Cultural region: Eastern European Jew, Sicily
Artist: Jeff Cravotta
I was born in Brooklyn, NY into a family that was is combination of Eastern European Jewish and Sicilian. All four of my grandparents were off the boat. When I was six my single parent mother of four, Doris had to go to work full time. Of my three siblings, I was best suited to help in the kitchen, which I loved then and still do.
I quickly learned to cook eggs, scrambled, fried, sunnyside up or boiled. Eggs are very possibly my favorite breakfast. I was in my mid-twenties when a friend made me a frittata. I started working on my fritatta game the very next day. Please allow me to share with you. - Jeff
The Cravotta Frittata.
Ingredients (adjust as necessary):
2 heaping tablespoons of chopped onions
2 heaping tablespoons of chopped peppers
A nice optional addition is 2 heaping tablespoons of celery
This dish is great without meat but is a great way to use leftovers.
Other Optional Additions:
Leftover fish, meat, sausage or salami cut into small pieces
Season to taste with, Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Basil, hot sauce or your favorite seasoning mix.
Advise: This dish cooks fast, do not walk away from the stove while you are making this, it burns easily.
Put the shelf in the oven to the top or next to top level.
Turn the broiler on high.
Beat the hell out of the eggs with a tablespoon of water.
Heat a little more oil that you think you need in your pan. When the oil warms up a bit add the onions and peppers. Once the peppers and onions start to sizzle add any of the optional meats or fish.
Keep tossing until the onions start to become clear then pour in the eggs slowly. Adjust heat as necessary.
Add the seasonings and optional cheese
Work your way around the edge of the pan with a small rubber spatula or wooden spoon keep pushing the cooked edges of the egg towards the center of the pan and letting the uncooked egg flow to the place where the cooked egg was. Keep doing this until the eggs are about ½ done.
Now remove the pan from the heat and put it in the oven under the broiler. Get an oven mitt and keep your eye on it!
Remove from oven as soon as you see parts of the egg starting to brown. Place it on top of the stove and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. It will continue to cook. Put a potholder on the now hot pan handle so no one gets burned.
Enjoy hot or room temperature! Great with bread or toast.
Cá Kho Tộ - Caramelized fish in clay pot
Cultural region: Vietnam
Song Anh and Tony
photography by Dahyun Nam
We’ve made some of our favorite & simple Vietnamese dishes that our moms would make growing up. We refer to it as cơm bình dân, which literally translates to “commoner’s rice”. These dishes are special because they remind us of our humble beginnings. After a few first dates, Tony & I quickly learned that one of our biggest commonalities are that we have very similar palate & enjoy the same food. It connected us at the start. Tony was born in the States while I was born in Vietnam yet our parents prepared the same dishes that we both grew up to love. I remember back in Vietnam, my family didn’t have much. The ingredients for these dishes were easily accessible in Vietnam so it didn’t cost much. My favorite memories are when our family would gather in a circle to enjoy our meal on the tile floor. Once we moved to the States, I would always ask mom to make these dishes and mom would make fun of me and say “ Đồ ăn người nghèo”, meaning poor people’s food. Someone once asked me if I had to pick my last meal, what would it be? Although the question caught me off guard, without hesitation, I would pick rau muống xào tỏi (morning glory stir fried in garlic). I’ve enjoyed many amazing dishes and premium delicacies in my life but I always go back to these simple dishes. They may not cost much, may not require so much time, or ingredients but they are full of flavors & brings back so many memories. The caramelized & braised fish has a rich umami flavor, with the fresh & crunchy texture of the morning glory, and the addition of the soup makes for a balanced meal that is a go to for many Vietnamese families. We would like to share our mom’s recipes. Cá kho tộ is Tony’s mom’s recipe. Rau muống xào tỏi & canh bầu tôm are my mom’s recipe. - Song Anh and Tony
1.5lb catfish or salmon steak
4 garlic cloves
½ cup of green onions
2 Thai chili peppers
Wash fish with vinegar, salt and water
Pull guts/blood out
Marinate fish with the following:
c. 1tbsp Soy sauce
d. ½ tbsp Fish sauce
e. 2 sliced Thai Chili pepper
f. Green onion
g. Half of chopped Garlic cloves
Let it marinate for 30 mins.
Heat clay pot or sauce pan with oil
Add 1tbsp of sugar, cook by swirling sugar over low medium heat until brown/carmalizes.. Turn off stove after it turns brown
Add garlic and fish and turn heat to medium.
Toss and turn fish until brown and caramelize.
Add coconut soda until its half the thickness of the fish.
Add water to ¾” of the thickness of the fish.
Turn heat to high. Wait til boil.
Add two spoons of Ca Kho Powder and turn heat to Medium.
Add fish sauce, salt or pepper if needed.
Add Thai chili pepper
Cook at medium until fish is yellow as sauce
Rau Muốn Xào Tỏi - Morning Glory stir fried with garlic
Cultural region: Vietnam
Song Anh and Tony
photography by Dahyun Nam
1 bunch morning glory (water spinach)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Thai chili peppers
Cut the morning glory into 3 section, rinse 3 times and drain.
Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add garlic and stir until it turns slightly yellow.
Add morning glory and stir.
Once morning glory is cooked, add fish sauce, salt, Thai chili peppers, sugar to taste. Be careful not to overcook or they will not be crunchy.
Not My Yia Yia's Spanakopita -Vegan Spanakopita
Cultural region: Greece
When my parents would make spanakopita, it was usually for a holiday, or special occasion.
This meant all the relatives would be gathered around, and no matter if you knew Greek or English; around the table we all spoke the language of love.
After moving away from animal products, I found this recipe to be a close match to the family spanakopita. Not 100% homemade, but definitely made from love. - Tia
1 pack each- 5 and #7 fillo
2 packs- 7oz packs Violife feta
1 pack- extra firm tofu
1+ lb Miyoko Salted vegan butter
30oz + fresh baby spinach
2- medium onion
(9x13 or a little bigger pan/ 2.5- 3 inches deep. Maybe a little bigger if want. Will thin the filling out though)
**Fillo should thaw overnight in fridge before use. When ready to make, take out of package and unroll. Keep covered with cloth so doesn’t dry out.
***Grate onions, dill and mince garlic (to taste) and sauté with a little butter until a nice and soft/lite gold. Set aside.
****Take 1.5 packs of v feta, and pack of tofu. Drain tofu and press. Crumble and place into a bowl. Add a little white vinegar and salt to it and combine. I use my hands. Want in crumbly with texture. A little Lemon squeeze too. TASTE IT. Should be tangy.
Add 3/4cup of JustEgg to it and combine. Place in fridge to set.
*****Chop spinach. Wilt it in pot/pan while adding cooked onions into it. May need a little olive oil and lemon. Drain and strain.
SQUEEZE WATER OUT WITH CHEESE CLOTH. SQUEEZE AGAIN. Set in fridge to cool.
*Heat oven to 350. Grease pan
*Melt 1 lb vegan butter for all the fillo.
Combine the spinach with the cheese mixture in one bowl.
Start with #7 fillo. Gently pick up sheet and lay in pan. With brush, brush entire sheet with butter. Repeat with all the #7 fillo (I like a thicker base).
Spread filling fixture over fillo
Take #4 fillo and lay across filling. Brush with butter. Repeat over and over. 1/2 the pack, maybe a little more. Can tuck in the overlap, or roll it like crust at end. Make sure you butter edges sticking up, will dry out and crumble if you don’t.
Once done, SCORE your rows a few layers down. Make sure plenty of butter on top layer.
Cool on center rack for about 30 mins OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN. Can brush more butter on if looks too dry. Or if cooking on top too much, cover with foil.
When done let cool BEFORE final cutting. The fillo will crumble like crazy.
Lucile's Sausage Balls
Cultural region: USA - South Georgia
Lucile Randall's recipe box
I was born and raised in Albany, Georgia. When I moved into my first apartment, my grandmother (May Reese McLaughlin) gave me my first cookbook, the 1963 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cookbook which I still have and still use. A few years later after George and I were married my parents gave me a recipe box with recipes of family favorites. Some were hand-written and some were typed on the manual Royal typewriter which my mother had taken with her to Alabama where she was stationed as a nurse during World War II. These recipes are from that recipe box . . . my mother’s sausage balls which she made every Christmas Eve and my grandmother’s mayonnaise recipe which she made several times a month especially in the summer. I still have the bowl that she made this mayonnaise in. - Mayreese Koraly
3 cups Bisquick
1 lb. sausage
1 small jar Cheese Whiz
Mix all ingredients and roll into small balls. Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sausage balls may be frozen and baked later.
Korean American Quarantine Dinner
Cultural region: Korea / USA
Last year during the pandemic, I photographed my Korean American "quarantine" breakfast, lunch, and dinner which was composed of authentic but convenient foods such as kimchi, instant noodles, frozen dumplings, fish cake, pajeon etc. These photos became part of the winter cover of Still Points Arts Quarterly and won "Best in Show" online at Shanti Arts. Although I'm a proud Charlottean and naturalized U.S. citizen, I was born in Masan, South Korea. At the beginning of the pandemic, I gravitated towards comfort food that was convenient and affordable. "Korean American Quarantine Dinner" is 50% inspired by the Oscar winning film "Parasite." Part of this noodle DINNER's ingredients are integral to a mouthwatering scene that juxtaposes high and low classes. - Jinna
one packet of Chapaghetti
slice of roast beef
Simply cook the Chapaghetti instant noodles based on the packet instructions. Garnish with a slice or two of roast beef. Accompany with any kind of kimchi. Pictured are radish kimchi ("kkakdugi") and cucumber kimchi. BONUS: Eat this while watching "Parasite" and drinking soju.
Tater Crust Quiche
Cultural region: France, Germany
recipe to come