Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

Taste of the Tropics: Mango-Black Bean Salad with Lime Vinaigrette January 15, 2013

Mango-Black Bean Salad

Let’s pretend it’s summer, shall we?

Yes, let’s pretend that everyone is wearing short shorts and flowy hi-low hemmed skirts and drinking milk shakes and having backyard BBQs. That it hasn’t rained every day for what seems like weeks and that the sun is really just hiding out behind those ugly gray clouds, waiting to make it’s move.

You see, sometimes, in the deep, dark of winter, I like to make tropical foods to remind me of the warm, sunny days yet to come. Luckily, there are a plethora of tropical fruits to choose from at the supermarket, especially in winter. And since berries and other summer fruits aren’t at their best, I really encourage you to pick up some of those funny-looking fruits—persimmons, kumquats, mangoes, starfruit, dragon fruit, etc.—and give them a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the flavors you’ll find. (more…)

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Italian Mash-Up: Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake January 8, 2013

Eggplant Mozzarella and Saffron Bake

Happy New Year, dear readers! Like many of you, I’ve been plotting and planning for this coming year, trying to come up with ways to not only improve my business, but also myself, my marriage, my home (which looked like a tornado had gone through it just a few days ago while I was reorganizing just about everything), and this little blog.

I wanted my first dish of the year to reflect the way I’m feeling at the present—a little unsure about which way to go, but ready to grab life by the reigns and let it take me wherever the path may lead. And so I offer you this Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake, which is in fact a combination of two classic Italian dishes, eggplant parmigiana and saffron risotto, although it’s a bit more healthful as the eggplant is baked instead of fried.

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My Biggest Event Yet + Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad September 7, 2012

Hello Dear Readers! Wow these past few weeks have been crazy and crazy fun! Last weekend I catered the biggest event of my career, a 150-person after-wedding party at Neon’s Unplugged in downtown Cincinnati, for my very dear friend Carmen and her now-husband Ben. I love these two so much, it was awesome to be able to feed them and their families the day after their big day! (more…)

 

Tuesdays with Dorie: Green-as-Spring Veal Stew April 17, 2012

Wow, my friends. I’ve had quite possibly the craziest month of my life, which is in itself a incredible thing to say since I’ve had some very crazy times, but in terms of work I’ve never quite worked like this before. It looks like the six-day work week is here to stay (at least in my life), and I’m really trying to get accustomed to working longer days and longer weeks in order to get Delish Dish Gourmet Chef Services off the ground.

And this little business of mine is picking up way faster than I ever imagined: I’m booked for almost every weekend in May already! I’m doing a bridal shower, a Cinco de Mayo/Derby Day burrito party, a 50-person rehearsal dinner of sorts and, of course, Final Fridays at Japp’s Since 1879 (who’s website will be up and running shortly I’m told)!

I’m so grateful and amazed at how many people have asked me to cook for them since I launched the business. If things keep on the up and up, I’ll be a full-time chef in no time! (YES!!) And let me tell you, I’m really looking forward to quitting my day job—or at least one of them! Working four jobs has been a juggling act, but that’s what Libras do best I’m told 🙂

But really, we all know you’re here for the food, and this dish is a doozy! I’ve had Dorie’s recipe for Green-as-Spring Veal Stew bookmarked for quite some time now, and when I came across Mark Bitman’s even more simple version, I knew I had to combine the two recipes to make my own version. With all the changes I’ve made this recipe is most definitely mine, but I have to thanks Dorie and Mark Bitman for their guiding hand with this one.

This dish really does scream “SPRING!!!” The vibrant green sauce is incredibly fresh, and every bite packs a wallop of herby awesomeness  (yes, that is a technical term) with a touch of sweetness from the peas.

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Super Natural: Wild Rice Casserole February 28, 2012

Although it may seem like all I eat is king cake, citrus pie, and bourbon-pecan bread pudding, I definitely take care to eat lots of foods that are good for me too—often much to Doug’s chagrin. (While he’ll eat vegetables, he’s very much a meat and potatoes man.)

I recently picked up Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, and it’s chock full of fabulous vegetarian and whole-grain recipes that are simple enough for everyday. In the past few days alone I’ve made several of her healthful recipes, including her whole-wheat yogurt biscuits (spiced up with cheddar cheese and jalapeno, and doused with goetta gravy for Sunday brunch), Weeknight Curry (a Thai red coconut curry loaded with vegetables and tofu, perfect for my vegetarian personal chef client), and this beautiful Wild Rice Casserole.

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Take Out at Home: Sweet and Sour Pork February 9, 2012

We’ve been eating a decent amount of Chinese take out these past few months (once a month is enough for me!), so I decided it was time for me to get out my wok and stir fry my way to dinner.

As usual, I picked out a recipe that was a bit more complicated than expected for a weeknight, but this Sweet and Sour Pork is well worth the effort, especially if you have a weakness for sweet and sour sauce like I do. It’s not something I order very often because of its—let’s be honest—seriously high calorie count, so making it at home seemed like a good way to up the dish’s veggie content and leave all the MSG behind. Here’s what it includes:

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Healthy Comfort: Fennel and Zucchini Soup with Warm Tomato Relish August 26, 2011

The past couple of weeks have been a little rough. Or a lot, depending on how you look at it. I’m preparing to leave my beloved Chicago and start a new life with Doug in Cincinnati, and what I thought was going to be an easy task turned out to be very a difficult one—apparently it’s really hard to find a suitable place to rent in Cincinnati! And when we finally found two that we wanted, one seller decided to pull his place off the market altogether because he was freaked out about having to move out by October 1st (yeah, what?), and the other one gave the place he told us we could have to someone who offered a $1,000 pet deposit. Well, the saying is true: Money talks. Doug and I were both pretty heartbroken, as the historic home of our (well, mine) dreams in the Mansion Hill/Newport district fell through our fingers. *Sigh*

With Doug in Chicago and the rest of my family in Michigan, I poured my sorrows into jams and jellies and wedding planning at my parent’s home in Kentucky. I ordered in pizza and canned jam until midnight, trying to boil away my frustration. If there’s one good thing that came out of it, it’s that I’ve definitely taken a big step forward toward becoming a jelly-making master.

Over the weekend I made six batches of jam, and I made two more the weekend before, so I’m getting close to having 50 jars in 5 flavors: Blackberry Jelly, Blueberry-Citrus Jam, Peach Jam, Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade, and Black Raspberry Pluot Jelly (made from a Black Raspberry Pluot, not  black raspberries and pluots). My wedding favor stock is piling up!

(Yes, I’m that crazy girl who’s making and canning her wedding favors.)

The point of all this is: when the going gets tough, we often turn to food to make us feel better. And since food isn’t as great for our waistlines as it is for our souls (I’ve been trying to keep this in mind with wedding coming up—10 lb to go!), it’s always nice to have a healthy comfort food to turn to in our time of need.

With fall—my favorite season—just around the corner, I’ve been dying to start making soups again, and this Fennel and Zucchini Soup with Warm Tomato Relish fit the bill perfectly for late summer produce. A snap to make, this unique vegetable soup ends up being creamy without the use of any cream whatsoever. The fennel, onions and zucchini melt into each other when they’re pureed, the anise flavor of the fennel mellowing and the onions adding sweetness. The tomatoes and fresh fennel fronds are not only vibrant and colorful, they also give the soup—and your palate—a nice tart zing. (more…)