Great Food Reads: French Roots

Can you miss something you never had? That’s one of the many questions that French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries and the Beautiful Food Along the Way posed while I ...

chayote featured

French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Chayote with Garlic

  Last year E and I spent a week frolicking in the Pacific US Northwest/Canadian Southwest after IFBC wrapped up.  On our last day and a half before returning to ...

Whipped Potatoes with Olive Oil and Pesto

  Countertop Ornaments Storage space is a touchy subject in our kitchen.  While a cluttered countertop doesn’t bother me on most days, sometimes I wish I had enough storage space ...

Hot off the Burner

French Fridays with Dorie: Monkfish with Double Carrots

  This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Monkfish with Double Carrots, ...

October is World Vegetarian Month

  October was declared World Vegetarian Awareness month by the North American ...

French Fridays with Dorie: Celery-Celery Soup

“I’m doing the Friday recipe today!” “Cool.  What is it?” “It’s soup. ...

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French Fridays with Dorie: Vanilla Vegetable Salad

Vanilla Vegetable Salad Dorie Greenspan

Frustrated by not knowing how to do something in the kitchen?
Empathizing with the actor who is working too hard to make the task seem daunting?
INTRODUCING! The all new tool to put an end to all that misery for just $(1)9.99!
But WAIT! Read More…

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Lamb and Eggplant Picadillo

Picture courtesy of Lala López – a fashion and art blogger that should be in your radar!

I have a confession to make.

I live in Puerto Rico and I visited José Enrique’s flagship restaurant at la Placita de Santurce for the first time a month ago.  The restaurant has been operating non stop since 2007.  The lines have not thinned out since then.  It took friends visiting from Boston and the ‘it’s Tuesday, how bad can the wait be’ reasoning to get me to Calle Duffaut. Read More…

Five Lessons: Oliva Dieta Mediterranea

For many home cooks like me, a meal is an opportunity to be inspired. Ingredients we thought we were familiar with take on new shapes, or are paired in combinations that did not seem possible. Recently, I visited Oliva Dieta Mediterranea, the restaurant lodged in the Olive Boutique Hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico. Oliva – as it is often referred to – was acquired by its head chef, Argentine expat Nicolás Gómez. Chef Nico renewed its concept, opting to work directly with farmers and local food producers to bring a menu that’s as much fun for him to prepare as it is for the diner to enjoy.  Additionally, he lowered the prices in many items, making the restaurant more accessible to both locals and tourists. Read More…

Summer Sips at Gallo Negro Santurce

Gallo Negro Santurce - (Pirates) Booty Punch

(Pirates) Booty in Santurce

I’m not one to make a lot of cocktails at home.  Although lately I have been experimenting with simple syrups and homemade sodas, I haven’t developed that knack for mixing sweet, sour, bitter and savory in a glass.  Enjoying cocktails is one of the highlights of many a dinner out these days, especially with the continued mixology boom.  One of the best places to enjoy cocktails with specialty spirits and mixers is Gallo Negro in Santurce, a San Juan neighborhood.  The brainchild of siblings John Mercedes and chef Maria T. Mercedes-Grubb, Gallo Negro opened in 2013 and since then has offered modern takes on American and Caribbean cuisine.  Chef Maria first made waves in the Puerto Rico gastro-scene  in 2011 with the UDC – Underground Dining Club, one for the island’s first pop up restaurants.

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Salmon Rillettes with Cream Cheese and Scallions

The rain in Humacao stays mainly in the beach.  Do not be fooled by the bright blue sky!

When July arrives, Puerto Ricans flee the bustle of city life and make their way to one of the many strips of beach in our 100 x 35 mile island.   Salty air clears away the noise and staleness of the mundane. Be carefree, darned it – it almost screams at us.  It has been quite the breezy – if hot – weekend here at the Humacao beach where we try to spend most long weekends. The wind has cleared up many rain showers fairly fast, lulled us to nap, and given us a soundtrack to relax to. I will definitely miss it once we are back to daily grind.

Beach weekends call for meals that are easy to pull off, often prepared before heading to our destination.  The snacks concocted for taking to the beach or entertaining need to be simple enough to be prepared with basic kitchen equipment.  On previous visits to the Humacao apartment, I’ve hauled over my stick blender/mini food processor combo, and this time considered tossing in a microplane grater in my bag this time around.  I’m glad I didn’t.  Faux-grating lemon zest was not the arduous task that gadget marketers make it out to be. Read More…

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa Red Pepper Dip

Harissa is a Tunisian pepper paste or condiment that is used to season meats and vegetables or to bump up the flavor in soups and stews.    Although it is traditionally found and can be made at home in paste form, dry blends have been popping up in specialty grocery stress.  The dry blend I have on hand has paprika, caraway, chili pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, and peppermint.  The jar suggests mixing it with oil to create a paste closer to the traditional preparation.  I’ve been using it lately as as substitute for Cajun seasoning, especially for blackening fish.  The fresher herbs give such a nice contrast to the fiery peppers.  Harissa is often combined with lemon, another essential ingredient in North African cuisine. Read More…

Buen Diente Features Adriana’s Kitchen

Salmon Rillettes - Picture courtesy of BuenDiente.com

Salmon Rillettes – Picture courtesy of BuenDiente.com

Back in September 2013, I had the chance to Dorie Greenspan.  Between conversations, she signed my copy of Around My French Table with the following inscription:

 

Her hope is alive and kicking.  A few weeks ago we hosted at home our friends Nelson Torres and Ismael Martinez from Buen Diente along with fellow food blogger Myriam Ocasio from Puerto Rico Eats, and food entrepreneurs Paulina Salach and Gustavo Antonetti from Spoon Food Tours and Puerto Rico Restaurant Week.  The overall theme of the dinner was my cooking journey and influences, especially those recipes featured in the blog.

We started the evening with Gougeres de Queso del Pais, followed by my take on New Orleans barbecue shrimp.  The main dish was one of my favorite recipes from Around My French Table, the Short Ribs in Braised in Red Wine and Port. To cap our meal, my sister made my paternal grandmother’s signature dessert, bienmesabe.  I can best describe a bienmesabe as a coconut cream layered dessert – sort of a Caribbean tiramisu. Our evening was beautifully recapped by Nelson here.

Photo Courtesy of Buendiente.com

Thanks again to our friends at Buen Diente for this wonderful feature and here’s to future gatherings!

The Porchetta Project

porchetta toscana

Girl and boy salivate in awe at certain food preparation on TV.  Trips are planned with the hope to find this mythical creation.  Oceans are crossed, stick-shift cars rented.

“Look!  There is its!”

“Didn’t we just have lunch?”

“Oh… maybe later.”

Read More…

Puerto Rico Restaurant Week 2014

Puerto Rico Restaurant Week 2014

Foodies in the island, rejoice!  For the third consecutive year, Puerto Rico Restaurant Week will take over some of the best restaurants in San Juan.  In addition to their regular menu offerings, the participating restaurants will offer pre-fixe dinner menus for $28 or $38 with options for the appetizer, entrée and dessert.  For the first time – and especially exciting for me, now that I’m back working in the metro area – several venues will also offer pre-fixe lunch menus for $14 or $19.  Close your kitchens from Wednesday, May 14th to Tuesday, May 20th!

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Operación Limón: Lemon Syrup

Operacion Limon Lemons

Yesterday I went shopping for groceries and made a stop at the warehouse club to buy a few essentials we were low on and to stock up on supplies for our annual Easter getaway.  Although I’m much, much better about making impulse buys, I could not resist grabbing a large bag of lemons.  Since there were at least fifteen large lemons in the bag, I figured it would be a great excuse to make a recipe series featuring this delicious and refreshing flavor.  Hence – drumroll – Operación Limón! Read More…

Saborea Puerto Rico Liveblog – Sunday April 6th

Saborea Puerto Rico Liveblog

We’re live blogging from Saborea Puerto Rico today!  You will know what we are tasting, who are we watching and talking to as it happens.  For more real-time Saborea updates, follow the Twitter and Instagram hashtags #saboreapr and #saboreando. Read More…

Saborea Puerto Rico 2014 – Saturday April 5th

Saborea Puerto Rico 2014

 Saborea Puerto Rico… it gets better every time!

Today we arrived at the Parque del Escambrón close to noon.  The day was beautiful!  On the Thursday press conference, it POURED and Friday was very rainy but there was nothing but blue skies today.  It was breezy at the Parque del Escambrón – the perfect weather to enjoy this culinary extravaganza. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Visitandine

Visitandine Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table

I received the call around 2pm yesterday.

“I think you went overboard with the almond extract”

“There was no almond extract in this recipe.  It was the brown butter”. Read More…

The High Food Holiday: Saborea Puerto Rico 2014

Looking for more Saborea 2014 coverage?  Click here for my Saturday recap and here for Sunday’s liveblog.

April and May are my “big” food months.  No offense to the traditional Thanksgiving-Christmas-Reyes trifecta, but when I think of the best months to celebrate Puerto Rican cuisine, spring time takes the cake.

Saborea Puerto Rico

Some of the awesome local chefs featured in Saborea Puerto Rico 2014, with Clarissa Jimenez, president of the PRHTA and the Secretary of Tourismo Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort. (Photo credit: PRHTA)

Next weekend, the island’s premiere gastronomic event, Saborea Puerto Rico, will take place.  This culinary extravaganza is presented by the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association (PRHTA) and it celebrates its seventh year.  Saborea Puerto Rico 2014 is a weekend-long feast of food and beverages that showcases the local hospitality industry while raising money for the PRHTA educational programs and scholarship fund.

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Shrimp and Onion Tartes Fines

shrimp and onion tartes fines

The 6am chef strikes again.

I’m still not sure what part of shrimp and onion tartes screams breakfast, but I found myself working on a French Fridays with Dorie recipe before sunrise.  There are some things that just need to get done before 7am sometimes: runs, the odd laundry load, and the odder soufflé or dessert.    Read More…

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