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Showing posts from June, 2017

Easy Shrimp Curry Recipe

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Here's one of my strategies for dinner in a hurry--tweak a classic dish by loading it up with vegetables and creating a one pot meal. Recently I worked on a shrimp and feta recipe, it started out very much the same as many other recipes, but I added lots of fresh fennel. Basically this shrimp curry recipe started with a simple coconut curry recipe to which I added sugar snap peas, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. I happened to have some sugar snap peas from Mann's produce (another great time saver because they are stringless and don't need any prep), but I could have added broccoli or sweet potatoes or some other study vegetables. Just add rice or noodles and dinner is done!

This recipe comes courtesy of American Shrimp Company, they kindly sent me some more of their fresh wild gulf shrimp. The shrimp are bursting with flavor and can be used in so many dishes. They arrive clean, deveined, peeled, fresh, not frozen, perfect for when you don't have much time for meal p…

Pecorino Toscano & Pecorino Sardo

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Yesterday I wrote about Pecorino Romano, today Pecorino Toscano and Pecorino Sardo, two other kinds of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Pecorino you are likely to find in the US.
Pecorino Toscano I ate the fresh version of Pecorino Toscano practically daily when I lived in Tuscany. In Florence, fresh Pecorino Toscano was like the Italian version of Monterey Jack, the cheese I grew up eating in California.It's mild, slightly herbal, sweet, approachable, easy to love. It's really great in a sandwich--either cold or grilled.

Pecorino Toscano is made from milk produced in Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. As with all cheeses, it gets harder and drier as it ages. In the US it used to be much easier to the find the aged versions than the really fresh soft ones. The fresher version is particularly mild and creamy. The aged version is buttery, sometimes nutty with a peppery finish It�s just a great table cheese, perfect for an antipasto platter. Even aged it tends to be much milder than …

Pecorino Romano

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Knowing Italian is sometimes a help in the culinary realm. But not always. Pecora means sheep in Italian providing the clue that Pecorino refers to sheep�s milk cheese. But after that it gets complicated. There are 6 kinds of Pecorino with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in Italy but only a few you are likely to find in the US. First up is the most commonly found Pecorino cheese, Pecorino Romano and tomorrow, Pecorino Toscano and Pecorino Sardo.
Pecorino Romano is the easiest to find Pecorino cheese in the US. The name is a bit confusing however. It�s not just a cheese from Rome or even Lazio as you might assume, but is also produced in the province of Grosseto in Tuscany and in Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano and Sassari on the island of Sardinia. In fact, Sardinia is the biggest producer of Pecorino Romano, go figure. It�s an ancient cheese and it was mentioned by Pliny the Elder almost 2,000 years ago. It was such an important cheese, that it was part of the Roman legion�s rations�…

Lillet

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Lovely Lillet always reminds me of Summer. I first drank it in France one magical Summer when I spent a week with friends at their country house in the Loire Valley. Afternoons melted into evenings over an aperitif or two. Sitting by the pool I sipped on my Lillet and felt very chic. While there's a red and rose version of Lillet, You can use any of the versions of Lillet in cocktails or to make creative versions of sangria (combine it with Sauvignon Blanc and grapefruit or orange juice and maybe some fresh berries or stone fruit like peaches or nectarines). I�m still most fond of the blanc version, either over ice or in a spritz with equal parts Lillet and tonic or sparkling water, garnished simply with either a slice of lemon of lime.  Lillet blanc is made from 85% Semillon from Bordeaux, and 15% citrus liqueur with both sweet and bitter oranges. It was created in 1872 and originally had a more bitter flavor profile thanks to the addition of quinine which is no longer part of th…

Fish with Olives and Leeks Recipe

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Recently I got a delivery of Pacific Grenadier from Real Good Fish. Grenadier has the unfortunate reputation as a "junk fish" because it's by catch--caught unintentionally by fisherman going after black cod. It's a deep water fish, with a long body and a very thin tail. Pacific Grenadier has a delicate texture similar to cod, snapper and orange roughy, and a very mild flavor. The thin fillets cook very quickly and need to be handled gently. Because it's not a large commercial fishery you may have trouble finding specific recipes for it, but you can use pretty much any recipe that calls for snapper or orange roughy. 
This is yet another recipe inspired by what was in my refrigerator. It's a little fussier than I would like because you have to cook the leeks and onions in a skillet before transferring them to a baking sheet to form a bed for the fish. But I like the combination of a savory olives, sweet onions and leeks and juicy tomatoes. Lately I've been…

Choosing a Mandoline

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I recently wrote a story about mandolines on Tasting Table. I�ve had a lot of experience with mandolines and yes, some of it involves band-aids. Here�s the thing, a mandoline is a serious tool. I was once sent one that had so many blades and was so big and heavy it scared me. I�ve used a low end model for years, but frankly the blades are getting dull and there isn't an easy way to sharpen them. 

BEST FOR VOLUME AND PRECISE CUTS IN A VARITY OF THICKNESSES

OXO has been making and perfecting their high end model for years. The OXO Good Grips Chef�s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 has lots of features that make it really worth considering. It sells for $79
Here are what I consider the highlights:  1. The hand guard is really well designed and stores conveniently under the slicer. It is spring loaded so it grips the food firmly. Still, you might want to consider using a cut resistant glove.
2. The dial on the side allows you choose the thickness of your slices, allowing up to 21 different cuts. 
3…

Lugana Wines

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Lugana is a small Italian wine region that you�ve probably never heard of before.  It straddles Veneto and Lombardy, right around the Southern shore of the the stunning Lake Garda. It's neighbors are Soave and Valpolicella and there are just a little over 100 producers. Lugana wines are made from an indigenous varietal called Trebbiano di Lugana or most accurately Turbiana which is related to Verdicchio. The clay soil adds a touch of salinity and savory quality and the wines are zesty and bright with lemon, grapefruit and tangerine and sometimes sweeter notes of peach, almond and even mint. I visited Lake Garda and Lugana in the Fall of 2015 and Cantina Castelnuovo winery. I was struck by how much more delicious and compelling the wines were than the more common and often insipid Pinot Grigio. The most challenging thing about Lugana white wines is finding them in the US. 



The un-oaked Lugana DOC wines are fun and fresh and represent about 90% of the wines that are produced. The Sup…