Wild mushroom and gorgonzola quesadillas

Quesadillas:  like toasted cheese…with a twist

Originally appeared in the February 23, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

The quesadilla.  After nabbing my first foodservice gig at a Mexican restaurant back in the winter of 1997, this easily-accessible eatable is one of the first dishes I emulated in my kitchen (well, my mom’s kitchen—I was still living at home).  The quesadilla was like a grown-up grilled cheese; and as a nineteen-year-old honing his cooking skills, its low-labor execution was particularly appealing.

It stands to reason that many of you have experienced variations of the venerable toasted tortilla-and-cheese-and-protein trio.  And while this week’s installment is far from radical, it offers just enough nuance to deliver a nice change of pace.  More after the jump: (more…)

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Chicken and smoked sausage gumbo

Go-to gumbo delivers hearty Fat Tuesday

Originally appeared in the February 16, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

This upcoming Tuesday is of the “fat” variety.  Next week is Mardi Gras, and what better way to celebrate than stewing up a batch of that gastronomic delicacy know as gumbo.

As with many dishes in the canon of Cajun cuisine, there are two fundamental components with gumbo:  1) trinity and 2) roux.  Popularized by native Louisianan chef Paul Prudhomme, the trinity—or “holy” trinity—is a riff on the French mixture known as mirepoix, an aromatic trio of onion, celery, and carrot; but here, the Creole variation replaces carrot with bell pepper.  More after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on February 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm  Comments (2)  
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Spinach artichoke dip

Take this dip for a “spin”

Originally appeared in the February 9, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

Dips can be questionable.  We’ve all been there:  a casserole dish, wreathed with crispy chips, is filled with what looks like a delicious mixture; yet what you discover is not some savory creation, but rather a suspicious cream cheese concoction or a crock of molten mayonnaise.  Many of these dips are afterthoughts—people literally dump a few ingredients together in the name of saving time.  Read more: (more…)

Beef and chipotle chili with móle

Doctored chili changes up game plan

Originally appeared in the February 2, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

If you’ve glimpsed the (nearly inescapable) coverage on our local news broadcasts, or given a cursory glance at an Indy newspaper, then you know this year’s Super Bowl holds special interest for our city.  And if you watch and listen closely, you’ll notice the emphasis on celebrating this beloved occasion with food.  (There have even been several stories on the veritable horseshoe of food trucks that have intermittently surrounded Monument Circle.)

While there are traditional, football-friendly dishes, game-day grub varies from tribe to tribe.  But there’s something special about chili—a savory, communal stew that satiates the demands of a party in terms of both quality and quantity.  Though, as far as tradition goes, I’ve made a few adjustments for this one.  Read more after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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