Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta

This dish came out of an odd craving. I wanted something like chicken marsala, but a lot fuller and richer. I also wanted beef. After far too long an amount of time transpired before these two cravings merged into one, the idea for this dish was born. I took one of my favorite cuts of beef (shortribs), and prepared them with all of the marsala flavors I was craving, and turned it into a pasta dish.

Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta

This really nailed the craving for me: a hearty, stewy version of marsala. It tasted rich, earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet. The sauce was simple: a reduction of the liquid used to braise the beef in. As such, it was really full flavored: beefy and clearly marsala. The pasta was a great body for the dish and since I think nothing goes with mushrooms like beef, I tossed in some sautéed shitakes to go with it.… click to read more…


Seco de Carne con Tamarindo (South American Tamarind Beef Stew)

During the later parts of pregnancy, my wife has had a thing for beef. Being the spectacular husband that I am, I happily catered to this craving. I kept getting stuck on stewy/braise kind of dishes, so in looking for something new and interesting to try, I came across something that fed my stew craze while bringing something new and interesting to the party. In this case, this beef stew (called a “seco”) has Ecuadorian/South American roots, flavored in a big way with tamarind.

Seco de Carne con Tamarindo

My initial concern was that this would just greatly resemble chili and be nothing super exciting (and don’t me wrong–I am nuts about chili…its just not what I was aiming for this go around). Not so. This was very distinct and simply awesome. I am a lover of all beef stews, and this one really stood… click to read more…


Pumpkin Pizza

I love pizza and one of the best parts of making your own at home is that you can experiment with some different flavors. A while back when my pumpkin obsession was in full swing, I thought I’d toy around with making a pumpkin pizza.

Much to my delight, the end result was great. The sauce was simple and lightly spiced, aiming to highlight the star: pumpkin. The toppings were a bit of a hodgepodge, but they all worked really well and made for a pizza that really hit the spot: ground beef, cubes of roasted squash, pine nuts, shredded leeks, sundried tomatoes, olives, and crumbles of sharply flavored feta cheese. I know–try saying that three times fast.

I was initially worried that the feta would be too strong, but it actually paired quite nicely. The sauce wasn’t as strongly pumpkinny as I’d wanted it to… click to read more…


Chili Molé

I absolutely love chili. Honestly though, who doesn’t? A meaty meal with lively south-western/Mexican inspired flavors are sure to please anyone. Winter brings out the chili cravings in me, but I’ve already shown you a fiery chili once before, so I thought I’d try to mix things up a bit and bring you a new twist on this favorite meal of mine. Rather than the usual approach to chili where the focus is on a variety of dried peppers, I opted to work with a large variety of fresh peppers (so be calm Texans, I know this isn’t an authentic chili!), and to make things a bit more interesting, I also chose to steer this to have decidedly Mexican flavors by working in the major components for a strong set of molé flavors. And so Chili Molé was born.

Now like I’ve said,… click to read more…


Ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese Sauce)

When I was young, pasta came with one of two sauces: tomato or meat. Now, I can appreciate that there’s a lot more to “meat sauce” than I used to think there was, and anybody who has ever tried to pursue that perfect Bolognese sauce knows just what I mean. For instance, despite its appearance, tomato should not be a huge part of the sauce–a variety of meats, slowly braised and simmered, is the true star, giving this sauce a full body and an incredible complexity. Of course, no matter how you make it, it won’t be hard to find somebody else who does it completely differently. Ragù alla Bolognese is one of those personal, family tradition kind of sauces that has as many recipes as there are people on the planet at any given moment.

I was inspired by the insightsclick to read more…


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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