Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa

Watermelon salsa. Sounds different, right? But not in a bad way–more like really interesting. I certainly thought so when I first heard of it, and while the watermelons were abundant around here, I knew I had to try it. So closely following Susan’s very tempting recipe, I made some Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa.

And how did it come out? Quite surprising–I’d never had watermelon in any form other than dessert, so I was really curious to see where it would go. The end result didn’t quite have the tex-mex sort of flavors I was expecting, but it was nonetheless quite enjoyable.

The peppers give the salsa a bit of heat, the avocado some creaminess and richness, the jicama a tartness and a firm crunch, while the watermelon played the curious role of…refreshment. Sort of like having a salsa with really juicy tomatoes…but not. It… click to read more…

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Chocolate Cherry Clafouti

I love cherries, and what can I say? I just love pairing them with chocolate. So today, I thought I’d bring you a more traditional cherry dessert that even the most timid bake-o-phobe could handle: a Chocolate Cherry Clafouti.

The clafouti (a.k.a. clafoutis) is a French dessert, that essentially, is like a pancake with a little more emphasis on the “cake” part of “pancake.” Its simple, light, fluffy, and meant to be whipped up quickly and eaten up just as fast. Traditionally, this treat is loaded with fruit, most often cherries, so in keeping with tradition, I’ve done just that. But since I couldn’t help myself, I chose to push this dessert a little bit in the chocolate direction, giving the cake batter itself some darker, chocolatey flavors.

One point of contention out there is how to present the cherries in the clafouti. Many prefer that the cherries be unpitted… click to read more…

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Dragon Fruit & Coconut Sherbet

Have you ever had dragon fruit? It really is a funny looking thing–the size of a small mango, bright red and green tips on the outside, and either a bright beet-red or perfectly white flesh inside, speckled with hundreds of black seeds. If anything, its quite a pretty fruit, and not one I come across very often. So to indulge in my ongoing addiction for buying exotic produce, today, we have a Dragon Fruit & Coconut Sherbet.

I had no experience with dragon fruit until now, so I was kind of at a loss for what to do with it. I wasn’t having a whole lot of luck finding ideas either. Most of the written material out there is either how people loved dragon fruit or were very disappointed in its somewhat neutral flavor (and for what its worth, I enjoyed it, but it didn’t blow me away–think like a more neutral tasting kiwi). I did however, really take… click to read more…

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Creole Beer Battered Fish Fry

Even if you’re iffy about eating fish, I imagine just about everyone is up for a fish fry. I mean what more is there to say about this? Don’t we all have a soft spot in our hearts for deep fried food? (Yes!) For this version, I made a Creole-spiced beer batter that was really strong, spiced, and flavorful, making for a very enjoyable indulgence in what is really simple, summery, Southern-styled comfort food.

I really enjoyed this–the fish was tender, moist, meaty, and fresh while the batter was zesty, spicy, crunchy, and just…well, really damn good! I used a good bit of coarse cornmeal so that the end result would have a really solid grit and crunch about it while the spices have a distinctly Creole flare about them. Underneath all of this is another major player in the beer batter: the beer! I chose to go with an IPA (India Pale Ale) as I love the hoppy,… click to read more…

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