Well Dined

2Feb/170

Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

Well Dined | Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

I get a lot of emails with recipes from blog subscriptions, magazines, etc...  Some I delete, knowing they aren't my style.  Most I archive to make later.  Very few inspire me to make them ASAP; this recipe was one of those few.  Shakshuka is a dish of Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan origin that consists of eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce.

Well Dined | Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

This recipe, from Bessou restaurant in NYC (via Tasting Table), puts a Japanese spin on the dish.  It was that fusion element that caught my eye.  The tomato sauce is spiced with Japanese curry powder and cumin.  Roasted kabocha squash is added, along with poached eggs.  The original is topped with miso marinated tofu - I went for miso flavored labneh, instead.  Lastly, it is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, and served with toasted Japanese milk bread.

Well Dined | Japanese Shakshuka with Kabocha Squash

The tomato sauce is so fragrant and spicy (the original recipe uses harissa, too, but the curry powder was enough heat for me).  It is counterbalanced by the sweet squash, tart pomegranate seeds, cool labneh, and creamy egg yolk.  The squash and the pomegranate add varying texture, too, along with the crispy toast.  And the miso adds this funky umami note that adds to the complexity.  Dipping that perfectly crispy toast into the runny yolk and velvety tomato sauce is just so insanely satisfying.

23Dec/140

Holiday Round-up

If you are starting to panic because Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) is closing in and you don't have a dinner plan yet, fear not - I have you covered!  I have a round-up of all of my holiday recipes, from protein to sides to dessert, and even breakfast!  So please enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Well Dined | Holiday Meal

Perfect Roasted Turkey, Apple Sausage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Cider Gravy

Well Dined | Brined and Roasted Pork

Brined and Roasted Pork

Well Dined | Slow Cooked Cider Ham

Slow Cooked Cider Ham

Well Dined | Dr Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes

Dr Pepper Glazed Ham with Prunes

Well Dined | Garlic and Herb Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Garlic and Herb Crusted Rib Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

26Feb/141

Eggnog Ice Cream Affogato

Well Dined | Eggnog Ice Cream Affogato

Eggnog ice cream - why have I never thought of that before?!  With the eggs, cream, and sugar - it's the perfect base!  Creamy, spicy, and delicious - this is the perfect winter ice cream.  And it's even better topped with fresh espresso as an affogato!

Well Dined | Eggnog Ice Cream

Eggnog, cream, orange extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, and rum come together to form the base; which freezes up soft and creamy.

Well Dined | Eggnog Ice Cream Affogato

To take it to the next level, pour a espresso over the ice cream to make an affogato.

Well Dined | Eggnog Ice Cream Affogato

Two scoops and a lungo or double-shot is the perfect amount for breakfast or a snack.  It look's like we might be getting another snow storm out here in the NE, and I know what will be keeping me warm!

Eggnog Ice Cream
from Scoop Adventures
Buy the fattiest, full-of-sugar eggnog that you can find because it will make the best ice cream.

2 cups eggnog (no rum added)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp dark rum

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. If eggnog and cream were refrigerated, you may pour the mixture directly into an ice cream maker. If eggnog and cream were not fully chilled, place in a refrigerator until mixture is chilled (1 to 2 hours).

Once mixture is chilled and in the ice cream maker, freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop into a freezer safe container and place plastic or parchment over ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

One Year Ago - Spiced Carrot Soup w/ Crispy Chickpeas & Tahini
Two Years Ago - Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Pot Pie
Three Years Ago - Aji de Gallina; Kheer

9Dec/130

Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Well Dined | Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Is there anything better than a big pot of comforting beef stew in the Winter?  Maybe if you add a lot of veggies, Middle Eastern spices, and some apricots for sweetness.  Yum, yum, yum.  At least I thought so - my husband wasn't really sold on the whole sweet things in a stew concept, and he doesn't like all those vegetables getting in the way of his meat.  But whatever, I thought it was awesome.  If you are not limiting carbs, you could serve this over some couscous and let it soak up all the juices.

Well Dined | Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Start by cooking some red onion and browning some beef chuck that has been seasoned with cumin, ginger, and cinnamon.  I feel like red onions only work well in specific places, and this is one of them.  Cooking them enough that they start to caramelize and release some sweetness is the way to go, here.  Remove the meat to a plate temporarily and deglaze the pot with some red wine to scrape up all those browned spices and good bits that are stuck to the bottom.

Well Dined | Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Add in some sweet potato, apricots, and a can of whole tomatoes in their juices; then add enough water to cover and let simmer for a few hours.  Your house is going to smell AWESOME.  For reals.

Well Dined | Spiced Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

After it is done simmering and the meat and potatoes are all soft and luscious - throw in some chickpeas and spinach.  Oh my gosh.  There is so much going on here!  The apricots absorb the liquid and plump up, and the sweetness from them and the sweet potatoes contrasts the warm spices.  I love all the different colors and textures, too.  Let's get cooking, peeps!

28Oct/132

Apple Oat Muffins

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

Let's start the week out with something sweet, and not even that bad for you.  These muffins are mostly oats, held together by a little yogurt, and studded with chunks of delicious apples.  The are unbelievably moist and spiced with cinnamon.  Breakfast, dessert, whatever - these are going to get gobbled up fast.

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

I used braeburn apples, but any good baking apple will do.  Some stores have little signs that tell you which apples are good for what.

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

See what I mean?  There is more than 2x as much oats as there is flour.

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

The batter is very wet, but this is a good thing.  I would dice the apples smaller next time.

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

My husband practically inhaled these bad boys.  Seriously.  Go make these.  Right now.  I'll wait...  Did you make them?  Aren't you glad you did?

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

You can invite your neighbor over for muffins and hot chocolate.  I bet they'd love it.

Well Dined | Apple Oat Muffins

They might even take one of the muffins you give them on an adventure to the airport.  Cuz who wants to eat airport food, right?

25Oct/130

Healthy Moroccan Lamb

Well Dined | Healthy Moroccan Lamb

Super comforting spiced lamb on top of creamy mashed potatoes - how could that be healthy?  Well for starters, there are no potatoes - that is a cauliflower and white bean puree.  This looks like comfort food, and it totally is, but it is all veggies and protein with no carbs!

Well Dined | Healthy Moroccan Lamb

Start by caramelizing some carrots to release that sweetness.  Then brown up some lamb.  I used lamb chops and discovered that there is very little meat on them - next time I am definitely using cubed meat.

Well Dined | Healthy Moroccan Lamb

When the lamb is browned, add in garlic, spices, chard, and chickpeas (more protein!).  I wondered why the original recipe didn't call for tomatoes - they make so much sense here.  So I went ahead and added them.  The original recipe also just used paprika, which I thought was a little boring.  I used paprika, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander.

Well Dined | Healthy Moroccan Lamb

Another change from the original was that it called for polenta to serve with the lamb.  Polenta is cooked corn meal, and I am trying to avoid grains.  So I used a cauliflower puree instead and it was creamy and delicious - a good counterpoint for the tangy spiced lamb.

9May/130

Moroccan Meat Pies and Afghan Pumpkin

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This post got lost and forgotten somewhere, so it's not very seasonal and I apologize.  But you can look forward to making it next Fall.

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And you should look forward to it.  Sweet, caramelized pumpkin with spices, creamy yogurt, and tangy tomato sauce?  Yes, please.  This is one of my favorite Afghan dishes, called kadu bouranee.

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And these delicious Moroccan inspired meat pies made with phyllo, ground beef, and spices are the perfect main to complement the pumpkin.  You could also make the Afghan meat dumplings called mantu, of course, but they require a little bit more work.

13Feb/130

Spiced Carrot Soup with Crispy Chickpeas and Tahini

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 I don't know about you, but I am not a huge fan of raw carrots.  Warm spiced carrot soup with tahini on a cold day, though?  Yeah, I'm a big fan of that.

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 This is another dish brought to you by my vegetarian lunches with Melissa at Smells Like Brownies.  She pulled together a couple of recipes to come up with this one.

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Carrots, onion, garlic, coriander, and cumin all go into the pot with vegetable stock.

31Dec/120

Christmas 2012

I wanted to do a big Christmas dinner, but I didn't want to be in the kitchen all Christmas Day. I also wanted to try something different than the usual rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. So I decided to do dinner on Christmas Eve and to do some easy, low-prep dishes for Brunch on Christmas Day.

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I ordered a half fresh ham through Whole Foods to try cooking a Christmas ham for the first time, but I made a few mistakes.  I wanted to cook it in the slow cooker with brown sugar and cider to make a glaze, but I didn't realize that "fresh ham" is not really what we consider ham - without the curing or smoke, it is more like a pork roast - so I didn't really get the flavor that I wanted.  I also couldn't get the whole thing to fit in my (very large) slow cooker insert, so I had to chop a chunk off - which actually ended up being a good thing because I roasted that piece and it came out better.