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Making Uzbek lamb and rice

Cooking tips: exercise free speech, eat osh, and take a walk
A friend told me I had to cook with her friend, Momen Abdullayof. He’s from Uzbekistan, a country I would have been really lucky to fill in correctly on a geography test.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  May 05, 2010


For richer, for poorer

Romanian polenta with sheep’s milk feta
Laura Coroi saw my “Immigrant Kitchens” poster at the YMCA and introduced herself.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  April 08, 2010


'Herring in a fur coat'

Tasting a Russian party dish
This time of year I look at myself in the mirror and shrink. My face looks like it belongs on the canning shelf with the beans, asparagus, and cukes.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  March 10, 2010


A painting, a letter, upside-down peppers

It all goes into making Vietnamese papaya salad
"While I wait, I beat the peanuts," says Hop Nguyen, a custom clothes designer in her home kitchen in Yarmouth, Maine. She's teaching me how to make green papaya salad from Bac Ninh province in northern Vietnam. She's waiting for the spaghetti-like strips of unripe papaya and carrot to lose their stiffness as they soak in salt water.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  February 10, 2010


Adventures in pot stickers

Exploring new worlds of flavor
My friend from Thailand taught me how to make real pot stickers and pad Thai.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  January 13, 2010


Bolivian silpancho

A year-abroad-romance gets really good
The bus had been bumping over potholes through the night in the Andes mountains of Bolivia.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  December 16, 2009


Epic Albanian foodstory

A mother never made it to America, but her chicken pie did.
Portland resident Bill Dilios taught me how to make his favorite dish from Albania, kotopita.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  November 18, 2009


Healing power

Bulgarian bean soup and spanakopita to the rescue
Last Friday evening, it was like a geyser of anger exploded through the floorboards of my house.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  October 21, 2009


The queen of Cambodian cooking

Her friends call her 'So Peep'
Makara Meng, co-owner of Mittapheap World Market, welcomed me to her relative's suburban house in South Portland for an authentic Cambodian dinner.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  September 23, 2009


In 10 years

From a handful of restaurants to a restaurant town
It wasn't always that Portland was "America's foodiest small town."
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  September 16, 2009

exotic list

Hot exotic adventure tonight!

Shave cabbage, rub pork ribs, peel yuca, and more
Unless you're a vegetarian or fried-pigskin-intolerant, I have an adventure for you. It requires about three hours. It's exotic, but does not require calling the phone numbers on the next few pages. Depending on who you are, it requires little or a lot of bravery. It's called cooking.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  August 26, 2009

estonian list

A long-ago farm

Exploring the origins of great food
Last week while you were reading here about Portland chef Krista Desjarlais's efforts at Bresca, I was cooking with her mother, Maili Kern, who lives in the West End. She taught me how to make rosolje, an incredible roast beef and root-vegetable salad from Estonia (recipe at ).
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 29, 2009

nicaragua list

Finding a way

Making Nicaraguan gallo pinto
If it weren't for Nicaragua, Jenny Sanchez and her favorite dish, gallo pinto, wouldn't be here. She's a 75-year-old grandmother. She's short, has wavy dark hair, black eyes. She leans over slightly even when she's standing upright and has a stiff, belabored walk. She lives alone in a neighborhood of single-floor apartments.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 01, 2009

spring list

Spring roll work area

American people under construction
In America, you can make your way through life without cooking. My friend is a Warmer Upper. Her meals are hot dogs and other frozen, jarred, or packaged things you heat up. And yet, she was at my house one afternoon for lessons on how to make fresh spring rolls.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  June 03, 2009

prawn list

Adventure cooking

Indian prawn curry breaks all the rules
Cooking Indian food by myself for the first time felt like skydiving; it went against all my instincts.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  May 06, 2009


In search of authenticity

Real German, Real German potato salad
Friederike Munz, a 27-year-old German woman, was going to teach me how to make German potato salad the way she'd learned from her grandmother on a farm in Freiburg, Germany.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  April 08, 2009


Cooking with two Russians

A day of authenticity, gross assumption, and great soup
Yulia Converse welcomed me into her kitchen in Maine to learn from her mother, Alla Zagoruyko, how to make authentic Russian borsht.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  March 11, 2009


Buns, buns, buns

A Dominican fried treat whomps health-nut-ism
The sunshine yellow trim of the La Bodega Latina, a corner store and deli geared toward Spanish-speaking immigrants, peeks out above the eight-foot-high pile of dirty snow along Congress Street.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  February 11, 2009


Let the alligators come to you

And, Portland, they're on the way
I'll be back next month with recipes, know-how, and cultural background on Dominican bollos de yuca, a fried meat-filled snack that's crispy outside and soft inside.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  January 14, 2009


Transcendence through pasta

The artistry of Fabiana De Savino
I've just added to the list of Things Humans Don't Completely Understand.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  December 17, 2008


The borscht I kissed once... an underground hallway — and rediscovered at home
When I was working at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, two housekeepers who didn't speak English but giggled a lot brought in a pot of their family's borscht for the employee meal. In the dark basement hall where the employees ate, I tasted serious family-secret-cooking.
By: LINDSAY STERLING  |  November 19, 2008

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