Jalapeño Cornbread

Who doesn’t like cornbread, especially as a starter during Thanksgiving? I wanted to give it a little kick in a completely unoriginal way by adding in some other veggies: corn (crazy, I know!) and jalapeños.

Jalapeño cornbread

Everything that went into preparing this seemed like perfection. I love peppers, so adding some heat through jalapeños and sweetness through pimentos? Yes, awesome idea. Creamed corn for flecks of corn kernels (the fresh corn at the grocery store didn’t look too hot) for that kind of half-interesting texture? More brilliance. Really, what more could you ask for? (I suppose cheddar cheese, maybe bacon…but anyways…)

Well, the cornbread was tasty, but all of these bright ideas didn’t quite come together as I had envisioned and I would make a few minor changes next time. For instance, the creamed corn simply added way too much moisture to the bread (but having kernels in the bread was definitely nice). I also wasn’t thrilled with how it… click to read more…

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Indian rice three ways

Indian food commonly has rice as a side dish, among many other enticing things, and there’s a lot of different, delicious ways of pairing rice with your food. My favorite two: lime rice and yogurt rice.

Lime rice and yogurt rice

When I cook Indian food, I usually can’t decide on cooking any one particular kind of rice, so I instead make two different flavored rice dishes and have a little of each. As different as they both look and taste, there’s a lot in common between them, so making two at once is incredibly easy. After lime rice and yogurt rice, the third rice recipe included in this post is much simpler and is akin to something you might commonly encounter in Indian restaurants (which I’ll just call spice rice for lack of any decent name). I tend to not be a big fan (its too plain for me), but hey, maybe you will be. 😉 Another nice thing about… click to read more…

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Roasted Italian-style potatoes

My wife and I absolutely loved our honeymoon in Italy. Italy was my first international trip and we both can’t wait to go back…whenever that day might be. Of the many fantastic experiences, food ranked pretty highly–we had some of the best meals ever while we were there, and so of course, when I got back home, I had to try to mimic some of them. This side dish is one such attempt. I’m sure an authentic version would be far simpler to prepare, but I suppose I can claim immunity by not being Italian, right? But rest assured, the flavors are definitely there.

Roasted potatoes

For the uninitiated, eating out in Italy is a little different than here in the USA. For instance, whereas here you might order an appetizer, meal, and dessert, over there (and I’m sure in many other countries), you were more likely to order a starter, a first course (which you might characterize as being similar… 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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Cilantro Pineapple Rice

This rice has flavors that reminiscent of Asian dishes. You take the delicate, sweet aromatics and flavors of Jasmine rice cooked with citrus and chunks of pineapple, countered by the sharp flavors of cilantro and shallots. Plus, you can throw this together very quickly, giving you time to focus on whatever your main course might be.

  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 1.25 cups of water
  • 1 cup of pineapple juice and chunks (if you have fresh pineapple, I’d recommend that. Canned works fine, too)
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • handful of cilantro leaves
  • 3 or 4 shallots (the greens, not the bulb)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • dried oregano, to taste

Pineapple rice prep work

First, chop up the cilantro leaves and the shallots. Then chunk the pineapple into 1/2 inch cubes if you went the fresh route (or just open the can, like I did 😉 ).

Pineapple rice, plated

I have a rice cooker, an appliance which I… click to read more…

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Creamy garlic pasta

For some of my dishes, I like to have a pasta with a light flavor as a side dish. I’m not a big fan of Alfredo because to me, that’s just too heavy and also kind of dull on the palette. I mix up a sauce that I guess is kind of Alfredo-like, but not really. It’s light tasting, creamy, herby, and has some mellow garlic flavor throughout.

  • pasta (I use half of a package of linguine)
  • ~1.5 cups of white wine
  • parsley
  • ~10 leaves of fresh basil
  • 3 shallots (the greens, not the bulb)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • knob of butter
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • chunk of parmesan reggiano
  • handful of olives (pitted, obviously)
  • a few capers
  • fennel seeds
  • dash of dried pepper flakes, to taste
  • a good sprinkling of dried oregano

Mince the garlic and fry briefly to mellow out the flavor a little bit. Then… click to read more…

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