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March 2012 Archives

Cooking with Booze Week!

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My first original recipe, way before I had a website, way before I even knew how to cook, was dumping Busch Light in a zip lock bag with various meats and spices and grilling it on the greenspace on sunny afternoons senior year. Ever since, I have had a bit of a habit of adding some of what I am drinking to the food party. A lot of times however, when you cook with booze you don't really taste it in the final dish. Because everyone loves a nice theme week, I set out to make 5 recipes with 5 different alcohols and make them actually TASTE like the boozy ingredient. The fun starts Monday, but for now, here is a roundup of my 15 favorite recipes with booze in them.



 

Irish cream AND whiskey in the same recipe! Yes please.



 

Lets get through the sweets first here. Bacon burbon brownies speak for themselves.



 

Bananas Foster is awesome! So is having a banana tree in your yard...



 

Guiness Bread.



 

Guiness Onion Soup (serve with said Guiness bread).



 

Chili Risotto.



 

I used Magic Hat Howl in this tasty plantain chili.



 

A classic beer battered fish sandwich.



 

Bro Week fra diavolo has a nice hit of white wine.



 

More Guiness! This time we are braising a short rib with it.



 

This Paula Deen recipe for Jack Daniels sweet potatoes has become a holiday staple in my family.



 

Jerk chicken is not jerk chicken without rum. Jerk chicken lasagna.



 

RUM HAM! RUM HAM!



 

Stroganoff with some brandy.



 

The BBQ sauce in this recipe is LOADED with burbon.




Be back next week with more boozy goodness!

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Korean Meatball Sliders

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There are some really big flavors in these little sandwiches. These Korean Meatball Sliders from Tablespoon are sweet, spicy, sour, and savory, and a fun twist on a classic party app.

Bean and Corn Pancake Sandwich

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About 6 months ago I cooked a Japanese dessert called dorayaki for Tablespoon and I became enamored with the idea of a pancake sandwich with a bean filling. It took me awhile, but I finally recreated these with a savory spin. These would be an awesome side dish with a nice grilled chicken, but we just ate them as a snack on a Sunday afternoon.





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Cornerstone Cooking: a Cookbook from Macheesmo

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There are many factors to choose from when deciding if you are a successful food blogger, and if you are better or worse than another blogger. Stats, comments, post quality and quantity come to mind initially. Publishing a book is a huge milestone in the blogger world, and my dear rival Macheesmo has officially beat me to it. He announced it yesterday, but I was lucky enough to have the secret link and get my copy early. Believe me when I say that this book is fantastic. I don't often unabashedly endorse something here, but today I can say without hesitation that you need to buy this book. I have never seen a cookbook laid out in such a unique yet totally logical way. He has some crazy promotions going on on his site if you buy the book this week, so get on it!

Banh Mi Dip

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The sandwich dips series returns! Banh mi dip has been in my head since the series began, but I was having a really hard time trying to find an appropriate situation where it would go over well. For most occasions I attend, it isn't exactly ideal to show up with a plate of chicken livers. I was so glad to finally find some people who were interested in trying out the banh mi dip because it came out better than I had even imagined.





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Wheatberry and Mushroom Fish Pocket

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I saw these super thin fish fillets at the grocery store and right away I wanted to use them as a wrapper for some sort of filling. I sort of thought that flounder was on the do-not-buy list in terms of overfishing, but Whole Foods told me it was fine so I grabbed it. Wheat berries had been an impulse buy at the winter market the week before and I knew this would be a perfect match. I snatched up some mushrooms and bitter greens and headed for the door.





Israeli Couscous "Circle Salad"

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Gah its so nice out right now. Leave where you are. Shut down your computer and go outside. WAIT WAIT! first make this Israeli Couscous "Circle Salad" from Tablespoon and bring it with you. Your day will be that much better.

Aloo Gobi Pizza

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My friend Rich recently got himself a pizza stone and peel, and despite having been to several of my pizza parties, he needed a little help for his inaugural pizza cooking experiment. I am always glad to help out in such occasions, and I even brought a new pizza variety for us to try out. One time I tried to make an Indian pizza on fresh naan, and it was a horrific failure that scarred me for a long time and prevented me from trying Indian pizzas again. I stabbed someone you guys! A few years later however, this pizza came together simply, easily, and deliciously!





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Sausage Pretzel Bites

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Trying to make a pretzel shortcut, I came up with these little guys for tablespoon. While they weren't perfect pretzels, they came out much better than I had expected with a lot less work. the Sausage stuffed pretzel bites are up on Tablespoon.

Scallops and Gnocchi

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Seafood and potato is a classic pairing that has been a long time favorite of mine. I knew I wanted to eat some sort of seafood yesterday, but I couldn't decided between potato or pasta to go with it. That's when I realized that I wouldn't have to choose! Gnocchi is both things. Then I also realized that scallops are very similar to gnocchi in shape, and this dish was born.





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Pork Pretzington

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Awhile back I made chicken stuffed pretzels and everyone told me I should call them "chicken pretzington". Today I have expanded on the idea with this Pork Pretzington. A pork tenderloin wrapped in pretzel dough couldn't possibly be a bad idea, and the apple honey mustard to go along with it was straight up inspired. While some of my roomates were perplexed, thinking that maybe the mustard was a bit too strong or the pork was undercooked for their liking, I sat quietly, reflecting on the awesomeness that was each bite.





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Chicken Jalfrezi Subs

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Jalfrezi is generally served as a spicy and dry (in comparison) curry with lots of sauteed peppers and onions. Last time I ate it, I found myself wishing I had a sandwich roll to eat it in. Of course, I made it happen as soon as possible. With a small cart, the right permits, and this recipe, I could get rich outside Fenway next month...





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Mac and Cheese Hand Pies

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Here is some pie for pi day. Check out my Mac and Cheese Hand Pies recipe on Tablespoon.

Two Savory Stuffed French Toasts

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As a kid French toast was my go-to breakfast item on any menu, but these days I find I almost never order it. What happened? Unfortunately over the past 10 years I think I've eaten so many bad versions that it may have scared me. I thought about what went wrong with this lovely food and there are three major offenders. The first common mistake, TOO SWEET. You know the sweet I'm referring to, piled high with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and other various dessert toppings. This is not the way I want to start my day, no matter how lazy I plan to be that day. The second mistake, TOO THIN. I think this is a result of the French toast being an afterthought. A restaurant has a breakfast menu; they feel like they should add French toast, so they put out some terrible limp, thin, flavorless version. The third and final mistake I see often, TOO CLASSY. I mean, challah and brioche are nice but they already taste like French toast before they are even soaked in eggs! You can take your crème brulee, croissant French toast soufflé elsewhere (this is actually what came up when I googled "upscale French toast"!). In my opinion a good French toast should be simple. I used a nice crusty ciabatta, soaked it in egg for a few hours, stuffed it with deliciousness, and tossed it into a frying pan for a few minutes.





Mini Cuban Tostone Sandwiches

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A few months back, I made some tostone tostadas. The initial plan of that meal was for them to be sandwiches, but the fillings were not solid enough, and the tostones a little thick. I'm glad that plan didn't work out because for one, those tostadas were delicious, but more importantly, the destiny of the tostone sandwich was clearly to house ham, pork, pickles, cheese, and mustard.





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Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula Walnut Pesto

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In all my years of making pasta from scratch, I think that these noodles came out better than any I have made before. They held their shape perfectly, and had a nice blend of flavor and bite. Check out my Whole Wheat pasta with Arugula Walnut Pesto recipe on Tablespoon.

Bacon-Blue Burger Mac and Cheese

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"You better not show your face in New York again without making some sort of mac and cheese". I love a good threat, and just to be safe, I made two. The cool thing was that even though these two pastas had the same base sauce, they tasted vastly different. At the end of the night we voted on which one was better, the mac and cheese that was based on a bacon-blue burger, or the one with tomato basil and balsamic. It was almost a sure thing that all the girls said tomato-basil, and all the guys said bacon-blue. I guess you could also call these "his and hers" mac and cheeses.





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