stew

Flying high with one of Spain’s top chefs

We give Iberia Airlines credit for hiring superchef Sergi Arola to create the menus for its business class customers. Arola has been one of our favorite Spanish chefs since we met him shortly after he opened his first restaurant in the Hotel Michelangelo in Madrid. His great flair with food was matched only by his deep sense of hospitality. For those of us in coach seats, the airline tortures us every month with an Arola recipe in the inflight magazine, Ronda Iberia. This chicken stew is a great example of a dish that can be reheated and served at 35,000 feet and will still taste good. Arola's unexpected touch is the addition of a vanilla bean. We've adapted it for home use and added an...Read More

A Cayman Islands version of a pepper pot

[caption id="attachment_1149" align="alignleft" width="213" caption="Chef Dean Max"][/caption] As we were pondering how else to use our beautiful Cayman peppers, we were reminded that chef Dean Max is also a big fan. We met him last winter at an "Island Organic" presentation at the Cayman Cookout on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island. When Max isn't presiding over the kitchens of his Miami seafood empire, he's often on Grand Cayman kicking back at the Brasserie, the restaurant he owns with King and Lisa Flowers. For him, one of the pleasures of cooking in the Caribbean is drawing inspiration from local cooks. "I always take the traditional thinking," he said. "We use their technique, but then we add things. Take chicken pepper pot soup. You're making...Read More

Making patatas a la Riojana at home

We don't feel too bad messing around a little with tradition to make this dish with New England provender. This rich stew hails from the Ebro River valley in La Rioja, but until Napoleon brought potatoes to northern Spain in the early 19th century, this dish was made with chestnuts! Of course, nowadays the local potato varieties of the Ebro valley are highly prized—considered by many the tastiest potatoes in Spain. In fact, the Riojanos tend to keep them for themselves. Not only do they have the rich potato flavor of say, a Kennebec, they also keep their shape like a waxy potato while containing enough starch to thicken a broth. We discovered that a mix of waxy potatoes (Red Bliss are the easiest to...Read More

Warming up with green chile chicken stew

[caption id="attachment_428" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Green chile chicken stew"][/caption] El Pinto Restaurant (10500 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, NM, 505-898-1771, www.elpinto.com) may seat up to 1,000 people at a time, yet the quality of the handmade New Mexican food belies the size. Maybe that's because it is a family restaurant run by the grandsons of Josephina Chavez-Griggs. Her daughter Katy opened La Posta de la Mesilla in 1939, and Katy's nephews Jim and John Thomas Meek ("the salsa twins") operate El Pinto. Many of their recipes, though, go back to Josephina. When I was there recently on a cold November night, the green chile chicken stew lifted both the chill and my mood. It's a perfect winter warmer and simple to make at home once you have...Read More