Simplest, Beefiest Pot Roast

A real staple of the American home kitchen is pot roast—a piece of beef long-cooked in liquid (that’s why it’s in a pot), and in the oven for evenness of cooking (that’s why it’s a roast). But the pot-roast memories of some of us are tainted by what mom did to it: bless her soul, she committed the unpardonable sin of serving the meat dry and/or tough. It doesn’t have to be that way.

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Shrimp Madras

The language of old-fashioned Indian menus in American restaurants was a kind of code. “Madras” this or “Madras” that didn’t tell you that the dish in question was an authentic creation from that great Indian city; it told you that your “curry” will have tomatoes in it. The following recipe has ‘em, and curry powder as well–for as our restaurants have demonstrated over and over again, “authentic” is not a pre-requisite for “delicious.”

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WINE WEDNESDAY: David’s Wine of the Week

2012 Milbrandt Vineyards Merlot, Traditions, Columbia Valley, Washington ($14.99)

I’m always looking for rich reds from the west coast that manage to preserve some European-style elegance. Bingo! Eastern Washington is a good place to hunt for reds like these; the desert-like terroir gets ‘em ripe, but the extremely cold nights keep the acid up. Merlot from the Columbia Valley is no surprise; the world started taking notice of this varietal in this place about 25 years ago.

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Photo Essay From Italy!

Heaven. I’m in heaven. And my heart beats so that I can hardly eat any more pasta…

Yes! I’m back in Emilia-Romagna, my favorite eatin’ region in all of Italy!

But this trip has an extra spin: fine cars for us to drive!

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Cabbage Soup with Paprika, Kielbasa and Raisins

There’s a wonderful paradox in this soup (Waiter! There’s a paradox in my soup!): it’s filled with hearty ingredients and hearty flavors–and yet, the overall feel of the soup is light and delicate. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser!

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