I was raiding my bottomless freezer yesterday and came
across an open package of cooked langoustines from Trader Joe’s. I remember
they tasted quite unremarkable and that’s why were exiled to the freezer in the
It was pouring elephants and whales yesterday and instead
of the planned grilling I went for the southern comfort food, prawns and grits.
Or, more specifically, prawns in hot tomato sauce, seasoned with Creole spices on
a bed of creamy grits, cooked with milk, chicken stock and lots of goat
gouda. For the finishing touch, I topped all of this with a poached egg. After taking several bites, accompanied by the rolling
eyes and smacking lips, Ilya finally declared the dish a masterpiece. And it wasn't bad, really.
Who doesn’t like deep fried calamari? Tender inside, crispy
outside, dipped in tangy tartar or sweet-n-sour marinara? I see no hands! Everybody
loves deep fried calamari!
So why wait to go out to eat them instead of making them at
home? They are one of the fastest meals ever. Even faster than deep fried
smelt. I don’t use double breading for calamari, dredging in seasoned flour is
quite sufficient and gives them perfectly thin and crispy “skin”.
Skordalia (with the stress on the last syllable) is a garlicky Greek dip that goes fabulous with
warm pita or deep fried seafood and fish. It can be made either with potatoes
or white bread. I prefer the former since, to my taste, it gives lighter and
smoother consistency. The other day, I served it with the deep fried smelt and
the pairing of the two was surprisingly good. Like they were meant for each
Recently, I bought myself a mini deep fryer and yesterday
was trying it out for the second time. I made deep fried calamari and deep
fried smelt (my favorite) and since both turned out absolutely fantastic, here I am with the
recipes for you.
Whenever we’re in a mood for a lighter dinner, I made a large
“all inclusive” salad like Caesar with chicken or fried oysters or Niçoise. Here
you have your proteins, greens and starches all in one light and healthy dish.
We went to a farmer’s market the other day and returned home
with a paper bag full of amazing fresh chanterelles. My favorite mushrooms are
in season again, yeehah! If I had a pogo-stick I would just hop around the
block several times, so happy I am. (Good news for my neighbors – I don’t have
one and ain’t planning to get any soon.)
Kalbi marinade is very versatile and works not only for short ribs. Yesterday, I used it to marinade a beef flat iron steak, which then
was grilled and served in folded Chinese buns along with some relishes.
Here’s one of the easiest to make and very refreshing green
salads. My recent favorite. There's something in the combination of sharp arugula, crunchy juicy radishes, sweet garbanzo beans and tart refreshing dressing that makes this salad particularly good in the summer. Though I don't mind having it in other seasons as well.
Kalbi, sometimes also pronounced as Galbi, is a Korean dish made with thin, cross-cut beef short ribs, marinated in soy sauce and sweet rice wine and then grilled to perfection. It’s an absolute winner at parties. I haven’t met a person yet, except, of course, vegetarians, who wouldn’t fall in love with these ribs.
Grilled bell peppers are no less tasty treat than grilled Anaheims or Poblanos. To my taste, however, whereas mildly spicy green peppers are great served as they are, almost right from the grill, bell peppers become even better and develop more complex flavor after being slightly marinated.
One of our most favorite summer treats is grilled peppers. Especially, mildly spicy peppers like Anaheim or Poblano with their deep, earthy, a bit sweet and slightly bitterish flavor that matches perfectly a variety of meats, poultry and fish.
I’m introducing a new category into my blog: quick fix. I already have one called “easy peasy”, but easy peasy doesn’t always equal to quick. Some simple things can take quite a while to cook. Like, for instance, a majority of braised meats, which, as a rule, take no more than a half hour of prep work, but up to 5-6 hours of actual braising time. Quick fixes, on the other hand, are really fast, but not necessarily super easy to make.
Even though this salami is made of chocolate and cookies, it
looks indistinguishable from the real one, doesn’t it? Besides being a great
conversation piece, it’s also absolutely delicious and ridiculously easy to