Grilled Lamb and Almond Meatballs with Olive, Tomato, and Parsley Vinaigrette

Around the world, meatballs are a cook’s home way with sausage making, not much fuss to put together and no casing required. In particular, lamb meatballs spiked with one kind of nut or another–walnuts, pine nuts, or almonds–are masterful fare found in various renditions throughout the Mediterranean. With their delicate yet hearty taste, small balls … Continue reading Grilled Lamb and Almond Meatballs with Olive, Tomato, and Parsley Vinaigrette

Fresh Almonds

Lugs and lugs of freshly harvested Price almonds at Chris Hays’ farmers’ market stand a few Saturdays ago set me off and running on the topic of almonds. So many ways to use them, from simple to complex, savory or sweet, as a background note or featured in a dish. Coming up will be recipes for … Continue reading Fresh Almonds

Steeped Chicken

The Cantonese have a technique for cooking a whole chicken by briefly simmering then steeping it awhile to finish the cooking. In Chinese, it’s called “white cut chicken,” a visually apt description. It’s a favorite method for cooking a whole chicken whose meat is to be used in soups and mainly-vegetable compositions. Here, the skin … Continue reading Steeped Chicken


Crepinettes are sausage patties wrapped in caul fat. Their name is derived from the French word for caul, crepine, hence crepinettes, or little caul packets. They’re an old-fashioned, easy and fun way to craft homemade sausages for a casual get together, especially good in summer when it’s likely to be grilling weather. The only trick to making … Continue reading Crepinettes

Spiced Cherries

Piquant and sweet spiced cherries, also called pickled cherries, are a specialty of southwest France where they make a perfect accompaniment to the renowned cassoulets and charcuterie delights of that region. The combination deftly translates to my own region, northern California, currently a hot bed of innovative salumi, charcuterie, and other bold dishes, and also a major cherry-growing region. … Continue reading Spiced Cherries

Avgolemeno Sauce

Following the theme in my previous post of the chicken and the egg together in a pot, here’s a similar savory, warm, and beguiling herald to Spring. Called avgolemeno, meaning literally egg and lemon, it’s a classic of Greek cooking that can be either a sauce or a soup. I first came across avgolemeno in … Continue reading Avgolemeno Sauce

Stracciatella: Italian Egg Drop Soup for Easter and Spring Colds

Piping warm homemade chicken broth afloat with egg curds is a quintessential spring soup–simple, pure, uncomplicated, refreshing, soothing. The nutritious chicken broth is the main point. Together with the egg and gussied up with shredded young spring greens, here dandelion, it’s a paen to new beginnings, a celebration of health, an elegant opening for a … Continue reading Stracciatella: Italian Egg Drop Soup for Easter and Spring Colds