Cooking

Salad of strawberry, blueberry, tofu and blue cheese

Red, white, and blue. This salad is a patriot, as well as crisp and refreshing. A seasonal summertime salad that uses these fruits are at their juiciest and more fragrant. Seared tofu, the odd ball in this lot, brings to the dish its subtle flavor but more important, its silky texture. The rich, velvety texture [...]

Sweet and sour balsamic and red wine vinegar braised chicken

Chicken - bland, boring, dry, and pedestrian. That sounds like someone I used to know...Times, they are a-changing. Of course chicken sucks when it is cooked inappropriately. So we have to cook it appropriately and in ways that are exciting yet accentuating of its natural essence. This is one such recipe where braised chicken shines [...]

Broccoli pesto crostini

I'm sorry to do this to you pesto. You are not only the pride and joy of Genoa, but you are the one of the world's favorite sauces/pastes. Your versatility is legion and can make mustard jealous in some circles. You are many great things, but one such thing you are not is a super [...]

Old Bay crab pasta with creamy tomato sauce

Crab cakes and football, that's what Maryland does! Growing up close to the Chesapeake, we grew up enjoying live blue crabs and of course, covered them Old Bay Seasoning. The elixir of life of Baltimore and the delight of any finger licker. This crab pasta dish is an Italian homage to my blue crab plucking [...]

Grilled portobello mushroom doenjang jjigae

Koreans know their stews, called jjigae. Its culinary foundation is stew, and quite a diversity of them. Jjigae is something that warms the belly and for me, comforts the heart. Even in the midst of a muggy summer, I'm enjoying my jjigaes. Doenjang is the famous Korean fermented bean paste. Truly a unique flavor that's [...]

Sicilian inspired chicken meatballs in bell pepper tomato sauce

Chicken meatballs. I once thought these were sacrilegious.  Too healthy, lean and dry, and worst off, untraditional. My thinking of food, thankfully, continues to evolve. And if you're a current believer that chicken meatballs are second-rate to beef/pork meatballs, I hope this recipe changes your mind. This recipe for chicken meatballs makes sure the meatballs [...]

Summertime broccoli, ricotta, and cottage cheese lasagna

Lasagnas are all-year long food. This majestic layered pasta dish is usually associated in winter months, heavy béchamel sauce, and unctuous meaty bolognese. Truly, this is the traditional. But such a limitation does not have to exist. Rather than using the proper but laborious homemade béchamel, this summertime rendition uses ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. [...]

Strawberry, cucumber, mozzarella, and dill salad

Summer begs for food experimentation and easy to make side dishes/salads. Fresh ingredients are in abundance and cook-outs are scheduled left and right. Dining on potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, etc are fine, but does get repetitive. I view it has a challenge to think outside the box and construct side dishes and salads that [...]

Currywurst Americanized, grilled bratwurst with homemade curry

Currywurst, the great German street food and culinary icon. It takes the best of two, totally different cuisines, and creates a smashing snack. In the proper German version, bratwurst is first steamed, then fried, and chopped into bite sized pieces. Then a fragrant mixture of ketchup and copious amounts of curry powder top the bratwurst. [...]

Homemade pimento cheeseburger with spicy pickles

Grilled burgers and summer, a spectacular no-brainer. An American pastime that turns so many smiles. In my opinion, hamburgers are meant to be simple. I only season my ground meat with salt and pepper before forming them into patties. Using a mixture of fattier ground chuck and leaner ground beef creates the ideal meat-to-fat ratio. Serving [...]

Shrimp and corn summertime cold salad, Southern and Greek inspired

Natural sweetness that cometh from the land and sea. Corn and shrimp are innate culinary partners. The sweetness of the sun and the buttery saltiness of the sea are captured in these essential summertime ingredients. The combination of shrimp and corn is one fully appreciated in Southern cooking, and in my own. Together, corn and shrimp [...]

NY strip steak au poivre with mushrooms and bourbon

Steak au poirve was born for romance. A classic French dish that transcends time and culture. Steak, encrusted in crushed peppercorns, seared, and served with a creamy and alcoholic sauce. On paper, it does not sound like a Disney fairytale. Yet, the tapestry these ingredients and techniques weave is like a silent promise you never [...]

Habanero cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with tomato chutney

Grilled cheese sandwiches are God-sends. A comforting and always appreciated go-to dish that is easy to make. This is my kicked-up version. I'm addicted to habanero cheddar cheese. The heat in this cheese is intoxicating, somewhat blistering but totally enjoyable. The heat from habanero cheddar have the gorgeous ability of starting out softly and gradually [...]

Penne pasta with salmon, fiddlehead ferns, creamy tomato sauce

This has become one of my favorite pastas to eat. It is different and seasonal, making it a primetime dish to serve for friends. Gently baked salmon brings oceanic silkiness and fattiness. Sautéed fiddlehead ferns bring a forest-like asparagus taste and a uniquely firm yet soft texture. Both of these work gorgeously with pasta. These two ingredients transform [...]

Chorizo and mushroom tacos, with scallion salsa

Chorizo sausage is one of those guilty pleasures. Fatty chunks of tubular pork generously spiced with rich smoked paprika and chilies. This is a perfect ingredient to buttress a fun to prepare taco bar. This recipe's main ingredient is definitely the mild and smokey chorizo. Yet, not to be overlooked are the roasted crimini mushrooms with scallions. [...]

Korean spicy roasted pork neck soup

Koreans are culinary masters in crafting richly flavored and comforting stews. One of the foundations of true Korean cuisine are its soups and stews, known as jjigae's and tang's. There are varieties of all kind and they are meals in themselves. Loaded with ingredients and flavors, Korean stews satisfy any appetite and culinary curiosity. The [...]

Grape tomato cacio e pepe, a Roman pasta classic twist

Classics, with a twist. This statement certainly turns heads. Either you embrace the idea of modifying a tried and true dish or you proclaim heresy and admonish those individuals that go tempering with tradition. I straddle both sides of the coin. Cacio e pepe is one of Rome's greatest pastas. Roman food is simplicity at its [...]

Red wine braised oxtail on parmesan couscous

Turn on an Alizee song, light up your fireplace, and grab your current favorite reading piece, because classical and comforting food is coming your way. Braised dishes are grand and homey, perfect for an intimate dinner or group gathering. They are the Swiss Army knife of the culinary world. Just about anything - meat, fish, [...]

Braised salmon head curry, Southeast Asian style

The face, that is what's for dinner! Someone once told me that salmon are the pigs of the ocean - large, fatty, and succulent. And most importantly, there are significant taste differences from cut to cut. Nose to tail cooking, taking the culinary world by storm. For salmon, just like a pig, the most flavorful and [...]

Salmon Roe and Fried Egg Rice Bowl

We already know that a sexy running egg is just about excellent on just about any savory dish. A silky and yokey egg adds lusciousness and richness to any dish.  This is all the more true when the egg is over rice. Rice may be the ultimate vehicle for soaping up an egg's gloriousness. But [...]