Category Archives: Entrees

Soba Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Tofu

Soba Noodles

Until recently, I had never heard of Soba noodles.  Not once.  When I first heard them mentioned, I ran into the grocery store and emerged with some form of lo mein noodles.  The second time, replete with the knowledge that they were closer to whole wheat spaghetti, than chinese noodles, I came back with, well, whole wheat spaghetti, unable to locate the soba noodles.

Finally, I decided to no longer leave it up to chance.  I walked into the grocery store – our neighborhood Schnucks no less — and asked whether they carried Soba noodles.  Within a few seconds, a store employee had brought me exactly what I wanted – a clear package with Japanese characters adorning the label.  This was it.  I had found the elusive noodle.

In this case, Schnucks carried these Yamaimo Soba Noodles in their Asian aisle.  I had never seen Continue reading


Chicken Tagine with Fennel and Olives

Chicken TagineI enjoy cooking. I don’t find it to be either a chore or an obligation. And because I enjoy cooking, cookbooks and kitchen tools make successful gifts and presents. I’ve gotten carving knives, gourmet olive oils and vinegars, and blog- and New Orleans- themed cookbooks from friends and family. On my 30th birthday, Caitlin made me a doughnut cake, with the additional gift of the doughnut cake pans that helped to bake that cake.

More recently, I received a tagine, Continue reading

Tofu Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

Tofu Chorizo

The Best Cookbook Ever, as the name implies, is a damn good cookbook. I first checked the book out from the library about three months ago. Five or six “mind-blowing” and “deliciously awesome” recipes later, the book has become a kitchen fixture and a faithful auto-renewal. Its recipes may not really make you “cry as you cook from it [and] change your life forever” but it may just leave you constantly cooing over your culinary creations.

From their Soba Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms to Rigatoni Paprikash, each recipe has proved easy to make and delicious. Weekday meals have lost their repetitive dull. The Sussman brothers – living proof that the Hipster movement is alive and well – are also vegetarian friendly, with many of their entrées meat free. Tongue-in-cheek, many recipes suggest possible “Meatifications” for those who may be going “on a meat-eating walkabout” to discovery why they are, after all, vegetarian.

Speaking of meatification, this recipe began meatified. It was my adaptation – the result of finding Continue reading

Homemade Tamales with Black Beans and Spanish Rice


For the best tamales, you should use your abuela’s recipe.  In my case, not having an abuela of my own, I borrowed the recipe from Stephanie’s abuela — Marie E. Salazar.

At first, I thought that making tamales would be difficult and agonized over the proper ingredients and procedure. I wondered whether the effort would pay off and whether the tamales would taste like those tamales we once had from a street vendor in Santa Fe. And most of all, I wondered whether I had the energy to embark on a two-day adventure of stewing, cooking, folding, and steaming, all by myself.

In her write-up, Continue reading

Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burgers

Lentil Burger

Indian food rarely lacks for flavor.  Packed with exotic spices and chutneys, the dishes brim with colors and culinary delights.  This dish is no different.  And better yet, this dish won’t send you scurrying to exotic markets or stores; all of the ingredients are staples of most pantries and refrigerators.

A vegetarian and Indian take on the classic American burger, this Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burger packs a healthy punch.  Sandwich it between two toasted buns and adorn with a little mayonnaise, and this vegetarian burger is bound to please.  Serve alongside roasted sweet potato fries or, for the sake of regional consistency, prepare a side of Aloo Gobhi Masala.

A word of warning: this recipe Continue reading

Whole-Wheat Homemade Pizza

IMG_3819Pizza is the ultimate convenience food.  There is the restaurant pizza, ready in minutes, delivered to your table, warm and sliced.  There is the delivery pizza, delivered to your doorstep with the push of a few buttons.  In the freezer section, there are countless versions of the frozen variety, ready to be brought home and baked or microwaved in a manner of minutes.  There are even pre-made pizza doughs and pizza crusts, leaving the harried home chef with some room for creativity and imagination.

To be sure, we’ve tried each and every one Continue reading

Beef Tacos

Beef Tacos

Caitlin and I have been watching Breaking Bad recently, a show whose plot-lines and premise may be as addicting as the “blue stuff” that plays such a critical role in the show.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched episode after episode, pinned to the couch or nestled in bed, watching Jesse and Walter navigate a world of dirty money, secret drops, federal agents, and violent cartels.  As one episode ends, we have increasingly found ourselves reaching for the next, swapping Netflix disks with such speed that we often find it necessary to download an episode or two from iTunes, unable to wait for the return mailer.

While the show has certainly taken over some of our evenings, Continue reading