July 29, 2014

Pork Posole with Red Chile

I try to post or share recipes that I can fully endorse. Sometimes, I post recipes that I am not 100% behind but that's rare and it's only when I think some reader will still like the recipe i.e. it might not be something my narrow tastes prefer but it's still a well-written, inherently valuable recipe.

I have a true love-hate relationship with this recipe. It's from David Tanis, who's my latest favorite chef. His food is bright, flavorful, and delicious. His column in NYT always sparks creativity in the kitchen for me. And this posole is absolutely, award-winningly scrumptious. The flavor is intense from hours of simmering. BUT, it takes a long time to make and took a lot of ingredient-hunting. By the time I started prepping this dish, I had driven to four different places to find all the ingredients needed.

The ham hock, dried New Mexico chilies, and dried large kernel hominy were what sent me on a driving craze around LA. I didn't want to use canned hominy because it's apparently really mushy and doesn't have "tooth" to it. I wanted to use ham hock but settled for ham shank, which has bone so I think it made the broth more rich with flavor from the marrow. And I ended up using California chilies (dried) because the lady at the register told me to and she was Mexican and had been making this dish for years.

In the end, the driving, the talking, the research paid off but boy was it a labor of love/hate.



Oh, I should mention this made enough posole for 10-12 people if not more. It was really, really filling. 

July 25, 2014

Weekend Brunch: Southwestern Brisket Hash and Strawberry Blueberry Scones

One of my favorite meals to plan, if not my absolute favorite to plan, is brunch. I like preparing a savory main and ending the meal on a sweet note with a breakfast pastry (which is my preference for dessert anyways...). Nick usually makes some nice strong coffee for everyone and drink white wine (since we don't like mimosas) and it makes for a long, relaxing meal that's enjoyed during the late morning and early afternoon sun glow.

A couple weekends ago I made a fantastic brunch menu for some friends. The main was a brisket hash with some southwestern flair and spice. We served it with soft tortillas so the hash acted as a breakfast taco filling.

Yum. Potatoes, Rainbow Chard, and some taco seasoning thrown in:) This photo is missing the fried eggs that I tossed on top and it still looks gorgeous! 


We followed with some strawberry blueberry scones that were just right - flaky, buttery, just slightly sweet, and chock full of fresh berries. I loved these scones.


Recipe from: http://hoorayforoffweekends.com/2011/06/03/strawberry-and-blueberry-scones/

Brunch is easier because it's not as complicated as dinner which involves preparing an appetizer, salad or side, main, dessert, and cocktails (at least if you're me). It's also more relaxed and longlasting because you're in weekend mode. I can't wait for some brunching this weekend!


July 24, 2014

Happy Hour: Blueberry Margaritas and Watermelon Strawberry Citrus Sangria

Hi guys!

As social chair of the firm I work at, I take my job very seriously. I try to create weekly happy hour drinks that are unique but still appeal to the mass population of ten people that work here. So hard.

This Watermelon Strawberry Citrus Sangria was a huge hit. I used half the watermelon juice it asked for (the recipe calls for juice of about a whole watermelon) because I honestly didn't have any room to add more liquid to the pitcher we had on hand (this makes a LOT of sangria) but I think it was for the best because it made the drink less sweet and watered down. I also used lemon instead of orange juice because I find oranges are too sweet (and I don't like anything that reminds me of a mimosa) so lemon was the tarter, better way to go in my opinion.

Recipe and photo from: http://joythebaker.com/2013/07/watermelon-strawberry-citrus-sangria/

Another recipe I tried recently was this simple blueberry margarita. You just need to make some blueberry simple syrup to give your drink a rich, purple color and a nice sweetness to it. I thought it was a tad too sweet but still really easy to drink overall!



Since Thursday is my Friday at work, we enjoying happy hour right now :) Yay for four-day work weeks! 


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