Poultry & Pork · Uncategorized

It’s An Italian Feast

Are you caught up on Top Chef: All Stars? Not only is the show madly addictive, but also this season is the best season of Top Chef yet! We both love some good reality television–sometimes the trashy kind too– as much as the next person. Incorporate food into it somehow, and you got a hit in our book.  A few episodes ago, the contestants were challenged to create a traditional Italian dish for New York’s exclusive eatery, Rao’s. The judges and celebrity guests wined and dined family-style at the infamous restaurant, enjoying creation after creation from the skilled chefs. Watching all of this clearly had mouths salivating with a ravenous appetite. I swear I could smell Fabio’s Chicken Cacciatore through the television. Plus, the fun everyone dining appeared to be having was highly penetrating. You could feel the joy and passion emanating from each person as these large platters overflowing with Italian delight were passed around the table.

As soon as the episode ended, plans were already formulating to have an Italian feast. Unfortunately, Chrystal was teaching all day, so she could only be there in spirit. The Super Bowl was just a few days away. What better excuse is there to have some your favorite people over and experience that same Italian food love, but this time it would be from a different set of hands and cutting boards.
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Special Events · Uncategorized

Bertolli Chefs Table: Pizza

Photo courtesy of Bertolli/Hector Sanchez

As some of you may remember, we’re a part of the Bertolli Chef’s Table series on their newly revamped website. Each month, the Chef’s Table features an Italian food genre highlighting recipes from three chefs with varying cooking styles. It might be too much to consider ourselves “chefs”, so we’ll stick with cooks. Every month, you get three very distinct takes on a dish, incorporating one of Bertolli’s wonderful sauces in each recipe. This month’s Chef’s Table highlights a staple in Italian cuisine that just about everybody loves–pizza! We put a modern spin on your traditional Italian cheesey pie by making bite-sized pizzettes, subbing a crispy polenta cake for the traditional pizza dough. The recipe features Bertolli’s Vodka sauce, along with some of our favorite ingredients: fennel, arugula, pancetta, mushrooms and gruyere cheese. Check out the full recipe here. And, if you haven’t already, peep our Chef’s Tables from the previous months. We guarantee you’ll find good stuff!

Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Beat the Heat

There are some days it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. Lucky for us, it’s not that warm yet in Los Angeles, but this weekend will supposedly be a scorcher. We are heading into our June gloom days–drab and overcast in the mornings before the sun breaks through in the afternoon. This actually started with a bit of May gray if anyone remembers those weeks of dreary mornings last month. Regardless, summer is on its way, so we don’t need to rush it, especially if we want to continue using the oven for special meals. Oh yes, you can still use your oven in the summer if you choose the right time. Oven braising is one of the best ways to end up with something that’s going to satisfy. It utilizes moisture and heat to slowly cook your food to its most tender, delicate degree. You can cook the most succulent beef, lamb, turkey and even chicken with the simplest braising techniques. When it’s just a tad too warm to even think about slow cooking a lamb shank, try tossing in a bunch of fresh, crisp vegetables.

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Poultry & Pork

Split The Pea

We made a homemade honey baked ham! Unfortunately, the camera was on the fritz during this process, so no special honey baked post. But we can say that it was super delicious. Fortunately, there was lots of leftover meat and bones from said ham. With working camera in hand, it was time for one of our favorite soups–split pea. Here’s where the leftover meat and bones come in handy. If you’re not familiar with the split pea, there are a few things you should know. For one, there are yellow and green varieties, and split peas are no different than the peas you grew up eating; they’re just dried, peeled, and, well, split. This soup features the green peas as they are more common in the US, but yellow peas—which are more common in Indian cuisines—are just as dandy. They are easily available in your local grocer. They are also very inexpensive. Plus, these guys are an excellent source of protein and extremely high in fiber. They couldn’t be easier to cook—not to mention, they are immensely tasty.
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The Search Is Over

We have created a masterpiece, at least in our own eyes. This is the ticket of all tickets! Following the First Annual Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco, we officially had the best mini pies in the history of the world. The best! Anyone who was there and also tasted The Pie Truck’s hand pies will probably agree. And then there were those Hog Island oysters that had raw oyster slurping virgins literally taking shots by the end of the night. We left San Francisco raving about the pies and oysters for days (weeks maybe). It didn’t take long for us to run through idea after idea. Somewhere along the line, there was a conversation about oyster stuffing that had all the lights going off in our heads. We had to make an oyster stuffing-style pot pie, and we had to make it taste good. With hopes of making the best little oyster stuffed pot pies in all of the land, we went to work.
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Mary Ellen’s Test Kitchen

Scallops & fennel-The Duo Dishes

We bring you July’s Guest Test Kitchen!  Meet Mary Ellen Giess.  Not only is Mary Ellen a fellow Tar Heel, she’s also a close friend and fervent fan of the site (lucky for us).  Mary Ellen now resides in Chicago, IL and, like us, loves everything food and cooking.  We are constantly sharing recipes, great food sites, and tips in the kitchen.  So much so, we thought we’d introduce Ms. Giess with the rest of our audience.  We hope you enjoy this month’s installment.  This dish looks so scrumptious and delicious, we were sad it was made in her kitchen in the Midwest and far away from our California forks and mouths.  She said it was, and we quote, “off the chain!”  Mary Ellen, preach!
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The Power of Pom

Pomegranate juice-Duo Dishes

We were late to the disco with this one, but better late than never.  We recently discovered the grandeur that is pomegranate juice.  Mind you, we’ve had our share of pomtinis and pomagaritas, but there’s more to this sweet, tart liquid than mixing it into a cocktail.  Well, we fully support mixing it into a cocktail, so maybe we should further explain.  What we mean is that the pomegranate is totally and truly delicious, and so is its juice.  We received a lovely box of samples from Molly at Pom Wonderful, and in an overzealous act of experimentation, we took to the kitchen to see what we could do with it.  What started as “Let’s make pom glazed salmon” turned into a full course meal with a cold drink to top it off.  Sometimes we get so excited about the possibilities that we end up testing them all.  That being said, an afternoon of phe-pom-enon was born!  Oh, and did we mention we made a lightbox too?  Truly pom-tastic.

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