Preserved Lemons

I was in the mood for something Moroccan (can you guess what kind of recipes will be posted in the coming days? Oh the suspense!), and if there is any recurring ingredients in Moroccan recipes, it is preserved lemons.

Jar of preserved lemons

I’ve never had preserved lemons before and it seems two methods are popular: one is just lemons and salt and the other is generally the same but with various savory spices added into the mix. Being both a fan of lemons and as decisive as ever, I decided to make two jars: one spiced and one “plain.” Now that I’d finally made that tough call, I got all ready only to find that I only had one clean jar handy (doh!).

The basic idea is that you take some lemons (tis the season for Meyer… click to read more…

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Apple Chicken Curry

I know this one sounds like an odd combination, but somehow, innocent, autumnal kind of ingredients (apple, apple cider, cinnamon, white wine, dijon, golden raisins) come together to produce a curry that could stand up next to any other traditional chicken curry flavor-wise. And so today, we have apple chicken curry.

Apple Chicken Curry

I wanted to make chicken that somehow went with apples, but I had a tough time coming up with something that appealed to me. I wrote down a long list of things that I thought would go well with apple and then started whittling it down until there was a collection of things that seemed harmonious together. From there, I just took all of those ingredients out and just sort of went with it–since ginger and cardamom were involved, why not try to do something with some Indian flare to it? And so I started working in other Asian flavors, such as kasoori methi (a.k.a. fenugreek), and that… click to read more…

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Trio of Ravioli–veal, mushrooms, and goat cheese

I was very excited about making pasta from scratch and had grand visions for making ravioli. But what kind of filling should I make? Beef? Chicken? Veal? Cheese? I kept tossing ideas around and decided to be reasonable and just choose: I’d make three different fillings (veal & olive, mascarpone mushroom, and herb & lemon goat cheese). Decisiveness is one of my strong points.

Ravioli

So knowing that the fillings would be the slow part, I hurried to work, preparing far too much of each, telling myself no problem, I’ll just freeze the excess ravioli and have an easy back-up dinner for weeks to come. I was in a good mood and in no real hurry at all–I was hungry, but the fillings were coming along great and making/stuffing the pasta would be a really quick process. There was nothing to worry about. I could just snap my fingers, and dinner would be ready. So I casually pour the flour… click to read more…

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Caramelized Pear Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans

My seasonal pear obsession continues to dictate my desserts. This week’s spin on pears: caramelized pear ice cream with toasted pecans.

Caramelized Pear Ice Cream

Armed with my fancy new toy from Santa (with the appropriate attachments, of course!), I knew this week’s dessert simply had to be ice cream of some sort (despite the fact that its winter and below freezing. Hey, the fruit is seasonal, even if the dessert isn’t!). To be honest, my original plan was persimmons, but as luck would have it, this was the first week I couldn’t find any at the grocery store (foiled again!). Without so much as giving that a second thought though, it was on to my next fruit heart-throb as of late: pears. The last click to read more…

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Mojo Chicken Burritos

Who doesn’t love a good burrito?

Mojo Chicken Burrito

Like burgers, I think burritos get a bad rap (no pun intended). For this dish, I wanted to have something that was still hearty and scratched that Mexican-flavor itch, but I also wanted it to be fresh and flavorful, not greasy and drowning in muddled flavors hidden under some ground beef slurry.

The end result was very fresh and flavorful: I rubbed a chicken down with some pretty strong, savory spices (think cinnamony, limey adobo) and roasted it. This was then chopped and pulled into tender chunks of juicy meat. By itself, this was tasty, but a burrito just cries out for salsa, or at least some kind of sauce. Since beef wasn’t in the cards today, I thought a mojo sauce would be better for chicken than a tomato-ey salsa (mojo is typically a largely citrus-based sauce, if you’ve never had it. Sweet, acidic, and very… click to read more…

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Molten Chocolate Cake

This is one of those desserts surely everybody has had at least once before: a warm, flourless chocolate cake with the surprise of gooey, warm, fudgey chocolate oozing out of the center. Classic, rich, decadent, and most importantly, chocolate.

Molten Chocolate Cake

This particular recipe is from The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert, which continues to be good to me. This recipe was a hit: 2 batches in one week! Batch one: I didn’t want big (well, normal-sized) cakes, so I thought it might be good to try a cupcake pan instead. I also wanted to add a little something different to the recipe, and I thought I had a simple, clever idea to make it better: why not add more texture contrast by coating the outside of the cake with praline (its not like my recent desserts show an odd obsession with hazelnuts or anything)? I’ve had this stuck in my head after seeing… click to read more…

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