Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chocolate Ganache Bread Pudding with Rosemary Port Caramel Sauce

(Photo from Food and Wine)

I think this is the first time I've used a stock photo for a recipe. I feel pretty shitty about it, but I couldn't help it. I made homemade challah bread, added rosemary to the caramel sauce, and created a little bit of chocolate magic that was devoured before a proper photo could be taken.

I had enough ingredients to make this twice... and I still wasn't able to get my own photo.

It was too amazing to wait for. We had to eat it immediately. Photos seemed unnecessary. 

(Adapted from Vicki Wells)


  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound challah, crust removed, bread cut into 3/4-inch dice (6 cups)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Rosemary Port Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ruby port
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary


  1. Make the caramel sauce.
  2. In a heavy, medium saucepan, cook the granulated sugar over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Continue to cook, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the light brown sugar and stir until smooth. Return the caramel to the heat and carefully add the port; the caramel will harden slightly. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and rosemary. Transfer the sauce to a pitcher and serve warm.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°.
  4. Put 2 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
  5. Heat 1/4 cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan over moderately low heat. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until the chocolate ganache is smooth. Let the chocolate ganache stand at room temperature until set.
  6. Butter an 11-by-8-inch baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the melted butter with the diced challah. Spread the bread on a baking sheet in an even layer and toast for about 15 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Wipe out the bowl.
  8. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the milk and 6 tablespoons of the sugar and bring just to a boil. Remove the heavy cream mixture from the heat. Add the remaining 3 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until the chocolate is melted.
  9. In the bowl used for the bread, whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar with the egg yolks, cocoa, vanilla and salt until a paste forms. Slowly whisk in the warm chocolate cream until smooth. Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Add the toasted bread and toss to coat with the warm chocolate cream. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until most of the chocolate cream is absorbed.
  10. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish. Using a large spoon, dollop the chocolate ganache on top. Bake the bread pudding for about 35 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Let the chocolate bread pudding stand for 15 minutes, then serve with the Port Caramel Sauce on the side.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Curried Maple-Mustard Chicken Breasts

I'm a picky eater, an curry freaks me out. The title of this recipe freaks me out, actually.

But shit damn, is this delicious.

I may change my ways.

(Adapted from Molly Chester)
Serves 4


  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  2. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  3. 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  4. 1 tablespoon mild or hot curry powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  6. 1/2 c. dark beer or beef broth
  7. Kosher salt
  8. Pepper
  9. Four 12-ounce, boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish, combine the butter with the maple syrup, mustard, curry powder, beer, and cayenne. Bake for about 5 minutes, until the butter is melted. Whisk in a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and let cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the baking dish and turn to coat with the sauce. Carefully spoon some 
of the sauce over the chicken. 
  3. Bake for about 40 minutes, basting occasionally, until the chicken is glazed and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°. Transfer the chicken to a work surface and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Slice the chicken and transfer to plates. Whisk the pan sauce and spoon over the chicken. 
  5. Serve with rice, passing additional sauce at the table.

Grilled Chicken and Corn with Jalapeño-Lime Dressing

(Adapted from Dan Kluger)
Serves 4



  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeños (with seeds)
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • 4 ears of corn
  • 2 bunches scallions, halved
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Four 6-ounce boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
  • Chopped chives and finely grated lime zest, for garnish



  1. In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients.


  1. Light a grill. Remove all but the last layer of green husk from the corn. In a bowl, soak the corn in water for 10 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a bowl, toss the scallions with 2 tablespoons of the oil; season with salt and pepper.
  3. In another bowl, coat the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the rosemary; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the corn, scallions and chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the corn and scallions are lightly charred and the chicken is cooked through, 5 minutes for the scallions and 15 minutes for the corn and chicken.
  5. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice across the grain.
  6. Chop the scallions into 1-inch pieces.
  7. Remove the husks and cut the corn kernels off of the cobs.
  8. Transfer the scallions and corn to a large bowl; add the tomatoes, basil and half of the dressing and toss.
  9. Transfer the salad to a platter. Top with the chicken and garnish with chives and lime zest. Serve the remaining dressing at the table.

Tangy Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Purple Cabbage Slaw


  • ½ red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 c. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 c. beef broth
  • 1 bottle Stubbs smoky mesquite
  • 4 pork loin chops
  • Purple Coleslaw (recipe below)
  • Soft Brioche Buns


  1. Make Brioche Buns!
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Set a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Sear pork chops for 1-2 mins on each side and place them in a dutch oven.
  5. Using the skillet that the chops were seared in, sauté onions and sugar until softened.
  6. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  7. Add cayenne, Dijon, and vinegar.
  8. Add broth and bottle of sauce and stir until combined.
  9. Add sauce mixture to dutch oven, bake covered at 300 F for 3 hrs

Coleslaw (Tyler Florence)


  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 head purple cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced on mandoline
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. While the pork is cooking, prepare the slaw. Combine the mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar and sugar. Mix well and add finely sliced savoy cabbage, purple cabbage, green onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Honey-Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Purple Cabbage Slaw, and Chipotle Crema

We have a taco place around the corner from our place that has some of the best fish tacos I've ever had (and that's saying a lot, since I'm a Mexican that grew up near the ocean!). 

We've been trying to eat healthier lately, so I decided to try their shrimp tacos instead of the fish, since the fish is deep-fried. They were pretty bomb. And that inspired me to make some at home.

I wanted to make shrimp tacos that were slightly different, and I came across this recipe.

It was so good that we made it twice in one week. The second time, we made it for Robodice (Bestfriend and her boy, aka, our roommates. Aka, Candice and Robin...). Bestfriend isn't a huge seafood person, so the fact that she liked these is a pretty huge deal.

(Adapted from Tartine and Apron Strings)
Serves: 4 to 6 people



  • 2 pounds (454 g) raw shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of 2 limes + 1 lime
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • corn tortillas
  • cilantro, finely chopped


  • 1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice [about 2-3 limes]
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or créme fraîche [low fat can be used]
  • 1 to 2 pieces of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce [canned]


  1. Wash, peel, devein, and dry raw shrimps. Season with salt.
  2. In a bowl, combine honey, lime juice, tequila, onion, cumin, and chipotle powder (if using). Mix well and toss shrimps in marinade. Chill up to 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat grill to 400 F (205 C). Make sure to oil the grilles well. Skewer shrimps in soaked wooden sticks (this will make it easier to handle on a grill).
  4. Grill shrimps until bright or just opaque, about 2 minutes each side. Flip the shrimp skewers and cook for another 2 minutes or until they turn bright orange. Alternatively, you can also pan fry the shrimps. Set cooked shrimps aside.
  5. Dice the avocados and squeeze juice from the remaining 1 lime.
  6. Thinly slice the red cabbage using a sharp knife or a mandolin.
  7. To make the dressing for the red cabbage slaw, put the lime juice, Dijon mustard, sea salt, pepper and oil in a jar or bowl. Whisk vigourously until it emulsifies.
  8. Toss the red cabbage with the lime vinaigrette. Set aside.
  9. Meanwhile, to make the chipotle crema, place the chipotles in the bowl of the food processor and give it a good whirl until it is smooth.
  10. Stir in the sour cream or créme fraîche, mixing well until the colour is even. Transfer chipotle crema in a squeeze bottle (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off!).
  11. To assemble the tacos, heat tortilla in a dry pan, about 1 minute per side or until lightly browned or charred. Wrap tortilla in a cloth to prevent from drying out. Set aside, covered.
  12. Place some diced avocados in the middle of the tortilla, followed by the red cabbage slaw. Remove skewers from shrimps and pile on the taco.
  13. Drizzle with the chipotle crema and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Steak With Sage Vermouth Sauce and Parmesan Vermouth Risotto

(Adapted from epicurious)
Serves 4



  • (4) 5 oz strip steaks
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil

Sage-Vermouth Sauce

  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 4 medium fresh sage leaves, each torn in half
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • salt & fresh ground pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Set an oven-proof skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
  3. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Brush with olive oil.
  4. Sear steaks for 2 minutes per side.
  5. Finish steaks off in the oven, about 6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 130 for medium rare.
  6. Transfer steaks to a plate and tent with foil to rest. Don't wash the pan yet.


  1. Add shallot to the pan the steaks were cooked in. Set skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is softened, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth, vermouth, and sage; increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour accumulated steak juices from the plate the steaks are resting on into skillet, reduce heat to medium, and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and discard sage.
  5. Spoon sauce around chicken breast and serve immediately.

Parmesan Vermouth Risotto

PROCEED WITH CAUTION: This Risotto is addicting. 

That is all.

(Adapted from Elizabeth Minchill)
Serves 6-8


  • 2 onions
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper
  • 1- 1/4 cup dry white vermouth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups rich chicken broth, warm


  1. Chop onion finely. Add to pot big enough to hold all the risotto, along with 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil. Saute at low heat until the onion softens. About 10 minutes or so.
  2. Add about a tsp of salt, stir, and add the rice. Turn up the heat a bit, and stir the rice until it is well coated.
  3. Add the vermouth, and stir, until evaporated. Add about a cup of broth, and stir. Keep adding more broth and stirring until the rice is almost done. When it only has about 4 more minutes to cook, add the rest of the butter and stir. Then add the cheese and stir.
  4. Serve topped with freshly grated pepper.