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Drink in Sfinos

Its all about the ouzo. Early on, in Pireaus, someone insisted that we drink ouzo. We smiled politely and said, of course we will, and promptly dismissed the idea of high-octane sweetened fire water. Then we had an adventure where one thing led to another that led to a deep understanding of the pleasures of…

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Artichoke Festival: Artichoke Pie & Spiced Parmigiana Crisps

Artichoke Pie? Why not! A savory crust tops a pie full of sauteed artichokes, pancetta, garlic, and onions. See, it’s sounding pretty good, isn’t it? You’ll need to make a pie crust, use your usual recipe or make a classic pate brisee type dough. True confession time: I cheat. I can buy very good quality,…

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Thank You Mom, Or Why I Love Being in the Kitchen

One of my mother’s greatest gifts to me (and there are many!) is my love of cooking. She’s a good cook, but the fact that growing up, we always had dinner together is where the love part comes in. I had to be home by dinnertime..or else. That was a time to share the day, talk about nonsense, or revel in the fresh corn that was picked moments before it went into the pot. Of course the time I picked the cow corn by mistake and brought it home also meant it was time to teach me the basics of corn identification.

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Fava Bean & Crispy Prosciutto Make a Seasonal Risotto

Springtime means fava bean time. To the uninitiated, fava bean pods look like string beans on steroids. You don’t eat the pod, you eat the inner, bright green, crispy, flavor packed bean. They are outstanding paired with a soft, white cheese like Robiola or a fresh Manchego cheese. Perfect for a risotto, with crispy prosciutto.

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Bye-Bye City Life

Our nomad urges can no longer be denied; it’s time to go plant tomatoes and other yummy things. So we’re heading back to Montone to open the windows and hear bird song instead of car horns. I’m looking forward to fava beans, artichokes and other spring surprises in the market. But I know I’m going to miss those blueberries and mangoes that have flooded the Chinatown markets.

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Pasta Napoletano, as good as Pizza!

Pizza Napoletano is one of my all time favorites: capers, olives, anchovies, oregano. “It’s salty…but I like it.” (100 bonus points to anyone who knows where that line comes from.)
If it’s a good combination on pizza, it’s going to be great on pasta. And it’s one of those pastas you can make in the time it takes to boil water.

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Kitchen Wizard’s Secret Weapon for Divine Dinners

Kitchen Magic What is the emergency, go-to, secret weapon that I try to keep in my fridge at all times? And it’s not ketchup, although mustard takes second place. First place goes to:….Veal Stock!

If Merlin the Magician waved his wand in your kitchen, he would give you this Secret Weapon.

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