November 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
J: Admittedly, the title of this post is rather cumbersome. But I think this was one of our favorite countries so far! I was expecting some tropical flavors coming from this tiny Caribbean twin-island nation, and that is indeed what we got — but there was also quite a kick in one of these recipes (spoiler: it’s not the one you think). We intentionally chose recipes that would allow us to play with mangoes, because there are never enough excuses to use mangoes in cooking, and avocado — well. Y’all know my feelings on avocado.
Overall, these were pretty simple to put together, and thoroughly delicious. You could also definitely make either of these alone, as side dishes – and as an added bonus, the mango/avocado salad is vegan!
June 29, 2012 § 2 Comments
J: Recently, one of my friends told us about United Noshes, an awesome project some people are undertaking to cook a meal from every member nation of the UN, in alphabetical order (thanks Colleen!). We decided that it sounded like a terrific idea. It’s always hard to try and come up with new exciting dishes that aren’t just variations on stuff we already make, so having 193 essentially pre-planned things to cook is awesome. We are starting off here with Afghanistan, and I will say right off the bat that this yogurt-nut curry is getting added to our regular rotation. It was absurdly delicious.
June 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
E: While Joanna was away at a conference, I was at home and looking for something relatively simple but new that lay somewhere along the Mexican-spectrum of food. I found these while perusing the Joy of Cooking a long time ago, but they then slipped my mind for quite some time. As is usual of recipes from Joy, when I finally got around to making them, I found out that these enchiladas rock!
I skimped a bit on the amount of cheese I melted on top of them, which was probably their only failing. The filling was delicious, even for someone who doesn’t like sour cream. And the tomatillo sauce is really excellent, and definitely something I plan to make again and use for my own nefarious . . um . . recipes.
May 25, 2012 § Leave a Comment
E: We made this salad totally on a whim. We had some extra pineapple sitting around from an earlier and unpublished recipe, and decided we wanted something with couscous. Joanna loves couscous, but I often find plain couscous is less interesting than even plain pasta. However, warm couscous salads such as this one have no such issues. We loved this! It is one of our favorites and it is a shame it has gone so long unpublished. The mix of flavors here is really excellent: if you are a fan of pineapple you will love it, but I think the pineapple blends so well into the dish as a whole that it is worth a try even if you don’t love it on its own. We used some Mediterranean-inspired parsley and basil to flavor the chicken, which we thought played off nicely with the sweetness of the fruit, but the chicken could be done in a multitude of different ways.
Toss in some peas and, if you are feeling brave, garnish with some sauteéd asparagus and you have yourself a tasty salad, warm or cold.
April 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
E: We figured it was time that Nombudsman did a gumbo, so here it is. I know very little about gumbo, and so I do not expect this is the best recipe out there. (If you have a favorite recipe, please let us know!) However it passed our test, so with some adjustment of the spices to your liking it should at least be good, on the road to fantastic. It also makes a lot if you follow the amounts shown here. I mean a lot. We got 3-4 dinners for two out of the total amount, plus there is still a little in the freezer.
The overall process is quite easy, in part because of the slow cooker. I think the gumbo would have had deeper, more developed flavors if we had cooked the onions, peppers and celery in some oil first, and gotten some nice color on them. But then it wouldn’t have been such a hands-off process.
I should note that we didn’t use any seafood or seafood stock in this, so it would be good for people who don’t like those things. The only meat we added was a couple chicken andouille sausages, which honestly were a) an unknown, impulse purchase, b) not the best as they were pre-cooked and a bit rubbery and therefore c) were not a big component of the dish’s flavor. On the plus side, that means you could do this as a vegetarian recipe without any loss at all. And if you are going to use andouille, for goodness’ sake don’t make our mistake, and get some better sausages.
March 19, 2012 § Leave a Comment
J: We’ve posted a couple chilis on the blog in the past, and they are consistently one of our go-to quick meals when we want something healthy, hearty, and easy. This chili is a bit different than ones we’ve made in the past; our standard chili is basically canned beans, canned tomato, cumin, chili powder, maybe some ground meat, and any other veggies we feel like throwing in, but for this one, we realized that we have no idea why we always use canned tomatoes. So, we decided to use fresh tomatoes instead! (Incidentally, we have recently been into beautiful heirloom tomatoes, so if you can get your hands on them, this would be a great way to use some!) We also added some Greek yogurt, because, you know, it’s good in pretty much everything — and acting on the advice of Erik’s cousin (the same who brought us Susan’s Baked Beans!), we added some molasses for a bit of extra flavor.
If you’re looking for a different chili recipe, give this a try! It’s no more complicated than any other chili recipe might be, and it’s tasty and unique in its texture and flavors.
February 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
E: I apologize in advance for the fact that this post has 2 recipes and a 4 pictures. Yes, you read that correctly. That ratio is not very good. But that’s because we made this for a dinner party, and spent much of the time rushing around and entertaining our guests. The camera didn’t get used very much. But we deemed these recipes too good to waste, and so we have to present them to you in their present fashion.
We decided to try the bourbon chicken since it was a combination of Chinese food and bourbon. Bourbon is excellent stuff, we had just purchased a bottle of it, and we were ready to do some cooking with it instead of simply drinking the whole bottle. Ergo we looked up recipes with bourbon, and settled on this since it seemed down-to-earth and good to make for a big group of people. To go with it we made a version of my standard fried rice recipe, which I got initially from The Joy of Cooking. As you can see we also made some broccoli, which was so simple it doesn’t make sense to introduce it as a recipe. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
J: Whenever we make pizza, there’s always some sauce leftover, and it’s always a struggle to use it up before it goes bad. In the past, we’ve come up with various solutions — make it into pasta sauce, make more pizza (obviously), etc. — but this time we wanted to actually make something more meal-like instead of just thrown together. So, I had the idea of re-purposing the sauce to make a chicken parmesan-type dish, only instead of frying the chicken, as is often done, we just baked it instead. Simpler, less messy, and healthier! This is a fantastic way to use up tomato sauce of any kind, and I’m pretty sure it’ll become one of our standards. It honestly turned out much better than expected — I think we were both sort of expecting it to be a perfectly unobjectionable but unremarkable dish, and it was actually a knockout dinner. Give it a try!