Paht Thai

12 Sep

Paht Thai is a dish I am ambivalent towards.  However, my husband loves it.  For the past few months he’s asked me to give it another try.  So here it goes.  This one’s for you babe.

I’m using the recipe from one of my favorite authors: Nancie McDermott (found in Quick & Easy Thai).  Her recipes, such as Kung Pao Chicken,  are simple, authentic, and render delicious results.

Well here’s how it turned out:

Thai Paht

I give it a thumbs up!  Even though I still wouldn’t proclaim it one of my all time favorites it is a damn good recipe.  I ground the peanuts in my spice grinder as opposed to chopping which created a much more velvety sauce.  Delicious.  It is a pretty quick meal but be sure to have everything chopped and have pre read the recipe before actually getting the pan hot.


Happy cooking!




Salata Adas

9 Aug

Before jumping into my next recipe trial I should say that I gave up on the Rose Napoleons.  The custard struggled to thicken.  After I whisked it over heat for nearly double the time the recipe mentioned I put it aside hoping it would thicken further in the fridge as many things do.  Sadly this was not the case.  After a brief attempt to reheat and thicken further which ended in separated, overcooked custard I have decided to let that recipe lie for now and return to it another day. 

Continuing on with the theme of the middle east I made Salata Adas, Garlicky Lentil Salad. (  It was remarkably simple and enjoyable!  Great as a dip for fresh baked Pita bread with perhaps a bright yogurt sauce to accompany it.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup green lentils, rinsed
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp. minced fresh mint
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tast

The recipe instructs you to briefly saute the garlic to mellow the flavor.  I tried that this time and found the end result to lack a bit of the punch that I had hoped this recipe would have.  I would suggest cutting back on the amount of garlic but leaving it raw.  The other spices were amazing!  Simply boil the lentils until tender (drain any excess liquid) and toss with remaining ingredients. 

Though it is not a traditional accompaniment I made some fresh green chutney (Recipe from Madhur Jaffrey, Quick and Easy Indian).  Its bright flavor was the perfect pairing for the richness of the lentils. 

Mix together:

6T plain yogurt

2T chopped mint

2 T Fresh cilantro

1 T fresh Lemon Juice

1/3 t salt to taste



Cherry & Herb Salad and the Turnip Disaster

6 Aug

I ventured into the unknown land of Middle Eastern Cooking yesterday.  I made a delicious Cherry & Herb Salad, a questionable Turnip dish, and am still in the process of making Rose Napoleons (all recipes courtesy of Saveur).

Lets start with the disapointment first:  Turnips with Yogurt and Tomatoes.  Here’s the basic idea, you marinade the turnips in yogurt to leech out some of their water so they can more addiquitly brown when cooked after draining the yogurt.  It included shallots, cumin, and cayanne; all delicious spices and in combination with the pungent turnip and the tangy yogurt the recipe peaked my interest.

I think the recipe failed in the draining phase of removing the majority of yogurt from the turnips.Image  It seemed nigh impossible to me and I (after half an hour of stirring and draining) gave up and just cooked the darn things.

The Turnips struggled to brown and after all was said and done the dish lacked textural and flavor variety.  I think as a small part of a larger meal it could serve well.  It was pungent, uniquely spiced, and in mixture with other dishes may serve to brighten a meal beautifully, but measured on its own it was less than exciting.  Although, maybe I have simply discovered my distaste for turnips.…/Turnips-with-Yogurt-and-Tomatoes-1000066592

Now for the far more enjoyable dish: Cherry & Herb Salad.  We had some left over cherries from a recent camping trip that were begging to be used up.  Regularly we would munch them on their own and have pit spitting contests, but these were reaching their final days.  Many of them had soft spots that could be easily carved out, but ruled out the quick popping of one into your mouth (unless you enjoy mealy bits).  Anyways, I found this recipe and thought I’d give it a whirl.  I’ve loved some Thai spicy fruit salads so I thought I’d give this one a try and I’m glad I did!  Not only was it simple and delicious, but it is beautiful to boot!

It took some time to pit all of my cherries, but it was well worth the mess!Image

Here is recipe:

It combines cilantro, cherries, chili peppers, toasted walnuts, pomegranate molasses, oil, salt, and pepper in a perfect chorus of flavor.

And here is the final product.  I’m happy to say it did what the best salads do, get better over night!  The flavors are even more robust today!  Image

Now on to finish my Rose Napoleons.

Sweet Returns

5 Aug

It’s time to shake the dust off this blog and breathe some life into it once again.  The last few months of silence have been busy, beautiful, and full of delicious memories for me and mine.  I hope they were equally fruitful for you and yours.

A brief list of my personal and gastronomical happenings:

  • 3 week exploration of Italy from Rome to VeniceImage
  • Devouring golden, crisp, Thai grilled TillapiaImage
  • Venetian Cicchetti party with over 13 different dishes serving between 15 and 20 friendsImage
  • Multiple delicious and educational forays into pie making
  • Continuing my futile battle to conquer my kitchen nemesis: Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Homemade Ricotta
  • Catering a sit down dinner party for 20 people successfully!
  • Celebrated 3 years married to my best friend and love of my life!Image

New mouthwatering blogs to follow!  If you have any cuisines or specific dishes you think I should explore please let me know!

St. Patricks Day

19 Mar

Sunday was St Paddy’s day, another perfect excuse for drinking and cooking wonderful things!  We had some friends over and enjoyed Andrew’s excellent home-brewed stout and Scottish gold ale alongside Reuben Sandwiches (not really Irish, but there IS corned beef involved!) and Chocolate Stout layer cake. 

As far as food was concerned the cake was both the more intensive and more impressive of my creations for this holiday.  I used this recipe for the most part.  The cake itself was deliciously moist and rich with subtle complexity from the stout.  For the filling I decided to improvise however.  The recipe calls for making a very simple chocolate whipped cream filling, which I felt would be too one dimensional in combo with the cake.  I decided, in the spirit of the Irish, to make it Irish cream whipped cream filling.  I simply whipped up my regular heavy cream (approximately 2 cups) and added around 1/4 c Irish cream until it reached a flavor I liked.  AMAZING PAIRING WITH THE CAKE!!  The glaze wad wonderful as well although I’d have to practice my technique as the overall appearance of the finished product looked more akin to a misshapen whoopee pie :) 

As per the Reuben Sandwiches all I did was cook up some corned beef, slice it very thin, and serve it with fresh pumpernickle bread, saurkraut, and Jarlsberg cheese.  Of course I made some thousand Island for dipping as well. 

All in all it was a culinary success!


Breakfast fit for a King

9 Mar

Breakfast is an often overlooked meal.  Most of the time Andrew and I opt for relatively quick morning edibles, a smoothy and toast with peanut butter and honey frequently graces our early morning table.  But even though we make less intense meals for breakfast (at least on our work days) we make a point to allot enough time in our morning routine to actually sit down and enjoy it together.  A day looks much more manageable after a mug of black tea and a slice of toast with the man I love.

So as you can tell, we are quite serious about breakfast, and therefore you can imagine what weekend breakfasts/brunches must be like.  Every other weekend we have a day off together and I like to celebrate it with breakfast creations.  These have varied from simple dreamy creamy scones from Smitten Kitchen to overnight cinnamon rolls.  This weekend I ended up going two different directions with our meal.

I started out by making a coffee cake, a new recipe from Saveur.  All in all it turned out quite good, but for future reference I will cut the topping amounts in half, there were almost equal parts topping and cake which is a bit much for my taste.

After popping the cake in the oven I realized that it wasn’t really what I was craving.  Something more hearty and interesting sparked my interest: Biscuits with pesto and poached eggs.  Sounds a little strange I’ll admit, but it was AMAZING!  I whipped up my mom’s old recipe for biscuits and threw together a simple variation of pesto (Basil, lemon zest, garlic, Romano cheese) and it was ready to go.


For the Biscuits:


2 C flour

1 T baking powder

1/2t salt

Cut in:

1/3C butter

Use fork to stir in 3/4c milk until JUST COMBINED

You can either roll them out and cut them out or make drop biscuits as I did.

Bake at 450 for approximately 10-15 minutes

In the end I put butter and honey on the extra half of biscuit, added some fresh fruit, and stirred up some blood orange  mimosas.  It was an irresistible spread.


Coffee Cake Recipe:

Roast Chicken

19 Feb

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve cooked whole chickens and had mediocre results.  Not bad at all, just not amazing.  They came out of the oven either with perfect skin but dry meat or alternatively with moist meat and slightly soggy skin.  Well, last night I discovered a recipe that cracked the case!

The basic ideas to repeat:

Make a butter-spice rub and rub it under the skin on the breast and thighs

Rub olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper all over the skin

Place the chicken ON TOP of the vegetables to roast (an edible rack!)

Preheat the oven to 475, cook the chicken for 20 minutes to crisp up the skin then reduce to 400 for approximately 1 hour (or until cooked through)

Leave uncovered the WHOLE TIME

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt, let rest on platter (with a lip) for 10 minutes.


Result:  Delicious crackly skin, moist flavorful meat, and a beautiful bird!

Recipe link: