Italian-style vegetable stew

Vegetables, pesto and tomato sauce. What can be simpler? But a vegetable stew, when properly cooked, is anything but simple. With just the right amount of aromatics, and slow and careful cooking, a vegetable stew is a carnival of colors and aromas and textures. And, by using … [Read more...]


Cheese-topped skillet potatoes

The potatoes are boiled, cooled and sliced. A skillet is generously smeared with butter. The sliced potatoes are arranged, slightly overlapping, along the outer edge of the skillet. An inner circle of tomato slices follow. And, finally, at the center, chopped bell pepper and … [Read more...]


Bruschetta with spinach, tomato and cheese

If you're wondering what the difference is between bruschetta and crostini, it has more to do with the preparation than with the size and thinness of the bread. Both bruschetta and crostini are Italian terms for toast bread. Generally, crostini are smaller and thinner. But … [Read more...]


Roasted eggplants and tomato salsa

When we were in the supermarket last Sunday, Sam picked up a bag of eggplants. Unfortunately for her, the eggplants didn't get cooked before we drove her back to the condo the following day. It is Wednesday already, the eggplants won't stay nice and fresh much longer so I … [Read more...]


Easy pork, corn, tomatoes and basil lunch

It's the kind of dish that has everything in it -- meat, vegetables and herbs. What inspired it? Mexican staples, mostly. Fresh tomatoes and oregano make a classic combination; so do tomatoes and basil. Mexican cuisine uses a lot of pork and corn. I thought I put them all … [Read more...]


Sun-dried tomatoes

It was from Biba Caggiano that I first learned about sun-dried tomatoes. She would add a few to her pasta sauce -- apart from all the tomato sauce made from her food mill -- and she'd raved about how much tastier the sauce always turned out. It wasn't until years later that … [Read more...]


Olympic chili coco chicken

We didn't get to see the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics live on August 8. We would have missed it forever if it weren't for a replay yesterday morning. I didn't even know there was a scheduled replay until about 30 minutes before it started. I had to decide about … [Read more...]