My first recipe for this month is Pesto. The name Pesto, comes from the Genoese verb “pesta.” As you may know, pesto is one of the biggest exports out of Italy. So what is pesto? It is a delectable combination of basil, parmesan, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts. It is also easy to make. The most important thing is to pick herbs that are fresh. The traditional recipe uses basil, but other herbs work just as well. I read an article recently on using other nuts. The writer said, “I recommend substituting pine nuts with another type of nut you like, as pine nuts can be only affordable to a Hedge Fund Manager.” A humorous comment, but pine nuts can be rather expensive.
The Spanish Tapa Pork Rolls are my second recipe. They are easy to make and delicious. The Spanish call them Flamenqines. They are considered a tapa or a “small plate.” I love tapas and had my first experience while in Madrid with my family and Uncle Jorgen Thanning. Jorgen was stationed there with the Danish Embassy. Not only is he fun to be with, but he is also a great tour guide. Tapas originated in Andalucia which is in the southern province in Spain. The translation of tapa means cover. In the beginning, a piece of ham may have been put over a glass of wine. Today they are known more for a small serving or a snack before dinner. But to be perfectly honest, I can make a whole meal of tapas.
My third recipe is Tater Tot Casserole. This was something I made quite a bit after graduating from college. It’s a simple one-pot dish layered with ground meat, vegetables, beef broth, grated cheese and toped with Tater Tots. So what is the back story? It is no surprise that Tater Tot’s are an American favorite. In 1953, they were invented in Ontario, Oregon where my husband Dave is from. The Ore-Ida potato company was trying to figure out what to do with all their extra scraps of potato. So they decided to slice up the potato slivers, add some flour and seasoning and then mash to create a shredded potato mixture. Then they were formed into small cylinders and fried. The name is easy. Tater is a shorter name for potato, and Tot is because of their small size. I love a croquette, and Tater Tot’s remind me of a less expensive version.
What do Americans eat on Halloween? It is a busy evening where most households are either handing out candy or taking their children trick-or-treating. So dinner has to be easy. It turns out that tacos and ribs are very popular but the number one thing is take-out pizza. I wish you all a Happy Halloween!
From my table to yours,
Your galley guide