Chicken Biryani

Biryani is probably one of my wife’s favorite Indian dishes. For the longest time, I didn’t really understand biryani. To me, it just seemed like somewhat spiced, brown rice with dry bits of meat thrown in. If that’s been your experience, I promise, there’s much better biryani out there–deep, complex, tangy flavors, tender chicken, and enough mixed in so it doesn’t feel like your plate is 95% rice. Biryani is a classic for a reason, and I thought I’d spread the good word now that I’ve been won over.

Chicken Biryani

So in case you never have had biryani (or good biryani, for that matter), this is a popular dish in many countries with many different styles of preparation. I only know it through Indian cuisine, so that’s the perspective I bring to this. You have long grain basmati rice, cooked like any other rice with a handful of spices infusing the grains for flavor. But this is merely a foundation–not… click to read more…

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The Best Banana Bread Ever

Unfortunately, year-round pumpkin bread isn’t a possibility for most of us. Very fortunately though, there are some other awesome quickbreads that work beautifully as either breakfast or dessert. One of my all-time favorites: banana bread.

Just about everybody out there has had banana bread before–its a favorite for so many people for good reason. One of the problems with such popularity though is that there’s also many a banana bread recipe out there that kind of give banana bread a bad name. You know the kind–those fruit breads where, that, no matter what the fruit is, all taste exactly the same? All you taste is semi-moist bread and a bunch of spice, usually stale nutmeg? Kind of a downer. Apples don’t taste like bananas–why should they in bread?

This banana bread is nothing of the sort. I derived my recipe from this one and… click to read more…

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The Baby is here! Introducing Ramya Mulligan

As I’ve mentioned a few times in the past here (and far more numerous times on Twitter), my two person family was soon to grow by one more as my wife was pregnant.

Ramya Sleeping

After all of the stress, impatience, worrying, preparing, and so on, finally, the day has come. Precisely on my wife’s originally predicted due date of March 30th (and almost precisely at the time of the final OB appointment), Ramya was born and ushered into the world eyes wide open.

Her tiny hands

She was a healthy 7 lbs 7 oz, 21 inches long, and so far, something of a night owl.

Waiting...

She’s a beauty (convenient since her name means “beautiful”) and we feel blessed to have her in our lives as happy and healthy as she is. I was also finally forced to take photos of something… click to read more…

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Sweet Potato Beef & Peanut Soup

I was intrigued when I first read of an African Sweet Potato Peanut Soup. Firstly, I know close to nothing of African cuisine, secondly, I love peanuts, and thirdly, I hardly ever use peanuts outside of breakfast/dessert applications (usually as peanut butter, yum!), so really, there was a lot to this that caught my eye. Of course, tinkering with the soup a bit here and there, I’m not sure if its quite the same African peanut soup any more, but its definitely a keeper.

Sweet Potato Beef & Peanut Soup

Somewhat to my surprise, this soup reminded me of red Thai curries I’ve had before. The sweet potato base of the soup gave a great heartiness while the mix of ginger, peppers, peanut, and coconut added that creamy/tangy/spicy blend of flavors that so strongly evoked thoughts of Thai for me. Was it precisely what I intended? No. Was I disappointed? Definitely not. I would describe… click to read more…

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Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: The Whole Enchilada

I’ve mentioned before that this is a year of change for my wife and I. One of those changes is my wife’s graduation from medical school. We’ve had a somewhat infrequent tradition with some of her friends from school where we’d have them over and I’d go to town fussing over a nice meal. Before everyone heads in different directions to the next step of their careers (side note: we’ll be headed to the Raleigh/Durham region of North Carolina and I’m looking for new opportunities), we thought it would be nice to have one more of these nice meals so everyone could enjoy good food, good company, and just spend some time relaxing and catching up in ways that just aren’t so possible in the day-to-day hustle and bustle.

Enchilada dinner spread

So for this meal, given my newish interest in Mexican food, I decided to center this dinner around a Mexican… click to read more…

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Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta

This dish came out of an odd craving. I wanted something like chicken marsala, but a lot fuller and richer. I also wanted beef. After far too long an amount of time transpired before these two cravings merged into one, the idea for this dish was born. I took one of my favorite cuts of beef (shortribs), and prepared them with all of the marsala flavors I was craving, and turned it into a pasta dish.

Beef Short Ribs Marsala Pasta

This really nailed the craving for me: a hearty, stewy version of marsala. It tasted rich, earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet. The sauce was simple: a reduction of the liquid used to braise the beef in. As such, it was really full flavored: beefy and clearly marsala. The pasta was a great body for the dish and since I think nothing goes with mushrooms like beef, I tossed in some sautéed shitakes to go with it.… click to read more…

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