Last week’s poll was really interesting. Again it was a nail biter. A close race between an Asian dish or a Mexican dish with the later winning out by just one vote. What’s funny is that the two dishes that I was least comfortable with were the top dishes.
But that’s what this site is all about. I had never made chile rellenos before and honestly I was a bit scared. I mean, peppers are tender guys, especially after they have been roasted. And i just couldn’t imagine stuffing them with cheese and having that work. Turns out I had nothing really to worry about with these chile rellenos. They turned out awesome.
You can use a lot of different peppers when making chile rellenos. The classic is the Hatch Green Chile, but you can use any large medium-spiced pepper. I chose poblanos just because I’m pretty familiar with them and they are large enough to fill and easy to find.
I got talked into baking something for Yeastspotting this week by my friend Nick over at Imafoodblog. Ok. So it wasn’t that hard to talk me into it. In fact, all he had to do was ask me if I wanted to submit something because, well, I like to bake.
The only real requirement for yeastspotting is that you have to make something with – you guessed it – yeast.
And so I made this pretty cool looking marbled rye loaf.
Try not to get hypnotized by its beauty.
I had never made a rye bread before and I had absolutely no idea how to make the light or the dark version of the breads. Turns out that it has to do a lot with these odd ingredients – none of which I normally associate with bread.
One of the questions I get more than any other about Macheesmo is where I find the recipes I use. And it’s a pretty good question. I mean, it’s not like I am a chef or anything. And while I alter a lot of the recipes I get for Macheesmo, it would be seriously stupid for me to sit around in my kitchen for a week trying to figure out how to make, say, a pretzel when there are more than enough resources to at least use as a baseline.
In this post I’ll walk you through the basic process I use when I’m looking for a recipe that I haven’t used before.
Narrowing the field
When researching a recipe I usually start by making sure that I can narrow down what I’m looking for as much as possible. This may sound like a given, but I’ve caught myself a few times saying things like, “I want to make enchiladas.” Ok. Good luck Nick sifting through the 2 million enchilada results that I’m going to find.
But if I say beef enchiladas. In a red sauce. With corn tortillas. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Last week I had a meeting with my book club. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the book because I’m busy/lazy/[insert excuse here]. I figured that I had to make up for the fact that I didn’t read the book by making some really excellent food also known as homemade peanut butter cups.
I went with a chocolate and peanut butter dessert because I figured that that would be an easy way to calm the masses. I also brought a bottle or two of wine which never hurts. These guys were spectacular.
Things should not taste this good.
Step one if you really want to make these guys is to go to the store and buy the metal cupcake tins that way you don’t have to do what I did, which is make 24 cupcake tins out of aluminum foil.
Why did I think this was a good idea? I don’t know. A part of me just wanted to see if it would work (it will), but also I was just too lazy to go to the store even though it probably would’ve been faster.
Every weekend, I review a cookbook in an attempt to lend some guidance in a field that has become overrun. These days everyone is writing cookbooks and it is incredibly upsetting to buy a dud and have it sit on your shelf for years – staring at you, mocking your poor judgment.
This week I wanted to review a cookbook based on a local DC restaurant that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore, Red Sage. They closed their doors a few years ago after 15 awesome years of producing really great American cuisine. “Red Sage” by head chef Mark Miller presents a lot of the recipes from the restaurant and also some interesting facts and history about it.
Introduction and Background. At the beginning and throughout the book there are chunks devoted to explaining their idea behind Red Sage which some thought was kind of an odd restaurant for DC. It had a Western theme and served “Western American food.” Really good Western American food. Well, okay, I never actually had the chance to eat there, but I heard from many people that their food was great.
So I’m in a book club and it is kind of dorky but also awesome. The main purpose of the book club is definitely not the book, but the food/wine that come with the club.
So I love that.
I like to read, but I must say that sometimes I don’t finish the book. Or start the book. And that is OK.
It just means that I amass a large collection of books that I intend to read someday.
Anyway, let’s talk about what you want me to make next week.
And how about some links!
Double Food Stamps – Fresh Farms just announced that they will be doubling the value of food stamps at the Farmer’s Markets which is really awesome. I hope that this sort of idea spreads around to promote good, quality food. (@ Washington City Paper)
All of England on a Bun – I was recently in the UK and the full English breakfast is a very good thing. Something that I figured, at the time, could not be improved on. This was until I saw that you could easily shove it all in a sandwich. Even better. (@ Endless Simmer)
Last week’s vote for a dish was really close. So close, in fact, that it was a tie. I broke the tie by one email that a nice reader sent me encouraging me to make a shrimp dish. I decided that if she wanted a shrimp dish bad enough to email me then her vote counts for two.
And so I settled on this awesome shrimp pizza with a red pepper pesto sauce.
Spicy shrimp pizza!
I went with a thin crust for the pizza. It just seemed like a crispy thin crust was the best way to go. The original recipe actually said to buy store bought stuff, but you can probably guess how I feel about that.
I actually keep a few balls of pizza dough frozen that way I just have to pull them out a few hours before (like 5) and let it thaw slowly. Then it is just like fresh.