Chili con Carne

Chili is one of those dishes that can incite some passionate arguments, because when it comes to opinions on what should/shouldn’t be in a chili recipe, like ass holes, everybody has one (as the saying goes). Should it include beans? Meat? Tomato? Pasta (the answer to that, of course, is no and I don’t care where you come from 😉 )? These are life or death decisions in the chili world. So given that, here’s my take on a good and hearty bowl of chili.

Chili con Carne

While this chili has a lot of familiar flavors, it does nonetheless include one very special ingredient. I’ve been hanging on to this item for a few weeks now, keeping it near and dear until the right dish came along and beckoned for it as I only had one handy. See, if I like anything in my chili, its some punch–chili is a dish that simply should (must!) have some heat to it. I’ve… click to read more…

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Meringue Cookies

So with all of the different ice creams I’ve made recently, I have found myself with a ton of egg whites on hand (fourteen!). Meringues seemed like an appropriate way to quickly put some of those to use without throwing off the weekly food budget. Better still, its been so long since I had meringues, so why not?

Plate of Meringue Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies, cakes, ice creams, etc are all awesome desserts, but when you have any one of those, there’s no questioning that you just ate something that was “bad” for you. Meringues are one of those treats you simply don’t feel guilty about eating though–they’re light as air, simple, and sweet (notice I didn’t say it is healthier–it just seems better!). With a nice crunchy outside and a delicious, marshmallowy inside, how can you go wrong? Seeing how the effort and the cost… click to read more…

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Moroccan Lemon & Olive Chicken

This is my second venture into the world of Moroccan flavored food (the other part: a delicious side of tagine veggies) and was the original dish that prompted me to start preserving lemons. A whole chicken is braised and simmered in an herby, lemon-olive sauce, and is then cooked in a tagine for a delicious, savory meal.

Lemon & Olive Chicken (breast meat)

The dish sounds pretty simple and the name, also, simple–simple enough that you might doubt the flavors. I mean, yeah, lemons are good and olives are good, its a curious pair, but will it really go anywhere?

Well, I really can’t do the chicken justice–the combination of lemons and olives simmering in a slow heat, somehow, some way, brings out the best of those two to create something new and exciting. They just sort of merge into one harmonious taste. The chicken itself is spiced in a… click to read more…

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Vegetable Tagine

Tagines are a special kind of cookware, but they also refer to a class of food slow-cooked in a tagine. I chose to go with a Moroccan styled dish: a medley of vegetables cooked in a tagine style (a proper tagine would be cooked in, well, a tagine, but seeing how I don’t actually have one, a Dutch oven will have to do. Doh!).

Vegetable Tagine, topped with feta crumbles

This dish is easy to make, the only real killer being prepping the vegetables. I had seen a version of this dish which looked awfully appealing, so I figured I’d try my hand at it with a few twists. I chose to use this as a healthy side dish to get my veggies (main course coming up next!), but you could also tailor it to be more of a main course… click to read more…

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Macaroni & Cheese, Cheese, …and more Cheese

Macaroni and cheese, like many “common” sounding dishes, has been misrepresented on many an occasion, whether it be powdered stuff from a box or some slop from a cafeteria. But if you show it just a little bit of love, it will love you back with some incredibly rich flavors.

Macaroni & Cheese

So despite the many bad macaroni experiences we’ve all had, mac & cheese should not be banned from your kitchen as if it were gruel. This is not that undesirable junk that shows up on your plate at some backdoor BBQ you’d rather not be at–this is the good stuff! Plus, preparing this is actually quite simple and lends itself to experimentation. The end result is a fantastic dish with a variety of flavors going on.

If you look around for macaroni and cheese recipes, there’s really not a lot of consistency when it comes to what kind of cheese you should use–all cheddar, fontina, asiago, american (no!), etc.… click to read more…

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Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

My new toy is still new and exciting, so despite the cold winter weather (hey, 40 degree weather is cold for Florida!), I can’t help but make ice cream again this week. Last week’s ice cream was a bit too rich for my wife’s tastes (but spot on for me!), so I thought I owed her a lighter ice cream more tuned to her liking. I went with her favorite fruit: mango.

Floral Mango Ice Cream with Pistachio

With mango as the base flavor, I wanted to dress it up with some other subtle Indian flavors to have a really lively ice cream. So I started with a creamy mango custard and infused it with cardamom and rose water (never used it? It’s just what it sounds like–water flavored with roses, as in flowers!) for sweet, floral flavors that are very harmonious next to the buttery, sweet, almost peachy… click to read more…

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