Easiest grilled squid, with a nod to Spain

On our Spain tours we’ve enjoyed some amazing seafood. Spaniards (like Sicilians) cook squid and octopus fearlessly, and most of the time it’s tender and delicious, with none of that “rubber-eraser” texture. I’ve always been a bit afraid to cook them at home due to that risk. However, last weekend we decided to throw caution to the wind and cook a squid appetizer on the grill!

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Seville Orange Marmalade

I usually make several kinds of jam each summer, but had never made any winter citrus marmalade. This weekend I decided to do something about that, and went in search of Seville oranges. One local shop had some; February is a good time to find them. So, I bought 7 oranges (which turned out to be a lot, most recipes called for 4 or 5).

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Southern-Italian-inspired baked whole fish, and pasta with garlic and hot pepper

For dinner last night we made two dishes inspired by our travels in southern Italy, both very easy and delicious. One was a whole black sea bass, which we seasoned and baked. The other was spaghetti with a simple and flavorful topping.

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A recipe on the lighter side – Spicy Thai Steamed Mussels

In January I start to crave dishes that are a bit lighter than the holiday fare, aren’t too fussy to make, and are warm and satisfying. Seafood usually fits that bill well, and especially mussels. Last weekend I made this dish, it was easy and delicious, and I remembered to get some good bread to dip in the sauce. The full recipe is below the photos.

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Tuscan Ribollita – a hearty traditional vegetable, bean, and bread stew

Yesterday was the perfect day to make a big batch of comfort food – a Tuscan vegetable stew called Ribollita. We make this dish during one of the cooking classes with Chef Piero on the Tuscany food tour, but I had yet to make it at home.

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Spanish Membrillo – a quince paste your Manchego cheese is begging for

While visiting Spain earlier this year (working on creating two new Zingerman’s Food Tours), I got to taste a wonderful fruit-paste-and-manchego-cheese appetizer. I learned that the fruit paste was called Membrillo, and is made from fresh quince.

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Chewy Ginger Cookies

I love ginger in almost any form. A few years ago a friend gave me this recipe for chewy ginger-molasses cookies with chunks of candied ginger in them, and they’ve become one of my all-time favorite cookies. And, they’re easy to make with either regular flour, or, gluten-free flour.

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Grilled Whole Lake Trout with Garlic and Thyme

If you’re looking for a main dish that’s quick and easy to make, delicious, and makes for a dramatic presentation, whole grilled fish is a great way to go.

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Pork Tenderloin with Plum Chutney

The plums have just stared coming in to the markets, and I was in the mood to make a dish that reminded me of Tuscany, so this pork tenderloin recipe using fresh herbs, pancetta, and plums was just the thing. It was slightly fussy to make in that you tie it up with string, but that only took a few minutes, and the results were so worth it! Full recipe follows at the bottom of my description.

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French Sorrel Soup, with a nod to Julia Child

Sorrel is one of the very first plants to come up in the spring in my front yard, and after only a few weeks it’s so prolific I have plenty to make soup with, as well as to enjoy in salads. So, last weekend I made my first batch of sorrel soup, based on Julia Child’s recipe.

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