Tag Archives: Snacks and Appetizers

French Fridays with Dorie: Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Tuna Packed Piquillo Peppers

Tuna fish sandwiches are the ultimate resuelve (literally, problem solver) meal.  Tuna-packed piquillo peppers have turned now into the ultimate resuelve lunch, snack, appetizer.  Pantry friendly ingredients? Check.  Sweet, salty, briny flavors?  Yes please!  A quickly assembled tuna salad with shallots, capers, olives and herbs is the perfect contrast to the sweet little peppers.  Move over, jalapeño poppers!
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Catching Up with Dorie: Summer Vegetables

Palomino Island

Palomino Island, off the coast of Fajardo, Puerto Rico

And I present you my version of floating islands for this weekend!  ¡Hola Palomino!
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French Fridays with Dorie: Socca from Vieux Nice

Socca from Vieux Nice


That’s such a fun word to say out loud.  Did you know that soca (with one c) is also the name of a music genre from the Anglo/French Caribbean?  It’s not the “Dieter”/dieter conondrum from tartine week, but another fun coincidence.

Unlike most of my fellow Doristas, I had seen socca before under its Argentinean moniker, faína.  Almost exactly six years ago, Eduardo and I were honeymooning in Argentina.  After four straight days of wonderful multi-course meals in Mendoza, one of the main wine growing areas, we arrived into Buenos Aires looking for something… simple.  Our first meal in the city was pizza and a cold Quilmes at a very good chain restaurant a couple of blocks from our Palermo Soho hotel.  All through the pizzeria there were signs with the different menu items and family style combinations. Most of these included the faína.  Admittedly, we were not curious enough to try it but made sure to ask about it later.  Chickpea flatbread… interesting concept.

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Boquerones (Marinated smelt)

Boquerones Marinated Smelt

My first trip to Spain was in 2005.   My family, including then-boyfriend E, traveled across el charco (the pond) to take a cruise around the Mediterranean.  We spent the days leading to and after the cruise in Barcelona and Madrid.  My sister had already lived in Spain for a summer, so she was well versed in the art of enjoying cañas (small draft beers) and tapas.  I tasted my first boquerones in vinegar marinated white anchovies, in Barcelona  under her tutelage.  Did she create a monster!  As soon as we made it back to the ship from the shore excursions, Eduardo and I would make a beeline to the tapas buffet and load up our plates with tasty marinated vegetables and ridiculous amounts of boquerones.  When we visit the Spanish/Cuban panaderías in the island, we sometimes order some.  They are definitely a treat: an order usually costs at least $1.00 per little fish.  I know now why! Read More…

Sweet Plantain & Parmesan “Biscuits”

Yesterday I came home from work and made a huge batch of soup.  It was a “clean-up the fridge” soup with tofu noodles, veggies, chicken, and leftover home-smoked ribs that would make Chinese fast food places weep with jealousy.  After our dinner tonight, there was still enough for a generous serving today.  There were still other areas of my kitchen that needed the ‘cleanup’ treatment…  Read More…

FFwD Joins Food Revolution Day – Basque Potato Tortilla



Cook it.  Share it.  Live it.

This is the motto for Food Revolution Day.  Food Revolution Day (#FRD2013) is a day to bring awareness to the importance of cooking skills and good food.  Despite the pervasiveness of food related  programming on television and information on the internet,  millions of people don’t know how to cook.   Jamie Oliver, the British chef, is a global advocate for getting back to these basics:  fresh local produce and learning to cook, one skill and task at a time.  This is the second year the Food Revolution community rallies to empower people to cook fresh food from scratch. Read More…

Very Simple Pico de Gallo

I’m itching to go to the beach.  I don’t think I’ve been to the beach since my friends D&D got married in Cancún last September.  It’s a pity and a shame, considering I have one of the nicest strips of beach in Puerto Rico – the Isla Verde public beach – at a mere twenty minutes from my home.  Feel free to insult me in the comments.  I am planning to make up for lost time soon. Read More…

Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef: Gulf Coast Nominee – Raul Correa

“¡Qué cool por Puerto Rico!”
– Chef Raul Correa

Popcorn Soup Shot – Zest @ San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel

Puerto Rico chefs and restaurants are having a wonderful run this year in terms of national recognition.  Chef José Enrique and his eponymous restaurant in Santurce and the new José Andrés venture Mi Casa in Dorado have garnered nominations from the James Beard Foundation.  In addition to those, FIVE out of the ten nominees for People’s Best New Chef: Gulf Coast from Food and Wine magazine have Puerto Rican roots or experience.  It is probably the most exciting time in gastronomy on the island. Read More…

Blood Sausage Empanadas – Pastelillos de Morcilla

 Empanadas de Morcilla

Feliz día de Reyes!  Happy Epiphany day!  Today is technically the last day of the Puerto Rican holiday season.  My family is gathering at my sister’s place to celebrate.  This year we are forgoing the traditional Christmas menu of roast pork, rice with pigeon peas, and guineos en escabeche, so I dropped by my friendly neighborhood lechonera yesterday to pick up the “last” bit of lechón and morcillas, also known as blood sausage or black pudding.
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2012 US Southeast Road Trip – Fried Green Tomatoes

Green (unripe) tomatoes are considered an end-of-summer or early fall crop in most of the Northern hemisphere.  Late season tomatoes are picked while green because otherwise the changing weather conditions would spoil them.  In the American South, however, they are so popular they are harvested while green all through the summer. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Apple Tartes Fines

Mealy apples… blegh.  Few things are more disappointing than biting into an apple expecting a crisp, juicy mouthful only to find you got a sandy, tasteless one.  Even though I try very hard to pick good apples by smelling them and tapping to check for hollowness, they can’t all be perfect.  If there’s an element that redeems even the saddest apple, it is heat.  Instead of tossing mealy ones out, baking them until they are thoroughly warm turns inedible fruit into a comforting treat.  I bought earlier this week three Gala apples and struck out – that is, until I baked the bonne idée for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie selected recipe, Apple Tartes Fines.  These little tarts were so easy to pull off, it almost feels like cheating. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Lyonnaise Garlic and Herb Cheese

It took a quick “I cannot not make this” snack to bring me back from this longer than expected blogging hiatus.  Work has been crazy.  The heightened fiscal year-end close workload and the aftermath of a (very upsetting) bout of corporate restructuring zapped my desire to spend more time than needed in front of a computer.  Between that and the fortunate onslaught of culinary events in the island, I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen.  This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Lyonnaise Garlic and Herb Cheese, was simple enough to make and enjoy during the week. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Sardine Rilletes

Sardine Rilletes

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie was one of firsts!  The last time I encountered an ingredient I had never tried before was last summer’s beets for a salad I never got around making.  While this experience is nowhere near as gleeful as that episode, I’m happy to report that I do like sardines.  The sardines were used to make rilletes – a spread of paté like consistency that can made pretty much out of any ingredient.  Dorie Greenspan is a big fan of rilletes – she also features salmon and tuna versions in Around My French Table.  The salmon ones look especially tasty. Read More…

Mallorca Sandwiches

Pressed Mallorca with Ham and Cheese

Ham and cheese sandwiches are a culinary ‘given’ in the Western world. Ever since the fourth Earl of Sandwich refused to leave his spot in the poker table, we have been eating and improving upon the simple concept of placing meats and condiments between two pieces of bread. The simple ham and cheese combination evolved into some of the most popular sandwich varieties, from the French croque monsieur, to the (now retro) Montecristo, to the Cuban. Puerto Rico has its own take: ham and cheese pressed on a mallorca roll, with a mandatory sprinkle of powdered sugar. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie – Nutella Tartine (en Export Soda)

Nutella Tartine en Export Soda

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Nutella Tartine, brings back memories of after school snacks chased with tall glasses of milk.  A French tartine is a toasted open faced sandwich.  Dorie Greenspan whimsically turns the concept into dessert by toasting a slice of rich brioche or challah breads, spreading them with butter and orange marmalade, drizzling them with Nutella, and adding a bit of nuts for extra crunch, coarse sea salt for balance. Read More…