Recipes for a Cure
This saucy dish is part of a collection of recipes written to benefit the National MS Society. In 2008, my sister Lexi (then 21 years old) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. We formed a team of friends and family called MS is BS (Mind Strong is Body Strong), and each year we raise thousands of dollars for MS research. This recipe was written in tribute to a generous donation towards my $1500 fundraising minimum for the 2013 Capital Challenge Walk, a two-day 50K walk through Maryland, Virginia and DC. Learn more about team MS is BS on our website at http://msisbs.org
In my exceedingly short time spent in the desert, I came to realize that one of the keys to my happiness was earned in the kitchen. Those times that I spent with friends close at hand, chatting about randomness, sipping some boozy concoction and performing the feat of creating some sort of culinary majesty. By the time I left, there was a cohort of folks referred to as “the usual suspects” who spent many an evening at the Gunderdome chopping, rolling, stirring and feasting. My buddy Alex (whom I knew was destined to have major cool points in that we both went to Fordham University) was one of my kitchen darlings, and this recipe was created in honor of her and her partner in crime, Josh.
Continue reading Chicken Marsala with Crispy Potato Gnocchi and Sauteed Spinach →
Chicken + Waffles + Booze = Inhalation
If you’ve not been turned on to the allure of the goodness that is chicken and waffles, now is your chance. Sweet and salty get sweaty in a tryst that goes hard through breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’m talking a slow jam of culinary perfection, with lacy spiced chicken batter playing against the buttery maple goodness of pecan waffles. It’s everything good on a plate, and well worth heating up some oil and firing up the waffle iron.
I like to get my waffle on as soon as possible, so I go with chicken tenders for faster cooking, and a syrup remix that is partially homemade and partially drunk. Yep, booze is invited to the party. You can’t be surprised. It’s my kitchen we’re talking about. Continue reading Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Butter Pecan Waffles →
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
The March 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, aka Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.
Love is a Thistly Warrior
Good things come to those who wait, and this month’s Daring Kitchen was proof of that fact. When I think of my two favorite braised dishes, I crave fork-tender beef short ribs with crimini mushrooms that have greedily sucked up all of the surrounding juices, and braised chicken thighs with shallots, tarragon and cream. Both are stunning and ever-so-yummy, but are wintry treats perfect for curling up to replete with the roaring fire and snifter of cognac. I wanted something appropriately light and savory for the warming weather here in Arizona, and our host of the month had a perfect suggestion.
On Carol’s list of recommended recipes, she listed Michael Chiarello (swoon!) and his Lemon Braised Artichokes. I thought that it was simple and gorgeous and would pair perfectly with a pan of chicken piccata. Turns out that the two were a match made in heaven, and I was treated to bites that sparkled with lemon, briny capers and tender chicken. You’ve gotta love it when a good plan comes together! Continue reading Chicken Piccata with Braised Artichokes →
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 →
Redder Than Your Cheeks…No, Your Other Cheeks…
This is one of those recipes that I adore on a weeknight when I want to spend a modicum of time in the kitchen, and a maximum amount of time lounging on the couch with the hubs. The kind of meal that is effortless, filling and won’t have me mucking up a ton of dishes in the process. Paprikash is like sweet nectar from the gods on evenings where the only other dinner alternative is a bag of LiveSavers Sour Gummies eaten directly in bed with a bottle of water for a side dish.
Paprikash is a nourishing Hungarian stew that leverages sour cream to coax chicken (and often veal) into tenderness. Finding good paprika is key to this recipe to keep the flavors bright, so toss that old jar that’s been sitting in your pantry for ages and spring for some that’s new and vibrant red. You’ll thank me when you take your first bite and see the entire evening brighten before your eyes 🙂 Continue reading Chicken Paprikash →
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 →
Despite the fact that turkey gets a bad name in the way of ease of cooking, it’s really not all that bad. I still don’t understand why the cooking of the Thanksgiving turkey is the litmus test for a new chef’s mettle. Screw up the turkey and you’re in deep doo-doo. Craft a stunning bird with crisp skin and moist white meat, you can cook anything.
Well, in actuality, whether you can cook or not, if you follow a couple of simple steps, you can create an expertly seasoned and prepped turkey that will fool people into thinking that you are a vet in the kitchen. Take the praise. You deserve it for being wise enough to know you can fake it ’til you make it. Continue reading Simple Herb Roasted Turkey →
Ever since The Daring Kitchen Challenge that had us cooking with tea, I’ve been enamored with the idea of utilizing coffee, tea and chai in savory recipes. When I came across a recipe for Mahogany Wings in the We The Women of Hawaii Cookbook, I thought that I could up the flavor quotient by including Kona coffee in the marinade. Boy was that a success.
The kona coffee in this recipe serves to glaze these wings into mahogany glory, while a bevy of sweet sauces such as hoisin, plum, honey and ciger vinegar round out the flavor profile. Simply cook the marinade, cool it, then bake the wings in the sauce and broil to finish, for some truly lip-smacking nibbles. The chicken absorbs all of the cooking liquid while roasting in the oven, and then the last few minutes manage to lacquer the skin into sticky, sweet majesty. Continue reading Kona Coffee Glazed Chicken Wings →
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.
Cooking with tea? Who woulda thunk it? When I found out that this month’s Daring Kitchen Challenge was to cook a savory dish using tea, the only reason that I wasn’t surprised was because I’d done it before. A long while back, in a moment of sheer MacGuyverism, I decided that since I couldn’t tea-smoke chicken in my NYC apartment without bringing in the fire department, I’d try to make a marinade for it using black tea. The resulting mixture, which I coined “hell broth” for it’s spicy, fragrant scent, was a great success. The chicken was diced and tucked into crisp leaves of bibb lettuce and dunked into a zippy hoisin sauce. Tea was apparently meant for so much more than just sipping. Continue reading Black Tea Chicken Lettuce Wraps →
Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish
to go with the warm flat bread.
This dish was happened upon by accident – while making tandoori chicken for the first time, I worked out a version that would leverage the tenderizing properties of the yogurt without any turmeric (the hubs can’t eat it). The result was a delicately spiced marinade that turned white meat chicken into a moist, flavorful treat that could hold up to cooking without drying out.
I prepped this dish as part of August’s Daring Kitchen as my husband couldn’t eat the tumeric-spiced coconut curry meatballs that were the focus of the meal. Thank goodness I made enough chicken for all to try, because his “special” dish became one of the hits of the party. Continue reading Yogurt Chicken →