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Cooking at Home

Roasted Quail & Spiced Peaches: A Recipe from the Gods

Our knowledge of flavor is the sum of all things we have ever tasted. A recipe is not a free standing list of ingredients and instructions; it’s the result of experience, memories, and desire.
You are never, ever alone in the kitchen.

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Grocery Shopping NYC Style: Seriously Whole Food

But, I had to break down and buy some food. All I had in the fridge was a lone bottle of Bud that my nephew had left there over the summer, and Budweiser just doesn’t work as a coffee substitute in the morning. Maybe for some of us…
As I’m walking down Mott St., checking out the vegetable stalls to see what looks good, there is a spiffy looking new storefront, aptly called: “New York Mart”. It looks intriguing, so in the name of neighborhood research, I wander in.

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Recipe for Sunday Lunch: Slow Roasted Suckling Pig Leg With Friends, Fava Beans and a nice Chianti.

Carpe Diem! Sometimes you have to seize the moment, and when the local EuroSpin had a suckling pig leg on sale, it just had to come home with me. And you can’t eat pig leg all by yourself, because wouldn’t that just make you a little piggy? Which meant we had to invite some friends over, which suits us just fine on a Sunday afternoon. See how one little impulse buy has so many pleasant consequences!

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Linguine & The Art of Vongole

Twenty years ago, Napoli Restaurant was a classic spaghetti joint on the corner of Spring and Sullivan streets in Soho, NYC. Actually, it was ‘our’ spaghetti joint back in the day when we were living cheap and going out didn’t require a mortgage to buy a bottle of wine.
Flash forward to the new enlightened us who live in Italy and have eaten many clams, preferably picking them up at the port from the fisherman, with a cold bottle of local wine in the shopping bag. Here’s the time warp part: eating linguine alle vongole at the Italian seaside is probably cheaper than those dinners at Napoli. See, life isn’t always cruel.

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Umbrian BBQ

Umbrian BBQ

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12 Cookbooks Good Enough to Give

‘Tis that gift giving season again, and nothing warms a cooking person’s heart like a new cookbook. Here is my completely subjective list, in no particular order, but arranged by delicately nuanced categories, of favorite books to give to deserving friends.

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Rustic Sausage & Peppers

Some flavor combinations are classic; and sausage and peppers fall into that category.

Remember the old cartoons where the vapor would rise from the dish, and then beckon you to eat? That’s what happens when you saute peppers and sausage.
This dish is perfect just as the weather turns cool, and the last of the tomatoes are still on the vine.
Keep this dish simple, ok? Just be sure to use some good, fresh Italian sausage.

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Artichoke Festival Continues: Fried Baby Artichokes

Baby artichokes aren’t snuffed out before they’ve had a chance at a full life, they’re just the little guys, lower down on the stalk. These babies come into their full flavor potential when they are deep fried, with a tender, light coating, a crunch of salt and a zing of lemon.

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Risotto Milanese

Risotto Milanese

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Never Eat the Same Gazpacho Twice

We’ve slid off the spatula of our searing African weather, into the low boil of Italian summer heat. After the abrupt shift to summer, we’re now getting the chance to become adjusted to our new life style. Which means we barely want to eat anything more than prosciutto and melon, or gazpacho. Gazpacho with caviar. Cucumber & pistachio gazpacho.

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Summer Confetti Pasta: Bawdy, Colorful, Sexy, Italian

Warm weather arrives and suddenly the kitchen color palette shifts from the tender greens of spring to vibrant reds, purples, deep sea green. In Italy, the men are tan, the women wear spectacularly high heels, and everyone struts their stuff. It’s an irresistible, seasonal call to go out and play.

It’s a perfect time to experiment with textures, temperatures, colors. Not serious cooking, but light, fun and flavorful cooking.

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THE Perfect Lunch

It’s one dish you shouldn’t mess with. No foams, no vacuum sealed marination with lovage shoots. It’s not improved by a precision presentation, because then it looks like you are aiming for distraction, instead of palate satisfaction. It’s simple and it should remain simple.
Yes, it’s time for my annual ode to prosciutto and melon.

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