Beet Risotto

Did you miss me? Well I missed you–its been a long time since I last posted, so I thought I’d come back with something bold and colorful: beet risotto. Even the beet skeptics will love this one given how rich, bright, and earthy this dish is.

But first, some important business. Yes, there’s no neglecting that Mike’s Table has gotten a little dusty these past few months and I apologize for that. This wasn’t due to a lack of interest–I’ve been cooking as much as before. The past several months have been a bit more hectic for me, one big reason being that I am in the midst of divorce (short version: she cheated). While a source of aggravation, I have been fine and that ordeal is but a small cloud lingering over the vast, clear sunny sky that is the rest of my life. I’ve been focused on myself and the many who truly matter in my life,… click to read more…

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Pimento Cheese

Have you ever had pimento cheese? An important caveat: have you ever had home-made pimento cheese? That neon colored sludge from the supermarket absolutely doesn’t count–that’s the stuff that gives pimento cheese a bad name. That junk forces anyone who doesn’t live in the south to think pimento cheese is somehow vile stuff. The real deal is not even close. Its nothing short of incredible really. Its a mix of sweet, sour, tart, rich, creamy cheeseiness.

Pimento cheese is actually very simple to make and uses a mix of other cheeses as a base (so don’t worry, you don’t have to make cheese from scratch for this). The end result is a cheese that is easily used as a dip or a spread. I like to fill omelettes with it and to use it as a topping on both burgers and sandwiches. Other common uses are on crackers and as the filling for grilled cheese sandwiches. Its works well… click to read more…

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Strawberry Bundt Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This post is a little later than I’d like it to be seeing how strawberry season has come and gone by me. My love of strawberries is no secret. When they’re at their peak, I’ve packed away several pounds (maybe four or five? Seriously. I love strawberries) a week just for snacking (forget the baking). So this is one of those tasty desserts you can go to when you need a break from inhaling strawberries by the pound: a berry scented bundt cake topped with a rich, strawberry cream cheese frosting.

This was delicious and very strawberry-ish. I would be happy just eating the frosting (and shamelessly licked the bowl clean. Very clean). My only disappointment was that the cake was a little denser than I would have liked–I’d consider lessening the amount of strawberry puree (e.g. by half a cup) in the cake so that it might rise more and… click to read more…

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Penne with Seared Chicken Breast and Green Garlic Pesto

I’m a little late on posting this recipe since green garlic season may have already come and gone (some of you might still find it), but that brings us right over into garlic scape season, so its an easy substitution to make! If all of that flew over your head, you’re missing out on something great and need to try it as soon as possible (more on that in a moment). So what did I do with this bit of tasty spring produce? I made a simple green garlic pesto to highlight green garlic as the star of the show in this pasta dish.

If you’ve never heard of green garlic before (or scapes, which are kind of similar but are in fact, different), they’re actually pretty interesting. Unfortunately, you probably won’t find them at your grocery store, but you should have better luck at a farmer’s market. Simply put, green garlic is garlic before it has fully matured… click to read more…

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Asparagus Risotto with Poached Eggs

After the doldrums of winter, each new week of spring is like a food reawakening for me. In the past few weeks, a number of my favorites have started popping up again at the farmer’s market, and as I always do, I tend to overindulge as if these vegetables won’t make a reappearance at the same time again next year. Today’s meal focuses on one such vegetable: asparagus.

Risotto has become something of a go-to meal for me (and if you’re afraid of making it, don’t be–trust me, its easy. Try this. Now). Its fairly easy to make and provides a rich, makes-you-feel-so-good canvas to work with, no matter what the goal. I thought creamy, cheesy goodness was the perfect place to highlight asparagus.

The risotto packs a double punch of asparagus: a lightly boiled asparagus puree is mixed into the rice (also adding a nice… click to read more…

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Cardamom & Peach Cheesecake

This is that time of year where I get antsy about food. Its spring-time–the birds are chirping, the sun is out, and it feels like summer is just around the corner. So where’s the spring-time produce?! I know its too soon for the kinds of things I’m craving, and this is exactly why its always a good idea to preserve a bit of the season–to abate such cravings until nature has a chance to catch up. So today’s dessert: a sweet, creamy, cardamom perfumed cheesecake, topped with cardamom-scented peach preserves.

I’ll be honest: I’d forgotten about these peach preserves. They were buried in the back of my pantry, but when I found them, I needed to finally dig in (peach season is one of the things I’m anxiously awaiting, after all). They were simple to make (many months ago), and I remember from sampling a… click to read more…

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