Lamb Shanks with Extra Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

This is a meal for the deep, deep winter. Lamb shanks need several hours of roasting to get to falling-off-the-bone-tenderness, but they’re so worth the wait! I’ve paired them with aligot, or as I think of it, extra cheesy mashed potatoes. Only the French could take something as good as mashed potatoes and melt mild cheese into them for the most over-the-top, heavenly, mind-blowing potatoes ever. If you’ve never tried them, you should, because they might be the best thing […]



We spent most of the waking hours of last Sunday immersed in “The Godfather,” Parts One and Two. (We never speak of Part Three in our house; The Godfather, Part Three is the Fredo of the film world – the sorrow and disappointment at its very existence is more than the family can bear.) Watching Clemenza teach Michael how to mix up a batch of red sauce got me thinking about Italian food, and mentally flipping through my Italian recipe […]

Cherry Sage Smash on

Cherry Sage Smash

I was wandering in the garden, making mental notes of spots that would need planting in the spring, and was surprised to find my sage plants pushing sturdily through the snow. It was such a surprise to see something green and harvest-able at this point in the winter; this sage, I thought, deserves to be appreciated. Sage makes a particularly aromatic addition to a winter cocktail, so I put this recipe together based on what I had in the fridge. […]

Nasi Goreng on

Nasi Goreng with Forbidden Rice

I first ate nasi goreng in the late seventies, when I worked as a research assistant at a Washington think tank. I had been befriended by one of the secretaries, a wonderful Dutch lady who had lived an exotic and harrowing life: raised in Indonesia before World War II, she spent her teenage years in a Japanese internment camp in unimaginably horrible circumstances. Later, as an adult, she lived in Saudi Arabia with her husband and children, where one afternoon […]

Martha Washington’s Crab Soup on

Martha Washington’s Crab Soup

There’s nothing like a 250-year old recipe to be really…disappointing. Our ideas about great food change with time. We have so many more food choices today, ingredient options that the founding fathers and mothers wouldn’t have had, and such a varied range of cuisines that have altered and opened the American palate that finding a historic recipe and making it work for modern tastes requires some adaptation. This recipe for Martha Washington’s crab soup would have been considered an elegant […]