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Monday, June 25, 2012

Shrimp Biryani

Shrimp Biryani

Several months ago, my friend Ben made me sit with him in a bookstore while he scoped out Indian cookbooks. I couldn't complain, because the cookbook section is really the best section of the bookstore. He ended up picking a book by the goddess of Indian cooking, Madhur Jaffrey. He has raved about every recipe he has made from it. A while later, Serious Eats posted this recipe for Shrimp Biryani. I really like Indian food and don't eat it nearly as often as I should. I had also never tried cooking it and this recipe seemed like a straightforward recipe for my first attempt. Soaking the rice keeps it from getting soggy while cooking. The spices are simple, but potent and a spritz of lemon juice keeps this fresh. I loved the simple flavors in this biryani and it was much more cost-effective to make it at home versus spending a bunch of money on takeout.

This recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey's book, At Home with Madhur Jaffrey (links to Amazon, I'm no longer a part of the affiliate program) and can be found on the Serious Eats website here.

One year ago: Blueberry Pomegranate Donuts
Two years ago: Yatai Ramen Twist at Breadbar
Three years ago: Broiled Chicken with Bacon over Egg Fried Rice
Four years ago: Pan-Seared Steak with Salsa Verde

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whole Wheat Couscous with Sardines and Tomatoes

Whole Wheat Couscous with Sardines and Tomatoes

Summer has officially arrived, but the unrelenting heat arrived a few weeks early in Chicago. It's made me completely lazy in regards to cooking (I'm not just blaming my jam-packed schedule), and most nights all I want to do is pick up something quick instead of putting thought into making a healthy meal. Enter Mark Bittman and his 100 ideas for quick summer dishes. I saved this list ages ago on Pinterest and it has proved to be a life saver in the last couple of weeks. Many of the recipes actually call for turning on the oven which I refuse to do until the temperatures dip below 85 degrees (and by 85, I mean 70), but a few are just things that require little to no contact with heat. I have made this couscous four times in the last month and it hasn't gotten old yet. It only takes the time required to cook the couscous to throw together this simple and filling meal. It's great warm right away or at room temperature the next day. I used lightly smoked sardines which were a great accompaniment to the sweet juicy tomatoes. I am already skimming my printed out pages of this list to see what next deliciousness I will be making next this summer.

One year ago: Prosciutto and Cheddar Pretzel Bites
Two years ago: Poached Eggs with Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Basil
Three years ago: Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Four years ago:Venetian Rolled Pizza

Whole Wheat Couscous with Sardines and Tomatoes
(Adapted from Mark Bittman)

Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
3 1/2 ounces smoked sardines packed in oil, bones removed if desired
2 handfuls grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive for drizzling

Prepare couscous according to package instructions. Meanwhile, remove the bones from the sardines, wash the tomatoes, and chop the parsley.

Divide the couscous among plates. Top each plate with half of the sardines, tomatoes, and parsley. Sprinkle each serving with salt and pepper and drizzle each plate with a bit of olive oil.

Printable Recipe

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Breakfast Bake with Eggs

Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Breakfast Bake with Eggs

Regular readers of this blog know that eggs are my favorite food, and I just can't pass up cheese, eggs, and bread at brunch so when I came across this recipe on Food & Wine, it was a no brainer. The combination of creamy eggs with smoky salty bacon, sweet tomatoes, and tons of melted cheese is a crowd pleaser. This dish can be prepared way ahead of time so if you have a brunch or potluck to go too, you won't have to stress yourself out the day of to get it ready. Despite the eggs getting a little overcooked, leftovers of this dish are equally as good since the flavors have time to meld. The only change I made to this recipe was to used diced tomatoes and cut the original amount in half. It comes from Food & Wine, November 2010 and can be found here.

Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Breakfast Bake with Eggs

Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Breakfast Bake with Eggs

One year ago: Parmesan Truffle Popcorn
Two years ago: Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Skewers with Smoky Paprika Glaze
Three years ago: Free-Form Onion Tart
Four years ago: Greek Orzo and Shrimp with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette

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