Toni Lydecker's Tavola Talk Blog

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 [...]

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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, [...]

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

Giardiniera: Vegetables, Lightly Pickled

Reading an article about the “farm to jar” pickles and jams made by Tampa Bay entrepreneur Illene Sofranko reminded me that I had squirreled away several jars of her delicious Urban Canning pickled okra and Brussels sprouts in my pantry. And also reminded me it’s time to make the Italian-style pickled vegetables known as giardiniera. [...]

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Tue, September 29 2015 » Fruits and Vegetables, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Italian lifestyle, Uncategorized » No Comments

Belgian Chefs Who Know Their Veggies

Yes, I enjoyed sampling Belgium’s famous beers, chocolate and, of course, frites. But what really blew me away on a recent visit were the things Belgian chefs are doing with vegetables.                   My education began at JEF, a small but acclaimed restaurant in Ghent. Marinated fresh herring, [...]

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Mon, August 3 2015 » Fruits and Vegetables, Uncategorized » No Comments

Ricotta Fritters with Maple Syrup

Corner of Vermont is a store that sells maple syrup, maple sugar and maple candies. Also, the state’s maple-flavored creemees, which look like soft-serve ice cream but have more butterfat and therefore taste better. Nothing too surprising, except what’s a store named Corner of Vermont doing in the heart of Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood? “I [...]

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Sun, June 7 2015 » Baked Goods and Sweets, Eggs and Cheese, Italian food, Italian ingredients, Uncategorized » No Comments