My husband is half Italian-American and nowhere is this clearer than the kitchen. Whether he’s stirring up marinara from a recipe encoded in his DNA or pressing pizzelle at Christmas or building his tasty sausage lasagna layer by layer, Italian cuisine is his comfort zone.
My heritage is more complicated: English, German, Eastern European but with a dash of Central American and Spanish stirred in. And nowhere do I think of that heritage more than when I’m standing in front of my stove. It’s Mexican food that calls to me — tomato-based, cumin-infused, pepper-spiced. This is where I feel at home. And given a random collection of ingredients (as my garden often provides), I am more likely to stir up a Mexican-inspired dish than any other.
So, with cucumbers coming from our backyard, along with the first bell and banana peppers, plus jalapeños and our earliest tiny tomato, it’s tacos and tortillas, salsa and guacamole that are landing on my table. Today, find links to recipes for my very own cucumber-peach salsa, homemade taco seasoning and my most favorite guacamole recipe inspired by one of my most favorite chefs, Emeril Lagasse. (Years ago I interviewed him for a story; he could not have been more gracious or generous.) And for dessert? There’s Mexican Wedding Cookies, of course.
What cuisine inspires you most? Is there a culture whose food you’re most comfortable cooking?