Indian-Inspired Barbecue Chicken

Every now and then, I have odd cravings that don’t jive with one another, so something new is born. In this case, I wanted Indian and barbecue. There just isn’t much cross-over in that realm (as far as I know). My compromise? A whole chicken, halved, marinated tandor style, smoked, and then slathered with a tangy, strongly spiced sauce that borrows from both barbecue and Indian cuisine for style and flavor.

In reality, this is quite simple and that’s why it’s so darn good (but such is barbecue). The chicken is slowly smoked–richly flavorful, crispy skin, and surprisingly tangy from a simple marinade. Plus, whole chicken is the best (I always love a good roast chicken).

What made this different was the sauce glazed on at the end. It’s a simple barbecue sauce, but tinged with a generous helping of Indian flavors–cinnamon, cardamom, tamarind, fenugreek, cilantro, etc. The total combination worked wonderfully and had me licking my fingers clean.… click to read more…

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Sweet Potato Beef & Peanut Soup

I was intrigued when I first read of an African Sweet Potato Peanut Soup. Firstly, I know close to nothing of African cuisine, secondly, I love peanuts, and thirdly, I hardly ever use peanuts outside of breakfast/dessert applications (usually as peanut butter, yum!), so really, there was a lot to this that caught my eye. Of course, tinkering with the soup a bit here and there, I’m not sure if its quite the same African peanut soup any more, but its definitely a keeper.

Sweet Potato Beef & Peanut Soup

Somewhat to my surprise, this soup reminded me of red Thai curries I’ve had before. The sweet potato base of the soup gave a great heartiness while the mix of ginger, peppers, peanut, and coconut added that creamy/tangy/spicy blend of flavors that so strongly evoked thoughts of Thai for me. Was it precisely what I intended? No. Was I disappointed? Definitely not. I would describe… click to read more…

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Orange Chicken

This is one of those Asian dishes that probably isn’t authentic or even originally Asian…but even still, we’ve all devoured take-out versions of this dish before and relished every last bite. Now some of you might wonder, why on earth would you go to the trouble trying to recreate something you could easily get via takeout? Well, then you wouldn’t have eaten some of the awful food near where I live, lol! Even if your options are better than mine, its also kind of fun–trying to recreate something you enjoy and making it a whole lot better. Plus, you can skip the stuff you don’t like (I never enjoyed all the broccoli this is normally served with…yea, I’m gonna be a great dad! lol). Anyways, whatever your reason, back to the food: Orange Chicken!

Orange Chicken

I’ve been enjoying over-indulging in oranges (winter is citrus season in Florida), so it seemed like a happy coincidence when I saw the click to read more…

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Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce

I love ribs. Absolutely love them. Beef shortribs are a different animal (no, er, ok, some pun intended), but still, they’re ribs! A beautiful but tough, rich and fatty cut, that with a bit of time and slow cooking, can be transformed into the most tender, flavorful, delicious meat. With that being said, I wanted to enjoy these with some plums before they disappear for the season, and so the result was a dish that seemed like a blend of homey comfort food and some Asian flavors: Braised Short Ribs with Plum Sauce.

Braise dishes just scream late autumn/winter to me, and this is the kind of dish that will keep you warm but still have surprisingly bright, full flavors. After hours of slow cooking, the ribs will be fall apart tender and the sauce will take on a very full body with surprisingly complex flavor. The plums lose some of that bright… click to read more…

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Sweet Sesame Broiled Kona Kampachi

Having enjoyed two different raw preparations of my Kona Kampachi recently, I thought it was time to explore how this fish cooks. Being a Hawaiian fish, my first inclination was to aim for something Polynesian in nature, but then I drifted towards Asian flavors. I also wanted to give this fish a good sear, but not cook much beyond medium-rare. Combining these two ideas, I decided on a sweet, spicy, light sauce to glaze the fish during its brief vacation under the broiler.

I was inspired by one of my favorite Asian food bloggers take on this fish, so I thought I’d try to take that idea in another direction. This glaze had distinct Asian flavors (to speak in such broad strokes. I… click to read more…

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Kona Kampachi Sushi…and big news!

Food blogging has its perks. Aside from being a member of a surprisingly tightly knit community of really great people, every now and then, you might even chance upon some pretty awesome freebies. In this case, I really hit it lucky, and won a free fish (yay!). This is not just any fish–this is a Kona Kampachi from Kona Blue. I was pretty excited because this is very fresh and sushi-grade to boot, so the first thing that came to mind for me: sushi! (I’m so original! Good thing they don’t call it “ice cream grade”–you’d still stick with me, right, reader?) I’m not sure why, but making sushi is one of those things that always scared the hell out of me, so this was a biggie for me.

First, a bit more about the fish. I’d… click to read more…

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