Poached Mahi Mahi in Vanilla Cream Sauce

Fish…and vanilla?

Poached Mahi Mahi in Vanilla Cream Sauce

This dish was inspired by Lydia over at The Perfect Pantry. A while back, she had posted a recipe for Sea Bass with Vanilla Cream Sauce that just intrigued me as I had never seen vanilla used for anything outside of dessert and baked goods, let alone with meat/fish. I mean, there’s fish…and vanilla. Huh?

There’s really no reason vanilla can’t be used for other things (e.g. a la chocolate and chicken), but its funny how you just sort of typecast things. Kind of like how my colander is only for pasta–it was embarrassingly shocking for me when I realized I could also use it for boiling potatoes (…or anything other than pasta). Vanilla with fish seemed like another such “aha!” kind of moment…just… click to read more…

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Upside-down Cardamom Praline Pear Cake

This is the time of year where pears are at their best, so what’s a fruit-based dessert junkie to do? This was a delicious, sweet and nutty upside-down cake, topped off with some caramelized pears.

Upside-down Cardamom Praline Pear Cake

Cardamom is one of those spices that you’ll find featured a lot in Indian cooking, but outside of that, it seems to be a pretty rare thing. If you’re not sure if you’ve ever had cardamom before, I’d recommend you try to pick some up with next week’s groceries–its interesting and you’ll find some good uses for it. I try to experiment with it a lot in other dishes, and I was delighted to have it featured in this dessert. The cake batter has three really strong flavors at play: cardamom, hazelnut, and almond, and having them all together at once is a really nice combination. No one flavor overpowers the other, but rather, they all just provide a well-rounded sweet/spicy/nuttiness to the batter… click to read more…

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Happy Holidays!

I just wanted to wish everybody happy holidays this year. I hope you have a good time…and good food. 😉

As you read this, I will be out of town and with family for a short vacation. But have no fear, loyal readers–I’ve written up many a post in advance and if everything works right, they should continue to come online at a fairly regular schedule until I return home in January. Just thought I owed you an explanation in case I seem to M.I.A. in the comments. 😉

So anyways, again, happy holidays!

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Apricot Date Stuffed Chicken Poached in Saffron Cream Sauce

This dish was really rich and tasty. The chicken was juicy and soft (on account of being poached) while the filling was a bit more honeyed and crunchy in texture, being filled with apricot, dates, and almonds. The sauce was also the poaching liquid: a creamy spiced broth teeming with saffron. All of these individually strong flavors paired together in a surprisingly harmonious way.

Chicken Poached in Saffron Cream Sauce topped w/date & fig, served w/cranberry rice

This dish was kind of a hodgepodge of ingredients–after making rugelach, I had some ingredients on hand that I normally don’t (apricot preserves, dates) and I just felt compelled to use them for something completely different. Once I got out of the dessert frame of mind, I came up with this. Describing the dish to my wife ahead of time was greeted with skepticism: there were a lot of flavors and many of them were sweet (she has a thing against sweet and meat). I was also feeling… click to read more…

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Egg Nog

I went overboard with Thanksgiving dishes, but haven’t given the winter holidays a fair shot. So today, a festive drink with Christmas and the new year right around the corner: egg nog.

Egg Nog

There’s about as many egg nog recipes out there as there are drinkers of egg nog. Fundamentally though, the core of the drink is the same: eggs, cream, spice, and alcohol. I, being a salmonella sissy, opted to partially cook mine (there are many recipes which entirely raw). Even though the egg white is still raw in the drink, it gives me the peace of mind that I need to just enjoy it, even if it isn’t well founded (I mean, I do enjoy other “dangerous” raw foods like sushi…). Cooking egg nog is very similar to the preparation of any other custard–its quick, easy, but requires your full attention or else you’ll just have a… click to read more…

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Apple Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Orange Cranberry Mustard Sauce

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but roasted birds still feel seasonally appropriate. Today, I roasted some Cornish Game Hen with a sweet and herby apple flavor and topped it off with a tangy orange cranberry mustard sauce.

Apple Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Orange Cranberry Mustard Sauce

I’ve had it in my head all week that I wanted to cook quail. Granted, I’ve never had quail before and I don’t even know what it is I’d like to do with it, but I wanted it. Well, they were impossible to find so I settled on Cornish Game Hens, which is still a bird I’ve never worked with before, but it wasn’t quail, so I was little peeved. I then hit up my pile of recipe books for inspiration to see what I could do with these, and there was close to nothing there (and what was there really didn’t sound terribly interesting). So my bad mood began to develop a little further. I sat and I planned, but nothing… click to read more…

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