Let Me Take You Down, Cuz I’m Going to…
Today I want to talk about straddling in the kitchen. You know, working the line between flavors, textures and temperatures to your own advantage. Juxtaposing ingredients to ensure that every bite is both sassy and class. It’s similar to the way that a chocolate-covered pretzel or a good and salty margarita scratch some primordial itch that occasionally pops up and leaves you clawing the walls for the smallest taste of the intoxicating combination. And if you don’t scratch said itch, you feel a need to indiscriminately throat chop everyone around you, until someone plies your greedy mouth with a salted caramel cupcake. I totally approve – desperate times call for desperate throat chops, and I’d kill a man for salted caramel. Continue reading Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini with Chocolate Olive Oil
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
I Really Meant to Name This “Shrimp in Crack Sauce”
I live for the moments in life where a mere bite of a particular dish makes me giddy. Stupid giddy. Giggling to myself like a goddamn lunatic in between bites and watching my plate like a sentry making sure that no one tries to sneak a bite. The first time that I tasted this deceptively simple dish of shrimp swimming in garlic, cream and herbs, I was actually depressed. Not because it didn’t elicit the effect that I described above. It was because my sister fucking ordered it, not me, and she felt as strongly about the shrimp as I did. With a butter knife poised to stab me in the hand if I tried to steal a bite. Ugh. Dining FAIL. Continue reading Jumbo Shrimp in Cilantro Sauce (Camarones en Salsa Verde)
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
This month, The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax
& Lis and they chose to present patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness. We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties.
I Want a Taste of You, Baby Cakes
This recipe was all the doing of my buddy Karen – you see, this month has been banana cakes and not in the good way. My schedule’s relentless and although I’ll never cop to biting off more than I can chew, my mouth is as full as my plate and work is looking like an endless buffet. Karen and I are cooking buddies, seeking out new techniques in the kitchen and regularly participating in the monthly challenges proffered up by the online foodie club, The Daring Kitchen.
Karen immediately dug through her mental rolodex of recipe majesty, a good thing because my brain was more fried than a bucket of chicken from the Colonel. She remembered a fabulous black bean cake recipe from Emeril Lagasse would be perfect to make. I was relieved for her quick wit and paired the cakes with a fresh pineapple salsa enlivened with piquant red jalapenos and a simple avocado crema made with greek yogurt and lime. The final result was ridiculously good – a composed plate that looked like it should be served at a fancy pants restaurant rather than the picnic table in my backyard. Plus, the time we spent cooking was a welcome respite from the piles of work in front of me. Good times! Continue reading Black Bean Cakes with Pineapple Salsa and Avocado Crema
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
I am consistently wowed and humbled by all of the ridiculously cool culinary folk that I have had the pleasure of meeting via Spice or Die (formerly Adesina’s Kitchen). It all started as a complete and total guilty pleasure – rather than jot down my successes in the kitchen in my little notebook, I’d shoot them, post them and share the process online for the few friends that might be interested. Well, the friends were a lot more than a few and the definition of friend quickly expanded to include folks from around the globe. It was an exciting connection that was made without my anticipation that it would turn out as such. Continue reading The Seven Links Project
The Consortium for Making Yogurt Dangerously Delicious
Yes, it’s an actual consortium. I started it as an excuse to convince myself that anything that I put greek yogurt on is immediately transformed into food that is healthy and restorative. I’m about to test my theory on a gyro platter with extra french fries.
This recipe is for days when tzatziki is far too great a challenge for you. Not that tzatziki is all that hard to make, but when I have even less in the fridge than I need for that, I turn to this shallot yogurt. Worst case scenario, I’ll used dried mint and *cringe* dried parsley to make it happen and never look back. If you DO have fresh mint and parsley, though, this one is beyond a delight, providing refreshing coolness to whatever you deign to serve with it. Continue reading Shallot Yogurt Dip