December 29, 2011 § 3 Comments
E: We came up with this recipe shortly before Thanksgiving when we wanted something with lots of vegetables in it to counteract a week of irresponsibility with pasta and cheese. It was sufficiently good (and sufficiently seasonal) that when we went to visit my parents for Thanksgiving we made it again for them. It is a testament to how good it was that we didn’t change anything from one preparation to the next except for reducing the amount of pepper we use. I thought it was great, but it turns out that a whole Hungarian wax pepper was too much spice for Joanna, almost to the point of making the dish inedible. So you should really adjust this to your spice tolerance. If you don’t like spice at all, you can still make this just by omitting the pepper. I think the spiciness is a great counterpoint to the sweet potatoes and apples, but it would still be good without.
Making this is really quite simple. It does take some time, but nothing here is really difficult. The instructions I’m going to give are for making it in stages, cooking ingredients and then removing them from the heat and cooking other ones. If you want to avoid that and do it all at once, just add the onions first until they soften, then add the sweet potatoes and cook until they are almost done, then add everything else and cook until done. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
E: I love “Mexican” food. I really do. I put the term in quotes only because I’m not qualified to judge what is legitimately Mexican and what has been Americanized enough that it isn’t really fair to give it that name. In any case I wanted to make some quesadillas, and was trying to come up with something tasty to put in them. I remembered back to something my college friend David, his girlfriend Natalie, and I made once for a food co-op in college. It consisted of caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers, and some sort of crème fraiche style dairy product, and I remember thinking how much it tasted like something I’d had in quesadilla form at a restaurant one time. So I decided to use it as inspiration—taking some liberties of course.
I cut the sour cream / crème fraiche since that isn’t my favorite thing in the world. Joanna and I decided together that we would use green bell pepper instead of a poblano. And we also wanted to put some chicken in, so we added some garlic and mushrooms to go with that, and some fresh tomato to round it off. Made with homemade tortillas, these are really, really tasty. I’m going to go through the full instructions, in which we cooked the two fillings separately. But you could do them together if you want to speed things up. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 12, 2011 § 4 Comments
J: So, I don’t remember if I have expressed my feelings on avocados on this blog yet. Here they are: I LOVE AVOCADOS. They are one of my favorite foods. I regularly used to have just an avocado, maybe with some cottage cheese or something, for a light lunch or dinner. I would eat them every day if I could. And so, a few weeks ago, while it was still in the 70s (ridiculous!), when Erik and I were trying to come up with an interesting soup to make, I thought of this: avocado gazpacho. The recipe we came up with was, I think, not the best one; it was fine the first night, but the longer it was in the fridge (read: by the second night) it had a bit of a funny taste to it. We’re both pretty sure that was the fault of the cucumber. Simple fix: don’t add cucumber. Otherwise, this soup was rather delightful: creamy, cool, and refreshing.
I’m including here the original recipe we used, as well as an alternative suggestion we came up with after the fact: guacamole soup! As always, feel free to add your own twist to this recipe, and let us know what you find works best for you — we want to improve on this, and welcome any suggestions. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
E: These are one of my favorite recipes from my mother. When posting them to the blog I decided we should do a twist on them, so we used them as a sort of meatball with pasta. I’ll include the recipe for the sauce (which, if you’ve read our coq au vin post, should seem eerily familiar—we made some slight cooking-order changes here, largely because we didn’t want to be bothered with removing things from the pan to cook other things separately) but the main star here really is these tuna balls. At home I don’t think we ever had them with pasta. They are definitely delicious on their own as the main part of a meal, but I figured they look like meatballs so why not try it.
I encourage you to use them alone or in pasta. They would be a great appetizer or side dish, too—I can just see bite-sized tuna balls on a tray at a party, with little toothpicks in them! You may have to change the amounts of things to your tastes, but the combination of lemon, tuna, and mustard seeds is really a winning one. Try them both with chives (subtler and prettier) and with onions (more flavorful, but also more boring looking), or be really daring and use both at the same time. Whatever you do, enjoy another recipe coming straight from my past to (hopefully) your future!
December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
J: Pad Thai is absolutely one of my favorite dishes ever. I have to make a ridiculous effort not to order it at every Thai restaurant I ever go to, since there are so many other delicious Thai dishes — but this one has a special place in my heart. When Erik and I had some beansprouts left over from another dish, making Pad Thai popped into my head, and once the possibility of delicious homemade Pad Thai was within my reach, it was simply inevitable.
This dish blew my mind. I cannot even begin to communicate to you how absurdly delicious and shockingly easy it was to make something that will be, given one or two more go-rounds to tweak the sauce to perfection, the best Pad Thai I have ever had. If you have access to a Whole Foods or similar type of store, you can find everything you need for this (and if you have access to an Asian market type of place, you can probably find everything you need for way less money), and it is so, so worth it. We have posted over 100 recipes on this blog: this is easily, without question, in my top 3 highest-recommended recipes. It is fun, it is easy, it is interesting, and it is almost definitely both cheaper and healthier than what you’d get at a restaurant (not saying this is outright “healthy,” because it isn’t — but we’re speaking in relative terms here). « Read the rest of this entry »