M. Andrew Gordon

Archive for September, 2009|Monthly archive page

Steak…It’s What’s For Dinner

In Beef, Side Dishes on September 30, 2009 at 1:21 am

Ah yes, steak.  You just can’t beat a good ol’ chunk of beef cooked on the grill (again, my apologies to my vegetarian friends).  As promised, here is a new recipe for the week.  And for those counting, it might actually be three: cocoa-dusted sirloin with gorgonzola; a quick side dish of brussels sprouts, and a definite new recipe in sweet potato fritters/pancakes.

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A Tale of Two Pizzas

In Uncategorized on September 28, 2009 at 12:51 am

I’ll be the first to say it – I need lessons in how to make pizza.  So if anyone has any good tips or recipes, I am willing to listen.  I’d say I would make you famous, but this humble blog is far from the pages of Gourmet or Bon Appetit.  As far as pizzas go, the results today were tasty, they just didn’t look good.  There was a lot of room for improvement, but I liked the toppings a lot and want to experiment more with these.  If anyone wants to serve on the tasting panel, let me know.  But now, off to the kitchen…

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Culinary Basics

In Uncategorized on September 25, 2009 at 10:53 am

I had a request for items to keep on hand in order to throw together a dinner, which was actually a great idea because it forced me to really think what I should have lining the cabinets before I tell anyone else what to do!  I guess I’ll leave the sort of things that one commonly finds in the baking section untouched, because I think it’s fairly self-explanatory and how often do you bake when you’re making a quick dinner?*

*There is one caveat to that, more to follow.

There are also numerous items that most people have in their kitchen in the spice rack.  Most of these are commonplace, however, I find most of them to not had a lot of flavor.  I’ll highlight the things that I really like.  And beyond that, I’ll just try to mention what I keep stocked and use in my own kitchen and maybe offer a quick explanation.  This is fairly long and I know I am forgetting some things, bu with that…off to the kitchen: Read the rest of this entry »

When Peru and Venezuela Meet in Brighton

In Main Dish, Side Dishes, Soups and Stews on September 23, 2009 at 12:52 am

Wanting use up some red potatoes and grilled chicken and not wanting to take the time to stop at the store on my way home, I decided to try to make a stew inspired by a dish I had at a Peruvian restaurant back in February.  It had chicken, beans, and potato sitting in a rich and flavorful sauce.  I realize that red potatoes are probably not an accurate choice for a Peruvian dish, but this was not striving for regional accuracy.  This was just trying to make something quick for dinner.  As the potatoes and beans cook, they break down enough to thicken the stew.  I also used beer as the only liquid added to it to provide some more flavor.  Really, this blog could have been called “Just Add Beer” and it would make as much sense.

While that simmered, I tried a recipe from NYTimes food columnist Mark Bittman.  If you get a chance, his column – The Minimalist – and his blog, Bitten, often have really good recipes.  Arepas, a sort of Venezuelan corn cake, seemed like a good accompaniment to this stew.  In the end, the resulting arepas were not quite what I expected, being more of a hearty corn pancake.  Which I guess isn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I envisioned.

But combined, the two worked well together, the buttery arepas and the thick stew of beans, potato, and chunks of chicken is definitely something I will revisit this fall and winter. Read the rest of this entry »

Thai Coconut Chicken Chowder

In Soups and Stews on September 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Last Saturday was a cold and rainy day in the Boston area, leading me to visions of long-simmered stews, chicken pot pies, buttery biscuits, spicy bowls of chili, and roasted butternut squash.  But there was a small part of me that was sad to see summer slipping by and longing for something to serve as a send off to summer.  There seemed plenty of time for all of the things I love about fall and winter cooking.  I settled on making an Asian inspired chicken dish that could be served with lettuce wraps, something along the lines of a chicken with peanut-ginger sauce dish that I really like.

Somehow, despite my desire to stay away from autumnal dishes, I wound up with something that seemed much like a chowder, with coconut milk substituting for dairy, and the bright flavors of a Thai soup like Tom kha gai without the sweetness.  In the end, I created what I had actually wanted: a warm, filling meal for a cold, rainy day.  I thought this was a great dish, one that deserves some fine tuning and another place on the table.

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A Recipe per Week…

In Uncategorized on September 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Welcome – since many of you know my penchant for trying to create new dishes in the kitchen, I’m going to try to give myself a little kick in the pants by throwing it out there for everyone to comment on, point and laugh at, and generally criticize.  The way I see it, if I were to concoct two new recipe every week, I’d have about a cookbook’s worth of recipes.  If I temper my ambitions to just one recipe per week, well, halfway isn’t all bad.

So that’s the plan; one new recipe per week.   Not just trying a new recipe, but creating something new.  Or in many cases for me, it will be trying to recapture something from the past and actually writing down the ingredients.  Main dishes, side dishes, desserts, stews, soups, cocktails, beer pairings – it’ll all be in play.  So, dig in and let me know what you think.  And if anyone has suggestions for a starting point, I’m more than happy to listen.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, any dish is much better if you just add bacon.