Why is smoked salmon typically accompanied by capers? Such an odd little condiment. A caper is the pickled, immature bud of the caper bush, a plant native to the semi-arid climates of the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. Its mature fruit, caper berries, are typically packed in salt.
Alex and Stephanie Villani of Blue Moon fish talk about what fish are currently running and what makes for the best smoked fish.
I can't let the Jewish holiday of Purim go by this weekend without writing about hamantaschen. Naomi Lewin wouldn't let me.
Curry is the comfort food of many nations—from South and Southeast Asia to Japan to the Caribbean. Last Chance Foods delves into the history of this beloved dish. Plus, try recipes for Thai Mussamun Beef Curry and Classic Chicken Curry.
In the kitchen, peanut flour and boiled peanuts are growing in popularity. Get a recipe for Hawaiian boiled peanuts, as well as boiled peanut soup, here.
Would peanut flour make a peanut butter cookie more peanuty? After speaking with Peanut Butter & Company founder Lee Zalben, I had to give it a try. The idea gave me the permission I needed to do two things: bake (I don't need much prompting, but always worry about capitulating too easily and frequently to my sweet tooth), and enlist my colleagues in helping to write my blog.
Oatmeal would seem to be an unlikely topic of passionate debate, but these days, everyone has an opinion about the humble breakfast porridge. Let us know what you think about oatmeal here. Plus, try out two unconventional, savory preparations for oatmeal.
Some folks' idea of comfort food is meat loaf or macaroni and cheese. Mine is oatmeal. It's creamy and warm, but, more than that, it's a food my dad made for me and my siblings when we were little.
In my zeal to try different types of pepper, I bought two big bottles of whole pink and white peppercorns -- the pricey Morton & Bassett kind. I wanted to try red peppercorns, but I figured pink was the same thing. It's not.
Chef Julian Medina advises on the uses of different types of peppercorns. Also, he shares his recipe for Hamachi Ceviche with Avocado Fries.
We're talking about sun chokes this week, but my head and taste buds are still with salt, our topic in last week's Last Chance Foods. Many have commented on artisanal salt seller Mark Bitterman's contention that the link between salt and hypertension are not as clear-cut as public health officials would like to have you believe.
Even though temperatures on Friday nearly reached 60 degrees, sustained warmth is still many weeks away. Sunchokes are a welcome addition to standard winter root vegetables like potatoes and carrots that dominate the farmers' markets. Get chef Erica Wides' recipe for "Sunchoke Veloute" here.
The Meadow in the West Village offers more than 100 types of gourmet salt. Owner Mark Bitterman takes on the sodium critics and gives a brief explanation of a few basic finishing salts. Also, get his recipe for Bali Rama Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
There have been several big "ah ha!" moments in my evolution as an eater. And now, through Mark Bitterman, I've discovered salt.
There are two sides to my eating style: There's the unconscious mode, where I can nibble through half a box of raisins while reading a recipe, and not even know it, and there's my hyper-aware mode, usually employed at very pricey or highly respected restaurants where I want to savor every mouthful and tease out every nuance of flavor.
Chef Amy Chaplin explains the safe and effective way to cut into and roast chestnuts.
Fourth-generation fish purveyor Louis Rozzo explains why more chefs are using small oily fish like sardines and mackerel. Also, try Marea chef Jared Gadbaw's recipe for Warm Mackerel Tartletta with Salsa Cruda and Aged Balsamic.
It was a very busy news day on the afternoon that Louis Rozzo came in to talk about mackerel and sardines for Last Chance Foods. The feds had unsealed indictments against 127 alleged mobsters and arrested 110 of them in early-morning raids.
I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, but when our latest Last Chance Foods guest, Carolyn Cope, suggested adding shredded carrots to homemade tomato sauce, I balked. Carrots? No way! Even the red onion, basil leaves and parmigiano-reggiano cheese rind she uses is far more than called for in my go-to sauce recipe.
Food writer Carolyn Cope discusses canned tomatoes, the concern over B.P.A. in can liners, and what kinds of tomatoes make the best Sunday sauce. Also, try her recipe for "New Old School Tomato Sauce."