Pass the Roti – A Look at Unleavened Bread in History

The Food Pathways of Grain Archaeologists have uncovered primitive artifacts that chart the evolution of man’s gradual shift from nomadic hunter/ gatherer to the formation of small settlements where animals were domesticated and people practiced sedentary farming. Thousands of years ago, agriculture was not the principal mode of support for human societies; but those who learned to grow crops survived and increased. In turn, these techniques of production were passed on to other peoples. The cultivation of wheat and barley spread throughout the Middle East and into India. These crops also spread northward to Europe, where oats and rye were added later. From Egypt, the cultivation of grain crops, spread to peoples across Africa and onwards across the vast Sahara desert. Unleavened bread has been a staple in the human diet for millennia The earliest recorded types of unleavened bread were made from grains like corn, wheat and barley which were ground with stones and turned into paste by adding water. This paste was cooked on a flat stone or a piece of hardened clay placed in or near the fireside.  It is easy to draw a parallel between the unleavened breads of our ancestors and the flat breads we enjoy today. Matzo, Pita, Naan, Tortillas, Roti, Lavash are all breads that feature prominently in regional cuisines worldwide. Matzo and Pita are from the Middle East, Naan and Roti are Indian, Tortillas are a Mexican staple and Lavash is a mainstay in Eastern Europe.   Unleavened bread reflects how regional cuisines […]

Walking Through the Revolving Door Scott Left

“Few things are more beautiful to me than a bunch of thuggish, heavily tattooed line cooks moving around each other like ballerinas on a busy Saturday night. Seeing two guys who’d just as soon cut each other’s throats in their off hours moving in unison with grace and ease can be as uplifting as any chemical stimulant or organized religion.” ― Anthony Bourdain

Fried Chicken with Mediterranean Spices

Fried Chicken
(My obsession.)
So Plump, Tender, and Juicy
full of fl avor and crispy,
From Legs, Breast, Thighs, and Wings
a bird worthy of feeding a king
As the last piece comes to an End
don’t worry Chicken, we will meet Again!
Rashaan Patterson

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

There are hundreds of variations on this popular appetizer and rightly so because this recipe is extremely adaptable and easy to make. This is a simple version that uses Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, red onions, a little olive oil and vinegar. Sometimes simple works best and in this case anything else would be too much. Tomato Basil Bruschetta 4 Roma tomatoes (diced) 2 tbsp. Red onion (fine dice) 2 tbsp. Fresh basil (finely minced) 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp. White balsamic vinegar ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese Salt & Black pepper to taste 1 French Baguette Method 1)      Use a sharp knife to cut the Roma tomatoes in halves and then in quarters. Save the skin and remove the seeds and pulp. Roma tomatoes work best for this recipe because the skins are much thicker with less seeds and pulp. 2)      Dice the tomatoes. Put tomatoes, diced red onion, white balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. 3)      Cut 12 slices of the French baguette on a diagonal about ¼ inch thick. Brush each slice with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Toast them on the top rack in the oven at 350F for 5 – 6 minutes or until lightly browned. 4)      Spoon the Tomato Basil mixture unto the baguette and garnish with parmesan cheese. 5)      To avoid the bread becoming soggy make bruschetta a few minutes before serving. Makes […]