Dish of the Week: Hamantaschen

Categories: Recipes

8508403148_114ddbeb95_m.jpg
Fill these pastry pockets with poppyseeds, raspberry, apricot, dates, walnuts, and more.
Photo by Meaghan O'Malley
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're sharing a recipe for hamantaschen.

Hamantaschen are filled triangular cookies or pastries that are typically eaten during Purim. According to judais.com, the word "hamantaschen" is a Yiddish word meaning "Haman's pockets" -- with Haman, being the villain in the story Purim. The pastries symbolize the Jewish people's escape from the enemy. The suffix "-tasche" references filled pouches of dough.

Though Purim isn't until March, the short bread-like cookies -- which are often filled with things like poppy seed, prunes, nuts, dates, apricot, raspberry, fruit preserves, chocolate, and even cream cheese -- would make a great addition to any holiday cookie exchange.

More »

Dish of the Week: Bulgogi

Categories: Meat!, Recipes

bulgogi_dish.jpg
Photo by Chloe Lim
Serve bulgogi the traditional way...or chopped it up and throw it into a cheese steak.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're looking at bulgogi.

Bulgogi is Korean dish of grilled, marinated beef that is said to have originated during the ancient Goguryeo era (37 BC-668 AD). Literally meaning "fire meat" in Korean, the beef is cooked on a gridiron over an open flame. Variations on the dish include dak bulgogi (made with chicken) and dwaeji bulgogi (made with pork).

Traditionally, bulgogi is made with thin slices of sirloin or other prime cuts of beef that are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and spices that works to both flavor and tenderize the meat (sometimes, things like ginger, scallions, and pureed pears are added to the mix). It is often grilled alongside cloves of garlic, sliced onion, and green peppers before being served with whole lettuce leaves and ssamjang (a spicy Korean chili paste) -- though many variations on the dish exist.

Today, you'll find it in everywhere. Here in Houston, you can get everything from Koagie Hots' bulgogi cheese steaks to bulgogi-smothered fries at places like Oh My Gogi! Food Truck.


More »

Dish of the Week: Mexican Hot Chocolate

Categories: Recipes, Sweets

mexhotcocoa.jpg
Photo by Juliana Su
You may as well serve the chocolate drink with churros for good measure.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

Just in case the weather actually gets colder for good this time, this week we're sharing a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Mexican hot chocolate is like classic hot cocoa in that it's made with heated milk, chocolate, and sugar. This drink, however, has added spices like cinnamon, vanilla, anise and chiles.

The beverage traces back to Mayan and Aztec cultures, where seeds from cocoa trees were ground into a paste, mixed with water, and flavored native spices and herbs to cover up the bitter taste. The word cocao is derived from the Nahuatl word xocolātl, meaning bitter water. Since it had a very sacred place in Central American culture, the scientific name of the cocoa plant is Theobroma cacao, with theobroma meaning "food of the gods."

Cold, thick, and intensely flavored. traditional xocolatl was quite the acquired taste. Once Europeans introduced sugar, however, it morphed into the slightly sweeter hot cocoa that we know and love today.

More »

Dish of the Week: Étouffée

Categories: How To, Recipes

etouffee.jpg
Photo by jc.winkler
Sometimes a little smothering is a good thing.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're sharing a recipe for a Louisiana classic: étouffée (or etouffee)

Étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fay) is a popular Cajun/Creole dish typically made with shellfish -- shrimp, crab, or crawfish -- and served over rice. Most popular is the crawfish version, which originated in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana sometime in the late 1920s/early 1930s. However it wasn't until 1983 -- when a waiter at the Bourbon Street restaurant Galatoire's served crawfish etouffee to his boss -- that the dish became a New Orleans staple.

The French word "étouffée" is derived from the verb "étouffer", meaning to smother, stuff, or stifle. When making the dish, the shellfish are literally smothered in a thick sauce that starts with a buttery, nutty roux and the holy trinity of Cajun cooking: onions, bell peppers, and celery. In Cajun cuisine, the roux is typically light or blond; While in Creole versions, the roux may be cooked longer to deepen the color and flavor -- and sometimes, tomatoes are added in.


More »

Nostalgic Thanksgiving Side: Broccoli Puff

Categories: Recipes

BroccoliPuff2.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Broccoli Puff
In a recent survey,* 79 percent of Americans admitted to enjoying side dishes more than the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Hardly a surprising result, certainly, as it's hard to compete with the smorgasboard chorus of stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes, etc., etc. In addition to the aforementioned standard sides, many families serve an outlier dish that has come to be a holiday tradition for one reason or another.

If in your family that dish is ambrosia, my deepest sympathies.

For the O'Leary clan, that outlier dish is Broccoli Puff, first introduced to the family by our beloved matriarch Margaret Berkeley O'Leary (1913-2014; yes, she lived to be 100, folks). Broccoli Puff is not a particularly novel or sophisticated dish and its main ingredients (cheese, cream of mushroom soup, broccoli) probably make it extremely similar to a dozen-odd other mid-Western casseroles of different names.

But that is neither here nor there because Broccoli Puff is damn good as well as amazing way to incorporate cruciferous vegetables (and mayonnaise!) into your Thanksgiving feast.

This article continues on the next page.

More »

Dish of the Week: Classic Bread Pudding

Categories: Recipes, Sweets

bread_pudding.jpg
Photo by opacity
A drizzle of caramel or whiskey sauce makes the sweet bread pudding extra decadent.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're indulging in a classic comfort food: Bread Pudding.

Bread pudding is a dessert consisting of stale bread that is soaked in a custard-like mixture before being baked. It is often spiced with things like cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla and served with a sweet sauce (whiskey, rum, chocolate or caramel based). We know the dish as a Southern classic, however it is popular all over the world, including in places like Argentina, Belgium, India, Ireland, the Philippines, Slovakia and the Puerto Rico, to name a few.

Food historians have traced the dish's origins to the early 11th and 12th centuries, where it was created as a frugal way to use stale bread. In 13th century England, it was referred to as "poor man's pudding." Then, it was likely a simple mixture of stale bread, milk, and some form of fat and sweetener.

Today, the addition of eggs and other flavors, spices, and add-ins like liquors, fruit, nuts, and chocolate have turned the humble dish into something a bit more luxurious. It can even be made savory through the edition of cheese, herbs, vegetables, and meats.


More »

How to Make Pizza Monkey Bread

Categories: How To, Recipes

MonkeyBread1.jpg
Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Not too shabby for first attempt.

Monkey Bread, also apparently sometimes called "pluck-it cake" (by WHOM!!) is not for those with a fear of napkins or sticky things. But for everyone else, it's a delightful treat that's particularly fun to consume in a small group for brunch or dessert.

Traditional monkey bread is very sweet, its carbohydrate building blocks affixed to each other with a thick caramel or syrup glaze (hence the need for napkins).

In recent years, however, innovative amateur chefs have deconstructed the recipe to produce savory versions of Monkey Bread, and one particular iteration worth trying is Pizza Monkey Bread.

This article continues on the next page.

More »

Homemade Guacamole - A 10-Minute Recipe

Categories: Recipes

Mai_guacamole.jpg
Photo by Mai Pham
Guacamole is healthy, delicious, and very easy to make.
Buying ripe avocados is tricky. Timed perfectly so that they are ripe and creamy, you have to use them within a day or throw them out. As a result, it's more prudent to buy avocados when they're still green so that they can ripen naturally on your counter. But what to do when you buy five avocados that ripen at the same time? Easy: make some homemade guacamole.

Guacamole is one of the easiest things to throw together if you have the right ingredients. Basically it involves a bit of dicing and a bit of mashing and takes no more than 10 minutes to prep. There is really no cooking involved, and with nothing more than a cutting board, a good knife, a spoon, and a bowl, you're good to go.


More »

Dish of the Week: Arancini

Categories: Recipes

dish_arancini.jpg
Photo by: stu_spivack
These little guys are the most delicious way to eat leftover risotto.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're learning about the Southern-Italian street food, arancini.

Meaning "little oranges" in Italian, arancini are balls of breaded and fried risotto. The orange part of the name comes from the shape and golden color of small fritter.

The dish was said to have developed in 10th century Sicily during Kalbid rule, as the rice balls are similar to popular Middle Eastern foods. Saffron, a prominent spice in medieval Arab cuisine, was often incorporated into the rice mixture. Today, several variations can be seen in Italy and throughout the world. There is arancini con ragù, a rice ball stuffed with a meat sauce, mozzarella, and (sometimes) peas. And arancini con funghi, which incorporates, you guessed it, mushrooms. Even Houston's own Coppa Osteria has a version of the dish; Here, it's stuffed with burrata, a cream-filled mozzarella that oozes with decadence.

More »

Dish of the Week: Moussaka

Categories: How To, Recipes

eggplant_mous.jpg
Photo by Shadowgate
Add Greek yogurt to the custard for extra creaminess.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

Today, we're looking into Moussaka.

Moussaka is a dish made with layered eggplant, ground meat mixed with tomatoes and spices, and (sometimes) potatoes. While there are many variations on the dish, it is most commonly associated with Greek (mousakas) or Turkish (musakka) cuisine.

In Greece, the dish is typically topped with a béchamel (which wasn't added until the 1900s) and served hot, while in Turkey it is served as a room temperature casserole. Arabic versions of the dish, however, are meatless and served cold.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the Arabic word musaggaʽa from which the Greek and Turkish names were derived literally means "chilled."

Here, we're sharing a recipe for the Greek version, in which sliced and lightly fried eggplant is layered with a mix of a spiced ground beef or lamb tomato sauce before being topped with a custard. When baked, the custard achieves a beautiful golden crust.


More »
Loading...