Archive for ‘Proteins’

April 10, 2016

Maple-Fennel Pork Chop

Maple-Fennel Pork Chop

A quick editorial note first. I know it’s been quite some time since I posted a new recipe here. I’ve written before about the challenges of keeping up regular posts between work and school, so I won’t get into it again. Since my last post, however, I’ve also gotten engaged (!!!) and adopted a cute but mischievous little pup (!). Needless to say, finding time to write – and even cook – has been difficult.

In the past I’ve always said that I would get back to posting on a more regular schedule. I honestly don’t know if that will ever be the case. Cooking is a hobby and a passion for me, and sharing it with others – whether in person or on this blog – brings me a lot of joy. But when it feels like a chore or I feel guilty for not posting, the magic fades pretty quickly.

So I hope you’ll check back now and again for new recipes – or better yet sign up for updates! – but no promises about getting back to new recipes every week.

Now enough talk – to the recipe!

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August 8, 2015

Pancetta, Pea, and Mint Pizza with Pistachio Sauce

Pancetta, Pea, Pistachio Pizza

This pizza is your new best friend.

It will give a ride to the airport at a moment’s notice. It knows when something is wrong before you even say a word. It always has the next round.

I kid, of course – but this is a darn good pie.

The pistachio sauce is a nutty, subtle alternative to the more traditional aggressive red and rich white pizza bases. The salty, smokey pancetta and crisp sugar snap peas are like a see-saw, rocking your tongue gently back and forth between two flavors. Everything is bound together by mozzarella, and cut with just a hint of mint to keep things cool.

The pizza as a whole manages to be both indulgent and refreshing at the same time. As the midsummer heat begins to fade into temperate Autumn evenings, you may find yourself more attached to it than you’d care to admit.

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February 7, 2015

Kimchi BLT

Kimchi BLT

Bloggers note – It has been longer that I like since my last post. The legislature is once again in session, which means my day job is substantially busier than normal. There may be a bit more time between posts, but I promise to keep the recipes coming!

Now, to the dish at hand.

The BLT is a classic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made better by importing some flavors from Korean cuisine. In this recipe, it is brightened by tangy, spicy kimchi that perfectly complements the salty bacon and ripe tomato. The addition of a creamy, runny egg not only builds on the complexity of flavor, but also makes the meal a bit more substantive.

Easy to assemble while remaining both delicious and unique, this sandwich is great for a fun lunch or weeknight dinner!

Kimchi BLT (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 slices thick-cut applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 3 thin slices of tomato
  • 2 leaves of bibb lettuce
  • 1/4 cup of kimchi, diced
  • 2 pieces of sourdough bread, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice and mayonnaise until evenly incorporated. Let the mixture sit while you cook the remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat a skillet to medium-high and cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the bacon to a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and crack the egg into the skillet. Let it cook for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy, then flip using a spatula. Sear the egg for 1 minute on the other side before removing it from the skillet, so that they yolk is still slightly runny.
  4. To assemble the sandwich, spread the garlic aioli on each piece of bread, then layer the egg, bacon, tomato, lettuce and kimchi on top.
June 12, 2014

Pinchitos Morunos

Pinchitos Morunos

Summertime is nearly (already?) upon us, and you know what that means – it’s time for Spanish food!

Spanish food was meant for summer in the Pacific Northwest. It’s born out of a sunny and gorgeous climate, meant to be eaten at a leisurely pace with friends and family, and best accompanied by a tall glass of cool sangria. Good weather, good company, and good wine are all staples in Washington this time of year.

The only thing that could make Spanish more summer-suited would be to introduce some grilling into the equation. That’s exactly what this recipe does? Oh, perfect then.

These Pinchitos Morunos are a hallmark of Andalusian (southern Spain) cuisine. They combine more traditional Spanish ingredients – bright saffron and smoky paprika – with earthy cumin and tangy coriander that are hallmarks of Moorish influences from North Africa. The result is a uniquely flavorful and colorful kebab that is great by itself with some aioli, or serve alongside Patatas Bravas or Paella.

Make these and go enjoy some sunshine!

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May 28, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Croquettes

Buffalo Chicken Croquette

This recipe is a twist on of one of my favorite dips of all time: the Buffalo Blue Cheese Dip from Macheesmo. It’s a dip so delicious and so positively bad for you that I’ve limited myself to only making it for big sporting events. Any more often and I’d have to give up beer or red meat to right the balance.

These croquettes use less cheese and don’t require any tortilla chips to eat, but they are also breaded and fried, so health-wise they are pretty much a wash. Being tiny croquettes, however, they are perfectly sized for grabbing and eating with one hand, which makes them ideal for a party, potluck or barbecue.

Maggie and made these for our apartment-warming recently and they were a huge hit. If you’re having guests over and you want an easy-to-(over)eat snack that will keep people happy, these croquettes are just the thing!

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March 16, 2014

Lamb Kofta with Sweet Tahini Sauce

Lamb Kofta

And just like that, the legislative session is over!

As I mentioned in the last few posts, I have been working down in the state capitol since the beginning of the year. But on Thursday the legislature adjourned Sine Die (Latin for “without day”) and finished its work for the year. That means I’m back in Seattle – and catching up on blogging all the iron-chef style dinners that my coworkers and I did over the past few weeks!

I posted the first challenge of the year a few weeks back: a Moroccan eggplant wrap with chorizo and pickled mangoes. This time around the three ingredients were ground lamb, eggs, and sweet condensed milk – which resulted in this delicious fusion dish that incorporates a cuisines from across the Mediterranean.

The kofta is really the star of this recipe. These middle eastern-style meatballs are crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, and packed full of flavor throughout. The slightly gamey lamb is balanced with a rich gravy reduction and accented with Moroccan spices and pine nuts. Meanwhile the rest of the pita is full of earthy garbanzo beans, robust cherry tomatoes and a silky, slightly sweet tahini sauce.

These pitas are wonderfully bite sized, so you can serve them as heavy appetizers or in groups of two or three as an entree. Either way, they’ll impress friends, family, or simply your own stomach.

Look for more culinary challenges from the past few weeks coming soon!

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January 14, 2014

Chipotle-Espresso Braised Rib-Eye Roast

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(Blogger’s note – my job has called me down to the state capital for the legislative session. For the next few months I’ll be working longer and more irregular hours, but I’ll do my best to keep the new recipes coming!)

Are you in a post-holiday slump? Are you beset on all sides by the doldrums of winter?

Well if you are (heck, even if you aren’t) this recipe is the perfect remedy. On one hand it’s bold and upbeat, combining spicy chipotle with rich and dark espresso flavors to create a robust forefront of tastes. At the same time, it pulls in the classic winter flavors of slow roasted beef that will fill your stomach and warm your heart. The wonderful contrast between the outer char and the pull-apart interior is icing on the metaphorical cake.

But arguably the best part about this dish is that it’s as simple as it is mind-bogglingly delicious. If you can mix spices in a bowl, rub them on a chunk of beef, and put that beef in an enclosed container, then you can make this dish. I used a dutch oven for mine, but even that’s not really necessary. Any oven-safe vessel that can be covered will work to slow cook the rib-eye to sweet, fork-tender oblivion.

I served this with the Wild Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi that I just posted and not a soul was left unhappy. Give it a try the next time you’re looking to cook up an impressive meal!

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December 16, 2013

Apple-Pumpkin Pulled Pork

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Now that Halloween and Thanksgiving have come and gone and the holidays are on the horizon, I know there’s one thing on everybody’s mind – how much you miss pumpkin.

From pies and soups to beers and spiced lattes, it seems like pumpkins get the short end of the stick when it comes to being in vogue. They are relegated to September, October and November when they have so much more offer us! Luckily, this dish is the perfect antidote to your pumpkin woes.

This dish is an autumnal twist on classic, backyard barbecue pulled pork. The apple cider, pumpkin and spices are more subtle and multidimensional than the traditional, wrecking ball-style barbecue soaking that pulled pork receives. Meanwhile, the Brussels Sprout slaw is crunchy and earthy, providing the perfect interlude between bites of meat. Together

Just because fall has passed and the doldrums of winter are here doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite flavors. This hearty sandwich will keep you warm and full all through the holidays!

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September 5, 2013

Asian Steak Tartare

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(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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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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