Technique: How to clean leeks

Leeks are lovely and delicious, but when you look under the hood you discover their dark side. They are full of gritty dirt that has to be washed away completely before you can cook with them. If you’ve ever tasted a dish with leeks that weren’t thoroughly cleaned, you know the tell-tale crunch, the hard…

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Ingredient: Leeks

It’s not that leeks frequent the Lebanese table. It’s that they frequent so many dishes across the board, giving dimension and making everything taste better. At Tante Marie’s, there were many ingredients at the ready every day for our cooking, and leeks were among them. I’ve been eyeing a super simple recipe for leeks in…

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Ingredient: Rice

The Lebanese dishes are countless that include rice as a component. If rice isn’t there in a stuffing of some sort, it’s underneath as a beautiful, and delicious, bed that soaks up juices and contributes to the overall nutritive value of the plate. When we make rice as an accompaniment to dishes like baked eggplant…

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Lebanese Olive Salad, and Our Town

I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that olive bars in the supermarket are as typical now as the salad bar once was. The IGA here in Harbor Springs has a great little olive bar that I perused closely the other night. It was a Friday evening, not many people out getting groceries up here…

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Technique: How to pit an olive

I used to try to pit firm olives with a cherry-pitting tool, until I learned a better way in culinary school that makes for a simple, and downright satisfying, process (and it’s the same one used to loosen the skin from a clove of garlic): Rest the olive on a cutting board. Lay a chef’s…

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Ingredient: Olives

One thing I love about being in the first year of this blog is that we get to cover so many essentials of the Lebanese way of eating. Olives rank right up there with flatbread and labne when it comes to staples in the fridge and on the table. Or on the kitchen counter, since…

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Fried Cauliflower, and this time last year

Fried cauliflower with tahini sauce

I’m thinking a lot about culinary school this week, because it was exactly one year ago that I entered the professional program at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. I had just left my job of many years in Chicago and felt the exhilaration of starting something new, and hard won. The house I…

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Ingredient: Cauliflower

You knew I had to come out with a vegetable this week after all of that meat. Does it surprise you that cauliflower turns up in Lebanese cuisine? It’s there, in virtually every Lebanese cookbook I own, as well as on our table in a few simple, but delicious, dishes. There is nothing more mouth-watering…

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