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Fried Rice Goes Tropical

In the long-ago kitchen lingo of American café, diner and lunch counter, any dish ordered “walkin’” meant packaged to be carried out. Yet when you dig a bit through food history, no dish has walked farther, longer or with more impact than Chinese fried rice. It has walked almost everywhere on earth, from southeast Asia…

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Sicilian Cannoli Cheesecake

Getting a few thousand Sicilian Americans mad at me is probably not the brightest thing I’ve ever done. Yet the fact is, I never cared much about cannoli from Italian bakeries in Little Italys all across America. Cannoli (the word is plural) were okay, but not special enough to justify the calories. It was only…

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Hungary’s Legendary Lecso

I went to Budapest to meet the goulash the way some people go to London to meet the Queen. Despite several pleasurable encounters with the iconic and meaty Hungarian soup or stew, I ended up meeting lecso instead. Lecso is the perfect dish for this time of year. A slightly spicy vegetable stew, it can…

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Ancient Island, New Idea

In the annals of food, many boneless pork chops have ended up sliced for positioning atop a salad. But we have no record of any salad anywhere becoming a pork chop. We do, however, think this is a trend worth encouraging – especially when the pork chop shows up named after one of our favorite…

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Skewers Around the World

The next time you grill anything on skewers, whether you call it shish kebab in Turkish, shashlik in (formerly Soviet) Georgian, brochette in France, anticucho in Peru, sosatie in South Africa, satay in Indonesia  or chuanr in China, know that you’re probably using the most ancient cooking technique of them all. You’ll also be adopting…

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Back to School Bounty

Suddenly, one moment very soon, your days of racing the kids to this playdate or that swim practice or this camp will come to an and. And you’ll sit there, facing their eyes across the dinner table, and just know they know that you know – school starts tomorrow. Sometimes this is mostly a happy…

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Remembering Jean-Louis

I have no idea how many courses Jean-Louis Palladin served me that night many years ago after ascertaining I wasn’t allergic to anything. I do know it was my life’s first degustation, or tasting menu. And while I don’t recall a single dish he set before me, at least one or two involved my life’s…

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A ‘Thriller’ with a Message

Terry McAuliffe’s just-released short book on the deadly Charlottesville, Va., white nationalist rally in August 2017 is a gripping, moment-by-moment “police procedural” bookended by a political autobiography and a prescription for a brighter future. The three parts don’t always fit together perfectly, but their heart (and clearly McAuliffe’s) is so much in the right place…

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Kale Finds Its Way Home

I didn’t know what kale was before it became popular as a “superfood,” and I barely knew what it was after it became the butt of video jokes, most of which involved dumping a plate of dark, curly greens into a trashcan. Because I always liked what I thought of, what I’d been told, was…

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Peach Season Pound Cake

If you love peaches the way we love peaches, then there’s no time of year with desserts half so good as summer. And if you grow peaches, either as a business or as a hobby, then you have all the more motivation to enjoy them. Some years ago, after driving 14,783 miles all over Texas…

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