Monday, December 24, 2007


This post originally said "stay tuned to see how I made this," but you might as well just read the sheet of paper cause I'm not writing anything up. I just adapted from some recipes in a tapas cookbook and some recipes online.

Lime drizzled shrimp
Chorizo in red wine
Sauteed garlic mushrooms
Spinach/chorizo and spinach/potato empanadas

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lamb chops with Balsamic Reduction and Lemon Pepper Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

For the lamb chops-

2 Lamb shoulder chops
2 Tbsp Chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/4 C Minced shallots
1/3 C Balsamic vinegar
3/4 C Chicken broth
1 Tbsp Butter

Rub the lamb chops with the chopped rosemary, S&P and other herbs. Let the chops absorb the flavors of the herbs for 15 min.

Heat oil in a skillet over M/H heat. Cook the chops 4 minutes per side for medium, at little shorter for medium-rare. Set a side on a warm plate.

Add the shallots into the pan and let them brown up for a few seconds. Stir in the balsamic and scrape up the lamb bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the chicken broth. Let the sauce cook for about 5-7 minutes, until it reduces by half. Turn off the heat and a little butter. Spoon the sauce over the chops and serve.

The recipe I used was written for 4 lamb rib chops. It also called for dried rosemary, basil and thyme, but anything fresh is better.

For the green beans, I really eye balled this one, so these are estimates-

1/2 Lb Green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 C Slivered almonds
1 tsp Olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat oil in pan on M/H heat. Sauté beans for 5-6 minutes until crispy but tender. Taste one, you'll know when. Toss in the almonds and let them get a little toasty. Season with S&P and squeeze in the lemon juice. Toss them around a little more and serve.

The only thing missing was a starch. Some mashed potatoes would've been great, especially with the leftover sauce from the chops.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Australian Empanadas

This week's post is brought to you by special guest blogger, Jessica. We made these empanadas a few weeks ago and they were delicious!

Here's what Jessica has to say about them-

Before you can appreciate these, you need to know from whence the name originates. In Australia we have sausage rolls, in Argentina, empanadas. These are the closest thing to Australian sausage rolls that can be made with ingredients commonly found in an Argentine supermarket (and also Rodmans in Friendship Heights). Hence the name Australian empanadas.

You need:
Empanada pastry, preferably a moderately flaky kind (the best is masa hojaldre, and for a brand, I like La Salteña)
Argentine Chorizo (not Spanish – instead it’s a light pink colour and stays that colour when cooked)
Grated Cheese (mozzarella or cheddar or a mixed bag is good)

I don’t do well with quantities so this is all a bit of a guessing game. Preheat the over to moderate to high heat. Slice the sausage casings lengthwise and extract the meat. In a bowl, mix with an egg or two, some chopped onion, breadcrumbs and cheese. The mixture should be wet-ish but should easily retain its shape. Once mixed, place the mixture in the round pastries sheets, doubling them over to make a half moon. Seal the edges using a fork and brush them with egg. Place the half moons on a greased baking tray and bake until golden brown. I like them with Tomato Sauce/Ketchup but that’s up to your tastes…

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Baked Acorn Squash

It's fall. Time for squash and stuff. These are really easy to make.

1 acorn squash
2 pats butter
2 tsp. honey (or syrup or brown sugar)
cinnamon, salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400'. Cut that squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and pulp*. Put them up in a lined baking dish. Put some butter and honey in those things and get some cinnamon up in there. Bake for an hour.

* Don't throw out the seeds- toast them like pumpkin seeds. Separate them from the pulp and rinse them off in a colander. Let them dry out on a paper towel while your squash is baking. When the squash is done, lower the oven to 350'. Spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet and season with a little salt. Bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out just when they start to get a little color. I devoured mine before I thought to get a picture.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Scotch eggs

...Seems wherever I live, I whip some of these up and people (who've inevitably never heard of them before) are horrified. I don't get it. What's not to like about a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, dipped in beaten egg, rolled in bread crumbs, and then deep-fried?

I've only deep-fried them once; I couldn't get a large enough volume of oil hot enough to do it up right, and baking leads to a healthier product, relatively speaking. Note the different shades of breading in the latter photo; the ones on top are breaded with corn flake crumbs, while the bottom are normal bread crumbs. Verdict: corn flake eggs are tastier hot, and standard are better cold. They're both DELICIOUS.

(In the background, you can catch a rare glimpse into my cooking environment. Notice large Maryland sporting-event cups full of essential utensils, the KitchenAid mixer of Amy's that'll last until the next ice age, several sorts of tea, and the ever-present cast iron skillet. With the right equipment, even a pathetically small kitchen can produce delicious food.)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I filled the rice paper wrappers with shrimp, lettuce, basil and rice vermicelli and served the rolls with peanut dipping sauce. I used a bagged lettuce mix that had some herbs already in it. The recipes I looked up said to add mint and cilantro as well. I'll save that for next time.

The rice papers come in a package as brittle sheets. When you soak them in warm water for a few seconds they soften up and behave like saran wrap. If you're not careful they'll start to cling up and stick to themselves.

The technique is to layer the fillings on one-third of the wrapper and then just roll it up like a burrito.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

baked ziti is the best

This is a great sunday night dinner. You'll have to take my word, this makes your home smell really good. Plus, leftovers for lunch on Monday are a bonus.

ricotta, mozzarella, chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, a little milk, tomato sauce, garlic powder, oregano, s&p.

Mixed up with the ziti, poured in a pan, topped with more sauce, mozzarella, and the secret ingredient: some provolone.

Baked covered for 20 minutes at 375' then uncovered for 5-10 minutes at 400'

(not pictured- parmesan garlic bread and veggies)

i like my mangos...


1 mango
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 banana
4 ice cubes
1 blender

Monday, August 20, 2007

Take out?

Chicken, shrimp and red peppers with thai peanut sauce over jasmine rice.

Monday, August 6, 2007


If I'm going to bust on Matt, the least I can do is put something up too. I tried my hand at my mom's Triple Chocolate Cookies a couple of weeks ago. Maybe four dozen cookies came out of a pound of semisweet baking chocolate, a cup of Dutch process cocoa, and a 12oz bag of milk/white chocolate chips. The trick is to not leave them in the oven too long; between the eggs and the butter/crisco mixture, they'll be done just about as soon as they raise to maximum height... anything further just makes them tough and a bit burnt.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Adam's busting on me for not posting so let's see what I got lying around...

A baked sweet potato chip that looks like a smiley face:Chicken and "stuff":

Heirloom tomato and bocconcini mozzarella salad:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Steak photo, as promised...

I decided to throw some sliced mushrooms into the pan just before setting the steak in the oven, and a bit of feta went on top along with said mushrooms. You can see for yourself how that turned out.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Salmon fillet

Lemon garlic salmon over Thai basil jasmine rice.


(click to enlarge, jsyk)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Happiness is a rib eye steak

Well, I cheated. I followed a recipe to the letter, not doctoring a single thing (well, peanut oil instead of canola oil). It was with good reason, though. I am inexperienced cooking steak with anything other than a Weber grill, so I trusted the man himself with my 8oz rib eye that caught my gaze at the grocery store this afternoon.

I was not disappointed.

Setting the oven to "blast furnace" sorta smoked up the kitchen a bit, but it was for a good cause, and we've got eleventh floor windows that open widely and never lack for a breeze. I combined it with an entire salad bag's worth of romaine, together with appropriately gargantuan amounts of croutons, caesar dressing, and freshly shredded parmesan. A toasty roll with plenty of butter topped the meal off. I'm afraid in the rush of feasting I neglected to snap a photo... I guess that just means I'll have to make it all again soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spinach Pizza

It's a double pizza post day!

Vace makes a white spinach pie that I like, so I tried to duplicate it. First, gotta say, Trader Joe's sells frozen fresh chopped basil in these small ice cube tray looking packages. Kind of like a basil bulion cube. I'm a fan.

I made the spinach topping by cooking up all this stuff in a sauce pan:
~1 Tbs. water
half a bag of frozen chopped spinach
2 tsp. fresh chopped basil (Just one of those TJ cubes)
1 large garlic clove, crushed, chopped
red pepper flakes
After thats all cooked, let it cool a little. Drain any excess liquid and add a generous dose of parmesan/regiano.

Let the dough rest on the counter while the oven is pre-heating to 450'. Divide the dough in half. Roll out the crusts. Bake them un-topped until the dough doesn't look raw, but not browned. Take them out. Brush with extra virgin olive oil. Shake on a little parmesan. Top with clumps of the spinach mixture and mozzarella cheese. I put sliced mushrooms on one of them. Put back in the oven until golden.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


After eyeballing the ready-to-use dough at Trader Joe's, and then reading about Matt's success with it for calzones, I decided it was pizza time. Amy and I have different taste in toppings (she's into pepperoni, while I dig spiced beef, crumpled sausage, and feta) but we both agree that a nicely browned layer of cheese is vital to the taste and texture of a good hot pie. This was without doubt a screaming success.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Penne a la Vodka

So, I should've measured out my pasta, and I should've looked closer and picked up crushed tomatos and not diced, but this still tasted and SMELLED delicious.

I cut this recipe in half, but eye-balled the pasta and could've used less per sauce. In general I was hoping for a thicker more present sauce. Any suggestions?

1lb penne
4 cloves garlic, minced. (if you own a garlic masher, come here so i can beat you with it)
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatos
3/4tsp salt
2 Tbs vodka
1/2 c cream (i used half and half)
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley (i used dried)
2 links sweet italian turkey sausage

- Cook Pasta
- Remove sausage from casing, crumble and cook in large pan.
- Add garlic, red pepper, cook til garlic is golden (don't burn it).
- Add tomatos, salt, let it boil, reduce heat, simmer 15 min.
- Add vodka, cream, let it boil (and cook off the alcohol), lower heat, toss in pasta (and a little pasta water) and parsley.

Well anyway, Enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2007

The one thing I can bake... a good scone. I just discovered this a few minutes ago, and I had help; between my mom's tried-and-true recipe and my grandfather's Scottish blood in my veins, and how dead simple the recipe was, it worked out pretty well.

The center of each slice is a little on the elastic side, and the tops are deliciously crumbly. Half a tsp of cinnamon, barely enough sugar, and (for some reason rarely seen) golden raisins complete the mix. I had to call my mom at 10pm to verify that I was reading the recipe right - it called for 1T (as in "Tablespoon") of baking powder to two cups of flour. The ratio seemed high... but it was yummy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

omfg delicious burger

I must say, I took a page out of Adam's book on this recipe with the Worcestershire sauce and the feta.

Recipe makes 3 patties. In a bowl, mix all this stuff together:
- 3/4 lb. ground beef (93% lean used)
- ~1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
- however much feta cheese I had left (half a handful)
- 1 large garlic cloved, chopped up
- half a handful of bread crumbs
- a bunch of shakes of dried parsley and oregano
- crushed sea salt, ground pepper

Form into patties:

Grilled in a grill pan over medium-ish heat (yes that is a technical term.)

...until internal temperature is 130' for medium-rare! One of these days I'll write my post on why I am all about the kitchen thermometer. not the greatest pic, but you get the point.

After cooking, topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese, some field greens and stuffed into a whole-wheat pita.


Another seafood post...

We've had nearly a pound of orange roughy in the freezer for a while, because Trader Joe's had it frozen at a really great price and we never really figured out what we wanted to do with it. I read somewhere that it plays nicely with citrus, and I personally really like the texture and aroma of jasmine rice, so I thought I'd play a bit this evening in the kitchen. Preheat oven to 450, start a cup (dry) of the rice cooking with 1.5c water and some olive oil, mix together the following in an 8x12 Pyrex high-sided casserole dish:
  • The juice of one orange
  • The juice of half a grapefruit
  • Random citrus-ish spices given to us by Amy's mom
  • Enough cheap white wine to cover the fish
  • Not quite one pound of very recently thawed orange roughy
Toss it into the oven until the thickest part of the fish flakes easily with a fork. The result was delicious. I'm normally a huge fan of cooking with butter, but this needed none; between the oil in the rice and the naturally oily composition of this particular variety of fish, it turned out delicious without getting too heavy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Turkey meatloaf or .... ?

Well it's a steaming pile of something. So, not everything that tastes good looks pretty. I found that out when I made turkey meatloaf.

1 lb. ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 c bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c toasted pine nuts
12 sundried tomatos, chopped
1/3 c milk
2 tsp. chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp. oregano

get your hands dirty, mush it all together in a bowl. Form into a loaf (or 2), bake at 375' for about 50 min.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I made some calzones with some odds and ends I had in my fridge. Step one, is to turn on the oven to 400 degrees. The pizza stones need time to heat up.

Then I mixed up the stuff for the inside: ricotta, mozzarella, brococcini (mini fresh mozzarella balls), an egg, chopped up roasted red peppers, pepperoni and fresh parsley.

For the crust, I'm a fan of the pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe's and/or Vace. I think I used the Trader Joe's dough for these. I let the dough sit on the counter and rest for about an hour, then cut it in half and rolled it out. Filled it up with the goop, folded it closed, cut some slits in the top, then brushed it with some olive oil. Then into the oven until golden. I'm not sure what caused it to bubble out so much stuff. Maybe the egg expanding when it cooked?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Surf and turf

Bacon wrapped shrimp reminds me of something I made this summer. I had some proscuitto in my fridge and decided to pick up some sea scallops down the street at Cameron's. This was going to be delicious: proscuitto wrapped scallops. But why stop there? I had a lot of fresh basil left over from making pizza, so I whipped up some pesto. (2 cups basil, 1 clove garlic, half a handful of parmesean-romano, some pine nuts, olive oil) That's how I ended up with scallops rubbed with pesto, wrapped in proscuitto. Baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 I think.

What's not to love about seafood wrapped in pork? That's some good surf and turf.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I'm Adam, and I like food.

About eight months ago I moved from a small house in a nice neighborhood in South Carolina to Downtown Silver Spring... things changed, mostly for the better, except now I'm on the eleventh floor. That means no grill. I don't mean that thing marketed by George Foreman, which is more of a panini machine, or even those gleaming monolithic stainless-steel things that shoot flaming noxious gas at your food; I'm talkin' about a hardwood-charcoal-fired Weber grill. Here's what I mean:

Away from direct heat, we have bacon-wrapped shrimp with some lemon zest and fresh ground pepper. Four or five minutes of cooking meant the bacon was at that supple not-quite-crispy stage and the shrimp was perfect. Note the extra skewer aganist which each batch rested to keep the heavier end from facing the heat all the time.
"White castle fries only come in one size"
-The Beastie Boys

Baked Mac and Cheese

This was the first picture I took of something I cooked. October 5, 2004 when I was living at 8006. You can't tell how good something tastes from a picture, but the secret ingredient to making it look good was a liberal dose of paprika.

210 degrees

It's time to start writing about food. I like to cook and eat. I like to experiment. For me, this blog is going to be a lab notebook of sorts. I'll write about what I've made, how I made it, what worked and what didn't.

After bearing witness to his away messages, I've enlisted Adam to contribute as well.
"I haven't made mashed potatoes very often... but when I do, they are damn good. A little butter, some coarsely ground pepper, no salt to speak of, and the most important ingredient: a tablespoon per potato of sour cream. YUM. "
210 degrees is the temperature at which a baked potato is done. That's the kind of info I want to keep track of, and that's my inspiration for starting this blog. More on the baked potato later.

Something to whet your appetite...