Shrimp and Grits Strata

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I love stratas for their versatility, which makes them a great base for innovation. Here, I ADAPTED my classic shrimp and grits recipe to the strata format, making sure to get all the key flavors in there – shrimp, sausage, tomato, and even grits. I added in some kale to up the nutrition of the dish, and presto, a dish that feels totally new and yet totally comfortable!

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Fig and Sweet Potato Risotto

20190916_190133Risotto is so tasty, hearty, and versatile; I can’t believe I haven’t done a risotto recipe on here yet! For this version, I knew I wanted to do risotto, but I didn’t know what I wanted to put in it. So I did what I usually do – I went to Haymarket (my local “farmers”/produce market), looked around, and saw what struck my fancy. This time, what hit me in the face was the number of fresh figs everywhere! It turns out it’s fig season, and even though I’ve never had fig risotto, I knew figs go great with cheese, which is also often in risotto, so I thought I’d give it a try. To go with the roasted figs I chose another roasted vegetable, then added spices, sherry, and almonds on the recommendation of my Flavor Bible.

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Moroccan Black Bean Burgers

20190801_201400I’ve made a number of burgers in my time, but I’ve never made a black bean burger. I always thought of them as very dry and crumbly, and tasting primarily of beans, which didn’t appeal to me. But then recently I’ve had some black bean burgers out at restaurants that were quite good. And since I’ve been trying to eat less meat I decided to give it a go. But since I have no experience making these burgers, I turned to the internet and relied on the RATIOS in a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I usually use her site for sweets, but she promised these would work out so… To make it my own, I went with Moroccan flavors.

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Lo Mein with Pork Dumpling Meatballs

20190802_200631This recipe from Vrunka on Food52 makes great pork potstickers, but it makes wayyyy too much filling for a single package of potsticker wrappers! I couldn’t just throw away all of that perfectly good filling, so I decided to implement it in tackling a personal challenge of mine: making at-home versions of take out classics that actually taste like the stuff you get at the restaurant. I’m always wary of trying a new pad thai or chicken tikka masala recipe, because inevitably it doesn’t taste exactly right and what’s the point of going through all the effort to make something that will be slightly disappointing? But I persevered, and by relying on help from a few online sources, this lo mein recipe is exactly what I wanted.

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Fig and Blue Cheese Burgers

20190717_200204I got a new book! For my birthday, my sister got me The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, of Serious Eats fame. The point of the book is to teach you about the science behind why certain techniques work in the kitchen, and generally to provide a foundation of 20190714_183044understanding that can allow the home cook to experiment confidently. Aka, exactly up my alley. For my first recipe from the book, I wanted to try my hand at making French fries, as the variability of fry quality I’ve experienced and the rumors of the double fry method have always intimidated me. So of course, I needed to pair them with a great burger…

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