March 29, 2013

Cabbage and chicken coconut curry

Do you love cabbage? Or, does cabbage only make an appearance in your life in slaws and maybe sauerkraut (both of which I love by the way)? I feel like cabbage doesn't get enough respect and deserves to be the star of more dishes in my kitchen. I saw a cabbage curry recipe recently that inspired me to make a curry dinner around this vegetable. This curry is mild and very simple. A lot of curries are full of spices, which can sometimes be overwhelming if you don't have a very well-stocked spice rack. I make curry dishes fairly regularly, often with a lot of spices (because I do have a very well-stocked spice rack - I love spices), but this one was nice because it was not only quick and simple, but really delicious. 

I served this curry with some Basmati rice and chili-garlic sauce. I think the chili-garlic sauce, or just some chili sauce on the side can be nice. This way everyone can add their preferred amount to give this curry some heat. This recipe will serve about four people.

March 26, 2013

Warm beets with horseradish and dill sour cream

Sometimes I feel like I don't post enough side dishes, with the most probably being around holidays. I'm trying to make more vegetable side dishes so we rely less on grains and I also just like to make them more interesting in the hopes that people will be encouraged to give some more vegetables a try. I found some really pretty golden beets the other day with their greens in good shape and found two red ones kicking around in the fridge and decided to use them to make a warm salad. I really enjoy golden beets - they are so much sweeter than red beets and they were definitely the star of this dish. Paired with their sauteed greens and topped simply with the sour cream, horseradish, and fresh dill - these beets were tasty and perfect to go along side a grilled skirt steak for dinner. If you don't have the greens, that's OK, too. They aren't necessary, but if you have them, you definitely don't want to waste them. Beet greens are slightly spicy and different from the taste of the root. I highly recommend giving them a try if you haven't already. 

March 21, 2013

Guinness chocolate cake

I have seen so many insanely delicious Guinness dessert recipes lately. I knew I wanted to make this Guinness chocolate cake for our St. Patrick's Day dinner this year because the recipe comes from Nigella Lawson (as modified here) and her Guinnness gingerbread is now a holiday tradition for us. It's just so, so good. The chocolate cake did not disappoint. I only made a few modifications, mainly changing the amount of sugar (I almost always lessen it and still find my desserts to be plenty sweet) and changed the frosting. Because guess what? I do not like frosting. Neither does my mom and she was coming to our dinner. Frosting is just too sweet for me and I almost always end up scraping it off. I do like a cream cheese frosting on a carrot cake, but, in general, no thanks. For this cake, I added a tiny bit of sugar and vanilla to mascarpone cheese. It was perfect for me. Plus, what isn't delicious slathered in some mascarpone cheese?

I don't think that this cake should be relegated to St. Patrick's Day only just because it contains some Guinness. The Guinness adds a bit of maltiness to the chocolate and makes the flavor richer - but you certainly would never guess there was beer in it from the taste.

March 17, 2013

Irish soda bread with whiskey raisins and caraway

While I am part Irish, I don't think my family ever made soda bread. I really wanted to have some at our St. Patrick's Day dinner this year. After some reading, I decided use bits and pieces from a few different recipes including Melissa Clarke's Cook this Now version and one from Nourished Kitchen. The result was something very flavorful and delicious. We loved the combination of raisins plumped with whiskey, caraway, and butter. The bread was nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I didn't want this bread to be too "cake" like with a lot of sugar and butter, so I used less of these than most recipes that I saw. Even though I didn't want it like cake, I still wanted it to be richer than just flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. This jazzed-up soda bread is a nice accompaniment to your corned beef dinner, or even as an addition to a brunch. I served this bread with some extra butter (Kerrygold) mixed with a touch of honey and salt. 

March 12, 2013

Acorn squash stuffed with Moroccan-spiced beef

It's the time of year when I am trying my best to use up the last few winter squash remaining in our stash and still make them interesting and creative -- and yummy so that we aren't too tired of eating them! These stuffed acorn squash were inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart Living. I changed them up a bit with what I had on hand. Normally, I would have included some couscous in the stuffing or on the side, but since we are limiting our gluten these days, I just decided to stick with the beef. One half of an acorn squash was plenty for a meal, so this should easily serve four people. Personally, I find acorn squash to be rather bland and they aren't one of my favorite winter squash - that's why I like to use them in recipes that really pack a flavor punch. I love Moroccan flavors (you'll find them quite a bit on this blog) -- especially the use of cinnamon in savory dishes -- which is a perfect compliment to the squash. 

Hopefully you aren't too tired of winter squash yet, but if you are, just go ahead and pin this recipe for this coming fall. It's a fun recipe as well because you can eat the bowl!

March 6, 2013

Tangerine-coconut scones

I have never been so excited about fruit as I've been with these tangerines and the oranges we had before them. One of our local farms bought an citrus farm in Florida and has been taking orders for fresh tangerines, oranges, and grapefruit. I haven't had the grapefruit yet, but hope to. The oranges and these tangerines are the most flavorful, sweet, colorful, and juicy citrus I've ever had in my life. They are absolutely amazing. Just what the body needs in the dark of winter. While we've been eating these up, they come in 10-lb bags, so we have a lot! I used just one of them to make these scones one Sunday morning. They were delicious - full of tropical flavors and a nice treat with our morning cup of coffee. 

March 1, 2013

Buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese

My readers know I love mac n' cheese. Even as I've been trying to eat less gluten and grains, macaroni and cheese remains one of my biggest weaknesses. I love to make it so many ways (and you can find many on here including stout, summer squash, smoky pumpkin, Mexican). This mac n' cheese is something I've been wanting to make for a while now. We made some blue cheese burgers recently and had leftover blue cheese, so I knew the time had come to make a Buffalo chicken mac n' cheese. Now in Buffalo, we don't really call things "Buffalo" -- they aren't "Buffalo" wings, they're just chicken wings. But, for the sake of this blog and all my non-western NY readers, I'm calling this "Buffalo" (but don't you dare put any ranch dressing near it - blue cheese, please). Aside from the blue cheese, you must have a proper hot sauce, and some celery. For reasons that are pretty obvious from this blog, we don't eat chicken wings very often...maybe once a year we will go out for some (we do live very close to Duffs after all).

I really loved this dish. My husband was skeptical, but he really enjoyed it as well. You have to get a good flavor balance in your sauce and that is why I recommend adding your blue cheese and hot sauce slowly and tasting along the way to ensure you don't overpower this dish with either of those strong flavors. Serve this up while the weather is still chilly - it's perfect for a game day or a lazy Saturday night with a couple of beers.