Archive for September, 2013

September 25, 2013

Harissa Cauliflower Mushrooms with Romesco

Harissa Cauliflower Mushrooms

I know it’s been a while since I posted a new blog, but I’ve just been too darn busy enjoying the awesome coverage my Asian Steak Tartare got in the Bitten Word’s Cover to Cover Challenge.

But seriously, I was actually on vacation down in San Diego helping my sister (and occasional dessert recipe contributor) get moved into graduate school. It was a lovely break, but I feel bad for leaving you all hanging without any new dishes to try. So to make it up to you, I have a post adorned with tons of scrumptious looking pictures!

These Harissa Caulifower Mushrooms with Romesco Sauce were part of a big tapas night I did a few weeks back, and they were positively delicious! The union of classic Spanish ingredients with zesty Moroccan flavors is a great flavor combination. The filling is spicy, tangy, and salty while the mushrooms themselves provide a real meaty feel to the dish.

These stuffed mushrooms are great as an appetizer or alongside a few other tapas for dinner. If you wanted to make this dish more substantive, perhaps to serve as an entree, you could add or substitute Spanish chorizo to the stuffing. Either way, it’s going to be delicious!

Tapas Dinner

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September 5, 2013

Asian Steak Tartare


(Blogger’s note: you can check out additional coverage of this recipe at The Bitten Word and Bon Appetit)

Last week one of my favorite food blogs, The Bitten Word, launched their second annual Cover to Cover 2013 Challenge. It’s a front to back cook-through of an entire magazine, and this year they chose Bon Appétit’s September restaurant edition. Almost 500 people (including myself!) are collaborating to put together 47 recipes which will start going up sometime next week.

Of course I signed up for something challenging, and when assignments came down I received this Steak Tartare recipe! I was particularly excited because not only had I never made a Tartare before, I’d never even tried one before. Challenge Accepted!

As you can see from the pictures, it turned out excellently. I’ll get into how it tasted in a moment, but now that I’ve made this recipe I have a foodie confession to make:

I can’t do raw meat.

I got about halfway through the dish before I simply couldn’t eat any more. Don’t get me wrong – it tasted fantastic – there’s just something about the sheer rawness of it that I couldn’t take. But that’s my problem; you need to know about this Tartare!

The beauty of this dish is the clarity of flavor that each component brings. In every bite you can taste the Korean-spiced aioli, the sweet and tangy Asian pear, the robust soy dressing, the refreshingly crispy watercress, and – of course – the steak.

I used an organic, grass feed, top sirloin steak from local Seattle butchery Rain Shadow Meats, and it really made a huge difference in the dish. The flavor was full and complex, similar to cooked steak but more rich and meaty. The biggest difference was in the texture though; it was chewy yet smooth and tender.

For those who are faint of stomach like myself, you can actually toss this whole dish – minus the watercress – into a wok and stir fry it for a few minutes and create a whole new delicious dish. You loose the intricacy of different flavors working together, but everything melds together to create a wonderfully rich, tangy, umami sensation that’s delightful in its own right. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this recipe!

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