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  • INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    Vanilla Bean 101

    When I was in college, I remember an economics class where one of the basic financial instruments was called a vanilla bond. Having never seen a vanilla bean before, the only thing associated it…

    August 17, 2009
  • thyme pecans
    INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    Thyme Roasted Pecans

    Besides having a rich history as a mystical and medicinal herb, thyme is also one of the most versatile culinary herbs. They get their characteristic fragrance because of the chemical thymol. It’s easy to…

    November 25, 2008
  • INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    Bombay Duck

    Ever heard of Bombay Duck? It isn’t a duck, but a fish; and it isn’t found in Bombay, but pretty much all along the Indian coastline. Then why is it called Bombay Duck? I’ve…

    September 2, 2008
  • INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    Za’atar

    Za’atar is an aromatic spice mixture used in the Middle East. Like many spice mixtures, there are many variations, but all contain toasted white sesame seeds, ground sumac, thyme and salt. Za’atar has a…

    May 9, 2008
  • HAPPY HOUR INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    What is Kokum?

    The then NY Times food critic, Ruth Reichl (Garlic and Sapphires) was on one of her visits to the New York restaurant, Lespinasse. One of the dishes she sampled was a Braised salmon and…

    February 16, 2008
  • INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    The Stinking Rose

    The Egyptians worshipped it and the Greek athletes turned not to steroids, but to this bulb vegetable to enhance their performance. Garlic was so highly-prized; it was even used as currency. That is the…

    January 15, 2008
  • HAPPY HOUR INGREDIENT KNOW-HOW

    Lemongrass

    The fragrance of lemongrass never ceases to refresh me. Lemongrass has a distinct taste of its own. A little woody but not quite lemony. You’ll know it’s taste if you’ve had Thai food. I’m…

    September 23, 2007