This is not the kind of figgy pudding the Cratchetts consume at their feast in A Christmas Carol. That pudding looked more like a flaming fruit cake – not my favorite. But clafoutis is a sort of pudding, so I couldn’t resist the title.
This is a wonderful dish with a split personality. It tastes savory and sweet all at the same time. You must make it while beautiful tomatoes are in still in season. It tastes like summer in the best possible way.
(Vicki James) I was remembering our wonderful dining experience at Ramires in Guia, Portugal. Once we returned home, I started scouting for a great Piri Piri chicken recipe to try at home. There are many to be found on the internet, and I perused more than a few. I knew I had hit pay dirt when I found this recipe on a lovely blog by Nelson Carvelheiro. His Piri Piri chicken recipe also includes a photo blog of his sweet Portuguese grandmother making the recipe just as she has every Sunday for years. There is a terrific picture of her with her adorable black and white puppy. You’ll fill your cuteness quotient for the day.
This version of slow cooker Mississippi Pot Roast recently appeared on the cooking website of the New York Times. Refined by Sam Sifton, it’s a somewhat healthier way of cooking a recipe that has been a favorite on Pinterest for many years. Somehow, I’d never heard of it before, which surprised me since I peruse many of the home cooking sites that show up on Pinterest. I’ve seen “Marry Me Chicken” show up about a thousand times, for example. And I’ve never tried it either. But once I read the pot roast recipe, it sounded so appalling that I couldn’t wait to try it!
Okay, I’m just going to say it. If you don’t try this recipe, you are crazy. I mean it. I want everyone to make this fast, easy and insanely delicious recipe as soon as possible. You will be ecstatically happy to have this winner of a chicken dinner in your recipe repertoire. If I could, I would come to your house wielding a jar of sun-dried tomatoes and a carton of cream and chain you to your stove until you completed the recipe, just so I could see your happy face when you take your first bite. Be glad I don’t know where you live.
If you want to try some exotic new flavors on the grill this summer, you will enjoy this recipe. The secret is in the sauce. At risk of sounding like a food writer for the Ladies Home Journal in the 1950’s, the sauce can best be described as zingy and zesty, packed with intense Asian flavors. It’s got a nice little burn going on from the gochujang sauce, but it’s an easy recipe that starts with prepared barbeque sauce as a base. My husband loved this recipe, and since he’s the grill master at our house, nothing goes on the fire that doesn’t meet with his approval.
(Vicki James) I’ve now made this delightful recipe from the N.Y. Times twice, so I am happy to vouch for it. It’s so easy, so delicious and so versatile, it’s bound to become a favorite of anyone who tries it. And why wouldn’t you? It’s easy enough for a child to make. However, I wouldn’t recommend it because dealing with chipotle peppers can be a little dicey. Let’s keep all unnecessary ER visits to a minimum, shall we? Now that I’ve scared you to death, I want to reassure you that cooking with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is a breeze – provided you wear a hazmat suit. No, really, I’m just having a little fun. However, when I was cleaning up some spilled adobo sauce with a sponge and wringing it out in the sink, the fumes nearly took my breath away. So maybe all you need is a gas mask. Actually, I’m exaggerating so pay no attention.
(Vicki James)Yes, there’s plenty to be crabby about. Cancelled events. Social isolation with no end in sight. Worst of all, no summer trip to the shore, at least for us, who are throughly landlocked. These days my travel is limited by the size of my bladder. I won’t go anywhere that would force me to make a pit stop at a public restroom, because they seem pretty risky right now with COVID 19 raging. That means I only visit destinations three hours away or less. But this yummy recipe for Crabmeat Carbonara with Lemons and Capers feels like a little culinary escape. If you live near the seaside, procuring some lovely fresh crab may not be a problem. I have no such access here in Tennessee. I’m happy to say a large can of vacuum sealed lump crabmeat picked up at the local grocery did the job well.
After I made the yummy crab carbonara, I still had half a can of beautiful lump crabmeat left over. What to do? Then I suddenly remembered a wonderful summer salad I had not seen on a menu in a long time – Crabmeat Louie. I remembered eating this delicious dish in my youth, but it seems to have fallen out of favor over the years, which is a shame. No one knows when or where it was first served. It seems to have originated in San Francisco or Seattle to showcase local Dungeness crab, sometime in the early 20th century.
(Vicki James) This terrific recipe would be a great choice for either Easter or Passover, if you are serving a small group. Under the constraints of the pandemic, most of us are (or should be) planning a much smaller celebration this year. But we still want to make food that feels like more special than the usual fare we are eating these days (i.e. canned spaghetti-os and such). These exotic flavors will transport you to Biblical times in the Holy Land. Za’atar is a seasoning mix that has been in use in the middle east since ancient times.
“Cooking is one of the strongest ceremonies for life. When recipes are put together, the kitchen is a chemical laboratory involving air, fire, water and the earth. This is what gives value to humans and elevates their spiritual qualities. If you take a frozen box and stick it in the microwave, you become connected to the factory.”
“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain