Category Archives: food and Wine

Where Do You Stand on the Great Osso Buco Debate?

The debate is whether the best Osso Buco recipe  should include tomatoes or not.  If you want to get into this, Felicity Cloake has the details for the Guardian. A must read if you are — like me — about to embark on this cooking adventure.

There are arguments for both sides. My take – a bit tomato pure adds a dimension to the flavor. I will be making this tonight. Hopefully it will come out looking like this

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Stuck in Paris with only 16 Wine Bars to Go!

That actually doesn’t sound all that bad, as long as my bankers wouldn’t pull the plug!

But seriously, Paris does have a slew of fun wine bars to check out. Here is a list of 16. At least one of these is sure to catch your fancy.

A sentimental fav

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Celebrating the Maestro of Madrid!

Hmmm … the maestro of Madrid?

First some background

Historically, regional Spanish panaderías produced rustic loaves in all sizes and shapes, but in the post-Franco era, Spanish breads fell a little flat. Over-reliance on commercial flour and production methods and under-development of fermentation, especially in the cities, led to flavorless loaves that sold their yeasty souls for easy mass-production. The difference in quality between the traditional breads of the Spanish countryside and mass-produced urban loaves became a disparate fact of modern Spanish cuisine.

Nicht gut! But … this is just the beginning of the story

Fortunately, a revolution is afoot. The toasted smell of darkened loaves baked with masa madre, aka Spanish sourdough, has sent shockwaves from the movement’s epicenter in Madrid out to Barcelona and beyond. With names like pan Gallego, pan de aceite, and pan de tritordeum, this new wave of breads and the Madrid-based bakers producing them are guiding carb-loving Spaniards back to Spain’s artisan baking traditions.

Enter the stage Javier Marca

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Read on for what Javier is doing!

And  find out more about the new breed of Spanish bread makers!


How Do You Like Your Squab?

Squab? In case you have not had the pleasure, it is young pigeon.

In France, squab is often pan-roasted, with a cream-colored crispy skin. In Chinese cuisine, the squab is usually fried, so it’s served up whole and bronzed like Peking duck. In Morocco, squab is commonly served in a pastilla, an elaborate and pastry-centric take on the pot pie. While the first two preparations require a young, supple bird, the pastilla can use adult pigeon, too, as the slow-cooked process is enough to soften the more mature meat.

My bet — squab will make a comeback. Get ready!

Don’t worry! It’s good for you! Better than that bland factory raised frozen chicken!

Potatoes as Nirvana?

The lowly spud may not appear on the menus of top restaurants as prominently as let’s say … truffles. But consider this

A condiment made up of walnuts, anchovies, garlic, and red pepper flakes is the ultimate umami bomb, which is then spooned over the crispiest-ever smashed potatoes.

Hmmm … at first glance, it appears to be too much. But it also is intriguing. I may just have to try it out.  Here is the recipe.

What  do you think?