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Ladies and Gentlemen, meet vrunka: FOOD52’s very own librarian, pie contest competitor, home cook extraordinare, and self-described "Kitchen Tornado". Growing up making potstickers by hand with her grandmother, vrunka has been cooking her entire life – and it shows. Her food is challenging, but lacks any sort of pretension; her food is complex, but executed carefully, patiently. We’d love to join vrunka at her kitchen table to make those potstickers – or her Thai Peanut Butter Cups (picture above), or her Spiced Lentil Sambusas, or her Orange Cardamom Fig Newtons ...
It’s clear from vrunka’s recipes that she’s following in her grandmother’s footsteps, piling her table high with "a great variety of delicious dishes". And boy, is there a variety. There’s Thai: Kanom Krok. There’s Italian: Nettle Tortellini in Brodo. There’s Vietnamese: Crispy Vietnamese Veggie Crepes with Fresh Basil. There’s savory: Stuffed Macaroni and Cheese Pie with Herbed Topping. And sweet: Cardamom Coconut Pots de Crème with Pistachio Shortbread. We’d love to see our table piled high with any of these – and we can thank vrunka for sharing them with us.
What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Apparently in parts of rural Thailand, barbecued rat - or more euphemistically, "field mouse" -- is a delicacy and is meant to be accompanied with the strong local whiskey. I made the mistake of skipping the whiskey and sampled the "field mouse" on its own. Maybe it would been better with the whiskey… or maybe it just would have left me somewhat less horrified.
What do you cook when home alone?
Angelhair pasta with anchovies, parsley and garlic.
Your most treasured kitchen possession:
I'm in love with my VitaMix 4500, aka "The Bassomatic"
The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is: