31 March 2011

Double Take: Red Thai Duck Curry via The Pioneer Woman

Thai red curry with duck over jasmine rice
I don’t know what it is about Thai food, but I start salivating just thinking about it. What I would give to have a plate of spicy noodles from Thai Sawatdee in Winston-Salem or a bowl of green curry from Yum-Yum Thai in Tucker! Words cannot describe my love of these dishes. But alas, Thai food is quite different here in Germany, and I have yet to find something that really makes my taste buds sing. Since Bender doesn’t care for Thai food, I don’t make it much at home either. But he’s out of town. Woot! Which means I get to make whatever I want for myself for two whole weeks (I’m desperately hanging onto this silver lining. Our tiny apartment feels ever so empty right now)! So when Tabitha pointed out this recipe for Red Thai Duck Curry, I immediately jumped on it. I’ve waxed on about my love of duck before, so I won’t bore you with the details again, but that just added to my willingness to make the dish. I was slightly put off by the peppers, and even more put off by the pineapple, but at the last minute I decided to throw in both (Amazingly, I found a pineapple for 1€, so I didn’t feel like I had a good excuse not to include it.)

29 March 2011

Beer Bread

Stupidly easy beer bread! 

During our St. Patrick’s Day festivities, I decided to step out on a limb and make bread. I’ve done pizza bread and biscuits and that sort of thing, but I’d only made a loaf of bread once. Yep. Once. And that was back in 2005. So it was definitely time for me to try something new and different. Because I don’t make loaf bread often, I decided to hold off on purchasing a loaf pan until I knew whether or not I’d use it again. And, well, this bread is so stupidly easy (and tasty) that I might be blowing 5 euros on a loaf pan in the very near future.

24 March 2011

Double Take: Culinary in the Country’s Panko-Crusted Chicken with Mustard-Maple Pan Sauce

Quick weeknight dinner. 

I’m always looking for a quick weeknight meal for us. I love mustard and panko, so this one was a no-brainer in that respect. But it also had maple syrup. Bender and I aren’t big on the sweet-savory combos, so I waited until he went out of town to make it. In other words, I figured there was a strong possibility I might like it, but a very strong possibility that he would not like it. I’m still on the fence about the sauce, but I did really like the chicken. And the best part? Minimal dirty dishes. Score!

22 March 2011

Daring Cooks March Challenge: Papas Rellenas

Surprisingly tasty papas rellenas!

Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenged us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.

I’m late again. But I finished it! And the kitchen is still a mess, but that’s okay, I have a whole 12 days to clean it before Bender gets home! Which is actually why I’m late. I was waiting for Bender to go out of town again. Originally I had planned to make this before he left since we were having people over. But the more I looked at the recipe, the more I realized I wanted to try it as written, and not change the filling in the papas rellenas. And Bender was not going to like the filling. Heck, I hesitated over the filling. Raisins? Hard boiled eggs? Olives? Eh.

17 March 2011

Double Take: St. Patrick's Day

Dig in! You'll be pleased you did! 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

I think I’m the only person in my office wearing green today. St. Patty’s Day is just not a big deal here. And that leads me to one of the things I like most about the US: we have everything. The people in the US are so culturally diverse that we take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and turn it into a magical mix of everything. I’ve heard some people say recently that the US is turning into a stew pot more than a melting pot, meaning that we’ve been stewing so long that everything in the pot tastes exactly the same. I beg to differ. Granted, we’ve put our own twist on most things, but I’m cool with that. Some days I can be a bit of a staunch purist, but when I step back from my high horse, I’m generally greeted by something so much better than the original. Like beer. But that’s a whole other post entirely. Expect that one when Bender starts brewing again. 

03 March 2011

Double Take: Food o' del Mundo's Perfect Pizza Crust

Homemade pizza fresh from the oven. Does it get any better than this?

Welcome to Week 3 of the New Double Take Series! This week we feature something that should be a staple in every house: pizza crust! As you’ve seen before, I’m prone to buying the premade pizza crust because, well, I’m just a bit afraid of working with yeast. I’m fascinated by it, but I don’t have that much experience and haven’t gotten a ton of positive feedback on what I have attempted. So I haven’t been practicing. Somewhere, out of the blue a couple months ago, I got a tiny bit of confidence and decided to go for it. My first attempt was a bit, well, horrid. The dough tasted okay, but seemed to have the wrong texture. For some reason I had it in my head that I needed to knead the dough after it rose and before I put rolled it out. And of course, I didn't figure out that was what I had done wrong until Tabitha convinced me to try making pizza dough again.
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