*THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS—Composed Salads*
Recipe: Albanian Tzatziki

August 10, 2012

This week we have another guest post from Dr. Ingrid Nelson. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the story and recipe as much as I did! Ingrid’s composed salad lends itself to both creativity and the use of leftovers. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!       -Chloe

The best fish I have ever eaten was a trout simply fried served on a white plate under a tree on the roof of a restaurant overlooking a cerulean blue river from where the trout had been plucked.  The flesh was firm and tasted of cold snowpack water, bright sun, and deep misty valleys planted with walnut trees.  In short, it tasted of where it came from—high in the Dinaric Alps of Albania.

When traveling, I have noticed that the best foods taste like where they come from.  I wasn’t a big fan of figs—mushy and sickly sweet was my opinion—until I picked one off of a tree in Montenegro and popped it whole into my mouth.  It literally exploded with delicately flavored nectar, soft flesh, and crisp little seeds that crackled when I bit into them.  I looked around the garden I was standing in.  There was hot sunshine and a cool salt breeze off the ocean scented by the flowering shrubs that grew around the fig tree.  My fig tasted exactly like this.  Since then, I have searched the specialty shops of Manhattan for an even vaguely similar experience, but without luck.  I guess it’s back to Montenegro for my next fig! Continue reading

*THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS—A Morning Tipple*
Recipe: Fried Onion Sandwiches

April 29, 2012

This week we have a special guest post written by my aunt, Ingrid Nelson, who is a doctor in New York City. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did! Keep a lookout for future “Doctor’s Orders” posts.            -Chloe

My grandpa Phil started every day with a small glass of vodka. Just enough, my mother explained, to fortify him for the day. When she told me this I was skeptical. Phil’s morning tipple, I thought, was a very bad sign, a prelude to a day of excess and a life of wantonness and waste.

But I’ve learned that I was wrong. A tipple in the morning is a pretty common way to start out the day for many people. Take my Albanian patients, for example. Some tell me that they wake up and have a glass, a small one, of raki, and then go off to their their jobs feeling refreshed and invigorated. I was skeptical again… but I’ve interrogated their spouses, children, and friends who generally report that the man (almost always a man) in question is a reliable and trustworthy relative—hard-working and competent.

Continue reading