Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chipotle Salsa (And a Breakfast Tostada to Boot)

It's tomato season! While my poor little tomato plants have been cruelly neglected, leading them to provide me with a total of 10 puny little grape tomatoes, thankfully my CSA farm employs much better tomato nurturers.

Besides putting tomatoes on all my salads and sandwiches, I've made a couple delicious homemade salsas this week. The first is a roasted poblano salsa (poblanos also from the CSA!) and the second is a fresh tomato chipotle number featured in this post. It's crazy easy and results in a spicy smoky salsa perfect for all your chip-eating needs. I made it in a food processor since I'm a big fan of the restaurant-style pureed salsa, but you could also hand-chop all the ingredients and mix for a chunkier version. Bonus: it went great on a breakfast tostada we made to kick off a gorgeous Saturday in Maryland.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza

Such a good idea, right? I couldn't resist when I came across this recipe on Rasa Malaysia (a great website in general). I love cooking with Indian spices, and I love pizza. Done and done.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Part IV: Pumpkin Spice Cake with Chocolate-Pecan Filling

Oh my God, you guys, this cake is ridiculously good. I made it as a dessert for Thanksgiving to combine and put a twist on the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies. The result is something straight out of a fall dessert dream. I realize it's no longer fall, but I don't recall there being any rules on when pumpkin could be consumed. This will be the last but certainly not least installment of Thanksgiving recipes from 2012.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seared Scallops and Foie Gras

This year's contribution to our annual Valentine's Day meal is by far the fanciest, most decadent, and most gorgeous addition to the recipe family. Previous years brought us the good ol' surf n turf and the unique duck pizza. This year I copied a recipe from Top Chef, pretty much the only reality show I can stomach. For those of you who have not tried foie gras, it is fatty duck liver that melts in your mouth in buttery savory sweet amazingness. It's so decadent that you can't eat very much at once, which is good because it's freakin expensive. $28 at Wegman's for ~5 oz.

There are several components to this dish: a french toast-like bread called pain perdu, apple preserves, spiced pecans, maple foam, and of course the scallops and foie gras. You can make the preserves and pecans ahead of time, but the rest needs to come together simultaneously so unless you are a Top Chef it would be good to have a sous chef slash willing husband available.
I don't have any fancy equipment to make the maple foam, so I used my immersion blender and scooped the foam off the top, immediately before serving so it would hold. It's not as thick as a foam you'd see in a Colicchio restaurant, but it tastes the same.
We meant to have this as an appetizer (2 each), with a seared duck breast salad as an entree, but we were too full to make the duck. Full disclosure: we also had a pre-appetizer of cheese.
I halved the recipe for the apple preserves (already halved below), but you could probably also 1/2 the pecan and foam recipes as well. We have leftover pecans which is actually not a bad thing, but did throw out a lot of foam.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thanksgiving Part III: Harvest Focaccia

This focaccia is a bit more time consuming than other focaccia recipes I've made but oh lordy is it worth it!! The grapes and turbinado sugar ("sugar in the raw" as you may know it) sweeten the salty bread just enough but not too much as to make it a dessert bread. I intended to serve it alongside the meal but we ended up eating a bunch as soon as it came out of the oven; it smelled too good!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Part II: Wild Mushroom Bacon Stuffing

This was my favorite dish of Thanksgiving, and I don't usually even like stuffing! We didn't stuff the turkey at all, just made a separate dish since most of us prefer a crispy-topped stuffing. This was the first leftover to be devoured (cold, with spoons, directly out of the baking dish) the next day. That's how good it is.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thanksgiving Part I: Citrus-Herb Roasted Turkey

Well this is embarrassing... all my previous lapses in posting are nothing compared to this one! So let's catch up. My summer was great. The Mediterranean cruise was unbelievable (picture from Cannes to the right) and our new house is all we ever wanted. We attended five beautiful weddings this year, ending the wedding season at the beginning of November with one of my best friend from college's rustic carriage house wedding. Oh, I also turned 30, but we can gloss right over that one.

This fall my parents visited from Connecticut for Thanksgiving, which was held at my house with my sister and brother-in-law also in attendance. It was my first Thanksgiving! (If you don't count the time in college my family visited me and cooked a meal in my dingy college apartment while I was at work) The meal turned out so well that it inspired me to pick up the keyboard and type up a few blog posts about it. My mom and sister helped tremendously and we all had a great time cooking together while the boys built a bonfire out back.

First, let's focus on the main event: the turkey! I picked up a fresh 16 lb hen from Maple Lawn farms, which happens to be just a few miles from my house.

Because of its freshness I decided against brining, but I definitely would have brined if I had gotten a store-bought turkey. The recipe is Giada's, but the real expertise came from my mom who has years of turkey-perfecting practice.