Sautéed Red Cabbage with Bacon showcases our only edible crop this year, Paul's guerrilla red cabbages. While we do enjoy a good cabbage slaw in the summer months, fall has us yearning for our classic Sautéed Red Cabbage with Bacon, a dish which balances the sweetness of caramelized onions and cabbage with tart vinegar and salty bacon. This spring, Paul surreptitiously planted a mini colony of red cabbages in our front flower garden, nestled between daylilies and daisies. With sunny spots in scarce supply, Paul was adamant that winter was coming...and we needed to ensure an ample supply of sauerkraut and cabbages for the lean months!Read More
When Paul asked what I wanted for my birthday meal this week, I immediately blurted out 'lots of potatoes!' Paul smirked, ok, so nothing new here. Upon further consideration, I requested a potato dish that was both creamy and crispy, pungent with garlic and goat cheese. This aromatic Potato Goat Cheese Gratin was the magnificent result, which I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This recipe is adapted from one of our favorite cookbook authors, James Peterson. It forgoes a bechamel or cream sauce since the high starch content of the potatoes eliminates the need for additional thickeners. For a crisp fall day, nothing beats the smell of slow roasting garlic, goat cheese, and potatoes!Read More
For me, fall is the season for rustic fruit desserts. Crisps, cobblers, grunts, crumbles, slumps, pandowdys and brown bettys; all homey variations on the classic fruit-sugar-butter combination. Raspberries come into their prime in early fall, so this past weekend, my sister and I did some fall raspberry picking. After gorging ourselves on as many of the berries as we could eat raw, I was ready to bake. I wanted to make an unembellished dessert that would highlight the raspberries, while gently blanketing them in a snug bed of crisped almonds, butter and sugar. Crisps have a lot going for them, they are reliable, take well to innovation and substitutions and can be easily whipped up with whatever ingredients you have on hand. This Raspberry Almond Crisp smells amazing, and makes a perfect early autumn treat.Read More
I have been on a quest for the perfect Reuben sandwich for 3 years, ever since tasting the amazing version at Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland. The basic elements of the Reuben may seem pedestrian: rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and cheese. However, each element, when done right brings complex flavors and loads of unctuous umami. This Reuben is the product of my DIY quest: built from scratch from sourdough rye through home cured corned beef and everything in between. If you want to go whole-hog DIY, follow the links in the ingredients section back to the recipes to make your own scratch made versions. Any element you make from scratch is going to make a big difference in your final product. This Oktoberfest, celebrate with an old classic, done right.Read More
I always associate beets with the Borscht Soup that my Oma used to make in the fall and winter months. At the time, I don't recall being all that enamored with either the soup, or beets. But now I love them both. We have found that beets are not a vegetable that generates a mild response. Whenever we plan to serve them, we like to first test out the waters to see if our guests are beet-friend or -foe. Beets have a strong earthy flavor that needs some assistance. In their unvarnished form, they are a dusty and lumpy root vegetable, with little to commend by their exterior. But peel a beet and you will find a vibrant, sweet and minerally vegetable, happy to lend color and flavor to drab dishes. Beets and their greens are chock full of vitamins, among them A, B1, B2, B6 and C and are high in calcium, iron and magnesium. Beets respond well to many cooking applications and are delicious in everything from hummus to pickles to juice. I first made these roasted beet chips when I was hankering for some root chips (those incredibly overpriced bags of beet and sweet potato chips at the grocery). It occurred to me that I could make them on my own and instead of deep frying, I thought I’d give beet chips in the oven a go. While Paul was skeptical of my oven technique, it worked beautifully and he sneakily polished off the first batch before our guests arrived!Read More
This French Vegetable Soup, Ratatouille, is as rustic and delicious as it is healthy and easy to make. Its flavor is built subtly from vegetables at the peak of their freshness. The dish involves no meat, no stock, no complex seasonings, and no challenging techniques. Don't be intimidated by its French origins, Ratatouille is foolproof, flexible, and amazingly, even better as a leftover. Our recipe is inspired by Anne Willan's extraordinary The Country Cooking of France.
Ratatouille is a traditional country stew which takes advantage of the late summer bounty of fresh tomatoes, eggplants, onions, zucchini, garlic, and peppers. This type of seasonally-driven, vegetable-based cooking has increasingly become a luxury of the well-to-do. A lack of access to fresh, healthy, home-cooked food, contributes to the poorer health and shorter life expectancy of low-income Americans.
One organization working to make fresh seasonal produce accessible is Just Harvest. Their Fresh Access program allows food stamp (SNAP) recipients to use their benefits to shop at local farmers markets -- gaining access to the fresh, affordable, and seasonal bounty of local farms. SNAP benefits help 47 million Americans (and 1 in 8 people in the Pittsburgh region) put food on the table for their families. Organizations like Just Harvest, are helping to make healthy food more accessible. Just Harvest's research has shown that 80% of SNAP shoppers increased their consumption of fresh produce when given the opportunity to shop at farmers markets. Fresh Access Coordinator Emily Schmidlapp puts it succinctly: "We believe that access to fresh, healthy, affordable food is a right and not a privilege." At the Hungry Hounds, we couldn't agree more. Bon appétit!Read More
I am a sucker for a colorful veggie, and when I saw these vibrant purple string beans at a farm stand on the way home from work, I was smitten! With a wacky color-scheme in mind, I paired the quickly steamed beans with dollops of lime-hued green goddess dressing, made creamier and healthier by the addition of avocado instead of mayonnaise. Avocado Green Goddess Dressing is my take on the retro 70's classic. This cheerful side dish is ready in 10 minutes, and adaptable to whatever produce you have on hand.Read More
Rebecca's all-time favorite sandwich is the Vietnamese Bánh Mì. Our take on this Vietnamese-French fusion classic uses unctuous grilled chicken, tangy pickled vegetables, heaps of cilantro and jalapeno, and a robust mayo sauce. Despite the long ingredient list and exotic heritage, Grilled Chicken Bánh Mì Sandwiches are straightforward to make and can win over even the pickiest of eaters.
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What is your favorite sandwich? Where did you eat your favorite Bánh Mì sandwich?Read More
My sister is a cookie making virtuoso and when it's her turn to host family dinner, Paul and I start perseverating about her dessert days in advance! While my sister is a cookie genius, I am the cookie klutz in the family. The problem with my often laissez-faire attitude to cookie making is that baking depends on science and precision. In a spurt of baking abandonment this past weekend, I guesstimated the amount of baking soda and "tweaked" a recipe in a few too many places...the result was a cookie-bomb that covered the baking sheet and my oven. My kitchen filled with smoke and feeling my baking-esteem slipping, I ditched the improvised-cookie plan and soothed myself with a batch of one of our foolproof favorites: Blackstrap Molasses Cookies.
There are many things to recommend these Blackstrap Molasses Cookies. They have a complex, caramel taste with a warm spiciness and satisfying soft texture. Molasses is the mineral and flavor-rich by-product spun off of sugar during processing. "Blackstrap" is the darkest most intensely flavored version of molasses, so rich in minerals and vitamins that some people take it as a dietary supplement. These cookies are a favorite in our household: soft, rich, and deeply spiced.Read More
It’s labor day, and we are devouring corn and tomatoes in these beautiful late summer days like they're going out of style. Truthfully, I have a bit of an obsession with sweet corn, and have been known to personally eat 6 cobs in a meal. It’s officially September now, and as the season changes, so too does our cooking. Instead of boiling or grilling our corn, we are firing up my Grandmother's trusty skillet for our delicious and simple Summer Corn Sauté with Herbs, a dish that will have you coming back for seconds. The sweetness of fresh corn is highlighted by the rich and nutty background of butter, onions, cumin, and garlic, garnished with heaps of herbs and tomatoes. I have learned my lesson making this dish over the years, just go ahead and double it the first time, it’s the best way to avoid complaints!Read More
Check out our Grilled Spelt Flatbread with Tapenade & Tomato featured in Pittsburgh Magazine this week! We just love Brazen Kitchen's Leah Lizarondo and her irreverent take on seasonal vegetarian cooking.
This tender and chewy flatbread uses local spelt to up the nutty whole grain flavor. We are addicted to this no-knead spelt flatbread, and find it has a taste and texture reminiscent of Indian naan and whole wheat pita. On a warm summers evening, we like to throw this easy flatbread on the grill, spread generously with briny tapenade, and top with juicy ripe tomatoes. This spunky tapenade, packed with garlic, tarragon, and green olives, pairs beautifully with the sweetness of August tomatoes. For us, this dish epitomizes summer: fresh produce, bright flavors, and smoky char.Read More
Our friends Beth and Justin, both creative cooks and passionate gardeners, made our day when they dropped off some beautiful carrots, freshly dug from their garden. While hardcore carnivores may lay claim to nose-to-tail cooking, we think that this veggie based dish gives the concept a run for its money, as it uses all parts of the carrot plant: root-to-leaf cooking in its colorful prime. Carrot Ribbon Salad with Carrot Top Pesto is adapted from vegetable whiz Diane Morgan’s Roots cookbook. In this dish, the carrots are first mellowed with a quick hot water bath to soften their texture and bite. Carrot top pesto, with its subtle parsley-like flavor, is a lovely match, accented with dollops of creamy goat cheese. Find a source for fresh vibrant carrots with tops and make this beautiful dish.Read More
Food has the power to connect us to people and places around the world. In 2007, Rebecca and I spent three months traveling through South East Asia together. Leaving Cambodia on the back of moto-bikes, we arrived for the night, hot and dusty, in a small village in rural Vietnam. After dropping off our packs, we sat down on the rickety plastic stools of the town's only food stand, famished. Without asking what we wanted, two pungent bowls of Phở Gà, Vietnam's famous chicken noodle soup, were plunked down in front of us. We were hooked! As we made our way north over the next several weeks, we enjoyed many local variations of Phở: from the dark, rich, and beefy to bright and spicy with shrimp. Our favorite Phở, on which our recipe is based, was eaten from steaming bowls one early morning overlooking Hạ Long Bay. This version used chicken that had been marinated and grilled, rather than boiled in the soup, giving it a crispy texture and sweet charred flavor.
Each sip of flavorful broth reminds us also of the people and culture that created it. Phở is an aromatic and visual dish, one that we like to serve in our Vietnamese blue petal bowls made in the Kinh family workshop in the famous pottery village of Bat Trang, Vietnam. By partnering with a local non-profit and Ten Thousand Villages, women potters are able to make a living for their families, continue a rich cultural tradition, and gain access to tools, education, training, interest-free loans, and literacy classes. We buy many of our dishes and gifts from Ten Thousand Villages each year, and appreciate their commitment to ethical partnerships with local artisans around the world.Read More
The first time I made dill pickles was for 250 guests at a friend’s wedding in Germany. It was a few days before the wedding when the groom’s mother, Ana, casually announced that we would be making pickles today. I was set to work sterilizing large buckets to house the heaps of cukes. The call went out to friends and relatives for their gardens' bounty, and pretty soon fresh garden cucumbers and big pungent bunches of dill started arriving at her home. Three days later at the wedding, those cucumbers had transformed into delicious dill pickles. I was in awe!Read More
Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Spread is the result of a food fight, one which resulted in this delicious hybrid dish somewhere between Baba Ganoush and Hummus. Our food disagreement started with a vague plan for a Mediterranean inspired meal, but quickly morphed into a debate about the true king of dips. On the one hand, the dusky sweet flavors of Baba Ganoush appealed to Paul, whereas I had a strong inclination towards classic hummus, a creamy chickpea puree, perked up with garlic and lemon. In the end, we were pretty pleased with our compromise dish, Roasted Eggplant and Chickpea Spread, a transcendent dip with an eggplant and chickpea base, infused with roasted garlic and onions, and the smoky spiciness of charred jalapeno.Read More
Panna Cottas are a custard made with cream and gelatin. Panna cottas are deceptively easy and one of our favorite dishes to make for guests throughout the year using different flavorings and variations. Basil Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberries is our summer version, one we have made a little tangy with the addition of Greek yogurt and lemon. We originally created this basil Panna cotta as a dessert to bring to a dinner at our friends' house who loves all things Italian and basil. We loved it and have been making it ever since!
If you are in the Pittsburgh area, come down to the Pittsburgh Public Market this Saturday (August 16) between 12-2 pm try a free sample of our Basil Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberries and say hi!Read More
It is peach season in Western Pennsylvania, and nothing shouts summer like Smoked Wings with Rye Whiskey Peach Sauce. These wings are slow roasted to tender perfection with a rich pecan smoke flavor and finished on the grill to crisp the skin. Oak-aged spirits pair beautifully with peaches (see our Salted Rum Caramel with Grilled Peaches & Ice Cream), and we find that Wigle's Aged Rye Whiskey is the perfect foil to sweet summer peaches and smokey wings. This Carolina inspired barbecue sauce is quick, easy, and versatile -- delicious on everything from these wings to ribs to burgers.Read More
Salted Rum Caramel with Grilled Peaches & Ice Cream is my kind of summer dessert! Rebecca's sister and I share a deep love of homemade rum-spiked caramel. Many a night has been spent together eating gobs of the stuff poured over everything from bananas to apples to ice cream...or, when no one is looking eating it by the spoonful straight from the pan. In preparation for family dinner tonight (a weekly tradition), I decided to go all out with a new version I've been making with a local rum-style spirit made from buckwheat honey (Wigle Whisky's amazingly delicious Aged Landlocked). The caramel is rich, smooth, and sumptuous with a salty rum finish. The grilled peaches melt in your mouth with the unexpected smoky taste of summer grilling. While the caramel sauce might sound intimidating, you can go as slow as you like over a lower flame. Once you master the technique of dry caramel, you can try other crowd favorites like our Caramel Corn.Read More
I hate leftovers. To me, there is nothing worse than a soggy day-old salad or a mealy reheated potato. Ok, fine, maybe not ALL leftovers are terrible. In fact, Paul and I eat them almost everyday as frozen workday lunches. Out of necessity, I've created a number of go-to dishes that are not only delicious the first time around, but real leftover wins. Soba noodles, a buckwheat pasta (often gluten free), have a number of things going for them in the leftover department: they cook in 4 minutes, have a great nutty taste, are good for you, and they freeze like champions.
Zucchini Soba Noodles with Grilled Vegetables is one of our summer staples. This lightning-fast vegetarian main helpfully works through some of our zucchini back-log, by incorporating zucchini ribbons with unusual vinaigrette of mustard, soy sauce and lemon juice. Add some grilled summer squash and red onions and this dish is done in 10 minutes.Read More
We are heading to the Shore this weekend for some salty breezes, great people watching, and time with friends! Beat the heat with these 9 Recipes for Hot Summer Nights!Read More