While Rick and Ilsa of “Casablanca” may always have the memories of that magical city they met in, my husband’s and mine will have to wait.
Although I’ve traveled to Paris a couple of times, he never had. This was to be the year that we got serious about planning our first trip to Europe together. But so much for that. A killer virus, planes grounded to a halt, and the unbelievable complexities of going anywhere — even the corner store — put an end to that trip for the foreseeable future.
That’s why discovering this recipe for “Kidney Bean and Mushroom Bourguignon” was such a gift.
If there is one thing that is always in my fridge, it is jars of mustard. That’s plural, because there is always more than one.
Dijon, stone-ground, brown, and yellow — it’s usually all there, to smear on sandwiches and sausages, to whisk into vinaigrettes, to flavor pork roasts, and to stir into velvety pan sauces for chicken.
As a bona fide mustard fiend, it’s no surprise that a recipe for “French Green Lentils with A Trio of Mustards” caught my eye — big-time. That’s because it incorporates not one, not two, but three types of mustard, as in Dijon, mustard seeds, and fresh mustard greens. How genius is that?
If ever a book captures just what a delicious, beautiful and bountiful buffet of cultures and peoples we are, “America The Great Cookbook” does.
The cookbook (Welden Owen), of which I received a review copy, was edited by Joe Yonan, food and dining editor at the Washington Post. It features iconic recipes from 100 of America’s best chefs and food heroes.
What is American food? It is “Creole Gumbo” by Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans. It is “Yun-Hui (My Mother’s) Red-Cooked Pork” by Cecilia Chiang, ground-breaking San Francisco restaurateur. It is “Maple-Glazed Roasted Acorn Squash with Toasted Pepitas” by Sean Sherman, founder of The Sioux Chef in Minneapolis. It is “Soft-Shell Crabs with Shishito Mole, Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Balm” by Daniela Soto-Innes, chef of Cosme in New York. It is “Baklava Cheesecake” by food blogger Amanda Saab, founder of “Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor.” And it is so much more.
For me, Asian rice porridge, congee or jook (or juk) is a comforting taste of America, because I’ve grown up enjoying it here. I’ve spooned up its thick, creamy deliciousness countless times when my Mother would make it, typically after Thanksgiving, using the turkey carcass as the base for its broth. Or anytime my stomach was upset, when she would whip it up to soothe me.
“Clam Juk” is by New York’s David Chang, chef and founder of Momofuku. It’s a slightly more fanciful version of the basic congee, with its addition of pickled clams, which are quite easy to make.