pink-eyed Peas and BBQ Across Two States

It’s time for Pink-eyed Peas! Pink-eyed Peas! Pink-eyed peas? Who ever heard of pink-eyed peas? I hadn’t, before taking a trip to Alabama last month, and none of my Northern friends or family members has either. But down south locals are eating them with some smoky, salty pork goodness and, depending on who you talk […]

Cousin Deonna’s Perfect Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese is a classic side for barbecue, which of course it not the same thing as grilling, the subject of the current DCCC book (Global Grilling by Jay Solomon.) But there are some dishes in the book, burgers and baked beans, for example, that would go fabulously with an all-American mac & cheese. This is […]

Crescent Dragonwagon’s Gumbo Zeb

  Filé powder. Dark chocolate-brown roux. Cayenne pepper. These are the some of the ingredients that help give gumbo its signature and soul-satisfying flavor. When I discovered that Crescent Dragonwagon devoted an entire chapter in her cookbook Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread to this distinctively, and to Northerners, exotic, American soup, I knew I […]

Old-Fashioned Skillet Cornbread

  When cookbook author Crescent Dragonwagon ran an inn and restaurant in Arkansas, her skillet-sizzled cornbread was a favorite menu item of hers and her customers. Clearly cornbread is important to her. After writing Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook, she went on to write The Cornbread Gospels; she also likes […]

Chilled Strawberry Soup with Crème Fraîche

It’s strawberry season, and flyers for strawberry dinners, held at local churches, can be seen around town. The only thing strawberry at these dinners, however, is the dessert—usually homemade strawberry shortcake. This recipe, from Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread by Crescent Dragonwagon, is meant to be served at the start of the meal, the […]

Springtime Asparagus and a Newfound Favorite Vinaigrette

This spring was my first real asparagus harvest. Last season, the bed, then just one year old, was an exercise in restraint; there was just a handful of asparagus large enough to be picked. With asparagus, immediate gratification is a bad thing: If you over indulge when the asparagus bed is too young, and the […]

Tortilla Casserole of Chicken and Poblano

I first learned of this dish, and the concept of layering tortillas with sauce, cheese, poblano chile strips, and chicken, a Mexican lasagna of sorts, from Carla Muñoz, a roommate from my Brooklyn days. (I owe a lot to Carla—she broadened my tequila drinking experience from just silver to reposado (rested) and añejo (aged), and […]

Peter’s Red Pozole

Pozole, a traditional, broth-based Mexican soup, is healthy, nourishing and full of flavors and textures that vary with each spoonful. If you like the contrast of cold or raw toppings—some crunchy, like radish and shredded iceberg lettuce, and some soft, like diced avocado and crumbled cheese—with piping hot broth and tender pork—a veritable salad atop […]

Queso Fresco

  (Adapted from Diana Kennedy’s recipe in The Art of Mexican Cooking) This soft, crumbly white cheese, whose name means literally “fresh cheese,” is used in a variety of ways in Mexican cooking. According to Diana Kennedy, author of the current DCCC pick, it may be eaten uncooked as a snack with drinks, crumbled on […]

Greek Drinking Chocolate

Greeks love honey, and are famous for the variety and quality their bees produce, chief among being wild thyme honey. I’m intrigued with honeys that capture the flavor of specific regional herbs, flowers or trees, and, though I’ve never tried thyme honey, I like to imagine how it might taste. With this special Greek honey […]

Spinach and Rice Pilaf with Shrimp and Feta

This is Georgia Cone’s family recipe for Spanakorizo, but with a twist. In this version, the classic spinach and rice pilaf is topped with cooked shrimp and feta cheese and baked until bubbling, to make a nourishing and very flavorful one-pot rice dish. Georgia’s family likes to use converted rice for pilafs; she says that […]

Plain Boiled Rice

I’ve made the recipe for Plain Boiled Rice from Entice with Spice several times, and am very happy with the results: I’ve gotten perfectly cooked Basmati rice every time with fluffy, individual grains. I’ve doubled the amount and have had equally good results. Plain Boiled Rice (Chawval) goes with several dishes in Entice with Spice, especially […]

Chicken Tikka Masala

 (Adapted) I made this recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala from Entice with Spice for the first DCCC potluck, where it was a big hit. This rich and creamy dish with an elegant balance of Indian spices is great for special occasions or when you feel like treating yourself to something indulgent. This recipe involves a two-step process, making it one […]

Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

This is yet another great recipe from Entice with Spice, an Indian cookbook from Shubhra Ramineni. Aloo Gobiis one of the most popular vegetable dishes in Indian cuisine: If you’ve eaten at Indian restaurants, you’ve probably seen this yellow-tinged medley of potato and cauliflower on the menu or listed as one of the specials of […]

An Indian Birthday Feast with Surprise Paneer

Our British friends James and Laura Perry love curry, a euphemism for Indian food. James and Laura say in Britain, every town, even the smallest villages, will have at least one “curry house.” (That’s “Indian restaurant” to you and me.) What a lovely notion. Can you imagine a small town in America, like the one […]

Double Rum Raisin Ice Cream with Cardamom

On a beautiful early September day, following a late summer swim, my friend Kristina and I found ourselves in one of those classic general stores that are still to be found in Vermont, selling local handicrafts, artisanal cheeses,  hand-scooped cones, everyday necessities like scouring powder and laundry detergent, and one remaining apple pie, looking very handmade and […]




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