Cardamom Honey Baklava Ice Cream in Phyllo Cups

This was really delicious. I must confess, when I made baklava, I didn’t make it just for the baklava–I made it for this dessert. This isn’t to say baklava by itself isn’t amazing (which it most definitely is), but why settle for one amazing thing when you can have two? Yes, I made baklava so that I could use it as an additive to cardamom honey ice cream.

The cardamom-honey ice cream custard-base really stole the show–it was intense, just the right creamy texture, sweet, and just out of the ordinary. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices that really is beyond my ability to describe–it works so well in savory and sweet applications, kind of like cinnamon–and in this case, it really gave the ice cream an incredible flavor backbone.

Combined with chunks of baklava, you had a great contrast visually, texturally, and flavorally (go, made up words, go!)–crunchy, cinnamon spiced… click to read more…

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Manchego-stuffed Lamb Burgers

So after finishing the last of those deliciously braised lamb shanks, I found myself with a good bit of leftover sherry blackberry sauce. To some, this would be a sad waste, but to me, this is yet another opportunity to try something new using leftovers. So in the ongoing love of all things lamb: lamb burgers!

Manchego-stuffed Lamb Burgers

The weather is warm here and it just screams for cooking outside. I had a craving for burgers, but I wanted to try something different from what I normally make. So to keep going with lamb and to not let any of that delicious sherry blackberry sauce go to waste, I picked up some ground lamb and decided to make a rich and tender burger. These are easy to prepare and some of the juiciest burgers I’ve ever… click to read more…

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Nectarine Cobbler

I figured dessert has been a little ice cream-centric lately, so it only seemed fair to give something else a shot. Well one of my favorite fruits has been very available lately–nectarines–and what better way to serve up a nectarine dessert than in a cobbler?

Nectarine Cobbler

Cobblers are a fun, comforting dessert–sort of like a fruity pie but without the trouble of making a proper crust and sort of like a cake, but without worrying about it looking pristine. A cobbler is just a nice, no frills way to serve up some delicious fruit. This smelled great while baking in the oven and it tasted wonderful–light, sweet, lively fruit flavor, and a spongy cake-like topping with a nutty crunch. I was disappointed in it when I ate it the first night though, but was delighted to fall in love with it again the next day–I suppose the flavors were shy and had to get to know each other a little… 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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Apricot Date Stuffed Chicken Poached in Saffron Cream Sauce

This dish was really rich and tasty. The chicken was juicy and soft (on account of being poached) while the filling was a bit more honeyed and crunchy in texture, being filled with apricot, dates, and almonds. The sauce was also the poaching liquid: a creamy spiced broth teeming with saffron. All of these individually strong flavors paired together in a surprisingly harmonious way.

Chicken Poached in Saffron Cream Sauce topped w/date & fig, served w/cranberry rice

This dish was kind of a hodgepodge of ingredients–after making rugelach, I had some ingredients on hand that I normally don’t (apricot preserves, dates) and I just felt compelled to use them for something completely different. Once I got out of the dessert frame of mind, I came up with this. Describing the dish to my wife ahead of time was greeted with skepticism: there were a lot of flavors and many of them were sweet (she has a thing against sweet and meat). I was also feeling… click to read more…

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Creamy Sausage Mushroom Stuffing

Stuffing is one of my (and probably everybody else’s) favorite side dishes that you only have once a year with your Thanksgiving turkey. For such a rare treat, you might as well spoil yourself a little:

Stuffing, fresh out of the oven

There seem to be an endless variety of ways you can prepare stuffing–from a bag, from inside the turkey, from fresh cornbread, apples, raisins, celery, squash, chestnut, oyster, cranberry–anything in season is pretty much fair game. This particular recipe was inspired by one that I saw online a while back that sounded delicious and slightly different from what I had grown up on. The end result was amazing: rather than the traditional cornbread croutons, you have the tang of sourdough bread, the heartiness of sausage, the earthy flavor of mushrooms, and the creaminess of leeks and goat cheese. There are a lot of really rich, heavy flavors at play in… click to read more…

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