Pardon the long absence! Due to a combination of many factors (mainly that I have been focusing on finishing my dissertation!), we have neglected our duties as World Tasters for some time. However, I am now a full-fledged doctor (not medical), and we are ready to share our food experiences with you. Since, our previous post, in addition to my graduation, Tricia has relocated to Blue Bell here in PA. In our explorations of the area, we ran across a wonderful Korean Supermarket just down the road – Assi. Inspired by our trips to Assi, I recently decided to tried to make my own version of Korean BBQ (as you may know, BBQ sauce is a passion of mine). Brisket was a great cut for this recipe, but I think pork shoulder may also work well. The big secret is to cook it for a while to make sure the meat really cooks properly. The result is a deliciously tangy, slightly spicy, and wonderfully tender BBQ beef.
Greetings, blog readers and happy mid-autumn to all. The mid-autumn festival is a holiday in China/Hong Kong that celebrates the harvest of the fall crops and the time when the red moon is the brightest of the year. Of course, here in Northeast, it coincides with the very beginnings of the beautiful changing colors of leaves.
The Northeast has seen an incredibly hot summer this year. For us, we’ve had ample opportunity to grill out and smoke meats on a trusty new smoker (posts upcoming!). But for all the hot eats we’ve cooked up, cool and refreshing side items are a must. And this chilled carrot soup recipe really fits the bill. While carrot soup doesn’t sound incredible interesting, I decided to put in some unique ingredients to spruce it up. Cardamom, ginger, and cumin really complimented the natural sweetness of the carrots in the soup, and a few additions (tapioca, basil oil, and fresh cream) really dressed this up for a dinner-party opening course. We think it makes for a great start to a nice meal!
Summer on east coast is hot, hot, hot and a great way to keep cool is with some homemade ice cream. This past weekend, we chose to celebrate the summer heat with some fresh blueberries and strawberries. And a great way to compliment your homemade ice cream? By sandwiching them between two shortbread cookies! This was our first time making ice cream sandwiches and they are a cinch to make if you have some patience (or just a weekend) but we promise, they are worth the wait. Make a few to serve at your next summer BBQ!
When I was young, finding calamari on a restaurant menu was a bit or a rarity (growing up in small town OH). Having moved to the Northeast during college, however, I have become accustomed to fried calamari being a commonplace item at many eateries. Tricia and I are both big fans of battered and deep-fried squid. Still, alternative preparations of calamari are less common at restaurants, and many people remain hesitant to cook squid themselves at home. I put together this recipe after finding frozen calamari at a local grocery store – it came out really well, and I wanted to share how simple it was to put together. The flavors are influenced by Spanish cuisine, and this is an excellent dish for a tapas-style menu.
Mac & cheese is honestly one of my top 5 favorite things of all time. My favorite version involves pancetta and lots of extra sharp cheddar cheese. But come summer, that version is a bit heavy for my tastes. So to brighten it up in the spirit of the tremendous heat wave we’re having up here in Ithaca, I’ve made a few changes. It’s still creamy and rich, but my summer version has fresh picked peas to add color and sweetness, a squeeze of lemon for extra zing, and goat cheese for its exceptionally smooth tanginess. These flavors are all complemented by pork that has been spiced with toasted fennel, cumin, and coriander. As an added bonus, this summery mac & cheese is a “one-pot” meal!
Sometimes I run into a recipe that catches me off guard by how different it is but how good it sounds. This was my reaction when I recently say Andrew Zimmern’s recipe for “Sweet & Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken.” With plenty of Thai chilies and KETCHUP, it sounded unique but absolutely delicious. And it was. I made a few minor tweaks, mainly because I couldn’t find lemongrass (I used a combination of lemon zest, ginger, and scallions). While my reproduction wasn’t exact, the essence of Zimmern’s recipe came through, and it was excellent. Although I used a few extra chilies to satisfy my spicy tastes, this recipes packs quite a bit of heat from the outset. The fact that I was able to use fresh peas that I had picked up at BB farms earlier in the weekend mad the dish that much better. Tricia and I enjoyed this dish over jasmine rice with some dry stir fried snap peas (also from BB) on the side. The recipe is here, and I definitely recommend trying it out!
Citrus flavored dessert are very versatile for guests. They are sweet and sour, tangy and tart at the same time. Sometimes I wished I lived in California or Florida and had my own lemon or orange tree! Today, I picked Martha Stewart’s recipe for lemons bars to try. These are absolutely delicious and refreshing and ridiculously simple to make with just a hand mixer! Make these to share for your next dinner party. The beautiful lemon color makes for a great photo and summertime dessert centerpiece.
Hot weather in the summer calls for a cool summery drink. My favorite (non alcoholic) drink is half lemonade and half iced tea, or better known after the man who made this drink famous, the Arnold Palmer. What makes this drink so refreshing is the mixture of the equally tart and equally sweet lemonade with the briskness of tea.
To start off my summer, I decided to make my own version of the Arnold Palmer but with twists on both the lemonade and the tea. For the tea, I decided to brew the black tea with a couple of dried rose buds and cardamon – hence the name Rosie. Rose buds have found their way into a lot teas giving simple teas a more vibrant flavor. Cardamon provides a balancing spicy and woody flavor.I found dried rose buds at an Asian store, and cardamom is always available at any Indian store. But these days, you can find these type of ingredients in the international section of many supermarkets. For the lemonade, I gave more sweetness and fruitiness by adding blackberries to the mixture.
The concept of cooking meat on an open fire likely started in prehistoric times. While that may be at the heart of the rich BBQ tradition, in the United States, the idea of BBQ is intimately associated with sauce. BBQ sauce recipes are among the most treasured secrets of restaurants and grill masters throughout the country. And regional variations in the makeup of sauce recipes are what give way to the age-old debate about where BBQ is best.