Mussels in Escabeche

I was really excited to cook some mussels and decided that they would fit perfectly in the first course. I wanted something light and flavorful, that would give the guests an opportunity to make a bit of a mess and dip some bread into the delicious broth. The broth can be cooked in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve. The broth gives beauty to this fairly expensive and easy to cook dish. Slowly roasted veggies are extenuated with fish stock, paprika, and a mixture of white wine and vinegar. It is really amazing. I will keep the Escabeche on hand in my freezer for future mussel cravings! Serve it with some crusty bread like Baguette or Ciabatta!

Curried Carrot Soup with Roast Rainbow Carrots

I have been wanting to prepare something bright and colorful, and I came across organic rainbow carrots at Wegmans the other day. The beautiful colors inspired me to go for a curry. Honestly, I wanted the excuse to add some turmeric to see how pretty the soup would be…and I had some ginger laying around in the fridge, waiting for a purpose.

Couscous and Halloumi Salad with Kale and Roast Winter Veggies

This dinner was inspired by Blue Apron. Or rather, the occasional inefficiency of the shipper they use Laser Ship. Laser Ship insisted that they delivered my box on Tuesday as usual, but it was not on my porch when I looked, and the “3:31 pm” delivery time that they quoted was actually when I was scraping ice off of my front stoop. Wouldn’t you know it, my groceries “appeared” on my step on Friday evening.

Civet of Venison with Porcini Mushrooms

When we were travelling in Barcelona in December, I noticed that wild game was a frequent visitor on the menus in Catalan restaurants, and in the winter months, stews were a particular favorite. I was thinking that another mixture of meat and mushrooms were in order. I figured venison would go well with the earthiness of Porcini mushrooms, and to add a bit of spice and sweetness, I paired them with Chorizo.

Roast Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Soup is one of Nico’s favorite “food categories” and has been perfect through this strange cold spell on the east coast these past few weeks. Nico made a request for some kind of pumpkin soup, so I figured we would go for a butternut squash and carrot. I like to roast the squash and carrots to shorten the soup cooking time but also to give a sweetness and smokiness to the vegetables that is generally not activated with just boiling them.

Herring Under its Fur

To finish off our Russian feast, we served the famed Seledka pod shube (Herring Under its Fur). It is a quintessential salad that combines some of our favorite ingredients. Honestly, I have not eaten it that many times in my life, since my family almost always chose to make the Olivier, a more chop and mix kind of dish, but I relish it anytime it is on a menu. To make this dish properly, you need to accept that you will have red-stained hands that smell of salted fish…but boy is it worth it.

Borscht

Today, it is time for a Russian classic! In fact, when you think about Russian food, this dish is probably what you are picturing an older lady with a handkerchief covered head stirring with a large wooden spoon. Yes, borscht. It may or may not be a stereotype, but it is definitely a classic!

Demi-glace

Demi-glace is so hard to describe, it is like the essence of deliciousness, the French umami. It intensifies the flavor of any meat that you pair it well, and I am looking forward to pairing it with some roast lamb legs this coming Sunday. Stay tuned for all of the recipes!