Honoring Fukushima: Japanese-Style Chicken and Rice

March 27, 2012

By Riki Shore Earlier this month marked the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that hit the Tohoku region of Japan. Mass evacuations and ruined homes disrupted lives and created support communities across Japan and abroad. Tens of thousands of people remain refugees, living in encampments that no doubt stopped seeming temporary long ago. Some will never return home. People across the world strained to offer help in any way they could. In her Tokyo apartment, cookbook author and educator Elizabeth Andoh, born in the US but making Japan her home for more than 40 years, resolved […]

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Spiced Pecans

March 24, 2012

By Riki Shore Candied, toasted or spiced nuts are a staple in our house. We snack on them, eat them on the go, add them to salads and stir-fries, and call them dessert. Recipes for spiced nuts abound. One common method calls for tossing a frothy egg white with the nuts and spices; when baked, the egg white acts as a binder and creates a delicate crust on the outside of the nuts. The result can be delicious, but I prefer a less fussy technique. These spiced pecans are tossed with melted butter, spices, sugar and salt. Once evenly coated, […]

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Asian Beef Braise

March 20, 2012

By Riki Shore The other day I was flipping through an issue of Food & Wine when I came across a recipe for Asian beef shanks. It called for browning the shanks, then cooking them on the stovetop, but I immediately thought I could adapt it to the slow cooker. Doing so meant I could prep it in the morning and come home to a fully prepared meal at dinnertime. A lot of Asian-inspired dishes are a balance of sweet and savory, achieved by adding sugar to marinades and sauces. This particular recipe (most likely more American than Asian) called […]

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Tuna Gigande Bean Salad

March 16, 2012

By Riki Shore Sometimes you need shortcuts. I don’t like to do it, but this week I needed it. I don’t know what it is about Daylight Savings Time. It’s only one hour, but every six months I feel like I’ve flown across the ocean and back. I stumble around the kitchen in the morning, but can’t get to sleep at night. I’m restless and antsy and unfocused. On top of that, winter turned into summer here in North Carolina. The temps went up into the 80s and, for the first time in a couple of years, it was humid […]

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Roasted Pineapple with Star Anise and Vanilla Bean

March 8, 2012

By Riki Shore I recently posted about using pineapple in a pork stir-fry. Pineapple, with its sweet-tart tanginess, is a great addition to savory foods. It pairs naturally with pork and makes a great salsa for fish and shrimp. Another great use of pineapple is to roast it with a little sugar and spice for a delectable dessert topping. The sugar mellows out the acidic note, while the spices accentuate the tropical flavor. Roasting slowly softens the fruit and brings it to the edge of caramelization. I used to make this all throughout the Chicago winters at Charlie Trotter’s, where […]

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Pickled Kumquats

March 5, 2012

By Riki Shore When I first moved to LA, now two years ago, I had a great lunch at Little Flower Candy Company. It was a simple salmon salad accented with thin slices of pickled kumquat. I had never eaten pickled kumquat before that lunch and the way the teensy slivers packed an enormous punch of flavor astounded me. I’ve wanted to make pickled kumquats ever since. In LA, kumquats, like all citrus, grow all over the place. It’s easy to find yourself with a pound of the jewel-like fruits for free, handed over by a friend or neighbor. In […]

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Pork Stir-Fried with Spinach, Onions and Pineapple

February 28, 2012

By Riki Shore Although not local to any of the 48 mainland states, pineapple is a great winter fruit. It’s high in manganese, vitamin C and bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion. Pineapple’s sweet-tart flavor is a welcome addition to many dishes: it can be used as a marinade for pork, baked with sugar and vanilla for dessert, or sliced raw for snacking. When I buy pineapple, I test it for ripeness first by plucking a center leaf from its top, which should come off easily. Then I turn it upside down and sniff the bottom, which should smell […]

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Wild Salmon Salad

February 24, 2012

By Riki Shore When Rob was working at home, we had the luxury of eating lunch together several times a week. We’d often have a hot meal: grilled chicked salad or lamb burgers or fritatta stuffed with swiss chard. Now that he’s working in an office again, he needs to pack a lunch. Of course, there’s a cafeteria where he can supplement his packed lunch, but that gets expensive in a hurry, so I try to have some lunchbox staples on hand. Around our house, Rob takes care of breakfast, usually fried eggs for Stella and an omelet for me. […]

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Moroccan Beef Stew with Dried Apricots

February 19, 2012

By Riki Shore We’ve had so many days in the 50s and 60s this winter, it almost hasn’t felt like winter at all. But today snow is in the forecast and the mercury isn’t rising above 40. Given that it’s Sunday afternoon with nothing much to do, it’s a perfect day to make chicken stock, roast some vegetables, or stir up a pot of beef stew. About two weeks ago we were invited to a potluck where the host had a pot simmering on the stove. The whole house was filled with the aroma of spices like cinnamon, cloves and […]

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Bacon and Onion Omelet

February 16, 2012

By Riki Shore Once I hit 41, migraine headaches, which had plagued me during my teen years, came back with a vengeance. Although I feel lousy when one strikes, I know I’m faring better than a lot of my friends who suffer headaches that keep them in bed with the shades drawn. A couple weeks ago I had just made dinner when another migraine hit. Halfway through the meal I laid my head on the dining table, unable to talk or eat. I was in bed before Stella, and slept through the whole night. The next morning I was feeling […]

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