Odd couplings using savory and spicy flavors in unexpected places are trendy these days, from pairing sea salt with chocolate and caramel, to sriracha-flavored popcorn and almonds. Dried legumes eaten as snacks is also trending, although the idea has deep Mediterranean roots, particularly for chickpeas.
I first encountered the surprise of roasted chickpeas for munching at a Middle Eastern grocery store on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. In the 1970s, a gang of us – single and adventurous – were regulars at the Lebanese, Yemeni and Turkish restaurants lining Atlantic Avenue. After feasting on grilled kebabs, baba ganoush and warm pita, exotic eating at that time, we wandered into one of the neighboring food stores, drawn by the fragrant aroma of cumin and coffee beans wafting from its narrow aisles lined with bins and barrels. Continue reading
Hot foods are – hot. A trend I enjoy, it has me thinking beyond chile peppers and into exploring wasabi, which is seldom used as an ingredient. I love it because instead of sending burning heat down towards my belly, it shoots a head-clearing blast up my nose, opening up my sinuses just as spring overloads them with pollen.
While creating recipes for my latest book, The Power Greens Cookbook, which came out this month, I looked for ways to use wasabi and fell in love with it in salad dressings.
wasabi root, in a powder and a paste
To make salads that work with wasabi-spiked dressings, I started by tasting wasabi together with various ingredients. The best vegetable pairings included tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado. It went well with several kinds of fish, and shrimp, as well.
Featured Recipe: Baby Kale Tuna Salad with Wasabi Dressing
So what salad dressing ingredients does wasabi blend well with? Buttermilk, and yogurt, for starters.
Having eggs year round is so familiar that we forget how seasonal they once were. Colorful eggs at Easter are more than a spiritual symbol of renewal. Until electricity was used to add hours of light, hens stopped laying through the short days of dark winter months and began laying abundantly again as spring brought longer days. So spring’s arrival was a reason to celebrate and enjoy eggs.
Whipping up a golden, buttery French omelet is an elementally simple way to enjoy eggs. I do not mean the familiar coffee shop staple, lightly browned and folded over an over-abundance of filling. A true – as in French –omelet is cooked just until the eggs are tenderly set, without time to brown, and are quickly rolled into thirds around only a filling that is just enough to add complimentary flavor.
To the French, making an omelet is a true test of a cook’s ability. Its ingredients are simply eggs, butter, and a splash of water. (A filling is optional.) What transforms them into bliss is using the perfect pan and precise technique. Getting the timing and tilting of the pan just so, the result is lightly set eggs rolled neatly into a cloud-light pillow and slipped onto your plate at just the perfect instant. Eating it can be close to a religious experience. Continue reading