Ever since I started cooking, I’ve been told that salt and pepper are the building blocks of flavor. This is especially true for me, considering much of the food is simply seasoned with just salt and pepper, and then thrown on the grill.
But for the first time all blog long, we’re doing a recipe that has no salt (soy and fish sauces yes, but no added salt) and no pepper. It may sound naive, but I was really surprised at how much flavor can be built without those two ingredients.
This also marks the first time we’re using catfish on the blog, and it’s definitely the first time I’ve had catfish that wasn’t battered and fried. On the whole, it’s a pretty delicious, mild fish.
A delicious fish, with a Thai twist. Here’s Week 27, Meal 3: Grilled catfish with Thai tamarind-chile sauce over cabbage slaw. Continue reading Week 27, Meal 3: No salt. No pepper. All flavor!
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things to order at any Thai restaurant is Tom Kha Gai.
The sweet citrus scent, the succulent chicken and the freshness of so many aromatics–this stuff awakens the senses with its vibrancy.
Chef Brian’s homemade version of the classic soup is no different. Here’s Week 27, Meal 2: Tom Kha Gai.
Continue reading Week 27, Meal 2: (Coconut) chicken soup for the soul
Chef Brian’s put out quite a few ethnic menus in the past–Italian, Mexican and Vietnamese dishes come to mind most–but one country he’s left alone until now is Thailand.
“It kinda surprises me that I haven’t done any Thai menus considering I love it so much, but now is as good a time as any,” he wrote to me.
True, this blog was born at a Thai restaurant–in many people’s opinions one of the best, if not the best in the country–yet we’ve failed to bring some of those flavors into the Fat Dude kitchen.
No longer. Here’s what’s cooking:
Week 27, Meal 1: Shrimp green curry
Week 27, Meal 2: Tom Kha Gai
Week 27, Meal 3: Grilled catfish with Thai tamarind-chile sauce over cabbage slaw
The seafood recipes make two portions and the Tom Kha Gai soup recipe makes four portions. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 27: Thai-m for Thai
Because I used to each Chicken McNuggets, like, on the regular, I never had a true taste for great food.
Sure, I knew the difference between fast food and the stuff that comes from nice restaurants, but cooking restaurant quality dishes at home was never something I dreamed of doing until I started this blog.
I love when a dish tastes like it came from the kitchen of a fancy restaurant and Week 23, Meal 2: Grilled lamb chops over asparagus and morel mushrooms with sherry vinaigrette is a meal that smacks of finer-than-home dining.
Continue reading Week 23, Meal 2: Restaurant chops
I’m always asking Chef Brian for simpler recipes.
Part of it is because I’m lazy, and part of it is because I’m not the quickest cook. So any recipe that allows me to come home, put in a little bit of work and enjoy the spoils of a better-than-drive-thru dinner is the kind of meal I’m really in to.
Week 22, Meal 2: Marinated and grilled lamb chops over green beans, fennel, and tomato fits that bill. The salad is fast and flavorful and the lamb chops, as simple as the marinade ingredients are, bursts with a sweet and salty succulence unlike any lamb we’ve cooked so far on the blog. Continue reading Week 22, Meal 2: Cop these lamb chops!
Chef Brian and I had a bit of a mix up with Week 21, Meal 3: Chimichurri marinated flat iron steak over ancho roasted sweet potatoes, corn and tomatoes.
The problem was in the instructions for the chimichurri, the condiment of choice for beef in South America — specifically Argentina. See, the chimi I usually have is mostly parsley flake, floating in olive oil. Chef Brian wanted me to mix up those ingredients in a food processor so that it created more of a paste to marinate the meat in.
He wrote mix, but meant “mix in a food processor,” so I mixed by hand and was puzzled by the consistency and it’s lack of liquid. So I doubled the liquid. Then tripled the liquid, and by the next day I had pickled a gorgeous piece of flat iron steak.
Bummer for me, considering I didn’t get to eat this one, but it’s probably better to post the recipe and cook it when I repurchase the ingredients, than hold on to the post for another day. Recipe and directions after the jump … Continue reading Week 21, Meal 3: How not to marinate steak
I’ve had this curious case of the sniffles for the last week — a reprisal of the yuckies that sidelined me a few weeks back — and it threw off my kitchen game last week.
The whole time I was cooking Week 19, Meal 2: Indian spiced lamb meatball soup with kaboucha squash, kale and wild rice I ran into problems. I couldn’t smell if the spices had toasted enough or taste if the dish had enough salt.
I planned to package the soup up for the following day, but there was a little miscommunication in the kitchen and we ended up leaving the soup out overnight in our comfortably warm condo.
I wasn’t so keen on trying it the next day as the cold hadn’t subsided (it still isn’t gone) and I wasn’t willing to test the boundaries of food poisoning.
So here goes the soup that never was. Continue reading Week 19, Meal 2: (Indian) wedding soup
I don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg — I just know they both taste great together, especially with a little mound of crispy prosciutto piled on top.
For our finale to No-noodles Italian week, Chef Brian uses his powers of telepathy to read my mind and craft the perfect menu out of everything good in this world.
Here’s Week 18, Meal 3: Baked chicken milanese with arugula, cherry tomatoes, poached egg and crispy prosciutto. Continue reading Week 18, Meal 3: The chicken and the egg
I love basil for its lemony fragrance and cooling flavor, but I’ve mostly used the leaves as a garnish to pasta dishes in the past.
Week 18, Meal 2: Black pepper and parsley crusted chicken breast over green beans in basil vinaigrette with cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, garlic and pecorino romano is a dish that puts the bright herb up front, balancing its essence with super-salty sheep’s milk cheese and peppery, herb-crusted chicken.
Eat with your eyes and it’s just chicken and veggies, but take just one bite and you’ll know this is not your everyday chicken dinner. Continue reading Week 18, Meal 2: Not your everyday chicken dinner
Sure, it’s rewarding to make great-tasting food at home, but there’s always an extra level of satisfaction when I put together something that looks like it belongs on some fancy restaurant menu.
Now, Chef Brian might disagree, but I think he’s at his best when he’s working with ahi tuna. There’s just something about the way he is able to contrast that neon pink flesh against eggplant, cous cous, beets … whatever.
Week 18, Meal 1: Fennel, black pepper, and parsley crusted ahi tuna over eggplant and pomegranate caponata with pomegranate balsamic drizzle is yet another stunner from his repertoire of food that’s both beautiful to look at, and delicious to eat. Continue reading Week 18, Meal 1: Another gussied up fish dish