Poultry & Pork

Fregola, Chicken and Kale Salad

Fregola Chicken Kale Salad 1 - The Duo Dishes

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Have you ever eaten fregola? The little toasted rounds of pasta look like Israeli couscous–relatively large, dried balls of semolina flour baked until golden. They get that color not just from time spent under heat, but often a bit of saffron. Fregola’s home base is Sardinia, one of those Italian islands in the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find this imported pasta at specialty markets or high end grocery stores. Although fregola is not the most inexpensive pasta on the shelf, it is worth at least one round on your dinner table. Fregola is the base of this salad perfect for your end of summer cookouts or grilling parties, including the quickly approaching Labor Day weekend. Bring the fregola, and your guests will be impressed.

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Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Linguine with Roasted Tomatoes and Ricotta

Linguine Roasted Tomatoes Ricotta 1 - The Duo Dishes

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One of the last summer dishes I made was centered around pasta and two seasonal vegetables that tend to be at their peak this time of year–corn and tomatoes. You may not see the corn just by looking at the final dish, but it’s there. Following a menu tasting at Little Next Door, I spoke with the chef who served ravioli swimming in a corn and butter sauce. He described how he cooked the corn down until the kernels reached its sweetest point, and that golden mixture was the foundation of the sauce. I decided to take that idea and use it as the base of my pasta dish to add a subtle layer of flavor and creaminess.

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Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Bianca’s Guest Test Kitchen

Bianca's Test Kitchen - The Duo Dishes

May’s guest spot comes from my beloved sister, Bianca! Chrystal and I recently paid her a visit in Portland, where we ate ourselves into an oblivion. Bianca, who is a vegan that enjoys a helping of cheese from time to time, showed us a great time around the “Green City.” During our trip, she excitedly agreed to share one of her original vegan recipes with us. This one that she picked features one of our favorite food items, avocados! We can’t wait to try it out for ourselves. Here’s B with more. Continue reading “Bianca’s Guest Test Kitchen”

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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Uncategorized · Vegetarian

Looking for a Push

Penne with Goat Cheese, Mascarpone and Olives

This has been an exhausting month. We’ve been celebrating new jobs, birthdays galore, the arrival of good friends, checking out new restaurants and just enjoying all things fabulous about fall. Somewhere in there, we’ve been expected to cook. It’s possible that little piece of the pie fell through the cracks. Of course, we enjoy cooking, but perhaps this is one of those times when it felt like we had to make something. For the sake of the blog, for the sake of our readers. Is this how it feels when people get a bit of the blogging blues? If there’s one thing we both want to avoid, it’s the feeling that cooking is a chore. Some activities are hard to enjoy when they feel like obligations. When times like this arise, you find an easy way to solve the problem.
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Jessica’s Test Kitchen

It must be great to say that your prefix is no longer ‘Ms.’, but rather ‘Dr.’ Neither one of us can say that for several prime reasons, but our friend Jessica can! She is just about to cross the threshold into true medicine woman life, and she is also making her way through the kitchen. Through Twitter, she often names the dishes she has just made or is about to make, and it’s great to know that even a med student can find time to cook. If she can do it, none of us have any excuse to shirk our meal-making responsibilities. She hesitated just a bit when first approached to take part in our Guest Test Kitchen series, but the chef deep inside must be ready to make its debut because she’s here to share one of her vegetarian specialties with all of you.

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Poultry & Pork

Dinner At Your Door

One of the reasons most of us enjoy cooking for others is because it’s something that makes other people feel good. That’s one of the main reasons we like to cook for our friends and family. It is something that we can offer other people, and they appreciate it. If our only purpose in life was to do nice things for people that they would enjoy and appreciate, we would all be happy campers. Not too long ago, a friend of ours had an all-around bad day that seemed to pair nicely with a not so great week. From beginning to end, it was a mess. Bad days happen to everyone, and sometimes there isn’t much you can do to change the situation. As a friend, all you can do is lend an ear or a helping hand. Food never hurts either. How can you continue with a bad day when an evening’s meal shows up at your doorstep?

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