Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna

I’m not sure what it is about baked pasta dishes, but I can’t think of one that isn’t comfort food. Rich, creamy dishes like macaroni & cheese and pastitsio readily pop into my head. Another common craving: lasagna. I didn’t feel like putting in the time to make a good bolognese sauce to make that lasagna happen, so instead I opted for a lasagna with a bit of an autumny twist. The usual pasta, Bechamel, and cheese remain, but in place of a meaty, tomatoey sauce, I cooked up a butternut squash-centric sauce with a bit of Italian sausage.

Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna

The sauce reminded me a bit of a hearty squash soup I had made last season. It had sweet, smoky, spicy notes that warm… click to read more…

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Grilled Beer Bratwurst with Tangy Apple Slaw

While I try to have a lot of variety in my cooking, there’s still a ton I haven’t tried. For some reason, German food has been stuck in this category for a long time and I’ve been meaning to remedy this for…just as long a time. Finally though, after hearing mention of beer brats at work, I couldn’t take it any more and decided to try to dress up this comfort food to be more than what most view it as: a glorified hot dog (so don’t go putting bratwurst in hotdog buns! Its better than that!).

Grilled Beer Brats with Tangy Apple Slaw

This is a simple meal to prepare, and its really big on flavor. The brats are parboiled in a mixture of beer, shallots, and spices (think the sweet but savory, clean flavors of juniper and caraway) before they get crisped up with the smoky flavor of the grill, leaving the beer mixture to reduce to a thick sauce. These are served alongside… click to read more…

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Penne with Ragù of Roasted Tomato and Sausage

There’s something homey and comforting about a good pasta dish. I’m not sure what it is, but its the kind of meal that just always does it for me. While I had visions of bolognese sauce dancing in my head, I knew I didn’t have the time to make it this week, so instead, I opted for something with a similar feel that was a bit more summery fare. Plus, after seeing Jeff’s roasted tomato & sausage penne, my mind was pretty much set that I had to do something similar.

Penne with Ragù of Roasted Tomato and Sausage

With tomato season coming to a slow end, I can’t find myself getting enough of them. In sandwiches, salads, or sauces, I just need more. I’ve never had tomatoes like I get here in North Carolina. So with my usual, weekly bounty of approximately waymorethanIshouldhavebought, I thought a… click to read more…

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Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Elote

A while back, I had tried a playful twist on carne asada in the interest of trying something different, so I thought it would only make sense to simplify, satisfy my craving, and try the real deal: carne asada.

Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Elote

Honestly, the actual inspiration for this came from another direction. The side dish was what planted the seed for this in my head. I had seen a curious recipe for something called elote, that I had to try. Honestly, the idea of mayo + corn sounded….bizarre…to say the least, but I’d heard of it on more than one occasion (and for those who are skeptical, I have to say, this is probably one of the most incredible ways to eat corn. I will preach the gospel of elote to anyone… click to read more…

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Falafel Salad with Zesty Tahini Sauce

My wife had asked that I make falafel for the longest time. I seem to be in the minority–I’d never had or even seen them before. With an abundance of fresh produce, this was the perfect excuse to make a salad, satisfy my deep fried food craving, and try something new for me.

Falafel Salad with Zesty Tahini Sauce

If you’re like I was and have never had falafel, they’re actually pretty simple: a ball/patty of coarsely ground, dried chickpeas with a mix of herbs, vegetables, and spices, all mixed and deep-fried to form a crisp, richly browned nugget with a tender, deliciously mealy interior. Falafel are typically served in a pita with a mix of vegetables, but having a ton of vegetables, I chose to turn this inside out and have a salad with falafel and a few pieces of pita. The falafel themselves were incredibly delicious (where have you been all my life!) with a great, herby/earthy flavor and a nice delicate, but… click to read more…

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Crown Roast of Pork with Tart Tomato Stuffing and Juniper Pan Gravy

Normally, a crown roast is a holiday sort of dish–its an impressive presentation for a glorious cut of meat, shaped to resemble a crown. You have a tender, succulent cut of both the loin and ribs, loaded with (typically) a very flavorful stuffing. Pork, lamb, and veal are the common options. Whatever meat you go with, a crown roast is easy to cook, looks awesome, and serves a good number of people–hence the holiday popularity. I had no special occasion for this though beyond stumbling across a nice cut of pork that I decided I must eat, lol. So eager to take on a more butchery-centric project, I focused on more summery flavors to make this pork shine.

Crown Roast of Pork with Tart Tomato Stuffing and Juniper Pan Gravy

This was an incredible dinner. You have the tenderloin–meaty and soft–mixed with the juicy, unctuous, richly porky flavored rib meat. Its like having a super pork chop. I’d compare it to eating chicken thighs/drum sticks cooked separately compared to when you… click to read more…

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