Food

Fish on the Grill

For many, perhaps most, Americans, summertime is a parade of meat. That’s what happens the moment the cover comes off the backyard grill, letting those late-daylight evenings and especially weekends become festivals of smoke and flame. There is absolutely no reason fish and other types of seafood should be left out of the party. After…

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Watermelon’s Wanderings

Mark Twain, the ever-clever and ever-quotable, may have considered pompano a fish “as delicious as the lesser forms of sin.” But his gaze shifted upward to describe the watermelon, which he claimed must be “what angels eat.” Summer is prime time for watermelon, every bit as much as it is for peaches and nectarines. Not…

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Brussels Sprouts, Again?

The way I figure it, Brussels sprouts may have been cultivated by ancient Romans, embraced later by other cultures along the Mediterranean and finally perfected outside the Belgian city of Brussels, of all places. But they were saved for our modern world by chefs armed with one thing and one thing only – bacon. Ask…

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Trinidad’s Tangled Tastes

With a name like Trinidad (Spanish for Trinity, as in Holy) and a capital called Port of Spain, you’d expect this Caribbean island to be the most pure-bloodedly Spanish place this side of Madrid. Yet history speaks loudly in Trinidad, filled with African slavery, south Asian immigration and pots that tend to melt. You can…

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Tapas on the Table

Along with flamenco music, the little bites of food called tapas may well be the most “Spanish” thing about Spain. But if some long-ago bartender hadn’t been trying to keep insects away from his customers’ sweet wine from Jerez, the idea might have gone undiscovered. Jerez (which the Spaniards, unlike their Latin American progeny, manage…

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Springtime Frittata for Mom

Sometimes taking Mom out to a restaurant for brunch on Mother’s Day is just what the doctor ordered. Or the lawyer, as the case may be. But if everybody except Mom pitches in, and especially if she enjoys the comforts of home minus the chores, making a brunch that’s worthy of a restaurant is easier…

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Some Spring in Your Salad

When it comes to salad, one of the world’s favorite foods yet overlooked almost always anyway, it’s strictly a matter of the Three Ts. Taste, Texture – and Toss. Put the Three Ts into practice and you won’t be so tempted to overlook salad again. There are famous salads galore, of course – from Caesar…

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Green, Green Peas of Home

Thanks to global agriculture, and especially to a giant who happens to be green, we’ve forgotten that peas have always been a springtime delicacy. In cuisines that have retained a more seasonal approach than our own, fresh peas as green as that laughing giant on the can are a symbol of the end of another…

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Sicilian Easter Lamb Pies

Even in its Easter celebrations, Sicily is culturally and culinarily a world apart from every other square inch of Italy. The fact that so many impoverished Sicilians left the island for America gives us a false impression that the foods we grew up eating in “red sauce Italian” restaurants, from spaghetti and meatballs to pizza,…

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How Pad Became Pad Thai

In last week’s column, we looked at the long history of fried rice, born of a Chinese culture that had limited proteins and vegetables but a seemingly endless supply of rice. The recipe – little more than a flexible idea, really – spread throughout Asia by way of conquest, trade or any combination thereof. This…

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