Dish of the Week: Seafood Fra Diavolo

Categories: Recipes

HOU_FOOD_20150220_FraDiavolo_Flickr.jpg
Photo by Cooking etc.
Add as many kinds of seafood as you like.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're covering seafood fra diavolo.

Italian for "brother devil," fra diavolo sauce is a hot-pepper-loaded, tomato-based sauce that is commonly used to coat seafood and pasta. Though the fiery seafood dish may seem to be Italian in origin, it is much heavier than the kind of fare served in Italy. Instead, it likely originated in Italian-American restaurants in New York in the mid 1900s.

Whoever created it, we're glad they did. The zesty, chile-and-garlic-studded red sauce is often served over linguine or spaghetti with lobster, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, clams or all of the above.


More »

Dish of the Week: French Onion Soup

Categories: Recipes

HOU_FOOD_20150213_FrenchOnionSoup_Flickr.jpg
Photo by Mr.TinDC
Get this rich soup in while its still kind a cool out.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we figured we'd get one more (slightly) cold weather recipe in before it warms up for good. We're covering French onion soup.

Made simply with onions and stock and often served with toasted bread and melted cheese on top, the origins of French onion soup can be traced back to Roman times. Back then, the abundance of onions made onion soup a popular food amongst peasants. It wasn't until the 18th century France that the dish was fancified. Caramelized onions and beef broth gave the soup a richer base, while the addition of croutons and gooey cheese added a buttery bite.

Today, the soup can be made with a variety of stocks and cheeses, from veal and chicken stock to nutty Gruyere and fontina cheese. You'll also often find the addition of wine, brandy, or sherry.

Although it may seem like something to reserve for the steakhouse, French onion soup is incredibly easy to make at home.


More »

Dish of the Week: Buttermilk Pie

Categories: Recipes, Sweets

HOU_FOOD_20150206_ButtermilkPie_Flickr.jpg
Photo by Ralph Daily
Buttermilk brings a great tang to this classic sweet pie.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're sharing a sweet Southern classic: buttermilk pie.

Buttermilk pie is a custard pie made with, you guessed it buttermilk. Though it's known as a dessert popular in the Southern United States, its origins are likely from the U.K.

The dessert is often confused with chess pie; though chess pie contains cornmeal and occasionally corn syrup, where buttermilk pie does not. Instead, buttermilk pie is made simply with buttermilk, sugar, butter, eggs and flour. Variations include the addition of vanilla extract, lemon zest, fruit, or even chocolate.

The mixture is poured into a traditional pie crust; then baked until it sets and gets a crisp, caramelized top. The result is a rich, slightly tangy, and ultra creamy pie that is melts in your mouth with each bite.


More »

Dish of the Week: Braciole

Categories: Recipes

slicedbranch.jpg
Photo by Rob Spinella
Braciole

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're covering a classic Italian comfort food: braciole.

Braciole are thin slices of meat -- usually beef, pork, or chicken -- that are stuffed, rolled, and browned in a frying pan before being braised and smothered in a sauce, usually tomato. The rolls are also known as involtini in Italy, "involti" literally meaning "little bundles." Those tender and delicious bundles are often loaded with things like cheese, breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, mushrooms, prosciutto, sausage, parsley, golden raisins, and pine nuts, just to name a few.

Italian-Americans commonly cook beef braciole alongside meatballs, pork and sausage, all of which get thrown into a "Sunday gravy." We suggest you make them a part of your Sunday ritual, too.


More »

Dish of the Week: Arroz con Pollo

Categories: Recipes

HOU_FOOD_20150126_ArrozConPollo_Flickr.jpg
Photo by Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez
This simple dish can be elegant, too.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're sharing a recipe for arroz con pollo.

Literally meaning "rice with chicken," arroz con pollo is a traditional Spanish dish that is also common throughout Latin America. A variation on the Spanish paella -- which consists of seafood, chorizo, and chicken -- this simpler dish is made with only chicken.

Both paella and arroz con pollo and have their roots in 8th century Spain, when the Moorish occupation influenced Spanish imports, exports, and ultimately the way Spaniards ate. Most importantly, the Moors brought an irrigation system, which introduced rice -- a major staple in Spanish cuisine -- to the region. But traces of the Moorish culture can also be seen in the spices used in the rice dish, mainly saffron, cumin, and coriander, which were included for both color and flavor. The Moors also commonly ate communal dishes which were shared and passed around the table, as are arroz con pollo and paella.

Though some variations of arroz con pollo include chorizo as well, recipes generally call for chicken, rice, sofrito (a mix of garlic, peppers, and onions), chicken stock, and sometimes olives, capers, or spices and herbs like saffron, bay leaf, coriander and cumin.


More »

Drink This: The Royal Flush

Categories: Booze, Recipes

HOU_FOOD_20150119_RoyalFlush_JoannaOLeary.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Royal Flush Cocktail

Baby, it's (sort of) cold outside.

To warm your hands and your heart, mix up a Royal Flush. This boozy berry cocktail provides a latent soothing heat that softens the hard edges of a stressful day at the DMV and provides rejuvenation after that six-hour sober baby shower.

Perhaps as delightful as the stone-fruit flavors of the Royal Flush is the double entendre contained in its name. A royal flush denotes the highest hand in poker, thus suggesting the superiority of this cocktail to other whiskey drinks, and after two or three, you're likely to sport a "royal" flush. So don't drink more than one if you're actually in a high-stakes game of cards.


More »

Dish of the Week: Caesar Salad (w/ Homemade Croutons & Dressing)

Categories: Recipes

HOU_FOOD_20150119_CaesarSalad_LarryHoffman.jpg
Photo by Larry Hoffman
Make your own dressing...it's worth it.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're sharing a recipe for the classic Caesar salad.

Often prepared table-side, Caesar salad is made of romaine lettuce and croutons tossed with a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, egg yolk, anchovy, parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, black pepper and (sometimes) anchovy.

Despite what one may think, the salad was not created by Julius Caesar. Instead, it is said to have been invented by Italian-born restaurateur Caesar (Cesare) Cardini, who emigrated to the U.S. and opened a restaurant named Caesar's. In 1924, Cardini created the dish during a rush that hit the restaurant's kitchen supplies hard. He used whatever he had on hand and added flair to the dish by preparing it table-side. Pretty soon, Caesar salad was a hit. Even the famed Julia Child recalls eating the restaurant's namesake salad when she was a child in the 1920s.

Savory, crunchy, cheesy, salty and rich without compromising its light, fresh flavor, we get why Caesar salad is so popular. Thankfully, making a homemade Caesar dressing is incredibly easy and about ten times tastier that any store-bought variety.

More »

Dish of the Week: Pasta e Fagioli

Categories: Recipes

HOU_FOOD_2015_PastaeFagioli_Flickr.jpg
Photo by Jessica Spengler
Cold? This comforting pasta e fagioli will warm you right up.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're keeping things warm and cozy with the classic Pasta e Fagioli.

Literally meaning "pasta and beans", pasta e fagioli is a traditional Italian soup made with cannellini, kidney, or borlotti beans and some type of small pasta, usually elbow macaroni or ditalini. Because of its inexpensive ingredients, the soup had its origins in the Italian countryside, where it was a popular peasant dish.

There are several regional variations on the dish, including the addition of smoked pork bone in the region of Veneto or a thicker version of the soup made with pancetta and mixed pasta shapes in Bari. Although there are several components you can add, the base of the soup is most always made using olive oil, garlic, onion, spices, and (sometimes) stewed tomato or tomato paste. Whatever way you make it, the comforting hearty soup makes for the perfect cold weather meal.


More »

Dish of the Week: Huevos Rancheros

Categories: Recipes

huevosrancheros_1.jpg
Photo by Darren and Justine
This simple and hearty meal is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're moving on to huevos rancheros.

Huevos rancheros are a Mexican breakfast dish traditionally made with fried eggs and lightly fried corn tortillas topped with a chili-tomato sauce. Also known as ranch eggs, the dish was a small meal that farmers would have at dawn before their larger mid-morning breakfast.

Though there are many variations of it -- with things like cheese and grilled chiles -- the tortilla, salsa and egg dish is often served along with refried or black beans, rice, and avocado or guacamole. One popular version is "huevos divorciados", or divorced eggs -- where two eggs are served in the usual style, but with a different sauce on each (usually a red and a green chili sauce).

More »

Dish of the Week: Hoppin' John, a New Year's Day Classic

hoppinjohn.jpg
Photo by urbanfoodie33
And if it doesn't bring wealth and prosperity, at least it's delicious.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're sharing a recipe perfect for New Year's Day: Hoppin' John.

Hoppin' John is a popular Southern dish made of black-eyed peas and rice, often with bacon or ham hock and chopped onion mixed in. In the Low Country of South Carolina, field peas (which are smaller than black-eyed peas) are common.

The first written recipe for Hoppin' John appeared in The Carolina Housewife in 1847, though most food historians agree the American Southern dish has its roots in African/French/Caribbean cuisine.

In the South, the dish is eaten New Year's Day to bring wealth and prosperity into the new year, with the peas symbolizing pennies or coins. Sometimes, a coin is even left under supper bowls or added to the pot. Another tradition is leaving three peas on your plate to ensure a year filled with luck, fortune and romance. It is often served with collard, mustard or turnip greens, as the green color also symbolizes wealth. Eaten the day after New Year's Day, the dish is referred to as Skippin' Jenny, and it is said to demonstrate one's determination of frugality.

But no matter when or how you eat it, the comfort food classic is delicious.


More »
Loading...