I thought I’d share this recipe for stuffed poblano peppers as a follow-up to my post on what to do with all the extra cilantro I had on hand from making Southwestern-inspired dinners. Although it was an absurd idea to roast stuffed peppers in the oven in the middle of July, that’s exactly what I did. This recipe just highlights some of the flavor combinations I’ve really been enjoying lately: black beans, corn, onions sauteed in cumin, and fresh diced tomatoes are stirred in with chorizo sausage and topped with chopped avocado and cilantro.
Category Archives: Spring
This August, I’ll be coming up on the 1-year benchmark for posting regularly on this blog. I actually started the blog a year earlier, in 2010, but it took awhile to find my rhythm and figure out what I actually wanted this space to be. It took another three months or so to figure out what good photos and lighting could do for food shots. Remember the tomato cobbler? It’s probably one of the best dishes I’ve made in the past year, but back in September, I was still surmounting the steep learning curve of DSLR and coming to grips with the fact that Photoshop can’t transform harsh 70-watt overhead lighting into soft natural light. Now, all of my shots are done in natural day light with some thought to food styling and composition. I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve made some good progress.
And then something like this red lentil dal comes along which absolutely resists having a good photograph taken. From any angle, it still looks like what it is: Red lentils cooked to bursting with some wiggly red onions and asparagus. The photos don’t help brag about the flavor, how the red lentils cook down to what turns out to be an excellent sauce for the asparagus and onions and how the Indian spice blend infuses the onions to perfection.
So without the help of photos, how can I convince you that you absolutely must make this recipe? That in the course of a few weeks, this dish has made many appearances on our dinner table, and it’s been a delight each time?
How about this: Once you buy the few spices needed which may not already be in your spice rack, this is one the absolute cheapest dinners you can cobble together, and you can do it again and again without needing to hit the grocery store each time. Continue reading
This is a twist on a dish I’ve been making for years, and it’s a perfect accompaniment to a Memorial Day party. Here, strawberries are paired with the classic combination of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and basil, resulting in a fresh and summery dish. A smear of goat cheese lends the bruschetta a hearty, tangy flavor to contrast with the strawberries’ and tomatoes’ sweetness.
I’ve been making the sans-strawberry version of bruschetta for years (since college, at least), and it’s a reliable appetizer to serve when I have friends over for dinner. For this version, the strawberries are a unique addition to my reliable original recipe. About a week ago, I picked up Ted Allen’s new cookbook, In My Kitchen. He’s the host of Chopped, one of my favorite shows on TV right now, and the recent recipient of a James Beard award. As David says, “the James Beard Awards are like the Oscars for you,” so the fact that he recently won one is very exciting (for me, at least, and I’m sure for him, too). The idea for adding strawberries came from one of his recipes, and it’s a fabulous idea.
It’s a crowd-pleaser: I’ve had the opportunity to serve these to three different groups of friends, most recently some of David’s relatives and a friend & former coworker from Pearson just yesterday.
The recipe can also be adapted in a few ways for Memorial Day celebrations. The tomato-strawberry blend can be made awhile ahead, as the flavors will blend together and meld over time. The preparation outline below is what I do in my apartment, but if you’re bringing a dish to share to a Memorial Day party or grilling, this can easily be converted to an outdoor dish. If that’s the case, brush the baguette slices with olive oil and place on the grill. Once it’s toasted and somewhat crispy, take a clove of raw garlic and rub it on the flat surface of the bread. Then top with a thin layer of goat cheese and the raw tomato-strawberry combo and garnish with basil.
The goat cheese can also be omitted entirely to keep make it a vegan recipe.
Strawberry & Tomato Bruschetta with Goat Cheese
Adapted from Ted Allen’s “In My Kitchen”
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 pint strawberries
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
3 oz. soft goat cheese
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
4 large basil leaves, sliced
1) Slice the grape tomatoes down the center length-wise, then chop into thirds. Chop the stems off the strawberries and slice into smaller pieces. Combine the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and strawberries in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Smear an even layer of goat cheese across each slice of baguette and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the strawberry-tomato mixture over each slice. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edge of the baguette get toasty and brown and the strawberries and tomatoes are warmed through. Garnish with sliced basil leaves and serve immediately.