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February 2011 Archives

Wings That Can Make A Grown Man Cry

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You might have noticed a recent trend on this blog. I have always cooked spicy, but lately I have been going a bit over the top. That's all due to my roommate, Sal. I thought I liked spicy food until I moved in with him! Now each time I try to make it hotter and hotter, and after eating he just looks at me, shrugs his shoulders, and says "meh, it was kinda spicy." That is not the reaction I want! Even at Hell Night this kid ate his meal stone faced. This week I decided enough is enough. I vowed to serve the hottest wings we have ever eaten, or give up the spice game forever...



Yep. 9.6. Those familiar with the scale may know that I have yet to achieve over a 7.2, and that everything over 9 is inedible to 90% of the population! These wings burned. My whole face is tingling right now despite finishing eating over 3 hours ago and having taken a shower since! The funny thing was that we both ate our first wing, looked at each other, and gave kind of an "I don't know..." look. I thought my spice days were finished. 2 wings later, I had literal tears dripping from my face. I ran to get milk and realized my critical error not purchasing some at the grocery store. Blue cheese and carrots were my only salvation. Sal and I pushed on, finishing about 13 wings each, and he finally showed signs of pain and fatigue. Success! This didn't stop him from scooping up remaining wing sauce with pieces of celery! Did I forget to mention that these wings were just as delicious as they were hot?





Spaghetti with Roasted Fennel and Parsnip

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Just a quick one today. I made this pasta last night after going to the grocery store to wander around for something to put in pasta. I make a lot of random pasta mixes, but I tend to not post them for some reason. Yesterday I decided that I would make an attempt to post a few and set out to get some ingredients I have never put with pasta in the past. The result was a delicious, light yet filling pasta dish that was vegetarian but still satisfying as dinner.





Quick Beef Massaman


I made a really authentic Massaman stew awhile back. It came out awesome but it took forever to make and was a big project. This week on Tablespoon I created a faster massaman shortcut recipe that uses ingredients you can find at the grocery store and comes together in less than an hour, but still captures the essence of the dish.

Loaded Gnocchi

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Since gnocchi are mostly potato, I had the idea to serve them with my favorite baked potato toppings. This dish came out amazing! It was one of the fattiest richest things I have cooked in awhile, complete with a bacon fat-butter-sour cream sauce, but it was worth every calorie. The possibilities are endless here, you could top these with whatever you like on your potato. I like mine with chili! The potato flavor really came through in the final dish and everything meshed really well together.





Continue reading Loaded Gnocchi.

Cubano-Italiano Sandwich

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A few weeks back, I was seriously craving a Cuban sandwich, but I was at an Italian sandwich shop that didn't have a few of the necessary ingredients. After checking out all the options, I had them make me a panini with chicken, prociutto, provolone, pickles, and dijon mustard. It was at that moment when I knew things would never be the same. Seriously though, that sandwich wasn't mind blowing or anything, but what it did do was plant the seed in my brain for the true Cubano-Italiano. I spent weeks planning for and making all the ingredients for this one epic sandwich, and it was totally worth it!

Let me break it down for you. For the roast pork, I brined it in an italian marinade instead of the cuban mojo. Instead of ham, prosciutto. Swap out swiss for provolone. Trade yellow mustard for a sweet and tangy homemade balsamic dijon, and finally for the pickle flavor, use a quick giardiniera of pickled cauliflower, peppers, and carrots. Oh yea, and instead of cuban bread, ciabatta. You may notice that most of those swap-outs are upgrades!





Continue reading Cubano-Italiano Sandwich.

Jerk Chicken Stew

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I'm obsessed with habaneros lately. After you get past the intense spice, you notice an interesting flavor that can be found nowhere else. True habanero flavor really shines in this Jerk Chicken Stew I posted on Tablespoon. Check it out!

Coffee Risotto with Capers and Scallops

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Ever since cooking pasta in coffee a while back, it has been in the back of my mind to do a risotto with coffee. For some reason, I never got around to it, until I saw a recipe for coffee risotto in Food and Wine a month or two ago. As much as I love arborio rice for risotto, I think that pearled barley has officially become my favorite! It cooks up with a perfect bite, and is so creamy and flavorful. This recipe is super delicious, I liked the chef's creative use of salty capers to cut the creamy bitterness of the risotto.




Curry Noodle Soup

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The night after a recent dinner at Craigie on Main where I feasted on every possible meat and meat fat available, I needed a light, refreshing vegetarian dish. I mean, this meal was almost epically filled with fatty meats from pork sausage stuffed pork feet and crispy pig tails, to veal short ribs and sweetbreads, to beef marrow bones and even duck fat fried brussel sprouts!  The whole next day I thought that if I ate any meat it would esentially push me over the limit into heart attack territory, so I came up with this hot and sour curry noodle soup to warm me up and fill me with veggie goodness.





Continue reading Curry Noodle Soup.

Carnitas Stuffed Shells

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While my recipes are generally really tasty, because I cook new dishes almost every time I cook, many of them could use some refinement. I once made carnitas mac and cheese, trying to capture the flavors of a carnitas burrito in a pasta dish. It was good, but it didn't exactly taste like a burrito. I was able to revisit this recipe for Tablespoon last week, and the results were fantastic. Instead of all the burrito ingredients strewn about in the pasta casserole, I packed individual shells like mini pasta tacos of deliciousness and poured a queso sauce over the whole mess. This meal was a total winner and I think everyone should make it! check out my recipe for Carnitas stuffed shells on Tablespoon.

Papas a la huancaina

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No new stuff on TFIMB this week guys, but luckily I got a couple things to share with from Tablespoon.com today and tomorrow! Today I have a recipe that always reminds me of my Peruvian friend. Check out the awesome and easy recipe for papas a la huanciano that I posted on Tablespoon last week.

3 Years of Food in my Beard

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3 years ago, I made a website so that I could remember all the recipes I was trying. Here we are, 615 posts, 483 Recipes, 3075 comments, and over 1 million unique visitors later. I have lived in 5 different places since I started this site. I have made many friends through the site, some I have met in person, and others only electronically. 3 Years ago I didn't like Indian food, was still iffy on sushi, didn't know Persian food existed, and didn't know what cardamom, raita, lassi, tah-dig, or arepas were. When I started this site I had never written a recipe, and now I get paid to write recipes weekly for a major US food company! A lot can change in 3 years!

Starting this blog was the best thing I have ever done. I love creating crazy recipes and sharing them with you guys. I am so glad that people are interested. You rule! Even when I have had a long week and am exhausted and come home from work covered in chocolate and cream, it is always a pleasure to get on my computer, check out my stats, read some comments, and write tomorrows post.

I don't do stuff like this very often, so I was going to take this opportunity to list my 10 or so favorite posts from the past 3 years, but because these posts are like my babies, I am having trouble playing favorites. So here are 50 or so of the best posts on TFIMB. I am going to take about a week off in hopes to make the Foodie Fights 2011 season start in the next few weeks, so if you guys miss me, you can come back and check a couple of these a day!


Non-Recipe Posts

My top 5 worst posts - a companion piece to this post.

Interactive Apartment - A fun flash tour through the apartment and kitchen I started this blog in.

Brick Oven - I built a brick pizza oven in my back yard in Bermuda and then moved away only 1 year later!  No worries though, this oven got plenty of use to make it worth the effort.  Also, I like to call it my first brick oven, implying that there will be more in the future.

I used to make up quizzes on the site from time to time.  I wish I still could, but I ran out of ideas.  These are my 2 favorites:

Fictional Chefs Quiz

Tv Chefs Kitchen Quiz


Music

Beastie Boys - Foodies! - I compiled a list of every Beastie food reference from all 6 albums.  Expect this to be revisited when Hot Sauce Committee (finally) comes out this spring!  Even the title of the album is a food reference so i think we are in for a treat!

Buffalo chicken ravioli - Intense meal for an intense band.

Lemon Pepper Wings and a Freeze Cup - It's Gucci time!  Also I have the best look ever in this post.


Classics

1,100 Tortellini - I look forward to making all these tortellini with my family every year the day after Thanksgiving.

Gnocchi - A very scientific post about the best way to make gnocchi

Muffuletta - A fun afternoon with a New Orleander and some friends trying to re-create this perfect sandwich


Most Delicious

Pork Belly Mac and Cheese - Do I need to say more?

Chicken Tuscany - Love this post cause of the pics of me cooking years before I started the blog.  Also chicken Tuscany is delicious.

4 Pizzas - a favorite among many pizza posts.

Cuban Burgers - I love Cuban sandwiches, I love Cuban burgers.

Ancho Coffee Shortribs

Peanut Crusted Halibut with Tamarind Noodles

Chicken Stuffed Pretzels with Homemade Mustard

Cheeseburger Slider Steamed Buns


Most Unique

Buzzed Pasta with Coffee Smoked Scallops - One of the most unique things I have ever done!  I boiled the pasta in coffee instead of water to give the noodles an extremely bitter smoky and delicious coffee flavor.

Pizza week - Leftovers - Making ravioli with leftover pizza toppings!

Buffalo Chicken Soup - This is mainly on here cause of the awesome flash animation.

Cuban Sandwich Mac and Cheese Lasagna - Crazy flavors that actually worked!

Pasta Salad Week - Playing with Colors and Shapes

Valentine Fortune Cookies - It's that time of year again.


Over The Top

Huge Burgers - I really had fun coming up with this idea and then cooking it!  I needed to use a pizza peel to flip these gigantic burgers on the grill.

Frank-in-burger - I love this post.  Totally obnoxious writing, hot dogs, ground beef, bacon, cheesy fonts, and a cameo from boxed mac and cheese.

Mac and Cheese Mock-i - The funniest idea I ever had.  Mac and cheese instead of rice on a sushi roll.

Epic Timpano - A whole Italian feast baked in a pie.

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Burgers - Complete with hatemail saying I cook too fatty foods.

Groundhog Cupcakes - Yesterday was Groundhogs day.  This was like my 3rd post ever.


Going All The Way

Homemade Pancetta

100% Free Range Organic - An intense post where I document butchering a whole deer my friend caught.

Frozen Yogurt - from super scratch


Fun with Friends

Chimi-Turkey Apres-Ski - Skiing in January, everyone was sick of turkey, but we had a free one.  This was a really fun snowboarding trip that I will never forget!

Peruvian Night Ceviche - One of my favorite nights chillin out on the patio with amazing food, company and conversation for hours on end.

Pool Party - One of the best days ever.  Friends visiting Bermuda and we just hung by the pool for 8 hours in the middle of a forcasted hurricane that never really happened.

BBQ - Hangin at a friends place with food and lots of beer.

Food Blog Battle - A challenge against my rival Mcheesmo that the idea for Foodie Fights sprang from.

Turducken - One of the craziest things I have ever made.

Banger and Mashballs - A friends going away party to London.


Beautiful Bermuda

Chicken Halloumi Basil Tomato Skewers - A nice snack on a beautiful beach

Banana Leaves - cooking with the leaves growing in my backyard.

Going Bananas - Cooking the bananas, also from my yard.

Taco Burgers - Nothin beats grillin up some burgers on the beach.

Smores - Chillin on the beach at night.

Meat on stick - More beach awesomeness, this time with funny pics of making the grilling setup in the sand

Continue reading 3 Years of Food in my Beard.

Pasta Rolls

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More from the party this weekend. My first post ever on this blog was lasagna rolls with striped pasta. It was delicious, but the main problem was you couldn't see the stripes on the pasta because of all the red sauce covering everything! I wanted to make these again, but refine them to make everything look nicer, not fall apart, and hopefully be even more delicious! I took a page from the sushi creation manual, rolling the pasta up into a long cigar and then slicing it into slightly-larger-than-bite-sized rolls. The final result came out awesome, the only problem was that people thought the red pasta was some sort of cured pork product like prociutto or salami and felt ripped off when they found out it wasn't!  Either way, the flavor and texture on these was really interesting (in a good way) and the pasta took on a unique doughy texture. 





Continue reading Pasta Rolls.

Spicy Green Meatballs

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These spicy green meatballs would make a great app for your superbowl party this weekend! Check out the Habanero meatballs with a mango chutney that I posted on Tablespoon last week.

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