This time of year I start to get antsy for spring. February is over and it should be warm.- except it never actually is.
But the good news is that we can enjoy all the incredibly warming recipes of winter for a little longer. Luckily, we have just the recipe, from a book I am particularly excited about: Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian South. If you aren’t familiar with Katie’s work then you just aren’t reading enough about Italy. The Rome-based journalist has written some of the best food and travel guides for the region. Her first book, Tasting Rome, is an engrossing love letter to the food of one of the world’s greatest food cities. And now her upcoming book explores the cuisine of Italy’s Southern regions.
I am so excited for this book (since my love of Italy is basically unsurpassed) and loved having Katie in the kitchen to showcase one of the book’s recipes. She shared her Polpette Casce e Ovo - essentially bread ‘meatballs’. They are doughy delights and perfect for staying inside and eating to your heart’s content.
I hate to sound old enough to say I've enjoyed following someone's career, but apparently today I'm going to. I have loved watching whatever Eden Grinshpan does next. She is a barrel of laughs and a breath of fresh air wherever she goes. I first interviewed her when she had a show on Cooking Channel. She has since moved on host Top Chef Canada and now she has opened her first restaurant, Dez. It combines all of her Israeli, Middle Eastern and other travel experiences into one spirited and flavorful fast casual spot.
And since I can't possibly pick a favorite I decided instead to pick her brain about mezzes. It's an all-encompassing word but it can help outline one of the best appetizer plans possible.
Lately it seems everyone I talk to has a mild obsession with Sicily. The Southern Italian island for years was passed over in favor of more glamorous places like Amalfi, Rome and Lake Como. But something interesting happened in the last decade or so: the casual, less polished nature of Sicily has become more interesting to travelers as the world has become more globalized and every city starts to feel like it has the same 30 stores. I was excited this year to finally get a chance to see this unique part of the country.
So like any set of recommendations, this one comes from too-short a time and not possibly having all the information. But I can tell you what I liked from my trip and what are the safe bets that I enjoyed.
While Palermo and its environs are definitely on my list, for this trip we focused on the Eastern portion of Sicily. You can certainly drive around the entire island but if you only have a week or so I would try and stick to one general area, otherwise you'll be in a car the entire time. You can rent a house or stay in a hotel - there are great options for both. We did a hotel in Taormina and then we were in a house the rest of the time.
I'm not sure there's any job dreamier than traveling around the country getting paid to eat the most exciting things you can find. But that's the gig Casey Webb has with the new iteration of The Travel Channel's Man V. Food. We sat down with the host to ask him our 5 Questions
I recently went to Puglia and discovered something both amazing and intuitive: when you are faced with the world's best ingredients you don't have to do a lot to make them shine. We learned a recipe that is all about taking the freshness of the sea and keeping it as light and simple as possible.
I know what you're thinking: luaus don't make anyone outside of Hawaii look cool. No one wants to dress up like their dad in a bad Hawaiian shirt.
But I'm here to tell you that that's where you've been going wrong. Hawaiian theme doesn't have to mean pineapples and cheap leis. And that's where Sheldon Simeon comes in.
It's easy to think of lobster whole - unlike most seafood, we are accustomed to seeing them live and swimming around in tanks. But for most of the lobster we eat, it actually goes through a process that is a little more complex.