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February 2010 Archives

Dosa

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A new friend of mine has a gluten allergy, and I offered to cook for her the other night. It isn't really my style to go easy and just make some meat and veggies for her. I wanted to make bread! I didn't want to fake bread and try to re create pizza or anything like that. I had to find a bread that is already gluten free. I had some lamb leftover in the freezer, and luckily everyone was cool with Indian food. I found a traditional south Indian flatbread called dosa that is made with rice, lentils and fenugreek.





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Mofongo

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Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish of fried mashed plantains that I have always wanted to try. Any new way I can eat plantains is welcome to me! There is a large Puerto Rican population here in Springfield, but I have been unable to make it to a restaurant. The beef I made with the mofongo was in the pack I recently received from U.S. Wellness Meats. Normally I would braise a beef bottom round, but the quality was so nice that it came out perfectly as a roast. I just wish I had a bit more time to marinade it.





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Last Restaurant Standing: Finale

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Before we start, I want to mention that there was a lot of internet outrage over the wining couple. Click through, and we can talk about it. Also, did you guys see my interview with Judge Sarah Willingham yesterday?

Sarah Willingham Interview

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Sarah Willingham is one of the judges on the TV show "Last Restaurant Standing"  I have been recapping and reviewing the show on the website weekly, and the season finale airs tonight at 9pm on BBC America.  I was lucky enough to come across Sarah's Email address, and she was kind enough to grant me an interview.  I had a lot of fun talking to her this week, and I hope you guys like the interview as much as I did!

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Soba Noodles with Grilled Shrimp and Broccoli

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Today's post is from the cover of Food and Wine this month. I have looked for soba a few times in the past few months and been unable to find it. I recently saw it at a random store in the mountains, driving home from a snowboarding trip. The next day I got this issue of F&W in the mail and knew I had to make it. It tasted fantastic and was totally worthy of the cover. I actually followed the recipe closer than I have followed a recipe in awhile. I added broccoli to mine, but I treated it the same as the shrimp.





Red Borscht

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Before we start, Let me tell you guys why I decided to make borscht in the first place. John recently went to Poland and visited with family over there. Being the food lover that I am, I didn't ask how his family was, or what he saw there, all I asked about was borscht. What is it like? Do you like it? Are there a million different types? When he got back, I begged him for a secret family borscht recipe. After a few months, he finally emailed his cousin for the recipe. a few weeks later she got back to him with what seemed like a very simple beet broth recipe. The borscht John had described had lots of "chunks" and very little broth! I googled a sentence from the recipe and found that it was copy-pasted from the BBC website, and one of the first google results for borscht. We got scammed! I suppose they didn't want to give away family secrets to the world. I was so excited to try borscht that I decided to research it a bit and wing a recipe. John said it tasted nothing like the borscht he had in Poland, but that's cause you didn't get me the damn recipe John! I don't claim this to be authentic, because I have never tasted borscht before and made up this recipe. I DO however claim it to be delicious.





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Pierogi

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There is a large Polish population here in Western Massachusetts, and pierogi are a very popular dish. I myself had never tried one until recently, but really, I sort of had. This is because pierogi are like a mix between ravioli and potstickers, both of which I make all the time. John and Steph are both part polish, and were craving some polish food, so the other night we made pierogi and borscht. I will be posting the borscht recipe tomorrow.






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Last Restaurant Standing: Rock the Demo

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This week, Last Restaurant Standing was more of a continuation of last week's show. We start out seeing Raymond doing the BEST COOKING DEMO EVER! Pregnant Vanilla? You crazy Ray. In a good way. Hmm, I wonder if this episode will be about demos? We learn that the couples will have to teach a cooking class, then run a normal service, then do a demo in front of 100 people. Click through to read the rest of the review, with spoilers.

Ancho-Coffee Braised Short Ribs

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A few weeks ago, I was approached by a marketer for US Wellness Meats. She said they would send me a bunch of meat, and all I had to do was talk about it on my website! Where do I sign up? A few days later, a cooler came in the mail with 15 lbs of meat, all individually sealed and frozen. I was skeptical about how frozen/mailed meat would taste, but after cooking with it for the first time last night, I was super impressed. These were some of the best short ribs I have ever cooked with! And I have made short ribs a lot. But knowing my site, did you guys think that I would just make some generic recipes for this awesome meat? Nahhh, I had to do it justice. Ever since I cooked pasta in coffee, I have been wanting to braise something in coffee, and these ribs were just the thing. Even though I like my coffee black, most others don't, so I threw in a side of super creamy potatoes.





Barley Risotto with Brussel Sprouts and Goat Cheese

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Did you guys watch 30 Rock last night? I thought they were talking about me for a minute, but it was an actual guy with food in his beard. Anyway, no story behind today's recipe, just some really delicious food. I made risotto with barley instead of arborio rice and was surprised to find out it was just as good, if not better than the original (and better for you). It's nothing new, the idea has been going around on blogs for years, but for some reason I didn't think it would taste very good. It was super creamy, had a beautiful texture, and a slightly nutty flavor. I made mine with brussel sprouts and goat cheese.





Valentine Fortune Cookies

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Normally I am not the type of blogger who does things ahead of time. I tend to cook as things happen and post them after the fact. Most of my blogger friends cook Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks before Thanksgiving so they can post the recipes. My style is more, "This is what I made, make it next year or something, deal with it". Well guess what? I was a good blogger this week and made some Valentine stuff just in time to show you guys early! I have been wanting to make fortune cookies for awhile, and I thought Valentine's Day would be a perfect time. Without a job or a "special someone" myself, I didn't really have any reason to make them! I recruited my sister and mom to take some to school and work. I also made a few for a get together this Friday night.





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Last Restaurant Standing: Valentine

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I loved LRS this week! I enjoyed the storylines all 3 couples gave us. To see their versatility, Raymond wants each couple to serve 2 very different types of people; couples and singles. He wants them to first sell a takehome meal for 2, then cater a singles dinner. Whoa, just in time for valentines day! Click through to read the full review with spoilers from last night.

Peanut Crusted Halibut with Tamarind Noodles

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In Bermuda I used to always get a macadamia crusted fish at a restaurant called Blu. I have been wanting to do a nut crusted fish, but hadn't really gotten around to it, wondering what to serve it with. The idea came to me to do a peanut crusted fish watching Iron Chef one night. I thought it would be good paired with a tamarind pasta sort of giving the whole thing a pad Thai effect. I overcooked the fish, but the meal was still amazing and something I would recreate for a classy dinner.





Homemade Pancetta

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I have been wanting to try my hand in Charcuterie forEVER, but in Bermuda I was always worried about humidity levels. You can't really hang dry a piece of meat when there is 77% humidity year round! A basement in the winter in New England is another story. There are perfect conditions right now; about 55 degrees and very dry. For those who do not know, pancetta is similar to bacon. They are both made from pork belly, but bacon is cured and smoked, pancetta only cured. It came out amazing, one of the favorite things I have ever made. I was a bit worried while it was hanging because it formed a hard crust on the outside that was not mentioned in any of the recipes I saw. Cutting away the crust was like unveiling a lost artifact from another time. People go nutty for bacon these days, with whole blogs devoted to bacon in anything from breakfast to dessert, but most people use the thin sliced, brine cured supermarket crap bacon. You have not tried bacon until you have tried it like this.





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Last Restaurant Standing: Tea Time

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They came back hard this week with a great episode of Last Restaurant Standing. Raymond's favorite British tradition is Tea Time, so he has the couples cater an upscale tea party. Too bad it was super hot that day and every couple was late. It pretty much turned out to be a disaster. Later on, Ray sent a dinner party to each of the couples restaurants. The groups had special requests that included a cake for dessert! Would the couples redeem themselves after the tea disaster? Click through to check out my recap (with spoilers).

Colorful Wonton Gifts

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Rich and Kim, also known as "Design Team" are my two really artistic and creative friends. They continually get me birthday and Christmas presents year after year that are really awesome and unique, like paintings and framed designs, not to mention all the work they have done on my website in the past. My creativity does not fare well beyond the kitchen, so I have not been able to return the favor until this cool idea I thought of. I hadn't seen them in almost 2 months so I kinda missed Christmas, but this past weekend I gave them these colorful wontons. The green ones actually match Rich's apartment perfectly!





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2 Years of Food in my Beard

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This Saturday while ripping apart Sunday River on my new Burton Mayhem (rolling down the mountain in a giant snowball) I realized that that day was the 2 year birthday of The Food in my Beard! How the time has flown you guys, am I right? A lot of sites list their most popular and favorite posts on a day like today, but I did something like that last year, and probably will do it again next year, so I think this year should be the year of my greatest misses. After the jump, I am listing my top 5 worst posts, and a special DVD bonus feature of a meal that was so bad, I never even posted it!  P.S. The second year is the cotton anniversary, so buy a T shirt!

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