The Ant and the Grasshopper… come for dinner.

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Eating a cricket involves a leap of faith.  I made that leap, along with a hundred and fifty other intrepid eaters at the Little Herds Future Food Salon event at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas last Wednesday night.  Crickets, it turns out, don’t taste too bad.  In fact, crickets and mealworms, in one form or another, are downright tasty.  Think crunch.  Think hazelnuts.  I’m serious.

Roxanne’s Balsamic Chicken with Olives

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Ah, children.  If you append the name of one child to a dish, the other will someday ask, “Why didn’t you ever name anything after me?”  Our son Oliver’s mastery of Oliver’s Chicken Stew made him a culinary hero to his impoverished roommates.  Our daughter turned 18 this week – sob - and reminded us that she needed a dish that she could take with her to college, something within her skill set that might make her a culinary goddess to her future roommates, something with her name on it.  Ergo Roxanne’s Balsamic Chicken with Olives.

On the road to Marrakech – Preserved Lemons, Limes and Kumquats

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Preserved lemons may never be as commonplace to American cooks as pesto, which was once unknown outside of immigrant Italian homes.  But who can say?   A salty, fragrant ingredient with a hint of sweetness.  Stranger things have happened.  Maybe the day will come when the thought of dark greens brings preserved lemon trailing behind.  And not just with greens, how about a chilled crab salad with preserved lemon?  Or as a contrapuntal note in risotto with guanciale.  That day has already arrived at our house.  Once upon a time most Americans venturing into the world of these strange, salted citrus fruit needed a culinary anthropologist like Paula Wolfert to tell us what to do with them.  No longer.  Any time we need a bright, sharp flavor accent with something floral, we think preserved lemon.  For seafood, for pork, for chicken, for lamb.  Oddly, about the only thing we don’t have with preserved lemon is beef.  But I’m open to suggestions, if you have a good one.  In the meantime, if you’re someone who’s always wanted to make your own Preserved Lemons, Limes and Kumquats, this is the post for you.