Category Archives: gluten-free

The Discovery of India

“What’s Sri Lankan food like? Is it like Indian food?”

I never know how to answer this question. What is Indian food like anyway? There’s the food of South India, redolent of hot chilli and curry leaves. The food of the north uses more yogurt and less coconut milk. The Parsis, the Bengalis, the Gujeratis all have their specialities. So how similar is it to Sri Lankan food? The food of Kerala, based on rice flour and coconut has much more in common with the food of Sri Lanka than the food of Rajastan, where wheat is the staple. So in that sense, there is Indian food that’s a lot like Sri Lankan food. But is there even a such thing as Indian food? And what is Sri Lankan food anyway? Do you mean the food of the coast? The food of the north? The food of central highlands?

I really don’t know what Indian food is, and I certainly don’t pretend to be any expert on the regional cooking of India. Like most people, I’ve learned everything I know about “Indian” food from cookbooks, the Internet, and a few patient friends. This dinner, thrown together in honor of some fabulous halibut I got in Oregon, features what is a Bengali fish curry, according to Cyrus Todiwala. I cooked up a kidney bean curry to use some kidney beans we had boiled the previous week, and some cabbage, the way my mom would have made it (had we had curry leaves, dried chilli and Maldive fish–call it a minimalist Sri Lankan cabbage). Call it a pan-Indian supper, call it whatever you want, it was delicious.

Bengali Fish Curry

1 pound firm fleshed fish (I used halibut here. We had fillets, but you can use steaks as well)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 small green chile
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli
2 tbsp. ghee (you can also use a neutral flavored oil such as peanut or canola)
1 cup whole milk yogurt
1 tsp. garam masala
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Cut fish into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with turmeric and salt and set aside while you chop the onion. Pound garlic, ginger and green chilli together. Heat ghee in saucepan. Fry fish two minutes on one side and one minute on the other. Remove from pan. Fry onion briefly, add garlic-ginger paste. When onion is soft, add yogurt and cook until thick. (Warning: This is not the prettiest dish; the yogurt will curdle. Accept and move on. It tastes good.) Taste and adjust for salt.

Add fish to sauce and stir to coat. Bring sauce to simmer and cook one minute. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let sit for ten minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Kidney Bean Curry

2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 in. ginger
1 green chilli
1 tbsp. ghee or neutral flavored oil
2 medium tomatoes, or use canned
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp salt (use less if using canned kidney beans)
chopped coriander for garnish

Pound garlic, ginger, and chilli to paste. Heat ghee in saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft. Add ginger-garlic paste. Cook one minute more, then add tomatoes. Add dried spices and cook until tomato has thickened and flavors are beginning to meld. Add kidney beans and cook five minutes more. Taste and adjust for salt. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve.

Source: Mamta’s Kitchen, Cyrus Todiwala’s Cafe Spice Namaste

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Spiced Honey Fruit Salad


In order to be a food blogger, you have to live in your senses: the world of taste, smell, touch. Me, I’ve been in my head a lot these days. I’m spending the summer cranking out my dissertation, day after day. Perhaps that’s why I feel so uninspired about this blog, or perhaps the dissertation is sucking all my writing energy, and I don’t have much left over for anything else. I’ll save you the impenetrably dull details, spare the fact that the other night, I dreamt that I was on a date with John Rawls. Apparently, it isn’t enough that I’ve been spending eight to ten hours a day with Professor Rawls for the past two weeks, now, I have to have dinner and drinks with him in my sleep? (No, I don’t know want to know what this says about my subconscious.)

Fortunately, I have a few friends that regularly drag me away from my desk and out of the house. Even more fortunately, these friends are really into potlucks, which forces me into the kitchen, back into my hands and my body. Is there anything more sensual than plunging a knife into a ripe cantaloupe? Grabbing a slippery mango to slice off its peel? And nothing is better on a summer evening that fruit salad with perfectly ripe fruit.

This salad is an invention of my mothers, combining a subtle kiss of warming spices (cloves, caramom, cinnamon, ginger) with the sweetness of summer fruits. It’s simply perfect.

Spiced Fruit Salad

Obviously, you can vary the fruits, but try to include one melon and one fruit from the stone category.

1/2 stick cinnamon
2 cloves
2 pods cardamom
pinch salt
honey to taste, start with 2 tbsp
1/2 c. fresh orange juice (used commercial in a pinch)

1 fragrant ripe cantaloupe
1 pint strawberries
1 ripe mango
1/2 pint raspberries or blackberries
1 peach
rind from 1/2 an orange
1 handful blanched almonds
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped
small handful mint leaves
squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

In small saucepan, heat spices and salt with orange juice. Add honey. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add water if pan threatens to boil dry.

Chop fruit into bite sized pieces. Mix gently with almonds, mint and ginger. Add spiced honey and lemon. Taste and adjust for seasonings.

Source: My mom

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The Taste of Home

Tricomalee-style Crab Curry

Sri Lankan Crab Curry

They say that you can never go home again. In some ways, the business of growing up and growing old is about coming to terms with this reality. The place you miss, the place you crave, the place where you truly belong–that place no longer exists, if it ever did. Perhaps this is so for everyone, but for us rootless cosmopolitans who belong simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, the old adage is a truth that defines our lives.

No wonder the smells and tastes of childhood are so powerful; they take us as close to home as we can get, however fleeting the experience may be. In Sri Lanka, our relatives in Negombo would make platters of curry with enormous lagoon crabs whenever our family would come to visit. As a child, I could never eat crab curry without getting the curry all over my hands and wrists, dirtying the glass of water I had to keep handy to douse the fire that burned my lips and tongue. An uncle looked on in wordless disgust–he himself possessed the remarkable ability to dismantle a crab with the fingertips of one hand, keeping even his palm clean. (Breaking things apart while keeping his hands clean was a specialty of this particular uncle of mine, but that is a story for another time and venue.)

In North Carolina, making this crab curry was an all-day family event, beginning with an early morning trip to the docks to catch the crabs ourselves. The tide had to either be going out or coming in. If the water level was too low, the crabs would have retreated to deeper waters; too high, and you couldn’t see when they began nibbling at their chicken neck bait. My mother, who only likes to spend time outdoors if there’s a great meal waiting at the end of it, was particularly good at tricking the crabs into her net. Then came the nasty part, from which my sister and I were thankfully excused: maiming the crabs by pulling off their claws and killing them by tearing off their top shells. Once as a teenager, I got stuck with this task when my dad was out of town. I was revolted, but it taught me that I could indeed live up to one of my maxims: don’t eat anything you couldn’t kill yourself. The reward for all this labor came when the large mound of crabs was brought to the table, steaming hot, bathed in a fiery curry fragrant with roasted coconut and spices.

Crack into a crab claw, suck out the mingled juices of the crab and coconut milk. Dig into the sweet flesh of the crab’s body, coated with the dark flavor of roasted coconut, chile, and coriander. Eating crab is a primal experience; you have to get your hands dirty.

How does it taste? It tastes of the sea, of the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic. It tastes of lands both far and near. It’s the taste of the familiar, of family, and of childhood. It tastes of home.

Sri Lankan Crab Curry

Serves four.

Part I: Making the masala
3/4 c. unsweetened dried coconut (you may also use fresh)
1 1/2 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
6 fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp. coconut milk

Combine the dried coconut, fennel, pepper, and curry leaves and roast in dry skillet over medium-high fire, stirring constantly, until coconut is the color of, I hate to say it, hamster shavings.

Let mixture cool and grind in a blender with 2 tbsp. coconut milk.

Part II: The Curry
1 med. onion, sliced thinly
1/2 piece of ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 curry leaves
2 tbsp. peanut oil
2 tbsp. Jaffna or Trincomalee-style curry powder (see note)
1 tsp. paprika
1/2-2 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp. tamarind pulp, soaked in hot water
1 c. coconut milk
fresh lime juice, to taste
salt, to taste

Heat oil in 6 quart pot. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves until onions begin to color (about 7 minutes). Add curry powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, one teaspoon salt and stir. Cook 1 minute more. Squeeze tamarind pulp and add tamarind water to pot. Add dried coconut masala and coconut milk. Stir and cook 10 minutes, until curry is thick. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt, cayenne and/or lime if necessary.

Part III: Cleaning the Crabs

Crab Carcasses

18 Atlantic blue crabs (You may also use Pacific Dungenous, but use fewer crabs)
1 tsp. turmeric

With a pair of tongs, lift each crab out of the bag. Be sure it’s alive and kicking. If it seems to be dead, discard. Here comes the nasty bit. Carefully grasp crab from the back with your left hand. Cover your right hand in a dish towel and pry it’s claws off and reserve. Then, on a flat surface, turn the crab upside down, hold the top shell down with your left hand, and, grasping the crab’s legs with your right hand, pull the body away from the top shell. This kills the crab far more quickly humanely than the barbaric American custom of dropping them alive into boiling water.

Discard top shell. Under running water, pull off the “dead man’s fingers” that cover the body. Clean out any dark green matter and the pink organs (anyone know what these are?). However, reserve the orange eggs from the female crabs. Last, either with a large knife or your hands, split the two sides of the crab in two.

When you’ve done about half of the crabs, sprinkle with a dusting of turmeric. Sprinkle another dusting of turmeric when you’ve finishing cleaning all the crabs.

Add crabs to curry. Stirring and tossing occasionally, cook over medium heat for ten minutes.

Serve with white rice and accompaniments.

Note: Jaffna-style curry powder may be ordered here. You can make Trincomalee-style curry powder by roasting dried whole chilies and coriander seeds separately, grinding in a spice grinder and combining. Use 2 parts dried chilies to 1 part coriander seed (measure by weight). Do not even think of using any other kind of curry powder, particular not the foul substance sold at Western grocery stores.

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Easter Lamb

The magic number, my friends, is 118.

My first roast lamb, the main course for an Easter meal I cooked for thirty people in college, was woefully overcooked. It was the first meal I had ever cooked for more than four people, and I was more anxious about the lamb than any other part of the meal. Without a meat thermometer, I cooked the lamb to a perfect rosy-red by slicing into it at regular intervals. I then happened upon the brilliant idea of keeping the lamb warm in the warming compartment of the church kitchen’s oven. Unfortunately, over the course of two hours, the lamb changed from rosy-red to an unappetizing grey, and although the meat was perfectly tender (due to the low temperature of the warming compartment), it wasn’t exactly what I had had in mind.

My second roast lamb became my responsibility when my mother fell sick over Christmas several years ago, leaving most of the cooking for our dinner guests up to me. Between the stress of cooking dinner for ten people and convincing my mom to leave the kitchen and go back to bed, I just forgot how long the lamb had been in the oven. That particular lamb was not so tender. I tried to hold back tears as my parents’ dinner guests lied enthusiastically that they loved their lamb well done.

Eventually, I got better at lamb. Having a digital kitchen thermometer works wonders; no more blood letting to determine doneness. But the best thing I did both for my roast lambs and for my dinner guests was to read Judy Rogers’ recipe for roast lamb in The Zuni Café Cookbook. Like everything else in this cookbook, Judy’s instructions are detailed, meticulous, verbose, and a headache to follow the first time through. Like everything else in the cookbook, Judy’s instructions produce the perfect result:, tender, just-pink meat every time.

The biggest revelation was not in the technique, but in the cooking temperature. Unlike every other recipe which suggests 125 degrees for rare meat, Judy insists that a winter leg of lamb (between 6-8 pounds) should only cook to a temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit. “Barely warmer than body temperature!” my dad protested when I floated this idea by him. After baking in the oven, the lamb rests under a tent of foil while its proteins relax and reabsorb the moisture and its internal temperature continues to rise to 140 degrees.

I followed Judy’s techniques for the first time over Christmas, and the result was the best lamb I’ve ever had. The meat was perfect medium-rare, tender and juicy, fragrant with garlic and rosemary. I repeated the procedure for Easter with the same results. And so I pass this recipe onto you: a hybrid of the family marinade and Judy’s guidelines for roast meat. Get yourself a digital thermometer and never stress about your roast again.

Roast Leg of Lamb

Winter legs of lamb are larger. If you have a smaller, spring leg of lamb, this method will not work. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, Easter is for all intents and purposes still winter, and the available legs of lamb from family farms are still enormous.

1 6-8 lb. leg of lamb
4-5 cloves garlic
2 branches rosemary
1 tsp. peppercorns
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbsp capers
olive oil to moisten

The day before you plan to serve the lamb, make the marinade by crushing garlic, rosemary, pepper, salt and capers in a mortar and pestle. Drizzle enough olive oil to moisten (usually about a tablespoon). Untie leg of lamb, remove bone, and trim of fat. Rub marinade all over lamb and refridgerate overnight.

The day of the big feast, remove lamb from fridge four hours before you plan to put it in the oven. Without bone, tie tightly into a cylinder.

Preheat oven to 325. In a large frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel without wiping off the marinade. Lower heat to medium-high, and sear lamb on all sides until a medium brown. This should take 4-5 minutes per side.

Place lamb in a roasting pan and place in the preheated oven. Let roast undisturbed for one hour. At the end of the hour, take the temperature of the lamb, it should be about 100 degrees. Roast 10-15 minutes more until the lamb is 118 degrees (for medium-rare meat), 113 degrees for rare meat.

Let lamb rest in a warm place (your stove top is ideal) under a tent of foil for 20-30 minutes. Carve thinly against the grain.

Sources: My mom, Judy Rogers’ Zuni Café Cookbook, Paula Wolfert’s The Slow Meditterraen Kitchen

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Wine and Stinky Cheese Party, Starring a Damn Fine Pâté

Spread for Wine and Stinky Cheese Party
I know, I know, I know. It’s been forever. What can I say? Between a full time job, and a full-time dissertation, blogging has become a low-priority luxury. The truth is, that I’m trying to spend less time in the kitchen these days, not more. But certain people have been nudging me for the recipe for this pate de campagne for a while now, so I thought I’d share my wine and stinky cheese party with you.Right before the madness of the semester descended, I threw a final winter break, savor-your-freedom-while-you-still-have-it party. The best way to deal with below zero evenings, I find, is to invite all of your friends over to your house, so you don’t have to go anywhere.I stole the idea of a wine and stinky cheese party from my sister. The idea is that your friends bring great cheese and wine, and you can use the occasion to make a damn fine, country-style pâté.In addition to the pâté and several cheeses, the party featured several baguettes from my favorite bakery, giant beans baked with leeks and red peppers, platters of fruit, gravalax with capers and lemon, olives, cornichons, and macrona almonds. I also baked a lemon tart. But the pâté was definitely the star.Unlike the elegant liver pâté, pâté de campagne is a farmhouse specialty, a way of using up the liver, fat and tougher cuts of the pork. Rich, meaty, swathed in bacon, you would never guess that pâté de campagne came from such humble beginnings. The taste of the pâté makes you itch to buy a plane ticket to France, where such pates are ubiquitous and involve no more work than a trip to the charcutier. One bite and I was transported to vacations past, to long afternoons filled with leisurely picnic lunches of baguette, pâté, runny cheeses and perfect sweet juicy fruits.

Those of us who can’t run off to France at a moment’s notice can make pâté de campagne at home, invite some friends over, and imbibe large quantities of wine. No, it’s not the same thing, but in a pinch, on a cold January night with the beginning of the semester looming, it will do.

Pâté de Campagne

The charcutier makes this with a meat grinder. If you don’t happen to have a meat grinder, process half of the meat until smooth in a food processor, and chop half very finely by hand.

A word of warning : This recipe is enormous. I sent large chunks of it home with guests, then ate it for the next week.

1/2 lb. pork liver
1/2 lb. pork fat
1 lb. pork shoulder
1/2 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
tiny pinch allspice
5 cloves garlic
3 shallots, thinly sliced
5 oz. cognac
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. salt
1 egg
10 slices bacon

Run meat, fat, and liver through a meat grinder, or process half in the food processor and chop the other half very finely by hand (Sharpen your knife first!). Combine with all other ingredients except egg and bacon and refridgerate overnight.

The next day, fry a little of the meat until done and taste for seasonings. Adjust to taste.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×5 in. loaf pan with bacon by laying strips of bacon across the width of the pan. Let the bacon hang over the edges. Fill pan with meat mixture, then fold excess bacon over meat. Gently hit the pan against the counter top to knock out any air bubbles.

Place terrine in a roasting pan, then place in oven. Bring a kettle of water to a boil, then dribble boiling water into roasting pan until water comes to 1/2 in of the top of the loaf pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of the pate is 160 degrees.

Let cool, then refridgerate several hours before serving.

Source:  Leite’s Culinaria’s posting of Anthony Bourdain’s recipe (whew!) 

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Haymarket Salad

I discovered the Boston Haymarket mere weeks after I moved to Boston in 2000, and for a couple years it was my very favorite place in the city. Friends from out of town would come to visit, and I would take them not to the Prudential Center, nor to Harvard Yard, nor to the Freedom Trail. No, I would drag them grocery shopping, to the Haymarket.

The Haymarket, you see, is the closest thing to a third world vegetable market that I have ever seen in this country. Vendors selling all manner of fruits, vegetables and fish set up shop on the sidewalk, throwing substandard or spoiling produce to the ground. Throngs of people representing every immigrant community in the metro area clog the sidewalks. Someone hoists a dead goat over his shoulders and heads to the Halal butchers, manoevering carefully through the crowds.

To be sure, the vendors at the Haymarket do not demonstrate the most diplomatic of behaviors. And the other customers have no problem elbowing and shoving the timid out of the way. The Haymarket has its own specific rules of behavior: Make up your mind quickly, keep your money accessible so that you don’t hold everyone up by digging around for your wallet in your backpack, and most importantly, never, ever touch the produce. It was always a gamble. Those peaches could be bruised and rotting; they could be hard and green. Ask the vendor, and you would be assured that they are perfect.

The prices made it worth the risk. Those peaches whether rotting, green, or ripe, were no more than 10 for a dollar. For a graduate student living on student loans, the Haymarket made the difference between feast and famine. Every Saturday morning, my roommate Anh and I would take the T to downtown and return only twenty dollars poorer, our arms aching with the effort of carrying a week’s worth of groceries for four people.

When we returned, we got to work cooking for the household for the week. Because we never set off with a grocery list, cooking the week’s food was always an improvisational affair. This salad was born one Saturday, early in the fall, from a random selection of what looked good, and what looked cheap. This lucky marriage of roasted peppers, olives, avocado, eggs, scallions and lots of parsley proved to be just right for lentil salad; the perfect vegetarian lunch or antipasto.

The following year, I moved into a different apartment, further from a T station. Anh graduated a year ahead of me and moved away; it no longer made sense to travel so far for cheap groceries. Eventually, I stopped going there at all, especially as my financial circumstances improved and piles of cheap but risky vegetables became less appealing. I miss the Haymarket, but even more, I miss the rhythm of our Saturday and the way our weekly excursions shaped our lives. The journey on the T, the time spent discussing our histories, food, and the cuisines our mothers taught us. I miss spending a whole day in the kitchen, talking and laughing. Now that I look back at it, I can’t believe I even had the time to devote a whole day of the week to food.

Unfortunately, I can’t foresee having that kind of time ever again, but I’m grateful for all I learned from my Saturday trips to the Haymarket: how to improvise; how to cook plaintains, taro, and various gourds; the taste of fresh dates and fresh tamarind. Most importantly, I have several recipes that have stayed with me over the years, that I still crave from time to time. Like this simple salad.

Lentil Salad

As you might expect from such auspicious beginnings, this salad lends itself easily to substitutions, additions and omissions. The avocado, however, is an essential ingredient. Even though there’s only one per cup of dry lentils, it’s rich decadence mitigates the austerity of the lentils.

I use Le Puy lentils, and I recommend you do too. They just taste better and have a better texture than ordinary green lentils. If you can’t find them, the green lentils will do.

1 c. Le Puy lentils
salt
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced
1 bunch scallions, white parts and a bit of green chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c. olives, pitted and chopped
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced into quarters
1 avocado
packed 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
a squeeze lemon juice
olive oil
red wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover lentils with 2 inches of water. Bring to boil, then salt and simmer 20 minutes. Taste and check for doneness. You want them soft and cooked through, not mushy and disintegrating. (Other kinds of lentils will take less time, keep an eye on them.) Drain and let sit in colander.

While the lentils are cooking and draining, take the opportunity to boil eggs, roast and peel bell pepper. Dice avocado and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice. Chop remaining ingredients. Combine lentils and vegetables. Mix gently, splash with red wine vinegar and a drizzled of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper, and more olive oil and’or vinegar if needed. Top with hard boiled eggs and serve at room temperature.

If you are refridgerating leftovers, be sure to bring to room temperature before serving.

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Giblet Pasta Sauce: It’s Offally Good!

Okay, okay, I’ll lay off the puns. But first let me tell you the story of my quest to like offal.

I have always wanted to like offal. When traveling, it’s awful to be the Picky American. The French guy I dated was so proud to proclaim “Elle mange tout,” to all his family and friends. I was safe with him as he didn’t like offal either, but I always felt like he was lying. I don’t eat everything. Well, okay, I never met a vegetable I didn’t like.  I grew up on the bounty of the ocean, devouring the cheeks, eyes, and brains of whole fish.  But the organs of land-dwellers have always been my downfall.

My mother hates offal, and thanks to her feelings about force-feeding children, she never made us liver, heart, kidneys, or tripe.  I have had liver in a fiery curry in Sri Lanka, and tripe as a part of the dim sum menu at Chinese restaurants, and I have to say, I hated both. The liver had a dirty taste that even the curry couldn’t cover, and the tripe….there just are no words for how much I hate tripe.
However, I have always held the belief that picky eaters have been too long rewarded for dysfunctional behavior.  If a child can be taught to like well-prepared brussels sprouts, then surely I could learn to like offal.  It was just a matter of choosing recipes carefully and cooking offal in tiny increments.

I chose this recipe for poultry gizzard and heart because it requires mincing the offal into tiny pieces, which would become indistinguishable once cooked with the chopped portobello mushroom in the sauce. Still, my courage nearly failed me at the meat counter. As the attendant explained that gizzard is the muscle covering the stomach of the chicken, I silently wondered if it would be in poor taste to foist the leftover sauce on Kassie and CJ if I didn’t like it.

I needn’t have worried. Although chopping the gizzards  requires strong nerves and a very sharp knife, the reward is a full-flavored, rich sauce.  Hearty and almost beefy in taste, this sauce demands a full bodied red wine.  Leave lots of time, as the heart and gizzard, the toughest muscles in the chicken’s body need a long, slow simmer to tenderize. Make in large batches as the sauce gets better with age.

Now I only have to get my mother to try it.

Giblet Pasta Sauce

8 oz chicken gizzards and hearts (you may use the giblets of other poultry as well)
1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 c chopped portobello mushrooms
3/4 c chopped carrots
3/4 c chopped celery
3/4 c chopped yellow onion
1 oz pancetta, minced
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 c chopped canned tomatoes
1 bay leaf
pinch dried chili flakes
1/2 c. full bodied red wine
small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped

Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Heat olive oil in large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add gizzards and hearts and cook until they brown lightly. Add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions, and pancetta. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Let sizzle stirring occasionally, then add garlic and stir again. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

Add tomatoes, bay leaf, chili and red wine. Bring to boil, then lower to the barest simmer. Partially cover, and let cook until giblets are tender about an hour and a half. Check occasionally to make sure that the sauce isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add tiny amounts of water as needed.

Stir in parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sauce may require a pinch of sugar or a teaspoon of tomato paste.

Serve with pasta and a grating of parmesan.

Source: Judy Rodgers’ The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

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