One of our favourite road trips was a lovely meandering time from Charleston to Hilton Head to Savannah a few years back. Oh what a glorious corner of the world! Such old world charm, magical architecture of pastels and filigreed wrought iron, moody spanish moss dripping from the trees, cobble stoned lanes, and salt water kissed and weathered homes and buildings. Truly a faded glory meets a candy store. The people are gracious, friendly and laid back. And the food! Low Country cuisine is absolutely one of my favourites.
Yes, pizza belongs to Italians. They do a pretty good job of it (hehe!) Every corner of Italy contends that their pizza is the best. And there are some pretty stellar rivalries. Roman vs Neopolitan? Thick and chewy vs thin and crispy? And when we move the contest over here to North America, it get’s even dicier. NY vs Chicago? Thin and chewy vs a thick pie? Every neighbourhood has it’s classic pizza that its lovers will defend to the death.
So to help break the tie and settle so many long fought battles, I present Flammekueche. That’s right, German pizza.
What’s your favourite colour? Maroon? Magenta? Ochre? Mauve? Vermillion? Azure? Puce?
Mine has always been chartreuse. That acidy green that sometimes looks olive, sometimes has a lemon-y hint to it. It’s not pea-green. It’s not mint. It’s closer to a peridot green, the colour of creeping jenny or some cats’ eyes. It’s a happy colour. And my sister teases me for the name. I didn’t make it up, really! 🙂
This is just one of those recipes that is a joy to make up. And a joy to serve. And a joy to eat. A real party on the table, and then a party in your mouth! I mean, it starts with meatballs!! And it ends with couscous. This is fun to eat as a family, or a fabulous and festive contender for the next time you are having company over.
Ribs are not for not for neat freaks, prissy, controlling, or napkin dabbing fussbudgets. They are get down and dirty, use your hands, and be prepared to get hosed down afterwards kind of eating.
I didn’t really grow up eating BBQ’d ribs. My parents were steak people. Filet mignon or New York striploin all the way. Or the occasional Ribeye. And if it wasn’t steak, it was burgers. Or the occasional sausage. But I really don’t remember ribs on the grill all that much. So it was always a treat to go out and order ribs at a restaurant. The concept of grabbing at bones and gnawing away at them with some amazing fruit for the labour was just so rewarding.
When we came home from school the first words out of our mouths (after ‘Hi Mama’) were always, “What’s for dinner?” Usually the surprise or anticipation of what Mama had planned for dinner was what kept me company on the walk home. Yes, I was food driven at an early age.
As much as I have loved the recipes from Small Victories, I think I love Julia’s titles for each of them equally. They are such a hoot. Kinda Sorta Patates Bravas, Feel-Better-Soon Cookies, Indecision Grilled Chicken, Happy Wife Happy Life Chocolate Cake, and so on. So naturally I was drawn to A Nice Lasagna. Of course lasagna is nice, even awesome in the right hands, so I just had to find out what makes this lasagna ‘nicer’ than the rest.
To braise or not to braise. That is not the question. There is no dispute in this kitchen about braising. Braising is always a good idea. Especially in the winter. There is nothing like the aroma wafting from a pot of simmering meat, veggies, stock, wine and seasonings. It can sit there gently bubbling away on the stove for hours, inviting occasional glimpses under the lid just to fondly glance at those cuts of meat becoming more tender and juicy as those liquids etc, surround them in all their goodness.
This is the cake that you had as a kid, washed down with a cold glass of milk. It is that cake that every good diner has in a chilled turn table display, tempting you with all its chocolatey goodness. It’s the cake that showed up at special occasions, or the cake that your aunt made when you came to visit. It is THE chocolate cake.
I can’t believe we’re almost finished the second half of January. Boy time flies when you’re having fun. And in this case, having fun refers to cooking out of this month’s cookbook, Small Victories by Julia Turshen.