Unwrap for a Reward


Longtime readers may recall Ropa Vieja, Cuba’s signature dish, requires considerable prep work (i.e., time) to impart its succulence.  This is a common theme in Cuban cuisine, which rewards culinary effort with a trip straight to vibrant tropical shores.  Certainly, getting to the shrimp and the plantains which make up today’s entrees, Camarones Enchilados and… Continue reading Unwrap for a Reward

Give the Blender a Break


In the Ecuadoran soup on which today’s entry is based, the broth and such are put through a blender one last time, just before service, ensuring a smooth consistency.  That’s a shame, as it also pulverizes the bits of color and the traces of texture that make Shrimp and Corn Chowder so interesting, so appealing.… Continue reading Give the Blender a Break

Speeding to New Orleans


When rail travel’s most vibrant days still were yet to be, passengers aboard Illinois Central’s overnight service from Chicago to New Orleans savored fine dining before a contented drowsiness bid them to their cabins.  The evening got underway with a menu offering a variety of beguiling choices, including today’s entry, Shrimp Creole.  Indeed, the dish… Continue reading Speeding to New Orleans

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

A Working Lunch


People living along Spain’s rugged northern coast have gathered shellfish, well, forever, and mussels are one of their most prominent harvests.  Naturally, in common with food lovers everywhere, Galicians have developed hundreds of delicious ways to highlight – and to enjoy – local products.  One of the most tempting of these is today’s submission, Mussels… Continue reading A Working Lunch

Smoke Wisps through the Sunshine


Visit nearly any market in West Africa and you’ll find cooks producing skewers laden with Beef Suya.  Traditionally served with fresh cut vegetables, as pictured above, Suya often is paired with Jollof Rice.  Popular acclaim has elevated the pair to become, more than anything else, Nigeria’s national dishes. With good reason.  A flavorful coating dusts… Continue reading Smoke Wisps through the Sunshine

Timing Has to Be Perfect


Otherwise, Tomato and Crab Soup wouldn’t deliver the garden’s glorious flavors with quite such style.  Certainly, the soup would be memorable any time of year, but in early August, when high summer vaults garden vegetables past each other in pursuing perfection, the results approach the divine.  Ambrosia. Soup now, though?  While the humidity gives vegetables… Continue reading Timing Has to Be Perfect

One Loves Despite, not Because


…and never more so than in today’s preparation, Greek-Spiced Baked Shrimp.  When the late Gourmet highlighted this recipe in its November 2008 issue,  things nearly went no further, as many cheeses, feta among them, don’t inspire much personal enthusiasm.  That said, it is a shrimp dish, and that particular feature warrants investigation.  Years later, here… Continue reading One Loves Despite, not Because

Too Many Tomatoes


Not a problem, really, but late summer does bring vine-fresh tomatoes in glorious surplus.  After dreaming of them for most of a year, wistfully, as the off-season imposters aren’t so special,  suddenly we find perfect tomatoes everywhere.  Nearly bursting with sun-charged flavor and juiciness, peak-season tomatoes adorn back yards, farmers’ markets and roadside stands across… Continue reading Too Many Tomatoes