Duck and Apricot Terrine

For me, this meal was an opportunity to indulge in some of my favorite things! I am turning 30 after-all…so Escargot was a must for this meal, and so was beef wellington! I couldn’t quite afford to serve foie gras to 16 guests, so I decided to create a terrine  paired with a delicious shallot jam. The terrine’s single most important ingredient is the chicken livers, which my friend Anwar (who runs International Grocery and Halal Meats Inc. on 33rd and Greenmount – go there it is amazing!) has been saving for me for a few weeks! The livers mixed with pork, chicken, and duck, create an amazingly complex flavor. The mustard and cornichon juice give it a bit of an extra kick!

Kalua Pig

Nico and I had the pleasure of being invited to a huge Luau while we were in Hawaii. There was so much food! Obviously, since this was a meal for 200, not everything was amazing, but I was so impressed by the chefs chopping up an entire pig as guests patiently waited. There were actually 5 or so entire pigs stationed around the beach.

I loved the experience and decided to cook a Kalua Pig for our Hawaiian-Japanese fusion dinner. I was not quite ready to dig a pit in my garden and roast an entire pig covered in banana leaves as was tradition, so I decided to cook a pork shoulder wrapped in banana leaves in my Dutch Oven. I added a bit of liquid smoke to give the sense of it being prepared on an open fire, and the pork was imbued with a wonderful flavor from roasting in the banana leaves.

Pork Gyoza

These are a beautiful Japanese style dumpling filled with ground pork and Napa cabbage which are quickly fried and steamed to create a crispy outside and a deliciously juicy and tender filling. The closest to soup dumplings that I have come to so far!

I first encountered gyoza at a friend’s family dinner where everyone gathered around the table to build these little guys in an assembly line fashion, I loved this format and will be making them for family and small gatherings in this fashion. Our friends served them to us steamed or boiled, and I remembered thinking, the only way this could possibly be more delicious is if it had a bit of a sear on the bottom.

Roast Tomato Braised Lentils

I wanted to create something hearty and reminiscent of the harvest. I have a plethora of tomatoes growing in my garden, and am actively seeking for ways to use them up. Nico has been talking about eating more lentils, so I wanted to incorporate lentil and tomato here. I decided to roast the tomatoes with some garlic cloves, onion, and bacon for about an hour before slowly braising with the red wine. If you are in a hurry, you can simply sauté the bacon, tomato, and onions for a similar result.

Swiss Chard, Ricotta, and Soppressata Ravioli in Wine sauce

I have been on an Italian food kick recently and purchased an awesome adjustable, double fluted pastry wheel…and I have been itching to use it! I decided to pick some chard from my garden and use up the whey from making mozzarella to make some ricotta filling. I found some soppressata in the back of…

Chicken and Honeyed Tomato Tagine

When most people think of Morocco they think tagine, I did not want to disappoint my guests by not serving one. Generally, tagines are filled with meats and fruits and vegetables. The juncture of savory meats, spices, and sweet fruit are a constant in Moroccan cuisine. I love cooking lamb tagines (like my Lamb Tagine…

Bastilla of Fez with Chicken

There is some strange thrill that goes along with creating complex recipes, I tend to include at least one for every country I explore. The Bastilla is an intricate savory (and yet still sweet) pastry that is generally served during wedding feasts in Fez. The dish is served between the Moroccan Salad Course and the…