In my first trip to Beijing, I quickly determined zha jiang mian, or Beijing-style noodles with soybean paste, to be my favorite go-to dish when I needed to grab something fairly quickly as they can be found all over the city and are quite affordable and incredibly flavorful.
A pisaladière is a tart, originating in Nice, made with caramelized onions, anchovies, and black olives. The dough resembles bread dough and utilizes olive oil instead of butter as the main fat. The use of olive oil rather than butter is typical of dough in Southern France.
Pad Thai is probably the most well known Thai dish around the world. Yet every time I eat it, I feel like I’ve discovered an amazing new dish full of tantalizing flavors for the first time.
Fideuá, a Valencia specialty, is a sort of seafood paella made with fideos (very thin short noodles) instead of rice. The dish is prepared in a paella pan very much the same way as its better-known relative.
Over the holidays, I visited Morocco for the first time. Anytime I visit a country for the first time, I invariably take a cooking class so I can learn about the local dishes. In Marrakesh, I learned how to make an amazing chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives. The dish derives its name from the conical-lidded pot in which it is prepared. Tagines are meat, poultry or fish stewed with vegetables, olives, garlic, preserved lemons and Moroccan spices.
In my recent trip to Mexico City, I had the opportunity to eat some amazing fish tacos that I have already been able to replicate in my kitchen. The fish is marinated for a couple of hours, then sauteed in a skillet. Once in the taco, the fish is topped off with a pineapple escabeche, a flavorful sweet and sour garnish.
I first learned how to make this dish in a food writing class I took over ten years ago. The instructor prepared this dish and all the students had to writeup the recipe as one of our assignments. I’ve enjoyed this recipe so much that I have kept it in my repertoire all these years. It is very simple, yet elegant pasta dish that elevates any meal to whole new level.