Indian-Inspired Barbecue Chicken

Every now and then, I have odd cravings that don’t jive with one another, so something new is born. In this case, I wanted Indian and barbecue. There just isn’t much cross-over in that realm (as far as I know). My compromise? A whole chicken, halved, marinated tandor style, smoked, and then slathered with a tangy, strongly spiced sauce that borrows from both barbecue and Indian cuisine for style and flavor.

In reality, this is quite simple and that’s why it’s so darn good (but such is barbecue). The chicken is slowly smoked–richly flavorful, crispy skin, and surprisingly tangy from a simple marinade. Plus, whole chicken is the best (I always love a good roast chicken).

What made this different was the sauce glazed on at the end. It’s a simple barbecue sauce, but tinged with a generous helping of Indian flavors–cinnamon, cardamom, tamarind, fenugreek, cilantro, etc. The total combination worked wonderfully and had me licking my fingers clean.… click to read more…

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Mushroom Agnolotti with Peas, Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

I’ve come to realize that I tend to be most inspired by seasonal food, but not all of it. Winter and summer really get my creative juices flowing–rich, hearty braises or light, fruity, delicate sources of refreshment seem to come to mind without difficulty. Spring though gets me stuck in the mud. I’m not sure why–I don’t have access to the full range of produce, but I know its right around the corner. This dish is me trying to break out of that rut by enjoying some of the best of what spring has to offer.

Mushroom Agnolotti with Peas, Asparagus, Prosciutto, and a Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

The foundation of this dish is wild mushroom agnolotti (think criminis, portabello, and cheese stuffed ravioli), tossed with butter sautéed asparagus, peas, and prosciutto, all topped with a goat cheese cream sauce to bring everyone together. The total combination was excellent and very “springy” (yay, just what I wanted). A forkful of everything yielded a complex set of flavors I would best describe… click to read more…

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Mexican Inspired Paella Verde

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love paella. This Spanish cousin-of-risotto leaves itself wide open to modification and reinterpretation, and so in keeping with my recent interest in Mexican flavors, I decided to focus this paella on a bunch of my favorite green Mexican produce, grabbing peppers, limes, avocados, and tomatillos before seeing where this took me.

Mexican Inspired Paella Verde

I was originally worried this dish would come out almost too green in color, but instead, the rich, chili flavored stock colored the rice with a fantastic brown/amber that made the other components of the paella really pop out visually (and when it comes to paella, appearance matters since you typically serve it straight from the pan).

Discussions about appearance aside, what about the flavor? The paella was delicious! It had a surprisingly full, earthy, nutty, solid foundational flavor brought by a rich chili-centric… click to read more…

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Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek pasta dish that is both fun to say and a joy to eat. I had only first learned of the dish after reading about it from Peter, one of my favorite Greek food bloggers. The dish somewhat reminds me of lasagna in that it’s a hearty blend of pasta, meaty sauce, and a creamy Bechamel sauce all baked into gooey deliciousness. However, the flavor and texture is quite distinct from lasagna but still has all the amazing comfort food properties that will have you making this over and over again.

Pastitsio

The first major difference: tubular pasta instead of big sheets. I couldn’t find the authentic bucatini, so I used ziti. Then, the meat sauce isn’t a traditional bolognese, but a quicker-to-make tomato and… click to read more…

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Rogan Josh

Learning more about Indian food has been one of my goals for this year–something I ushered in by making shahi korma. Shortly after, I had received an email from one of my readers (Rose S. in India), very kindly offering me additional Indian recipes to try. I was ecstatic and jumped at the opportunity. This recipe is one of those: a Kashmiri lamb curry, called Rogan Josh, which is cooked in a fantastic blend of very fragrant spices.

Rogan Josh

The curry had a great, smooth body with a velvetty mouthfeel and a really great blend of spices. The saffron added a nice little something on top of the other spices while the meat was very tender and rich (on account of the nice amount of ghee used. If you don’t have any ghee in your pantry–get some or make some soon!).… click to read more…

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Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

I have a special place in my heart for southern food and flavors. Until I can convince my wife to try pulled pork (she won’t be able to fight it forever once we’re in North Carolina!), I have to find other ways to quell my cravings. This is such a dish. My thinking? Fried chicken and waffles are a beautiful combo…same goes for meat and potatoes… so why not serve pulled beef (instead of pork) over sweet potato waffles?

Pulled Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Waffles with a Chile Tamarind BBQ Sauce

Now I know this one sounds strange, but this was incredible. This begins by making a barbecue sauce where the big players are chiles, tomatoes, and tamarind–fruity, earthy, spicy, sweet, sour–there’s a lot of flavor going on. The tamarind flavor was distinctly present, but not overpoweringly so while the chiles gave a very solid flavor backbone… click to read more…

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