No Obstacle Too Big

Sweet Onion Soup-The Duo Dishes

What do you do when you want to make something so badly and you don’t have all the ingredients?  In fact, you really only have a couple of the ingredients.  From our last post, a few people said they just make it happen.  We like that idea.  In fact, we fully support it.  You can ball up the recipe in hand and toss it into the trash…or you can keep it movin’!  And by keep it movin’, we mean forge ahead into culinary unknown.  We wanted to make a soup.  We wanted to make a French onion soup.  We had no yellow onions, only a couple of lonely red onions and a shallot.  That made us remember we’ve seen a red onion soup before that sounded pretty good.  The best we could do was try our best, right? And then, as Carrie Underwood said, ‘Let Jesus take the wheel!’
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Poultry & Pork

Going Nuts in the Kitchen

Herby Pine Nut Chicken with Pearl Barley-The Duo Dishes

Now that we’ve officially ridden a sweet sugar high this week, it’s time to get back to the nutritional basics–good proteins and healthy fiber.  We are maniacs for substituting ingredients.  When we really want to make a dish, we just go for it hoping that what we have on hand will do. The craving for some sort of crusted chicken creation came on strong, and we had no bread crumbs.  A crafty cook knows that you can easily make your own bread crumbs at home, but that only works if you have bread on hand.  We did not.  And we didn’t feel like making a run to the store for a crusty baguette.  As is usually the case, there was a bag of nuts sitting in the freezer–pine nuts this time.  Just enough to get us out of a quick run to the market.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts

We Told You So


Remember the Chocolate Pecan Mint Roll from our February Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 post?  Well, if you don’t, you should reacquaint yourself!  What’s so great about that cake is that it’s flourless and butterless (who wouldn’t like that?), and it’s insanely versatile.  And when we say versatile, we mean versatile.  You can really do just about anything to it, and it turns out so light and delish every time.  It even surprised us just how easy it is to alter the recipe to whatever flavor, taste, or food combination you want–the possibilities are endless!  Many readers may know that the Duo is comprised of two friends–Chrystal and Amir.  Amir loves bananas!  Chrystal, not so much.  There are aspects of banana based recipes that can still be enjoyable–the soft bread and crunchy nuts of banana bread, the caramelized brown sugar and rum on bananas foster and the creamy pudding of a banana pudding.  When you deconstruct the recipe, it’s the individual flavors that really pop.  It’s guaranteed that even a banana hater could potentially enjoy banana pudding in a cake form for sure. Hence, our desire to make an original creation based just on that idea.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts

We’re Playing Favorites

goat-cheese-tart-1-The Duo Dishes

As a rule, you should refrain from favoring one child over the other.  It can create animosity, jealousy and kicks and bites when you’re’re not looking.  You’re bound to create a problem if you have a favorite kid.  We don’t have children, but this seemed like a fun metaphor.  Food is not like a child.  You can have a favorite food, and no one will be upset or vengeful.  You can indulge in it everyday if you like.  It can be your secret, or you can proclaim it loud and proud.  If you saw our Southern cookin’ post, then maybe you recall a mystery final course we mentioned. This is it. Hands down, this is probably our new favorite dessert, and we’re letting you know right here and now.  OK, so the picture above is probably not the best one in the world, but wait.  Just wait until you see the next one.

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Poultry & Pork

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing Baby

fried-chicken-wings-The Duo Dishes

We would like to say that although there are KFCs that have popped up all over parts of Europe, that is not real fried chicken.  We tried to tell two Parisian friends that bit of undeniable truth during their vacation here in Los Angeles.  To all the Frenchies, and any other international friends, who believe the Colonel’s bird is the only ticket, prepare to be mystified and satisfied when someone makes the real thing for you.  What if they make a couple other Southern favorites for you?   Then truly be ready for an experience!  (We are on a below the Mason Dixon line kick this week!)  We love Southern food.  The joy of fried okra, fried green tomatoes and fried catfish rings deep in our hearts and bellies–and fried chicken too.  When there are guests in town who are looking an American experience, why not start with one of the best examples.  Food.

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Poultry & Pork

A Taste of Home


You may be aware by now that the Duo was partly born and partly bred in pleasant North Carolina–a place where sensational foods abound!  Most dishes there are of course distinctive to the South and have great tradition behind them.  Each region even has its own particular spin on certain Southern staples, like good ol’ biscuits and gravy.  A recent trip back East reacquainted us with this special breakfast dish that you just can’t find in the greater Los Angeles area.  If you’re not familiar with how us ‘Tar Heels’ get down, it’s easy!  Simply take your favorite biscuit and smother it with a creamy, sausage-filled gravy, then enjoy it in all its deliciousity, savory-ish, sinfullistic goodness (so good it makes you wanna make up words!).  To our joyous discovery, and hopefully yours too, biscuits and gravy isn’t difficult to make no matter where you are located.

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Poultry & Pork

This Is When You Know It’s Worth It

chicken-pot-pie-the duo dishes

Sometimes it’s easier to throw in the towel and go pre-made.  We’re all busy with insert-word-in-blank, and it takes a lot of time to really do some of the things by hand that maybe we should.  Like make pie crusts.  We love Mr. Pillsbury.  That squishy dough man has appeased our food yearnings with biscuits, toaster strudels, crescent rolls, pizza crusts, and brownies for years.  He’s also rolled out his share of pie crusts.  We’ve had many, many years of Pillsbury pie crusts, and we’ve enjoyed.  But there’s nothing like one you make with a mean combination of real butter, a pastry blender, and a little bicep/tricep action.  Our grandmas and the Pennsylvania Amish knew what they were doing!

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