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Recipe Roundup

April 29, 2013

There are just some recipes that are too good to adjust or tweak, and I wanted to give them a hearty shout out on this blog. Here are a few winners I’ve made recently.

Russian pelmeni with a dollop of sour cream.

Russian pelmeni with a sprinkle of curry powder, Sriracha, and a dollop of sour cream.


For a brief time when I was in college, there was this awesome little pelmeni restasurant in my hometown that made exclusively…you guessed it, pelmeni. Sadly, it shut down a few years ago but the cravings for pelmeni have not stopped. Finally, at last! Natasha’s Kitchen provided me with a recipe that resulted in closest approximation.  This recipe calls for chicken, but you can make it with any filling you’d like (I like just a bit of seasoned potato). I made mine by hand the first time around, and while it was worth it, it was also pretty time consuming. Next time, I’m getting myself a mold.



Delicous comfort food for my soul: chiles rellenos

I fell in love with chiles rellenos during the two years I lived in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to the east coast, it seemed I would have to give up on them altogether. I couldn’t find it in many restaurants for some reason, and in the few where I tried it, they were either still frozen in the middle or the “breading” was wrong. However, on my honeymoon last fall my husband and I stopped at this little town just outside of San Francisco for dinner and I tried once more, figuring that restaurants knew how to do it right out West. And was I right! I figured if I wanted some myself I’d have to make it. CHOW provides a king-making recipe, and taught me the secret–the “breading” is not bread, but rather fried egg batter. Genius!


Chipotle and ancho chile chicken marinade

April 3, 2013

I marinated whole chicken thighs here, but you can also use boneless thighs or breasts, or try beef, pork, or even tofu (though maybe pan fry instead of grill it).

It’s finally spring, at least technically it is, and for many people that means it’s time to pull out the grill and get in some outdoor cooking. This is one recipe I’m ready to fire up all year round, though. In fact, that’s exactly what I did this past January. I live in Baltimore, and as you may have heard, the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl this year. Leading up to the big game though were other big games, and for at least two of them, I whipped up this grilled chicken recipe for the get together. While it was hard to fire up the charcoal grill in 30 degree weather while the wind was fighting me as I was trying to light the briquettes, I did win out in the end.

While I’ve used this marinade with chicken thighs, it can be applied to other cuts and other meats as well (I plan on trying this with beef next, and who knows, maybe it would also work with tofu?). I prefer the thighs, though, because they are more flavorful than breasts, and are more moist on the whole.


Happy holidays!

December 26, 2011

This was how my family feasted this Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday! And I hope it was full of delicious food and good cheer!



Food Reads

September 30, 2010

A new feature here: Books on food that you should check out.

Four Fish — New York Times seafood writer Greenberg examines our historical relationship with wild fish. In the early 2000s, Greenberg, reviving his childhood fishing habit, discovered that four fish–salmon, tuna, bass, and cod–“dominate the modern seafood market” and that “each is an archive of a particular, epochal shift”: e.g., cod, fished farther offshore, “herald the era of industrial fishing”; and tuna, “the stateless fish, difficult to regulate and subject to the last great gold rush of wild food… challenge us to reevaluate whether fish are at their root expendable seafood or wildlife desperately in need of our compassion.”

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes — While the phrase artisan bread typically evokes images of labor-intensive sessions and top-notch ingredients, for authors Hertzberg and François it means five minutes. An intriguing concept—high-quality, fresh bread in less time than it takes to boil water. The authors’ promises of no kneading, no starter, no proofing yeast and no need for a bread machine is based on the concept of mixed and risen high-moisture dough stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Note: If you have a fear of baking bread, this will help to alleviate those fears. It’s super easy, and you’ll be able to fill up your home with the smell of fresh bread. Also, if you love those artisan loaves, you can make at home for cents on the dollar what you would spend $5-10 for at the store.


August 5, 2010

It’s hot outside and even hotter in your kitchen. A good way to combat this, while also getting the best use of your summer produce, is the summer salad. The New York Times offers 101 Simple Recipes for the Summer Seasons.

Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times

I’ve been obsessing over summer squash and zucchini for the last few weeks. Mostly I’ve been preparing it very simply–slicing it up and sauteeing it in a few pats of butter, adding a little salt and pepper for taste, and then drizzling on just a hint of white truffle oil and my oh my. Heaven. But next time I stop at the farmer’s market I’m going to grab a few pecks more and try my hand at this squash gallette at Strawberry Pepper.

Haven’t ever heard of the Paleolithic Diet? According to our friends at Wikipedia, it is “a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture.” It’s not so much a diet in terms of losing weight, but one rather of lifestyle change, and something that might be beneficial to those of you who autoimmune problems that haven’t been accurately diagnosed yet, or ones that are still problematic. I know of some people who have found it to be a real game-changer in terms of their health (though it’s not something I do myself). An interesting read.


February 18, 2010

As Liz Lemon might say, “I want to go there” and eat this mocha cake. [Easy French Food]

Maybe I’m just feelin’ the French food, or maybe it’s being buried under 70 inches of snow, but savory, potatoey comfort foods like this lamb champvallon get the taste buds tingling. [Sippity Sup]

I’m obsessed with lavender. I try to put it in anything plausible. This recipe for Meyer lemon lavender pound cake sounds like a prime candidate for baking, especially since I have a bag of Meyer lemons just begging to be made into something delicious. [Desserts for Breakfast]

The Chinese lunar new year might have been this past Sunday, but every day is a good day for char siu. [Jun-Blog: Recipes for a Simple Life].


January 19, 2010

I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a cook over the past three years, but with each passing one it doesn’t cease to amaze me at the variety of foods I’ve yet to try to eat, no less cook. So this blogroll is dedicated to those ingredients I’ve parked in my fridge in search of a good recipe and a stomach that is ready and willing.

  • Dear Fennel. I’m not really a fan of the anise flavor, but as an accompaniment? I’m willing to give you a try. So what looks good? Perhaps you, paired with something bright and tasty, like in this beet and orange salad from Sunday Hotpants?
  • Speaking of oranges, I have a blood orange sitting in my fruit bowl and dreaming of blood orange sorbet, such as the one here at Simmer Down.
  • This week I also grabbed a bunch of swiss chard while I was a the store. I’m told by the Internets pretty often that this stuff? Where nutrition is concerned? Is TOPS. So I’m thinking later this week, this sucker is going to become very good friends with some chick peas in this garlic-roasted chard with garbanzo beans over some homemade polenta [Eggs on Sunday].
  • And for a little something different, is offering an amazing deal on discounted gift certificates. Enter the code INDULGE when checking out and you can get an additional 80% off already reduced gift certificates. Case in point, last week I purchased 5 different $25 gift certificates for $2 a piece, down from the regular discounted price of $10. The caveat is that most places ask you to spend at least $35, but a dinner for 2 for pretty much $10 where your bill might be $40-50? Not a bad deal. The code expires today, January 19, 2010, so grab it while it’s hot!

Squash Torte

November 2, 2009

Friends, summer squash season may be past, but a good squash torte can be fine dining fare all year long if you kind find some decent zucchini and/or yellow squash on hand. Granted, I’m all for eating local and seasonal, but I also lack the discipline it takes to eat root vegetables all winter long if that happens to be the predominant produce available in the climate of my current residence.

Yellow squash, potatoes, and zucchini make for a yummy torte good all season round, (though best in summer).

Yellow squash, potatoes, and zucchini make for a yummy torte good all season 'round, (though best in summer).

Great as a side dish, you can add a bit more cheese (mozzarella) to beef it up as a main dish.

Edible fake blood with Molotov Theater Group!

October 30, 2009

I love Halloween!  And to help everyone celebrate this year, Matzo and Rice asked our good friends at the Molotov Theater Group to do a guest blog on how to make your home made edible blood!

And now, a guest post by Lucas of Molotov Theater Group!

Halloween is my favorite holiday because it is all about glorifying the bizarre and grotesque. Washington DC’s Molotov Theatre Group, “America’s Second Oldest Theater of Grand Guignol (Theater of Horror),” relishes keeping the Halloween spirit alive year-round. As a horror-centric company, we go through stage blood by the gallon. I imagine the loyal Matzo and Rice reader might be thinking, “What does this have to do with food?” Well put a sock in your inner monologue and I’ll tell you.

A wound from Molotov Theater Group. (c) Molotov Theater Group



September 7, 2009

Holy apple, peaches, and pumpkin pie! This chocolate chip & pretzel cookie bar with peanut butter at Brown-Eyed Baker is making my head spin in matter of Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Must. Bake. Now.

I had blackberry panna cotta this last weekend for the first time and it was divine. I’m thinking it’s definitely not going to be the last time, too. I might continue this positive trend by trying out this violet panna cotta with blackberry coulis (though perhaps lavender will replace the violet, as I am still obsessed with lavender).

While Rice is all about the sweet, I’d like to show a little savory action. The Streaming Gourmet made their version of Guy Fieri’s Pretzel & Almond encrusted chicken breasts. They’re browned and crunchy on the outside, but look moist and juicy on the inside.

The Passionate Eater gives us a photo tour of all the yummy things she picked up at the Zurich Farmers’ Market. This scruptious (but not her favorite) pretzel sandwich with butter and prosciutto looks divine. Perhaps one of our readers can perfect it? Rice – I just laid down our first challenge. Ha!