July 06, 2008

Summertime Eats with a Flair This weekend marks the official launch of grilling and que'ing season. As the weekend unwinds there will be bags of briquettes and tanks of fuel emptied. While you may be tempted to start with the sausage, foot long dogs and burgers I encourage you as you walk to that grill in that backyard, patio, fire escape or city park with a copy of Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas. This collection of sweet and savory pizzas, crispy piadinas (flat bread sandwiches) and salads goes beyond the expected. Craig Priebe, a man "obsessed with grilled pizza", is an executive chef at Henry Crown & Company and his co-writer Dianne Jacob have pulled together 75 recipes that will inspire, What's great about this book , aside from all the photos and compact size) is that there are shortcuts. Don't have access to outdoor grill? There is info and images of the indoor grill options. Don't want to make dough from scratch? Go to Trader Joe's they make an excellent pizza dough. There's tips all through the 192-pages. Priebe gives us such creativity in each recipe: the Gamberian (Sautéed shrimp with pesto and tomato) the pie awarded Best International Pizza of the Year, the Asparago (Asparagus with pesto, pine nuts, and Brie), Thai Pong Gari (curried chicken with peanut sauce and salad) and the San Franciscan (crab with orange and beet salad. New to me are piadinas (pee-yah-DEEN-ahs), a grilled flat bread. Italians have an expression, "Ogni donna fa la piadina a modo suo." Every...
American Masala I leave in 3 days for India. The task at hand for the last few months has been to build a foundation in the essentials of Indian cookery. (Note to self: you seem to be adopting a distinctly British orientation to your spellings and vocabulary.) In my research, and additions to my cookbook library, is American Masala by Suvir Saran. Also the author of Indian Home Cooking Chef Saran is co-executive chef at the 2007 1* Michelin restaurant Dévi in New York. The two cookbooks are approachable, fun and more than likely if you cook on a fairly regular basis your spice pantry will suffice. American Masala isn't about traditional Indian food—it's about adding new flavors to the great American melting pot, using spices to liven up the old standbys—from meatloaf to macaroni and cheese—and enjoying dishes that are exciting and diverse yet as familiar as your own mom's cooking. It's a fresh take on contemporary Indian cuisine. Sambhaar is a spice blend that is the southern Indian equivalent to Garam Masala, a spice blend used often in northern India, which is to herbes de Provence or Chinese five-spice powder-- a foundational, essence of the cuisine spice blend. The nutty flavor of a sambhaar comes from the addition of channa dal (yellow split peas) and urad dal (small white lentils). If you are unfamiliar with the Indian cooking, you may think this blend is bitter tasting. If making it at home, and you want a more traditional taste--double the amount...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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