Carrot Coconut Soup is made in under 30 minutes and uses a genius recipe from James Peterson. We love Peterson's cookbooks so much that we originally named our rescue greyhound ‘James Peterson’ in his honor. To our chagrin, we quickly discovered two names and multiple syllables to be far too overwhelming for a greyhound with limited life skills. Now, he just answers to Leo. Carrot Coconut Soup builds flavor from a sauté of carrots in butter, with an unusual thickener of rice, finished with coconut milk and curry to round out this delicious soup . Easy pantry ingredients, foolproof technique, and lovely bold flavors!Read More
Fish cookery and smoked foods don't have to be labor intensive and intimidating. Our recipe for Maple Juniper Smoked Salmon uses a simple Native American technique to easily bring lightly smoked, delicately cooked, flavorful salmon to your table (and impress your wife with your pioneering skills)! For those of you with maples growing in your backyards, its time to break out the clippers! The fish is grilled on a bed of freshly cut maple twigs and leaves, which allows the fish to gently cook while wrapping it in aromatic smoke. The glaze uses juniper and maple syrup to produce a subtle sweet and piney flavor. When buying fish, we try to make sure it is sustainably harvested (or farmed). Ask at your local seafood store, they are usually very knowledgeable. This recipe is based on one of my favorite cookbooks: Food of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions by Fernando and Marlene Divina. If you are interested, check out some of our other seafood recipes.Read More
This week I took a stand against the breakfast industrial complex. Sunday for breakfast, I thought I’d go carnivorous, and ate a plate heaped high with Amish summer sausage. In honor of meatless Monday, I thought I’d swing vegetarian, and polished off a bowl of leftover garlicky lentil salad with goat cheese. Tuesday at 6am, I started to worry that I might not be getting my daily serving of fruits and vegetables, and munched away on snow peas, carrots, and bell peppers while I was getting ready for work. Don’t worry, I also ate string cheese for protein! This morning I was out of time and thinking that I might want to dip towards the sweet side, unfortunately things got a bit sticky when I tried to juggle spoonful’s of Nutella while driving. Paul, no stranger to my breakfast rebellions, calmly continued eating his grape nuts. Now that I’ve gotten that all out of system, I am ready for a spiffed-up breakfast classic. So when I got home from work today, I made a big batch of Chocolate Maple Granola with Quinoa and Cranberries. This chocolaty, crunchy granola is somewhere between breakfast and dessert, a good place to be in my mind, and with the combination of nuts, oats, and quinoa, provides a complete protein rich meal that keeps me energized through the whole day.Read More
We find ourselves making quite a few sorbets around the holidays, when heavy meals are inevitable and dessert has the potential to push us into button busting gluttony. This potent fall Concord Grape Sorbet is a refreshing and aromatic end to a meal, and will usually garner a grateful nod from our overstuffed guests (I'm looking at you potato gratin). Concord grapes are a bluish black variety, native to the North-Eastern region of North America. Concords ripen in early fall are are the variety behind the iconic color and flavoring of grape juice and jelly.Read More
For a time, my family lived on a farm in rural southwest Colorado. My brother was in charge of raising the chickens and ducks, my mom managed the greenhouse and gardens, my dad ran the fields, and I raised the pigs, usually about 3-4 at a time. Seeing the process through, from raising the animals to butchering and packaging the meat, made me passionate about nose-to-tail cooking: minimizing waste and maximizing flavor and value. Sausage is quintessential nose-to-tail cooking, using meat not suitable for the more expensive steaks, roasts, and specialty cuts.
This quick and easy Apple Sage Breakfast Sausage is my take on a classic fall breakfast sausage. It rich and unctuous without being greasy, is packed with apple and sage, and highlighted with generous freshly ground black pepper. If you've never made your own sausage, this is the place to start. The sausage is ready in minutes, and uses free formed patties to avoid the extra complexity of casing your own sausage.Read More
In a holiday season notorious for sweet potato casseroles topped with marshmallows and candied nuts, we play it unconventional. We love the warm spices and fresh herbs of this Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. A fragrant dish with a nod towards North African seasonings, the sweet potatoes are roasted until they are lightly crisped, flavored with an aromatic, garlic, and lemon infused Charmoula vinaigrette, and topped with feta, cilantro and pomegranate. Charmoula is a traditional Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian marinade that is traditionally used in fish and vegetable dishes. Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad is a winner with guests and an unusual twist on the seasonal sweet potato.Read More
Dessert descriptions are thorny things. When it comes to sweet things I find that eloquence often fails me, and unhelpfully divide desserts into two camps, delicious… or, not. While clear cut, these categories do not offer the reader much to recommend this decadent Salted Caramel & Pear Bread Pudding. Besides the obvious “delicious, ”a brief description is in order. Salted Caramel & Pear Bread Pudding has some great things going for it. The bread is toasted to maximize its ability to absorb all the decadent custard, the custard is silky and aromatic with a whopping ¼ cup of vanilla, and is further treated to a topping of caramelized pears with accompanying pan sauce of pear infused salted caramel. For all its flavor and texture complexity, this dessert is also subtle and balanced. This recipe is adapted from one of our favorite cookbooks: Rustic Fruit Desserts. The gorgeous pears for this dish come from our Penn's Corner CSA.Read More
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