Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Legend Of Zelda's Monster Curry

It is no secret that I love videogames. I've been a huge Nintendo fan since a friend of mine brought his Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask strategy guide to play practise when I was 10. I've been in love with that kind of storytelling ever since. Last year the amazing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out and included a fun cooking mini game. This presented me with a great opportunity to combine 2 of my great loves, videogames and food.

This dish might look pretty funky, but trust me, it's really good. This is not a spicy curry, in fact it has a slight sweetness from the sweet potatoes, and it it really easy to make. Sweet potatoes and red onion have plenty of great flavor so you don't have to break open all your spice jars to make this dish taste amazing.

Ingredients:

3 tbsp ghee or butter
1 tsp salt
¾ lb purple sweet potatoes, cleaned and diced
½ red onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
2 tsp garam masala
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp white pepper
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
blue food coloring (optional)

Directions:

Melt the ghee in a large saute pan and add the potatoes and salt. Saute for 3 minutes before adding the red onion. Cook, stirring often, until the potato is tender, about 3-5 more minutes. Add the ground beef and brown until thoroughly cooked.

Add the spices and lightly fry them until they are highly aromatic. Stir in a can of diced tomatoes until combined and saute for another 2 minutes before serving with rice.

At this point, the dish looks pretty purple, but to get it looking really monstrous, you might want to add some blue food coloring before serving. Just a couple drops should do the trick.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wedding Pasta

In all honesty, I'm a little embarrassed I haven't made this before. It's a recreation of the pasta dish my wife and I had at our wedding. This is what I made for Valentine's Day this year. I would not have thought of it if Laura hadn't ordered a pasta dish from a restaurant near us that was strikingly similar.

One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can really do almost all the parts simultaneously. The chicken takes a while to cook, so you can start that, boil the pasta, then make the sauce, and the chicken should be done and rested by the time you're done. Obviously, how long it takes you is going to depend on your skill level and how much you have prepped ahead of time, but I think this is a good dish to use if you want to practice how to finish a meal all at the same time.

I can't believe that it has taken me over 4 years to recreate our wedding night entree. Well, here it is now, and it's pretty damn good.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp of oil
¾ tsp of salt, divided
1 lb of bowtie pasta
2 tbsp of butter
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp of flour
4 C heavy cream
1 C shredded parmesan
½ C sundried tomatoes
¼ tsp black pepper

Directions:

Heat a cast iron grill pan on medium to medium-high heat for 5 minutes to make sure the heat is even. If you don't have one, a griddle or skillet will work just fine. Coat the chicken breasts with oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp of salt. Cook for about 12 minutes per side, or until an inserted thermometer reads 160° F. Let the chicken rest while you prepare the rest of the dish.

In a large stock pot, boil and salt 1 gallon of water and cook the bowtie pasta until al dente, about 9 minutes. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly toasted. Add the flour and stir constantly until the butter is all soaked up and the mixture has taken on a golden brown hue.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and slowly pour on the heavy cream, whisking constantly until the flour mixture is all worked in. Sprinkle on the remaining ½ tsp of salt and add the shredded parmesan. Stir in the cooked bowtie pasta, cut the chicken breast into bite size pieces, and add it along with the sun dried tomatoes. Season with black pepper and serve with a semi-dry riesling.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Layer Dip

No Super Bowl party is complete without good dips! Layer dips are a classic part of any party for the big game, and they are quick and cheap to make if you need a last minute addition to your game day menu.

Ingredients:

1.5 C guacamole (you're in a hurry, store bought will work fine)
1 16 oz can refried black or pinto beans
½ C sour cream
¾ C shredded cheddar cheese
¾ C shredded monterey jack cheese
¼ tsp cumin

Directions:

In a 1.5 qt casserole, if you have a clear one this will look much more impressive, layer the guacamole, the refried beans, and the sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cheeses together with the cumin (this can be substituted with a store bought taco cheese blend) before adding as the final layer. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy! (Told you that was fast!)