• ny strip steak fig balsamic
    Dinner

    Skillet NY Strip with Balsamic-Fig Reduction

    Rob has been on fire recently with his recipe ideas. He has come up with a couple of different ways to make a Skillet Steak with a sauce. This was something that Rob had been talking about cooking for a while, but we hadn’t really gotten around to it. We ended up having a couple of opportunities pop up recently for celebratory or date night dinners. These steak recipes fit the occasions perfectly. Like I said, Rob did all of the cooking. He made the steak with a fairly simple preparation. Start by searing in a skillet on each side to lock in the flavor and then stick in the…

  • Salsa Verde
    Side Dish

    Salsa Verde

    Who doesn’t like salsa? Not may people I am guessing. A Salsa Verde is a really great way to mix up your salsa game. It tends to be really bright and the flavor is a little different than a traditional tomato salsa. Tomatillos provide that difference. Tomatillos are a lot of fun to use. They look really funny when they have their husk on them. Tomatillos comes from the “ground cherry” family of plants. The fruit is enclosed in a papery husk that needs to be removed before use. Something else to look out for is that tomatillos is that under that husk is a sticky, waxy residue that you…

  • Brisket Enchilada
    Dinner

    Brisket Enchiladas

    Brisket is easily one of my favorite cuts of beef. It is loaded with natural flavor and when cooked right is perfectly tender. The downside is the “cooked right” part of that previous statement. Brisket HAS to be cooked slowly, its a meat that takes a low and slow approach. That’s why it is definitely a good meat for some make-ahead prep. For these enchiladas, we wanted to go with a brisket for the meat. So, cooking the meat in advance became a requirement. Pot roasting it with a lot of classic Tex-Max flavors in advance provides a great starting point for the enchiladas that would follow. I used some…

  • IPA Braised Chicken Thighs
    Dinner

    IPA-Braised Chicken Thighs

    Braising chicken thighs is one of my favorite cooking methods.  It only takes about an hour in the oven, but can provide a real depth of flavor that you just can’t get from other methods. The nice thing about this cooking technique is that it really works with such a wide variety of culinary styles. Traditionally, I tend to use classic flavors like garlic, wine, mustard, etc. While this is great, it can sometimes feel uninteresting. For this recipe, I set out to make something a bit unique. I really wanted a light combination of flavors that felt bright and good for the warm weather. The answer was a few…

  • Dinner

    Brown Butter Cream Sauce Pasta

    I have to say Rob has been on fire with his recipe ideas recently, this Brown Butter Cream Sauce Pasta being the most recent. Not sure where the idea came from (he’s not either), but it was a real winner. It reminded both of us of a cream sauce pasta from one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Old Town Alexandria, VA. That dish is a cheese stuffed pasta with a rich creamy sauce that is deceptively filling (maybe get 6 pieces of pasta, but its enough). I know I’ve seen brown butter used in a lot of baking recipes recently but not as much in the general cooking arena.…

  • chicken milanese
    Dinner

    Chicken Milanese

    Milanese is in theory a super simple way to prepare chicken or veal. In practice, Milanese can take many forms or techniques. Unfortunately, not all of those work as well as some others. Thankfully for all of you reading this, I have picked up a few tricks that work pretty well with a little trial and error. So, first the basics: Milanese is basically pan-fried breaded cutlets. Its effectively the Italian form of schnitzel. Typically, you will see Milanese as either chicken or veal and it tends to be served with a lighter side like the salad I paired this with. I dressed the salad with a mustard and champagne…

  • ina garten pasta
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Ina Garten’s Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe Pasta

    Right upfront, I am not posting a recipe for this one since it seems to be a cookbook only recipe from Ina Garten. We decided to make this Ina Garten recipe as an experiment on how to use broccoli rabe properly. We were looking through Ina’s Cook Like a Pro book for something to make for lunch. This recipe really caught my eye since it looked great and sounded simple. Thats the exact kind of pasta recipe I look for as a lunch. This is one of those super simple dishes that is really flavorful. This will be a great addition to our summer pasta rotation since its really light…

  • orzo pasta salad
    Lunch

    Blue Cheese & Brussels Pasta Salad

    Orzo pasta salad is one of my favorite light summery lunch options. You can do a lot with it and its a really light option for a hot day. Rob and I make cold orzo salads a lot in the summer for weekend lunches and then for work lunches with the leftovers. There is an awesome outdoor concert venue near DC called Wolftrap. Wolftrap allows you to bring a picnic (with alcohol!!!) to enjoy a concert. Our first summer in DC after getting married we went almost every weekend for date nights and orzo pasta salad featured heavily on our picnic menu. The version we brought was actually based on…

  • lemon tarragon pasta
    Dinner

    Lemon-Tarragon Pasta

    This Lemon-Tarragon Pasta is my first warm weather focused pasta of the year. I wanted to focus on bright flavors with a nice creamy pasta (one of my favorites if you can’t tell from like the 10+ recipes I have on the blog). What I really like is that once you master a base sauce, you can start throwing new meats, veggies, or herbs in there to really give a whole new recipe. This one started on the bones of a classic favorite of mine: my Bertucci’s clone pasta. Its a great simple cream sauce that you can make in varying proportions to lighten it up or make it much…

  • roast chicken thigh
    Dinner

    Peach-Bourbon Chicken Thighs

    It’s finally starting to feel like Spring. The weather is warming up and new ingredients are starting to show up in stores. To me this means it’s time to bring out some lighter, brighter flavors to correspond to the season. As a go transition into Spring, I wanted a slightly hearty but brightly flavored recipe. This roast chicken thigh dish was my solution. I historically have braised chicken thighs, but to make life a little easier I wanted to try a simple, classic French style roast. I love this style of cooking, its just so simple and you can really explore flavors. Lesson learned though, make sure to baste a…