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…)

Caprese salad with basil oil and balsamic syrup

The case for Caprese

Originally appeared in the July 7, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

My reticence in featuring a Caprese salad was rooted in my unflinching suspicion that it’d been overdone—that readers would glance at the recipe’s title only to supply an uninspired mental shrug.  Currently, the Caprese salad is a pervasive staple on restaurant menus.  But sadly, many of these interpretations are poorly executed, doing little justice to such a renowned and refreshing pairing.  Yet, properly prepared, the effects are culinarily indelible.  Read the rest after the jump: (more…)