Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

Perfect Eggplant Parmesan

Nobody needs more than one recipe for eggplant parmesan, any more than you need multiple methods for perfect scrambled eggs or a perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Problem was my eggplant parmesan recipe, acquired years ago from an Italian-American cook, wasn’t perfect. The eggplant slices were brushed with oil and broiled. It contained ricotta as well as [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Wed, March 8 2017 » Eggs and Cheese, Fruits and Vegetables, Italian food, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

South Florida’s Black Sturgeon Caviar

Caviar. Not an everyday thing for most people, including me—but for New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or a milestone birthday, caviar is pretty much guaranteed to set off a giddy feeling of celebration. Assuming you serve it with plenty of Champagne or prosecco. My go-to caviar hors d’oeuvre consists of steamed fingerling potatoes, their insides [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Mon, December 28 2015 » holiday foods, Seafood, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

Making Ricotta at Home–Worth the Trouble?

Homemade ricotta had been on my “to do” list for awhile. Not a big deal: three ingredients and maybe 10 minutes of active attention. So I can’t explain why I didn’t get around to it. But one fine afternoon…ricotta making rose to the top of the list. Ricotta means “recooked” and for a cheese maker, [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Fri, November 6 2015 » Eggs and Cheese, Italian delis, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

Calamondin Marmalade. Huh?

I didn’t know and on the chance you don’t either: Calamondins are tart little citrus fruits related to kumquats.  More often than not, they end up in marmalade. Calamondins fall into the category of obscure Florida fruits you’ll encounter only if lucky enough to know someone with a tree. We do, as it happens. After [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Mon, April 6 2015 » Fruits and Vegetables, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments

Mexican Squash Blossom Soup

Recently I sampled artisanal mescal, cicciarones-filled gorditas and flautas with hibiscus flowers in Mexico City. All memorable. But back home what I couldn’t wait to make was squash blossom soup. Actually that was just one of several superb soups I tasted in this great city. At the Hilton Mexico City Reforma‘s terrace restaurant, our waiter [...]

Share this post with:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

more... »

Fri, February 6 2015 » Fruits and Vegetables, Italian ingredients, Soups and Stews, Tampa Bay, Uncategorized » No Comments