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December 12, 2006

Peppercorns (Recipe: Grandma's beef brisket) {gluten-free}

Peppercorns

With apologies to Sesame Street (go ahead and sing along — you know the tune):

Three of these things belong together,
Three of these things are kind of the same.
Can you guess which peppercorn is not a pepper,
Even though it has the same name?

If you guessed pink, you're a star! Black, white and green peppercorns are all fruit of the same plant (Piper nigrum), picked at different stages and processed in different ways. Pink peppercorns are the fruit of Schinus terebinthifolius, cultivated only since the 1980s.

Continue reading "Peppercorns (Recipe: Grandma's beef brisket) {gluten-free}" »

October 30, 2006

Kasha/buckwheat groats (Recipe: kasha varnishkes) {vegetarian}

Kasha

The Ninecooks World Cuisine Cooking Group — yes, nine of us! — gathers in my kitchen every six weeks or so, to explore the cuisine of a different country or region.

This week, we were off to western Russia, with recipes from Moldavia, Byelorussia (aka "White Russia"), and Georgia. And, though most of the recipes were new to me, I included one from my own family's heritage: kasha varnishkes.

Kasha is buckwheat kernels that have been stripped of their inedible outer coating and crushed into smaller pieces, and then toasted in oil to bring out the nutty flavor. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it's actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel.

Continue reading "Kasha/buckwheat groats (Recipe: kasha varnishkes) {vegetarian}" »

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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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