Baked Rice with Pineapple — Khao Ob Sapparod

This recipe is part of the Taste of Thai cooking classes (BLOCK 1: Sense of Cuisine. Introduction to Thai flavors, curry pastes, nam phrik kaeng). Pineapple rice is simple to make either for 2-3 people, or for a big crowd. It can be plated or beautifully served in halved pineapple boats. It’s a good way to use cooked long grain rice leftovers, as well as cooked lean meats, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. Personally, I cook all the ingredients for this dish form scratch. There are recipes that use only fish sauce and white pepper for seasoning. They are good for those who can’t tolerate any heat. I prefer variations with Thai green, red, and yellow curry pastes, adding more or less of them depending to my guests requests for the level of heat. I tried many ways to cook and serve this dish — all of them are delicious!

July 4, 2016
View the Post

Summer Vegetables Soup

The beginning is always the same — sauté some diced onions and grated carrots in melted butter and cream for color. Because beta-carotene in a carrot is fat soluble, this step is important for the final color of the soup and for making the best use of the nutrient. The rest in this recipe is variable — adjust it to your taste and diet!

April 20, 2016
View the Post

Basting Sauce for Japanese Grill

Tare (垂れ?, “tar-eh”) is a general term in Japanese cuisine for basting sauces used for grilling. Mannen Tare (10,000 year old sauce) is and old school tare created by continuous use in traditional yakitori joints, where skewers are partially grilled, dipped into the tare, and then grilled to doneness. Every dipped skewer brings some drippings of dissolved proteins and fats into the sauce, which makes its flavor more complex and concentrated. At home, we can make a pseudo version of tare adjusted to our taste.

April 20, 2016
View the Post

Ode to Texas Peaches: Peach & Pecan Churchkhella

The idea of Cowboy Peach & Pecan Leather comes from my childhood delicacy. It’s a natural fruit-n-nut snack popular in Georgia (ჩურჩხელა — Churchkhella). The main idea is to use what is locally plentiful and in season. In Central Texas, they are pecans and peaches. Unlike grape juice, 1 gallon of peach puree needs only 4 tablespoon of corn starch and 2-3 minutes of boiling to become thick enough for dipping.

March 19, 2016
View the Post

Mimosa Flower Confiture

This year, I made mimosa confiture of fresh flowers harvested on February 11, during the sunrise somewhere between Sonoma and Napa. Mixed with sugar, they traveled with me to for 4 days I spent in California. I have some Californian sun with me here in Texas now.

This recipe makes a delicately sweet confiture with naturally preserved mimosa flower flavor. It’s incredible with soft creamy cheeses like triple cream camembert, ricotta, or chevre. One tbsp of of flowers form the bottom of the jar makes a nice cup of tea.

February 21, 2016
View the Post

Romantic French Menu: Oyster Soup

“The reputation of oysters as an aphrodisiac has been confirmed. They contain zinc and other important trace minerals important for testosterone production.”
— Two for Tonight: Pure Romance from L’Auberge Chez François by Jacques E. Haeringer.

January 27, 2016
View the Post

Heart Warming Winter Drinks: Scottish Posset

Last year I experimented with old recipes and, surprise surprise, didn’t find traditional possets pleasing at all. Well, I don’t mind curdled milk, but not with hot alcohol like ale or sherry. The only variation I enjoyed was my own “invention” — hot frothed milk flavored with honey (or caramel) and whiskey. Not curdled. This winter I spent more time researching hot milk and whiskey drinks and found Scottish Posset and Scáiltín. There is very little information available about them. I do not know how traditional or popular they are now. The only difference between the Scottish Posset and “my” recipe is the thickener. I used Xanthan gum instead of oatmeal. I couldn’t resist to modify the recipe a little, There is no reason to strain oats, if you have a good blender. They add velvety viscosity to the drink.

January 10, 2016
View the Post

Romantic Food Goes Texan: Texas Quail, Peaches, Pecans, and Texmati

Cooking together is one of the most romantic activities! This recipe requires cooking rice, quails, and sauce at the same time. While the logistics are easy for pros, it might be challenging for home cooks. That’s where cooking with loving partner might be highly beneficial. Come to my kitchen and I’ll teach you every step. Make this dish your special for special occasions!

January 9, 2016
View the Post

Heart Warming Winter Drinks: Black Mayan Sipping Chocolate

To respect Mayan-Aztec-Mexican chocolate traditions, this drink should be hot, thick, frothy, bitter, sweet, and spicy.

January 5, 2016
View the Post

Heart Warming Winter Drinks: Grog

…warmth, passion, and life, fueled by alcohol, stopped by no one and no single digit temperature. Warm hearts — that is all that we remembered feeling on that glorious cold day…

January 4, 2016
View the Post