illustration by james kloiber
Secret banana-cream pie ingredients: Really good pastry cream, fresh bananas, and a ton of lightly sweetened whipped cream. It’s old school!
Speedy eats: Pre-make Argentinian-style empanadas and keep them in the freezer! I buy pre-made empanada shells from Bill’s Imported Foods. Fill them with onion, beef, hard-boiled eggs, and green olives, or caramelized onion with smoked Gouda.
Canning recipe: One of my favorite recipes from my grandmother was for cinnamon-flavored cucumbers. She would take all the overgrown cukes from the garden, seed them, and pickle them in a sweet cinnamon liquid.
Salad-making tip: Be conscious about the size of individual ingredients in the salad. Some flavors should be bigger, while others should work as accents. My go-to right now is big chunks of melon with red leaf lettuce, goat cheese, and aged balsamic vinegar.
Twin Cites pork dishes: Quang’s banh mi is the perfect lunch. Zen Box Izakaya’s katsu curry brings me right back to Hawaii. Oh, and their Chashu yaki. Last but not least is the barbecued pork jowl with cheesy grits and pickled watermelon rind from Corner Table. It played a huge part in our win at the national Cochon 555 pork-cooking competition in Aspen.