Steamy Pork Buns

steamy pork buns

If you’re wondering if steamy pork buns are the same thing as steamed pork buns, they are. Steamy pork buns got their name when my boyfriend, Nathan, misread an email from me. He kept calling them this for a good 6 months before I corrected him, but the name stuck. Whatever you want to call them, there are fewer meals that are more fun for me to make or more frequently requested by Nathan (he captured the beautiful picture of the steamy buns above in return for two buns). It’s like creating a giant dumpling, involves making dough (which I love), and uses hoisin sauce (my asian kryptonite). Better yet, they freeze beautifully-just steam them straight from the freezer for a few extra minutes and you have dinner ready to go.

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Kale Pasta with Pistachio Pesto

kale pasta

There’s nothing more satisfying then that warm, comfortable stretch when you eat a plate full of pasta, and this recipe is no exception. I added kale leaves to the pasta dough to make it slightly healthier and green. I say slightly because you will need to eat the entire 1 1/4 pounds of pasta to get one generous serving of vegetables. While time consuming, making your own pasta is infinitely better than buying it from the store (and I love store bought pasta). You can even customize it to your own likening: throw in some herbs like basil, thyme, or oregano or add some spices like saffron or turmeric. I love the pistachio pesto that’s paired with this recipe, but feel free to substitute store bought pesto or tomato sauce if you’re short on time.

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Brussels Sprouts Prosciutto and Fried Shallot Pizza

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Homemade pizza is one of my favorite dinner party picks. I usually make the dough, provide the sauce and cheese, and ask each guest to bring their favorite toppings. When I was on the Frisbee team at Hopkins, essentially all of our team dinners involved pizza. I recently had a reunion with four of my favorite Frisbee girls, and to keep up with tradition, we made homemade pizza.

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Lamb and Coconut Curry

Lamb Curry Spice Mix-2

One of my biggest pet peeves with ordering out curry is the minimal chunk to sauce ratio. I feel like I only get a few chunks of meat and vegetables floating in an enormous sea of sauce. For those of you who avoid soups and stews due to their lack of “fillingness” (i.e. my brothers), the abundant chunks of lamb, potatoes, and rutabaga are sure to leave your stomach taut and soul warm. I know that there are a lot of spices in this recipe, but if you do any sort of ethnic cooking, you should have most of the spices on hand. I think that making your own curry sauce, instead of using a pre-made spice powder, makes it taste more authentic. Serve this curry over a bed of rice, topped with kale, cilantro, or parsley and a side of naan.

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Pulled Pork Biscuit Sandwiches

Biscuit Pulled Pork Sandwich

My infatuation with biscuits started at Baltimore’s Black Sauce Kitchen. Last year, during my senior year at Hopkins, I frequented the farmer’s market almost every week to get one of their biscuits. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an interview with Damian Mosley, the creator of Black Sauce Kitchen. The interview touched upon the origins of company, as well as featured a biscuit making demonstration, where he gave out part of his biscuit recipe. I tried to fill in the blanks, and I have to say, they come pretty close. This recipe works best with cold ingredients, so keep the buttermilk and butter in the fridge until needed. When cutting out the biscuit dough, make sure to grease and flour your cutter and be careful not to twist, as it will prevent the biscuits from rising to their full potential. These biscuits are great by themselves, slathered with butter and honey, or as a base for a sandwich (pulled pork in this case).

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Bison Chili with Ancho, Mole, and Cumin

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One of my favorite parts about winter in New England, is the thick hearty soups and stews that accompany it. They’re particularly inviting after a cold commute back from work or school or after a long day of snowshoeing or skiing. My Montana-bred friend suggested that I use bison instead of the traditional ground beef found in most chili recipes. If ground bison is hard to find, beef or lamb make great substitutes. I always top my chili with a sprinkle of cheese, diced jalapeños, and sliced avocado over a bed of brown rice.

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