• 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!

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    Yukon Gold and Chicken Apple Sausage Hash with Fried Eggs and Spicy Tomato Coulis

    Breakfast for dinner? Yes. But with chunks of hearty chicken sausage, and crispy yukon gold potatoes, and a spicy tomato coulis this dinner was delicious and satisfying in a completely different way from breakfast. And on the first snow of the year (yes…in OCTOBER) we were happy to be full, satisfied, and back under our blankets in no time.


    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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    Corned Beef with Potatoes and Braised Brussels Sprouts

    Tonight, Matt made dinner. Not to say that he isn’t usually involved…but tonight he did the whole thing from start to finish. It was amazing…simple but so full of flavor. It simmered all day while we lounged and relaxed. We ate in a pouring rain storm. Leftovers are in the fridge and we’re feeling warm and comforted on this chilly, rainy night.

    Tuscan Fries

    Matt and I had a bit of a decadent meal last week. Well, decadent for us. We try to sneak whole grains in wherever possible, use healthier fats, and stay away from excess (which, naturally, is loosely defined) calories and fat. So last week’s steak (wonderfully rare), corn with butter, and Tuscan fries with aioli were an incredible treat. These fries are amazing because of their simplicity: good olive oil, fresh rosemary, kosher salt, and garlicky aioli for dipping. But they can be made in a variety of different ways depending on time restraints, texture preferences, or ease of preperation. I’ve made a list of a few possible methods so you can choose for yourself…

    Steak with Mustard and Red Wine Sauce, Roasted Parmesan Potatoes, and Zucchini and Portobello Saute

    As I’ve said many times before, I love a good steak. One of the reasons I love it is because of the simplicity of it. With a good steak, all you have to do is cook it and you’re done. You don’t need anything extra or fancy. It’s just that good.

    Nevertheless, when my friend Terri said she’d been craving a steak, we both thought it might be fun to step it up a notch. We thought of the warm flavors we appreciate so much in the winter, and since it’s nearly gone (YES!) we thought we’d pay it one last tribute before switching over to crisper, sunnier sauces and sidedishes.

    A warm, smooth mustard sauce was just the ticket. We deepened its flavor with herbs and red wine, and it was perfect – just enough to compliment the steak without drowning out the meat’s own natural flavor. With some piping hot potatoes and a zucchini-mushroom sauté, we were in food heaven.

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