The best season of all is here: the season of… chocolate!! I am the type of person who goes a little nuts for dark chocolate with bold flavor combinations. One of my favorite chocolate bars is perfumed with Earl Grey tea, and another is seasoned with sea salt and black pepper. By far the strangest chocolate I ever tried was infused with tobacco, an odd yet pleasing experience. My mom used to make a divine chocolate cake whose batter is generously speckled with fresh chopped basil, and that’s what got me thinking about trying some other herbs with chocolate. Rosemary was my hands-down winner. It lends a warm and earthy aroma to these rich rye brownies which make a sweet Valentine’s Day treat.
I’m on a bean kick, as you may have noticed with the last blogpost. And today, I’ve got a delicious lima bean stew for you. It’s easy to make and has a deep warming flavor from the use of green olives, smoked paprika, red wine, and plenty of garlic. Served with grated parmesan and crusty sourdough bread, it’s a perfect winter meal.
Out of all the delicious things you can grow in a garden, it’s beans that really capture my heart. Yes, plain old, good old beans. They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, so there’s always new varieties to discover. Eating fresh snap beans throughout the summer months is a great pleasure, but I find it even more enjoyable to harvest dry beans that you can store through the whole year, enjoying the bounty of your garden through the winter months.
Remember when I wrote about teff, the world’s tiniest grain? Well, it turns out teff has a close contender and although amaranth is a wee bit bigger, it is another tiny but very mighty grain, one well-worth getting to know. Amaranth is an incredibly nutritious, tasty, and gluten-free little grain that is under-appreciated yet relatively easy to find in health food stores. It’s very high in protein, calcium, iron, and magnesium. So move over quinoa, it’s time for amaranth to get a little bit of the love!
It’s no secret that I’m a member of the kale-obsessed, that strange breed of people who could eat kale every day of their lives.
The first time I saw a slice of chocolate salami, my heart skipped a beat. Imagine the consistency and richness of a chocolate truffle, but now imagine a whole roll of the stuff, peppered with tiny morsels of all your favorite things: candied ginger, pistachios, almonds, and crispy amaretti cookies…
If you’re wondering what to do with your leftovers after Thanksgiving, here’s a great way to repurpose all that turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. This turkey shepherd’s pie is a one-skillet dish that’s easy to make and guaranteed to be gobbled up.
In one of my favorite episodes of “The Mind of a Chef“, Sean Brock declares that there is no greater pleasure than making corn grits from corn you grew yourself. I couldn’t agree more, though in my case, the pleasure comes from making cornbread.