Summer Ceviche Salad with Fresh Papalo
Recipes Summer Ceviche Salad with Fresh Papalo

The vendor had noticed us ogling her herbs. “It’s papalo! Here, take some with you,” she chirped. “I’ll write the word down for you. It’s from Mexico. Use it like cilantro.” At the next stand over, we scored some gray sole and returned home with arms full of tomatoes, onions, lettuces, cucumbers and this unfamiliar herb. A quick web search revealed that papalo is indeed native to Mexico, and it grows like a weed across the Southwest US as well as Central and South America.

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Recipes The Tunacado Salad: You Can’t Tuna Fish!

When it comes to a surplus, some foods are easier to wrangle than others. Extra apples become applesauce and apple butter. Easy. Extra peaches become preserves. No problem. Extra cabbage becomes sauerkraut or kimchi. Cucumbers, beans, onions and carrots become pickles. But what happens when you come across a great sale on tuna? Well, as it turns out, that, too can be preserved. J and I are huge fans of the oil-packed tuna that typically comes in jars from Spain and Italy, but those are not cheap .

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Recipes Smorgasbord: A Defense Against Doldrums

The stale, crusty edge of winter lingers forever, it seems. And while I know Shakespeare called April the “cruelest month,” I feel February is a strong contender for the title. What’s to be done with these days in which citrus season is closing and spring shoots and greens are still weeks away? I’ll throw in my vote for that greatest of Swedish traditions… and no, I don’t mean IKEA, I mean the Smorgasbord .

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Food Quote Friday: Palme Vidar

On Iceland: “‘This is a small country,’ he says. ‘We have always swung, between feast and famine. There have been terrible times before, too, when the sheep bubble burst and the herring fleet failed. We always hang on. And you know, we were not going in a good direction. When I was a boy, if you went to the harbour to fish and you got wet, you could not fish again until the next day, because you had only one pair of trousers.

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Dinner with Sarah Palin’s Glazed Salmon

Watching the debates tonight? Why not really get to know the candidate and dine Sarah Palin style? My crafty contact M. in the Bay area used Google’s 10th anniversary index yesterday to check around for what the potential Republican veep was cooking up a decade ago. Turns out, she was glazing salmon and submitting her recipes to AlaskaSeafood.org. SWEET AND SAUCY GRILLED SALMON Recipe by Alaska Fisherman Sarah Palin

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Travel On Swordfish Heads & Side Trips

Invariably, travels take people to some big destination city. After all, that’s where the airports are, and said destination city is probably chock-full of wealth and wonders, museums and mausoleums. But there’s something infinitely charming and memorable about the little side trips on the way to and from those destination cities. Is the delight of the small locale wrapped up in its lack of options? Are they winsome because big cities offer predictable experiences and guidebook-ready hot spots, while little villages and tiny towns pop up into your world with no expectations at all?

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Food Quote Friday: Nikolai Gogol

" ‘And bake us a four-cornered fish pie,’ he said, sucking the air through his teeth and inhaling deeply. ‘In one corner I want you to put the sturgeon cheeks and the gristle cooked soft, in another throw in some buckwheat, and then some mushrooms and onions, and some sweet milt, and the brains, and whatever else, you know the sort of thing. And make sure that on the one side it’s — you know — a nice golden brown, but not so much on the other side.

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Recipes No stove, please. I’ll have ceviche.

Bah! Cooking… Who needs it? With the temps the 80s and high humidity all week, I just can’t get excited about turning on the oven when I come home from work. Raw-food diets suddenly begin to seem more attractive. J and I try to maintain a Fish n’ Film Friday dinner (it’s a great mnemonic device to keep fish in our diets), but the thought of turning on the stove last week was just… too… much.

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Recipes Tapas Party in a Jar

One of the great things about serving tapas is that it’s just good, simple food. Score a cheap rioja and a Spanish cheese, slice a sausage, make a nice salad and open a bunch of jars. In Spain, they actually put tasty things in jars. I have a favorite Spanish salad recipe that’s made up of bacalao , oranges, tomatoes and green olives. This might sound strange if you’re not accustomed to sweet and savory salads, but this kind of flavor combination is very ordinary in the Mediterranean.

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Food Quote Friday: Gary Johnson

“How simple life is. We buy a fish. We are fed. We sit close to each other, we talk and then we go to bed.” — Gary Johnson from You made crusty bread rolls…

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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