Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek pasta dish that is both fun to say and a joy to eat. I had only first learned of the dish after reading about it from Peter, one of my favorite Greek food bloggers. The dish somewhat reminds me of lasagna in that it’s a hearty blend of pasta, meaty sauce, and a creamy Bechamel sauce all baked into gooey deliciousness. However, the flavor and texture is quite distinct from lasagna but still has all the amazing comfort food properties that will have you making this over and over again.

Pastitsio

The first major difference: tubular pasta instead of big sheets. I couldn’t find the authentic bucatini, so I used ziti. Then, the meat sauce isn’t a traditional bolognese, but a quicker-to-make tomato and… click to read more…

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Fudgy Brownies

A good while back, I made a different kind of brownie that was light, fluffy, and strongly flavored with honey. These brownies fall on the opposite end of the spectrum, restoring balance to my ultimate zen state of brownie satiation. These brownies are dark, dense, and incredibly chocolatey. The kind that requires you to approach them armed with a tall glass of milk and a willingness to fend off any passers-by who think they can share in the bounty. These are brownies well worth being selfish about…unless you’re looking to bribe someone, I suppose–then these would be a great thing to share.

Fudgy Brownies

This is more than comfort food. Its too rich and indulgent to be called comfort food. You have the crisp, buttery, crinkly edges that seem to contradict the dense, fudgy, moist interior. And this is a situation where if… click to read more…

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Rogan Josh

Learning more about Indian food has been one of my goals for this year–something I ushered in by making shahi korma. Shortly after, I had received an email from one of my readers (Rose S. in India), very kindly offering me additional Indian recipes to try. I was ecstatic and jumped at the opportunity. This recipe is one of those: a Kashmiri lamb curry, called Rogan Josh, which is cooked in a fantastic blend of very fragrant spices.

Rogan Josh

The curry had a great, smooth body with a velvetty mouthfeel and a really great blend of spices. The saffron added a nice little something on top of the other spices while the meat was very tender and rich (on account of the nice amount of ghee used. If you don’t have any ghee in your pantry–get some or make some soon!).… click to read more…

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Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

I have a special place in my heart for southern food and flavors. Until I can convince my wife to try pulled pork (she won’t be able to fight it forever once we’re in North Carolina!), I have to find other ways to quell my cravings. This is such a dish. My thinking? Fried chicken and waffles are a beautiful combo…same goes for meat and potatoes… so why not serve pulled beef (instead of pork) over sweet potato waffles?

Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

Now I know this one sounds strange, but this was incredible. This begins by making a barbecue sauce where the big players are chiles, tomatoes, and tamarind–fruity, earthy, spicy, sweet, sour–there’s a lot of flavor going on. The tamarind flavor was distinctly present, but not overpoweringly so while the chiles gave a very solid flavor backbone… click to read more…

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Strawberry Cream Pie in a Thyme Scented Almond Crust

Strawberries were in season when I made this pie, but even more important than my strawberry obsession, I had a need to make a pie crust so I could get a photo of it (more on that a little further down). Given that rhubarb wasn’t gracing the grocery store shelves just yet and I couldn’t make my absolute favorite pie, strawberry cream pie seemed like a natural alternate choice.

Strawberry Cream Pie in a Thyme Scented Almond Crust

Not wanting to be too boring, I had a few ideas to dress things up a bit. For instance, I’d recently read of an odd flavor combo that I was eager to try: strawberries and thyme. So I decided to incorporate both thyme and almonds into the pie crust and I’m very glad I did. The flavor was fantastic–buttery, rich, almondy, and the thyme was… click to read more…

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Chicken Biryani

Biryani is probably one of my wife’s favorite Indian dishes. For the longest time, I didn’t really understand biryani. To me, it just seemed like somewhat spiced, brown rice with dry bits of meat thrown in. If that’s been your experience, I promise, there’s much better biryani out there–deep, complex, tangy flavors, tender chicken, and enough mixed in so it doesn’t feel like your plate is 95% rice. Biryani is a classic for a reason, and I thought I’d spread the good word now that I’ve been won over.

Chicken Biryani

So in case you never have had biryani (or good biryani, for that matter), this is a popular dish in many countries with many different styles of preparation. I only know it through Indian cuisine, so that’s the perspective I bring to this. You have long grain basmati rice, cooked like any other rice with a handful of spices infusing the grains for flavor. But this is merely a foundation–not… click to read more…

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