Simanaitis Says

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IT HAS BEEN a quarter of a century now that we have enjoyed Saveur. The slogan of this gourmet, food, wine, and travel magazine is particularly appealing: “Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine.”

“Do you see the world food first?” asked Dorothy Kalins. It was she, with Christopher Hirshheimer and Colman Andrews, who established Saveur in summer of 1994, initially as a quarterly.

The following recipes and images are from the current issue of Saveur, Winter 2019-2020.

“Our best recipes of all time!” is a provocative cover blurb, so immediately I looked to see if favorites of ours were among them. Or, better yet, new ones we could try out. Here are tidbits gleaned from the Saveur selection.

Smoked Trout Hash. Originally published in Issue 114, November/October 2008, this one amplifies on our family’s proclivity for potatoes. My version used Trader Joe’s smoked trout and may occasionally overdo the garlic.

Hunter Lewis, Saveur test kitchen director, 2008–2010, cites the recipe as “an ode to my grandparents in Asheville, North Carolina.” This city played a role in my “From Sea to Shining Sea” Moke adventure back in 1990.

The caption for this photo read, “Accommodations along the way were modest. This is the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina.”

Chiaquiles. This one, originally published in Issue 78, October 2004, refines a family favorite based on Wife Dottie’s being a ditchbank girl: It’s hard to do anything wrong with fried tortillas, tomatoes, garlic, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño; this last, within moderation, Wife Dottie advises.

We ordinarily do it vegetarian and prefer the veggies unblenderized. Judy Joo, Saveur test kitchen assistant, 2004–2006, says, “Vivian Jao and I tested this recipe with and without the chicken bouillon power and decided that it definitely tasted so much more addictive with. We called it crack-quiles.’ ” I must try it with the powder.

Sri Lankan Fish Curry. This one, originally published in Issue 192, December/January 2018, is new to our kitchen. Stacy Adimando, test kitchen director, executive editor, editor-in-chief, 2016–2019, writes, “This punchy, deeply aromatic coconut curry introduced me to goraka, a dried tropical fruit that adds an unique sweet-sour depth.” Me too about goraka.

We’ve already enjoyed various combinations of fish, coconut milk, and curry mixtures, these last of the prepared variety. I reserve our mortar and pestle for making my Picada Stew, which once won third place in a Better Than Boullion contest on Melinda Lee’s KNX radio program. It’s difficult to work this achievement into conversation, but it can be done.

Happy anniversary, Saveur!

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2019

One comment on “HAPPY 25TH, SAVEUR!

  1. Michael Rubin
    December 10, 2019

    Well you can work anything you like into your blog, Dennis. I’ll sneak in our simplified version of chilaquilies (note I said version) which uses thick tortilla chips, salsa, eggs, cheese and cilantro. Breakfast galore. A dollop of guacamole works nicely, too.

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