Put Jelly in the What Now?
I like to pretend that I am in the know when it comes to what makes for a delicious dish and what makes for a dish worth open-hand throwing across the room. If someone told me that the secret to killer crockpot meatballs was a jar of grape jelly, I’d probably spit out my filet mignon and make a mental note to never trust a single recommendation that person ever made. And yet! And yet! Turns out those cocktail meatballs that I swooned over at every single potluck and holiday party were made with (you guessed it) grape ‘effin jelly. That same vile stuff that I eschewed as the evil mistress of peanut butter in the PB and J. And yes, I hate PB and J, but that’s for another day. Continue reading Sweet and Savory Crockpot Meatballs (Grape Jelly Meatballs) →
Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
Our May 2012 Daring Cooks’ hostess was Fabi of fabsfood
. Fabi challenged us to make Boeuf Bourguignon, a classic French stew originating from the Burgundy region of France.
Like Julia, But Dirtier
Boeuf Bourguignon, particularly Julia Child’s definitive recipe, reads like poetry to me. The ingredients and process seem more a love song to an art form well-worth filing in the category of works that make my heart ache in that oh-so-good kinda way. So when it was announced by our lovely hostess Fabi that this month’s Daring Kitchen was to make Julia’s boeuf, you’d expect me to be swooning. Except I wasn’t, and all because of one little detail. I’m in Phoenix. And it’s already fucking incendiary. Continue reading Boeuf Bourguignon Crepes →
In Pork We Trust
Trust sure don’t come easy in life, but a little bit of trust goes a long way in the kitchen. I’m talking to you, baking, and your insistence that I trust that all will come out right if I follow the recipe to the tee. Fuck me. Apparently I wasn’t cut out for the culinary arts that required a heavy dose of faith and very little help in the way of course correction. Once that cake goes in the oven, you are done and there is no going back. Continue reading Masitas de Puerco →
Smother Me with Deliciousness
Sweet corn tomalito, do you want to go steady? Can I wear your letter jacket? Wanna go to prom together? Because I think you’re the bees knees. I fell in love the first time I tasted you at Chevy’s, tipsy from bathtub sized margaritas with plenty o’ salt, sneaking nibbles of you in an effort to extend the fun. I had to find a recipe hack on the web in order to bring you home with me, and it turned out that I had to dedicate a full-on hour to get you hot and ready before I could eat you up. You were a corn souffle of out and out perfection, and it meant that you needed time to rise to the occasion. But wait! How could I make things a little more dangerous? I know – I’d smother you with spicy chorizo, tri-colored sweet peppers, onions and garlic and then devour you with no hesitation and every last bit of my love. And yes, I’m willing to share you with everyone who wants you, just as long as I can still get a taste. Sound like a plan? Continue reading Sweet Corn Tomalito with Chorizo and Peppers →
Once You Go Black…
Black beans and rice are soul mates as far as I’m concerned, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I am Brazilian and my peeps national dish consists of the aforementioned babies. Nah, it’s far more than simple genetics that accounts for my adoration. Black beans, glistening and gorgeous from a slow-simmer with a ham hock in the bath with them, are a treat that gets exponentially better the longer you let them hang out. Serve ’em up the next day and they’re gloriously fat from soaking up all the juices from the onions, garlic and spices. Inky and complex, I crave them fortnightly and will grow frantic (nay, manic) if I don’t make a pot to quell the storm that is my craving. Continue reading Cuban Black Beans and White Rice →
Shred Me to Pieces
I was born for sexy, sultry heat, which maybe has a lot to do with why I adore the kitchen. And when the humidity cranks the knob a notch higher, my knickers turn a tizzy for a taste of something tropical. The combinations of salty, sweet and spicy are so dizzyingly addictive, I want to break out into a salsa and shake my shit until it falls off. Okay, maybe not until it falls out – I don’t really feel like dropping a co-pay for too much of a good time. What I really want is a mess of this shredded beef simmered with bell peppers, sweet onions and a sexy-as-hell tomato garlic sauce to bind it all up. And I want it with fluffy white rice and beans as dark as my intentions after too many pitchers of sangria. I want some ropa vieja. Stat. Continue reading Easy Ropa Vieja (Cuban Braised Beef) →
Recipe for the Daring Kitchen
Our April 2012 Daring Cooks hosts were David & Karen from Twenty-Fingered Cooking
. They presented us with a very daring and unique challenge of forming our own recipes by using a set list of ingredients!
Great Balls of Goodness
I know the name “Daring Kitchen” pretty much sets the stage for a challenge, but this month was an out-and-out “what the holy hell” bit of business. And this all coming from a girl who thinks she could make the basket on the show Chopped cry uncle under the swift work of her knife. My basket ingredients are black chicken, absinthe and air? Bring it, bitches. This challenge, however, was deceptively sneaky in its seemingly simple ingredients that dared at me to be combined. They sneered at me like the cool kids smoking behind the high school, waiting to see if I was indeed as badass as I claimed to be. I had to find a way to marry one ingredient from each of the three categories into an original, cohesive recipe. Continue reading Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Roasted Vegetable Couscous →
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
Maranda of Jolts & Jollies
was our January 2012 Daring Cooks hostess with the mostess! Maranda challenged us to make traditional Mexican Tamales as our first challenge of the year!
Spreading Your Masa All Over the Damn Town
Back when I was little, my grandmother used to have a friend at her work who’s family would make tamales en masse at Christmas. She’d give her a few dozen and we got to feast on the little parcels of majesty for what I’d love to say was weeks after, but they barely lasted a few days. We had them steamed plain with nothing else to slow us down except for maybe some pinto beans or fluffy Spanish rice. I’ve long been searching for a killer tamale recipe in the same way as I’ve wanted the PERFECT enchilada sauce recipe. I’ve gone through MANY iterations and variations of ones that come close, but I’ve yet to hit perfection. So of course, when I found out that this month’s Daring Kitchen competition was to make tamales, I was so excited to have the opportunity to get back in the lab and start tinkering again. Continue reading Red Chile Tamales →
Grind It Out
I’ve long been in love with kefta kebabs – the addictive combination of ground lamb or beef seasoned with aromatics such as onion, garlic, parsley and mint. I first truly fell in love with them at one of my most beloved spots in NYC, The Olive Tree Cafe. Aside from being the place where I went on my very first date with my now husband, it was a haunt that my friends and I would hit up back in college. The food was cheap and plentiful, the drinks strong, and if you couldn’t score a reservation to the Comedy Cellar below the restaurant for one of the stand-up shows, you could sit at a table right next to the same comedians working that night. The place has been in my life for years and years, and crazily enough, their charcoal-grilled kefta kebabs are a huge part of my love of the place. Continue reading Kefta Kebabs →
Turkey dinner has to be one of my favorite ways to get my comfort on and eat my feelings. I know, that’s probably an uber-unhealthy confession, but in this life you love what you love. And for me, I pledge my adoration to the restorative properties of turkey and stuffing.
This particular recipe, though, is extra special in that it utilizes some of my beloved ingredients in the pantry to create a flavor profile that is so refined, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t prepared turkey this way earlier. Fragrant fennel pollen turns bland turkey into a fantastic bite, wild rice adds texture and nuttiness to ordinary stuffing, and the saltiness of the pancetta “wrapping” plays off the sweetness of roasted pear. This fetching combination of comfort and refinement is well worth tucking into your recipe book for days when you are looking for a little magic on your dinner plate. Continue reading Turkey Breast Roulade with Wild Rice Pear Stuffing →