Pupusas from El Salvador – Worth Every Calorie

Pupusas from El Salvador are thick, disc-shaped cornmeal pancakes with cheese, and meat all in one sinfully delicious package. Pupusas have been described as “corn flour quesadillas, only sealed around the edges”. Eating a pupusa means suspending all attempts to count calories, but your first few bites of this traditional delicacy will convince you that this treat is worth every calorie.

What is so wonderful about pupusas?

Pupusas are not only delicious, they are easily available and budget friendly as well. In 10 Best Pupusas in Los Angeles, Rachael Narin of LA Weekly says, “Pupusas are cheap and cheerful, exceptionally hearty, stuffed and griddled disks of slaked cornmeal or rice flour that originated in El Salvador. They invariably cost less than $3 in even the most stylish restaurants, and are most likely available somewhere near you.” [Read more…]

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Dressing up the Potato

PotatoThe common potato is a commonplace ingredient for meals throughout the year. Food and Wine several amazing potato recipes from its contributing cooks. Here are three of those recipes. Try them and give your old side dish a lift.

Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust

Maria Guarnaschelli gives a sinfully rich twist to potatoes with her recipe for Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust .  Maria Guarnaschelli likes to joke that when you cook French food on a regular basis, you need a cow in the backyard to provide enough butter and cream. This dairy-rich recipe calls for whipped cream and cheese.”

Her recipe calls for two pounds of potatoes (Yukon Gold), half a cup of cold milk, seven tablespoons of softened butter (unsalted), a cup of heavy cream, half a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. [Read more…]

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Mediterranean Chicken Stew – Glamorous yet Filling

Chicken stewChicken stew is frequently perceived as daily fare or as comfort food, but Emerill Lagasse’s version makes this dish truly fit for company. It is flavorful and robust, with just the right exotic Mediterranean touch.

Emerill Lagasse’s Version

You will see that Emerill Lagasse’s version of this stew adheres quite well to the Mediterranean diet. Based on his recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Stew posted in, to prepare this dish you will need two whole chicken breasts, (skinless, bone in, cut in quarters), two medium onions (sliced), two cloves garlic, one yellow or one red bell pepper (seeded and chopped), a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and ground ginger, two pounds sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes), one can unsalted diced tomatoes (drained), two tablespoons golden raisins, and two cups low sodium chicken. [Read more…]

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Shifting to Lamb

LambTurkey and ham are not the only meats fit for your holiday table. Lamb can be just as festive, and it has the added benefit of bringing new flavors to your celebration. Take a look at this lamb recipe and see how it can give your menu a welcome lift.

Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb

In the Serious Eats website, Managing Culinary Director J. Kenji López-Alt shares a truly scrumptious recipe for Slow-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Rosemary, and Lemon. He says the recipe works because: “Slow-roasted boneless leg of lamb comes out extra tender with a crisp, well-browned crust and juicy pink meat flavored with garlic, rosemary, and lemon zest.

“Cooking at very low temperatures followed by a blast at high heat creates the ultimate contrast with pink meat that extends from edge to edge and a crisp brown crust. It also enhances tenderness.

“Par-cooking a rub made with garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, and anchovies ensures that raw, steamed flavors don’t last. Anchovies in the marinade bring out the meatiness of the lamb without overwhelming with any kind of fishy aroma.”

[Read more…]

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Crisps and Crumbles – Desserts with Homespun Charm

Crisps and Crumbles

Photo Credit: Rebecca Wilson

Crisps and crumbles are desserts that are rich in flavor and in homespun charm. These sweet delights are easy to make, and you can actually use just about any fruit or fruit mixture you like to prepare these. Crisps and crumbles are similar to cobblers, except that they are not topped with a batter. Instead, to prepare these desserts, you use a relatively dry topping made of sugar, flour, spices, nuts, or oats. Take a peek at Martha Stewart’s apple crisp recipe and Jamie Oliver’s pear crumble with ginger.

Martha Stewart’s Apple Crisp

Lifestyle goddess Martha Stewart shares her recipe for Apple Crisp in her cooking website which has this to say about this dessert: “One of the definitive desserts of fall, apple crisp is easy and economical.” The people in her test kitchen recommend the use of Empire, Gala, or Braeburn apples for this recipe. [Read more…]

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Simple and Sophisticated Compotes: Saving the Day


Photo Credit: motko_fujita

The compote is one of the simplest desserts you can ever prepare, and yet it lends itself well to the most sophisticated dinners. Some food historians believe compotes originated from Europe, and the earliest records of their existence hail from the Middle Ages. However, a good many food historians also say that the art of processing whole fruits in syrup may have originated in the Mediterranean.

Made of whole fruits stewed in water, spices, and sugar, this dessert’s cooking syrup can be flavored with nutmeg, vanilla, cloves, candied fruit, raisins, or orange peel. Because it can be served either warm or cold, a compote can be used to crown a meal no matter what the weather or the season is.

Compotes to Save the Day

If you are expecting guests for dinner, or if you just want to be ready for people unexpectedly dropping by, take a look at Ina Garten’s recipes for compotes. Because you can cook this dessert way ahead of time and just store it in the refrigerator, serving something sweet and homemade will be a breeze for you. [Read more…]

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Cobblers – The Refreshing, Delicious, and Easy Dessert Option for the Holidays

cobblerThere is a lot of cooking to be done during the holidays, and it is a relief to find good dessert recipes that don’t entail a lot of time and effort. Cobblers are just the solution for busy cooks – and they can be dressed up to look fancy enough to grace any holiday spread.

How Cobblers Got to the Dining Table

In What’s Cooking America’s History and Legends, Linda Stradley says “Early settlers of America were very good at improvising. When they first arrived, they bought their favorite recipes with them, such as English steamed puddings). Not finding their favorite ingredients, they used whatever was available. That’s how all these traditional American dishes came about with such unusual names. Early colonists were so fond of these juicy dishes that they often served them as the main course, for breakfast, or even as a first course. It was not until the late 19th century that they became primarily desserts…”

[Read more…]

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A Festive but Healthy Holiday Table

Healthy HolidayHolidays are times for merrymaking and good food, but it is good to find ways to have your cake and eat it – without the unnecessary calories. Here is a menu that is fit for any occasion without wreaking havoc on your attempts to stick to a healthy diet.

Good Food without Regrets

Yes, it can be done. You can have a satisfying holiday party menu while making sure everything is healthy. You can start your meal with a healthy vegetable soup and make sure you try this recipe for yam and kale salad to add color and texture to your menu. For your main dish, you can serve Ina Garten’s herb-marinated pork tenderloins, a sure winner with meat lovers. A holiday meal is not complete without dessert, so do serve strawberries dip in chocolate if you are pressed for time, or pineapple-raspberry parfaits. [Read more…]

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Chocolate Beyond Dessert

Savory Chocolate FoodsChocolate is known all over the world as an ingredient for sweets, and for most people the word chocolate will conjure images of dessert. Believe it or not, however, this product lends itself very well to savory dishes as well. Here are some savory dishes that include chocolate as a flavoring agent.

In 9 Savory Dishes with Chocolate posted in Food-All Women’s Talk, Lyndsie Robinson says: “Because dark-chocolate is such a power food, lots of gourmets, gourmands, and foodies are experimenting and creating more savory recipes with this this dessert. You might think that the traditionally sweet treat wouldn’t taste good in a savory dish, but if you do it right, chocolate adds a richness and texture to many sorts of dishes. If you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to try something new, consider making some savory recipes with this sweet!” Her recipes include a spinach pear salad with a chocolate vinaigrette dressing, and beef chili with chocolate. [Read more…]

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Austria’s Wiener Schnitzel: Simple and Simply Delicious

Wiener SchnitzelIf you order Wiener Schnitzel, Austria’s national dish, you will get a thin piece of breaded veal, pan fried to golden brown perfection. After one bite you will probably wonder how Viennese cuisine has managed to transform such a simple dish into a truly elegant main course.

Food with History

Legend has it in 1857, that the recipe for Wiener Schnitzel was brought to Vienna from Italy by an Austrian field marshall named Joseph Radetzky von Radetz. Unfortunately, this story has since been debunked, and historians now believe that Radetz brought home a recipe for cotoletta alla Milanesa, not Wiener Schnitzel.

The dish may have its roots in the method written about by Apicus in the 1st century, BC. Apicus wrote about tenderizing meat by pounding on it – a process that is faithfully followed in preparing Wiener Schnitzel. There is evidence that as early as this period, the Romans pounded veal into thin pieces, dredged these in breading and fried them.

Food experts insist that the cotoletta alla Milanesa is a dish distinct from the Wiener Schnitzel. The cotoletta is a veal chop with the bone it, the schnitzel is totally boneless.Today, the name has become protected by law, and if you want to call a dish Wiener Schnitzel, you have to make sure you use veal as meat. [Read more…]

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