Oct 042012
Formulating a Salsa Recipe; Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

  Salsa is my go-to project whenever tomatoes are so abundant I’m not sure what to do with them all. (Which isn’t to say you must be navigating an overabundance of tomatoes in order to make it– it’s delicious even when not strictly necessary.) I’ve made Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa twice recently, due to a profusion of tomatoes on offer from our landlords/neighbors’ beautiful and extensive vegetable garden. This morning my inbox held a last-minute request from friends in Portland looking for a good salsa recipe. (Always a happy occurrence.) The friend that wrote said her husband needs to whip […]

Jul 082012
Working With Dried Chiles; Making Chile Colorado

  Dishes derived from Mexican and Southwestern US culinary traditions have a special place in my heart; I grew up on them, and when I’m apart from these foods while traveling, I crave them. One of the primary keys to these cuisines are the variety of sauces that underpin the traditional dishes.  Nail these sauces, and authentic flavors will burst from your kitchen. So let’s talk about a red chile sauce, known as chile colorado. Making dried red chiles into a delicious sauce is easier than it might have appeared to you previously, if you ever peered dubiously into a […]

Feb 062012
The Many Faces of Paprika

Paprika adds more than a red tone or generic “hot” flavor to your dishes; it lends a variety of flavors based on the type you choose.  This spice derived from ground, dried red peppers can range from sweet to spicy to smoky, subtle to intense. California produces paprika, although it has long been produced (and is a hallmark of) the cuisines of European countries such as Spain and Hungary. Hungarian paprika is typically sold as sweet or hot; and is used in traditional dishes such as goulash and paprikash. Spain, too, is a big producer of paprika.  In this country, […]

Dec 052011
Steak Au Poivre Du Diable

I developed this recipe as a submission to a Food52 contest, the theme of which was “Your best dish you (intentionally) set on fire.” When I think of foods intentionally set on fire, classical Steak Au Poivre springs to mind.  I came up with a riff on that stalwart French dish, and took it through the pantry of Puebla, Mexico… all the better to include the darkest and most devilish ingredients suitable for a dance in the flames. I held on to the technique, as well as the key elements (peppercorns, cognac, cream, and butter), but added a molé-reminiscent list of […]