Lindsay Sterling

Latest Articles


A Congolese feast

I met Constance Kabaziga at the checkout at Mittapheap World Market. She was buying frozen cassava root and dried beans, and I really wanted to know what she was going to do them.
Beans and rice, with African flair
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 02, 2010

Making Uzbek lamb and rice

A friend told me I had to cook with her friend, Momen Abdullayof. He’s from Uzbekistan, a country I would have been really lucky to fill in correctly on a geography test.
Cooking tips: exercise free speech, eat osh, and take a walk
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  May 07, 2010

For richer, for poorer

Laura Coroi saw my “Immigrant Kitchens” poster at the YMCA and introduced herself.
Romanian polenta with sheep’s milk feta
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  April 09, 2010

'Herring in a fur coat'

This time of year I look at myself in the mirror and shrink. My face looks like it belongs on the canning shelf with the beans, asparagus, and cukes.
Tasting a Russian party dish
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  March 12, 2010

A painting, a letter, upside-down peppers

"While I wait, I beat the peanuts," says Hop Nguyen, a custom clothes designer in her home kitchen in Yarmouth, Maine. She's teaching me how to make green papaya salad from Bac Ninh province in northern Vietnam. She's waiting for the spaghetti-like strip
It all goes into making Vietnamese papaya salad
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  February 12, 2010

Adventures in pot stickers

My friend from Thailand taught me how to make real pot stickers and pad Thai.
Exploring new worlds of flavor
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  January 15, 2010


Epic Albanian foodstory

Portland resident Bill Dilios taught me how to make his favorite dish from Albania, kotopita.
A mother never made it to America, but her chicken pie did.
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  November 20, 2009

A decade gone by

This week, we at the Portland Phoenix celebrate 10 years of serving Portland and Maine as your news, arts, and entertainment authority.
Where Portland has come since 1999, and why we can't really even imagine what's coming in 2019
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 18, 2009

In 10 years

It wasn't always that Portland was "America's foodiest small town."
From a handful of restaurants to a restaurant town
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  September 18, 2009
exotic list

Hot exotic adventure tonight!

Unless you're a vegetarian or fried-pigskin-intolerant, I have an adventure for you. It requires about three hours. It's exotic, but does not require calling the phone numbers on the next few pages. Depending on who you are, it requires little or a lot
Shave cabbage, rub pork ribs, peel yuca, and more
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  August 28, 2009
estonian list

A long-ago farm

Last week while you were reading here about Portland chef Krista Desjarlais's efforts at Bresca, I was cooking with her mother, Maili Kern, who lives in the West End. She taught me how to make rosolje, an incredible roast beef and root-vegetable salad
Exploring the origins of great food
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 31, 2009

nicaragua list

Finding a way

If it weren't for Nicaragua, Jenny Sanchez and her favorite dish, gallo pinto, wouldn't be here. She's a 75-year-old grandmother. She's short, has wavy dark hair, black eyes. She leans over slightly even when she's standing upright and has a stiff, bel
Making Nicaraguan gallo pinto
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 03, 2009
spring list

Spring roll work area

In America, you can make your way through life without cooking. My friend is a Warmer Upper. Her meals are hot dogs and other frozen, jarred, or packaged things you heat up. And yet, she was at my house one afternoon for lessons on how to make fresh sp
American people under construction
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  June 05, 2009

Buns, buns, buns

The sunshine yellow trim of the La Bodega Latina, a corner store and deli geared toward Spanish-speaking immigrants, peeks out above the eight-foot-high pile of dirty snow along Congress Street.
A Dominican fried treat whomps health-nut-ism
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  February 11, 2009

Let the alligators come to you

And, Portland, they're on the way
And, Portland, they're on the way
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  January 14, 2009

Transcendence through pasta

I've just added to the list of Things Humans Don't Completely Understand.
The artistry of Fabiana De Savino
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  December 17, 2008


The borscht I kissed once...

When I was working at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, two housekeepers who didn't speak English but giggled a lot brought in a pot of their family's borscht for the employee meal. In the dark basement hall where the employees ate, I tasted serious fami an underground hallway — and rediscovered at home
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  November 19, 2008

Persian pleasantries

I went to the Kismet Inn a couple blocks from the water in downtown Bath to learn how to cook the innkeeper’s Iranian eggplant stew.
Making Iranian eggplant stew
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  October 22, 2008

If you’re not sweating...

A sculpture on display at Filament Gallery this summer memorialized one of Jamaica’s great cooks. Her likeness is carved out of wood, sanded and polished with butcher’s wax.
...something’s wrong with you
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  September 24, 2008

Laymoon is lemon

El-taha’s house in Falmouth is populated with an easy Lebanese-American combo-culture.
How a Lebanese woman makes tabouleh
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  August 27, 2008

What to eat in a bikini

Brazil isn’t all about major wax jobs and itsy-bitsy bikinis.
Brazilian fried chicken + potato salad + rice
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  July 02, 2008


Origami appetizers

Welcome to a tasty morsel of Somalian life.
Otherwise known as Somalian samboosas
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  June 04, 2008

Heirloom Ukrainian recipes

In a wind-bound seaside cottage rental where she’s been living this year, Sasha Prygoniuk, a 25-year old Ukrainian, has volunteered to teach me (and you) how to “kook,” (as she so charmingly pronounces it).
Written in English for the first time
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  May 07, 2008

Teach me your beans

I had assumed the choice of beans — black, pinto, or refried — was a Latin American thing.
Whatever they may be called
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  April 09, 2008

Changing your world view

Real wealth doesn’t have anything to do with having granite countertops.
One Pad Thai at a time
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  March 12, 2008

From Mangoland to Portland

It’s a particularly wonderful experience to eat Venezuelan food in the middle of a sleet storm in Maine.
Venezuelan arepas bring the tropics to Sleetville
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  February 13, 2008


Vibrant and crunchy

In the shadow of the Maine Mall is a residential street lined with duplexes that all look alike.
Home-cooked Turkish delights
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  January 16, 2008

Curing boredom

If you asked me the secret to Chinese food a couple weeks ago, I might have guessed: MSG?
Leave it to the Chinese to solve the riddle
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  December 12, 2007

Antidote to modern life

Finally, she says, “We have in our genes to eat bigos.” No matter where we’re from, I think we all do.
Bigos, the Old-World comfort stew
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  November 20, 2007

The taste of love

That childhood taunt, “Why don’t you marry it!” might actually be worth listening to if the love professed is of a kind of food.
Thai red curry's secret is in the leaves
By LINDSAY STERLING  |  October 24, 2007