I made some pies for my friends Halloween party (They froze great by the way), but I also thought I should bring a little snack, mainly so I would have an excuse to take some pictures! I dressed as broccoli, so I thought it would be fitting to bring a broccoli dip so I could yell at people for eating my broccoli pals. I also made some of those gross looking fingernail bread sticks to go with the dip.
October 2010 Archives
This was the second thing I whipped up for my old swim team friends that afternoon using pretty much only stuff I had on hand already. Via text, I told my friend Lorraine that I would be makeing Moroccan spiced meatballs. For some reason she thought I wrote macaroon meatballs, so when everyone showed up they were like "where are the meat-cookies???" These meatballs were a fun change from the standard italian meatball. The actual meatballs were pretty simmilar, but the spicy tomato sauce was where all the moroccan flavor was. I cheated and instead of makeing a ras-el-hanout spice blend from scratch, I used a curry powder I made a few weeks ago and loaded it up with allspice and nutmeg.
Homecoming at my college was this past weekend, so I was in touch with a bunch of my former swim teammates about plans. We are getting a little too old to crash campus, but we all still wanted to get into the homecoming vibe and hang out together. At the last minute, it was decided that my apartment was the best location, so I had about an hour to prepare. Food wasn't expected, but I thought it would be nice to serve some apps, so I looked into my pantry to see what I had laying around. This dip was the first of 2 things that I whipped up quickly and with mostly what was already on hand!
A few years ago, if I found out someone had a dietary restrictions, I would usually say "too bad for them" and still cook whatever I was cooking, rudely forcing people to feel left out! I am glad to say that I have fully changed my ways, and now when someone tells me what they can and can not eat, I suddenly feel like I am on top chef, being faced with a new challenge! I am constantly inviting people over, hoping to be inspired by my new ingredient set. "what do you miss?" Is something I like to ask. "I really used to like chicken piccata" a strict vegetarian friend recently answered me. ChickPEA piccata seemed like the obvious choice. I'll serve it with some home made ravioli... Oh wait, she doesn't eat eggs...
To finish off pie week, I have the perfect Halloween dessert! This is the second dessert I have made that is inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar in New York. This one I never tried though, I just saw it and it made my mouth water. Last year at Halloween I made a bunch of candy bars, and I realized that this pie would be 10 times easier! Normally I don't cook ahead of time for holidays, but this one was so good I decided to make it early and freeze it for the party so that you guys can all make it for your Halloween parties too. I will let you know how it freezes, but I am guessing well cause people freeze candy bars all the time.
Back to the severed pie week! I had a few friends coming over to stay the weekend, and I wanted to make pizza but didn't want the hassle that comes with making pizza the way I like to make pizza(the way an obsessive maniac makes pizza). I decided to try a recipe I have been eyeing for awhile from Macheesmo's website for deep dish. It seemed pretty easy, and the do-ahead stuff would set me up nice to make the pizzas even if I didn't feel like cooking on that Saturday afternoon. Nick already mentioned this in his post, but this pizza is a real eye opener to the world of deep dish. Deep dish kinda has a bad reputation, and I think there is only uno reason for that (zing!). This crust was flaky yet airy, not like that overly heavy, doughy, greasy crust I am used to on a deep dish pizza. The other pro was that it was super easy to make for a crowd.
Cooking a recipe for Tablespoon last week (will be up tomorrow), I had some extra brussel sprouts. I knew it would be an hour or 2 before we ate, and an appetizer I had a few months ago popped into my head. When I had these fried brussel sprouts at a restaurant (Shout out to Lattitude in West Springfield), I was amazed by the simplicity and deliciousness of it. We all know the best thing about brussel sprouts is when they get browned but retain some crunch. These things were brown all over and crunchy all over! No dredge, no breading, no batter, the recipe and the title are one in the same.
I was so pumped when I came up with this idea, but like always, pretty much every idea you have has already been had when you check google. When I checked plantain gnocchi though, most of the results were for dessert! The one savory one I saw was from a restaurant right down the street in Cambridge called Bergamot. Theirs went more Latin, while I was trying more for an Italian-Latin fusion vibe. What I like about some South American restaurants I have been to in the past is the inclusion of a garlicy carrot dipping sauce. This sauce was my inspiration for the sauce I used on the gnocchi.
I know I know, what happened to pie week? Well if you remember I announced Pie Week with the caveat of "If I get my act together this weekend". While I did do a lot of cooking and had a very productive weekend, the last 2 pies got bumped! Expect pie week to finish in the second half of next week. Now on to the pretzels! I was going to meet some bloggers for brunch this weekend, and I noticed a call for pretzels on one of their websites. I had the ingredients on hand, and some time to kill, so I answered the call! I have made soft pretzels before, but these are the hard variety. Me and my roommate snacked on them all week! They actually went great with the homemade ranch I posted yesterday.
Hand pies are pretty awesome things. This recipe came about when a friend was coming over to catch up on a TV show and we were going to make dinner first. I made a quick pie crust just in case, cause with a pie crust in the fridge you just feel safe. At the grocery store we were kind of wandering, when I said "whatever we buy, we can just toss in some pie crust". This is what we ended up with!
Next week is a short one. I take any holiday big or small, regional, national, international, or even personal(hungover monday?), as an excuse to take a day off! That being said, assuming that I get my act together on this long weekend, next week is pie week! Who doesn't love pie? Some stuff is not gonna be what you are expecting though. If you look at these past pies below, you will get an idea of some of the stuff to expect next week. I think this long weekend might be just the right time for some of you to try one of these pies!
Wandering around the grocery store yesterday my brain was going in 50 different directions. Tired, hungry, lazy, cold, preoccupied, would all describe my situation at the time. When I am feeling these things, my mind usually goes to soup, but I just had soup the day before and I sort of wanted to just be able to shovel something into my mouth and not have to deal with that pesky broth. My eye caught ditalini pasta and I thought of my favorite soup to make around this time of the year. I thought why don't I make a quick version of that, sans sauce! The soup I am talking about is here, but don't call it pasta fagioli or you may be brutally murdered (by comments). PS - sorry if your getting this OBNOXIOUS ad on the right with autoplay and music. I tried to disable it through my ad agency and it doesn't seem to be going away! Also somehow it seems to be claiming extra screen real estate? It is becoming sentient.
It's downright freezing and rainy over here, and it's been for weeks! Give me some sunny crisp fall weather please! I ride a vespa to work and I would like to get some more mileage out of it. This was an awesome soup for after a freezing cold and wet vespa ride. Warm broth, warm spice, all around warm! I was going to make a normal cheese broccoli soup that night, but during the day my mind brought me to this asian beef and broccoli, and im glad it did. The flavors were familiar yet different, comforting yet new. The korean marinade woke up a soup that can sometimes be muddled and bland.
I am really pumped about a post I wrote for tablespoon this weekend. It's something I have been meaning to do for a long time! It's a bit of an intro to some Indian spices, talks about where to get them, how to use them, and even has some recipes for spice blends! Be sure to check out Spice 101 on Tablespoon. There are actually 2 new posts from me on there today. You can also head over to see a Thai Yellow Curry with Fish recipe. Yum!