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  • Dominica Rum Punch

    Of course, we must start with a rum drink. This recipe is from “The Art of Caribbean Cooking” by Yolande Cools-Lartigue.

    I’m not sure about yield; it looks like a lot.

    1 cup fresh lime juice (no substitutes)
    2 cups brown sugar (turbinado)
    4 cups cold water
    3 cups brown rum
    3 tsp. Angostura bitters
    Grated rind of one lime
    1 nutmeg, freshly grated

  • Having been to St. Lucia a few times before, we were well aware that there is no fresh meat available, no fresh dairy products, and that fish is caught and brought into town in the mornings in wheelbarrows and it is catch as catch can, so to speak.
  • Spicy Shrimp in Shells

    I have no idea where I got this recipe. Shrimp cooked in the shell is much tastier; it just means you have to clean your hands well after eating.

    Serves two to four.

    1 lb. large shrimp in shells
    3 Tbsp. ketchup
    1 Tbsp. Asian chili sauce
    1/3 cup water
    2 Tbsp. chopped scallions
    4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • It all began with ice cubes, or the lack thereof. Expecting some swells for dinner, I had to choose between having enough cubes for adult beverages or using them to shock and retain the beautiful emerald green hue of my green beans to be served later.

  • Quinoa au Gratin

    This is an almost verbatim copy of a recipe by Paco Jimenez provided to students in my Culinary Institute of America Boot Camp in San Antonio. What doesn’t taste better with cheese?

    Serves 10.

    1/2 lb. quinoa
    2 garlic cloves
    1/2 cup white onion
    1/2 cup butter
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
    3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
    1 cup cream
    Salt and pepper to taste

  • I recently attended a C.I.A. boot camp, and golly did I learn a lot. And no, I’m not talking about the spy agency next to the house I grew up in in McLean, Va. It was the Culinary Institute of America campus in San Antonio, started in 2009.

  • Moscow Mule

    How about a drink to start? Make this with our very own potato-based LIV vodka.

    Serves one.

    2 oz. LIV vodka
    1 oz. fresh lime juice
    Good ginger beer
    Lime wedge

    Combine vodka and lime juice in a highball glass with ice. Top with ginger beer and lime wedge. Go ahead, have two.

    Olivier Salad

    Serves six to eight.

    3 cups boiled, peeled, diced waxy potatoes

  • You know how when you order food in a restaurant and you wait and wait and wait and it’s been like 45 minutes, so then you get up to use the loo and lo and behold, your food arrives at the table? That’s what this column is about. Eastern European food. The hearty, heavy, frigid-weather cuisine that keeps the Georgians and Hungarians and their neighbors fortified during long miserable winters.

  • My friends Cindy and Jimmy have a huge glass jar filled with pistachios on their kitchen counter. When I say huge, I mean it. It is the size of a Southern church lady’s iced tea dispenser. And it’s always full.

    I find this comforting . . . and tasty. When I remarked on it the other day, Jimmy asked, “Why haven’t you ever written about nuts? They’re good for you!”

    So thank you, Jimmy, here it is.

  • Travel Snack

    This recipe is based on Union Square Cafe’s bar nuts, but I use a healthier, less fattening variety of nuts. I pack bags of this for long-distance travel and add dried cranberries or cherries and sometimes dark chocolate chips.
    Makes about 41/2  cups, more if you add dried fruit and/or chocolate.

    11/2 lbs. variety of unsalted nuts; I use:
    Pumpkin seeds
    Sunflower seeds
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
    1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Blogs by this author:

  • The following is excerpted from Laura Donnelly's restaurant review in this week's Star. More ideas for meals on the go can be found in the Star's Restaurant Guide:

    It's Columbus Day weekend AND the Hamptons International Film Festival is on the East End so I know all of you ladies and gentlemen and black-clad cinephiles want to know where to eat. With movies being shown in 6 locations from Southampton to Montauk your dining options are plentiful.