Recipe: Jamaican Escovitch Fish

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Makes enough Escovitch topping for 2-3 meals. I've long adored the British tradition of dousing Fish and Chips with vinegar. In fact, I like to add enough vinegar for my fish to swim in. Sure, Keith won't kiss me for days afterwards, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Well, this week I learned about Jamaican Escovitch, based on Spanish  Escabéche. Escovitch is like taking your fried fish on a trip to vinegar city, on a vinegar boat, through vinegar nation At it's most … [Read more...]

Recipe: Shakshouka (Skillet Eggs with Tomatoes & Peppers)

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Serves 2-4 Ava's my little alarm clock. Most days we get up about 8 am (bless her). On the mornings that I wake up before Ava, I like to sit in the drowsy quiet, by the window. I'm not really asleep. I'm not really awake. I'm just glad for a few minutes to stare into the stillness and daydream. Often my thoughts turn to people in other countries. Slowly, I sip my tea and wonder ... what are they doing, right now? Are they sleeping? Awake? Are they happy? Sad? Do they Tweet? Are they … [Read more...]

Recipe: Boxty Pancakes

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Makes 5.5 cups batter I like a good excuse to dance in the morning. Preferably while in my fuzzy bathrobe, with spatula in hand (for a microphone, of course), while singing 100% off-key. Boxty pancakes are just the ticket. They look like a thick crêpe, but taste more like the love-child of tangy mashed potatoes and hash browns. These filling, stick-to-your-ribs pancakes are often used to wrap up food, from meat and gravy, to scrambled eggs. Best of all, cooks everywhere dance a little … [Read more...]

Recipe: Indonesian Fried Rice with cow’s eyes (Nasi Goreng)

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Serves 2-4 Let's get up and greet the day like an Indonesian. Stretch your arms to the sky. Touch the earth. Pile your plate with fried rice. And cow's eyes. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean a cow's cow eyes. I mean fried eggs. That's simply what they call them in Indonesia. As far as breakfast goes, Nasi Goreng is incredibly satisfying. Especially if you eat it on top of an 8th century Buddhist monument. And why not? With stove-top travel, we can go wherever we … [Read more...]

Recipe: Palacsinta (Hungarian crêpes)

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Serves 2-4 Ah, the glories of simple love. Simple food. Simple summertime breakfasts in Hungary. My mom has been making palacsinta under the guise of crêpes for decades. Despite being half Hungarian, she even calls them crêpes -I suppose because it's easier to say. Still, like any good Hungarian, she's made an art of rolling them up with fruit, yogurt, and nuts. Today - in her honor - we make the simplest preparation of all: smeared with apricot jam, sprinkled with crushed walnuts and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Papaya Chutney

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Fills about 2 mason jars - 1 for you & 1 for a friend Have you seen the papayas at the market lately? They're gorgeous. Sweet. Giant. Exotic. Plus they're fun to pronounce: pa-pa-ya. Gotta love anything that ends with an affirmative. Since papayas are beloved in Guinea and Guinea Bissau, I really wanted to make papaya jam for you today. Unfortunately, jam making all but requires a chemistry major. I'm too footloose for that, so I made chutney. The cool thing about chutney is that it's … [Read more...]

Recipe: French Omelet

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Makes 1 omelet I cracked a mighty big smile when I read that omelets are all over Africa, especially in former French colonies. When I attended the Culinary Institute of America I learned from our Drill-Sargent chef how to make a perfect French omelet, as tidy as a neatly folded blanket. For my final exam I had to make one in less than 90 seconds. In fact, I had to plate it and walk it across the kitchen to the chef in less than 90 seconds. As if that wasn't hard enough, we lost marks if the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cardamom Sweet Bread (Pulla)

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Makes 1 giant loaf (or as many smaller shapes as you'd like) Pulla is the ultimate Finnish bread dough. Feeling sad? Shape it into a teardrop. Feeling confused? Twist the heck out of it. Feeling like Pippi Longstocking? Braid it! Feeling creative? Shape it into men, women and children. Feeling pregnant? Just make little buns, baby! There's also plenty of choice in regard to flavorings. Pulla always tastes of glorious cardamom. After that? You can leave it plain or fill it. Sweeten life up … [Read more...]