Lo Mein and Chow Mein. Could you tell the difference between the two if asked? Could it be the noodles or is it the other ingredients? Or, maybe it’s the way it is prepared…
Following my last blog I wanted to share a salad that embodies the essence of the Mediterranean diet: Salad Niçoise. This is the most famous of all French salads. Its name comes from the city of Nice, on the Côte d’Azur in Provence, France. This French recipe employs tuna, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, onion, capers, and potatoes. Essentially it is similar to our American Cobb salad except for fish, beans and potatoes instead of chicken, bacon and avocado.
This month we have introduced a hint of summer with our Mediterranean Roasted Chicken. You may have heard of ‘The Mediterranean Diet’ but what is it? The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil. How come it has become so popular and what are its benefits?
I was flicking through one of my favorite Asian cookbooks the other day and came across a recipe I hadn’t tried before – Hong Kong Lamb with Green Onions Cong Bao Yang Roll. It is a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Far Eastern Cookery. Seeing that I wrote a recent blog about why Americans should eat more lamb, I decided to try it this evening and it was so good that I wanted to share.Continue reading
“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup” according to famous composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. As outlandish as this statement appears at first sight, maybe there’s a grain of truth. Because I think what he was trying to say is that anyone can make a good soup if they try hard enough. A good soup doesn’t depend on precise measurement and exact timings. It just needs a large pot, a handful of ingredients and a little devotion to the cause.Continue reading
Corned beef and cabbage has become known as the traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal, at least on the American side of the Atlantic. Like many aspects of St. Patrick’s Day, the dish came about when Irish-Americans transformed and reinterpreted a tradition imported from the Emerald Isle. According to the Smithsonian, more Irish people ate bacon as a traditional meal than beef, partly because cows were considered symbols of wealth in Gaelic Ireland and were not usually killed for their meat.
This weekend we are expecting some of the coldest weather in Houston since 1989. When temperatures drop, the fire is lit in our house and the blankets come out. So do winter casseroles. What is a ‘casserole’? There is little difference between a casserole and a stew. A purist would say that a casserole goes in the oven, heating the dish from all directions, while a stew goes on the stovetop and is heated from the bottom. Another point of difference is a casserole is the name of the pot used for cooking. One of my favorite casseroles is a hearty sausage and lentil version, simmered with chopped tomatoes and flavored with garlic and rosemary.Continue reading
I have been one of the lucky few. However, not so much for others this week finding themselves without power, water and safe drinking water in perishingly cold weather for several days. Eating becomes a survival imperative rather than a culinary experience under such testing circumstances. Shopping for food – whether it involves selecting ingredients or dining out – is a factor of what you can find rather than what you set out to get. And what you cook is limited to what’s in the pantry and what you manage to lay your hands on in the grocery store. Even with the experience and lessons learned from seasonal hurricanes I don’t think any of us anticipated how challenging this week would be. But with the benefit of hindsight here are some healthy no-cook meals I may try to plan in advance next time.
Any Texas pit master will tell you that there isn’t one single style of Texas barbecue. Texans from all over the state have their own distinctive preferences, from the dry rub variety of central Texas to the sweet, tomato based marinades of the east. But barbecue isn’t unique to Texas, nor even to the US in general. Asia has its own special version of this well loved global flavor: Introducing Char Siu.
When I first moved to Texas I was bemused by the name chicken-fried steak. It made no sense to me. Either something is chicken or it’s steak. Now I’m used to it and the name makes perfect sense. Chicken-fried steak is, quite simply, a piece of steak that’s battered and cooked in the same way one would fry chicken. We think of this dish as being classic Texas comfort food but is it really Texan? Which state is actually known for chicken fried steak and how did it come to exist?Continue reading