Citrus fruits are at their peak right now and are perfect for adding bright flavor to dishes as diners look forward to spring. California cookbook writer Viana La Place said citrus is the perfect addition to myriad dishes. "There’s the extraordinary fragrance and its palate-cleansing quality. Citrus wakes up your taste buds. And it brings out the other flavours that you are using, too."
The new cookbook "The Gaza Kitchen" includes classic Palestinian recipes and little-known stories including the region's quest for a sustainable local agriculture. "For us, describing life in the homes, family economy, households, was really important," said co-author Maggie Schmitt, "because that side of the story in Gaza is almost completely unknown and underrepresented."
Kosher wines, which have long had a reputation for being cheap, unrefined and syrupy, have made leaps and bounds in the past few years, as experienced Napa Valley vintners produce high-end bottles costing as much as $100.
"I didn't know that our wines would be so well received in both the Jewish world and the non-Jewish world," Jeff Morgan, winemaker at Covenant. "That has been very gratifying because it's nice to know that the whole world realizes that kosher wine can also just be great wine."
Humble French toast can become extraordinary with some tweaks. One recipe calls for stuffing it with a cream-cheese filling, another for topping it with asparagus and an orange-infused beurre blanc sauce.
Chef Chris Blinde cooks with local seafood and produce he can find at nearby farmers markets. He also serves up small plates to encourage sharing and give his restaurant a community feel. A fish dish that combines all of those aspects is his Pan-roasted halibut with cherry tomato, basil sauce.