Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa

Watermelon salsa. Sounds different, right? But not in a bad way–more like really interesting. I certainly thought so when I first heard of it, and while the watermelons were abundant around here, I knew I had to try it. So closely following Susan’s very tempting recipe, I made some Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa.

And how did it come out? Quite surprising–I’d never had watermelon in any form other than dessert, so I was really curious to see where it would go. The end result didn’t quite have the tex-mex sort of flavors I was expecting, but it was nonetheless quite enjoyable.

The peppers give the salsa a bit of heat, the avocado some creaminess and richness, the jicama a tartness and a firm crunch, while the watermelon played the curious role of…refreshment. Sort of like having a salsa with really juicy tomatoes…but not. It… click to read more…

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Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine)

This dish is a French classic: a stew created by braising a tough cut of beef in red wine, cooking long and slow to yield something hearty, tender, and full of flavor.

Beef Bourguignon, served over noodles

Now shocking as this may seem, this isn’t a summer dish, but that’s ok–I actually made it during the winter, lol! Can you tell that I’m not great about getting all of my posts published right away? 😉 This recipe is based on that of the great Julia Child from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One, a book I’d highly recommend to anybody who is serious about cooking good food (I’ve also discovered the re-runs of her fantastic TV series on PBS–very worth a watch!).

So whether the weather is cold or you just want something to warm you up and… click to read more…

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Beef Wellington

Some times, when dinner rolls around, we all experiment and try to put together something new. Other times, we resort to the classics, maybe not comfort food, but definitely something “established,” and this is one such dish: Beef Wellington.

I don’t think I ever had a Beef Wellington before this, but was well aware of it (how could you not be when its included on Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen season after season?). Like some other “classics”, I approached this with some hesitation as it seemed like it could be tasty in my mind, but it also just seemed kind of…stodgy and dated, if that makes any sense. But the more I thought about it, I couldn’t imagine how this dish would disappoint.

After eating this, I can easily see why this is a classic. This is timeless: a juicy, tender cut of filet mignon cooked inside a tight, buttery, flaky package of… click to read more…

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Moroccan Beef Stew

After the last Moroccan dish I made, I simply had to have more. The approach to cooking the food is simple, the spices strong and seductive, and the end result is uniquely complex and delicious. Really, my first experience woke me up to a whole new genre of food that I had to explore. Today: a Moroccan Beef Stew.

Moroccan Beef Stew

Combining my new regional food interest with my newfound obsession with braising, this stew just made a lot of sense. Plus, this was an exciting opportunity for me to crack open the jar of preserved lemons that I had started so long ago–finally, after all of the suspense, I could discover what all the fuss was about. And you know what? They really are unlike anything else. Clearly lemons in appearance and flavor,… click to read more…

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Beef Stroganoff

Sometimes, you come across a dish, and it just sounds so….archaic. You can’t help but think that this is what people used to eat before they had things like spice, taste, or technique. This, of course, is based on nothing in particular, and you know this, but the stigma remains. But then you think of the dish again. And again. And somehow, through sheer repetition, you become intrigued, until soon, you can’t help but want a taste yourself. For me, that was beef stroganoff, and let’s just say I’m glad I came around.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff really did not interest me at first. I mean, beef in bland noodles with sour cream being the bulk of the sauce? Doesn’t sound super exciting. Kind of like cafeteria food really (maybe that’s a part of the stigma for me?). Of course, I like beef, pasta, and creamy things, so eventually, after seeing a click to read more…

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Chili con Carne

Chili is one of those dishes that can incite some passionate arguments, because when it comes to opinions on what should/shouldn’t be in a chili recipe, like ass holes, everybody has one (as the saying goes). Should it include beans? Meat? Tomato? Pasta (the answer to that, of course, is no and I don’t care where you come from 😉 )? These are life or death decisions in the chili world. So given that, here’s my take on a good and hearty bowl of chili.

Chili con Carne

While this chili has a lot of familiar flavors, it does nonetheless include one very special ingredient. I’ve been hanging on to this item for a few weeks now, keeping it near and dear until the right dish came along and beckoned for it as I only had one handy. See, if I like anything in my chili, its some punch–chili is a dish that simply should (must!) have some heat to it. I’ve… click to read more…

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