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Kitchen Essentials, Lidia Bastianich, Springtime Foraging, Please Explain: Culinary Traditions

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Friday, March 29, 2013

We’ll start off today’s Food Fridays with Jack Bishop from the America’s Test Kitchen, who gives advice about what ingredients you should always have on-hand in your home. Lidia Bastianich discusses the foods and traditions of an Italian Easter. Tama Matsuoka Wong shares tips on what you can find in the wild to use in your kitchen. And on this week’s Please Explain, we’ll find out how foods like gefilte fish and ham have come to be associated with certain holidays like Passover and Easter.

Jack Bishop on Essential Ingredients

Jack Bishop, editorial director of America's Test Kitchen, discusses the essential ingredients that home cooks should have in their kitchens. He’ll talk about simple dishes to make with limited ingredients.

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Lidia Bastianich on Italian Easter Foods

Lidia Bastianich talks about the foods and traditions of an Italian Easter. She’ll also talk about teaching her kids how to cook and about her latest book, Nonna’s Birthday Surprise, a book for children. She's the author of a number of cookbooks—her most recent is Lidia's Favorite Recipes.

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Springtime Foraging

Tama Matsuoka Wong discusses foraging in spring and what you can pick in the wild to use in your kitchen. She’s the author of Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer's Market, with 88 Recipes.

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Please Explain: Food Traditions

Ken Albala, Professor of History at the University of the Pacific and Cathy Kaufman, who teaches culinary history at the Institute of Culinary Education and is the author of Cooking in Ancient Civilizations, talk about food traditions and why certain peoples and cultures eat certain foods to celebrate or to mark certain occasions.

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Asparagus and Scallion Frittata / Frittata con asparagi e scalogna

This is a different sort of frittata, with softer, still-wet eggs.

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Recipe: Easter Bread / Pinze

Most of the Christian Mediterranean cultures have some form of rich, festive egg breads that they prepare for the Holy Week before Easter. It is a tradition that is still strong in the Veneto region of Italy. The panettone and colomba cakes often found today in the country are derivatives of pinza.

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Recipe: Seared Lamb Chops with Rosemary

Make this simple, traditional lamb dish, from Lidia Bastianich's kitchen.

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Recipe: Scaffata

A casserole made with peas, fava beans, romaine, and mint.

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Recipe: Cherry Mustard Sauce

1 ½ cup of dry cherries
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons white mustard seeds
4 fresh bay leaves

Put all except the cherries in a pot and bring all to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes, add the cherries and cook for additional 30 minute. Remove bay leaves. Decorate finished plate with 1 teaspoon of sauce and scatter some cherries.

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Garlic mustard in the wild

Recipe: Garlic Mustard Oil with Red Pepper Flakes

Try this flavorful sauce for basting lamb and other meats, made with foraged garlic mustard greens.

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Garlic Mustard Eggplant Dip Tama Matsuoka Wong

Recipe: Garlic Mustard Eggplant Dip

The garlic mustard leaves add a green and garlicky punch to a smooth eggplant spread. Slather it on crackers, pita bread, or crisp vegetables.

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Lidia Bastianich's Chocolate Bread Parfait

Recipe: Chocolate Bread Parfait / Pane di Cioccolato al Cucchiaio

Try this dessert, made with Chocolate, bread, espresso, and cream.

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