I came across an extra leg of lamb in the freezer the other day and was inspired to use it in an upcoming dinner. I did a bit of research on a few recipes and came across this recipe from Food and Wine that I used as inspiration. I added more vegetables to the roasting pan and tweaked the cooking instructions a bit. Instead of pulling the lamb from the oven when the internal temp reads 145 take it out when it hits 140, it will reach 145 as it sits. This recipe is a bit time consuming but is very simple and turns out a delicious leg of lamb. I also have to give credit to Jamison Farm, we order our lamb from these guys for Easter and usually throw in a few other cuts into the shopping cart. They have fantastic quality lamb and I would recommend checking them out. Enjoy!
Over the weekend I went back and made some improvements to the poached shrimp in Old Bay butter. In the end I completely changed the recipe and the results were even better than I expected. I used the same poaching method to cook the shrimp. However for the sauce I changed nearly everything. Instead of using Old Bay I switched to a Cajun seasoning, which kicks up the spice level. I also switched to a oil and butter base, which does a better job at coating the shrimp and is great for dipping bread. I also added in some chopped up hot banana peppers, an idea I came across when I ordered the Cajun shrimp appetizer at The Irish Rover Station House. Give this recipe a try, it’s quick and easy to make and is a real crowd pleaser, Enjoy!
I have become a big fan of using rice noodles in Asian dishes. They are much lighter than pasta and have a great soft texture. I mostly use them when I make pad thai. However, last night I decided make a new dish using rice noodles. This dish is based off of the hot pepper noodles recipe from Bon Appetite. I was a bit skeptical of this dish when I started making it. I thought it would be overwhelmed by the chili garlic sauce but the sauce had a subtle heat and great flavor. The oyster sauce, soy sauce,ans chili sauce blend well together. This quick and easy dinner is great to make during the week. Enjoy!
Over the weekend I made braised beef short ribs for dinner. A warning before you attempt this recipe, it is fairly simple technique-wise but it will take 3-3 and a half hours to make. However, the time is more than worth it for the final product. To come up with this recipe I combined a few recipes I had researched online while looking up how to make this dish. I am a fan of peppers so I added a few into the mirepoix mixture.
When buying the short ribs see if your butcher can cut the ribs into 2 inch pieces cut crosswire, this allows the ribs to fit in the pot and be covered by the braising liquid. After the ribs are done it is important to remove them from the liquid then strain the liquid to remove some of the fat. You then return the liquid to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil to reduce down for 5-10 minutes. As it boils add salt and pepper to taste. You can serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes or polenta. With the weather in the Northeast getting cooler this is perfect for an Autumn or Winter weekend. Enjoy!
This past weekend I went down to Richmond Virginia to visit my sister. First I need to say that Richmond is a great food and beer city. There are numerous bars and restaurants with great food and drink. Before going down to Richmond I did some research looking for a few restaurants to check out and I stumbled across En Su Boca, a taqueria and cantina that just opened up a few weeks ago. The name is Spanish for “in your mouth” and pokes fun at the fact that the building that now houses En Su Boca used to be a notorious adult bookstore.
We got to En Su Boca around 1130 for an early lunch. Their menu is simple but the food is high quality and very delicious. My sister and I ordered chicken, carne asada, carnitas, chorizo, and fish tacos. The tacos were incredible. Each one tasted fresh and you could tell that the chefs took their time on constructing the recipe for each taco. My favorite was the carne asada taco followed closely by the fish taco. We also got a side of drunken beans and chips and salsa. The chips came with three different kinds of salsa; a pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, and a habanero salsa. The habanero salsa had a good sweetness then finished with quite the kick. My favorite salsa was the tomatillo salsa. The service was superb, the wait staff were very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful and answered any questions we had about the menu.
If you find yourself in Richmond I highly recommend checking En Su Boca out, you wont be disappointed! You can find their a link to their website and facebook page below.
While I was in London I had my first glass (well it turned into a pitcher) of Pimms and lemonade. Usually when I am in England I am a strict real ale guy. However, it was a nice summer day and I decided it would be a good idea to try a traditional English summer drink. Pimms is a gin based liqueur usually served over ice or with lemonade (not still lemonade, more of a lemon lime soda something along the lines of sprite or seven-up) I was surprised at how much I liked the drink. It was very refreshing and made for a nice break as Gemma and I walked around London. If you are looking for a nice change of pace try a Pimms and lemonade for a refreshing summer drink.
I was in the grocery store last week and saw that they had some soft shell crab. I bought a few and decided to fry them up for dinner. I decided to go with a simple tempura style batter. The batter was very light and turned out much better than I thought it would. The next time I make this I would try to incorporate some panko bread crumbs into the batter. I also threw together a nice Asian coleslaw to serve with the crabs. You can find the recipes below.
I had a few crabs left over and decided to make a soft shell crab sandwich the next day. The coleslaw worked well with the crab and I made up a nice wasabi soy mayo to put on the bread. It turned out to be a great way to use up the left over crabs. Enjoy!
Sorry about the lack of new posts the last few weeks but I was over in England for a few weeks visiting my girlfriend Gemma. I just got back on Friday so the blogging will be picking up quite a bit. Expect to see a lot of England centric posts over the next week or two. I am also competing in a Rib Off on August 24th and will be keeping you updated on the process of determining the rub, sauce, or glaze I will be using as well as the cooking process and contest results. I also have another project in the works that I am working on and will reveal more later on. Stay tuned for the exciting stuff coming up on Smartchefblog!
Hello! Lindsey here, while Greg is over in England for a couple weeks, he left his blog in my hands. A little background for you, I am Greg’s younger sister and I recently moved away from home to RIchmond, Virginia. Like Greg, I am also a foodie and love eating, cooking, and trying a variety of food.
Tonight on the menu was a Korean Curry, this dish had the perfect amount of spice and flavor. As other curries are known to be over-powering, this curry hit the nail on the head and is quite different from the more popular Indian Curry. I can not take credit for this recipe, I helped my roommate Melissa cook this wonderful concoction tonight.
We started first by browning ground beef in a large pot, while the meat was cooking, we chopped the veggies (carrot, potato, onion, garlic, zucchini, green onion) and added them to the pan–to brown.
While the meat and veggies were cooking, we stirred together the curry powder into two cups of water, then added this to the pan with the meat and veggies. Then we stirred together until well blended and added 1 more cup of water. Stir. Simmer about 10 minutes and add the peas with about 3 minutes remaining. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over rice or noodles.
This recipe is extremely easy to cook and has exceptional flavor. The curry powder may be harder to come by, as my roommate bought it at an Asian market and the packaging is mostly in Korean, but below I posted a picture of the packaging for an easy find.
As this is my first post, I am not yet familiar with the format of the blog, so I will just post the recipe below:
Korean Curry- 10 tablespoons of powdered curry
1/3 ground beef
2 large carrots
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch green onion
Handful frozen peas
I made this sauce last week and it is delicious, a definite step up from store bought hot sauces. It is not overpoweringly spicy and has great flavor to go along with the heat. Go out and give this one a try.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of my brother, who not only is an expert beer brewer, but an expert hot sauce maker as well. This hot sauce has depth, viscosity, flavor, texture and just a hint of sweetness. All of the ingredients are slow-roasted and simmered together with very little interference from anything other than a splash of apple cider vinegar. I had no idea that hot sauce could be this good. My brother has been sharing this sauce with his coworkers and never has any left over. However, he offered to share it with me after hearing me complain over beers about the spicy hot vinegar that passes for hot sauce in most restaurants, as we sat outside watching the fireflies light up the trees like Christmas lights, seeing if the shooting stars would trump them in brightness like we did when we were kids.
The main ingredient here…
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