Macaroni & Cheese, Cheese, …and more Cheese

Macaroni and cheese, like many “common” sounding dishes, has been misrepresented on many an occasion, whether it be powdered stuff from a box or some slop from a cafeteria. But if you show it just a little bit of love, it will love you back with some incredibly rich flavors.

Macaroni & Cheese

So despite the many bad macaroni experiences we’ve all had, mac & cheese should not be banned from your kitchen as if it were gruel. This is not that undesirable junk that shows up on your plate at some backdoor BBQ you’d rather not be at–this is the good stuff! Plus, preparing this is actually quite simple and lends itself to experimentation. The end result is a fantastic dish with a variety of flavors going on.

If you look around for macaroni and cheese recipes, there’s really not a lot of consistency when it comes to what kind of cheese you should use–all cheddar, fontina, asiago, american (no!), etc.… click to read more…

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Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

My new toy is still new and exciting, so despite the cold winter weather (hey, 40 degree weather is cold for Florida!), I can’t help but make ice cream again this week. Last week’s ice cream was a bit too rich for my wife’s tastes (but spot on for me!), so I thought I owed her a lighter ice cream more tuned to her liking. I went with her favorite fruit: mango.

Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

With mango as the base flavor, I wanted to dress it up with some other subtle Indian flavors to have a really lively ice cream. So I started with a creamy mango custard and infused it with cardamom and rose water (never used it? It’s just what it sounds like–water flavored with roses, as in flowers!) for sweet, floral flavors that are very harmonious next to the buttery, sweet, almost peachy… click to read more…

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Preserved Lemons

I was in the mood for something Moroccan (can you guess what kind of recipes will be posted in the coming days? Oh the suspense!), and if there is any recurring ingredients in Moroccan recipes, it is preserved lemons.

Jar of preserved lemons

I’ve never had preserved lemons before and it seems two methods are popular: one is just lemons and salt and the other is generally the same but with various savory spices added into the mix. Being both a fan of lemons and as decisive as ever, I decided to make two jars: one spiced and one “plain.” Now that I’d finally made that tough call, I got all ready only to find that I only had one clean jar handy (doh!).

The basic idea is that you take some lemons (tis the season for Meyer… click to read more…

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Apple Chicken Curry

I know this one sounds like an odd combination, but somehow, innocent, autumnal kind of ingredients (apple, apple cider, cinnamon, white wine, dijon, golden raisins) come together to produce a curry that could stand up next to any other traditional chicken curry flavor-wise. And so today, we have apple chicken curry.

Apple Chicken Curry

I wanted to make chicken that somehow went with apples, but I had a tough time coming up with something that appealed to me. I wrote down a long list of things that I thought would go well with apple and then started whittling it down until there was a collection of things that seemed harmonious together. From there, I just took all of those ingredients out and just sort of went with it–since ginger and cardamom were involved, why not try to do something with some Indian flare to it? And so I started working in other Asian flavors, such as kasoori methi (a.k.a. fenugreek), and that… click to read more…

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Trio of Ravioli–veal, mushrooms, and goat cheese

I was very excited about making pasta from scratch and had grand visions for making ravioli. But what kind of filling should I make? Beef? Chicken? Veal? Cheese? I kept tossing ideas around and decided to be reasonable and just choose: I’d make three different fillings (veal & olive, mascarpone mushroom, and herb & lemon goat cheese). Decisiveness is one of my strong points.

Ravioli

So knowing that the fillings would be the slow part, I hurried to work, preparing far too much of each, telling myself no problem, I’ll just freeze the excess ravioli and have an easy back-up dinner for weeks to come. I was in a good mood and in no real hurry at all–I was hungry, but the fillings were coming along great and making/stuffing the pasta would be a really quick process. There was nothing to worry about. I could just snap my fingers, and dinner would be ready. So I casually pour the flour… click to read more…

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Caramelized Pear Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans

My seasonal pear obsession continues to dictate my desserts. This week’s spin on pears: caramelized pear ice cream with toasted pecans.

Caramelized Pear Ice Cream

Armed with my fancy new toy from Santa (with the appropriate attachments, of course!), I knew this week’s dessert simply had to be ice cream of some sort (despite the fact that its winter and below freezing. Hey, the fruit is seasonal, even if the dessert isn’t!). To be honest, my original plan was persimmons, but as luck would have it, this was the first week I couldn’t find any at the grocery store (foiled again!). Without so much as giving that a second thought though, it was on to my next fruit heart-throb as of late: pears. The last click to read more…

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