Friday, September 17, 2010

striking hues & TCU

The natural beauty of food is what truly inspires me to cook.

A lone pomegranate sitting in an oversized bowl could be the prettiest thing I've seen in a while.

Curling lemon zest from a microplane floating lovingly atop Italian meringue is a true masterpiece to me.

Still-dirty carrots passed from a farmer to a customer is a wealth of beauty in itself.

Rich hues, layered textures and gorgeous platings sourced my inspiration for the newest article in my Easy Entertaining column in the fall issue of Fort Worth Foodie magazine: Cooking with Color.

The featured recipe is a deep emerald, rich fuchsia and striking orange side dish perfect to brighten up any kitchen table:

Watercress, Radish and Shaved Carrot Slaw
1 c radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 c watercress leaves

1 c carrots, sliced thin with peeler
juice of one lime
1 t lime zest

1 t honey
1 t extra virgin olive oil
1 t rice wine vinegar

1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t kosher salt

Toss watercress, radish and carrots together. Whisk together remaining ingredients in a small bowl then drizzle atop vegetables. Serve chilled as a side dish, room temperature atop tacos, or warmed with grilled meats.

This fabulous issue of Foodie features Fort Worth culinary entrepreneurs who are also proud Texas Christian University Horned Frogs! Check out my bio as a TCU alum as well as my newest Linguine and Dirty Martinis mention and ad.

Speaking of gorgeous colors, I fell in love with this sticky, glazed chicken drenched in an intense plum-hued glaze concocted in an effort to play with tamarind paste.

The ripened tamarind fruit is a sweet and slightly sour confection coming from the tamarind tree indigenous to Africa but is also widely distributed in South Asia. The paste is viscous, fragrant, a bit bitter and can be found in the International aisle of the market.

Tamarind-Glazed Grilled Chicken with Fresno Chiles, Citrus Rind and Ginger

Yields: A platter of eight georgeously-glazed chicken breasts


1 shallot, sliced thin

2 T fresh basil, chopped
8 organic, antibiotic-free boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a casserole dish, toss chicken with vegetable oil, shallot and basil. Finish with a sprinkling of:


[ground cardamom + ground coriander + kosher salt + fresh-cracked pepper + red pepper flakes]

Cover dish with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before grilling. Meanwhile, simmer this insane tamarind glaze.


2 c apple juice
2 c water

2 c sugar
1 fresno chile, sliced thin
juice and zest of 1 orange, lime and lemon
2 T fresh ginger, minced
3 T tamarind paste (no seeds)
sprinkle of salt

Reduce all ingredients over medium high heat approximately one hour until reduced by half and thickened. Set aside to cool. Reserve 1/4 of glaze to brush atop chicken during grilling and remaining to finish on cooked chicken.

To accompany the sweet and spicy main course, I settled on an oh-so-simple side that shines healthy and bright. Chopped dried apricots and pistachios would be a perfect substitution if fresh figs aren't available.
Fresh Fig, Shallot and Rosemary Couscous

2 c vegetable stock
one 5.4 oz box of plain couscous
1 cup fresh figs, halved

1 t fresh rosemary, minced
1 shallot, sliced thin
kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste


Bring vegetable stock to a boil then stir in couscous. Take off heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.

We finished our menu with a minimal ingredient side dish that my mother threw together in minutes:
Steamed Corn with Butter and Lime

Simply steam individually-wrapped corn with plastic wrap for 4 minutes in the the (gasp!) microwave. Carefully unwrap cobs and toss with unsalted butter, kosher salt, fresh-cracked pepper and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with lime wedges.


This sweet, spicy and healthy meal was perfect for our end of summer blues!

Lovely odd 'n ends are truly coming together for Linguine and Dirty Martinis, LLC.

I am so excited to finally have my new Linguine and Dirty Martinis business
cards printed and ready to network!

I designed the cards with maroon and black hues and continued my pomegranate theme on the back. Monogrammed ivory chef jackets were stitched in black, maroon and slate with my same fabulous, curvy font. I cannot wait to donn 'em!

Finally, my sample seasonal menu is available to view
with delectable autumn dishes perfect for a fall fĂȘte.

As always, combinations are original (and heartfelt) to Linguine and Dirty Martinis.

Please view my menu and email to plan an event with these lush, comforting fall ingredients!


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