These are the dishes that represent a place on a plate, they're those classics you just gotta try from Lebanese Lemonade to Portuguese Pineapple Cake, and, of course, our easy, healthy version of those recipes.
One of my favorite discoveries from my trip to the Azores was this pineapple cake I found on the menu at A Tasca in Ponta Delgada. Nothing like those 60s era upside-down cakes, this pineapple cake was filled with fresh pineapples, perfectly textured, and totally messy — and I was determined to recreate it when I got back home.
It's that time of year — the time when the Pacific Northwest starts to shine. When you can cast your line in the nearest river and catch your dinner, be it salmon or rainbow trout. Which means it's time for this Toasted Walnut Green Sauce.
There's no question that the food in Lebanon is downright amazing. So when people ask me what I liked there, I go off on a tangent. But what I couldn't stop ordering? Well, that's simple. It was this Lebanese lemonade called Limonada. Lighter than an American lemonade, more akin to a French citron presse, and flavored with mint and rose water it was the first recipe I wanted to recreate upon returning home. And, now, as soon as the weather heats up, I mix up a batch.
Lisa Samuel goes on an annual trip to Tel Aviv and when she goes back this year she'll head directly to Miznon for the lamb pita. But until she can get there, she'll make this Lamb Pita with Tahini Sauce and Zhug – it’s as close as you’ll get to the real thing without hopping a flight to Israel.
This is one of those recipes that separates the donne from the ragazze. We can all debate the best way to make and serve pesto but my favorite is this: Mandilli di Seta, aka Handkerchief Pasta with Creamy Pesto. If you know me, then you know I take great pride in this recipe. It took me years to crack the code on how to make such a creamy pesto without any cream. So, when I say I'm sharing one of my all-time best recipes, know that's because I believe we all should be kickbutt donne in the kitchen. You with me?
Remember when I talked up how Caipirinhas? Are you now cursing me for having talked you into buying a whole bottle of cachaça with no way to use beyond those Sparkling Raspberry Caipirinhas? That kinda sucked of me, didn’t it? So that we’re square, I’ve mixed up another cachaça drink, this Mint Coconut Batida Cocktail.
Have you been to Southern Spain? If so, you've likely heard of Coca. No, it's not a soft drink but a savory flatbread hailing from Mallorca. We're recent transplants from New York (we moved here to start a private chef business) and it's pretty much our favorite part of Mallorca (aside from the beaches, the people, and the history). At its best, a Coca is a crisp olive oil-dough topped with seasonal vegetables.
Hot chicken is such a classic Nashville recipe that it's pretty much illegal to visit Music City without trying it every chance you get. Here is our classic recipe for the spicy fried chicken that is Hattie B's Hot Chicken.
Mockingbird Hill is a bar in DC and has unique flairs like pour-over coffee, punk music, and industrial decor. But, the owner, Derek Brown, is a self-proclaimed sherry advocate and has made Mockingbird Hill into a sherry and ham bar. The food is simple but well done and one of my favorites was his twists on the classic tapas bite, Pan Con Tomate.
The Off Menu: New York episode was one of my favorites because I discovered so many new food gems in a city I already love. You can't really talk food in New York without bringing up pizza and we visited Paulie Gee's Pizza in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. After eating our way through most of the menu, Paulie finally showed us the "off menu" item that you have to know to order: this Monte Cristo pizza.