WCBE

Food

Food

You wouldn't expect a Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic to take you to the sort of place that's wedged between a 99-cent store and a boarded-up meat market.

But that's exactly where I sat down for lunch with Jonathan Gold — at a downtown Los Angeles eatery called El Parian.

Serves 4

Lilli chatni, or cilantro chutney, will most likely be found on every Gujarati family’s kitchen table at dinner time. I make it regularly and always keep a jar of it in the fridge. I love eating it with samosas, on bread, with cheese, or whatever else is happy to sit underneath it while I carry it into my mouth. But when there’s some left over, it also makes for a magnificent curry when combined with chicken.

Julia Ward Howe is renowned as the poet who woke up one night in an inspired state to pen the lyrics of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," the song that would become the victorious psalm of the Civil War.

But what few know is that the writer, reformer and mother of six who wrote those stirring words – "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord" – was adrift in a lonely war of her own, against a husband who sought to control every aspect of her life, from what she wrote to what she ate.

Want to mark this St. Patrick's Day with something beyond the usual corned beef and cabbage (which aren't so traditionally Irish anyway)? Why not mix up your menu with a tasty tray of blaas?

Genius and food have a lot in common. Both nurture, inspire and occasionally intimidate. Some appeal to almost everyone instantly. Others are acquired tastes. So perhaps it's not surprising that, scanning history's greatest minds, we find many were inspired by certain food or drink, repulsed by others —or had some very peculiar dining habits.

Weeknight Kitchen: Potato, Mushroom and Caraway Seed Soup

Mar 10, 2016

Serves 4 to 6

I am very fortunate to have some fabulous people working with me. This recipe comes from my assistant Voi, who grew up in Prague and is a great chef. His style of cooking fits in well with the Eastern European vibe we have going at Chriskitch—solid, hearty fare for folks who do not have time for a lot of fussing around in the kitchen. This is easily a meal in itself.

Nancy Reagan, the influential and stylish former first lady who died on Sunday at 94, was fond of saying: "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong it is until it's in hot water."

Reagan was merely quoting a line attributed to another first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt (though historians have never confirmed whether Roosevelt said it).

Reagan got a chance to test that quip at the 1985 Geneva Summit, when she met the first lady of the Soviet Union, Raisa Gorbachev, over tea, at two tensely choreographed tête-à-têtes.

Nearly one-third of households on SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, still have to visit a food pantry to keep themselves fed, according to data highlighted this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Makes 4 2-piece servings

I wish I could claim responsibility for coming up with the idea of drizzling maple on pizza. I first saw it on the menu of the local bakery of our little Vermont town. The syrup adds a lovely balance to the salty cheese. Trust me.

There's lots of evidence that getting too little sleep is associated with overeating and an increased body weight.

The question is, why? Part of the answer seems to be that skimping on sleep can disrupt our circadian rhythms. Lack of sleep can also alter hunger and satiety hormones.

While a caffeinated workforce is generally a happy one, it may not be an efficient one — at least, not from a planetary point of view, according to the German city of Hamburg. As part of a wider effort to reduce waste and energy consumption, Hamburg has banned the use of coffee pods in government-run buildings, offices and institutions like schools and universities.

Serves 4

Baked butternut squash rubbed with balti spices and filled with salty feta, sweet sun-dried tomatoes and fresh mint. No wonder this is a great veggie dish that is filling and packs a lot of flavor. There is no recipe as such for “balti,” as it actually refers to the pot that the dish is cooked in rather than a particular spice mix. However, across the world you can find balti spice blends and they typically contain the spices I have used in this recipe, so I have called this dish a balti in terms of the particular spicing of the dish.

News that British tea-drinking is on the decline is stirring a tempest in a teapot across the pond. But U.K. leaders might have welcomed such headlines in the 1970s, when the length of the tea break became a major point of political contention.

Weeknight Kitchen: Pork Stir-Fry

Feb 22, 2016

Loren Cordain 

Makes 4 servings

When I was growing up, there was no question of what I wanted for dinner. I wanted glorified "American" food: hamburgers, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese. I dreamed of coming home from school to find my mom pulling a pot roast from the oven, not setting the table with chopsticks and bowls of rice.

It wasn't until I left home for college that I began to miss my mother's cooking and decided to re-create some of her dishes. After a few mishaps and a cupboard full of burnt pans, I decided to look to the Internet for guidance, discovering the wonderful world of food blogs.

In Western culture, it's tradition to wish others a happy New Year. For the Lunar New Year, celebrated this past week, many people with roots in Southeast Asia have another tradition: a dish called Yusheng, which in English translates to "Prosperity Toss" — and which will probably end up on the floor.

This colorful dish, which can also be interpreted as "an increase in abundance," or simply "good luck," comprises raw fish, herbs, spices and fresh and pickled fruits and vegetables. And it is prepared for the specific purpose of throwing up in the air.

Weeknight Kitchen: Orange and Radish Salad

Feb 12, 2016

Serves 2

Narangi aur lal mooli ka salad

Here is another wonderful combination of fruit and raw vegetables that we often use to make our snack foods and salads. I find that it makes a light and delightful first course. This recipe may easily be doubled or tripled.

You can use different types of radishes here: thin white ones, known as mooli in India and the United Kingdom and as small daikon in the United States; red, pink, and white Chinese radishes; and the larger versions of plain red radishes.

For the Midwesterner who likes to eat local, this time of year is a challenge. Browse the produce shelves in middle America — or any place where snow falls in winter — and you'll find carrots from Mexico and peppers from Peru.

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