Veal Chops with Mustard Cream Sauce

Regular readers of this site know I have a taste for veal. Its tender, delicate in flavor, and carefully done, always makes a meal special for me. The idea behind this dish was kind of a mix of two meals I’d made before: procedurally, the style of cooking was like another veal chop I had made while the sauce was inspired by a creamy mustard pasta which was a big hit. I love cooking chops (of whatever meat)–they’re quick to prepare, a crowd pleaser, and packed with flavor.

I was excited about this dish when I was planning it, but the result far exceeded my expectations. It was simply incredible and the flavor of the sauce was surprisingly complex. You couldn’t pick out… click to read more…

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Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays to everyone who I missed!

I hope you have a great holiday (and time off!), and as always, good food. Just in case you’re looking for any last minute dish ideas if you’re cooking/baking anything for the holidays, I thought I’d give you a quicky:

  • Egg Nog: the way I see it, everybody loves egg nog. If you don’t, you simply haven’t had good egg nog. Plus, its a holiday-friendly excuse to load up on the bourbon (think about, which sounds better around noon: “I’m having a
    bourbon” or “I’m having a glass of egg nog?”). Its really simple and hits the spot.
    Egg Nog
  • Linzer Cookies/Augen: hazelnut and almond flavored, crisp cookies filled with a jam/fruit preserve of your choosing and dusted with sugar. A great Christmas cookie that is sure to please.
  • Rugelach: why should Christmas get all the cookies? Hanukkah overlaps Christmas this year, too, so this

click to read more…

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Linzer Augen (Linzer Cookies) w/Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Have you ever had a linzertorte? I thought I had–growing up, I relished cookies that looked just like these. I always thought were called “lindsay tarts,” but nope, no such luck. Even if I did spell it correctly, these cookies are not the torte (kind of obvious once its spelled out since a “torte” is a cake), but rather a close cousin of this Austrian/Hungarian dessert. When the linzertorte is presented in cookie rather than cake form, its cut into a round shape and is instead known as Linzer Augen (“Linzer Eyes”). Whether cake or cookie is your poison, they both share very similar flavors: ground nuts (hazelnut and/or almond), seed-specked fruit preserves, and they are both simply amazing.

Linzer Augen (Linzer Cookies) w/Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I mentioned fruit preserves. Typically, you’ll find black currants or raspberry preserves making an appearance in a more traditional linzer, but really, go with whatever floats your boat. I used click to read more…

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Butternut Squash Gumbo

Creole cooking is a wonderful thing–you’ve got traditional Mediterranean influences (e.g. French, Spanish, Italian) strong, zesty southern elements (e.g. Carribean, American), and even African flavors. Its one of those styles of cooking that brings a whole lot of great stuff together to make something truly amazing. I wanted to take a classic Creole dish (gumbo) and see if I could spin it in a way that would fit my Thanksgiving menu by adding a bit of autumn to the mix (via butternut squash) as I thought it would be fun change from butternut squash soup.

Now for those of you haven’t had gumbo before, the first thing you need to do is correct this immediately. Seriously! Gumbo is almost stew like–thick, hearty, smoky, spicy, and full of a wide variety of things that’ll warm your bones. Some like to load their gumbo up… click to read more…

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Chili Molé

I absolutely love chili. Honestly though, who doesn’t? A meaty meal with lively south-western/Mexican inspired flavors are sure to please anyone. Winter brings out the chili cravings in me, but I’ve already shown you a fiery chili once before, so I thought I’d try to mix things up a bit and bring you a new twist on this favorite meal of mine. Rather than the usual approach to chili where the focus is on a variety of dried peppers, I opted to work with a large variety of fresh peppers (so be calm Texans, I know this isn’t an authentic chili!), and to make things a bit more interesting, I also chose to steer this to have decidedly Mexican flavors by working in the major components for a strong set of molé flavors. And so Chili Molé was born.

Now like I’ve said,… click to read more…

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Hazelnut Brittle

Growing up, I loved peanut butter…actually, anything peanutty, really. Peanut brittle fell into this category, and honestly, who doesn’t love peanut brittle? Since I’ve grown up, I’ve come to love a variety of other nuts, and one of my favorites (hazelnuts) is in season at the moment, so I thought I’d enjoy my favorite nuts with one of my favorite candies by trying my hand at making a batch of hazelnut brittle to complete my Thanksgiving dinner.

The result was more than I could have hoped for–distinctly hazelnutty, sticky, crunchy, sweet, caramelly, buttery, salty, and lightly tinged with that delicious bourbon aroma. And just look at it. Maybe I’m a sucker for brittles, but I drool like Pavlov’s dog at the sight.

I was largely inspired by a recipe I saw, and honestly, I was really impressed with the… click to read more…

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