Monday, September 22, 2014

Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

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Salt and Vinegar Potatoes
Serves: 4
Difficulty Level: Super Easy, embarrassingly so
Salt and Vinegar Potatoes 
I was not planning to post this recipe because it is just too simple to blog. But I have served it enough times to rave reviews that I thought sharing was in order. Do you love Salt & Vinegar potato chips or French fries with malt vinegar? – well this is your dish. Same great tang as with chips comes from vinegar soaking – or rather boiling – into the baby potatoes in order to drench each and every bite. I love flaky salt and kick of vinegar that makes these skillet potatoes almost taste like a bag of chips.  Only wayyyyyyyyyy better. Potatoes should be crispy on the outside and creamy within. This method will get you there and yields color, more flavor and crackling skin. Who could ask for more? I used baby Yukon’s this time…but fingerlings would work equally well. One could also smash the potatoes before the last fry for even greater crispiness.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Persian Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

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Persian Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade

Serves: 6
Difficulty level: Moderate
Marinade overnight; Vegetarian option given
Persian Lamb Kebabs in Pomegranate-Walnut Marinade
Like many countries, the cuisine of Iran is largely influenced by climate and geography with strong neighboring influences from the Caspian Sea to Turkey in the northwest.  The common thread that connects the diverse regional styles is a shared emphasis on sweet-and-sour and fruity tastes. There is even a special word in the Persian language used, which describes this distinct vinegar-and-honey quality: malas. This sweet-and-sour kebab is from the northern coastal province, Gilan, which lies on the Caspian Sea. The people of this region like their food extra tart.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Caramelized Endive with Gruyere


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Caramelized Endive with Gruyere
Serves: 4

Difficulty Level: Easy
 
Caramelized Endive with Gruyere
I was looking for a different starter to a light dinner, had some endive from the Farmers Market – and thus, began my search for a quick, different and tasty dish.  I am an endive fan. I love the crisp texture and fresh, sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness – great served raw or cooked.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thai Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts

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Thai Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts
Serves: 6
Difficulty Level: Easy
 
Thai Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts
This is a great recipe, fresh, colorful, flavorful and really easy. It seems perfect for a summer unique salad – with fish, chicken and/or Thai inspired dishes. Give it a try. You will be amazed how quickly it pulls together. The oil-free vinaigrette has great flavor – do not be put off by the fish sauce, nam pla. I know it smells awful and is quite aromatic but tastes great. Really. It is prepared with fermented fish that is made into a fragrant condiment and provides a salty flavor to this and other dishes. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cumin & Fennel Crusted Pork Chop with Chipotle Peach Salsa

Cumin & Fennel Crusted Pork Chop with Chipotle Peach Salsa

Serves: 6
Difficulty level: Moderate
Cumin & Fennel Crusted Pork Chop with Chipotle Peach Salsa 
Quick – get out there and make this before the peaches disappear.  I have made it twice in the last few weeks because I loved the sweet-spicy tang of the salsa with the juicy smoky grilled pork chop.  I was tempted to list this as difficulty: easy but the 24-brine and managing the BBQ likely added just a wee bit of complexity.  But, trust me, it is easy peasy.  If there is any left, these thick cut pork chops taste just as good cold. The peach salsa is also great the next day, and day after – with fish, chicken or chips. So give it try – I mean NOW – while the peaches are still spectacular.

Pork is the “other white meat” as well as relatively inexpensive, tender and flavorful.  It is quite a bit leaner than similar cuts of beef. The most common cuts of pork have 16% less total fat and 27% less saturated fat than 20 years ago. Today’s leaner pork can be enjoyed medium rare. The USDA recently announced that pork could be safely cooked to 145 degree F followed by a three-minute rest time, resulting in juicy and tender pork.