Lasagna al Forno: Two Excellent Versions

We are a house divided. We are a house divided when it comes to Lasagna that is. My wife and youngest prefer the one common in the south of Italy while my oldest and I prefer the luxurious northern version. Recently I figured why not please everyone? Why not make both and let peace andContinue reading “Lasagna al Forno: Two Excellent Versions”

Plum Tart with an Almond Crumble

Summer is winding down supposedly, even though it is still close to 100 F out there. I do not much like summer in Houston. It’s too hot, too humid too…sunny. Autumn is by far my favorite season and I look forward to its -hopefully- lower temperatures and cooking. Summer does have some things going forContinue reading “Plum Tart with an Almond Crumble”

Ivan Ramen: Toasted Rye Noodles

Noodles are just awesome. Italian spaghetti, Vietnamese bowl of Pho, a bowl of spicy Thai curried noodles…they are all awesome. A bowl of Japanese ramenĀ is right up there in the culinary Pantheon of noodles. I’ve had a lot of the stuff and I’ve cooked it at home a few times. I have never made theContinue reading “Ivan Ramen: Toasted Rye Noodles”

Kafta – Ground Meat with Onions and Spices

Kafta is a Lebanese kitchen cornerstone. Like Kibbeh it’s a dish, a recipe and a staple that can be made into various preparations. For minced meat to be Kafta it has to be spiced and flavored with onions and plenty of parsley. I am sure this is not written in stone anywhere and someone else’sContinue reading “Kafta – Ground Meat with Onions and Spices”

Equilibrium-Brined Pork Belly

Brining has been in the culinary home cook’s lexicon for the better part of maybe 15 years now. I first heard about it in a beloved episode of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” where he brines the Thanksgiving turkey. It sounded so damn cool and science-y. It is a powerful trick that anyone can do andContinue reading “Equilibrium-Brined Pork Belly”

Oven-Roasted Cod, White Bean Relish and Cabbage

Cod is a bit tricky to cook unless one wants to batter it and deep fry it. We love the mild flavor and large tender flakes of a well cooked piece of cod. Cod has very little connective tissue and large meat “flakes”. So it tends to fall apart if you handle it too muchContinue reading “Oven-Roasted Cod, White Bean Relish and Cabbage”

Manresa: Assorted Potatoes, Curds and Whey, Norinade

The Manresa cookbook from the three- star restaurant of the same name in California is a beautiful, inspiring and thoughtfully written book. I read it cover to cover and frequently flip through it to read various parts every so often. Chef David Kinch got my attention when he was featured on a season of TheContinue reading “Manresa: Assorted Potatoes, Curds and Whey, Norinade”

Hummus bil Tahini – Creamy Chickpea, Lemon and Sesame Paste Dip

Having grown up eating chickpeas (hummus in Arabic) mashed with garlic, lemon juice and the all-important sesame paste (Tahini or Tahina) on a regular basis it was really interesting seeing how this dip took off in the last 10 years or so. It’s everywhere now, on every other restaurant/pub/diner/health food restaurant’s menu. This is bothContinue reading “Hummus bil Tahini – Creamy Chickpea, Lemon and Sesame Paste Dip”