Archive for August, 2013

August 25, 2013

Greens, Eggs and Ham

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The shift from summer to fall is one of the most beautiful times to be outside, but it can also be a tricky time if you’re cooking in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s what the weather looks like on any given day: It’s sunny! It’s hot! It’s not hot! It’s overcast! Light showers! Thunder! Lightning! Sun’s back!

What do you cook when you can’t match the mood to the warmth of summer or the cool call of autumn?

The long answer is something that walks the line between “light and refreshing” and “warms your stomach as well as your heart.” The short answer is this Dr. Seuss inspired recipe!

The flavors of crunchy, pan-seared Brussels sprouts and asparagus pair perfectly with the rich, earthy mushrooms. The ham adds notes of meat and salt, while the poached eggs provides body and creaminess to the dish. Served with a slice of fresh bread to sop up all the leftover goodness? Perfection.

To top it all off, this recipe actually rates reasonably high on the healthiness scale too. It’s the perfect between-season brunch!

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August 12, 2013

Chicken Tinga Chilaquiles

Tinga Chilaquiles

When I imagined this dish, I was aiming for nachos.

I had in my head an image of cheesy goodness oozing between tortilla chips with a smattering of deliciously spicy chicken tinga tossed over the top. But I wound up getting the portions wrong, and there was a lot more chicken tinga than I expected. When I pulled it out of the oven and tried to pull a chip away it crumpled soggily under the weight of all the toppings.

So I wound up eating it with a fork instead, and it was truly fantastic. I was going to call them “fork nachos” and shout the name from the rooftops to anyone who would listen, but after a little Google searching I discovered there was already a name for this kind of delicious smothered nachos: “Chilaquiles.”

And man, these are some awesome Chilaquiles.

They’ve got everything you could want in a Mexican dish. The chicken tinga itself spicy, tangy, and just a little bit sweet, while the rest of the toppings are a blend of creamy, cheesy, earthy and herbal. The tortilla chips provide just enough of a base to hold the whole meal together without giving it an overwhelmingly starchy feel.

You won’t be able to resist going back for seconds!

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August 5, 2013

“The Pizza”

THE PIZZA

It’s been months since I first made this pizza (I’ve made it several times since since then too), but I’ve held off on posting it for two simple reasons: it is too damn good to describe and too delicious to name.

I just can’t wait any longer to share this little miracle with you all though, so I’m simply going to refer to it as The Pizza.

How does it taste, you ask? Let me paint you a word picture.

Every ingredient, every part, every bite in The Pizza is positively bursting with delicious flavor. The sauce alone is something to marvel at; with some bread, it would be a noteworthy appetizer in its own right. It’s full of finely diced sauteed mushrooms that melt into the tomato sauce as it simmers, creating a whole new meaty depth of flavor. The shallots and sun-dried tomatoes add another layer of zest and complexity.

But The Pizza hardly ends at the sauce. The cheese trifecta of mozzarella, parmesan and mascarpone brings creamy, sharp, and nutty notes together over each slice. That richness is punctuated by earthy fresh basil, spicy arugula and tart balsamic vinegar. And there’s extra sliced mushrooms as well – because why not?

So the next time you have a free evening go ahead and dim the lights, light some candles, crank up the smooth jazz and make yourself The Pizza. It’s a culinary imperative.

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