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Strawberry-Basil Martini

The Strawberry-Basil Martini is a beautiful and sophisticated cocktail that pairs two of our favorite summer flavors. While the combination might sound unusual, the sweet fruit and herbal notes are absolutely delicious together.

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Chicken Massaman Curry with Wheat Beer

This chicken massaman curry brings bold spices, flavors and colors to the table without bringing the heat. It warms without the burn!

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Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders with Garlic-Herb Yogurt Dip

Crispy, crunchy oven-fried chicken tenders might look like kid food, but these are packed with enough flavor to keep the grown ups just as happy. We serve them with a herb, garlic and lemon yogurt dip.

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Swedish Cucumber Salad with Red Onion and Dill

Swedish Cucumber Salad with Red Onion and Dill

Swedish Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with DillSwedish Cucumber with Dill is fresh, light and full of sweet, tart flavor. We added quick pickled red onions to ours for color and flavor. Make it alongside Swedish meatballs, or anytime you need a quick, delicious salad.

Cucumbers are one of our favorite vegetables and we make some form of quick pickles at least once a week, if not more. I love them Asian-style, with rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil, especially along with Vietnamese-style Baked Chicken or any roasted meat.

When we decided to make Swedish Meatballs, I knew we had to also make the traditional side dish, a sweet and sour quick-pickled Swedish cucumber salad flavored with dill. We added red onions, because they add great flavor and color to the dish. If onions are not your thing, feel free to leave them out and just serve the cucumbers on their own.

Swedish (ish) Meatballs with Cream Gravy

Swedish (ish) Meatballs with Cream Gravy

Swedish MeatballsReal, hømemåde Swedish meatballs in a rich, cream gravy is as hygge as dinner gets. Serve it with boiled potatoes, lingonberry preserves and cucumber salad.

Have you ever dragged your a$$ all the way to Ikea supposedly because you desperately need a new Lillnaggen for your bathroom (but really it’s because you can’t live another day without a Swedish meatball). Do you crave meatballs the way a theater kid craves a spotlight? Do you power-walk straight past all those cozy-looking beds and then say, “Oh look, the cafe. Totes forgot they had one. Hmmm, it does happen to be meatballtime, er I mean lunchtime.”

(Five orders of meatballs later…) “What?”

Yeah, I’d have no idea about that (wipes nutmeg-scented gravy off lips with a Guldlök napkin).

Vietnamese-Style Baked Chicken

Vietnamese-Style Baked Chicken

Vietnamese-style baked chickenVietnamese-style baked chicken; Chicken thighs (or breasts) marinated in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, herbs and lime juice and then oven-baked to create a dish infused with flavor and browned to perfection.

Baked marinated chicken is one of our favorite weeknight dinners. What’s that – just mix up some spices, soak chicken thighs in it for a half hour, and then stick it in the oven? Sign me up. The more interesting the flavors, the more it’s a miracle that such a straightforward process can result in a delicious dinner. And so it is with this Vietnamese-style baked chicken.

There’s a lot going on in the marinade, but one of the standouts – possibly even the key ingredient – is the anchovy-based Vietnamese fish sauce, or nuoc mam. If you’ve never encountered it, you’ve got a treat ahead of you. This sauce is used as a dressing or dip (for example, as an accompaniment to spring rolls) but we actually use it all the time, even in non-Asian recipes, where we want to add a little salt and that distinctive fishy, savory note. Along with rice vinegar and sesame oil, it’s a great condiment to have as part of a simple Asian pantry.

Vietnamese spices

Lime, ginger, palm sugar, chile sauce, cilantro and fish sauce.

Note: This recipe is part of our on-going series with Serious Eats. You can also find this recipe, and other great ones, on their site.

Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta with Hibiscus Syrup

Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta with Hibiscus Syrup

Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta with Hibiscus SyrupVanilla and turmeric-flavored pannacotta with hibiscus syrup. A) A rich, creamy, colorful dessert, or B) a murder victim on a teaplate? You be the judge! (Hint: It’s A.)

Every now and again with this blog, we create a recipe so unrepentantly weird that it seems a shame not to share it with the world. This week, we’d like to introduce to you a dish based on a gorse* pannacotta that we encountered a few years ago at one of our favorite restaurants, Llys Meddig in Newport, Wales.

Our vacation snapshot of the original dessert is too low-quality to share with you – suffice it to say that it was a delight and well worth trying to recreate. Pannacotta is pretty much a three-ingredient recipe (cream, sugar, gelatin) in its simplest form; all we would need, apparently, is some gorse.

So if you ever need to make a dessert suitable for a Murder Mystery night, we’ve got you covered.

*explanation of what the heck gorse is below

Vanilla and Turmeric Pannacotta

The turmeric gives these pannacotta a beautiful golden color and a delicate spice.

French Onion Strata – a savory bread pudding

French Onion Strata – a savory bread pudding

French onion strataThe flavors of French onion soup transported into a hearty, cheesy strata. The heart of bread pudding paired with the soul of a classic soup – synergy on a plate.

We’re big fans of bread pudding of almost every stripe. With one basic method and either a savory or a sweet set of ingredients, you can throw together a wide variety of dishes with bread, eggs, and milk: the framework. We generally reserve the term “bread pudding” for a sweet variation, and “strata” for the savory version where there’s usually more eggs involved. It works so well, for the last few years we’ve exclusively used a strata as a Thanksgiving-day stuffing. We liked the technique so much, we wanted to find out what else we could do with it.

French Onion Strata - a savory bread pudding

Cheesy, gooey deliciousness.

Note: This recipe is part of our ongoing series with Serious Eats. You can also find this recipe, and many other great ones on their site.

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