Ultramar


“Ultramar,” the Portuguese word for “overseas,” was used for centuries to describe the country’s various colonies, including those in Mozambique, on Africa’s southeast coast.  A variant of the term also was applied to residents of those lands, who often mixed Portuguese traditions with native customs.  As history unfolded, the years refined the mixture and led… Continue reading Ultramar

Make Your Own Dinner!


Why not?  All the ingredients are before you – the thin tender chicken slices, marinated in lime juice, cumin, chili powder and other Mexican-forward spices.  Then there’s the smoked poblano peppers, also sliced thinly, the rich crema (Mexico’s version of crème fraiche or sour cream) surrounding it taming the heat.  Also present are cooling sprigs… Continue reading Make Your Own Dinner!

All Kinds of Fixins’


Right here we have a whole heap of buttermilk biscuits, fluffy, buttery and still steaming from the oven.  They’re savory just by themselves, but all sorts of toppings, fillings and other accompaniments wait  to take these to the next level, where they’ll satisfy not just the stomach, but also stir the soul, creating future nostalgia,… Continue reading All Kinds of Fixins’

Handmade, No Machine


Imagine, first time making pasta, no machine in sight, nor an Italian grandmother.  Guess what happens next.  Watch as hilarity unfolds?  Maybe, but not from the countertop, thanks to a nice recipe for Ravioli featured in Cook’s Illustrated‘s May/June 2019 issue. Specifically, today’s entry is Chicken-Spinach Ravioli, as the magazine’s ricotta-based filling didn’t inspire culinary… Continue reading Handmade, No Machine

A Plate Full of Ghana


It all comes together this week, as one plate holds everything you’d need for a full meal, from meat, to potatoes, to vegetables.  Wrapping the total package in style is a recipe Fine Cooking offered in its April/May 2019 release, Crispy Peanut-Chile Chicken with Sweet Potatoes. The preparation is inspired by Ghana’s affinity for combining… Continue reading A Plate Full of Ghana

Tried and New


Whatever else its challenges, the oncoming coldness makes hearty meals beautifully satisfying and even more delicious. These charms glow with additional radiance when novel ingredients take their appreciation to brand-new levels. Food which already was warmly comforting becomes bracing in its newfound delights. Chicken stew is a great example. The Korean version is called Dak… Continue reading Tried and New

Crunchy Is Better


Peanuts are woven richly into Indonesia’s culinary livelihood, and any attempt to recreate the experience at home must include crunchy peanut butter.  Preferably the “natural” variety, as it comes closest to expressing the nut’s pure essence that so animates Spice Islands cooking.  Other options may provide adequate taste, though natural crunchy peanut butter best captures… Continue reading Crunchy Is Better

Oh Ghee, You Betcha!


Wrong pronunciation of “ghee,” but a more proper intonation would ruin a not-so-clever attempt at a Minnesota accent, wouldn’t it?  Leaving aside the regrettable (and regretted) “humor,” ghee – clarified butter – is an indispensable part of the latest entry, Curry-Stand Chicken Tikka Masala.  After finding inspiration in the August/September 2018 AllRecipes magazine, an attempt… Continue reading Oh Ghee, You Betcha!