low angle shot of the dish with the sauce and limes in the background

Thai Fish Cakes or Tod Mun Pla

Thai Fish Cakes or Tod Mun Pla are loaded with the flavors of lemongrass, cilantro, and hot chilies. This recipe uses Thai curry paste, which provides layers of flavor without … Read more

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp

Air Fryer Bang Bang Shrimp is kind of a dream come true for me. It’s easy to make (like, really easy!), delicious, and tastes like it’s really naughty but it’s … Read more

Szechuan Shrimp

Szechuan shrimp is spicy and full of flavor. It is perfect for celebrating Chinese New Year or any occasion. And it’s easy to make, too! Chinese New Year is the … Read more

Salt Cod Tartlets with Cilantro-Jalapeno Sauce

salt cold tartlets with radishes

Salt cod—or any salt fish—is one of life’s beautiful accidents, a genius invention born of necessity. Way back when, before refrigeration, some brilliant person (or people) thought to pack fish in salt to preserve it. The salt not only enhances the fish’s flavor, but also intensifies its meaty texture. Versions of salt preserved fish are eaten all over the world, used in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Greek, and Chinese cooking, among others.

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Smoked trout spread on crackers on a cutting board

Super Lemony Smoked Trout Spread

Smoked trout spread on crackers on a cutting board

Have you noticed, attentive readers, how much I love smoked fish? (Permit me to introduce into evidence Exhibit A and Exhibit B.) This is because smoked fish has a very delicious flavor! For lack of a more articulate explanation!

A few weeks ago, a multi-block power failure compromised the menu of the blowout cocktail party my mother was about to start cooking for.

Mom’s next-door neighbor, Marsha, came to the rescue by contributing this delicacy, which requires no electricity to prepare.

I am in no way using hyperbole when I say that I could eat this smoked trout spread every minute of every day forever.

It makes me wish I were a circus seal in training at a really nice circus where they reward obedient seals with this spread, on baguette slices, with a glass of wine.

And a crisp green salad. And the seals live in luxury hotel rooms with an ocean view, spotless bathrooms, and cable TV. That would be cool.

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Sardine salad in a blue bowl with bread on the side

Sardine Salad with Parsley and Lemon

Tapas-style sardine salad makes a good appetizer, lunch, small dinner plate, snack, or even breakfast.
Sardine salad in a blue bowl with bread on the side

I owe a big thank you to my food-loving friend Carolyn for introducing me to this simple, delicious, nutritious sardine salad. (Sardines are packed with vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein! Sardines are not packed with mercury! So says Wikipedia!)

This remarkably concise dish features only four main ingredients, each intensely flavorful. A small bite goes a long way.

And on a scale from effortless to elementary, this recipe’s difficulty rating hovers somewhere around “imbecile-proof.” Sardine-loving imbeciles, rejoice!

Serve with good bread or crackers, along with optional roasted red peppers and/or slices of hard-boiled egg. Makes a delicious small dinner plate, light lunch, or even breakfast for those inclined towards savory morning fare.

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Blini-Style Crepes with Sour Cream, Caviar, and Chives

I’m still at it: making crepes. Yes, I know, making crepes is not necessarily a lazy process, but despite the admittedly non-lazy labor required it’s actually pretty easy. If you can make pancakes, you can make crepes. Read how I do it here. Then try these blini style crêpes with sour cream, caviar, and chives.

Blini style crepes with sour cream, caviar, and chives

Blini, thin pancakes similar to crepes, are a staple of Eastern European cuisine. They’re mandatory party fare for my Ukranian friends, who stack them high on a self-serve platter along with elegant little bowls of sour cream, caviar, and chives for guests to fill to taste. Last weekend I hosted a crepe brunch and took a cue from my droogs. I cheaped out and used capelin roe (the bright orange roe used for sushi) instead of traditional fancy caviar, but I heard no complaints. It’s delicious, lightly salty, and stunningly gorgeous. For variety I also served lox as a filling option, which guests used either with, or instead of, the roe.

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Crepes with Shrimp, Tomato, and Chives

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about one of my favorite things to cook: crepes. (I admit, making crepes is not necessarily a lazy process, but if you’ve never made them before you might be surprised by how simple the technique is—very similar to making pancakes.) As promised in that post, here is one of my favorite crepe filling recipes. This simple sauté of shrimp, tomato, and chives is also delicious served over rice.

Crepes filled with shrimp, tomato, and chives

p.s. This crepe filling was inspired by San Francisco’s beloved Ti Couz restaurant, which closed back in 2011. Miss ya, Ti Couz. 16th Street just isn’t the same without you!

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