Category Archives: Recipes (Savory)

Tuna Pâté For Starters

Meet the versatile, easy-to-make, and economical tuna pâté.
Meet the versatile, easy-to-make, and economical tuna pâté.

When the temperature soars, that last thing you want to do is turn up the heat in your kitchen.

“Tuna Pâté’ is perfect for those scorching days, because it’s served chilled, and the only real cooking it involves is boiling a potato and a couple of eggs on the stovetop.

Best yet, it tastes like a more sophisticated version of your favorite tuna salad sandwich.

The recipe is from the new “Cooking alla Giudia” (Artisan Books), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Benedetta Jasmine Guetta, an Italian food writer and photographer. Born in Milan and now living in Santa Monica, she is on a mission to shine a light on Italian Jewish food in Italy and abroad.

The book presents more than 100 recipes that celebrate the food, history, and traditions of Jewish food in Italy. For instance, did you know that orecchiette pasta that’s famed in Apulia most likely came from Provence, France by Jews who settled in the 12th century? Or that the prevalence of eggplant in Italian cuisine is thanks to Jews in Spain during the Middle Ages who learned to cook it from the Arabs? When the Jews were expelled from Spain, many of them relocated to Italy, bringing with them their expertise with eggplant cooking.

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Grilled Buttermilk Chicken with Hot Paprika

A soak in buttermilk does wonders for chicken.
A soak in buttermilk does wonders for chicken.

Like a good face cream, yogurt, kefir and buttermilk do wonders to plump and moisten — with meat, that is.

So, it’s no wonder that “Grilled Buttermilk Chicken” results in a juicy bird laced with summertime smokiness.

The recipe is from “The Backyward BBQ Bible” (Smith Street Books), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Oscar Smith, a Sydney-based food writer and photographer.

It includes more than 100 grilling recipes, including ” Brazilian Cachaca Chicken Skewers,” “Bacon-Warpped Mac & Cheese Burgers” (yes, panko-breaded discs of with mac ‘n’ cheese acting as burgers), “Korean Bulgogi Tofu,” and “Grilled Figs with Rosemary & Pomegranate Ricotta.”

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Stanley Tucci’s Spaghetti con Zucchine alla Nerano

One of Stanley Tucci's favorite pasta dishes.
One of Stanley Tucci’s favorite pasta dishes.

If the lusty comments from my gal pals are any indication, I’m definitely not the only one obsessed with Stanley Tucci’s CNN travel show, “Searching for Italy.”

Or with Stanley Tucci, himself, for that matter. (Hey, I’m just keeping it real.)

So, it’s probably no surprise that the food on the show has proved equally enthralling.

Ever since seeing the episode featuring Lo Scoglio’s zucchini pasta, I’ve been so intrigued with this specialty dish of this Amalfi Coast restaurant that’s a favorite of Tucci and his wife Felicity.

I like zucchini, but I can’t say it’s ever captured my fancy enough to get all excited about when it first starts appearing at farmers markets in summer. I mean, it’s no asparagus. Not by a long shot.

So, with just Parmigiano, basil, olive oil, and fried zucchini as the main components in this pasta, how good could this really be?

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Miso Chicken Lickety-Split

You have to love a recipe that has only half a dozen ingredients, most of which are probably already in your kitchen.
You have to love a recipe that has only half a dozen ingredients, most of which are probably already in your kitchen.

At the start of this nearly 1,000-page tome, you are instructed not to use this book for the following three things:

For academic research. For dieting. Or for a doorstop.

You have to to love a cookbook that announces itself with such honesty and presence. And “The Essential New York Times Cookbook” (W.W. Norton & Co., 2021), of which I received a review copy, certainly does.

It was written by former Times’ food writer and food editor, Amanda Hesser, who went on to co-found Food52.

It’s actually an updated version of the original book that came out in 2010.

Hesser took on the challenge to once again wade through the Times’ immense 150-year-old archives. This time around, she also called upon the expertise of cooks of color to add more global recipes, including ones from Nigeria, Tibet, Thailand, and China.

In the process, she ended up jettisoning 65 former recipes in the book and adding instead 120 new ones that are more culturally diverse. She includes the date each recipe appeared, too, providing a fascinating look at how our tastes and techniques have changed or stayed the same.

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Gazpacho — Mexican-Style

Gaspacho -- done as a sweet, tangy, subtly spicy fruit salad instead.
Gaspacho — done as a sweet, tangy, subtly spicy fruit salad instead.

Rick Martinez says his mouth starts to water just thinking about this refreshing dish.

It’s easy to understand why, because his “Gaspacho Moreliano” is the antidote to the torrid heat of summer.

It’s quenching and cooling like Spanish gazpacho, but this Mexican version is far more substantial because it’s not a soup, but a sweet-tangy-spicy-savory fruit salad.

The recipe is from Martinez’s first cookbook, “Mi Cocina” (Penguin Random House), of which I received a review copy.

The host of the YouTube series, “Pruebalo,” and a contributor to Bon Appetit magazine and the New York Times, Martinez, he grew up in a small town outside of Austin, TX, where he was the first child of Mexican heritage to attend that then all-white elementary school.

It was his late mother who inspired his passion for cooking. Even though her own mother and aunties had passed away already, his mom decided to start anew the tradition of making tamales for the holidays, figuring out the exact recipe along the way through trial and error on her own. She hoped the practice would be passed down to her sons. For Martinez, it ignited a deep, unwavering love for his heritage, culture, and family.

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