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Laurie Constantino

Recipes and resources for food lovers

Last Build Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 06:56:12 +0000


The 10 Best Gifts for Cooks and Food Lovers

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 02:54:00 +0000

(image) My list of 10 Best Gifts for Cooks and Food Lovers helps last minute shoppers buy great presents for the food obsessed; most of the items on the list I’ve used and loved for years. Most importantly, if you act quickly, there’s still time to order most of my recommended gifts and have them arrive before Christmas.   Number 1: Microplane Classic Grater If the cook in your life doesn’t have a Microplane classic grater, buy this immediately. I’ve never met a bad Microplane tool, but its classic grater is essential for every kitchen; nothing foils its ultra-sharp cutting edges. I’m so spoiled by the Microplane classic grater that cooking without one is an exercise in frustration. It’s perfect for grating cheese, zesting lemons, and pureeing garlic or ginger. Interesting factoid: The Microplane kitchen line came into being when a Canadian woman used one of her husband’s woodworking rasps and discovered it made better citrus zest than any tool in her kitchen.         Number 2: Subscription to Eat Your Books Cookbook Index An Eat Your Books subscription is my favorite gift for people with cookbook collections; it’s a tool that makes it possible to fully use all … Continue reading (image)

Turkish Yogurt and Dandelion Green Salad (Yoğurtlu Cevizli ve Radika)

Sun, 23 Jun 2013 01:17:57 +0000

(image) With Thanks to Meltem Birkegren Dandelion greens are eaten throughout the Mediterranean. In Turkey, they’re called “karahindiba” or “radika.” Meltem Birkegren, originally from Istanbul, explained the Turkish way of cooking dandelion greens: “We usually wilt the greens then mix with olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed garlic … You can also wilt the dandelions [and] to the olive oil/lemon juice/garlic … add some yogurt & walnuts.” Inspired by Meltem, and with a bag of cleaned dandelion greens in the refrigerator, I made Turkish Yogurt and Dandelion Green Salad in 15 minutes. Similar in many ways to Tzatziki, Turkish Yogurt and Dandelion Green Salad makes a creamy accompaniment to grilled meat or chicken. It’s also a tasty lunch (or snack) served with tomatoes and olives or as part of an appetizer spread, with raw vegetables, or with chips, crackers, or bread. It can be eaten right away, but is better after 24 hours in the refrigerator. Spinach may be used instead of dandelion greens. I successfully made this with nonfat yogurt; whole-milk yogurt would also be good.(image)

Scrambled Eggs with Rhubarb and Herbs

Sat, 22 Jun 2013 00:14:16 +0000

(image) Adapted from A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes from Grandma Fritzie’s Kitchen by Jennifer Felicia Abadi (Harvard Common Press 2002) Rhubarb is a vegetable. Without sugar, rhubarb is tart, lemony, and a wonderful addition to savory dishes. Lately, I’ve been eating it for breakfast in scrambled eggs. Although unnecessary (and I don’t do it for lunch), when I eat this first thing in the morning, I like adding a teaspoon of honey to the eggs. Even a small amount of honey mellows rhubarb’s assertiveness. In A Fistful of Lentils, the author says eggs and rhubarb go well with toasted bread, apricot preserves, and white cheese (feta works). She also likes it as “a savory vegetarian side dish” with rice or roast chicken. To serve a group, multiply the ingredients by the number of servings needed.(image)

Rhubarb-Crystallized Ginger Sorbet

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:11:52 +0000

(image) Tart and sweet, rich and satisfying; Rhubarb-Crystallized Ginger Sorbet seems like it’s full of dairy. It isn’t. Because rhubarb contains a lot of pectin, sorbet made with it has a creamy texture. Adding a bit of liqueur further improves sorbet’s texture (vodka also works). The ingredients aren’t completely pureed, so you’ll occasionally bite into juicy pieces of rhubarb or ginger. It’s a treat every time. One of our tasters correctly observed that this sorbet makes a great palate cleanser, in addition to being a light, flavorful dessert.(image)

It’s Summer! It’s Hot. Where’s the Ice Cream?

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 10:11:42 +0000


Recipe(s) in this post:
Rhubarb-Crystallized Ginger Sorbet
Thai Carrot Rhubarb Soup

  Summer! Mosquitoes! Hot & Sweaty! Earthquake! Is it the apocolypse? Maybe. Apocolypse or no, the garden is coming into its own and its bounty must be used. We’ve had a bumper crop of gorgeous red rhubarb. I want to turn it into something cold enough to get my mind off bugs and heat. I want tart, juicy sorbet.  I decided to kill two birds at once: harvest rhubarb and make something delicious to eat. Occasional pastry chef Anna Thomas came yesterday to cook with me. I put her in charge of making sorbet while I worked on Thai Carrot Rhubarb Soup. When I discovered we were completely out of granulated, I offered Anna a choice between white and raw crystallized sugars. She cleverly chose raw turbinado sugar to help mellow rhubarb’s tart bite. It added a layer of flavor that white sugar couldn’t; lucky my pantry wasn’t fully stocked yesterday. For even more flavor we added crystallized ginger. It’s spiciness prevents the sorbet from being too sweet. Creating two great recipes is my idea of an excellent day (Thai Carrot Rhubarb Soup is also a winner).  Actually it’s three great recipes: directions for making fab Grilled Halibut with Pineapple … Continue reading (image)