• 4th meal,  party food & snacks,  poultry

    The Man’s Spicy Dragon Wings

    No napkins necessary for this recipe. You will lick your fingers clean of all the deliciousness. These wings are perfect for scarfing while watching your favorite team. (In our case, they have become our good luck snack when we need a “W” in a contentious SEC game.) What are dragon wings, you may ask? They are The Man’s recipe for chicken wings coated with a fermented Korean red pepper paste called gochujang. And thanks to The Man, I am now an addict. Yep. There is something about gochujang that makes me crave it. Gochujang. I love to say it. It’s a piquant red pepper paste that will set your face…

  • pork,  soups & stews

    The BEST D@mn Posole Rojo*

    Posole.  YUMMMMM.  The festive colors of posole remind me of the Mexican flag: the chile infused soup (red); the cotija cheese (white); and the cilantro (green). You know how I feel about eating with the eyes! It is by far one of my favorite dishes to prepare when I entertain at home. Because it makes such a vast amount, I usually reserve this recipe for a group gathering. Interest is piqued the moment guests walk through the door, as the aromas wafting from the pot are reminiscent of a South American spice stall. Passing the condiments lets guests decorate their bowls as they wish, all the while stimulating great conversation.  Pozole, which…

  • 4th meal,  party food & snacks

    Caribbean Poutine (aka Dirty Tots)

    This dirty dish was inspired by a visit to the Somewhere Cafe on Turks & Caicos. When we got to the beach side restaurant, we were famished. We had been shopping, sunning, swimming—you know, exhausting vacation stuff. Our adorable waiter recommended the Dirty Fries—fries piled high with layers of cheese and pulled pork and then slathered in barbeque sauce.  I remember how we ooohed and aaahed with every bite we took. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them ever since! Although TCI is north of the Caribbean Sea, I suppose I could refer to these fries as Caribbean poutine. They are not exactly like the poutines that originated in…

  • party food & snacks,  vegan,  vegetarian

    Blistered Olives

    I often catch The Man around here with his hand in the olive jar. He is wild about olives! If you ask him, he’ll tell you they are a gift from the gods. Many people might agree with him. Especially olive farmers. Olives are handled with such care that they are gently caught in nets to keep them off the ground. (If an olive touches the ground, it no longer qualifies for virgin olive oil.) While my favorite is oil-cured black olives, his love for the fruit has no bounds. We have about 10 jars in the fridge. No kidding. He is more than happy with a bowl of olives…

  • 4th meal,  party food & snacks,  vegetarian

    Chunky Mediterranean Hummus

    This recipe is one of the reasons I am invited to parties. For years I thought it was my irresistible charm or my clever wit that was so alluring, but no.           “Hey, we’re having a get-together Friday. We hope you can come! Around 7PM?”           “Sounds great!”           “Oh, and can you bring your Chunky Mediterranean Hummus?” My hummus. That’s the caveat. But who can blame anyone for loving this dish? My recipe takes hummus, a Middle Eastern staple, and loads it up with Mediterranean goodness. Hummus is like a beautiful neutral palette that complements anything that…

  • pasta,  vegetarian

    Greek Burned Butter Pasta

    Let me start by raising a glass to Diane Kochilas, queen of Greek cuisine. Unbeknownst to her, she revolutionized my recipe. This epiphany was a game changer. My pasta was already delicious, but now it is delicious X 10! Before I stumbled upon Diane’s video, I always made this dish the way my mom made it. After all, her people are from the island of Rhodes. They were obviously experts! Yes, they knew what they were doing. We loved Mom’s browned butter pasta. We begged for it. But Diane just put this recipe on steroids. Her secret? Layers. Yep. She puts a portion of hot pasta in a big bowl…

  • eat

    Tipsy Blueberries

    If you’ve never macerated before, it’s time you learn how. People have been doing it for centuries, always with a happy ending. Blueberries like to be macerated. Tipsy, macerated berries are happy berries. They beg for amaretto. Give them an adult spa day–soak them in liqueur overnight for full infusion. Macerating them preserves them and releases their juice, leaving you will a succulent syrup.    Add them to club soda for a refreshing drink. They are also delicious over Greek yogurt, cheesecake, pancakes, ice cream, or in crepes. Or you could put them in a Tipsy Blueberry Milkshake.   Tipsy Blueberries INGREDIENTS 1    cup amaretto ⅔   cup water ½   cup…

  • eat

    Tipsy Cherries

    If you’ve never macerated before, it’s time you learn how. People have been doing it for centuries, always with a happy ending. Let’s start with cherries. These cherries are about to get tipsy. (They are much happier that way.) I macerated them in brandy. Macerating them–soaking them in alcohol–preserves them and creates a saucy little pleasure. This recipe for cherries rivals Luxardo cherries (Marasca cherries soaked in a tart Maraschino liqueur syrup).Gift your friends with these jewels and you’ll have a friend for life. Pit your cherries. Using a cherry pitter makes the pitting process much more palatable. Pitted cherries really soak up the brandy, which is exactly what we…

  • eat

    Truffles were my ruin

    Truffles, as in the tuber kind. Truffles thrust me into a gastronomic divide–life before truffles, and life after truffles. French epicure and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin once referred to truffles as “the diamond of the kitchen.” They are so valuable that people are employed as French Truffle Inspectors due to the presence of imposter truffles on the market. So valuable, in fact, that people will kill for them. Black truffles cost roughly $1000 per pound while white truffles straight from Alba demand an even steeper $6000-$10000 per pound. I was fortunate to experience these delicacies for the first time when I was fairly young. I was with my parents in…