New Toy


On the doorstep is a box, shipped straight from Japan! Packed inside, carefully, is a donabe, a lidded clay cooking pot beloved all over the island nation for the full-flavored moistness it bestows. Lots of ideas for dishes to try, but most of them seem oriented to winter. You know, steaming pot and all. It’s… Continue reading New Toy

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Malabar Coast


On India’s southwestern coast, the sun bejewels a sea washing tropical shores fragrant with flowering spices.  Can somewhere as lavishly endowed with vibrant vistas, aromas and colors produce anything other than an exuberant cuisine?  Definitely, the state of Kerala does, and one of its favorite creations, Chemmeen Moilee, Curried Shrimp and Coconut Soup, headlines today.… Continue reading Malabar Coast

Gingerbread Man


Or gingerbread woman, depending on who’s pulling the trays from the oven. Not necessarily gingerbread cookies either, strictly speaking, but ginger cookies, at least. Point is, ’tis the season, and ginger is one of those things which make the holidays cozy, jolly and bright. Better yet, imagine what a triple serving of the sweet would… Continue reading Gingerbread Man

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

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

Please…Try This at Home


After all, Charles Pham, chef at The Slanted Door in San Francisco, does.  Among the many wonders he helps create in the restaurant kitchen, Mr. Pham chooses to make Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken for himself, his family and his friends when he’s at home.  If it’s good enough to top an award-winning chef’s own menu,… Continue reading Please…Try This at Home

It’s All in the Sauce


When Cambodians make Chicken Samlá Curry they put everything into the soupy basting sauce – lemongrass, ginger, lime zest, garlic, coconut milk…everything.  Even the chicken itself luxuriates in the impossibly fragrant mixtures, absorbing all manner of wonderful tastes. One thing this “curry” doesn’t have, though, is curry itself.  The name is assigned to any number… Continue reading It’s All in the Sauce

Start of the Spice Road


Centuries before the outside world discovered chili peppers, traders devoted considerable time to bringing home peppercorns from Southeast Asia.  The journey was as arduous as it was lengthy, leading peppercorns, prized for their flavor and rarity, to be valued more than gold.  No matter whether peppercorns were loaded aboard a ship or transported by caravan… Continue reading Start of the Spice Road

It All Leads to This


August brings exuberant gardens yielding fresh basil, green beans and tomatoes by the basketful, and people firing up the grill in preparation for a balmy evening outdoors enjoyed with family and neighbors.  Plenty of good times and happy memories as we head into one final month of glorious weather.  This is summer’s moment. Today’s entry… Continue reading It All Leads to This