Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank with Apricots

My starting point for this dish was simple: I wanted something kind of middle eastern in flavor, and I wanted lamb. Armed with pomegranate, apricot, and a bunch of spices, I figured I would be off to a great start for something that would be different from the usual dinner. I was thrilled with the results as this was a really tasty, full-bodied, seductively spiced stew, but not at all like how I originally envisioned it.

Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shank with Apricots

I was disappointed that, despite using 3 cups of pomegranate juice, the pomegranate flavor was nowhere to be found in the final dish. On the other end of the spectrum, I was also a bit dissatisfied with the apricots–they tasted great, but were too sharp and loud flavor-wise relative to the rest of the stew and seemed out of place. On my next attempt, I would try to incorporate a few other changes: add pomegranate molasses to the stew roughly 20 minutes before… click to read more…


Chipotle, Cheddar, and Chorizo Corn Chowder

I love when corn is in season. I tend not to cook with it all that much–I usually just grill it by the day and eat it straight off the cob. But after seeing this chipotle corn chowder, I knew I had to do something similar. I originally planned to replicate the recipe as is, but as I started making changes, I found I was tending to add a bit of a South American flare to it, so I ran with it.

Chipotle, Cheddar, and Chorizo Corn Chowder

Now I had no interest in making a soup–I wanted a chowder, and a chowder needs a bit more body to it. So to add a thick, starchy base, I opted for green plantains instead of the usual suspects like roux or potatoes (although I did add a bit of corn meal, but hey, its a corn chowder, so that’s different, right?). Melting cheddar into the soup towards… click to read more…


Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Pecan Frosting

There’s a number of reasons I prefer making cupcakes over full cakes. Number one is probably my ineptitude with cake decorating. Beyond that, they just seem easier–easier to make, easier to serve, easier to eat, and they taste just as good. It had been a long time since I last made cupcakes, and I wasn’t about to endeavor on a full on cake.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Pecan Frosting

For these particular cupcakes, I opted for the flavor that always seems to draw my wife and I to cakes: chocolate. I wanted it to have some intrigue to it though, so its not just chocolate–I wanted something darker. So for the cupcake batter, the foundational flavors are both cocoa and molasses for something a bit more like click to read more…


Roasted Banana Ice Cream w/Dulce de Leche Swirls

When I made this, we were in that seasonally awkward period where no fruit is really in season or all that appealing. Plus, my wife and I were on something of a banana kick, so it only seemed natural that I make ice cream.

Roasted Banana Ice Cream w/Dulce de Leche Swirls

This was really simple to make a far as ice creams go–no eggs, no custard, etc. Instead, you roast some bananas with a bit of butter and brown sugar to really intensify the sweet and unique flavor. Once pureed, this gives the same texture an body as a more traditional egg-centric ice cream.

The ice cream had a very strong, molassesy banana taste that I fell in love with. I also mixed in chunks of banana and swirls of dulce de leche just to make things more addictive and punchy in flavor, and all I can say is wow, this is… click to read more…


The Best Damn Burgers

Whenever I’m entertaining a crowd, I instinctively fall back on burgers. There’s a lot of room to play and people’s expectations always seem low so it’s easy to blow people away. So I thought I’d try something new again, but a little simpler than the burgers I’ve made before. The goal: less “extra” flavors and something incredibly rich and beefy–more of a steakburger.

The Best Damn Burger Ever

This was my excuse to play with my new KitchenAid meat grinder. I started with two separate cuts of beef: chuck (for fattiness–keeps the burger juicy) and ribeye (also fatty, but much more intense beef flavor). You could certainly throw the steak in a food processor, but a real meat grinder won’t turn your meat into texture-free paste. The goal is to nicely emulsify the meat and fat so you have a somewhat… click to read more…


Pomegranate Glazed Stuffed Leg of Lamb Roast

I love roasts–there’s something homey and comforting but classy about a nice roast. Plus, you get a bunch of food with minimal effort! I especially love roasting a leg of lamb–its simple and an opportunity to really appreciate what lamb has to offer as far as texture and flavor. This is one such dish that really lets you appreciate the unique flavor of lamb.

Pomegranate Glazed Stuffed Leg of Lamb Roast

For this version, I made a simple fig, apricot, and mint stuffing, rolling the leg roast tightly around it. Then, after giving the leg a good sear, the roast is basted with pomegranate juice to yield a delicious, tacky glaze. The tartness of the glaze is a great foil to the surprisingly complex, sweet stuffing. Plus, it just looks plain sexy.

The only downer was that the drippings from the roast weren’t suitable for sauce-making (the pomegranate juice takes on a burnt taste).

  • ~4.5

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