Blood Orange and Fig Braised Lamb Shanks

My love for lamb is no secret. Aside from being delicious on its own, it also pairs quite nicely with fruit, and if I tend to do anything, it’s to fall back on fruit (what’s your signature? We all have one). In this case, I saw a lamb shank that used blood oranges, and since I’ve been hoarding those, this seemed like a must try. So today, a lamb shank braised in blood orange, dried figs, and a variety of spices.

Blood Orange and Fig Braised Lamb Shanks

I had a hard time quite pinning down what corner of the world this dish would represent, but given the strong blend of spices (star anise, cardamom, cloves) mixed with figs, it seemed somewhat middle eastern (you be the judge). Whatever is a suitable origin for this, it was delicious. I love lamb shank because there pretty much… click to read more…

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Banoffee

I recently mentioned beef as one of the go-to pregnancy ingredients lately. Another one: bananas. Of course, this was during the winter when not much other fruit was in season, and I really overdid the oranges to the point where my wife didn’t want to see another orange, so maybe I’m to blame for that one. I could have worse habits! 😮 Anyways, in honor of this, I decided to focus today’s dessert on bananas. It also seemed strange that in all the desserts I’ve posted up until now, there’s not a single banana dessert. I know, blasphemy! So to fix this at once, I decided to make a classic British dessert: Banoffee (also spelled Banoffi or Banoffy).

Banoffee

If you’ve never had this before, you’re probably wondering what’s up with the name? Its simple really: bananas + toffee = banoffee. Knowing that, you should be drooling now. I was click to read more…

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Seco de Carne con Tamarindo (South American Tamarind Beef Stew)

During the later parts of pregnancy, my wife has had a thing for beef. Being the spectacular husband that I am, I happily catered to this craving. I kept getting stuck on stewy/braise kind of dishes, so in looking for something new and interesting to try, I came across something that fed my stew craze while bringing something new and interesting to the party. In this case, this beef stew (called a “seco”) has Ecuadorian/South American roots, flavored in a big way with tamarind.

Seco de Carne con Tamarindo

My initial concern was that this would just greatly resemble chili and be nothing super exciting (and don’t me wrong–I am nuts about chili…its just not what I was aiming for this go around). Not so. This was very distinct and simply awesome. I am a lover of all beef stews, and this one really stood… click to read more…

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Spatchcocked Dijon and Anise Roast Chicken

Chicken is a protein that most people seem pretty comfortable with, and given that, its dressed up and enjoyed in countless ways. Given all of the variety, some times, returning to the basics almost seems like something new and indulgent. Kind of like having that perfectly roasted chicken. Well even then–that one simple, back to basics kind of dish–there’s a twist to try. And not only is it fun to do, but its also fun to say (if you’re as mature as I am): spatchcocking.

Spatchcocked Dijon and Anise Roast Chicken

Some of you might be wondering, what on earth does spatchcocking mean? Its a simple technique that basically amounts to flattening a whole bird. Essentially, you remove the major structural bones (backbone, breast plate), and with care, you can then, still keeping the bird entirely in one piece, press it out flat and cook it that way however you see fit (e.g. on a spit, roasted, on the grill, etc).

Since my time seems… click to read more…

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Orange Anise Ice Cream

With ice cream being one of my go-to desserts, I’m coming to appreciate what my favorites truly are and they all seem to have one thing in common: they’re spice flavored. There’s something fun and eye-opening for me when it comes to enjoying spices in this form. Today’s star of the show: anise.

Orange Anise Ice Cream

This ice cream was very tasty. I love anise (and anise flavored things), but toasted anise is something very different from normal anise that is hard to describe. Its still licoricey sweet, but less forward and with a light, spicy smoky character to it. I found it to be a wonderful flavor and it plays very well with citrus and in ice cream form, well, I was just smitten.

This recipe was derived from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

  • 2 tsp anise seeds
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ~3/4 cup sugar
  • 1.5

click to read more…

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Orange Chicken

This is one of those Asian dishes that probably isn’t authentic or even originally Asian…but even still, we’ve all devoured take-out versions of this dish before and relished every last bite. Now some of you might wonder, why on earth would you go to the trouble trying to recreate something you could easily get via takeout? Well, then you wouldn’t have eaten some of the awful food near where I live, lol! Even if your options are better than mine, its also kind of fun–trying to recreate something you enjoy and making it a whole lot better. Plus, you can skip the stuff you don’t like (I never enjoyed all the broccoli this is normally served with…yea, I’m gonna be a great dad! lol). Anyways, whatever your reason, back to the food: Orange Chicken!

Orange Chicken

I’ve been enjoying over-indulging in oranges (winter is citrus season in Florida), so it seemed like a happy coincidence when I saw the click to read more…

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