To me, fish has always instilled a certain appeal of looking clean and pure when it comes to flavor profile and presentation. Call me bizarre, but it just looks so elegant and delicate. When cooked, its flaky pieces gently break apart and goes well with a myriad of different sauces, salsas, toppings, and sides. It offers a different texture and consistency than chicken, beef, or other proteins, and is a great change of pace. This entry celebrates cooked fish, yet sushi is also near and dear to my heart. Perhaps you will eventually see a foray of mine into that beautiful, edible art.
The Burger. It’s been done before, and seemingly every which way. From how it’s cooked and the meat temperature, to the innumerable combinations of toppings and condiments, hamburgers have been there, done that. We all have our favorites and stand by them staunchly, whether it be from a restaurant or your own backyard poolside grill. I come before you today, not insisting what I’m presenting is the best burger you will ever taste, nor the most ridiculously decked out behemoth. Rather, it’s a simple and solid entry in the novel of burger recipes already out there, and it is that pure simplicity that astonishes with flavor and juiciness (all that makes a burger good) which makes this so attractive.
Food processors are really nifty little devices. They’re similar to blenders but more specialized in their function. And they just inspire, in their own way. As I was purchasing my food processor, my mind was racing with ideas about all the things I could, and would, make. Heck, I really just wanted to do my best Vince Offer (the Slap Chop guy) imitation: a carefully prepped kitchen with fresh ingredients laying among a beautiful butcher’s block, just waiting to be chopped, minced, mixed, and blended. All done not with a capable knife, but some handy kitchen gadget while having your ears flooded by a borderline over-the-top quick-talker’s convincing that “YOU NEED THIS PRODUCT, HOW ARE YOU LIVING WITHOUT ONE?!” If you know me, you are undoubtedly smirking and nodding your head, thinking, “Yes, you Nick could definitely fill that role.” Alas, it is not so. Yet. But let’s not get confused- this post is not about the conveniences afforded by a food processor (or a Slap Chop), or about my affinity for playing ridiculous characters. Rather, it is about an example of what you can make with such an appliance as a food processor: Pesto.
Today’s post is brought to you by my lovely girlfriend, Katie, as she contributes to the deliciousness with a little something of her own. Typically not one to whip up extravagant meals, she does, however, have a knack for little treats. And that is exactly what we have here, as summer’s dying gasp seems to be upon us with the triple-digit temperature days sputtering- Strawberry Sorbet.
Tapas. Not “topless”. I cannot tell you how many raised eyebrows I receive when I tell people about the great local “tapas” restaurant my girlfriend and I visited. Tapas are small dishes of food, much like an appetizer, perhaps smaller. Typically of Spanish or Mediterranean style, they are shared among diners and foster a great atmosphere for conversation and good times around the table as people enjoy themselves and the variety of tasting several dishes. Obviously, I’m a big fan of tapas dining.
Today, I’d like to share with you two dishes that lend themselves particularly well as tapas examples, or, if you choose, can together be made into a light meal:Roasted Baby Potatoes Stuffed with Boursin cheese, and Cajun Garlic Butter Grilled Shrimp with Mango Coulis.
I thoroughly enjoy fruit. It contains a natural sweetness and juiciness and doesn’t make me feel guilty and gluttonous as if I had just eaten a box of sugar-glazed, chocolate-covered, maple-candied donuts (filled with the creme of a cadbury creme egg, no less). Whether it’s meticulously peeling and separating the pulp of a deliciously pink grapefruit, savoring the syrup-like consistency of a fresh raspberry, or trying not to make a mess of a succulent, ripe peach, I find myself looking for an excuse to indulge. Fruit also lends itself quite nicely to complementing or even stealing the show of many dishes, and I incorporate it into many things I cook.
What I have for you today could fit in as a sweet appetizer or a light dessert, and has been a popular treat among my friends- Roasted Stuffed Pears.
This food blog has been in the works for a while, and even though it is a showcase of homemade culinary creations, there are times when I must divulge where and what my taste buds find especially delicious that does not include something I prepared. This is one of those times.
Fear not, as the first entry to this blog does not contain a dish of my own, there are plenty of delectable things to come. But for this occasion, I have selected an establishment that has become near and dear to my heart for what it does: authentic deli sandwiches.
Jimmy & Drew’s is a gem residing inconspicuously in Boulder, CO, not among the popular Pearl Street mall shops and restuarants, or even the Hill (a popular area for local college kids); rather, it sits tucked near the corner of a strip mall on the side of a main road. Location be damned, the reputation of this place has national notoriety. Jimmy & Drew’s deli has been featured on Food Network, in national magazines, and noted on several vacationing sites as a place to visit for their authentic NY-style deli sandwiches. And let me tell you, these sandwiches are simply incredible. If you like the clean, tidy little things that pass as a sandwich from your nearby chain delicatessen, this isn’t for you. While Jimmy & Drew’s and other similar NY-style deli’s aren’t big on presentation, they pile on the meat, cheese, and veggies, maybe slather it with their homemade sauce, and package it in some bread that inevitably won’t be able to contain it. It’s a feast in your hands and you can’t be afraid to get it all over you. The sandwich rewards your tolerance with a bevy of flavors and textures as your teeth chomp down through the layers of goodness, and Jimmy & Drew’s delivers this experience in spades.