Dulce de Leche Brownies

Brownies are a wonderful thing, and you can never have too many varieties of them. Fluffy, dense, crisp, whatever–they’re chocolatey, awesome comfort food that everybody enjoys. So in that spirit, I couldn’t resist an opportunity to use one of my favorite sweet sauces: dulce de leche again, so I promptly baked a batch of David Lebovitz’s Dulce de Leche Brownies.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

In the process of baking these, I had my doubts. The batter looked a little odd and thick, and I expected a small, so-so yield. I was of course, a fool for worrying. They were without a doubt delicious–the crunch of the pecans, the crisp, buttery edges, the swirls of rich dulce de leche, and the dense, deeply chocolate flavor… click to read more…

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Avocado, Mango, and Beef Risotto

Despite me pushing them on her many times before, my wife has recently (finally!) discovered the wonder that is an avocado. Served with simply a dash of salt, its a fantastic thing. Given how many more avocados I’ve suddenly found consumed in our house, it only seemed appropriate that I center a dinner around it. Many ideas came to mind, but it had been awhile since I’d made a risotto, and given how creamy and rich those tend to be, this seemed like a match made in heaven.

Avocado, Mango, and Beef Risotto

The tricky thing with avocados is I think they disappear into a dish very easily, becoming an indistinguishable source of creaminess and I really wanted their unique flavor to be at the forefront. They can also be a bit tricky in that you can’t really cook them. My solution? I began with a lemongrass… click to read more…

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Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank with Apricots

My starting point for this dish was simple: I wanted something kind of middle eastern in flavor, and I wanted lamb. Armed with pomegranate, apricot, and a bunch of spices, I figured I would be off to a great start for something that would be different from the usual dinner. I was thrilled with the results as this was a really tasty, full-bodied, seductively spiced stew, but not at all like how I originally envisioned it.

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank with Apricots

I was disappointed that, despite using 3 cups of pomegranate juice, the pomegranate flavor was nowhere to be found in the final dish. On the other end of the spectrum, I was also a bit dissatisfied with the apricots–they tasted great, but were too sharp and loud flavor-wise relative to the rest of the stew and seemed out of place. On my next attempt, I would try to incorporate a few other changes: add pomegranate molasses to the stew roughly 20 minutes before… click to read more…

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Chipotle, Cheddar, and Chorizo Corn Chowder

I love when corn is in season. I tend not to cook with it all that much–I usually just grill it by the day and eat it straight off the cob. But after seeing this chipotle corn chowder, I knew I had to do something similar. I originally planned to replicate the recipe as is, but as I started making changes, I found I was tending to add a bit of a South American flare to it, so I ran with it.

Chipotle, Cheddar, and Chorizo Corn Chowder

Now I had no interest in making a soup–I wanted a chowder, and a chowder needs a bit more body to it. So to add a thick, starchy base, I opted for green plantains instead of the usual suspects like roux or potatoes (although I did add a bit of corn meal, but hey, its a corn chowder, so that’s different, right?). Melting cheddar into the soup towards… click to read more…

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Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Pecan Frosting

There’s a number of reasons I prefer making cupcakes over full cakes. Number one is probably my ineptitude with cake decorating. Beyond that, they just seem easier–easier to make, easier to serve, easier to eat, and they taste just as good. It had been a long time since I last made cupcakes, and I wasn’t about to endeavor on a full on cake.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Pecan Frosting

For these particular cupcakes, I opted for the flavor that always seems to draw my wife and I to cakes: chocolate. I wanted it to have some intrigue to it though, so its not just chocolate–I wanted something darker. So for the cupcake batter, the foundational flavors are both cocoa and molasses for something a bit more like click to read more…

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Roasted Banana Ice Cream w/Dulce de Leche Swirls

When I made this, we were in that seasonally awkward period where no fruit is really in season or all that appealing. Plus, my wife and I were on something of a banana kick, so it only seemed natural that I make ice cream.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream w/Dulce de Leche Swirls

This was really simple to make a far as ice creams go–no eggs, no custard, etc. Instead, you roast some bananas with a bit of butter and brown sugar to really intensify the sweet and unique flavor. Once pureed, this gives the same texture an body as a more traditional egg-centric ice cream.

The ice cream had a very strong, molassesy banana taste that I fell in love with. I also mixed in chunks of banana and swirls of dulce de leche just to make things more addictive and punchy in flavor, and all I can say is wow, this is… click to read more…

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