Archive for June, 2010

Grilled Rum-Soaked Pineapple

In the summertime, no one wants to be slaving away in the kitchen cooking long and complicated meals: especially when friends are around! Same goes for desserts. Simple, flavorful dishes that refresh and excite work best. So, when a few friends came over and we wanted a quick dessert, I knew exactly what to make.

I’d made grilled pineapple before; I served it with toothpicks as an appetizer at my sister’s birthday party. However, it tastes just as good served over soft vanilla ice cream. (Leave the ice cream out for a little bit before hand. Or, if serving after a dinner, keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. If the ice cream is too hard, you don’t get that creamy pineappley deliciousness at the end.)

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Artichoke Pasta Salad with Basil Oil

One of my favorite cafés around Buffalo is Caffé Aroma, located in Elmwood Village. With its corner presence facing the ever-scenic Bidwell Avenue — part of the parkway system designed by Frederick Olmsted — the location is crowded year round. Everything at Caffé Aroma screams local in the most subdued fashion possible; it simply feels like home. While a great spot for the views, ambience, and great coffee and espresso-based drinks, the food served there is equally impressive. Panini, stromboli, salads, pizza, pastries, and cakes are all organized into bowls and baskets, pre-assembled daily, and waiting to be heated or plated when ordered.

And sometimes, these dishes that I order at Caffé Aroma inspire me to make my own at home. One such dish, a pasta salad with artichoke hearts and sliced red peppers, was so light and delicious that I found myself ordering it nearly every time I was there. Although not a new concept, the salad was so tasty that I decided to make my own version. To improve the flavor even more, it would now be updated with an infused olive oil, chiffonade basil, and roasted red peppers.

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Steak Au Poivre avec des Pommes Frites

A little while ago, my family and I had dinner at a French Bistro on Elmwood called Tabree. From start to finish, the dining experience was extraordinary: the best we’ve ever had in Buffalo. For an entrée, I chose the Steak au Poivre, which I’d read rave reviews about online. It was plated with homemade french fries — drizzled with white truffle oil — and served with mayonnaise. The entire dish was astounding.

So, I knew shortly upon leaving Tabree that I would want to have that same exact dish again: after all, it was nothing short of excellent. However, the overall expense of the dinner at Tabree —  while worth it — isn’t feasible on a regular basis. Thankfully, I knew that the Steak Au Poivre (and the french fries) could easily be replicated at my house. And so, after about a month, I came across a small bottle of white truffle oil at a local grocery store, which triggered my memory of that dish at Tabree. I bought the bottle and the other ingredients necessary for the dish (there goes one paycheck) and set out to recreate Steak Au Poivre: this time, with twice-fried french fries, homemade garlic mayonnaise, and sautéed asparagus (although any green vegetable would pair nicely: broccolini would’ve been great).

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So, 7 months?

Since my last update, that is. I guess starting a dedicated blog like this in the middle of the busiest time of the life thus far wasn’t the brightest idea ever. However, school is ending, summer is about to begin, and I’ll have more free time than ever (even with a new job).

So, to start this blog off once again, I’ll be posting (very soon!) a largely ambitious and time-consuming recipe(s). But, why would I start off with anything less? Check back tomorrow for the update!

[Edit: I’ve decided that this website will now become solely a personal cooking blog: no restaurant reviews will be posted here. I’ll instead be posting a link to my Urbanspoon profile shortly so that all reviews can be viewed there, instead.]


New Blog!!

Go visit MCL Squared!

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