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July 12, 2012

Crushed garlic in a jar (Recipe: moqueca a baiana, Brazilian fish stew)

First published in November 2006, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. I learned the original recipe for this Brazilian fish stew from Botucatu Restaurant in Boston, which closed a couple of years ago.


Another scandalous confession: I always have crushed garlic in a jar in my fridge.


I can hear the screams. "What is she doing with that stuff in her pantry???"

Well, right up front, let me say that garlic in a jar is never ever better than fresh minced garlic. Never. Ever.

So why do I always have a jar on hand?

Continue reading "Crushed garlic in a jar (Recipe: moqueca a baiana, Brazilian fish stew)" »

January 13, 2011

West Bay jonnycake recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}


Thin and lacy, or thick and crusty? If you're not from Rhode Island, you might never understand the fierce allegiance people have to jonnycakes, our indigenous white cornmeal pancakes. Those who live east of Narragansett Bay prefer thin cakes made with milk. On my side of the Bay, we like them thick, made with water, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Both types taste best with a pat of real butter and a splash of pure maple syrup, though you can go in a completely different direction with the addition of some roasted green chiles or sun-dried tomatoes. Jonnycakes are a popular fixture at church breakfasts throughout Rhode Island, and a delicious gluten-free alternative to pancakes. Use yellow cornmeal if you can't find the "real" thing, Kenyon's white cornmeal ground right here in the Ocean State.

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January 11, 2011

Recipe for tofu and green bean stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce {vegetarian}

Tofu and green bean stir fry

Here in Rhode Island, when snow is on the way, everyone runs to the store for milk and bread. My pantry always holds a full complement of Asian condiments, plus several types of rice to steam up in my little rice cooker, so I run to the store for fresh ingredients to mix and match in enough stir-fry dishes to see us through any storm. This recipe takes one of my basic stir-fry sauces and gives it a twist with the addition of peanut butter. The amount of Sriracha makes this moderately spicy, so adjust for your own heat tolerance. These days, you can find Sriracha in most grocery stores, but if you don't have it on hand, a few red pepper flakes will stand in nicely.

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January 6, 2011

Recipe for curried chicken salad with bell pepper, peanuts and raisins

Curried chicken salad

Every weekend I make chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken I nibble on throughout the week, but this past weekend I made the real deal, chicken stock from scratch. That left me with a whole bird's worth of boiled chicken meat that had given up most of its goodness, with just enough flavor and texture left for a chicken salad with an assertive dressing. I make the sauce with Miracle Whip, because I love it, and with hot curry powder, because I love that. Sweet curry powder kicked up with a tiny pinch of cayenne makes a fine substitute, or omit the heat altogether if you wish. Peanuts and raisins are traditional curry garnishes that seem right at home in this dish.

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January 4, 2011

Recipe for espresso chocolate custard cups

Espresso chocolate cups

A recipe adapted from Nirmala's Edible Diary, a South American cookbook I received as a holiday gift from my friend Laura, this rich, yet not overly sweet, espresso chocolate custard sustained my husband Ted through a long New England blizzard. It's cooked over the gentle heat of a double boiler; if you don't have one, improvise as I do, by setting a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water. I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips, which melted smoothly and saved a bit of chopping. The original recipe called for whole milk. I had skim milk and heavy cream on hand, and combined the two -- and it worked.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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