Author Archives: ajlisy

Squash Blossoms

I used to work with a guy that grew up in Italy. Like me, he loved to cook. I asked him one day — “Alessandro, what’s your favorite thing to make?”, thinking I’d get a pasta dish or a great pizza recipe. “They’re really hard to find, but when I can get them…squash blossoms. No question” As … Continue reading »

Categories: Appetizer | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Blistered Green Beans with Roasted Tomato Almond Pesto

This may just be my new favorite vegetable recipe. Well, let’s say green vegetable because it’s pretty hard to beat a perfect bruschetta in the middle of tomato season. But this is a close second.   The secret is in the caramelization of, well, everything. The green beans have to be blistered, and the tomatoes charred. The … Continue reading »

Categories: Side, Vegetable | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mmmm Mofongo

The first time I heard about mofongo was on the Food Network. The host was interviewing the chef at Benny’s Seafood (I’m guessing it was Benny) in Miami, famous for their authentic Puerto Rican fare. What struck me about Benny’s take on mofongo wasn’t the flavors, or colors, or textures — it was the way he put … Continue reading »

Categories: Dinner | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cooking Up Some Kimchi

Kimchi is a controversial dish around my house. It all started about 4 years ago — the first time I attempted homemade kimchi. You see, kimchi, more than just about any other food I know, seems to be designed from the beginning to to be pungent. Start with cabbage, no olfactory picnic on its own, … Continue reading »

Categories: Dinner, Snack | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Roasted Duck with Duck Fat Spaetzle

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite days to cook. It’s a great excuse to make something extravagant, while avoiding the mobbed, amateur-hour restaurant prix fixe meals. It’s a time to break out that special bottle of wine you’ve been saving, try a complicated new recipe (or dig out an old favorite), and enjoy a … Continue reading »

Categories: Dinner | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Monster From the Deep

I’ve always been a little apprehensive to cook octopus. Read about it on web, and mostly what you’ll find are remedies to make the meat tender. Some advocate hitting it exactly 73 times against a rock near the water front (yes, has to be along the water front). Others say you have to leave it … Continue reading »

Categories: Appetizer, Dinner | Leave a comment

Grandpa’s Dumplings

Growing up, my mom’s mom was the undisputed queen of the dumpling. My maternal grandma and grandpa owned a Czech restaurant called the Country Kitchen (no relation to the chain) that specialized in all the favorites: roast pork and dumplings, svickova (marinated beef with a sour cream gravy), koprova (dill pot roast, yep, sour cream … Continue reading »

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My Favorite Chicken

Some of my favorite kinds of recipes are the ones that don’t require a lot of effort, but taste like they’ve been in the works all day. Mussels definitely fit the bill, but when I’m looking for an entire dinner, my go to is a chicken recipe that I made up a few years ago … Continue reading »

Categories: Dinner | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Showin’ Off Your Mussels

Mussels are a special occasion food — the best I’ve ever had was at the Auberge du Soleil hotel bar in Napa, California. The Auberge bar is perched on a hill, overlooking the entire valley. The cocktails were great, the mussels were spectacular. Sure, a big part of the experience was the view and the … Continue reading »

Categories: Appetizer, Bread, Dinner | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Barbecue in a Japanese Grill

Kamado grills, which most Americans know by the Big Green Egg brand, are renowned for rock-solid temperature control, a wide range of cooking intensities, and incredibly barbecue flavor. Costco recently carried the Vision Kamado grill, which is a pretty strong competitor to the Big Green Egg at a great price. I picked one up recently, … Continue reading »

Categories: Dinner | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment