Bourbon Chicken With Fried Rice

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.

both Chinese and Southern

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 »

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Pumpkin, Garlic, & Parmesan Gnocchi

January 16, 2012 § 5 Comments

J: Over Thanksgiving, Erik and I made pumpkin, roasted garlic, and Parmesan mashed potatoes from a recipe I found ages ago.  They were totally delicious, and I decided that it would be a great idea to make the potatoes again, but transform them into gnocchi as a little twist, since I hadn’t made gnocchi since these, way back at the very beginning of the blog.

gnocchi with (more) cheese and zucchini!

These were pretty tasty, but the flavors weren’t nearly as strong as they were in the mashed potato, probably because we ended up having to add quite a bit of flour to get the dough to the correct texture.  So, I’d definitely recommend adding some more of everything — garlic, Parmesan, and pumpkin — to get the flavors to punch through.  The recipe below includes our suggested amounts, not the actual amounts that we used.  Also, as a sauce we decided just to do brown butter, figuring it would accent the flavors nicely.  That, with some additional Parmesan grated over the gnocchi, made this quite yummy indeed. « Read the rest of this entry »

Caramelized Onion Chicken Quesadillas

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.

cut to reveal the deliciousness inside

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 »

Coq au Vin

November 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

E: Here’s another family recipe finally seeing the light of the internet for the first time. I don’t know where it came from initially, but I think it is pretty good. My mother has been making coq au vin approximately like this for years (I say approximately because she doesn’t usually measure anything) and I quite like it. I’ve made some slight changes, mostly to give it a bit more onion and garlic flavor, but the recipe is pretty much preserved from how I received it when I asked her to write it down for me in college.

yes this is rooster in wine

You can make it equally well with red or white wine, and I’ve seen recipes that do it either way. I tend to use white because the end product is prettier, but I think you can use whatever you have at the time. It certainly won’t turn out bad. I’ve also made it using vermouth when I didn’t want to open a bottle of wine and I found that definitely worked ok too.

This is a classic dish that you simply have to make at some point. But please pronounce it correctly. If you say it “cocoa vinn” I will send some angry Frenchman to find you and teach you how to say it the right way. « Read the rest of this entry »

Muttar Paneer

October 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: Paneer is something I first tasted in college. I don’t think I really knew what it was until one of my good friends (yes Aditya, if you are reading this, that means you) cooked with it for an Indian dinner we had. Yes it is very dense, and the texture can be a little rubbery, but we are talking about fried cheese here. How could it not be good?

spices, vegetables, and fried cheese . . . who could argue?

So when we saw that Nigella Lawson, the goddess of food, had a recipe for muttar paneer we simply had to try it. From some of the comments it seemed that her version was a bit plain, so we upped the spicing a little bit (and could probably have afforded to go even a little further). But as it stands it was warm if not spicy, and definitely had a good flavor. It isn’t even that hard to make, though frying the paneer can be messy. I tried to fry it dry but wasn’t thinking properly and used a plain skillet, which it subsequently stuck to. Adding some oil helped to fix that problem, but meant getting spattered with grease. I’d tentatively suggest using a non-stick frying pan that you can cover with a grease screen if necessary.

If you can’t find paneer at whatever grocery store you usually go to, and don’t have an Indian grocery store in your area, Whole Foods probably has it. Ours did. If you can’t find it anywhere, you could make this with tofu. It wouldn’t be made with fried cheese (so, you know, why bother?) but the dish would certainly still be tasty. « Read the rest of this entry »

Garlic Pasta + Spicy Meatballs + Green Beans

January 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

These meatballs are genius.  My attitude towards spicy food has become steadily more positive over the last year or so, due in part to being around people who cook spicier things than I was used to, and these meatballs were just exquisitely hot and full of flavor.  We changed the recipe around a little bit to fit our own tastes (read: MORE spices, MORE garlic), and even people who have lower heat tolerances thought they were great.  If nothing else, they will certainly warm you up on these cold winter nights!

The meatballs were also a great accompaniment to the garlic pasta, which was simple but very yummy.  At some point I want to concoct a pasta sauce involving the leftover chipotle chilies and/or the adobo sauce that they are packed in; I think it would be a fantastic complement, particularly since the pasta got a tad dry and could have used a bit of a kick.  Stay tuned for that sometime in the coming months!

So, let’s get going.  We’ve modified both recipes, but the originals can be found here.

« Read the rest of this entry »

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