Mandi got me this really cool handheld smoker for my birthday this year. She passed my secret test where I casually mention I want something nowhere near my birthday while we are watching Top Chef after drinking a few beers and then I expect to get it for my next birthday. I guess she is a keeper! Anyways, despite wanting this thing, I had my reservations about it. I didn't think it could possibly get smoke flavor into any ingredient with just a quick 15 minutes of "smoke marinade". I still wanted to try though! After my first attempt, I am still on the fence, but hopeful. This soup had a nice background smoke flavor to it. I ran the smoking gun 4 times while making this soup which seems like a lot to me to get just a "background smoke flavor", but I think after I get the hang of how to best use it, I can get better results with less smoking action.
Cheese fries are a guilty pleasure of Mandi and I but when I try to make them at home they never really stack up. The best cheese fries use that processed nacho cheese sauce that comes out of a pump at a baseball game or movie theater. I saw a recipe for this type of cheese sauce on Serious Eats recently and I put it on my to-cook list immediately. I thought it would be cool to use this sauce on a mac and cheese and top it with french fries, so that's what I did. This is a super indulgent dish of cheese on carbs on cheese on carbs, but hey you gotta splurge once in awhile and this is worth it.
I guess it is a little bit gratuitous to remove mussels from their shells for a recipe. I mean, they taste amazing in the shell and it is sort of a fun game to eat them, and on top of that the broth with a nice crusty piece of bread can be nectar of the gods when done right. While it was fun to try this recipe, I probably won't be taking mussels out of their shells for a recipe again. These tacos were really great, don't get me wrong, but it is just a lot of pointless added effort when I would be happy to just crack a beer and go to town on a pile of mussels. If you made these on a smaller scale as mini taco apps I think it would be more worth the effort.
The second I opened to the page with ham and eggs barley porridge in this months Food and Wine, I knew I would be eating it in the near future. Not only was the recipe written by David Chang, and looked exactly like the type of food that I love to make and eat, but it also featured ham. I have been trying to think of fun new ways to serve ham for Jones Dairy Farm, and this recipe fit the bill perfectly. I cranked up the ham level a bit and added some asparagus so there would be a bigger veggie presence. This recipe is easy and has a lot of deep delicious flavors. What are you waiting for, go make it!
Making mustard is really easy, cheap, and a lot of fun. I like to do a lot of trial and error when I make mustard and I have made a lot of batches that I never posted because of this (meaning they came out awful). Over the weekend I made a killer mango based mustard that I just had to post because I seriously have eaten like a cup of it in the past two days it's THAT good. The mango adds a nice sweetness that gives the whole thing a honey-mustard essence, but a couple habaneros and a cold-mix process give it the intensity you guys can expect from one of my recipes.
I was trying to debate whether to do a riff on a meatball sandwich or a pulled pork sandwich, so instead of focusing on one of them I kind of just brought the flavors together in this spicy BBQ meatball sandwich. I guess it's balls week on TFIMB. It was unintentional but it happened. Make all the crude jokes you want you animals, this sandwich was delicious! I also have some fun 3d gifs in this post. I have always noticed that when my camera takes 2 pictures really quickly it sometimes looks 3d when I go back and forth between them. I wanted to make a conscious effort to start posting them! Let me know if you like 'em.
I wanted to use hummus to make something that was falafel-like and very easy to make. I knew I would have trouble achieving that toothsome crunchiness of a true falafel, so I thought of using cooked quinoa as the main ingredient to get that desired texture. It actually worked even better than I thought! The quinoa on the edges that got browned up were perfectly crunchy, and the insides of these patties were creamy and juicy with just enough bite. I served these falafel style in a fresh pita with cucumber salsa, lettuce, and tzatziki.
Malai kofta is a favorite Indian takeout dish of Mandi and I. I have been wanting to make a version of this for awhile, and I finally had a chance this weekend. I found a classic recipe in an Indian cookbook I have, and swapped out the spinach for some fresh kale. These kale kofta balls came out great and really satisfied our craving for a hearty Indian vegetarian feast.