Brie-and-pear toasted cheese

A top-shelf melt

Originally appeared in the August 25, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

As far as “Fair Food” goes, this summer I had a minor set-back.  You might be familiar with the venerated Dairy Bar up at the Indiana State Fairgrounds—a pasteurized plethora of milkshakes, frozen custards, and hand-dipped ice cream.  Yet there’s another item for which fair-goers obediently fall in line: the Dairy Bar’s grilled cheese.

In the past, your standard American-on-white sandwich (traditionally delicious as it may be) was featured on a menu alongside nuanced offerings such as Colby- and gouda-on-wheat.  Yet—alas, this season—my love for the latter strata of cheese-and-wheat went unrequited.  This year, I was crestfallen to read the Dairy Bar’s menu, sans gouda.  More after the jump: (more…)

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Poached eggs on crostini with pistou

Over easy like Sunday morning

Originally appeared in the August 18, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

There’s a Depeche Mode song that asks, “Is simplicity best, or simply the easiest?”  My answer is, well, sometimes both.  Case in point:  this recipe.  As a high school teacher—and with the tidal wave of the new schoolyear swelling on the horizon—relaxing with my family on the weekends is a premium.  So when it comes to breakfast and brunch, it doesn’t hurt to keep things simple and easy.  Read the rest after the jump: (more…)

Pan-seared beef filet with pearled barley salad

Steak and barley—nothing odd about this couple

Originally appeared in the August 11, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Just because you hear the word “steak” doesn’t automatically imply “heavy.”  Today, I’m talking about filet mignon—appealing to stout appetites in the mood for something filling, yet dainty enough to guard off guilt.  And buying this coveted cut of beef doesn’t mean breaking the bank.  A thick, center-cut filet will do the trick for a duo of diners.  This is a summertime dish, after all.  Read more here: (more…)

Ahi tuna with asparagus and edamame salad

Chill out without a grill out

Originally appeared in the August 4, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

With this seemingly unceasing heat wearing out its welcome, it’s safe to assume that toiling in front of the gas grill sounds like torture.  So if you’re waving the white flag at the oppressive temperatures, no sweat.  Just relax and enjoy this easy recipe in the A/C.  Read more after the jump: (more…)