Posts by category: Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Pork Wellington

Foodie Friday: Pork Wellington

I saw Alton Brown make this on Good Eats last year and I needed to try it. I’ve done it twice now and it’s marvelous. If you don’t have (or don’t want to pay for) prosciutto, go ahead and use your favorite thin-sliced deli ham.

The recipe looks a little complicated, but it’s really quite deceptively simple once you wrap your head around how to construct everything.

If you’re  confused, you can watch Alton make it here on YouTube (he starts the Pork Wellington at about the 4:50 mark).

This goes great with some good apple sauce or apple butter.

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Foodie Fridays: The Best Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese Ever

Foodie Fridays: The Best Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese Ever

Back when I was a poor film school student, we had a name for the cheap boxed mac and cheese which made up a large portion of many people’s diets: Slow Orange Death.

You know the stuff I mean.

I avoided Slow Orange Death for a long time, which largely meant no mac and cheese at all.  It really wasn’t until I married a girl from a community famous for its cheese that I looked into how to make my own at home (for her, of course), and I got this recipe from my hero Alton Brown.  I learned to love it again.

This is a really fast, easy recipe. Be forewarned though that this stuff is really rich, incredibly cheesy, and more than a little addicting. Feel free to substitute in any pasta shape you’d like (I pretty rarely use actual macaroni), to mix up whatever varieties of cheese you like, and it couldn’t hurt to experiment with adding other things like fine diced onions, cooked bacon, or peas. You could even pour the finished product into a baking dish, sprinkle with buttered bread crumbs and bake it, if that’s your thing. Experiment!

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Foodie Fridays: 10-Minute Microwave Peanut Brittle

Foodie Fridays: 10-Minute Microwave Peanut Brittle

This is a very fast, no fail treat that’s super easy and great when you realize you need something to bring along to a potluck or a party. If you have kids who are interested in helping you in the kitchen, this would be a good one for them to help out on. The bowl can get VERY hot though, so be careful.

It’s actually a favorite of my in-laws, since it’s one of my only desserts that is both chocolate free and can be made dairy free (replacing the butter with Smart Balance works, though the final texture is a little but different) to account for allergies. It tends to disappear fast.

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Foodie Fridays: *Almost* No-Knead Artisan Bread

Foodie Fridays: *Almost* No-Knead Artisan Bread

Who doesn’t like freshly baked artisan bread, with its crackly crust and amazing texture?

There are two different “awesome, crazy easy bread” recipes that have been making the rounds amongst foodies recently. There’s the simple-but-wonderful master recipe from the popular book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the equally simple (but slightly more time-consuming) no-knead bread recipe from the Sullivan Bakery, popularized by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman and available in his book How to Cook Everything, which uses a preheated dutch oven to stand in for the super-fancy and ridiculously expensive steam-injected ovens that professional bakeries use. Both recipes are fantastic.

The good people at ATC have released a variation which adds a little bit of kneading to get the best texture, adds a couple of ingredients (vinegar and beer) to bring in a little bit of a more complex flavor, and uses a parchment paper “sling” of sorts which makes things a little less messy. Of the three, this is definitely my favorite.

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Foodie Fridays: Braised Short Ribs

Foodie Fridays: Braised Short Ribs

This is one of my favorite recipes that I discovered after I finally got myself a good enameled cast iron dutch oven. There’s a little bit of work at the beginning and end that will need your attention, but most of the cooking time here is low-and-slow in the oven so you can leave it unattended.

If you can’t find boneless short-ribs, you can buy bone-in as well and de-bone them yourself, or just use them bone-in and remove the bones near the end (be warned the sauce will have a LOT more fat in it needing to be removed). My advice is to ask your butcher — any good one will gladly de-bone them for you.

The resulting ribs will be exceptionally tender, and in my experience kids and adults both like this a lot. I like to make mine and have over egg noodles, but you can use any pasta, rice, potatoes… whatever you want.

Anyhow, moving on…

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Foodie Fridays: 15-Minute Fudge

Foodie Fridays: 15-Minute Fudge

I am something of a foodie. I love good food (maybe too much) but more than that I love preparing good food for others, and learning new techniques that help me make my food better. Cooking most meals is one aspect of being an at-home dad that I took to like a monkey takes to bananas.

So, I’ve decided I’ll be having Foodie Fridays on here. Sometimes I’ll post a recipe, sometimes just more general tips and tricks… we’ll see how it goes.

To start things off I thought I’d share a super easy fudge recipe I picked up that actually snagged me an unexpected award not too long ago, when I entered it into a contest on short notice. It’s perfect for taking to the playground to bribe moms into letting your kid play with theirs. This stuff is seriously so easy to make I wondered if I am going to destroy some of the mystique about it, but I figure what the heck. I just finished making a double-batch for a par-tay tonight, so it’s on the brain anyhow. This is adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.

So, without further ado…

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