Mansoura

One of the appeals of Brooklyn is the rich ethnic mix of cultures, cuisines, and traditions, that is somewhat of a microcosm of America. Many of our grandparents, including mine, arrived on Ellis Island and assimilated to life in America in New York City. And it still remains a lively, if sometimes uncomfortable, mix of upscale, downscale, rich, poor, happy, angry, frustrated, and content. But everybody’s gotta…

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With spring around the corner, all thoughts are turning to fruit, while we wait for stone fruits to arrive. Nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots will soon be at the markets, usually led by cherries, which are often the first to make an appearance. I was leafing through Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, a book dedicated to using fruit year-round, from squash, pumpkin and…

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I fell in love with sherry the first time I went to Spain, but it’s something that slips my mind when I’m looking for something in the drink department. And Sherry, by Talia Baiocchi hoped to change that for me, and for lots of other people with her book, which has the best subtitle ever: “The wine world’s best-kept secret.” At that sums up a lot…

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I’ve gone through several kitchens in my life, lots of pots and pans, various mixers, food processors, blenders and even a number of espresso machines. Kitchen scales? I’ve tried them all. But my one constant is my knives. No matter where I go, or where I move to, my knives come with me. I bought my favorite paring knife back in the early 1980’s and it’s still…

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I’ve been thinking about man’oushe for years, ever since I went to Lebanon and someone handed me a warm flatbread right out of the wood-fired oven. It was the perfect snack: A warm, slightly supple dough slathered with za’atar, an herbaceous seasoning blend punctuated with sumac and sesame seeds. It has a slightly astringent flavor, due to the tang of sumac and the sharpness of the wild…

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The way to shop for cheese in France is not to go into a shop with a list of cheeses that you plan to buy. The way to do it is to go in, look around, see what looks best that day, and buy that. There is, however, another factor – and probably the most important one – and that’s to listen to the advice…

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My desert island food is corned beef. Hot, piled up on a sandwich, between two pieces of rye bread with spicy brown mustard smeared liberally inside, corned beef is the one food that I could find myself being happily enjoying if trapped on a desert island. (With unlimited ice-cold pitchers of tropical cocktails, of course.) I also want cole slaw and half-sour pickles, too. Although if truth…

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Spaghetti Pie

I’m kind of a nitwit in social situations. Consider last spring (or was it summer?), when I was at a party in New York, I met Justin Chapple. A bunch of us chatted casually over cocktails in our friend’s backyard, but I found out later he is the Mad Genius over at Food & Wine and he’s on television and all that good stuff. After I found…

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When Daniel Rose opened his first restaurant, Spring, it was a small, seasonally driven restaurant on an unremarkable street in the 9th arrondissement. Word quickly spread about the talented chef, who helped fuel a revolution of younger chefs in Paris cooking creatively, most of it French-inspired, but with an additional focus on sourcing the finest seasonal fruits, vegetables, fish and meats. As an American, Daniel didn’t have fixed ideas about…

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