Arancini di Riso (deep-fried balls of risotto)

Deep frying things just has a way of making all sorts of simple things more interesting, and well, downright incredible. So imagine if you took something that was already pretty incredible to start with, and then deep fried that…well that would just have to yield something all the more incredible, right? Yes, yes it does.

Arancini di Riso is the proper Italian name for deep-fried balls of leftover risotto. If you haven’t noticed by now, I like to make risotto–lots of different kinds depending on what’s in season. Its creamy, luxurious, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The one downer with risotto though is that the leftovers are just never the same as when you serve it fresh–the flavor is just… click to read more…

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Mint and Balsamic Vinaigrette Stained Pappardelle with Fennel and Peas

When I’m without a solid idea for what to make for dinner, my mind drifts to pasta. I’ve probably said the same thing for countless other dishes in the ~3.5 years I’ve been posting here, but meh. This particular dish is lighter fare than my usual pasta hodgepodges, having a bit more of a springy/warm day feel about it.

The noodle: pappardelle since I wanted something with some bulk for the sauce to cling to. I added some bacon, sautéed onions, fennel, peas, and swiss chard, all tossed in an intriguing mint and balsamic vinaigrette for the sauce (here’s my original inspiration for the sauce).

The total dish is simply delicious. The flavor is not explosive, but it is quite full of more subtle, nuanced flavors. You have a mix of sweet, smoke, and licorice-like anise, with a light tanginess from the balsamic/dijon countered by a… click to read more…

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Chilaquiles

If I had to pick a favorite class of food as of late, I’d have to go with Mexican.
The flavors are always big, bold, and exciting, the food looks rustic and mouth-wateringly good, and it never fails to hit the spot. So you might discount me some given my predisposition when I say that this dish is absolutely incredible comfort food: chilaquiles.

So what are chilaquiles? They’re like nachos but far more awesome and actually authentic rather than some over-priced pub appetizer. I think the best way to describe it is a casserole of stale/fried corn tortillas, a sauce of your choosing (red, verde, molé–whatever), and a whole bunch of whatever else you have handy (chicken, eggs, avocado, radish, cheese, crema, etc). This dish is meant to be relatively simple to prepare, a great way to make the most of leftovers/random odds and ends, and most of all, is said to be… click to read more…

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Super Bowl Food Ideas

Right up there with game day is game food. I have nothing to contribute to the former, so I thought I’d offer up a few ideas on the latter. Below, you’ll find a collection of recipes from over the years, any of which would make a great accompaniment to your Super Bowl Sunday, whether its for a crowd big or small.

If I had to pick a single food that screams Super Bowl to me, I’d say wings. Rather than the usual buffalo wings, try some equally simple-to-make Sriracha Chicken Wings.

Chili is a big hit that is guaranteed to hit the spot, and easily adjusted to suit your spice tolerance. This weekend is just a good excuse to whip up a batch of Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

If sausage is more your style, bratwurst can be cooked up quickly and dressed up… click to read more…

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Pomegranate BBQ Sauced Lamb Meatballs over Apricot Cous Cous with Chickpeas

I love meatballs in pretty much any form. There’s something homey and inviting about them just conceptually, no matter how dressed up they are (and yes, I recognize how pretentious the title of this dish sounds right next to my “homey” statement). For this dish, I returned to one of my favorite meats: lamb. Ground lamb always seems to wow me where I least expect it, and these meatballs kept the trend going.

For the meatballs, I wanted them to be relatively simple with all of the appropriate spices and aromatics that would make the lamb sing without masking it–such as touches of cumin, allspice, garlic, and parsley. A bit of creme fraiche helped to enrich them and keep the texture light and delicate.

With that out of the way, onto the sauce. I have always thought that lamb pairs wonderfully with fruit, so the… click to read more…

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The Best Ever Lemon Cream Tart

I hate the short period that immediately follows the start of the New Year–fad dieting and half-hearted nods towards health-consciousness take over. It bothers me not so much out of pretentiousness, but more in that its what dominates the magazines, gym, and food scene for a month. The annual chant: “New year, new you!”…ugh

This lemon cream tart is what I ate for dessert on New Year’s Eve and is my polite middle finger to these forced habits that don’t survive past January, all of which are responsible for some of the least exciting food of the year. This tart contains a respectable ~2.5 sticks of butter and, in my case, followed a New Year’s Eve dinner of macaroni and cheese with lobster and truffle oil. Take that, health-centric resolutions.

So with that wholly unexciting rant (if it could even be called as much) out of the way, back to the… click to read more…

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