This tangy, spicy curry from Goa, India, has roots in vinh d'alho, a stew brought to the region by Portuguese colonists. Now an Indian restaurant staple, it comes in countless variations—some fiery, some mild—from the subcontinent to the British Isles.
Every so often, an old classic gains new traction at an influential restaurant, spreads to menus all over, and eventually trickles down to the home cook. Such appears to be the fate of butterscotch pudding.
Although coquilles St-Jacques simply means "scallops" in French, in the idiom of American cooks, the term is synonymous with the old French dish of scallops poached in white wine, placed atop a purée of mushrooms in a scallop shell, covered with a sauce made of the scallop poaching liquid, and gratinéed under a broiler.
Tagine, the Moroccan stew, shares its name with the terra-cotta pot it's traditionally cooked in, whose neat conical lid promotes convection and even cooking. There are many versions; maybe the most classic is braised chicken, green olives, and lemons in a sauce fragrant with ginger and coriander.
In Argentina, I fell for the gauchos and their locro—a stew of squash, meat, and hominy. It was creamy and slightly sweet, and its garnishing sauce, made with paprika, provided a festive burst of spice and color.
Key lime pie evolved after 1853, when a struggling inventor, Gail Borden, created condensed milk and somebody in the area made "custard," combining it with the lip-puckering limes, and putting it all into a pastry crust.