June 21, 2011

Barbecue PIzza Sauce

I'm a huge proponent for using as many fresh ingredients as possible, including and especially condiments.  Whenever I have time, I like to make a big batch of my favorite sauces instead of having to search through labels at the grocery store for products without processed ingredients.  So I decided to tackle a summertime favorite, barbecue sauce

I did a riff on what I consider barbecue sauce (not a southerner by any means) by using crushed tomatoes instead of ketchup and lots of apple cider vinegar.  After simmering for a couple of hours, the sauce is thick and tangy and great for pizza!

June 20, 2011

Shaved Carrot Salad

Recently, I've gotten really bored with the traditional lettuce salad.  I've been craving crunchy, tangy, and spicy, and certainly not lettuce.  Which is why something like shaved carrot salad is so fantastic for summer.  A tangy wasabi and citrus based dressing compliments the crunch and sweetness of the carrots.

June 16, 2011

Poached Salmon with Balsamic Onion and Mushroom Sauce

I felt like getting a little gourmet after my adventures in pantry raiding, so I picked up mushrooms and one-person suitable slice of salmon after work to inspire myself.  I had Top Chef Masters on while putting away groceries and Traci Des Jardins inspired me with her brown butter balsamic vinaigrette.  I decided to try to poach my fish in a sauce that had some of those flavors and then make a reduced sauce to drizzle over the fish.

June 13, 2011

Pantry Raid! Corn Soup

Yes, pantry raid!  I'm a huge believer in a well stocked kitchen with versatile options.  I'd like to say it's because I adore cooking, but really it's because I get lazy in the kitchen when I get busy everywhere else.  Cooking always relaxes me, so stocking staples mean I get to eat a home cooked meal without the hassle of grocery shopping without a car.

I have a lot of the typical staples like dried pasta, chicken stock, garlic, red onions, bacon, unsalted butter, an impressive collection of spices and dried herbs, and a smattering of frozen fruits and vegetables.  Some of my other favorites include chipotle in adobo, agave nectar (texture of honey without the domineering flavor), wasabi paste, lemon grass paste, granny smith apples, couscous, arborio rice for risotto, 90 second rice packets, different vinegars like apple cider and balsamic, and half and half or cream.  All of my pantry staples are comforting without being boring, which is imperative for pantry cooking.

My final lab rotation report was due last week, making me a 2nd year PhD student and my fridge very bare.  I've been on a corn and chipotle kick recently, so I decided use my supercool lime green immersion blender to make myself a quick dinner of corn soup.

June 06, 2011

Jerk Pork Loin

I can't lie, I'm very intimidated by jerk seasoning.  Ever since a harrowing jerk experience in college where I was reprimanded by a Jamaican chef for drinking water after every bite of his chicken, I've stayed away from all things habanero.  However, I'm not one for being afraid of an ingredient.  It was time to conquer the pepper and the jerk! 

Jamaican jerk spice typically contains really hot peppers like habaneros and scotch bonnets, allspice, and other various spices.  I started reading around, finding what I liked best, and played with my food processor until I got a great wet jerk marinade.  The most important thing is to taste while your making the marinade to ensure you can handle the jerk.

June 02, 2011

Roasted Duck Tacos

I came up with this recipe for Cinco de Mayo with Jose Andres and Rick Bayless in mind. Really flavorful and interesting components mixing together to make something even better.  It combines the roasted duck, the summer creamed corn, the onion and apple quick pickle, and a few fun extras

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