I'm all for April fools day, but sometimes my ideas don't go over well. Once I posted something on April 1st and my sister told me "never do something like that again." I am more of a spontaneous funny guy than a planned joke funny guy. But I do love the holiday, so happy April Fools to everyone! I might have a thing or two up my sleeve for my friends later, shhh don't tell. We're going to a Vampire Weekend concert later today, and a Major Lazer show on Sunday. What a weekend! Due to this, I will not be posting tomorrow OR Monday. Yay for long weekends! So what about today's post? My mom has been making this bread on Easter for as long as I can remember. Her Grandmother used to make it when she was young. It is similar to a cinnamon bun, but not crazy sweet like one. We eat it every year at brunch at my aunt's.
March 2010 Archives
It's official. Mac and cheese has taken over. It is my favorite food. Growing up it was Manicotti, then Lasagna for awhile, and of course Pizza has always been there for me, but nothing has made me say damnnnnnnnnnnnn the way macaroni and cheese has so many times the past few years. This one surprised me. I am not always one for the fish/cheese combo, I try to shy away from it most of the time. This dish was a special request from John, so I said why not, I have seen it at restaurants lately so it must be ok. There isn't much I can say to describe the amazing that this meal was. We were all speechless eating it!
I have a decent chance of winning my bracket pool this year. For the games this past weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to make snacks for the people I convinced to join my pool so they wouldn't be as mad when I took all of their money. One of the things I cooked were these lamb sliders. At the last minute I realized they would be better on pitas instead of rolls.
My Mom loves to buy asparagus anytime it looks thin, crisp and fresh. Normally I buy food based on what I want to cook at that time. This is not the most economical way to shop, but when I have a spark of inspiration, I have to cook that idea that night. So like I said, my mom bought asparagus on Monday. All week I tried to think of a meal to cook with the asparagus. All week. The asparagus was a ticking time bomb! I think I saw Ina Garten make a tart a couple weeks ago because tarts were spinning around my brain. An asparagus tart formulated in my head just in time at about noon yesterday.
This idea popped into my head the other day and I dropped everything to make it immediately. I was hanging out with people when I thought of it and got home pretty late, but still managed to throw the chicken in some yogurt. When you think about it, this recipe is super obvious and I cant believe I haven't thought of it before. The sauce on chicken tikka masala is tomato based and similar to pasta sauce. This came out amazing. We ate it all and even my family who is sort of shy with indian flavors said it was great. I have never thought to put grilled things into a ravioli, but what a revelation. You can really taste the grill flavor as you eat these.
I have always been somewhat intrigued by scallop mousse. When I saw Raymond make it on the finale of LRS this year, I knew I had to try it soon. These manicotti were great, and different, but there was one main problem with it. Scallops are just so awesome seared. Blending them into a mousse is much more effort and takes away a lot of what makes scallops so good!
I have never made crab cakes before. When you are trying to come up with a new take on a classic food, it is kind of important to make the original food first! I wanted to grill, and I had crab, so I just ran with it. The problem is that the best crab cakes are mostly crab with minimal amount of filler/binder. In order to grill these guys, I needed to bump up the binder so they wouldn't fall apart on the grill. I had seen blue corn crab cakes, and I happened to have blue cornmeal, so I thought this would be more interesting than a breadcrumby crab cake. In the end, no one was really impressed by these grilled crab cakes. They had a gummy texture and a muddy flavor. A grilled crab cake could be interesting, but this isn't the recipe. I didn't mark this as a failure, because we all ate it and it wasn't terrible or anything. Just not good.
I know you guys were on the edge of your seats all day yesterday wondering if I stuffed the burgers of not. Well I did! I was gonna put the corn and carrots in the potatoes and leave the burgers plain, but then I really thought about shepherds pie and I realized the corn and carrots are usually mixed in with the beef. I'm glad I stuffed, cause these burgers were fantastic! A great St Patrick's day lunch! I never thought to top a burger with mash potatoes, and I have clearly been missing something my whole life. The superfans may remember my old friend Gareth from Bermuda who loves shepherds pie. He would DIE if he ate these burgers. Cause of death: palate explosion.
Before I start my burger rant, Happy St Patrick's day to everyone! Hopefully you have some tasty green beer and corned beef and cabbage today. And how about that Daylight Savings you guys? So awesome. The image quality on the website improves vastly when it is light out during dinner. What else does daylight savings mean? I think that it is officially the start of burger season! MMM burgers. I miss thee. I wanted to take a minute to talk about burgers before the season starts so I don't have to mini-rant every time I make one, I can just link this post. Click through to read the rant.
My good friend Rich had a snowboarding "incident" about a week ago. His Dr. told him to stay on the couch for awhile. I headed over during the week to hang out, play video games, and watch episodes of The Wire with him. I also cooked a meal for him with his favorite protien; duck! This simple duck ragu was somehow light and rich at the same time. Complex flavors with not that many ingredients, just quality food with attention paid to it. The kind of comfort food that will make you forget about your back pain!
In Friday's recipe, my sister and I turned meatballs into a dip. What would you serve with a ball that was turned into a dip? A dip turned into a ball of course! I made soup with spinach and artichokes a few weeks back, but this was sorta like the opposite. I had to keep it dry so that I could form balls that wouldn't fall apart while frying. I sort of succeeded. These bites tasted amazing, but were a bit finicky to work with. With a few adjustments this would be an amazing appetizer.
My first "Sandwich as a dip" was at my sisters engagement party. Since then, she has been a huge fan of the sandwich-dip series, and all of her friends have since made the italian hoagie dip. Heading to her place this week for a pre-housewarming party, I knew she was expecting a new sandwich to be turned into a dip. We threw a couple ideas around, and landed on meatball sub dip. What we ended up with really stretched the confines what defines a dip, but was still a dip nonetheless. You COULD pick it up with a piece of bread, but it was easier to spoon it on.
I was recently asked to review these "Knuckle Sandwich" knives for Guy Fieri. It was a tough decision for me, because on the one hand, I am not the biggest Guy Fieri fan, and my blog isn't usually filled with product placement and equipment reviews. As my friend George Costanza once said, "This is the Blog, and we're NOT going to change it!" ...or something like that. But on the other hand, I make almost no money off this website, buy a lot of expensive ingredients, and spend a ton of time writing up my posts. My Mom desperately needed new knives, and I have been abusing her kitchen a lot lately, so I figured why not? One last question I asked of the people sending the knives, "Can I trash them in the review? Does the review have to be favorable?" I had seen the commercial for the knives and they looked atrocious. Who is the target market on these things? (If there is one thing I want in a knife, it is goofy flame cartoons.) Nope, she said. You can write whatever you want! Click through to see what I actually thought of the knives.
As I mentioned yesterday, I am visiting New York for the weekend. It is so convenient here being able to get any ingredient you want at any time. After the weekend of latenight pizza, wings, and lots of beer, Nick and his roommate wanted something a bit lighter and healthier for Monday night dinner. All I needed to do was walk down the street to pick everything up!
A friend in New York convinced me to come visit for the weekend to go to an all day party with some of his friends. I knew we would be needing some sustenance since we were planning on drinking all day. I have wanted to make beef jerky for awhile since I saw it on good eats, but felt that in Bermuda it wouldn't work because of the humidity. I thought jerky would be perfect for this past weekend as a snack throughout the day.
To me, fresh artichokes in the store are the first sign of spring. They look bad all winter, but come March, they are the first thing to perk up. I have actually been waiting for them for awhile, because I had the idea for this soup. My sister always orders spinach and artichoke dip when we go out to eat. I made it into a soup for her.
What makes this "Stuffed Pizza" and not a calzone? I am not really sure, but my Great Aunt and Grandmother sure had a very specific definition. Let me start at the beginning. I was out to lunch with my Great Aunt Nancy, and I was having pizza. She asked if I ever had stuffed pizza. "Like a calzone?" I asked. "No, it's thin and flat like a pizza, and has caramelized onions, your great grandmother used to make them for me and your grandmother when we were younger." I told her I liked to mix caramelized onions with ricotta and pepperoni. "But then that would be a calzone." she replied. I was confused, so I invited her and my grandmother over to make some stuffed pizzas to hopefully clear things up.
On Friday I mentioned my gluten free friend and the Dosas we made last week. I also brought some gluten free brownies with me that night. This black bean brownie recipe has made the rounds on the web, including an appearance in a foodie fight battle! (P.S. foodie fight fans, we are working hard on 2.0, and hope to have a battle in march at some point.) It basically uses the beans to bind the brownies instead of flour. I thought they came out dense, fudgy and delicious, but my mom and sister were not fans. The goat cheese brownies idea came from an episode of throwdown. Two women from Vermont made them, they looked amazing and have been stuck in my head ever since! The recipe was not on the food network site, so I used Bobbys brownie recipe from that episode and made my own filling.