Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Small Dishes

May 2011

Salad Daze


Salad Daze

 Tis the season for salad.  Granted, it’s available in some form or another all year long, but come warm weather and it shines.  For me, it’s the only time of year salad satisfies as an appetizer, side dish or entrée.  For some, salad is synonymous with mixed greens and globby dressing.  What a pity.  If variety truly is the spice of life then indeed it’s what makes salads worthy of praise and praise I will a few of my local favorites. Marigold Kitchen. They call it the “Spanish frittata salad”—a combination of roasted new potatoes, chorizo, tomatoes and onions on a bed of arugula and frisée; garnished with manchego cheese. Especially intriguing is the romesco vinaigrette made from an improbable mix of...

Posted at 08:44 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Sauce à la Américain


Sauce à la Américain

 Let’s face it, whether you barbecue or grill, there’s only so many ways you can cook it. The heat source—charcoal, gas or wood—may vary, but whether it’s slowly smoked pork shoulder or beef brisket, grilled spare ribs or chicken, the goal is to give the meat that much coveted smoky flavor. You might add a rub or marinade before cooking, but what really sets one recipe apart from another is the sauce.  Properly speaking, a sauce is a condiment and usually applied near the end of cooking as a glaze or served on the side with the finished product. (A mop is the term for a basting liquid applied during cooking—usually made with less sugar so it won’t burn so easily.) Mention “barbecue sauce” and that tomato-based stuff...

Posted at 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

Change You Can Believe In


Change You Can Believe In

 Sometime in Wisconsin the change of seasons is more a state of mind than a date on the calendar. Spring this year has been disappointing; wet and wishy-washy; big on hope but short on substance. Harbingers of warmer weather can be misleading:  I’ve seen robins in the snow and shorts on State Street when it’s barely above freezing.  So, what are the sure signs that warmer weather is truly here to stay…at least until October (or hopefully, September)? Sorrel.  Most likely found in the backyard, I’ve spotted this spring herb at Metcalfe’s Market and occasionally at the Farmers’ Market.  Finding it is well worth the effort. Sorrel has a flavor similar to spinach but much sharper.  Like rhubarb leaves, it contains...

Posted at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

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