• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

    If you have anything you'd like me to consider (recipes to develop, shortcuts for recipes, great ingredients, or even blog formatting), shoot me an email and let me know!


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    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
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    Roasted Portobello Sandwiches with Corn-Tomato Puree and Cilantro

    After making some of my mom’s salsa, I decided to try to use it in some new ways. I generally eat it plain – not even as a garnish. Generally, tortilla chips, cucumbers, and so on are merely delivery vehicles for the salsa. So I figured I’d shake it up a bit. I hollowed out the center of a meaty portobello mushroom and filled it with a smooth mixture of corn and salsa. It was delicious: I loved the way the starches from corn formed an almost creamy spread. It felt decadent while still tasting fresh and healthy.

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    Ragada (Potato Cakes with Spicy Chickpea Sauce)

    I used to be a slave to my favorite restaurants. Sure, I love to try new things, but I am the queen of cravings. This meant that if I went to one of my favorite eateries, I would stumble to the counter or to the table and beg for that must-have dish. I couldn’t NOT order it. Since I’ve started cooking at home, I’ve attempted to create several of my favorites (which sometimes end up even better because I can cook them how I want them).

    Ragada is a dish Matt and I disocvered by accident. I was doing a restaurant review for a local newspaper, and was sent to a nearby Indian restaurant. Matt and I are Indian food junkies, but I made him promise to order new things so that I could do an accurate review. We chose Ragada (a dish with a cryptic description as “A Calcutta Favorite”). The dish was simple: pan fried spiced potato cakes with a super spicy chickpea sauce. We went back again and again for the ragada – it was so delicious.

    Finally, I decided to make it at home. I feared this one wouldn’t live up to the Ragada we’d become addicted to. But, I was able to tweak it so that I even fixed my one criticism of the dish (I think it suffers from a lack of texture without panfrying the cakes until they are quite crisp and using raw garnish). I could see it on Matt’s face: I’d hit the nail on the head. Now we can be Ragada addicts from the comfort of our own home.

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    Corn Dosas with Curried Black Beans and Corn and Cilantro Sauce

    Being a bit of a blogging rookie, I was bit nervous to join the Daring Cooks. But at the end of the day…I look forward to cooking dinner all day long and I’m always up for a challenge – just the stuff a Daring Cook is made of!

    I love Indian food. So I was delighted when the September Daring Cook’s Challenge (my first challenge!) was announced as dosas, which I love. I also loved that Debyi, the host for this month’s challenge chose a recipe that’s vegan and gluten free! I have a friend who is a vegan and the key to making delicious treats she loves is making things that are naturally vegan – like these dosas!

    However, since I make Indian food a lot…I thought maybe I could try something different. Using some of my favorite spices common to Indian food, I changed the remaining ingredients slightly to make a Central American – Indian fusion dosa. Sound ridiculous? I swear it’s so good. The corn flour made a deliciously tender and flavorful dosa. The filling has the same texture and some of the great, spicy flavors of the original chickpea filling. And the creamy and fresh cilantro sauce cools it all down.

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    Coconut Red Curry Lentils n’ Rice

    This blog is about food…but a few people have pointed out to me that the little snippets of text here and there really tie it together. Because it’s not always enough to grab a recipe and run – some of you like a little splash of real life in there too.

    We had a fire at my house this week. Yes. It doesn’t get much more real than that. There is minimal damage and everyone and everything is safe (minus my bath mats, shower curtain, toilet seat and the tile in the bathroom). It happened in the middle of the night, which made it extra scary and I spent the next day recovering by ordering Chinese food. Yes…I don’t cook well (for myself) under pressure. But by the next day I had gathered my head and made something simple – a one pot meal that was fast and easy but quite comforting in it’s own right. Lentils and brown rice smothered in creamy coconut red curry. It was delicious and wonderfully spicy (great with a glass of something spritzy). You know what they say, after all, – fight fire with fire…

    Peanut Chicken Flatbreads with Peppers, Chiles, and Cilantro

    The Thai Chicken Burgers I made last week were such a hit, that no one complained when there were leftovers. But I had quite a bit of peanut sauce left over, which inspired me to make this Thai Chicken Flatbread.
    I used my favorite naan as the base, tossed some roasted chicken breasts in the peanut sauce, topped it with cilantro, bell peppers, scallions, and Thai bird chilies. When it comes out of the oven, top it with sweet chile sauce and enjoy!

    Curried Chicken Soup

    I’ve been sick for a couple days. I wanted some chicken soup to warm me up, but I definitely didn’t want plain old chicken soup. I looked at what I had in my pantry (one of the beauties of making soup is using what’s on hand) and decided on a fresh and light chicken and vegetable soup with a touch of curry and coconut milk. It was the perfect pick me up that was tossed together in no time, allowing me plenty of time for a nap.

    Bison Meatballs with Cilantro Sauce

    It’s nice to have recipes in your repertoire that can play double duty. Something simple, fast, and tasty that can be used for a number of occasions and meals. This recipe is great as an appetizer or the start of a basic meal. The sauce is easy and ties the whole thing together with great flavor. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to use bison – one of my favorite meats. It can be a little more expensive, but it’s lean and moist and tasty and worth the slight extra cost. The recipe looks like but its so easy – just mix to combine for both the meatballs and the sauce.

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