Chilaquiles

If I had to pick a favorite class of food as of late, I’d have to go with Mexican.
The flavors are always big, bold, and exciting, the food looks rustic and mouth-wateringly good, and it never fails to hit the spot. So you might discount me some given my predisposition when I say that this dish is absolutely incredible comfort food: chilaquiles.

So what are chilaquiles? They’re like nachos but far more awesome and actually authentic rather than some over-priced pub appetizer. I think the best way to describe it is a casserole of stale/fried corn tortillas, a sauce of your choosing (red, verde, molé–whatever), and a whole bunch of whatever else you have handy (chicken, eggs, avocado, radish, cheese, crema, etc). This dish is meant to be relatively simple to prepare, a great way to make the most of leftovers/random odds and ends, and most of all, is said to be great hangover food. Chilaquiles… click to read more…

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Penne with Seared Chicken Breast and Green Garlic Pesto

I’m a little late on posting this recipe since green garlic season may have already come and gone (some of you might still find it), but that brings us right over into garlic scape season, so its an easy substitution to make! If all of that flew over your head, you’re missing out on something great and need to try it as soon as possible (more on that in a moment). So what did I do with this bit of tasty spring produce? I made a simple green garlic pesto to highlight green garlic as the star of the show in this pasta dish.

If you’ve never heard of green garlic before (or scapes, which are kind of similar but are in fact, different), they’re actually pretty interesting. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find them at your grocery store, but you should have better luck at a farmer’s market. Simply put, green garlic is garlic before it has fully matured… click to read more…

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Sriracha Chicken Wings

Wings are the kind of comfort food I don’t eat often enough, but when I crave them, I can pack them away. They don’t require much of an introduction–all the wing lovers out there know just what I mean. This is the kind of food where you want to plop yourself down for awhile, make a sloppy mess of yourself, and just indulge. They’re (to use a terrible cliche) finger-licking good and incredibly easy to make.

While the traditional tabasco (or Frank’s red hot)-based buffalo sauce is good, I prefer what I consider a more interesting sauce. For this recipe, I opted for a tangy, sweet heat in the sauce with one of my favorite ingredients: sriracha. Combined with some other Asian flavors (ponzu–a citric soy sauce–and a dab of hoisin), you’ve got something just as easy to make and far more interesting than straight tabasco/cayenne pepper and vinegar (my two inspirations click to read more…

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Chicken in Tarragon Mustard Cream Sauce

I don’t use mustard very often, but absolutely love it in sauces. Something about a well done mustard sauce is intriguing to me as it can take on many forms–sharp and tangy, rich and hearty, or just downright elegant. This was another such delightful experience for me: a simple chicken breast sauté, coated with a light, sumptuous mustard cream sauce with tarragon.

Don’t let the simplicity in preparing this dish fool you–the flavor is fantastic and it would fare well if you’re cooking for guests. The chicken is simple–nicely browned, tender on the inside–and the sauce has a rich tang, accentuated by the anisey, spicy notes you get from tarragon (a great foil to completing this sauce). Heck, I could enjoy the sauce straight and could definitely see using it in pasta dishes (if thinned out with a bit of stock). There’s a mix of smooth dijon and the gritty texture you get… click to read more…

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Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

When Mardi Gras rolls around, I think of three dishes: King Cake, Jambalaya, and today’s meal: gumbo. If you’ve never had a good gumbo, you’re missing out–it is one of those quintessential Cajun/Creole stews that every chef can put their own personal touch on. The one commonality across them all is that it will keep you going during the winter months being so rich and hearty.

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

In this particular rendition, I chose a classic combo: chicken and andouille sausage (compared to a lighter, butternut squash-centric version I did in the past).

A whole chicken is poached to make a fresh batch of stock, then shredded, strongly spiced, fried, and combined with fried, smoky andouille sausage. The stew is thickened with both okra and a nutty, smoky, milk chocolate colored roux. Simmered with a mix of some classic Creole vegetables and spices yields an incredibly intense stew that tastes incredible. The gumbo takes… click to read more…

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Coq au Vin (French Fricassee of Rooster)

I think its safe to say that we’ve all heard of coq au vin. This is a classic French dish with two big players: chicken and red wine. Well, a correction to that: not just any kind of chicken, but when properly translated, rooster and red wine.

Coq au Vin

This dish isn’t a quicky–like any other stew, it requires slow cooking and a tough protein that will stand up well to slow cooking. Just like how you wouldn’t make a beef stew from filet mignon (and if you do, please don’t tell me), coq au vin should not be made from an everyday, tender chicken. You want a tough bird that will release a ton of flavor (which is what will give the sauce an incredible flavor) and maintain its form after long periods of cooking, so this is why you would opt for something like a rooster or stewing hen if you have the option (plus, they’re typically cheaper–bonus!). Is… click to read more…

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