Food

Lightening Up Lasagna

Of all the richly deserved complaints that Italians from Italy lodge against Italian food in America, the one that resonates with me the most is that lasagna was never intended to be heavy. Over the years, more than a few Italian chefs have shown me the beauty of a light, fluffy pasta casserole that wouldn’t…

Read More

Soups for the Season

In a holiday season that traditionally begins with turkey and ends with goose, it should come as no surprise that this time of year is for the birds. And that includes roasted chickens, Cornish hens and even tiny, delicate quail.  Many of those larger birds produce leftovers, of course. So it’s our job as intrepid…

Read More

Edible Holiday Gifting

Just try doing what we did. Try gathering internet advice on making homemade food gifts this holiday season. Everybody and his Aunt Lucy has recipes – oh yes, plenty of recipes. And online these almost always take the form of a “slideshow” you have to click through, invariably with some silly number that somebody decided…

Read More

Beet Generation

There were beets hanging in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, as well as being cultivated for both love and money in ancient Greece and Rome. The difference was: those cultures were growing beets to eat the greens sprouting from the top of the root. It was a very long time and far away, the 1500s…

Read More

Cajun Country Corn

The new settlers foundered initially, failing to recognize or locate enough of anything good to eat. Finally, as much out of desperation as brotherly love, they asked the native Americans who’d lived off this land a lot longer. And they, known as ”Indians” since the geographically challenged Columbus called them such, pointed them to the…

Read More

Sicilian Swordfish

It was the most memorable lunch on a cruise ship in my three decades of lecturing on cruise ships. It was especially so because quite a few passengers took one look at what was being grilled in the open air and ran not-quite-screaming to the familiar indoor lunch buffet. Somehow, while the ship had been…

Read More

Impromptu Holiday Apps

It’s that time of year when cooking, be it plain or fancy, is at its most meaningful, thanks to those you know are coming for a visit. Unless, of course, you don’t know their coming. With all our communication technology, it seems implausible that friends of family would turn up at your doorstep without so…

Read More

The Glory of Goulash

If you stay in that beautiful capital on the Danube, Budapest, or wander from one remote corner of Hungary to the other, you won’t get a straight answer asking if goulash is really a soup or a stew. We’ve begun to suspect it is neither, or perhaps it is both. All we really know is…

Read More

The Not-So-Big Bird

I have always been a very huge fan of a not very huge bird – the so-called rock Cornish game hen. I’m sure I will love eating the bird forever. But I must admit, I was disappointed to learn just how little of the name I grew up respecting isn’t something akin to a lie,…

Read More

Bravo Bibimbap!

If I were a dish instead of a person, or even a dish named after a person or a person named after a dish, I’d really like my name to be Bibimbap. It sounds enough like “this and that” to make and keep a promise of the versatile, freeform wonders of Korea’s single most famous…

Read More