Persimmon Chiffon Cake & Custard

This time of year is right smack in the middle of the harvest of one of my favorite fruits of all time: persimmons! I love eating persimmons fresh, but they really don’t get enough love recipe-wise. I was hoping I could try my hand at a different persimmon-based dessert: persimmon chiffon cake & custard drizzled with caramel sauce.

Persimmon Chiffon Cake & Custard drizzled with Caramel Sauce

If you’ve never heard of persimmons before, it is very important that we establish up front that these stout, orange-colored fruits (which look like odd tomatoes but are nothing like them) are simply the best fruit out there (I think I’d put figs second, for those keeping score). Grab some now at your grocery store if you can–they aren’t around long during the year, but they are really something.

Persimmons come in many different varieties which are all quite different from each other. My favorite is the hachiya: acorn shaped and one of the absolute worst things you could possibly eat… click to read more…

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Tourtiere (Meat Pie)

I thought I’d try a new take on pies as I’ve only really dealt with pies and pastries in dessert form. I stumbled across tourtiere, a traditional French-Canadian meal, and it seemed like a perfect match. This is a pie filled with pork and is commonly served around this time of year, so it seemed like great new thing to try.

Slice of tourtiere

I can’t say whether or not the outcome here is as it was supposed to be as I’ve never had a tourtiere before, but I was pretty good about incorporating the core of what I encountered in other versions of this dish, but without any local French-Canadians to give their seal of approval, we’ll have to go on faith on this one.

I was excited when this came out of the oven–I mean its pie and its dinner! I carefully cut out a slice and took… click to read more…

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Buttermilk Pancakes

A great breakfast for a sleepy weekend morning that will always please a crowd: freshly made buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

I ate a lot of pancakes growing up, and while I don’t eat quite as many now (my average breakfast has shrunk a bit), they are still a nice occasional treat on the weekend (that and bacon…). Plus, if you’re entertaining and have company, this is a great way to prepare something fast and fresh when you’re still not entirely awake. Nobody will be the wiser as a tall stack of homemade pancakes will impress and hold the crowd over until lunch. 😉 Furthermore, you can even cater to each person’s individual tastes with whatever assortment of toppings you have handy, so you should even have your pickier eaters covered (because we all know that nobody would dare to eat a plain pancake!).

I thought that this recipe would be fun to post here in case you might be more accustomed… click to read more…

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Kaddo Bourani (Afghani Pumpkin w/Yogurt & Beef Sauce)

This dish is a change from the norm, but ’tis the season to show off pumpkins. Today’s dish is kaddo bourani, which originates in Afghanistan.

Kaddo Bourani (Afghani Pumpkin w/Yogurt & Beef Sauce)

Now I’m going to guess that you’re in one of two crowds in your reaction to this dish: (1) I’ve never had Afghani food before and have absolutely no idea what its like or (2) I’ve had Afghani food before from some amazing restaurant called Helmand and they had something just like this!

Well to the number oners, Afghani food is really tasty. My impression of it is sort of like Indian food as far as flavor and style goes, but “drier” (compared to the more stew-like curries that we all know and love). Definitely worth trying if the opportunity ever presents itself. To the number two folks out there, my first (and sadly only) exposure to Afghani food was at Helmand in the Boston area, and yes,… click to read more…

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Orange Tamarind Sweet & Sour Chicken

Since having made butter chicken and discovering an Indian grocery in town, I wanted to try something new and different that also applied some of the new things I’d learned (and bought). The result: an Indian-inspired take on sweet & sour chicken.

Orange Tamarind Sweet & Sour Chicken

I marinated and then broiled some chicken thighs like a typical chicken tikka so as to give the meat a tender, tasty flavor. The sauce is composed largely of orange juice and tamarind. Tamarind is a really interesting fruit, and even if you’ve never heard of it before, I bet you’ve eaten it without knowing it. For instance, it is largely featured in worcestershire sauce and the somewhat liquidy brown sauce you might have at an Indian restaurant (e.g. usually with somosas). Tamarind is kind of citrusy sweet and also distinctly sour, but in a really tasty, interesting way.

What would pair well… click to read more…

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Chicken Saltimbocca

If I have sage on hand, this is one of my favorite dishes to put it to good use: chicken saltimbocca.

Chicken Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is Italian for “jumps in the mouth” as all of the core flavors to this dish are really vibrant when they come together. Surprisingly though, there are countless variantions on saltimbocca as it is apparently popular in Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Greece where the featured meat, sauce, and garnish can all differ greatly (e.g. chicken, veal, pork, wine, salt water, oil, etc). The one commonality across all of these interpretations of the dish though: roulades stuffed with that mentholy, peppery flavor of sage and the richness of prosciutto. In this version, I stuffed chicken breast roulades with fresh sage, basil, goat cheese, and prosciutto and then top it off with some Marsala and mushrooms. This dish is also my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by click to read more…

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