Moroccan Lemon & Olive Chicken

This is my second venture into the world of Moroccan flavored food (the other part: a delicious side of tagine veggies) and was the original dish that prompted me to start preserving lemons. A whole chicken is braised and simmered in an herby, lemon-olive sauce, and is then cooked in a tagine for a delicious, savory meal.

Lemon & Olive Chicken (breast meat)

The dish sounds pretty simple and the name, also, simple–simple enough that you might doubt the flavors. I mean, yeah, lemons are good and olives are good, its a curious pair, but will it really go anywhere?

Well, I really can’t do the chicken justice–the combination of lemons and olives simmering in a slow heat, somehow, some way, brings out the best of those two to create something new and exciting. They just sort of merge into one harmonious taste. The chicken itself is spiced in a… click to read more…

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Poached Mahi Mahi with Papaya Mango Salsa

Today’s dinner is subtle, spicy, and sweet: a delicately prepared filet of Mahi Mahi, poached in a light, spiced wine, topped off with the tropical flavors of a mango and papaya based sauce.

Poached Mahi Mahi with Papaya Mango Salsa

The holidays have come and gone and now we’re on to that Tuesday/Wednesday part of the year. With the holidays, vacation has also passed.

Despite living in Florida, my wife and I relaxed a little further south in Key West (still Florida) with my family. We had a good time and ate a lot of good food. Fish and the sea were a large part of the entire trip, whether it be the SCUBA, the restaurants, or the sport fishing. Everything had its ups and downs–for instance, much to my surprise, sea sickness is quite common among SCUBA divers, or at least, the ones on the boat with me that day. They don’t teach you what to do when your dive partner chums the waters more… click to read more…

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Poached Mahi Mahi in Vanilla Cream Sauce

Fish…and vanilla?

Poached Mahi Mahi in Vanilla Cream Sauce

This dish was inspired by Lydia over at The Perfect Pantry. A while back, she had posted a recipe for Sea Bass with Vanilla Cream Sauce that just intrigued me as I had never seen vanilla used for anything outside of dessert and baked goods, let alone with meat/fish. I mean, there’s fish…and vanilla. Huh?

There’s really no reason vanilla can’t be used for other things (e.g. a la chocolate and chicken), but its funny how you just sort of typecast things. Kind of like how my colander is only for pasta–it was embarrassingly shocking for me when I realized I could also use it for boiling potatoes (…or anything other than pasta). Vanilla with fish seemed like another such “aha!” kind of moment…just… click to read more…

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Apricot Date Stuffed Chicken Poached in Saffron Cream Sauce

This dish was really rich and tasty. The chicken was juicy and soft (on account of being poached) while the filling was a bit more honeyed and crunchy in texture, being filled with apricot, dates, and almonds. The sauce was also the poaching liquid: a creamy spiced broth teeming with saffron. All of these individually strong flavors paired together in a surprisingly harmonious way.

Chicken Poached in Saffron Cream Sauce topped w/date & fig, served w/cranberry rice

This dish was kind of a hodgepodge of ingredients–after making rugelach, I had some ingredients on hand that I normally don’t (apricot preserves, dates) and I just felt compelled to use them for something completely different. Once I got out of the dessert frame of mind, I came up with this. Describing the dish to my wife ahead of time was greeted with skepticism: there were a lot of flavors and many of them were sweet (she has a thing against sweet and meat). I was also feeling… click to read more…

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Apple Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Orange Cranberry Mustard Sauce

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but roasted birds still feel seasonally appropriate. Today, I roasted some Cornish Game Hen with a sweet and herby apple flavor and topped it off with a tangy orange cranberry mustard sauce.

Apple Roasted Cornish Game Hen with Orange Cranberry Mustard Sauce

I’ve had it in my head all week that I wanted to cook quail. Granted, I’ve never had quail before and I don’t even know what it is I’d like to do with it, but I wanted it. Well, they were impossible to find so I settled on Cornish Game Hens, which is still a bird I’ve never worked with before, but it wasn’t quail, so I was little peeved. I then hit up my pile of recipe books for inspiration to see what I could do with these, and there was close to nothing there (and what was there really didn’t sound terribly interesting). So my bad mood began to develop a little further. I sat and I planned, but nothing… click to read more…

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Cranberry Sauce Two Ways

I couldn’t decide on how to make my cranberry sauce, so I prepared two separate versions and figured that it ought to cover everybody’s tastes. One is a fairly traditional cranberry sauce, prepared with citrus and sugar and the other is prepared with wine, balsamic vinegar, and dried figs.

Traditional cranberry sauce

Wine & fig cranberry sauce

Growing up, I was never really a fan of cranberry sauce, or so I thought. Honestly, I’m not even really sure if I’d ever tried cranberry sauce, but I had it in my head that I didn’t like it, and that was reason enough for this long. However, I’d never seen cranberry sauce beyond the perfect-can-shaped cylinder of jelly before, so in keeping with my make-everything-from-scratch Thanksgiving, I thought I might as well give it a try as some of the cranberry sauce recipes out there looked pretty tasty (this is where both recipes were largely derived from). The… click to read more…

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