Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘main courses’ Category

I love a good cold Asian noodle dish – peanut noodles, sesame noodles, cold soba noodle salad. They are perfect as the weather heats up; cool, refreshing, filling and easy to make without heating up the kitchen. But I’ve never quite gotten the recipe right on my own. The flavor is always slightly off, the mixture sticky and gloppy. I made them but I never really enjoyed them. About this time last year, I posted a Vietnamese steak and peanut noodle salad that I loved, thought I had finally nailed it. But then I tasted these noodles and realized this version is better. Dang it.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

 

It’s spring. While I may be laying here nursing a cold, I can see out my windows that the trees are budding. It’s all rainy days and smooth sailing from here on out and like most of Chicago, I’m anxiously awaiting the first outdoor farmers market in a few weeks. In anticipation I bought some asparagus the other day, before I caught this nasty cold, and thought it would go well with a plate of gnocchi and a little brown butter.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I adore homemade pasta. There is something wonderful about the texture, with just a bit of toothsome quality that I love. Other handmade pastas like gnocchi and cavatelli throw me right over the moon. Sometimes, if I’ve very very fortunate, I’ll stumble upon a restaurant that serves something called 5 or 8 finger cavatelli. Regular cavatelli are small discs or short strips of pasta with opposite edges rolled towards each other to form a hollow shape. I’ve heard them described as looking like tiny hot dog buns and that little folded cavity captures sauces so nicely. 5 or 8 finger cavatelli is the same dough rolled into long strips, 5 or 8 finger lengths long, with the same distinctive edges folded in. They are one of my favorite pastas and one you don’t see very often. I decided to make some.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Marcella Hazan, often described as the Julia Child of Italian food, has written some remarkable cookbooks. I own several and they have never steered me wrong. When I needed a lasagne recipe, not being a lasagne fan, it was to Marcella that I turned. It was a remarkable lasagne. Sadly, she passed away in 2013, crushing my dreams of taking one of her cooking classes but she left behind quite the legacy. I’ve been reading about her butter tomato sauce for years yet have never made it. Like many things that receive endless glowing reviews – Harry Potter books, Mad Men, LaLa Land, Chik-Fil-A – I tend to run the other way. If everyone is enthusiastically waxing on and on about something I become suspicious. Misguided? Probably. Cynical? Certainly. This tomato sauce was definitely one of those things. Just four ingredients? How good could it be? How many tomato sauce recipes does one really need? I was pretty sure I was fine. How wrong I was.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

1hero-lrg-img_8988

Growing up, my dad did quite a bit of work travel so my mom, sister and I ate out frequently. Nothing fancy, Taco Bell was a regular stop but Chinese, good ‘ol American Cantonese Chinese food, was a particular favorite. You know the place … Chinese calendar placemats, plastic chopsticks and a menu filled with dishes like chop suey, sweet and sour pork and egg rolls. Our particular favorite in our little corner of Phoenix was Ho-Wah, a small family restaurant across the street from my future high school where the owners would warmly greet us and knew our order by heart. We probably went once a week and I loved it. Though sadly long gone, it is the standard against which I still judge all Chinese food.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

1hero-lrg-img_8812

I am an unabashed condiment queen. It used to be that the extent of most of America’s condiment repertoire was the trinity of ketchup-mustard-relish with maybe mayonnaise and horseradish thrown in for good measure. But go take a look at the inside of your refrigerator door right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I bet you have a much wider variety than that. My refrigerator door is so packed with jars and bottles it actually groans in protest every time I open it. Sure, I have the basics but also: ginger paste, oyster sauce, two kinds of thai curry pastes, a few kinds of nut butters, fish sauce, kimchi, teriyaki, hoisin, sriracha, sambal, tubes of tomato and anchovy pastes, chutneys, key lime juice and various hot sauces. It’s a very Asian influenced assortment and reflects my eating/cooking style rather accurately. This doesn’t even take into consideration the large tub full of jars of pickles, jams and even more chutneys that lives on one of the shelves. And let’s not discuss the tower of miso containers residing in one corner. I have a lot of condiment type things. An ungodly amount.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

1hero-lrg-img_8353

It’s Chicken Wing Friday! Time for something new though looking back on my last two chicken wing posts, they’ve been Asian of some sort. Chinese, Japanese and now Thai. Huh. It makes sense, as these are flavors that I love, and they do say to cook what you love. One of these days I’ll choose a different part of the world for inspiration but for now, this is what you get. This idea sort of came together over the last two weeks. You see, it’s been a bit crazy in Chicago with a certain sports team. Consequently, I’ve spent a lot of time in bars eating some pretty mediocre bar food and some especially forgettable chicken wings. Mediocre hot wing after mediocre hot wing, I longed for something different, something to mix it up. Then I came home from a particularly stressful game, opened my refrigerator and a tub of green curry paste with a fondness for flinging itself off the shelf with great force made its presence known. Ok, I got the message. A green curry chicken wing was in the works. Hot wings with a Thai twist.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »