Culinary History Mystery 6 – Tomato Eggs

Tomato Eggs is a home-cooked Chinese dish that reminds students, travelers, and those living abroad of home. Just a whiff of this cooking and folks will tell tales of sitting in or near the kitchen as a kid as a parent made this dish – and how good it tasted! it is simple, elegant, and savory, and less than 10 – 15 minutes from wok … Read more

Global Table Adventure – Pakistan

I am honored once again to have Sasha Martin adapt recipes from The Silk Road Gourmet for her explorations of global cuisines at Global Table Adventure. This past week she has cooked three recipes from Pakistan from Volume One of my book: Rice with Pine Nuts and Garlic, Mixed Bean Salad and Sweet Coffee with Cinnamon and Cardamom. The dishes have never looked more beautiful … Read more

Omani Kofta at Global Table Adventure

Friend of the Silk Road Gourmet, Sasha Martin of Global Table Adventure has prepared Omani Kofta from a recipe donated by yours truly. The recipe is for sausages that can be made from beef or lamb and flavored with cumin, and cinnamon. These are then bathed in a rich zucchini sauce full of parsley and mint. Delicious, easy to prepare, and as the photo of … Read more

Silk Road “Muslim-Grilled” Steak

This is a dish that is served all over China. In the east and southeast it is called “Muslim Grilled” and in the west and northwest it is just called “steak” or “beef”. Tender meat rubbed with onion and garlic or given a light coat of the ground vegetables mingles with crushed cumin and black cumin along with lots of black pepper, some Szechuan pepper … Read more

Making a Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear

The phrase, “You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear,” was coined by Johnathan Swift’s punster Mr. Neverout in A Complete Collection of Polite and Ingenious Conversation In Several Dialogues published in 1738. When quill touched cotton, the phrase was used to refer to the strange character of Sir John. Mr. Neverout uses it to proclaim that Sir John, being of low birth, … Read more

A Roman Holiday

When in Rome – we did as the tourists do. With our young children in tow, we spent unspeakably hot days touring the Forum and Coliseum; spent a morning in the Capitoline Museum and an afternoon on the Palatine Hill under the pines of Rome. Being raised in my father’s Italian-American hometown, every face seemed familiar to me – dark hair, big brown eyes, aquiline … Read more

Afghan Cardamom Cookies

Today I’m cooking for a holiday get together with friends we’re having this evening, but wanted to share a delicious recipe with you that is just perfect for this time of year. These Afghan cardamom cookies are spicy and savory, and deliver a blast of cardamom flavor as they melt in your mouth. They are also really simple to make, and take no more than … Read more

Autumn on the Silk Road Means . . . Pickles!

Cucumbers, capers, ginger, garlic, peppers, beans, asparagus, onions: Any vegetable out there – and quite a few fruits as well make excellent pickles. All along the Silk Road, harvest time and the weeks and months that follow are a time when, in many traditional cultures, foods are salted or pickles or otherwise preserved to provide a bountiful table in the cold winter months that follow. … Read more

Ramadan Kareem

The time of Ramadan is almost upon us once again. Since so many of the land and maritime routes of the Silk Road ran through predominantly Muslim countries, and since Muslim traders played such an important role in moving the goods and ideas around that led to a globalization of the ancient world, I wanted to take a moment to explain the holiday to non-Muslims … Read more

Bangladesh, My Bangladesh!

Those of you who have been reading The Silk Road Gourmet for a while know that Bangladesh has a special place in my heart. I have been there many times and am in love with the country and the people and their endless ingenuity in making the best of their home on a semi-hospitable flood plain. In slightly less than 40 years since independence, the … Read more

An Ode to Arab Cuisine

For those of you who think I’ve made an error in omitting the Levant States from The Silk Road Gourmet – you may be right. Originally, I intended to do a follow on to the Silk Road Gourmet that treated the cuisines of the Maghreb and Levant, but the more cooking I do from these countries (especially Arab cooking), the more I understand their influence … Read more

A Silk Road Gourmet Thanksgiving

With the US’s Thanksgiving Day rapidly approaching, I thought I’d offer a few recipes from the first volume of The Silk Road Gourmet to help you blend Silk Road cookery with traditional fare for the holiday feast. The first recipe and centerpiece of the meal is to be found in Iran’s wonderful Lamb with Cardamom and Pomegranate Sauce. It is an original recipe based on … Read more

Lamb Kebabs with Star Anise and Mint

I’ve had a major change of scenery lately that involves getting up at five and out to a job that I love but that is far from home. No more getting paid to write big thoughts at the kitchen table and subsequently less time for the blog as well. To celebrate the change, I’m calling all readers to contribute posts to the blog – travel … Read more