As the temperatures gradually begin to rise, our thoughts turn to alfresco dining and outdoor grilling. Come spring, I also like to dust off the smoker that’s been standing by idly in my basement all winter long. Nothing hardcore, just an electric smoker, but it does the job. I love its ease of use: turn … Continue Reading

My love and appreciation for Mexican food developed when I moved to Chicago in 2001. What does Chicago have to do with Mexican food? While Chicago is of course nowhere close to Mexico, it has the second largest population of Mexican immigrants in the United States (Los Angeles is first). That statistic is from 2014, so … Continue Reading

  I love harissa.  Have you tried it?  It’s a North African chile paste, a blend of dried chiles, spices, and olive oil. You could use store-bought harissa, but I prefer to make it myself. When you make harissa, you control the ingredients and level of heat, make it more or less spicy by the … Continue Reading

There was a time when I didn’t think I liked chicken.  But what I really didn’t like was dry, boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  A whole roast chicken is a completely different story.  A whole roast chicken is divine. Today, I tried out a new preparation for whole roast chicken.  And I have to say, it … Continue Reading

I’m always on the hunt for new flavors.  This dish definitely hits the mark. Its flavors are bold and exciting.  A combination of flavor that I’ve not previously experienced. The base for the sauce is a kroeung, the Cambodian term for a spice/herb blend.  This version includes lemongrass, lime leaves and zest, dried red chiles, … Continue Reading