Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week Off

Hey everyone, I know I just committed to posting in a more regular fashion, but I'm going to be taking this week off. Grad school just started, and I need some time for that and for building up my back stock of recipes for busy weeks. I'll see you all next week. Happy cooking!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Mango Lassi

Never let it be said that I don't love my wife. At the very start of this I made it clear that there were certain foods I don't like cooking with, but when your wife asks for a yogurt smoothie, you make her a yogurt smoothie.

A Lassi is a Indian spiced yogurt smoothie. It is something that is typically a savory drink, but it can be blended with fruit, like mango, to make it sweet. In India this drink is made with dahi, but that isn't readily available in the States, so plain full fat or whole milk yogurt is a good substitute.


2 C frozen mango
½ C milk
½ C plain whole milk yogurt
¼ C honey
¼ tsp ground cardamom


Add all the ingredients to the carafe of your blender and blend until smooth. Poor into a glass and enjoy. Optionally, garnish with mint and a cinnamon stick.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Beef Bulgogi

My mom used to make bulgogi for us a lot when I was a kid. I'd always loved it, but I wasn't sure how authentic it was. Recently, I finally got to compare it to the genuine article.

In the last year, I've been fortunate to make a great friend, Evan. He's a really talented artist. He's also, possibly, an even bigger foodie than me. I've been down to his neck of the woods a few times and we always go on some pretty fun food adventures. He's the one who took me to get my first taste of real ramen. Recently, we went to get Korean BBQ and I finally got to see how my mom's recipe compares to the real McCoy.

It turns out that her flavors are spot on, but the technique isn't. So, I took my mom's recipe, applied a more authentic method, and came up with something great.


1 lb ribeye
4 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
¼ C chopped green onion
2 tbsp sesame seeds


One of the defining features of bulgogi is very thin slices of beef. To make that easier, place your steak in the freezer for 1.5 to 2 hours., not enough to freeze solid, but just enough to be stiff. Cut into slices as thin as your knife will allow. Set aside.

In a tupperware or sealable container, combine the remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine. Add in the sliced steak and stir to thoroughly coat the pieces. Place in the fridge and let it marinate for 1-2 hours.

Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and reserve any leftover marinade. Sear the steak, 1 minute per side, and set it aside to rest. Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, and reduce to a syrup. Pour the syrup over the resting meat and mix it with any juices from the resting meat so everything is nicely sauced. Garnish with more chopped green onion.

Serve over rice or in lettuce wraps. As with most of Korean BBQ, the sides make the meal and I suggest kimchi, kongnamool (Korean mung beans), or spicy pickle.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

On Comfort Food

I've made plenty of comfort food in the course of this blog, from meatloaf to meatballs, donuts, grillswith, and plenty of drinks. But I have a confession, none of those are my true comfort food. Since I claim to be a foodie, you might think that my comfort food might be something unorthodox or off the wall. No, it's pretty much the exact opposite of that. My ultimate comfort food is hot dogs, blue box mac and cheese, and cinnamon applesauce.

To most people, comfort food is something that is easy or at least familiar, high in fat or carbs, so it makes you feel warm, full, and comfortable. But, for me, comfort food also has to tie into a memory of eating that gives some measure of peace.

My comfort food is my comfort food because it is the food that most clearly brings me back to memories of my father. My dad was a horrible cook. He used to tell me that his version of gourmet cooking was a hot dog, split down the middle, with a strip of bacon, and wrapped in a slice of American cheese. When my mom went out of town, dad would do his best and make mac and cheese, boiled hot dogs, and apple sauce. It was his attempt to serve a balanced meal that didn't take much work or involve too much cleanup.

If you follow my Patreon, you'll know if been working on a project to make a viking shield for myself to take to the Renaissance Faire. It's just the kind of wood working project my dad would have been proud of me for doing and every time I hit a snag or get frustrated I feel his absence more and more. That, and the upcoming anniversary of my father's passing, has him on my mind a lot recently.

So, as I made my plate of hot dogs, mac and cheese, and applesauce, I thought I would share with you all why that meal, more than any other, is what I turn to when I'm feeling stressed, panicked or overwhelmed.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Summer Fruit Punch Beer

So awhile ago I saw a recipe for this that was really not well thought out and I decided that I needed to rectify it, because I like the concept. This is a really great drink for some last parties at the end of summer or for tailgating through the fall. It's sweet and fruity so some people will inevitably call it girly, but something that is refreshing and easy to drink is something we all should be able to enjoy.

I've called this a summer recipe since it focuses on summer fruits, but plenty of other fruits would work great and could go into plenty of seasonal varieties.


2 C sliced strawberries
2 C blueberries
3 peaches, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
⅔ C sugar
Summer Shandy*


Combine the berries, peaches, and sugar in a large container and stir to coat everything evenly with the sugar. Store, covered, in the fridge for about an hour so the sugar can build a heavy syrup.

Scoop ¼ cup of the fruit and syrup into the bottom of a pint glass or tulip glass and carefully pour on the summer shandy. Store any leftovers in the freezer, makes a great way to keep your beer cold without diluting it.

*I think a summer shandy works best with this recipe, but a great alternative would be a Belgian style white beer (witbier) like Blue Moon. It also works really well with an Agave IPA. A light lager or pilsner would do, but you'll miss out on some of the more fruity flavors.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Cheesy Roasted Garlic Bread

I actually first started roasting garlic to make this bread. I can't believe that it's taken me so long to put this here. It was a few years ago when my fish monger Adam suggested a variant of this bread, but I think it has been perfected here.

Roasting garlic gives it a much deeper, sweet flavor, so despite how much garlic is in this, it's not as harsh as garlic powder based breads.


3 bulbs of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 stick of butter
½ tsp of salt
1 loaf of soft crusty bread like ciabatta or batard
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese*
1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 450. This is a good toaster oven recipe since we aren't dealing with large amounts

Cut the tops off each bulb of garlic so that the cloves are exposed. Rub the exposed garlic with the olive oil and wrap in tin-foil, leaving a little spout for steam, and roast for an hour, or until the cloves are caramelized.

Remove from the oven and let them cool until you can handle them before squeezing the caramelized cloves into a blender. Add the salt and butter and blend until creamy.

Slice your loaf open into halves and then into quarters. Spread an equal amount of the butter mixture onto each piece before sprinkling each piece with mozzarella and parmesan. Place the slices on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil and grill under a broiler set on high until the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.

Let it cool and set, but enjoy it while the cheese is still good and melty.

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*This bread can be as cheesy as you want it, but if you pile too much on the cheese will simply melt off.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Grilled Ham and Pineapple Skewers

A couple weeks ago my work was demo-ing grilled maple flavored ham and pineapple skewers. I thought they tasted great, but I figured I could improve on the concept, make it more sophisticated.

I'll be including instructions on how to do this on a stove top grill pan, but this would work equally well, if not better, on a real grill. The cooking times would just need a bit of adjusting.


olive or vegetable oil
2 ⅛" thick ham slices
1 lb fresh pineapple spears or rounds
3 tbsp gin aged maple syrup
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper


Heat a grill pan over medium heat until a spritz of water on it evaporates immediately. Brush on the some olive or vegetable oil and lay on your ham slices and pineapple spears. Let them cook on one side until definite grill marks develope and you get good caramelization on the pineapple, flip and repeat.

Remove and let cool before cutting into bite size pieces and arranging on large toothpicks or sandwich spears. Brush liberally with the gin maple syrup, good quality plain maple syrup will work great too, before evenly sprinkling on the fresh thyme and black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

If you liked this recipe please consider supporting me and my content on Patreon. For more info on my patreon, check out my previous post!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cream of Crab Soup

My dad used to speak rather wistfully of ordering cream of crab soup and how you could make sure it was authentic by asking for a shot of sherry on the side. If the restaurant in question couldn't provide, you knew it wasn't going to be right, but if they did, or they said it was already in the soup, you knew you were in the right place.

Traditionally, Cream of Crab Soup is made with only white ingredients. It's a rather outdated look, but I'm a sucker for more traditional presentations. Because this doesn't have Old Bay in it, this isn't Maryland Cream of Crab Soup, but it does taste great with Old Bay if you want to put a Chesapeake twist on it.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 C finely chopped white onion
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1 C heavy cream
3 C whole milk
1 lb lump crab meat
3 oz medium dry sherry
salt and white pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan before adding the onions and salt. Sweat the onions for about 10 minutes until translucent and before they take on color. Sprinkle on the flour and stir until the flour is coating all the onions and has absorbed any moisture in the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the heavy cream stirring constantly so the cream doesn't break.Once the flour is all dissolved in the cream, pour in the milk and bring to a simmer. Reduce to desired consistency, stirring often to prevent a skin forming on top, and gently stir in the lumb crab meat and sherry. Add salt and white pepper to taste and serve.

I recommend serving with my Roasted Garlic Tomato Spread on some toasted baguette. The tang and acid go great with the sweetness of this soup.

If you liked this recipe please consider supporting me and my content on Patreon. For more info on my patreon, check out my previous post!