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The Best Rice Salad Ever!

Just look at that mise en place — and it only partially reflects all the ingredients. The finished dish had 3 different rice varieties, pork loin, cranberries, dates, walnuts, a variety of lentils, herbs, raw vegetables — and a chocolate and orange dressing!! Yes, you read that correctly: chocolate and orange!!

Great for a party or a one-dish meal for the family. Continue Reading

A Latin-Inspired Birthday Lunch Was the Answer to a Super Bowl Day Conflict

As you may know, in my family, we celebrate everyone’s birthday with a group dinner generally late Sunday afternoon of the birthday week. So, a couple of weeks ago I sent out a family text announcing I would host Gram’s (the family matriarch) and Julie’s (my d-in-l) birthdays on 2/2 at 5:00. Yikes … the push back was immediate. You think I said the world was coming to an end!

Not being a fan of football (or bad fried and cheesy food-fests), I didn’t realize there was something else scheduled for that day. We compromised and I moved the festivities up to lunch so ‘those who cared’ could be home or wherever for the big kick-off. Continue Reading

Mariscada en Salsa Verde (Mixed Seafood in Green Sauce) and Travel Talk

Spain and Portugal have been on my mind  a lot lately.

Let me ‘splain you.
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Cooking with Color (just one): Crabmeat + Fennel Risotto with Stuffed Squid and Fennel Puree

Color has always been an important ingredient in the FOODalogue kitchen … lots of red, green, orange and purple on the plate because, you know, eating healthy is a colorful thing.

But, this month’s challenge for the Creative Cooking Crew was to “create a complete and cohesive dish with only one color”. I chose white because I wanted the multiple challenge of preparation, presentation, photography (<it wasn’t easy) and also to prove that all white food is not bad for you. Think fish, mushrooms, cannellini beans, white asparagus, cauliflower, and wine! Continue Reading

A meaty, greasy, tasty Frita (Cuban burger) goes Vegan. Será posible?

“Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein-based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.” That was the challenge.  Continue Reading

Eating the Alphabet: Everything (including the serving vessel) starts with the letter “B”

It wasn’t intended. I started to make some kind of dinner using about a 1/2 dozen fresh brussels sprouts.

I thought of a rice bowl. A brown rice bowl. Then, as I started to pull out other ingredients, I suddenly realized everything started with a “B” and I got amused. (I’m easy that way.) Continue Reading

Apple Challenge: Salmon Tartar, Forbidden Black Rice and Cider Gastrique

Yes, apple is present everywhere in this dish!

I always try to take the theme of these challenges to some place different … some place unexpected. I knew immediately it would be featured in a savory dish: (1) for the obvious reason that I’m not a dessert-maker and (2) I love the yin and yang of sweet and savory.

You might think at first glance that this is complicated or fancy, but it’s really very simple. Continue Reading

The Cooks Get Cooking: Hurricane Issac

Although we’ve been lucky for a number of years now, living in FL you know the drill and you don’t take chances. A couple days before a storm’s forecasted arrival: fill the gas tank, stock up on water and fresh ingredients — fruits, veggies, cheeses, crusty bread. Things that are easy to eat without power. And … while you still have power, start cooking what’s in the freezer.

I was prepared but once it was reality and I was stuck in the house till it passed, my thoughts went to comfort foods. So, with the first rain band, I got cooking – literally!

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Veal Osso Bucco and Fennel Risotto

I don’t make rich meals like this often but when I saw these veal shanks at the market, I couldn’t resist.

Neither osso bucco nor risotto are in my repertoire. I’ve made both at some time in my cooking life, but I couldn’t tell you when. I guess I could have checked some online recipes, but there’s no fun in that for me. I love to wing it. And I’m happy to share the results because they were fantastic. With all due respect, and modesty aside, I don’t think Mario. Lydia or Giada could have done better though, truth told, I’ve undoubtedly been influenced by them over the years. :) It’s good to know the many hours I spend watching celebrity chefs duke it out has trickled down to the betterment of the FOODalogue kitchen.

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