Banitza – a Bulgarian classic

Banitza (also known as bоrek in Turkish, and tiropita in Greek) is a phyllo dough pastry with eggs,  feta cheese and lots of butter.  It is one of the few dishes that small kids and adults delight in equally.

Duck breast with lavender and honey

This recipe is something I recently reverse engineered from an old memory. In the distant summer of 2000 I visited my dear childhood friend Gergana in Narbonne – in the south of France, and she took me to a seasonal restaurant in middle of a vineyard called Le Souquet’s. I had magret de canard au…

Mushroom Stew

This mushroom stew is very much the vegetarian equivalent of beef bourguignon. Gather whatever medley of mushrooms you can find + a bottle of cheap red wine = delicious dinner. I served it over creamy polenta (found in the Squab glazed with port reduction with creamy polenta recipe)

Coq au vin

Slowly braised stews are my favorite kind of dish, and fall / winter is the season for them. Coq au vin is a French bistro classic – it is both be homey and comforting, and sophisticated. Stews are best a day old. If serving at a dinner party – you can cook it the day…

Osso bucco Milanese

Slow braised meats are my favorite type of dish, and the osso bucco is a classic comfort dish – particularly good for the cold winter nights. I first learned my osso bucco from the Terra cookbook and I recently had a “refresher” at the Culinary Institute of America bootcamp.

Brussels sprout salad with sun-dried tomatoes, almonds and feta

I copied / reverse engineered this recipe from one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco – L’Ardoise where Chef Clement serves it with goat cheese and Balsamic reduction. My version pays homage to Bulgaria with the feta cheese. This is a perfect winter salad when your choices of fresh produce are limited. The almonds give…