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Showing posts from February, 2018

Shrimp and Zoodles

This is the first meal I cooked in my new house. Simple, fast and delicious; it was the perfect meal to have after a long day of moving boxes and organizing the house. My parents helped me move and I frankly think they were horrified to see how many boxes were labelled “kitchen.” I confess I am the anti- Alton Brown; there isn’t a gadget or unitasker I have met that I don’t love. Case in point; the spiralizer. It is super trendy right now to spiralize your zucchini and squashes into zoodles- the “healthy” noodle! You could use a knife to julienne your vegetables, but where is the fun in that? I dug through my boxes after the big move, found my spiralizer, and made myself at home in my new kitchen. It’s home sweet home indeed! Ingredients: 1 small zucchini, spiralized 1 small yellow summer squash, spiralized 1 large sweet onion, sliced into half moons 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 teaspoon red chili flakes 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 pound of shrimp, deve

Tilapia poached in spicy coconut milk with couscous, mango and pickled red onion

This recipe came to me from a need to clean out my freezer, cupboard and fridge. Because I love to cook, I often have a surplus of ingredients. I buy cans of coconut milk, for example, in pairs since my store often runs deals. I use the first can for the recipe it was intended for, and then I have an extra can sitting in my cabinet, waiting. I also love to buy fish when the price is right and freeze it. I was going through my chest freezer and realized I had some lovely tilapia fillets that I needed to use up pronto. I decided to poach them in the coconut milk. Most of the savory recipes that I make that use coconut milk also involve cumin, coriander and turmeric; it seems a smart decision to use them here. I always have couscous on hand; it is a quick cooking starchy side dish made from semolina flour. I thought it would be perfect under the fish to sop up the coconut milk sauce. I had extra shredded red cabbage on hand from making coleslaw the previous day. I thought t

Blueberry Muffins with fruit curd

I adore muffins on the weekend. Something about smelling them bake as I sip my coffee is both torturous and delightful. I especially like jumbo muffin pans; I can have a much larger muffin and still say to myself later, “Well, I only had 1 muffin.” You can bake these in a standard 12 cup muffin pan; reduce the baking time to 18 to 20 minutes. This recipe is all about what you have on hand, and it ripe for substitutions. If you have fresh blueberries, use those. If you prefer another fruit, be my guest! If you do not normally have sour cream, you can substitute full-fat greek yogurt. If you do not have self-rising flour, you can easily make it (For every cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and1/4 teaspoon salt). I like to have self-rising flour on hand because it enables me to be lazy when groggily prepping muffin batter in the morning.  I also like this recipe because it allows me to use up leftover fruit curds that I have on hand, but you can use


Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in central and southern Asian cuisines. It translates to “bread,” which I unfortunately learned after several repetitions of ordering “naan bread” at various restaurants over the years. (BTW, Chai means tea- so when you ask for a Chai tea, you are asking for Tea tea. The correct name for the drink we all call Chai tea is Masala Chai).  Naan is excellent to mop up dishes with sauce (like my Coconut Chicken Cashew Curry), including various kormas, curries and the classic chicken tikka masala. It’s fun bread to make, and quite rewarding to knead by hand. The nigella seeds are optional, but I like the crunch and almost peppery flavor they impart. You can substitute olive oil and butter for the ghee, but I think the ghee adds an almost floral flavor to the naan that is well worth clarifying the butter yourself or searching for it in the store or online.  In my desire to cook naan and tandoori chicken “authentically,” I made a clay pot

Puff Pastry Rotisserie Chicken Pockets

What on earth to do with leftover rotisserie chicken? Either homemade or store-bought, I can never seem to use a whole roast or rotisserie-cooked bird in one sitting. I often use the leftover meat and carcass to make soup, or chicken salad, but this time I wanted to make something more interesting and a little more special, and certainly much naughtier. Add in a little crispy cooked bacon, Caesar dressing, provolone cheese, some veggies to salve the conscience, and wrap the whole thing up in a buttery puff pastry packet and you have yourself a very lovely weeknight treat. Be sure to pair these with your favorite glass of wine or beer, put your feet up, and enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded ¼ cup cooked bacon, chopped 3 slices of provolone cheese, cut in quarters ½ cup cooked broccoli, chopped Freshly cracked black pepper ¼ cup prepared Caesar dressing 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry Egg wash Sesame seeds Method: Preheat your oven to 425

Honey and Cream Corn Muffins

This corn muffin recipe is very similar to my corn bread recipe; the major changes are that these are sweeter and slightly richer due to the addition of honey and heavy cream. I think these changes make for a perfect breakfast muffin. The polenta, or coarse cornmeal, gives great texture, the honey adds a sweet clover-floral scent, and the cream makes them incredibly tender.  I like to have them warm from the oven with a lovely pat of butter melting seductively on the yellow cornbread interior and a cup of honey-sweetened tea. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup flour 1/2 cup cornmeal 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal (dried polenta) 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup honey 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup buttermilk 1/4 cup sour cream 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 stick butter, melted 2 eggs Method: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 12 cup muffin pan and set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, corn

Cocoa Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If Kenji Alt-Lopez is my cooking spirit guide, then Stella Parks is the baker equivalent. Her recipes are inventive, delicious, and incredibly well-tested, researched and scientifically explained. A lot of people consider baking a science; Stella Parks has a PhD. The best thing about her is that she explains the reasons behind her ratios and ingredients, so that, should an aspiring baker (like me!) choose to riff on a recipe, they can make an informed choice. This recipe sounded like my idea of heaven. I like chocolate chip cookies fine. I make them all the time, following the standard nestle’s Toll House cookie recipe. I always use milk chocolate chips because I don’t care for semi-sweet, a substitution I continue here. I recommend getting the best quality chocolate for this recipe- something that you would savor as a  special candy bar rather than your typical chips.  Listen, you’re already buying cocoa butter, you may as well splurge on the milk chocolate, too. My favor

Detroit Style Pizza

Again, I must give all credit to Kenji over at Serious Eats for this incredible pizza recipe. I read it and knew I had to make it. It involved buying a special Detroit style pizza pan, Wisconsin brick cheese, and special pepperoni, all of which I ordered from amazon because that website is incredible. The crust of this pizza is both tender and chewy, and the bottom gets ultra-crispy from the fat of the cheese dripping down and the heat conduction of the pan itself. The pan is special: it is 10 by 14 inches and dark in color. The dark color of the metal helps it to retain heat (science is crazy) and the edges are angled. These angled edges allow for the cheese to melt all the way to the edges and for the excess fat to drip down and crisp the crust. Is the pan pricy at 36 dollars? Yes. Is it totally worth it? Yeth (my mouth is full of pizza). I ordered more of the brick cheese than I needed so I could taste it by itself. This cheese is soft, buttery and salty. I really