Indian Pizza

Once again, Jeff over at Culinary Disaster organized an Iron Chef style challenge, and this go around, the theme was pizza. Since I always aim to make something a bit different, I wanted to make some sort of exotic pizza. After imagining many dead ends, a friend’s recounting of chicken tandoori pizza popped up in my head, and suddenly, a rush of Indian-themed ideas started swirling together. The result: Indian Pizza!

If you’ve never had something like this before, you’re probably skeptical about this one, and hey, I hear you–it does sound weird, but if you like Indian food, I promise you, this is a joy to eat. I didn’t want this to be some everyday pizza with just chunks of chicken tandoori on top (which sounds like it would be…crappy), so I revisited every element… click to read more…

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Blueberry Jam

As blueberry season comes to an end, you realize you can only squeeze in some many blueberry-centric recipes before you need a long-term plan. How will you cope without them in the coming months? 😮 The answer is simple: get out a clean jar or few and preserve some blueberry jam.

I’ve come to appreciate how easy it is to make preserves and that you can make some pretty neat things that you might not find in the grocery store, so why not make home canning and preserving a regular occurrence? If you haven’t tried it yet, go out, buy yourself some mason jars and give this one a try–it is so easy and so enjoyable to have jars of your own home-made jam to dip into throughout the year.… click to read more…

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Pan-Seared Salmon over Fennel Cauliflower Puree with Sweet Mediterranean Relish

In bumbling around for something to do with the cauliflower leftover in my fridge, I came across a fish recipe that really caught my eye. This solved two problems for me as I hadn’t a clue what I intended to do with the beautiful wild salmon filets waiting for me as well. So by total chance, today’s dish: a Pan-Seared Filet of Salmon atop a Fennel Cauliflower Puree, served with a Sweet Mediterranean Relish (say that three times fast).

This dish worked really well. The salmon was not the sad-colored, farm-rasied stuff, and the taste really reflected that. The cauliflower puree was a tasty side dish (also a great way for me to use up some fennel fronds I had leftover)–creamy, slightly sweet and anisey, and just full of that comforting caulifloweriness. The only change I would make next time: prepare more relish!

As simple as the… click to read more…

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Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa

Watermelon salsa. Sounds different, right? But not in a bad way–more like really interesting. I certainly thought so when I first heard of it, and while the watermelons were abundant around here, I knew I had to try it. So closely following Susan’s very tempting recipe, I made some Carne Asada Tacos with Watermelon Mango Avocado Salsa.

And how did it come out? Quite surprising–I’d never had watermelon in any form other than dessert, so I was really curious to see where it would go. The end result didn’t quite have the tex-mex sort of flavors I was expecting, but it was nonetheless quite enjoyable.

The peppers give the salsa a bit of heat, the avocado some creaminess and richness, the jicama a tartness and a firm crunch, while the watermelon played the curious role of…refreshment. Sort of like having a salsa with really juicy tomatoes…but not. It… click to read more…

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Veal Chops with an Herbed Pan Sauce

This dish had everything going for it–its quick to prepare, delicious, and to seal the deal: its veal! Some times, the simplest approaches are the best kind, and for this, I decided to stick to one pan so as to have really flavorful meat and to use those juices for an even more flavorful pan sauce. So today: Veal Chops with an Herbed Pan Sauce.

While the dish has a somewhat rustic appearance, the taste is stunning. The veal had a great, buttery crust on it while the meat inside was melt-in-your-mouth tender with that delightful, harmoniously neutral veal flavor. The sauce was simple, but surprisingly rich and hearty, being earthy, herbaceous, and slightly sweet. This was also given body from the gelatin released in cooking the veal and enriched with butter to add that little touch that puts it over the top.

The only thing that didn’t live up to my expectations: the cheese I stuffed into the… click to read more…

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Blue Crab Boil with Key Lime Tartare Dipping Sauce

As a child, I had an aversion to seafood, so this meant strange looking things like shrimp, lobster, and crab were most definitely not to be dealt with. Now that my taste has matured, it makes me think back to those family vacations to places like Ocean City, Maryland where crab was served by the bucketload as missed opportunities. So why not try to recreate it at home with a crab boil?

If you’ve ever been to a crab boil or eaten at a dive of a seafood shack in a place like Ocean City, you know the drill: a table covered in paper towels/newspaper, a pile of napkins, maybe some shell crackers, and a trash can. This is not fine dining and not a time for your finest evening wear…but the taste is well worth it. Basically, you’ve got a pile of freshly cooked, whole crabs and the tools to tear through those tough shells so you can… click to read more…

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