Harissa Turkey Chili

Harissa Turkey Chili

Is harissa the next sriracha?

It seems many blogs and food publications are ready to anoint the next big thing when it comes to hot sauces and spice flavors.  Sriracha’s supremacy has been challenged by condiments from all over the world.  Harissa – a north African blend of peppers and spices – has been floating around for a few years now as a contender.  What sets harissa apart from other pepper blends is that it includes a hint of mint. It doesn’t cut the heat, nor overpowers it.  I wish I had a better way to describe how the flavors complement each other.   In addition to hot red peppers and mint, harissa contains caraway, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Read More…

How to Make Mofongo

how to make mofongo

Mofongo is of Puerto Rico’s signature dishes.  It can be found in every corner of the island, from the humblest cafeteria to white tablecloth establishments.  This mash is traditionally prepared with green plantains, garlic, pork cracklings, and olive oil.  Although versions that feature ripe plantain, yuca, breadfruit or some combination of these are becoming more popular, the classic version will always be green plantain.  Plantains were brought over from Africa during the 16th century and were a staple of the slaves’ diet.  The mofongo we know today evolved from fufú, a root vegetable mash also from African origin.

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Arroz con Maiz – Puerto Rican Style Rice with Corn

Arroz con maíz puerto rican style

On the blog’s homepage mini slide show, you may have noticed a new tag floating with the pictures of the recent posts.  Domingo Criollo is a new section I am developing to share some of my favorite Puerto Rican or Puerto Rico influenced recipes.  These recipes are easy and a great introduction to the flavors of the island.  Truth be told, you can add sofrito to many of your own favorites soups and stews and they will instantly warm up with that touch of onion, garlic, peppers, cilantro and recap that’s so distinctive to the island’s cooking.  Puerto Rican food is not spicy, but rather savory and bursting with the taste of all those delicious aromatics. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Sangria Chicken

sangria chicken

The best kind of challenge

Every so often, a French Fridays with Dorie recipe pops up that makes you wish you had access to great ingredients. This week’s recipe, Seared Duck Breasts with Kumquats, is one of those. Duck breasts?  Not on my radar unless I call “my” friendly restaurant supplier.  Kumquats?  If my fellow Doristas couldn’t find them state/Canada-side, you can imagine there’s little hope for this island girl.  Not that it bothered me.  Au contraire, it was time to improvise and have fun with this challenge.

What do we always have on hand?  Boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  The dark chicken meat will never be an apples to apples substitute for gamey duck breasts, but it is as close as it gets.  Orange zest syrup replaces the not-yet-in season kumquats.  A bottle of $4 merlot fills the fruity wine quota.  If the recipe from Around My French Table is your woo-food, dinner date at home recipe, this is the weekday version for whenever the cravings hit for citrus and wine sauce.  This is no impostor fragrance version of the recipe.  It’s good on its own merits. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Dressy Penne Pasta

Dressy Penne Pasta

It’s the first French Friday of 2014!  Mon Dieu, where does time go?

Today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe is a Dressy Pasta Risotto, a take on macaroni and cheese where small-shaped pasta is cooked with chicken stock and aromatics and finished with a cream and Parmesan and Mascarpone cheeses.  Instead of a side dish, I prepared two main dish servings of dressy penne pasta with mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, and a dash of truffle oil.  We eat a lot of pasta on weeknights and this technique creates a lot of depth in the taste.  That is no small feat when cooking whole wheat pasta. Read More…

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