Tag Archives: black pepper

I felt like it Chili

20 Jan

If there’s one thing I’m head over heals for, it’s chili and cornbread.  I’m a good sharer of food and drink unless it’s taken from me without permission and I’ve been known to get viciously protective of my cornbread and chili.  My last few days at home I found myself overcome by the craving for the aforementioned foods.


Can of whole peeled tomatoes

Large bunch of chopped fresh cilantro

Ground beef or “chili meat” as my grocery store labeled it, second time ’round I used bison to AWESOME effect – highly recommended

As much of the following spices as you want = mace, Cajun Seasoning (whatever that is, I just found it in the spice cabinet and seemed like a good idea), cayenne pepper, black pepper

Lemon juice

2 cans of kidney beans and 1 of black beans

3 cloves of garlic and 1 large shallot, maybe one large yellow or red onion

Start it like you start any stew by cooking down the garlic, shallots and onion then browning the meat over it, then layering all the other goodies and let simmer for an hour.  The cilantro should go in at the last moment!  Another golden rule: it’s always the better the next day.

Now for the cornbread.

1 cup flour + 1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup honey

2 large eggs

1 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk if you prefer)

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup melted butter

Combine wet ingredients with dry, preheat oven to 400ºF.  I baked mine in a muffin tin for 15 minutes and they came out beautifully.  A nice slab of Kerry Gold doesn’t hurt them either.  In any case, it’s now my favorite chili and favorite cornbread so I guess take my word for it that these dishes are delicious, because they are.


8 Jan

I don’t actually remember making this but lucky my friend remembered for me and there’s some horrendous picture of me during the cooking process.  It was a deadly combination of Inauguration Night and our friend’s birthday in Milan.  We stumbled home to Via Caradosso 7 and needed some food.  Spaghetti, olive oil, sauteed brussels sprouts, cayenne and black pepper all tossed together.  It’s spicy, simple, has some veggie in it and enough carbs to make you sober up.  And it’s pretty!

I revisited the Caradosso concoction last night for dinner and discovered how pretty brussels sprout stems are and their insides look kind of like brains.

Winner Winner

3 Jan

Tonight I finally made a little concoction that had been keeping me up at night.  Because yes, there are many nights when I don’t sleep all that well because I’m thinking up different recipes I want to try.  Down to the details.  I stuck a smallish pork tenderloin in a pan on the stove to brown up with a little butter.  After I had flipped it once and I felt the meat was half-way done cooking on that side, I threw in some endive spears with a small slice of gouda to melt.  When the meat was finished and the cheese melted, I removed it all, cut thin slices of the tenderloin (which my mom suggested I butterfly next time) to stick on top of the cheese, then some black pepper and a healthy squeeze of lime juice.

The flavors and textures worked really well together:  the crunch of the endive coupled nicely with the juicy tenderloin and the lime complemented the funk of the gouda unbelievably well.  Great small plate item for parties.  When they’re back in season, I’m taking my original idea and slipping a slice of persimmon in between the tenderloin and the gouda.  It’s a more fun way to eat tenderloin than the traditional sit-down full-on dinner.  I’ve dubbed them tendive boats — aren’t they cute?!


27 Dec

Every year, the day after Christmas is my immediate family’s opportunity to have our extended family over to our house for Boxing Day.  People get to unload their leftovers and bring horrendous white elephant gifts and I get to make yummy hors d’oeuvres to round out the table.  My creations included crostini with a peppered salami/spiced green olive tapenade I blended up in the Cuisinart and a slice of creamy Danish havarti.  Popped them into the oven for 15 minutes @ 200º to melt the cheese.  If you don’t have a baguette or even an oven, repeat the recipe but with crackers (I prefer Bremner) and a microwave.

Pancakes slathered in my homemade jam and topped with homemade whip cream.  They were so cute and little you could eat ’em like cookies.

I only made a few of these next ones and they disappeared in maybe 15 minutes.  Rolled out some philo pastry dough very thin, then used a snowflake cookie cutter to make some shapes, placed a few bleu cheese crumbles in the middle, a half of grape tomato on top, sprinkled with black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Into the oven @ 350º for 10-12 minutes.  Cayenne pepper doesn’t faze me anymore so I totally forgot that others in my family might still have taste buds, so basically tonight I made my aunt cry and slightly choke.  But they were REALLY yummy.

One of the perks of being the cook is you are allowed to demand drinks.  So while I juggled the pancakes and the snowflakes, my brother poured me a snifter full of La Trappe Quadrupel from De Koningshoeven.  It has a light cognac colored pour with very little head.  The aroma is lovely: a very refined banana scent that isn’t artificial but mellow. The flavor is a lighter version of the aroma and boozier and smooth but not slick over the palate.  As I quenched my thirst and danced around the kitchen to some motown tunes amongst the swirl of culinary activity, I started delighting from the trickle of yummy sounds coming from the dining room.  I already knew the pancakes were good but I hadn’t really known how the crostini or the snowflakes would come off.  My excitement about personal creations increases exponentially when I get feedback from people other than myself.  My dancing got a little funkier after the positive reviews and was accompanied by a little chant of “I did it! I did it! I did it!”.  Honestly, there is nothing in this world that makes me happier than feeding people and giving them yummy things to drink.  I leave the calming effects of speeding in a happy-making category unto themselves.

Sweet Potatoes Anna

25 Nov

Hands down, my favorite holiday of the year, besides the glorious day of my birth, is Thanksgiving.  However, I absolutely LOATHE the sight, smell or mention of sweet potatoes smothered in marshmallows and brown sugar — that is the most disgusting thing I’ve heard you can do to sweet potatoes.  They are, by nature, sweet!  Why anyone would mess with such a creation is beyond me.  My mother has been making a recipe she found in the New York Times many years ago, that utilizes the potatoes, butter, thyme and black pepper.  So here goes:

What you need:

6 medium sweet potatoes peeled

10 tablespoons unsalted melted butter

1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

What now:

Slice the potatoes in circles, once done toss them with the butter and thyme until they’re covered.  Then layer them in an oven-safe casserole dish, sprinkle salt and pepper over top, cover with tin foil and pop in the oven for 30 mins.  Uncover after 30 mins and bake an extra 20-30 so the top caramelizes a bit.  Serve however you wish, it doesn’t matter because it’s delicious.

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