Uncategorized · Vegetarian

No Dairy Please

Corn & Basil Soup-The Duo Dishes

A little cream does make things taste good. Things like risotto, alfredo sauce and maybe even a piping hot bowl of soup. Cream adds heft, more body if you will. Yes, cream is a mighty good thing. Sometimes. But sometimes you don’t need it. And that’s when you know you’re getting unadulterated goodness that travels from spoon to mouth. In order to cut out a few calories, you can find easy ways around the cream dilemma. Or maybe calories aren’t your concern. Perhaps you had it on your list, and dangit, you forgot! No matter. There are ways to work around that dang cream, so you still end up with a creamy, satisfying dish.
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Uncategorized · Vegetarian

When It Works, It Works

It was just over a year ago that we featured a walnut pesto recipe for penne pasta. It was fast, easy and satisfying. Pesto is one of the simplest things you can adapt to your tastes or to what you have on hand. If you have nuts, herbs, oil and a little citrus, you can make pesto. A bit of parmesan cheese is just the icing on the cake. Over the holidays, especially when you have guests, you have to keep in mind that they want to eat the few days before the big event as well. That means you have to make other dishes besides the turkey, ham and pies. What do you pull out when you’re not in the mood to make a huge meal for every meal? Well, pasta of course. Pasta with pesto.

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More Cheese Please

Baked spinach tomato goat cheese-Duo Dishes

Cheese is up there in our top ten list of foods.  Gouda, cheddar, brie, mascarpone, manchego, asiago, halloumi, havarti, swiss, cotija, paneer–doesn’t matter.  We don’t care if it came from a down home Wisconsin farmer or monks in the French Pyrenees.  If it’s cheese, we’ll eat it.  One of the favorites is chèvre.  Although chèvre literally translates to ‘goat’, when applied to the cheese, it typically refers to the soft version that can be spread or dolloped on anything.  Feta cheese is the semi-hard form of goat’s milk cheese that a lot of us love in Greek dishes.  Goat’s milk has less fat, calories and cholesterol than cow’s milk, which means that cheeses from goat’s milk are naturally leaner.  That gives us a weak excuse to use it as much as possible.  The same goes for you.  Let’s enjoy it together, shall we?
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Beef & Lamb

It All Begins Here

Rosemary Onion Roll-Duo Dishes

Where does a good burger begin and end?  Everyone likes their burger in so many different ways.  It’s like the BLT, which we pondered on for a while as well.  You may not have asked us yet, but we will tell you what makes a good burger: tender, flavorful meat and an awesome bun.  You may think that both halves of the Duo love the same things, but it’s not true.  Not in the least.  Amir is not a fan of bread.  He cannot fathom eating bread as is.  He sees bread as a vessel, a carrier of other good eats.  On the other hand, Chrystal has a slight obsession.  Give her a baguette, some butter and maybe a sprinkle of salt, and she will be a happy camper.  If you’re not on an Atkins diet, you have to admit that a great burger must sit on delicious bread.  A terrible bun can ruin a burger.  So that’s where we’ll start.
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Carole’s Replicated Recipe

Caroles RR 10 2009

Another friend of ours recently hit us up to be a guest blogger on the site and take part in our Replicated Recipes feature. Carole is a twenty-something Georgia transplant here in Los Angeles who also loves everything food. We were delighted to have her try out one of our dishes and report back with her experience. As we mentioned with the last Replicated Recipes, it can be a tad nerve-wracking to have someone new cook your recipe and give feedback. It’s not always guaranteed that the outcome will be the same, nor do we know for sure others will even like the taste of the finished product as much as we did. We’re glad to report her remake of the Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Dip was a success.  It even appears others enjoyed it as well (*phew*). Thanks for playing, Carole!

Oh, and she and her husband have their own blog that you should check out. It highlights tips on going green in today’s ever-changing world.

Take it away, Carole!
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Poultry & Pork

No Need to Boil

Caprese Lasagna-Duo Dishes

By now, you’ve gathered that we cook incessantly.  And we love eating just as much as we love cooking.  Lucky for us, we also love to shop for food.  In Southern Cali, the grocery options are abounding.  Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s, Smart & Final, Jons, Vons, and Gelson’s.  Let’s not forget the fresh fare farmers’ markets in each town, including the “Original” Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax.  And then you have the gourmet and specialty shops such as Sur La Table and Surfas.  (Are you tired yet?  We are!)  Our shopping bliss has taken us every which way and to a variety of places to buy food in the greater Los Angeles area.  At this point, we know exactly which places will have the best deals on specific items.  Need some pine nuts, for instance?  Trader Joe’s every time!  And why is a bag of whole carrots usually priced at three bags for $0.99 at Jons!  It’s just too much to handle sometimes.  We probably even know the layouts of each location better than the employees there (Soy sauce?  Right on aisle 3!).

Even with our shopping prowls, we still discover new things in the store each time.  It’s the natural consequence of strolling up and down every aisle when we only went in for a carton of eggs.  Looking at everything, taking in all the wonder that is overflowing from the shelves.  This is exactly what happened to cause this post.  Maybe now, you’ll go explore your local grocer and see what pops out at you…just like we did.