Asparagus, Swiss Chard, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Spring time is when food starts to become more fun for me. All the interesting produce starts to slowly come into season again, teasing their way forward to the bounties of summer. One such beacon for me: asparagus. I love the stuff and will probably be eating it on a nearly daily basis in all forms for as long as it is locally in season.

I tend to love asparagus prepared simply–either grilled with a bit of citrus or paired with something tangy and creamy. This dish leans more in the latter direction: a freshly made pizza topped with asparagus, wilted swiss chard, and goat cheese. Do I tend to overdo it in the quantity of toppings when I make my own pizza? Maybe according to some, so top your pizza with however much you see fit–me? I’ll just be looking… click to read more…

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Arancini di Riso (deep-fried balls of risotto)

Deep frying things just has a way of making all sorts of simple things more interesting, and well, downright incredible. So imagine if you took something that was already pretty incredible to start with, and then deep fried that…well that would just have to yield something all the more incredible, right? Yes, yes it does.

Arancini di Riso is the proper Italian name for deep-fried balls of leftover risotto. If you haven’t noticed by now, I like to make risotto–lots of different kinds depending on what’s in season. Its creamy, luxurious, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The one downer with risotto though is that the leftovers are just never the same as when you serve it fresh–the flavor is just… click to read more…

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Mint and Balsamic Vinaigrette Stained Pappardelle with Fennel and Peas

When I’m without a solid idea for what to make for dinner, my mind drifts to pasta. I’ve probably said the same thing for countless other dishes in the ~3.5 years I’ve been posting here, but meh. This particular dish is lighter fare than my usual pasta hodgepodges, having a bit more of a springy/warm day feel about it.

The noodle: pappardelle since I wanted something with some bulk for the sauce to cling to. I added some bacon, sautéed onions, fennel, peas, and swiss chard, all tossed in an intriguing mint and balsamic vinaigrette for the sauce (here’s my original inspiration for the sauce).

The total dish is simply delicious. The flavor is not explosive, but it is quite full of more subtle, nuanced flavors. You have a mix of sweet, smoke, and licorice-like anise, with a light tanginess from the balsamic/dijon countered by a… click to read more…

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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… click to read more…

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Pomegranate BBQ Sauced Lamb Meatballs over Apricot Cous Cous with Chickpeas

I love meatballs in pretty much any form. There’s something homey and inviting about them just conceptually, no matter how dressed up they are (and yes, I recognize how pretentious the title of this dish sounds right next to my “homey” statement). For this dish, I returned to one of my favorite meats: lamb. Ground lamb always seems to wow me where I least expect it, and these meatballs kept the trend going.

For the meatballs, I wanted them to be relatively simple with all of the appropriate spices and aromatics that would make the lamb sing without masking it–such as touches of cumin, allspice, garlic, and parsley. A bit of creme fraiche helped to enrich them and keep the texture light and delicate.

With that out of the way, onto the sauce. I have always thought that lamb pairs wonderfully with fruit, so the… click to read more…

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Beet Risotto

Did you miss me? Well I missed you–its been a long time since I last posted, so I thought I’d come back with something bold and colorful: beet risotto. Even the beet skeptics will love this one given how rich, bright, and earthy this dish is.

But first, some important business. Yes, there’s no neglecting that Mike’s Table has gotten a little dusty these past few months and I apologize for that. This wasn’t due to a lack of interest–I’ve been cooking as much as before. The past several months have been a bit more hectic for me, one big reason being that I am in the midst of divorce (short version: she cheated). While a source of aggravation, I have been fine and that ordeal is but a small cloud lingering over the vast, clear sunny sky that is the rest of my life. I’ve been focused on myself and the many who truly matter in my life,… click to read more…

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