Posts for May 18th 2009
Don't let the name fool you: this "LA Caviar" is neither from Los Angeles nor made from caviar. Rather, the "LA" stands for "Lower Alabama," the coastal corner of Alabama that's home to Lulu's at Homeport Marina, a beachside restaurant owned by Jimmy Buffett's sister, Lucy Buffett. I borrowed this recipe from a Southern friend a few years back, and it's since become one of my favorite easy and healthy dips to whip up for parties.
Similar to a salsa, this chunky bean salad gets its tang from tomatoes and bell peppers, a touch of earthiness from the peas, and a delightful sweetness thanks to balsamic vinegar and sugar. To learn more and get the recipe, read more
It's de rigueur for newlyweds to save the top tier of their wedding cake to enjoy on the first anniversary. The idea behind this tradition, which dates back as far as the late 19th century, is for couples to savor the cake once again — as well as the memories of the big day and the first year of marriage.
Enjoying a well-preserved piece of wedding cake should be a pleasant reminder of your big day, so make sure it isn't ruined by a dry, smelly cake wrought with freezer burn. Learn how to properly store the top layer of cake when you read more
If you're a lover of green salsa, then you should get to know tomatillos. A key ingredient in Latin-American cooking, the tomate verde as it's called in Spanish, or "green tomato," is related to tomatoes but has a drastically different flavor.
Tomatillos have a papery, outer husk, a firm, green exterior, and white flesh. They range in size from an inch to two inches in diameter. When overripe, they develop a yellow hue and should not be consumed. When eaten raw, tomatillos add a zippy, refreshing flavor. They can also benefit from blanching, fire-roasting, and other forms of cooking, which soften their consistency while enhancing their flavor.
Because of their tart quality, tomatillos make a great addition to salsa verde, tortilla soup, guacamole, pork posole, or mole sauce. Have you ever cooked with tomatillos? What are your favorite ways to prepare them?
The other day when I went to purchase chips for a barbecue, I was surprised to see a new flavor on the supermarket shelves. Dubbed "a fiesta in a bag," jalapeño is the latest addition to the Kettle Brand family. Since I'm a huge fan of Kettle Chips, I grabbed one of the green bags — the fiery red jalapeño looked so enticing! To find out how these chips taste, read more
Over the weekend, I found myself at San Francisco's Oyster Fest an annual event that brings partygoers together with Guinness, live music from Michael Franti and Spearhead, and, of course, oysters in every shape and form. The event took place on a sunny Saturday at a park overlooking the bay, with Drakes Bay Family Farms educating festivalgoers about oyster farming, oyster-shucking demonstrations and a suck-and-shuck contest.
Have you ever been to an oyster festival? Get a glimpse of the festivities when you read more
While I love to buy deveined and shelled shrimp from my fishmonger, it's more affordable to buy the shrimp with the shell still intact. Thus, I normally remove the shells myself. Then to get more bang for my buck, I use them to make fish stock.
It's very simple: Instead of discarding the carcasses, toss in a large pot with water, herbs, and aromatic vegetables. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, skimming off the foam when necessary. Drain and pour the stock into containers for storing. The next time you want to make clam chowder or lobster bisque, you won't need to purchase fish stock! Do you save the shells of seafood to make stock?