August 25, 2011 |
You say tomato , they say pomodoro . And when they say it, they mean it. That's because the Italians are champions of simple, classically delicious ways of using fresh tomatoes. And they should be; they've been cultivating them for hundreds of years. One of the many basic ways they use garden-fresh tomatoes is in a pomodoro sauce, made with basil and garlic and tossed with pasta. This dish, just noodles and tomatoes, embodies the core philosophy of Italian food - letting a few perfectly ripe ingredients shine.
May 28, 2000 |
It's hard for me to imagine cooking without garlic at any time of the year, but spring is when you get the opportunity to enjoy it in its fresher stages - green garlic and garlic chives available before the head has fully formed. Garlic has had a rocky history, and some people still shy away from this powerful member of the onion family. But the "stinking rose" as it is also known, is indispensable in nearly all the world's cuisines. It is thought to have originated in the deserts of Central Asia.
June 16, 1993 |
The strong, distinctive taste of garlic might be the aroma jokes are made of, but when push comes to shove, it might be possible to cook without salt, but give up garlic? Never! Of course, when used recklessly, garlic can sear the tongue and put one's digestion on red alert. But temper its flavor with a fruity olive oil or a gentle balm of broth, and its reputation for rudeness seems utterly unfounded. Garlic is made up of the swollen leaves and sprouting stems of a plant in the lily family (the same one that contains shallots, leeks and other oniony aromatics)
May 31, 1995 |
I have always believed that onions and garlic run through my blood. My heritage is Jewish and Italian, and these twin influences taught me early on that onions and garlic are as important as salt, pepper and a close-knit family. One grandmother taught me how to prepare old-fashioned Italian food, rich with these ingredients. I remember staying close to her in the kitchen while she cooked greens laced with olive oil and stuffed huge ravioli with slowly stewed onions and meat. My other grandmother cooked strictly kosher, feeding me oniony potato pancakes and garlicky homemade pickles.
December 2, 1992 |
We've enjoyed making flavored vinegars over the years. Memories of pantries filled with dusty bottles of herbed vinegars from our grandmothers' days got us thinking. Not only could they liven up salad dressings, but they could enhance the flavors in many dishes, eliminating the need for higher-fat sauces. The difference between our vinegars and Grandma's? They have been modernized with infusions of fragrant herbs, ginger and hot peppers, some of which would have set off Grandma's peptic ulcer.
November 9, 2000 |
In the Allentown suburb of Vera Cruz, George DeVault has been getting into the mood for another farming trip this month to Russia. He's been planting garlic. Not just any garlic. You can read their names written on the stakes at the heads of the rows he was plowing a few weeks ago. Siberian. Georgian crystal. Chesnok red. Garlics that he bought in Moscow, garlics that he says pack more punch than ones he has bought here. Autumn-planting while others are autumn-harvesting might seem unusual only to those innocent of farm ways.
March 5, 2009 |
FOR MORE THAN a decade, a little company at 5th and Spring Garden streets has been quietly feeding into a burgeoning food obsession. Hummus. Not just any hummus: Bobbi's hummus. This creamy, garlic-laced concoction was first sold in small quantities 16 years ago in specialty shops and local food co-ops. But in the past few years, thanks to a growing love for the chickpea-based dip, Bobbi's is expanding it customer base in local supermarkets such as Whole Foods, ShopRite and McCaffrey's in Bucks County.
February 21, 2014 |
NINE-month-old Adler Ferrell was in the kitchen - a safe distance from the action, though - and watching intently as his mom, Jerrie Leone Ferrell, cooked dinner. Having a family audience is nothing new to Ferrell, who grew up in a large Italian family - two older brothers and a younger sister - in Jamison, Bucks County. Dinnertime brought everyone together, she recalled. "I remember a lot of pasta going on," Ferrell said. "There would also be a veal or chicken dish, and we always ended with fruit.
December 13, 2013 |
'This looks like fish food," said Mark Ramirez, when he opened the bag of lentils we would be using to make soup. "Or the stuff you feed the ducks at the zoo. " None of the fifth graders in the cooking class at Bayard Taylor Elementary School in North Philadelphia had ever had lentils. "Do they taste like peas?" Kareema Brown asked. "Not really," I said. "They don't really have a strong taste, they take on the flavor of the things they're cooked with. But they are so good for you - full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
September 24, 1989 |
In both setting and cuisine, there's nothing quite like La Familia Sonsini. Homemade dishes, an interesting meld of Italian and Louisiana cooking styles that reflects the Sonsini family's Italian and Southern roots, include made-from-scratch sauces and soups and Creole dishes based on old family recipes. The restaurant is out in the country in a beautiful 1850 Federal mansion down a long dirt lane off Old Marlton Pike; immense portico pillars give a Southern flavor, and the building still has tunnels and hiding places used by the Underground Railroad in the Civil War era. Inside are two elegant, high-ceiling dining rooms with lovely crown molding; the prettier room (for non-smokers)