The beginnings of Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Chiles, Mushrooms, and Bacon
Remember all of that time we were absent? Well, we did do some cooking then, and I wanted to share some of the recipes we've enjoyed in the past few months.
Diana Kennedy's Carnitas - Before there was Bobby Flay or Rick Bayless, Diana Kennedy taught my mother's generation what Mexican food was all about. Her recipes are clearly written and deceptively simple. These carnitas are amazing - we glazed them with a bit of lime and brown sugar, served them at our holiday party, and watched them disappear.
Fennel Gratin - I have been making this for the past two winters, and I keep meaning to post about it here. While anything slathered in cream and roasted is bound to be pretty good, this really goes above and beyond. It has been known to convert many a fennel-hater to the dark side.
Pear Soup with Blue Cheese and Bacon - This soup is seriously awesome. It is however, seriously more awesome if you make it with celeriac instead of the potatoes. The celeriac runs perfect counter to the sweetness of the pears. We served this as a first course for a dinner party - we passed the blue cheese around the table so people could add as much or as little as they liked.
Italian Sausage and Kale Gratin - LATimes's best recipe of the year, this is certainly rich and undeniably satisfying. What I really liked about this dish was that it's a great new way to incorporate kale, which I so often just end up sauteeing or stewing. For a lighter version of this dish, try substituting white beans for the sausage (be sure the beans are firm-tender, not mushy).
Dal with Poached Eggs, Cilantro, and Yogurt - Think of this more as a guideline than a recipe, but this is exactly the sort of thing I love to make for a quick weeknight dinner. Plus, Paul is an excellent egg poacher, and I'll eat almost anything with yogurt on top of it. This works with yellow, orange, or red lentils.