When it comes to staple foods like bread, rice, and tortillas, we can look to their traditional cultures for old solutions. Every Asian country seems to have a variant on fried rice and European countries have long settled the dilemma of day-old bread.

PITA: Pita chips

The pita chips you can buy in the shop are mostly deep fried. By coating these generously with olive oil, you can get the same crispy texture with less mess and trouble.… Continue reading →

TORTILLA: Special quesadilla

You can add plenty of things to a quesadilla filling to liven it up, but make sure whatever you add is chopped very fine. The quesadilla itself should not become thick or lumpy, so that it cooks evenly and crisps nicely when slightly cooled.… Continue reading →

TORTILLA: Easy quesadilla

The ultimate Mexican comfort food, this is basically Mexican grilled cheese. It makes an easy lunch and is equally popular with kids and adults. In Mexico this type of quesadilla is known as a ‘gringo’ in reference to the northerners’ fondness for flour rather than corn tortillas.… Continue reading →

RICE: Indonesian-style fried rice (nasi)

If you try to ask for fried rice in Dutch (gefrituurd rijst) they will look at you like you are talking jibberish. Indonesian food is so deeply integrated into Dutch food culture that the Indonesian word for fried rice (nasi) has been taken over as Dutch.… Continue reading →

RICE: Chai flavored rice pudding

This recipe was inspired by a dessert I had in India years ago. It was the first time I encountered the combination of cardamom and pistachios. The combination is such a favorite now that I even sprinkle cardamom and pistachios onto vanilla ice cream.… Continue reading →

PASTA: Minestrone soup

I try hard not to have leftover pasta. If by chance you do happen to have extra, try to cook it directly into a soup. Second best is to coat it well with olive oil or Italian dressing and use it for pasta salad within 24 hours. … Continue reading →

BREAD: Garlic croutons

In my opinion, a truly good crouton will still retain a chewy bread core but be satisfyingly crunchy on the outside. I have yet to find a store-bought version with a good bready center. … Continue reading →

BREAD: Panzanella salad (Italian bread salad)

Bread, tomato, garlic, and olive oil: the combination is delicious every time! Given these ingredients the Spanish make pan con tomate and the Italians make bruschetta or this panzanella. Of the three, I like this bread salad because it has more vegetables than bread.… Continue reading →

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