Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

The idea for this tart began with me wanting something just a little bit different from one of my favorite desserts: pecan pie. I’ll spare you the loose set of ideas that led to this final product and just get to the food–rather than a topping of exclusively pecans, through complete indecisiveness sheer brilliance, I used a mix of pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds. Then, in place of the usual corn syrup-based custard, I instead made a maple syrup and chocolate based custard.

Chocolate and Maple Nut Tart

Taste and texture-wise, the pecan pie heritage of this tart is very clear. All the tweaks add to what is still very much a pecan pie flavor foundation, and I loved it. You pick up the flavor of almond and hazelnut with deeper, dark sweet notes of chocolate and maple which I found was a great foil to the touch of cinnamon you get from the graham cracker crust. You still get that gooey custard filling with… click to read more…

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Lamb Steak over Israeli Cous Cous with Cranberry Sherry Mint Sauce

When I found myself with a cut of lamb known for having an incredibly tender texture (the top round roast–it comes from the upper hind leg), for some reason, steak was on my mind rather than the usual roast. I’d never had lamb steak before, so I thought that this could be a fun change–I’d just give them a quick, buttery pan sear (since its not grilling weather at the moment) and top it off with a simple sauce. Being autumn and all, cranberry seemed like a great thing to focus on sauce-wise–and like pork, lamb with fruit always makes me happy.

Lamb Steak over Israeli Cous Cous with Cranberry Sherry Mint Sauce

The lamb was indeed very tender. The resulting steaks had a crisp, buttery, exterior with a juicy and just-a-little-pink interior (random aside: why aren’t lamb steaks more common?!)–very tasty. The cranberry sauce I made to go with this was very similar in style to click to read more…

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