Seared Flank Steak with Brown Rice, Dipping Sauce, and Chop Sticks

Sometimes an object, as much as a food, can be the inspiration for a dish. Such was the case with these beautiful chonta wood chopsticks from Ecuador. They were a gift from my cousin, Gary Jenanyan, Executive Chef for the maritime partnership of Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society in the Galapagos Islands region of … Continue reading Seared Flank Steak with Brown Rice, Dipping Sauce, and Chop Sticks

March Madness, with Corned Beef Brisket, Cabbage, and Potatoes

The month of March is jam-packed with rituals of revelry and piety around the world, always with food and drink. On the American calendar is “March Madness,” a month-long college basketball playoff season with an accompanying nationwide frenzy over bouncing a large ball and tossing it into a 10-foot high net just barely wide enough for … Continue reading March Madness, with Corned Beef Brisket, Cabbage, and Potatoes

Mysteries of Pork Butchery, and a Recipe for Ham Hock/Shanks with Belgian Endive, White Beans, and Mustard Cream

When writing up this recipe, I had to hesitate over how to describe the main ingredient. Confusion reigns about its proper name: ham shanks, ham hocks, foreleg, hind leg, smoked, not smoked? In the pursuit of clarifying, I found that sometimes “shank” refers to the meaty part just below the shoulder (picnic ham) or the … Continue reading Mysteries of Pork Butchery, and a Recipe for Ham Hock/Shanks with Belgian Endive, White Beans, and Mustard Cream

Pork Meatballs with Prunes and Sage in Dill Yogurt Sauce

I think of meatballs as fun food, family food, including large gatherings with lots of relatives and friends. They appeal for their easy-to-chew texture. They invite never-ending ways of seasoning, shaping, and saucing. And, they are economical, carrying a power pack of flavor in but a few bites. One sort or another meatball, of meat or seafood, or, extending the concept, even of vegetable, can be found in almost every cuisine around the globe. Here’s one that plays with tastes a world away from America, Georgia, in the southwest of the former Soviet Union, right above Armenia, close to Turkey, but still in the Caucasus. Continue reading “Pork Meatballs with Prunes and Sage in Dill Yogurt Sauce”