The summer is coming. It’s time to update our menus with easy-made refreshing dishes as good for light dinner for two as for a big pool party. Cocktails, beer, and all that jazz.
Why is a Latin American fish salad next to a French Polynesian one combined in one recipe?
Ceviche is made with cubed raw fish marinated in citrus juice, strained, combined with sliced and chopped vegetables (most commonly avocado, tomato, onion, green onion, cilantro, chili peppers), and served cold.
Ota Ika is made the same way, but with the addition of coconut milk or creme. Some of the vegetables mixed with fish are the same, and some are different (most commonly cucumber, tomato, onion, green onion, and spicy peppers). Coconut milk softens the acidity of the initial marinade and makes the dish somewhat tropical holiday dreamy and elegant.
Tasso is a specialty of Nola cuisine and used to flavor many dishes. Sounds like Mexican chorizo for Mexican and TexMex, right? But it is not a sausage, and it’s smoked. Traditionally, it is made with pork butt that was sliced across the grain 3″ thick. What if we use the same rub and smoke a pork tenderloin using Traeger Grill?
Лохматый пирожок из таро! Так я прозвала этот dumpling, when saw it for the first time in the picture 10 years ago. I became obsessed — needed to find the recipe and try making it. If I remember correctly (the original is not available anymore), I found a Chinese recipe and had somebody help me translate it. It was challenging and fun!
I came across this warm eggplant salad 10 years ago, when discovered harissa. Unfortunately, this salad is less know than zaalook, another Moroccan eggplant salad — with tomatoes. Or, let’s say there are fewer references to it available out there in English.
It is sweet and sour, refreshing and citrusy, mildly spicy, with very pronounced Middle Eastern flavors. Pairs well with crispy grilled flatbread.
It’s my third serious attempt to master Ukrainian blood sausage using local ingredients. Every time I slightly change the approach with a better understanding of what and why I am doing with every step.
Roasted young goose became my favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas dish only a few years ago. And I wrote a very long text about it. This year, I gave my heart to another version of cooking goose — smoke-roasting with Traeger Grill. I tried it once out of curiosity and will never go back to oven-roasting for as long as I have my little Traeger.
Both species from Sturgeon Aquafarms — sevruga and sterlet — are relatively lean. I tried multiple cooking methods to see which one is the best for my taste — grilling, frying, smoking, boiling, and baking/roasting. The last one was the most awarding. I call it baking/roasting because of the oven, but it is cooked in moist heat. The fish is covered all the time (more like in a dutch oven), and it cooks in its own juice and steam, which is the best for it. The vegetables are arranged around it, share the same cooking method, and absorb the same flavors. This cooking method unlocks the best in this fish in terms of flavor and texture.
In Central Texas, we see more and more rare for Prime and Wagyu beef cuts every holiday season. Since beef brisket is one of Texas BBQ specialty, it was very tempting to smoke Wagyu using my Traeger.
If you can’t travel, travel with food memories. Imagine enjoying tropical breakfast — spread some lilikoi butter over a slice of tender milk bread, bite, sip your hot black coffee, and exhale. It’s another beautiful summer day ahead of you.