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

Easier Done than Said


Today’s recipe is labeled Southeast Asian Beef and Rice-Noodle Soup, at least that’s what Gourmet called it when it showcased the dish in February 2009, but in reality, it’s phở. The ingredients list is unmistakable; this is the deeply flavored and intensely aromatic Vietnamese soup that is perhaps its country’s most famous culinary treasure.  Thanks… Continue reading Easier Done than Said

Jeweled Ingredients


Those familiar with Thai cuisine know cooking is all about building layer upon layer of taste.  This ensures each ingredient is distinct, identifiable and doesn’t get lost.  Still, they make up a chorus of flavors all equally assertive, yet complimenting each other beautifully.  That combination is no more exquisitely balanced than in today’s creation, Guay… Continue reading Jeweled Ingredients

Near the Main Line


Travelers aboard the Main Line of Philadelphia’s commuter rail pass through Valley Forge, today an affluent suburb, but nearly 250 years ago coincident with perhaps the direst moment in America’s struggle for independence.  The British Army having chased the Continentals from their capital (at the time, Philadelphia), George Washington sought refuge in a farming community… Continue reading Near the Main Line

This Calls for a Celebration


Of course it does.  How could anything called Feel-Good Chicken Soup inspire anything besides joy?  The dish featured this time has much more than a positive name to recommend it.  It tastes great, which, in turn, makes tasters happy.  Sure enough, it all adds up in the end. Not only does the concoction produce contentment,… Continue reading This Calls for a Celebration

Two-Headed Creature


All sorts of wonders skulk this time of year, and if you’re not careful one of them will claim you. Well, this Halloween’s soul must be particularly needy, as it’s grasped at not one recipe, but at two. Both courtesy of The Nightmare Before Dinner, chef Zach Neil’s collection of deliciously spooky dishes from his… Continue reading Two-Headed Creature