Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup

Garlic isn’t one of those things that gets the spotlight very often, and there’s no good reason for it because it seems that just about everyone enjoys it (have you ever met someone who doesn’t just love garlic bread?). I mean granted, your breath won’t be making you any friends for a while after, but you’ll feel happier for having indulged in your garlic craving, right? Whatever the case, this soup is where one my favorite supporting flavors (its probably in almost every meal I prepare 😮 ) finally gets its time in the sun: roasted garlic chicken soup.

Roasted Garlic Chicken Soup

I really enjoyed this soup. It was simple in flavor, but surprisingly interesting. You might think you have garlic nailed down, but the soup showcases it in such a way that you really get to appreciate a fuller profile of garlic than you might otherwise. There’s a combination of lightly sautéed cloves of garlic as well as slowly roasted whole… click to read more…

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Vegetable Quartet (Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, Fennel, and Bacon!)

This was inspired by a side dish I had when enjoying an incredibly delicious lunch at Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta (this is where former Top Cheftestant Richard Blais currently hangs his hat, and if you’re in the area, you must go. Period. Where else could you have a foie gras milkshake?). The side was titled simply: fingerling potatoes and carrots. I like both, so why not? I just expected a side of potatoes and a separate side of carrots. Mixing these two in one bowl never would have crossed my mind, and as a result, I found a new favorite side dish.

Vegetable Quartet (Fingerling Potatoes, Carrots, Fennel, and Bacon!)

I have a hard time pitching this mix of flavors to people because it doesn’t really sound all that sexy. Carrots, potatoes, fennel, and bacon. Individually, they’re all great. But all together at once?… click to read more…

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Belgian Waffles

Even though I’m not the biggest breakfast person, there’s two classes of breakfast food that are essential building blocks in the breakfast food pyramid in my mind: pancakes (and its cousin the crepe) and waffles. Guess what the focus is today? Up until now though, waffles weren’t really an option for me since I didn’t have a waffle maker. It never seemed that pressing since a waffle maker is kind of a one-task item, so I always just convinced myself pancakes would do just fine. Well once my birthday rolled around, I caved and asked for a waffle maker. So now I can scratch that itch when I crave belgian waffles.

Belgian Waffles

First, one thing worth mentioning in case you’re also in need of a waffle maker–this is the one I got: VillaWare V2002 UNO Belgian Waffler. I… click to read more…

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Southern Fried Chicken

When I read that this fried chicken (by Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis) was the best ever, I’ll be honest, I had my doubts. I mean read the ingredients–it sounds too simple…almost plain. But being curious, I tried it anyway. I am so glad I did because this is in fact the best ever. And as with most simple but amazing dishes, the secret is in the technique.

Southern Fried Chicken

It’s hard to describe how awesome this chicken was. The batter had a great crunch an took on a surprisingly rich, porky, meaty flavor while the chicken inside was stunningly tender and juicy. No extra spices are needed for the batter and no dipping sauces for eating–this is just perfect the way it is and what every southern fried chicken should aspire to be.

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • ~2 quarts cold water
  • 1

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Honey-Nut Brownies

At the time of my birthday (and since you ask, it was a few weeks ago 😮 ), I was kind of caked out. I just happened to have made lots of cakes leading up to it, so we instead decided to celebrate with something different for dessert: brownies. And while its not my birthday any more, in case you’re in the mood to celebrate anything with someone special (setting the mood for Valentine’s day perhaps?), these will score you…wait for it…brownie points (rimshot!).

Brownie Birthday Pile

Now all that being said, there’s something to be said about these brownies. Calling anything a “brownie” commands certain expectations that vary person to person. In all likelihood, these won’t meet them. Does that mean you’ll be disappointed? Absolutely not–these are incredible and you’ll devour the whole batch as quickly as you would any other brownie. They’re just different–more like… click to read more…

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Lamb and Red Pepper Paella

If you’ve never had paella before, you’re probably thinking what’s the big deal, its just another rice dish (or maybe that was just me). Well firstly, rice is awesome. Secondly, paella, like risotto is in a league all its own in the rice-world. This Spanish dish is not just “stuff” mixed in with rice–this is a hearty, vibrant class of dishes very open to experimentation whether it be vegetables, seafood, or meat–and technique is important. Like risotto, while the mix-ins and other flavors are important, the texture and method of cooking the rice itself is also a big part of what makes it so unique. In this particular rendition, the focus is red peppers, lamb, and chickpeas.

Lamb and Red Pepper Paella

This paella was really tasty–very fresh, slightly sweet, and enticingly aromatic (yay for saffron). Plus, I love the mix of colors and how it looks great in that big paella… click to read more…

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