Whole Foods had a big sale on wild sole last week, which inspired me to think of an easy way to eat a lot of the delicious fish. I happened to have a lot of fennel in the fridge, and so I experimented with cooking the sole and fennel together — and discovered our new favorite way to cook sole! The fennel and lemon pair perfectly with the fish. Baking the fennel brings out a lot of the vegetable’s flavor and sweetness, and the lemon and garlic add a nice zesty quality to the dish. The sole is so moist and flavorful! This dish should typically serve about 4 people, especially when accompanied with another side vegetable, but, truth be told, it was so light and delicious we ate the whole thing when I made it last night! This recipe will be a nice addition to my work-week dinner roster, as it is so simple to make and healthful, too!
We have a fantastic butcher here in Park Slope called Fleisher’s. Fleisher’s carries fabulous quality meats free of hormones or antibiotics, which are locally sourced and raised on a primarily grass-fed diet. We love everything from them. Yesterday, we stopped by Fleisher’s and picked up some pork chops, steaks, and some “bork” — ground beef and pork mix. For late brunch today, I used the bork to make some spicy “bork” mince with onions, capers and parsley, topped with scrambled eggs. So easy to make and packed full of flavor! The capers add a nice tangy flavor to the spicy mince meat, and the parsley gives the dish a lovely freshness. Eat with some scrambled eggs, and you’ve got a great protein-packed brunch in a bowl!
A high school friend of mine and his girlfriend are on the raw food diet and are also vegetarian. A while back over drinks, they told me about the wonders of the spiral slicer that can create beautiful spirals of vegetables — a perfect gadget for raw foodists, who, with it, could make raw vegetable “pastas” from carrots, zucchinis and the like. The idea of the spiral slicer stayed on my mind, and so I finally purchased one recently. There are a few types of spiral slicers out there, but I went with the Gefu Spirelli — and I LOVE it!
I first learned to make guacamole at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, where one of the activities was a cooking demonstration. Ever since, guacamole has been a regular party staple in our household. Who doesn’t like guacamole? Fresh and flavorful, guacamole is excellent all year round.
There’s room to play in making guacamole. Normally, I use a habañero pepper (about 1/2, deseeded), but you can also use serrano or jalapeño peppers, depending on your preference. Recently, we like using serrano peppers because they have a good balance of heat and flavor (David calls it “umami”). A few of my friends don’t like cilantro, in which case I’ll swap out cilantro for basil and make what I call “Mediterranean” guacamole. Although traditional guacamole uses yellow onions, sometimes I like to use red onions, which are sweeter. You can use heirloom tomatoes or cherry tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes, depending of what looks best at the market. I like my guacamole crunchy, so you can definitely play with the ingredient ratios.
Here’s the basic mix as a guideline:
Sometimes, we just feel like eating a nice big piece of fish for dinner. Wild sockeye salmon is one of our favorite weekday fish, because it is so quick and easy to cook. It takes less then 10 minutes to pan-sear sockeye salmon filets to crispy-skin perfection. Sockeye salmon is firmer than your regular salmon, with deep, orange-red color and rich, full, salmon-y flavor. It is leaner than King Salmon, and less expensive. I think sockeye salmon is best cooked simply — just make sure to not over cook it, as it will dry out. Since David and I try to avoid eating farmed salmon as well as salmon with “added color” (usually goes hand in hand), sockeye salmon has become our favorite salmon variety to cook at home (along with coho salmon, which, when in season, is also delicious). Currently, sockeye salmon found in super markets tend to be “previously frozen” (i.e. not in peak season), but we think they still taste delicious!
Here’s how I pan sear my sockeye salmon filets:
My Spicy Lemon Paprika Chicken Thigh recipe is one of the most frequently visited posts on my blog — I think because we all love a simple but flavorful way of oven roasting skin-on chicken thighs (and indulging in deliciously crispy chicken skin). I recently created a variation of the recipe, a marinade with more spices — I wanted to layer on more flavor in the marinade and see what happened. The result was excellent, and also different, so I hope everyone who has tried the Spicy Lemon Paprika recipe will try this new recipe, too! What I like about this new marinade is the slight sweetness from the cinnamon, as well as the aroma of fennel seeds as well as a hint of cloves.
Brussels sprouts and bacon pair perfectly together, and we love them roasted to crispy perfection in the oven! My favorite bacon to use for this dish is the Whole Food’s brand of uncured applewood smoked bacon — it is thick cut with a good meat to fat ratio, and has a slight but not overwhelming smoke quality to it.
The key to roasting Brussels sprouts is to get the crispy exterior without overcooking the sprouts on the inside — mushy Brussels sprouts are no fun. Here’s how to roast your Brussels sprouts to crispy bacon-y perfection (caution: you will be hooked!):
Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is off to a great start for everyone. David and I had a terrific holiday season, and I have quite a few recipes to catch up on!
First, dinner from last night: a very simple roasted duck.
We recently introduced whole roast duck into our dinner repertoire. Previously, roasting a whole duck somehow seemed more labor intensive than roasting a whole chicken, but it’s really not that different. If you get good, fresh duck — and we get lovely Long Island duck here in New York — then a simply roasted duck is delicious. I also love getting all the fabulous duck fat after roasting a whole duck, which I like to strain and keep so that I can use duck fat to roast vegetables (SO GOOD).
I like to roast the duck at a high temperature, bringing the temperature down later. This method helps make the skin nice and crispy. The simplest, no-frills way I have come to roast a duck, is as follows:
Seven years go, David and I lived for a couple years in the Upper Eastside. A time long before our gluten-free days, our favorite neighborhood place for Chinese food delivery was Café Evergreen (which, it seems, has now closed). One dish in particular remains in my mind, mostly because it was so simple yet surprisingly satisfying: sauteed enoki mushrooms with spinach. I recently had 2 bunches of enoki mushrooms and spinach sitting in my fridge that I needed to use, so I decided to make my own interpretation of the Café Evergreen dish. This veggie dish is very simple, quick, and delicious. The enoki mushrooms almost feel like “noodles.” I didn’t have any fresh ginger on hand, so I used ground ginger, which worked fine — but next time, I’ll probably use fresh grated ginger instead. Continue reading
‘Tis the season for winter greens! I recently found on sale these these little bunches of black Tuscan kale, locally produced by Satur Farms. They are smaller than your more typical kale, and have a bumpy, crinkly surface. In the past, David hasn’t been the biggest fan of kale — he finds kale bitter and its stems too tough. I thought I’d give the black Tuscan kale a try anyway, mostly because they looked pretty. Surprisingly, David LOVED the black Tucan kale and couldn’t get enough of it! The black Tuscan kale has an earthier, almost sweeter flavor than the large type of kale, and the texture is lovely — the leaves are soft but not mushy . After blanching the kale, I cooked the leaves very simply with sauteed red onions and garlic — a perfect pairing with a pork chop.
Here’s how: Continue reading