ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Pollo Pulquero Edition

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For about nine months I’ve been toying with the idea of finally buying a Mexican cookbook. It had seemed like a glaring omission in my ever growing collection, which at this point includes Jamaican, Irish, Swedish, and even Trinidadian cuisines. Heck, I even have a hilarious cookbook titled “A Passion for Mushrooms,” which I may have purchased at a library sale based on the name alone. The point is this: I needed a Mexican cookbook, and who better to turn to than Rick Bayless, the preeminent American master of Mexican cuisine?

I originally was going to snatch up Bayless’s seminal book, Authentic Mexican, but then after reading Serious Eats rave about his simpler Mexican Everyday, I had a change of heart. Turns out Mexican Everyday had been penned with healthy eating in mind, and as some of you may know, that’s been my mission for 2013. And so while I’m not often a fan of the “fast and easy” cookbooks, I decided to go this route anyway (after all, Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking rocks my world, and that’s of the same ilk).

For my first attempt at a recipe from Mexican Everyday, I opted for Pollo Pulquero, or “Slow-Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, Jalapeños and Fresh Herbs.” It’s a very simple dish requiring only a handful of ingredients, and according to various other bloggers across the interwebs, it’s an out-of-the-park winner. Naturally, I was intrigued. Would this recipe live up to the hype? And would Pollo Pulquero prove to finally be the first dish to come out of my slow cooker that’s truly amazing? Answers after the jump…

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ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: ‘Jerusalem’ Shakshuka Edition + Bonus Pics of Other Stuff

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Back in November, a serious obsession began for me in the form of Jerusalem: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. This glorious tome arrived in the mail one morning, and I’ve been more or less cooking from it ever since. How much do I love this book? Let’s put it this way: Jerusalem landed on my doorstep the same day as Ina Garten’s Foolproof, and after nearly three months, I still haven’t touched Ina’s book. Clearly, this is a serious situation.

In the past several weeks, I’ve made plenty of amazing dishes from Jerusalem, but I’ve failed to document them on this here blog because — like my photocaps — I simply haven’t had the time. Well, people, yesterday I turned in a draft of a project I’m working on, which means I can don my blogger cap once again (at least for the time being). I haven’t penned an Adventure In Domesticity in forever; so I thought why not take pics of my latest foray into Jerusalem and share this exciting culinary journey to THE LEVANT?

To celebrate this most Israeli experience, I decided to make shakshuka, which is apparently a very common egg dish in Israel (although, it’s origins are from Tunisia… so think about THAT). There are many recipes for shakshuka out there (including a variation in Ottolenghi’s other cookbook, Plenty), but this is the one I will basing all the others on because a) it was my first, and b) it turned out so so so well.

After the jump, check out pics of the shakshuka process as well as some of the other dishes I’ve made over the past few months, including a nifty dinner party that my friends and I put together…

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ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Entenmann’s Baking Challenge; Also, A Cookbook Giveaway!

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For years I’ve loved the Entenmann’s family of products, particularly the chocolate-frosted doughnuts (best when dunked in milk), the devil’s food cake doughnuts, the cupcakes, the chocolate chip cookies, and of course the chocolate fudge cake. I therefore was thrilled when Entenmann’s offered to send me a box of bakeware as well the company’s new cookbook, Entenmann’s Big Book of Baking, for free on the condition that I hold a baking party and document it on my blog. Done and DONE.

The timing could not have been more perfect. As it turned out, I was headed to the Hamptons this past weekend to celebrate a friend’s birthday (NEIL, to be specific — his name has been bandied about from time to time here). What better way to help ring in a new year in Neil’s life than by baking up a storm? With the help of my new friend Lynsley of Popcorn and M&Ms, I set up shop in Neil’s kitchen and churned out no less than five recipes from Entenmann’s Big Book of Baking.

Ah, but how did they turn out? Results after the jump…

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ADVENTURES IN DOMESTICITY: Sichuan Bonanza Edition

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About a year ago, I stumbled upon Fuchsia Dunlop’s Sichuan cook book Land of Plenty on some blog out there on the Interwebs. I was intrigued by whatever the dish was and did further research. It turns out the British-born Dunlop spent extensive time in the Sichuan province of China studying the local foods and flavors, even going so far as to attend the culinary school there — a first, I believe for a Westerner. The more I read about Dunlop and Land of Plenty, the more fascinated I became by Sichuan cuisine. It was totally foreign to me, and soon I wanted nothing more than to attempt it myself and see what all the fuss was about. I finally purchased the cookbook, and after a week of browsing through the pages and reading the extensive and well-written introductory pages (about eighty in total), I was ready to take the plunge. I headed to the Chinese supermarket, purchased all the key Sichuan staples (a process unto itself), and returned home ready to cook.

But what to start with? There were so many options. I definitely was not going to do anything that was deep-fried as I’m afraid of oil explosions, but aside from that, I had no real limits. Finally, I decided upon an imposing dish called “Boiled Beef Slices in A Fiery Sauce.” Dunlop writes that it’s “sensationally hot” and that “it’s not for the fainthearted, but if you have a taste for spciy food, it’s fabulous.” Sounded perfect for an Adventure in Domesticity…

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AND WHATNOT: Snooki Annoys People; Also, January Jones, Semen, and The Best Cookbooks EVER!


Via D-Listed

2nd * on the RT: Best Jake G. photo EVER!!!
Yahoo! Movies: ‘Mad Men’s’ January Jones Joins the Cast of ‘X-Men: First Class’
Betty Hallock’s Posterous: Aebleskiver II
Daily News: JetBlue brings back ‘All You Can Jet’ passes
New York Daily News: Heidi Montag ‘devastated’ over death of her plastic surgeon, Dr. Frank Ryan
Village Voice: Press Clips, Day 6, Late Edition: The Beautiful Bedbugs of Elle Magazine (thanks Malibu Judie!)
Village Voice: Semen-in-Water-Bottle Guy Just Your Everyday Average Joe (thanks jash)
Vulture: Snooki Charged With “Annoying People”
Starcasm: Meet the contestants from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 15
Daily Dish: What are the best cookbooks of all time? [Updated]

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