Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Make this Dal

And it's pretty.
So, I bought pretty much all the lentils, and needed something to do with them. Then I found this recipe for Dal - a lentil soup that is a staple in Indian (and related/neighboring) cuisine. It's quickly become a favorite of mine. It has delicious, complex flavors, can easily prepared in under an hour, and is great on its own, over rice, or served with other. I've prepared it pretty much as written; except with chicken stock instead of vegetable - and opting for sesame oil. Give it a try.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fat Tuesday - Part 1: Crawfish Pie

Don't act like you're not impressed.
I miss a lot of things about living in New Orleans. Most of them relate to eating and cooking. I don't, however, miss Mardi Gras. Except for pickup truck crawfish boils driving up on the more residential corners of the Quarter at 3AM, the spectacle never quite balanced out the city's metaphorical roomates' out-of-town friends camping out drunk and underfoot on its figurative couch for 2 weeks. However, up in the white wastes of the Great Lakes, it's a great excuse to put on some Rebirth, break out the cast iron, and make a big mess in the Kitchen. Where else to start, but with one of my two favorite things: Pie!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scratch-made Beef Empanadas

Mexican food is really frustrating for me. So much of it falls in the awful intersection of some of my favorite flavors and things covered or filled with melted cheese (yes, I made a chart - deal with it). Seriously - give me a tomatillo/chiles sauce for meat stuffed starch that's been fried or steamed, or just used as base for slow cooking meat to be served with tortillas, and I'm good for this life time. Also, carnitas-  because pig boiled in pig fat (check out serious eats for my go-to home version).  But outside of a little crumbled Cotija or judiciously applied queso fresco, my weird melted cheese issues get in the way of enjoying good food. So, I've learned to make own. I've used leftover shredded chicken or pork with premade crust (empanada, or pie crust in a pinch) - here's the first time I've done empanadas completely from scratch.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I smoked a chicken and nobody was harmed.

Grate marks add character, right?
I do OK in the kitchen. If I'm not particularly big on presentation, my food makes up for it in complex or interesting flavor profiles. Or at least is generally edible. However, when I end up with something that is flat out inedible or so bad that it might as well be - it's usually chicken. Breasts, thighs, legs - whatever. It's unevenly cooked, dried out, burnt - or just weird tasting. I had to debone a whole chicken in small galley of a boat at the age of 15, and I think I was traumatized by the experience. So, of course now that I've learned my way around my new electric (no propane or charcoal allowed, sadly) Brinkmann smoker - I had the bright idea to prepare a whole bird. And to my surprise, it worked out.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Accidental Sausage and Lentil Soup

I really love soup. Mom@ballandpie was never a slouch in the kitchen, but soup is always where she shines (the great curdling disaster of thanksgiving 2005, excepted). I do OK, but this is only time I think I've come close to her standard. I came up with this recipe after discovering that a low carb soup mix had way more sugar than I'd realized. Oops. And then I didn't have enough of the right kind of stock. And what I ended up with, I couldn't stop eating for days. I've since been iterating, and this time, I didn't have the appropriate italian sausage. However, I did have some freezer burned pork shoulder and a brand new meat grinding attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer - so I took the opportunity to make some. For Science:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Superbowl Meat!

Hey! So it's a been long time. Where have I been? After traveling the better part of the western hemisphere, and getting crazy busy with work, I lost half a dozen entries worth of pictures. It was sad, and then I got distracted, and so it goes. Never stopped taking pictures or notes though. I made an absurd amount of awesome meat for the Superbowl, and writing it up for other venues - and I'd be doing B&P a disservice by not featuring it here. So, here' some burgers, ribs and wings.