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Posts from the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Visiting Avery Island, Part 1

IMG_8322I was very close to not making it.  A few months ago, I’d been invited to join a group of food writers at the Tabasco Tastemakers event hosted by the McIlhenny Company.  Coming up against an all consuming deadline, I was working until the last possible moment….and then a few minutes after that.  Stressed and sleepless, I arrived at the Lafayette airport in a kind of daze.  At some point in the short drive thru New Iberia, Lousiana to the Marsh House on Avery Island where we’d be staying, I started to feel a little easier, chatting with other bloggers in the group and asking Dave who was born and raised on the island the first of a million questions he’d answer for us over the next few days.  By the time we arrived at Marsh House where we’d be staying, I took my first deep breath in what felt like weeks and it was full of pepper in the best possible way. Read more

Bollitos de Carita

When I decided to make bollitos de carita – black-eyed pea fritters made from beans soaked for hours then husked and ground to a paste – I couldn’t believe no simmering would be required.  Left overnight, they were supposed to blister and pucker leaving behind perfectly tender, creamy white beans.  I loved that caritas roughly translates to “little faces” and imagined removing the peel would be as simple as slipping off a mask.  Not so.  Some popped right out but more needed coaxing, and no matter how many I did, there were always more. Read more

Fainá a Caballo

My oven and I have been locked in a battle of wills – and I’m losing. It will work just fine for a couple of days, do whatever I ask of it, then for no particular reason refuse to heat up at all. Its left me with unroasted tomatoes, ungratined cheese, unbaked cakes and generally frustrated. Getting anything fixed in my apartment is an ordeal and I’ve had no fewer than three visits from the building’s supers where they stand in the kitchen, look over the oven, agree that “yes, it’s not working”, then leave. While I appreciate their sympathy, the nodding isn’t getting me any closer to 350 degrees. Read more

Croquetas de Jamón

A few months ago, when my friend Achy (whose fantastic blog you can find here) was visiting, I invited her over for a Cuban breakfast then thought better of it. For the most part, Cuban breakfast is cafe con leche and pan tostado. The coffee I could make but I have yet to find good Cuban bread north of Tampa and a latte doesn’t really justify a trek to Brooklyn. Making it an early lunch instead, I made a tortilla Española and tomato and avocado salad but wanted to offer something more. Read more

Berenjenas con Miel

Normally, I  jump around the globe but virtual travel can be exhausting and with our seasons aligning I wanted to linger in Spain awhile longer. I rescued the eggplants I’d bought from last week’s pisto manchego partly to try this Andalusian recipe for eggplant fritters drizzled with honey from Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain and partly because my sister said they looked like little witches lined up in a row. Either way, they were ripe to stand on their own. Read more

Down South

I know it shouldn’t make a difference but I love it when food has a story and Chilean olive oil has been writing its own. Alfonso Swett who discovered small scale olive oil plantations in conditions similar to the Chilean climate on a trip through Spain, wondered why it shouldn’t be cultivated and produced in Chile as well.  Olisur, an estate grown, largely sustainable operation encompassing a 6,500 acre olive groves and expecting to produce 1.7 million liters of olive oil in their next harvest, grew from this initial why not. Read more

Yuca Frita con Salsa a la Huancaína

I am grounded. So completely grounded.  Scheduled to return to New York just after Christmas, my flight was canceled because of the blizzard and I’m still in Miami.  Desperate to get back in the sno-globe, I spent hours refreshing the Continental Airlines app to check flights and badgering Ask Alex – the virtual “expert” on their site – with questions.  Only getting back canned answers and unhelpful links, she’s become my sworn enemy. Still, there are worse (and colder) places to be stranded and I don’t mind having more time with Christmas leftovers. A couple of weeks ago, I made salsa a la huancaína over yuca frita.  With piles of yuca left over from Nochebuena dinner, I thought it would be a good time to post the recipe (now that I suddenly have all the time in the world). Read more

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