Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Papas a la Huancaina

Relax... this isn't anything crazy. It's basically just a Peruvian potato salad of sorts, with a creamy spicy cheese sauce that's topped with chopped up hard boiled eggs and olives. It's an appetizer you'll find at almost any Peruvian restaurant and it's delicious. The potatoes even I could do without, it's the sauce that's the star and would be great over chicken or shrimp. This is a recipe that'll feed about 10-15. It's great for picnics, bbq's, family gatherings or any situation where you need to feed a crowd. Super easy, a little spicy and more complex than your average potato salad.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tuna Meatballs

The tuna is both light but also rich and the bacon adds such a smokey flavor to it. I shaved in some Robusto cheese, a gouda type cheese that has that sharp, nutty Parmesan bite. With a little oregano, rosemary, some crushed red pepper, breadcrumbs and Marsala thrown in for good measure, then just the egg to bind it together. Topped with the sweetness of the caramelized onion, the depth of the Marsala and spicy mustard in the sauce, all over some pasta. Just try it.

Peanut Butter Jalapenos

Being in a Fantasy Football league this year and actually being an active participant (yes, I'm doing research, following blogs, etc), good football snacks have become a focus. This isn't much of anything, at least as far as an in depth recipe goes, but it's great as a snack or as an appetizer for a party or game. Especially if said football game is in Texas because where else would people think to combine jalapenos and peanut butter?
I first had these years ago, served by one of my Mom's very good friends and another Texas native and always had the recipe in the back of my mind as something fun to make for a football party with a match up against the Cowboys or Texans. They're crunchy and creamy, just like peanut butter and celery but with a little more spice and less stringy celery strands. For any naysayers, if you like Thai food, especially the peanut sauce, you will like this. Trust me. Plus it's vegetarian (and vegan!) and since it's 1/2 vegetable, it can make you feel like you're being healthy, even though the peanut butter is definitely not... though, hey, it's protein! And if you want to be more health conscious you can use some health food peanut butter and simply top with raisins for that sweetness... just like ants on a log, except this would be the spicy version.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I love this place. There's good wine, amazing views, and an appreciation of life moving at a slower pace. All surrounded by tall trees and in the shadow of the Appalachians, with autumns' smokey, woodsy smells in the air. And it's the place I chose to spend my entrance into thirty this past weekend. This is mostly pictures, memories now, of an amazing weekend with some really great people.
Warming up at the Avett Brothers concert
Starr Hill Brewery. The 3rd tap from the right was my favorite

Autumn Farro Salad

There was a point tonight when I completely thought my dinner would consist of almonds. First, an almond cookie at work when I realized what time it was, not quite sure I'd make it home with energy to do anything much less cook. Then a handful of smoked almonds I grabbed from the store on the way home. After that I upgraded slightly to slices of mozzarella and finally I got my act together and made this tasty autumn rice salad.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Last Summer Salad

You may think that watermelon is strictly a dessert fruit but hopefully this salad will convince you otherwise. It's sweet and crunchy from the melon, creamy and salty from the ricotta salata and the basil gives it a lovely herby, savory finish. The flavors mesh so well in a way you'd never expect that even though it may seem so wrong in your head it is just one of those crazy things that actually works. I served this salad at a little Dallas dinner party with some friends alongside grilled chicken. It was light but complex and worked very well with the grilled meat. And even better, it was a snap to make- 3 ingredients, 1 bowl, very little prep and a completely surprising and colorful addition to a party.
My friend Robin, of Silk Purse and Sow's Ear, has been part of a CSA share this summer and I've loved following her veggie takes. As much as I'd love to do a CSA it's so hard when I travel so much, so I play voyeur with hers. And every week there seems to be one little watermelon, so when we had dinner last night I talked up this salad, and how she absolutely has to try it. But Robin is also lactose intolerant... so I've been trying to think of ways to make this without the cheese and still have it stand up pretty well. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Early Birthday... New York Fashion

So I do have about 5 posts that are thiiissss close to being ready and yes, they are actually about food. But first I want to share what I did tonight. Because it's neat and I'm a nerd about all things food and most things Texas. And this was one of those things that's so New York and so me in the go and do sense. And it fits so well here because tonight I went to the book launch and signing of my home chef food blog idol Lisa Fain aka the Homesick Texan!
Lisa's blog was one of the first that I discovered when I moved to New York City... and I've made references to her about a million times here. Because she hasn't just been a blogging idol, she was a life preserver. An anonymous person in a sea of so many but one that made me feel a little less alone, less misunderstood here. And I was so homesick and trying desperately to find a middle ground of chasing my dream and missing a place that's so much more than just a big state. And when I started the blog it was with her stories from the heart and unsatiated quest for the taste of home that I had in the back of my mind.


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