December 26, 2012 |
This year I had one of my best Christmas Eve dinners ever. Maybe it's because it unfolded in such a leisurely fashion--a little eating, a little dancing and listening to music, a little nibbling, a little conversation. And repeat. Watching the sunset, admiring the ring around the moon. We started about 4 p.m., shucking five dozen kumamoto oysters and watching the light fade over the horizon as we sipped a 1996 Fleury Champagne followed by a 2004 Muscadet. Bruschetta was involved too, lavished with olive oil, ricotta cheese and fresh roasted red bell peppers.
December 17, 2012 |
I was excited to see that New York chef Sara Jenkins of Porsena and Porchetta has just come out with her own app called “ New Italian Pantry .” It seems like such a natural subject and the publisher has produced a beautiful app with gorgeous photography and graphics. Too bad the content re the pantry is so sketchy. You do get some 80 recipes, though. Jenkins has focused on 16 key ingredients for your Italian pantry. Once your cupboard is stocked with these core ingredients, she says, you have the flexibility to go to market and respond to what is freshest and most appealing -- and come home and cook.
December 13, 2012 |
Do you love your food with a little -- or a lot -- of kick to it? If you've never tried harissa, you don't know what you're missing. Harissa is a fiery red hot sauce from North Africa. While the ingredients may vary from region to region, basic recipes typically include dried chiles, a few spices, garlic, olive oil and salt. Harissa, a thick paste, can be used both as an ingredient and a condiment. Use it to flavor a marinade or a stew. Dollop it onto soups or steaks, or spread it onto a sandwich for a little extra heat.
December 12, 2012 |
Because of their rather tough texture, greens such as kale are often cooked to tenderize them before serving. But gently rubbing a bright vinaigrette onto the cut greens also works to soften their texture, making for a wonderfully fresh salad with crisp, assertive notes. Top it with a few grilled baby carrots for an extra touch of color and you have a finished dish in under 30 minutes. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here . Food Editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.
December 11, 2012 |
If you've ever been in Italy in the late fall and early winter, you know how amazing the perfume of really fresh olive oil can be -- artichokes, green beans, call me crazy but I get something deeply floral, like roses and, oh yes, olives. The problem is, fresh oil doesn't last very long and it rarely seems to ship well. All of those vibrant grassy aromas and flavors mellow into something that's quite delicious, but nutty rather than vegetal. But I've just found the first California oil so far that delivers that remarkable olio nuovo pungency.
December 8, 2012 |
This week, cookbook author Faye Levy shares the importance of oil to Hanukkah: "As a child in Hebrew school, I was taught the story of the Hanukkah miracle: When the Jews in the land of Israel defeated the foreigners, the priests seeking to rekindle the temple's e ternal l ight found enough ritually pure oil for only one day. Miraculously that oil lasted for eight days. "What we hadn't learned in Hebrew school was that the oil of the Hanukkah miracle was olive oil. In ancient Israel, olive oil was used for lighting lamps, for religious rituals and for cooking.
December 8, 2012 |
As a child in Hebrew school, I was taught the story of the Hanukkah miracle: When the Jews in the land of Israel defeated the foreigners, the priests seeking to rekindle the temple's eternal light found enough ritually pure oil for only one day. Miraculously that oil lasted for eight days. Since then, Jews have been celebrating Hanukkah every year by lighting candles every day for eight days. Children in Israel play with dreidels inscribed with the first Hebrew letters of the phrase "a big miracle happened here "; in Washington, D.C., my birthplace, our dreidels had the first letters of "a big miracle happened there . " Until I lived in Israel, I associated the holiday with latkes, or potato pancakes.
December 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — California olive oil producer Pat Ricchiuti feels the squeeze of foreign competition. So do his counterparts in Texas, Georgia and a handful of other states. Now, with the help of congressional allies, these leading U.S. olive oil producers are forcing a closer look at a tough global market. In a U.S. International Trade Commission hearing this week, officials ratcheted up a yearlong investigation that could end up pitting importers against domestic producers and one country against another.
December 7, 2012
Rich and creamy Caesar dressing, crunchy lettuce, fried capers, crisp croutons, shredded parmesan and a little lemon vinaigrette. That's how Michael Mina does Caesar at American Fish at Aria in Las Vegas. Sure, the recipe calls for more than a few ingredients, but it can be assembled from start to finish in about an hour. And I must warn you: Try this once and you may want to fix it again another night this week. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here . Food Editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.
December 6, 2012 |
Dinner doesn't get much simpler than a nice helping of sizzling shrimp with a touch of garlic and a sprinkling of hot pepper, and it comes together in less than half an hour. That's just enough time to slice a baguette (to soak up all those amazing juices) and pour a couple of glasses of wine before you settle in for the evening. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food Editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.