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Archive for December, 2007

All those xmas festivities were quite exhausting this year mostly because they happened far away from home and we covered more than thousand miles in the last two weeks. So the theme for the dinner back home was light, quick and spicy (to perk us up). This thai dish from The Dancing Shrimp book perfectly fitted the bill though i bastardized the recipe quite a bit.

Shrimp_claypot

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Fresh artichokes at Wegmans looked irresistible. But then it took me a day of searching and rejecting one recipe after another when i finally googled "artichokes charmoula". Bingo – one of the first hits brought a recipe from always reliable Russ Parsons.

Fish_and_artichokes_in_charmoula

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Oaxacan Green Mole

Last dinner before leaving on vacation – unplanned oaxacan green mole – i was just meaning to make a slow cooked chili verde with pork so got some tomatillos and poblanos. But back home i started to browsing some mexican cookbooks, stumbled on oaxacan green mole in Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen and then in Martinez’s Food Of Oaxaca (actually both recipes are available online too). Loved the idea of thickening the mole with masa as well as adding an intense herb paste at the end.
It came out so good – i didn’t have chayotes and green beans used in both recipes and was too lazy to go out for shopping again so steamed some fingerlings instead and they worked perfectly well. The recipes called for hoja santa and epazote – i happened to have both in dry form and with the permission of Martinez this is what i used.
Definitely make it again to the letter – maybe with chicken though.

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Spaetzle with Duck Sugo

The break from cooking with Lidia didn’t last long – there were couple of duck legs in the fridge begging to be made into her long cooked duck sugo. She suggests to serve it with fresh pappardelle but i’m still intimidated by making pasta from scratch so decided to prepare some spaetzle instead.

Duck_sugo_with_grainy_mustard_spaet

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Habanero Mussels with Chorizo

Yesterday took a short break from cooking from Bastianich and made a quick dish of mussels in habanero and chorizo broth. Very simple – sauteed some crushed garlic and white parts from a bunch of scallions, added thinly sliced dry chorizo (palacios), then some home made chicken stock and a very flavorful habanero sauce from Whole Foods. Cooked mussels in this broth and served with black beans, avocado and sole slaw.

Mussels_in_habanero_chorizo_broth

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Cooking with Lidia: Makaruni

I was tempted by this dish from Lidia’s Italy for quite some time but was a bit hesitant about the whole business of palm rolling the pasta. And then couple of days ago i stumbled on some excellent hen of the woods mushrooms and makarunia became a reality. Very easy and very tasty – pasta strands were so nicely chewy. And the recipe is actually available online from many sources.

Makarunia

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Winter Dinners, Italian Style

Tonight i made one more great dish from Lidia’s Italy – sausages with fennel and olives. Very simple – vegetables and meat are skillet-cooked separately and then together – the technique Lidia employs to great success in many of her recipes. The flavor is deep and silky.

Sausages_with_fennel_and_olives_2

When i cooked fennel before it was always thinly sliced and not cut in chunks as today – the texture is actually quite different…

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