Chicken, Pumpkin and Hominy Chili

Inspired by the classic Mexican dish pozole, this chili combines dried chipotles and anchos for a deep, earthy tomato-based sauce complemented by the sweetness of pumpkin. The smokiness of the chipotles is increased here by adding ground chorizo sausages; browned at the beginning of the cooking process, they meld invisibly into the sauce, adding a bit of density and lots of flavor.

Chicken, Kale & Pureed Spaghetti Squash with Sage

I first made this meal a few weeks ago when I came home from running errands to a living room filled with three friends (including my boyfriend). I was starving. But I tried to play it cool, pouring myself a whiskey on ice like they were all drinking, and calmly bringing out a tray of toasted squash seeds to munch on — a side project from an earlier experiment I had been doing with a roasted spaghetti squash. Of course, … Read More

Lamb Vindaloo Curry

Vinda-who? Has it been this long since I’ve dined in an Indian restaurant? I suppose so. You see, I’ve been spoiled by always having plenty of Indian friends while growing up that the taste of authentic curry was never too hard to come by. Nowadays though, things have gotten a bit dicey. I’ve long forgotten what many of my favorite types of dishes were called, or what they consisted of. But perhaps the most tragic thing I managed to forget … Read More

Braised Beef Braciole with Sundried Tomatoes & Basil and Roasted Potatoes & Okra

Braciole, or roulade? Such different-sounding words for such similar spirals of meat and filling. The former, I’ve just learned, is merely an Italian American variety of the latter French creation. Because the ingredients I’ve chosen for this one’s filling are more typically Italian than French, though, I’ll go with naming it a braciole.

Meatball Bruschetta alla Puttanesca

This is a leftover dish. It combines leftover ground pork (which I used to make some cilantro-spiked Vietnamese-style meatballs), fresh bread crumbs (aka: all those properly manicured tea sandwich crusts), spicy Thai chiles and fresh thyme (just had some sitting around). Those were some mean ‘balls. They’re neither Sicilian or Italian-American, nor Asian or Asian/Italian fusion — I don’t know what style they would be most influenced by, but “random leftover.”

Smoky Ancho Chicken & Spinach Chilaquiles

Three words: Smoked Monterey Jack. A creamy composite of dove-complexioned tenderness on the inside, roughed up to a bronze smokehouse char on the outside. Not as piquant as smoked cheddar, or slightly spongy like smoked Gouda. It’s more like a mouthful of pure, cool summer barbecue breeze, the kind that wafts into your window from the neighbors’ yard and tantalizes you like crazy because you’re not invited.

Chicken Fajitas with Jalapeno-Mayonnaise Sauce & Pico de Gallo

There’s always those nights when I’m craving something that feels like it’s from a greasy take-out restaurant. My creations never, thankfully, end up quite as greasy, and I hope it stays that way. I’m not sure that I would even know how to make food as greasy as some restaurants do — is it not trimming globs of fat from meat? Cooking in copious amounts of oil oil slathering butter and mayonnaise from a greasy wand with reckless abandon, like … Read More

Taiwanese Three Cup Chicken

If I had my way with space, I’d have three different types of basil growing in my front yard (okay, my apartment building’s front patch of grass). This would have to include the ubiquitous Italian variety, with its shiny, fat teardrop-shaped leaves. As well as the purple basil which I’ve been eyeing and smelling at Farmer’s Markets but have no idea what it tastes like (it smells like basil). And most direly, a Thai basil plant: a matte, darker green-leaved … Read More

Chicken with Apples and Raisin Couscous

I’ve made similar recipes to this using chicken and olives, or just seafood, but in the aftermath of last weekend’s brunch I found myself with a bagful of apples. Crunching my way through the whole week, I’ve jettisoned the idea of baking (yet another) pie. There’s a lot more versatility in apples than we’ve traditionally credited them with, I think. If applesauce or cider can be used to flavor savory dishes, then why not the fruit’s more assertive, fresher state?

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