Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)

Making a good Indian curry can be a tricky endeavor as there’s a lot of flavors at work, some of which may not be used too frequently in your kitchen. Today’s dish which you may have encountered in restaurants before: butter chicken, a delicious tomato-based curry with a subtle, creamy, buttery taste.

Butter chicken

Now I’ve cooked some curries before, but they were always lacking something or were just really unbalanced. I love Indian food, but to me, if there is any cuisine that is hard to dissect from the finished product alone, its a good curry, which is frustrating because I’d love to cook a lot more of it. Furthermore, its not hard to find recipes out there, its just really hard to find ones worth making. So imagine my delight when I just happened to stumble upon a recipe for butter chicken by Alfred Prasad, the head chef at Michelin-starred… click to read more…

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Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Rosemary Sauce

I think pork can be a really fun meat to cook with because it goes surprisingly well with fruit, and in this case, pomegranate.

Slices of pork tenderloin with pomegranate sauce

Pomegranate is a curious fruit if you’ve never worked with it. The flavor is kind of hard to describe: sweet but tart, as well as both dark and somewhat tannic (that mouth-drying feeling you get from red wine). Given the history of this fruit, pomegranate can add either a real middle-eastern or Mediterranean flare to a dish, which is just what we’re going for. We’ll rub the pork with a middle-eastern styled dry rub and glaze it with the dark, subtle fruity flavors of pomegranate mixed with the complex sweetness you get from basalmic and fresh rosemary. This is also my entry for this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Haalo from click to read more…

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Pumpkin Gnocchi in brown butter herb sauce

So it seems that a lot of people know that they have heard of gnocchi before (pronounced “nyo key”) but they don’t really know what it actually is and have never tried it. Despite being listed alongside pasta dishes, gnocchi is not a pasta, but is actually a kind of Italian dumpling. Also worth noting is that gnocchi is not stuffed with anything, but rather incorporates all of the major flavors into the actual dough, which when cooked just right, can give you that tender center. It is usually based on a starch and flour-centric dough, containing things like potato, squash, ricotta, spinach, or today’s focus (what with October rolling around the corner): pumpkin.

Pumpkin gnocchi in brown butter herb sauce

Now if you’ve heard anything about gnocchi being hard to make, its not–its just a time consuming endeavor that requires care and patience (sounds believable, right? 😮 ). But if you’ve ever had a really good plate of gnocchi before, you know that its worth… click to read more…

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Chicken Mole Poblano

Mole is a Spanish/Mexican sauce (pronounced MOH-leh) and what a sauce it is! It has a tawny red color with a really complex taste. Its hard to pick apart the flavors–kind of spicy, kind of savory, kind of toasty, and just…dark. The flavor is just really interesting, and perhaps most interesting of all (if you’ve never heard of it before) is that one of the key ingredients to this sauce is dark, bittersweet chocolate.

Chicken mole poblano with saffron rice

Yup, chocolate in a savory sauce…for meat. I know! What amazes me with this sauce is how well every single component meshed together as many of these ingredients don’t seem like traditional matches made in heaven (e.g. when’s the last time you had chocolate and garlic? yum?). This sauce is balanced and will not leave you picking out any one flavor after the fact. I encourage you to taste lots of your ingredients as you progress through this recipe to just try to taste… click to read more…

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Smoked drumsticks in Tarragon Citrus Honey Mustard sauce

Sure we’re kind of late into summer, but sloppy fingerfood fresh off the grill is always welcome in my book. This dish is about dark chicken meat, smoke, and most importantly, a complicated mustard sauce with a complicated name to match (tarragon citrus honey mustard…maybe it wasn’t that complicated). This zesty sauce is my entry in “Weekend Herb Blogging,” hosted this week by Thyme for Cooking.

Drumsticks, sauced and plated (overhead shot)

  • Grill-friendly pieces of chicken. I use drumsticks, roughly 3-4 per person
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Creole seasoning
  • A handful of wood chips for smoking (apple-wood is ideal, but I had none and used mesquite)
  • Sauce:
    • Leaves from 4-5 sprigs of tarragon
    • 5 or so sage leaves
    • 5 basil leaves
    • 1 cup Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 cup of white wine
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/4 cup of honey
    • 1 tsp of soy sauce
    • juice from one lemon
    • black pepper
    • celery

click to read more…

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Red wine reduction mushroom steak sauce

I wish I had a more elegant sounding name for this sauce since the grocery-list style name seems pretty blah to me.

When it comes to steak, everybody has an opinion about how to prepare, what should go with it, and so on. I tend to appreciate a thoughtfully prepared sauce with my steak (mmm, bernaise) and I think that this one fits the bill. Flavor-wise, this sauce is rich, dark, earthy, and kind of heavy on the mouth, but it really stands up well with a good steak.

  • 1.25-1.5 cups of a full-bodied, dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz is preferable–something nicer than cooking wine, but nothing too fancy/expensive)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 shallots/chives (the greens, not the bulb)
  • a handful of coarsely chopped baby bella (or some other small kind) mushrooms
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • a pinch of flour

recommended, but optional:

  • italian flat-leaf parsely
  • basil/tarragon
  • oregano

Finely… click to read more…

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