Tag Archives: Shallot

Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi

I began Week 12 by saying that, for a long time, Lee’s Sandwiches was the only exposure I had to Vietnamese cuisine.

Thankfully, I’ve expanded my palate since I first had Lee’s, but no matter how many bowls of pho I slurp down, or spring rolls I munch through, I’ll never forget my first true Vietnamese love.

Aside from the interesting history of the banh mi, it’s simply a fantastic sandwich.

The version in most restaurants comes with a smear of mayonnaise, but Chef Brian keeps it healthy with a light chili and lime sauce to counter pork stir-fried in tangy tamarind paste.

Here’s Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi. Continue reading Week 12, Meal 3: Pork banh mi

Week 11, Meal 3: Orecchiette with lamb ragu and ricotta cheese

While Week 11 was all about pasta, really, this meal could do without.

Just ask Wifey Nadia and our guests Jamil and Justine, who, after having a bowl of Week 11, Meal 3: Orecchiette with lamb ragu and ricotta cheese, all grabbed seconds to spoon-gorge on the clove-and-mint spiked, lamb-packed sauce. Continue reading Week 11, Meal 3: Orecchiette with lamb ragu and ricotta cheese

Week 11, Meal 2: Linguine with Italian salsa verde, grilled chicken, roasted cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella

We were supposed to have Week 11, Meal 1: Penne with pistachio pesto on the blog today, but I’m a dummy and left those pictures at home.

Not being one to show up to the party without a gift, I was quick enough to reshuffle and present to you Week 11, Meal 2: Linguine with Italian salsa verde, grilled chicken, roasted cherry tomatoe and fresh mozzarella.

The herb “salsa” bursts with freshness, the roasted tomatoes develop a deep flavor as they cook in their own sugar and the fresh cheese adds just enough creaminess to round out this delicious dish. Continue reading Week 11, Meal 2: Linguine with Italian salsa verde, grilled chicken, roasted cherry tomato and fresh mozzarella

Week 8, Meal 3: Curried butternut squash soup with shredded chicken and lentil

Nothing is better on a cold winter day than going to bed with warm soup belly.

For the last meal of this week, Chef Brian is pulling out the stops with a filling soup punctuated by a pungent curry broth and cooling cilantro.

Here’s Week 8, Meal 3: Curried butternut squash soup with shredded chicken and lentil. Continue reading Week 8, Meal 3: Curried butternut squash soup with shredded chicken and lentil

Week 8, Meal 2: Risotto with duck confit, butternut squash apple and Parmesan

Oh, risotto — I love you, I hate you.

I couldn’t feel my arm for about an hour after making Week 8, Meal 2: Risotto with duck confit, butternut squash apple and Parmesan, but it was so creamy, so flavorful and so worth every maddening second in the kitchen.

Continue reading Week 8, Meal 2: Risotto with duck confit, butternut squash apple and Parmesan

Week 5, Meal 3: Grilled kalbi short ribs over Thai mango and peanut slaw

Though I’m partial to BBQ of the American variety, I’m not going to gripe about grilled short ribs marinated in soy sauce and sriracha one bit.

Though Week 5, Meal 3: Grilled kalbi short ribs over Thai mango and peanut slaw was an enduring run through my still-being-polished knife skills, the end result was worth all the slicing, chopping and julienne-ing (not a real word) that I put into it. Continue reading Week 5, Meal 3: Grilled kalbi short ribs over Thai mango and peanut slaw

Week 4, Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros

I’ve gone through many highs and lows in the kitchen in the four weeks since this blog’s inception.

I think back to night one when I spent nearly four hours getting the hang of prep work, cook times, burner sensitivity, etc. That was a frustrating day which made me question the stupidity of launching a blog where cooking nightly is mandatory.

I remember Week 3’s Chilean sea bass and the triumph I felt with each buttery bite of fish, each sweet sip of tomato. Putting together Week 4, Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros gave me that same great feeling.

It’s the first time I’ve made any Mexican dish at home that isn’t a quesadilla or doesn’t have this stuff in it. Legit Mexican at home — another notch in my kitchen’s belt.

Speaking of highs and lows, only a handful of times in these four weeks have I not wanted to cook — last night being one of them — but as always my loving wife made me put down the Call of Duty, get my ass of the couch and get to work.

And it’s always worth it in the end. Both in taste, and on my waistline.

Now let’s cook some huevos y’all. Continue reading Week 4, Meal 3: Huevos Rancheros

Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

One of my favorite things to eat is polenta (aka corn grits). It’s hearty, creamy and goes great with cheese, so really, what’s not to love?

Well, the cooking process, actually. I’ve always cooked polenta according to the directions on the package, but never ended up with anything as creamy and fulfilling as the results of Chef Brian’s recipe.

Here is Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce.

Grits gooey with nutty Gruyere, ginger-spiked pear chunks and juicy pork. Now that’s whassup. Continue reading Week 2, Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

Week 2: Pork, figs and wine

It was all about chicken and apple last week, so Chef Brian decided to switch it up. We’ve got a new protein (pork!) and new fruits to experiment with too (figs and pears).

Plus, you can’t go wrong when you’re cooking with wine:

Meal 1: Thyme-crusted roasted pork over Gruyere polenta with caramelized pear, shallot and ginger pan sauce

Meal 2: Thyme-crusted roasted pork panini with balsamic fig jam, bacon and arugula

Meal 3: Grilled pork chop with grilled asparagus over wild rice with almonds and fig, port and balsamic reduction

Our list is good for two portions of each meal. I double mine so I always have leftovers for the next day.

The shopping list is after the jump. Continue reading Week 2: Pork, figs and wine

Week 1, Meal 1: Grilled herb chicken with quick-braised kale over caramelized apple and sweet potato puree with sweet and sour apple reduction

Behold! Grilled herb chicken with quick-braised kale over caramelized apple and sweet potato puree with sweet and sour apple reduction.

It took me nearly four hours, mostly because I’m in a small kitchen and because I was watching football and talking to my dad during some of the time. One the plus side, Wifey Nadia and I got to spend a lot of time together.

And then she fell asleep, halfway into dinner, just after 10:10 p.m.

I didn’t have the timing down for making dishes, ran into some problems with equipment and ruined more than one component, but I’m okay with that. This is a learning process and Brian chose to start me with the final exam.

Keep reading for the recipe and directions. Remember, this recipe makes two portions. I doubled mine for leftovers. Continue reading Week 1, Meal 1: Grilled herb chicken with quick-braised kale over caramelized apple and sweet potato puree with sweet and sour apple reduction

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