I love Spanish cuisine. Recently I had the opportunity to learn how to make one of its stars, a “tortilla,” from my Spanish born-and-raised girlfriend Visi. When I arrived at her home I found out I wasn’t the only one dying for a Spanish cooking lesson. Six other enthusiastic cooks were chatting with excitement about making Visi’s “Tortilla de Patata” (Potato Tortilla) a dish it turned out we all loved. Today’s recipe is an appetizer-sized twist on this traditional recipe that Visi brought to my Spanish themed party I recently hosted. Continue Reading →
Life of a Spanish Party…
“Salad cannot be the life of a party,” a friend said to me recently. As an inveterate salad lover, this gave me pause for thought. “Well, why can’t salad be the life of a party,” I said to myself, then to my friend. And I took it upon myself to prove that, indeed, salad CAN be the life of the party!
Salad traditionally has some tough competition for center stage: savory appetizers, mouthwatering meats and luscious desserts all vying for attention. For a salad to be a contender for stardom it would have to rock the stage. What could be better, I got to thinking, than a little pyromania? Aha! I knew I was on to something. Let me explain.
I have experience lighting things on fire… even if it was my childhood friend (sorry Pam). I didn’t understand that gasoline in a can plus playing with matches while burning trash equals somebody’s getting burned, and the other somebody getting grounded. Fortunately, Pam didn’t get hurt, because she knew to roll in the dirt and NOT because I tried to put the fire out on her leg by beating her with a plastic trash can. Oh the lessons we learn! Fast forward several decades… Continue Reading →
There is nothing sexier in my book than cooking French. That could explain why I traveled 6,000 miles to take cooking lessons in France from a gifted cook and teacher Susan Herrmann Loomis. Her culinary classes became my destination.
Georges Auguste Escoffier was the first to create systems and simplified rules for cooking. Not only did he create them, he documented them in the fascinating book Le Guide Culinaire. His criteria are still used in Western culinary education and restaurants today.
This might explain why we drink a “Frappé” at Starbuck instead of a “drink that is ice blended,” eat crêpes, instead of “very thin pancakes” and “deglaze” a pan instead of “removing the bits of food that cling to a pan, by adding a liquid.” Continue Reading →
Southern California grows an amazing selection of summer fruits. I love them all, but the nectarine is currently my favorite. They are a no-fuss succulent fruit that can quickly star in your summertime sweet or savory creations. Continue Reading →
I love picnics. It is that time of the year when we move our feasts to the great outdoors. One of my favorite picnic items is marinated olives. They are easy to season and bursting with flavor.
Great ingredients are key to any recipe, and olives are no exception. For today’s recipe I prefer Spanish green olives, also known as Manzanillas, which translates as ‘little apples’. They have firm textured meat with a delicate almond flavor and are slightly smoky in taste. Continue Reading →