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March 2011 Archives

Chocolate Covered Mac and Cheese

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Even though some people would probably disagree, I don't consider myself a know-it-all. I like to think that I keep an open mind and am constantly learning, particularly when it comes to food. There are a few topics however, that I feel like I know inside and out. That I have "mastered" if you will. When you have made 14 versions of mac and cheese, you get a pretty good feel for it! That's why I was so shocked last Wednesday night at 10:30 pm, when a friend casually said to me "they have a mac and cheese that is topped with chocolate at Rattlesnake" I mean, I'm no stranger to topping pasta with chocolate, but I just couldn't see how it would work with mac and cheese. "No they don't" was my first reply. "How late is the kitchen open?" was my second. We had a table by 11:15.

Upon first bite, I was shocked by the interplay between the bacon and dark Taza Chocolate. We have all seen the recent trend of chocolate covered bacon, but this is the first time I have witnessed a practical application of that infamous flavor combination. The other thing I was pleasantly surprised by was the fact that this was a stovetop mac and cheese, a dish that is commonly baked at restaurants. Smoked chiles and Mexican cheeses brought everything together perfectly. You know I had to share this with you guys as soon as possible!





Top Adventurous Recipes

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Hi everyone!  I'm back! Didja miss me?  New recipes start tomorrow, but for now you can check out a writeup I did on tablespoon yesterday rounding up some of my favorite adventurous recipes from the web.  I will meet you guys here tomorrow with some mac and cheese.

Fasulia

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Something has come up and I won't be posting for the rest of the week here. You guys can keep me amused though with more hilarious ideas for naming my indian-bbq place from Mondays post. Also, I have an awesome recipe for a middle eastern stew on Tablespoon that features lamb, green beans, and potato. Check out the fasulia recipe on Tablespoon today.  See ya next week!

Indian Smokehouse Burger

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Have you guys been watching Americas Next Great Restaurant on NBC? I don't particularly like most of the contestants, or anyones restaurant concept, but something about it keeps me watching. For one, I think it is pretty cool that the winning restaurant will open it's doors the day after the finale airs. Basically the whole show is a commercial for the restaurant! The other reason I watch is that I am fascinated with Chipotle and since the founder/owner is one of the judges, there are a lot of cool stories about it's creation and philosophies. The problem though, is that pretty much the whole time I watch I just think about how my restaurant idea would crush all competitors on the show.

I was particularly sour about it yesterday because I had just cooked a potential new menu item for my Indian - Southern US BBQ fusion joint. This burger is a take on the "smokehouse" style burger found at many restaurants that is topped with BBQ sauce and onion rings. I made an indian spiced bbq sauce, and pakoras, an Indian veggie fritter, and served the whole thing on freshly made naan bread. The only problem with my plans(Besides lack of money and experience?) is I can't seem to name the place! After brainstorming with friends, "Indique" (Pronounced indy-Q) is the best we could come up with, but no one really likes it... Anyone have any good ideas?





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Twice Baked Potato Chili Bowl

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In my cell phone there has been a note for about a year to make twice baked potatoes with chili mixed in. I thought of the idea awhile back, but never fully conceptualized the dish and thats why I didn't actually want to make it. Finally the other night I realized how the potatoes would come together and I couldn't wait to make it! These potatoes came out creamy, spicy, savory, unique, and delicious. I suggest everyone to make them because they are a cool take on twice baked and not that hard to bring together!





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Spring Bulgur Bowl

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Since New Years, I have been thinking about attempting to maybe try and potentially possibly entertain the idea of eating slightly healthier. During the first 3 months of every year, I can usually find the time to give my body a bit of a detox, but this year my schedule is very different and I have been having a bit of trouble figuring it all out. This week I have finally been doing pretty well. Smoothies for breakfast, cutting out meat in many meals, and healthy snacking are the three main signs that I have been doing a good job! I think the spring feel in the air has helped me out a bit. I pulled this bulgur bowl together pretty quick a few nights ago and it was filling, tasty, and even satisfied my meat loving roomate.





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Irish Cream Cheesecake with Whiskey Caramel

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It's St. Patricks day tomorrow, so there is still time to make this awesome cheesecake, or at least the whiskey caramel that goes with it! I cooked this a week ago and my roommate has eaten 2 slices a day since. Check out the Irish Cream Cheesecake with Whiskey Caramel on Tablespoon today.

Buffalo Shrimp Tacos

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Aiming to create a different take on fish tacos the other night, I went the buffalo route. To me, buffalo always means carrots, celery, and of course blue cheese. You may know that I always have trepidations about mixing cheese and fish, but I thought that this went really well! Generally with buffalo chicken, the chicken is the more tangy part and the blue cheese dressing is very creamy. This time, the shrimp had a buttery creamy element to them, and since the blue cheese was crumbled, it provided a sharp contrast.





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Brisket Stroganoff

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I went to a pop-up restaurant this past weekend and had a really great time at the event. Overall, everything was well put together and lots of fun, but unfortunately the food was a bit off for me, especially for the talent involved in the kitchen! The dishes were all very inspired concepts, but many of them were poorly executed. My favorite idea of the bunch was a beef stroganoff. The menu listing was unassuming: Beef Stroganoff with Egg Noodles. What we recieved was very different than any stroganoff I have ever had. Instead of tossing the noodles in butter and mixing sour cream into the beef to make a sauce, the sour cream was made into a sauce to coat the noodles and the beef was slow cooked to create tender juicy meat chunks in a beautiful onion mustard sauce. The beef was then placed on the noodles and as you ate you were able to combine the two sauces on your own to create the classic stroganoff flavor. The downside was the noodles were undercooked and chalky in the center, and many diners at my table ended up with big pasta clumps that were starchy and inedible. Nevertheless, the flavors were awesome and I was inspired to recreate this dish at home with a few tweaks of my own.





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Virmicelli with Leftover Banh Mi Ingredients

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I was thinking of naming this something else, but lets call it what it is right? I added some nice touches though. Some garlic and chiles in with the meat, sesame oil and a hit of wasabi in the sauce. This was a quick and delicious dinner and it was what I consider "free", made with only leftovers and stuff I had lying around. The flavors went perfect with the noodles and it was a close call on which I liked better, this or the burger.





Rainbow Pasta

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Tablespoon is having double rainbow week, so naturally I tried to 1up everyone by making triple rainbow pasta. This is where you can find that awesome hanging pasta photo from yesterdays wallpapers! Check out the Triple Rainbow Pasta on Tablespoon today.

The Return of Wallpapers!

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It's been almost a year since I posted wallpapers, something that used to be a semi regular feature on TFimB. These 10 pictures are pretty much the only ones worthy of being wallpapers the whole year! 6 of them are from the past month, so I'm thinking now that I am using the lightbox, these wallpapers will become semi regular again.  Most of these have a dual monitor option(2560x1024) for two 1280x1024 monitors next to each other. Over the years I have developed a pretty huge wallpaper collection, so be sure to check out the archives.




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Banh Mi Burger

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Around this time of year, I start to get sick of winter food. Friday I decided that I am officially changing to spring a few weeks early, and I was seriously craving a burger. I always have a wave of discouragement when I Google a new food idea I have and the first result is a Rachael Ray recipe! But really, I am man enough to admit that Rach and I have a pretty similar culinary point of view. We both have a habit of finding two iconic dishes from different cuisines and fusing them into one. Rachael's version is actually pretty awesome, but I went closer to Boston Chef Joanne Chang's version.





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Cream of Curried Cauliflower

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This isn't your ordinary "Curried _____ Soup" Where people dump some squash or whatever into chicken stock, add a pinch of store bought curry powder, blend it up and call it a day. The foundation of this soup is a deep savory vindaloo curry paste, some pureed garam masala roasted cauliflower, and a roux thickened "cream of" soup base. The results were awesome! A perfect cauliflower flavor with a nice kick from the curry and a overall creamyness. The only change I would make would be to add a bit more stock at the end and let it simmer away for a half hour or 45 minutes to let everything become better friends.





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Bulgogi Cheesesteak

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Whoa. Crazy delicious. Ingenious. Simple. Magical. Many things can be said about this sandwich. Read them all on my post for Bulgogi Cheesesteaks on Tablespoon.

Pancake Fail

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Nothing like a good failure to put me in my place in the kitchen! This past weekend some people were going out for my birthday, and I knew I would have some crashers in the morning. I bought all the stuff to make some over the top dessert breakfast for us all to eat hungover, but I didn't put enough effort or thought into the dish and the results were bland and uninspired. More importantly, it looked like throw-up, not the best thing for hungover people to see! When I cook breakfast, I don't deviate very far from eggs, cheese and toast, which is why you don't see many breakfasts on here. I do have one pancake recipe up my sleeve though, and when made right it comes out fantastic. I swapped ricotta for marscapone, hoping to make the pancakes sweeter and almost cheesecakey, but I altered too much in the recipe that I ruined the things that make it good. Keep reading to see the mess!

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