Steamed clams with garlic and basil

Steamed clams: this shell game’s a snap

Originally appeared in the September 29, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Recalling his days as an English teacher, and the workload that went along with the job, Stephen King wrote that by the end of the work week, his brain felt like it’d been hooked up to jumper cables.  No matter your personal vocation, I bet you can relate.  So here’s a recipe that’s just atypical enough to give a little variety to a hum-drum meal; and its labor-light execution invites you to sit down, relax, and do as little work as possible.  More after the jump: (more…)

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Blue cheese, peach, and port wontons

Tiny wontons are tons of fun

Originally appeared in the September 22, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

This week, I’m plating a treat that’s crispy, bite-sized, and pleasantly addictive.  In addition to providing the crunchy shell for egg rolls, wonton wrappers are the thin dough commonly used to create pot stickers, gyoza, and other Asian-based dumplings.  But really—because of their versatility—the wrappers can be used for a host of culinary inventions.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Cast-iron chicken with apple cider orzo

A guilt-free glimpse at fall

Originally appeared in the September 15, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

“It tastes like alternative Thanksgiving.”  That was my wife’s initial reaction when presented with this dish.  Although the mere mention of the aforementioned holiday may seem preemptive, it’s honestly not that far away.  And besides, I knew what she was meant—you have the bird, the herbs, and so many flavors of fall.  Continue reading after the jump: (more…)

Chicken tikka with mint chutney

Get your kicks with chicken tikka

Originally appeared in the September 08, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

The most painful part of this recipe is waiting for the chicken to absorb the marinade.  But three or four hours of patience will grant you a spicy prize.  And while there’s an intricate showcase of spices, you’ll discover the procedure to be frighteningly simple.

Chicken tikka has its origin in Indian cuisine.  Traditionally, the meat is grilled, and some regions call for the meat to be cooked directly over hot coals.  I’ll leave that up to you—just know that using an ordinary cast-iron grill pan will work just fine.  Check out more after the jump: (more…)