Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Black Bean Burgers

This post is a shout out to two of my favorite people-- a little frodo that was a former roommate and an enormous dude who goes by "Gorgeous." The frodo makes food that only originates in cans, so beans have always been in her rotation. Gorgeous runs a nice little vegetarian blog over at setdinnerhereveg.

I love meat. A lot. But this black bean burger gives this carnivore some doubts. It is the first vegetarian meal that made its way into the Supertaster's dinner rotation.

This meal is also perfect for for our struggling economy. If you have a decently stocked pantry with bread crumbs, cayenne, oregano, and cumin, all you need are two can of bean. And if you don't have any cumin, I know a guy who knows a guy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Creamy Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus

When I was growing up my absolute favorite meal was my mom's tortellini soup. I looked forward to it at every holiday and still request it when I am heading home to visit. But the whole "creamy cheese" part would have been touch and go fifteen years ago. Oh, how sophisticated I have become...

To relive my mom's tortellini glory days, I often pick up a package at Vace (best pizza in DC) or the local Teeter. I usually just boil it and throw it in some sauce or chicken stock, so this recipe presented a spring overhaul to a tired meal.

Minor adjustments: I grated the lemon peel and left it in the broth--I was worried about a lack of zest. I also grated "the undisputed king of cheese" over the top and finished it with a bit of crushed black pepper. This added a little bit of flavor and also made the bowl super fancy looking.

Results: This recipe was not just all looks, it was a bowl of deliciousness. So easy you can g-chat with Adelbert during the whole process.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fried Egg and Sausage Ciabatta Breakfast Pizza

J-Nice and I lost a game of doubles tennis yesterday to our better halves and were "forced" to cook breakfast this morning for them. For the record, we let them win because we were worried about Ms. Supertaster and Jeff in the kitchen, at the same time. We settled on this breakfast pizza because we had most of the ingredients in house already.

Results: Super delicious.

Slight Changes: We made the executive decision to add a few thin slices of tomato to the pizzas--a good call. The local Teeter did not carry ciabatta bread so we substituted a Italian round loaf. This did not affect the taste, but the flatness of the cibaatta was missed. A few of our pizzas were a tad topsy-turvey...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Faux Sushi

My brother-in-law made this for my niece's preschool class. The top two plates are rice crispy and fruit "nigeri" and the bottom are "sushi" sandwich rolls. Looks just like the real thing!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Grilled Red Snapper and Mango with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Today, the Supertasters took a trip to Bluffton, SC to purchase some fresh seafood at the Bluffton Oyster Co. Everyone down here talks about the place and I was excited to get my hands on whatever was fresh.

Since I couldn't take a picture of the ladies shucking the oysters, I took a picture of the sign proclaiming such. Oddly enough, there were no ladies to be found. I wish I snapped a photo of the enormous pile of oyster shells outside the building and the pelican sitting on top.

We ended up buying a large piece of snapper and two trigger fillets. I found this recipe for red snapper and used it for both types of fish.

The results: The vinaigrette was simple and worked with both fish. The grilled mango (with a dash of cumin) pleased everyone--even those who doubted applauded.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Grilled Jerk Pork with Curried Peach Relish

I have access to a grill and lots of new local ingredients this week in Hilton Head and wanted to keep everyone updated on what's cookin'. Both the concept of jerk and curry together (and the fact that I am so close to Georgia) made me zip out to the grocery store for this interesting recipe. Only later did I found out that peak peach season in in August.

From the start I was nervous. The jerk marinade ended up looking more like split pea soup than any other jerk I have experimented with and the peaches were not as sweet as they will be in three months. But everything smelled right so I just kept on trucking. I started adding anything I could find to work on the consistency of the marinade. I ended up adding cinnamon, brown sugar, and onion, lots of garlic and some orange juice.

The pork tenderloin was spot on--juicy and flavorful. After a spicy meal last night, I thought that my dinner guests might start complaining of heart burn, but this is not that hot. I ended up grilling the tenderloin for around 20 min. and letting it rest for 15.

The peach and tomato curry on the side was not as good as advertised. Even after doubling the curry, I didn't even get a hint of that flavor. The concept of the relish is still so interesting that I will definitely make another attempt later in the summer.

Warning to the weeknight cooks: Like most jerked meat, this dish takes several hours of marinading and should be prepared the night before.

Lingering Thoughts: They have you blanch and peel the tomatoes and peaches. If I had to do this again, I would buy canned whole peaches and tomatoes, especially if they are not in season.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Gorgeous tipped me off to this genius site dedicated to scanning the cross sections of sandwiches for "education and delight." Whoever came up with this is certainly doing the Lord's work. My mouth is watering just thinking about Katz's Deli...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sauteéd Chicken Cutlets with Asparagus, Spring Onions, and Parsley-Tarragon Gremolata

"Are we just having chicken tonight?" asked Ms. Supertaster.

"Do we ever just have chicken? No. We're having sauteed chicken cutlets with asparagus, spring onions, and parsley-tarragon gremolata."

The name of this recipe might not roll off the tongue, but sure does taste good. This recipe is not difficult technically--just some chopping and pan frying. No saffron in the cupboard? No problem. There is a hefty ingredients list, but there are enough flavors that you could drop one and still have an extremely flavorful meal.

The lemon and citrus in the gremolata adds a crisp taste to your average piece of chicken. Spring is sprung, so start cooking.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Penne with Sausage and Mushroom Gratin

During our throwback week, both Ms. Supertaster and I were looking forward to making (and eating) this pasta dish again. Unlike most baked pastas, the majority of the cooking is done on the stove and then finished in the broiler. This method saves a good amount of time making this a perfect hearty weekday meal.

This meal is also greater than the sum of its parts. Pick up some sausage, mozzarella, mushrooms, and cream at the store this weekend and you will immediately add this to your list of favorites.

Product plug: I used fresh mozzarella from my friends at Blue Ridge Dairy Co. This is a great article on DCFoodies about an applewood smoked mozzarella that I look forward to sampling soon!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Also Recieving Votes: Monte Cubano

This is one of those sandwiches that is just as good, if not better, the second day. But if you make this monte cristo-style sandwich, don't skimp on the ingredients. Besides the "french-toasty" bread, the majority of the flavor comes from the meats. Make sure you pick up some quality ham and turkey from a good deli. Biggest lesson learned: pickles are underused. I don't think that I will be able to make a sandwich without slices of dill pickles ever again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Southwestern Chicken Corn Chowder

About twice a month, Ms. Supertaster lets me know that she has a hankering for Chicken Corn Chowder. Luckily, this is wish is easy to grant. This chowder is one of the few recipes that I can make from memory. All you need are a few cans, some frozen corn and rotisserie--it's just that easy.

The recipe can not be found on the world wide web, only in Ms. Supertaster's mother's noggin. I am seeking the rights to post the recipe now, but you can see the well-loved list of ingredients below.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Is it cooking if there is no meat?

Who knew that the guy that served me rendered duck fat in my car could cook without using any meat? Check it out! http://www.setdinnerhereveg@blogspot.com

First Loser: Chicken Key Lime Curry

After the poll drama and a considerable amount of pouting from a reliable reader, I decided to post about the Chicken Key Lime Curry. My curry background: A year or two ago I discovered a quick meal by throwing some chicken or shrimp in a pan and adding coconut milk and curry paste. This great introduction got bland around the fortieth time. I dabbled in adding onions, tomatoes, and a variety of spices. The addition of the key limes to the supertaster curry is the logical extention.

I will incorporate limes in curry in the future, but will let people know that they shouldn't eat the lime peels before they dig in. Bottom line: this recipe will not replace the curry recipe that I will continue to go back to. I love the heat and combination of spices of my old standby.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Salmon "Bulgogi" with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

The Supertaster household decided to return to some of its old favorites this week. Up first was this delicious Korean-inspired salmon dish. My buddy Adelbert (who turns 21 tomorrow) introduced me to the Korean barbeque experience--everything from gelatinous acorns to bi-bim-bop--and I have been a huge fan ever since. As long as you have an oven and a half hour to spend in the kitchen, you can't go wrong with this meal.