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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Creamy Avocado Soup

Somehow, I’ve gotten a bit behind on some of my posts, so despite the fact that the leaves have already changed colors, let’s take a moment to pretend its still summer. What do you say? This soup is so delightfully simple, you could make it in a hurry any day of the week. If you love avocados, you’ll love this–creamy and served cold, the toughest decision is what you’ll want to serve along with this Creamy Avocado Soup.

As you can see, the brilliant plating I had in mind looked a little silly when all put together, but ah well, you win some, you lose some. Flavor-wise though, I was delighted–I cooked some bacon, crumbled it on top, and then sautéed some fresh, local shrimp in the bacon fat (shelled, deveined, and cooked for 3-4 minutes) to go along with this soup and make it more of a self-contained meal. Plus, both the sweet flavor of the shrimp the… click to read more…

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with White Beans and Sausage

Aside from cinnamony apple desserts, I think there’s another dish just about everybody seems to enjoy and crave come autumn: butternut squash soup. It seems like even the most fervent anti-squash types warm up to a bowl of the stuff (and how could they not?). Even though I’m in season-deprived state of sunny Florida, my craving kicked in like clockwork and I had to have a bowl. I wanted to make a meal of this soup, so in the name of adding more substance to it, I added cannellini beans and sausage.

Of the many inspirations I had for this soup, this is what really caught my eye. Some roasted butternut squash soups can be a bit more liquidy (generally not my preference), but… click to read more…

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Kona Kampachi in Cognac Cream Sauce

Since my wife has no appetite for fish at the moment, I was alone in tackling that whole Kona Kampachi that Kona Blue had so generously sent my way. I had actually been eating fish for four days straight until I had finished it (I couldn’t dare put that wonderful fish in the freezer), but I thought I’d give you, readers a break from fish for a while, hence the gap from the other Kona Kampachi dishes I’d prepared. So here we are, the very last of my fish. This is a simple and straightforward preparation, the Kona Kampachi is sautéed in butter and topped with a cognac cream sauce.

Since I’d tried this fish cooked in many forms (raw, marinated/”chemically” cooked, and broiled), I thought I… click to read more…

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Pasta with Sage Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkins generally mean dessert in my mind. Its not like I’ve never made savory dishes that highlight pumpkin before, but still, that association is a stubborn one in my head. So I thought I’d try once again to shake it off by making a pumpkin sauce. In this case, a sage pumpkin cream sauce to go with pasta, sausage, and bacon.

This seemed like a good idea, but I had no idea how good it was going to be. For how simple this seemed, the flavor really blew me away–this was awesome. The sauce was incredibly thick–bordering on macaroni & cheese style thick (granted, I did enrich it with a healthy portion of Parmigiano Reggiano)–and the flavor was surprisingly rich. If I had to describe it in just one word, I would say “autumn” (which means a lot in hot Florida at this time… click to read more…

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Honeyed Balsamic Braised Chicken with Figs

I thought I should explore some savory applications of fresh figs rather than just going dessertcrazy. For some reason, a Morrocan chicken I’d made several months ago kept popping up in my head, so I decided to follow a similar tact and braise a chicken with figs and see where it took me.

I began by breaking down a whole chicken. I strangely enjoy this and seem to get better at it every time I do it, so if this is something that intimidates you, there’s only one way to get better at it so do it! With the chicken in more manageable pieces, I then braised it in a flavorful broth of wine, balsamic, honey, leek, herbs, and figs. The result was absolutely delicious–the chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was sweet, honeyed, with a surprisingly well-rounded, balanced,… click to read more…

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