Spicy Korean Veggie Tacos
Tacos are such a great weeknight meal. So much so, that "Taco Tuesday" is a common occurrence in so many homes. This spicy vegetarian recipe is easily adaptable for whatever veggies you might have on hand, and is great for either Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday; or maybe even both!
Pan Fried Hamburgers
On of the meals I remember eating countless times at my grandmother's house were pan fried hamburgers. Simple but delicious. She would make a few, sandwich them between super soft hamburger buns, and my brother and I would eat them paired with cottage cheese on TV trays in her living room while watching Nickelodeon. This is my homage to that recipe, pan fried burgers but updated with fresh ground meat and a great burger sauce. Served without a bun to let the flavor of the meat shine.
Spice Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Jalapeño Garlic Sauce
This recipe is inspired by a fantastic dish eaten in Las Vegas. It was probably the highlight of the trip. Spicy, and juicy with a flavorful roasted garlic sauce. This chicken isn't quite the same as the dish served at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, but for an introvert it's perfect. Prepared in my own kitchen, without the glaring lights and noise of the Vegas strip. Vegas, sadly, I don't think we'll be back. But thanks for the inspiration for this great chicken!
Morel Mushroom and Fiddlehead Fern Flatbread
This flatbread is spring. Earthy morels, crisp fresh fiddlehead ferns, it makes me think of the first warm days after a long Michigan winter. While we didn't experience the brutal cold of winter this year in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan and I are always looking forward to warm spring days.
Italian Turkey Burgers
I love turkey burgers. We live on the 10th floor of our building and we can't have a grill on our balcony so I'm always trying to find burger recipes that work well in a pan on the stove or baked. Ground turkey works so well in a pan. With a lower fat content, it cooks nicely without resulting in a greasy burger.
Green Papaya Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Green papaya isn't any different from a regular papaya, it's just very underripe. Instead of soft orange flesh and black seeds, it's bright white inside and has a texture similar to a cucumber. It's very fresh tasting, not very sweet at this point, but fresh and crisp. This salad would be great in the middle of summer with an ice cold tea.
Jalapeno Roast Chicken and Potatoes
What do you do with an excess number of jalapeños? Poppers might be the logical route, but they're not my favorite appetizer. Jalapeño jelly would also be a good option, but I did not have any canning jars on hand. I did however, have a whole chicken and some potatoes. Roasting the chicken with diced jalapeño spread under the skin and folded into mashed potatoes used up a few of the peppers I had on hand and the result was a mildly spicy chicken with really great jalapeño flavor. If you don't like spicy food, this recipe is still for you. It is barely spicy, I would rate it a 1 or 2 out of 5 on a spice scale.
Pork and Spinach Cannelloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
A great roasted red pepper tomato sauce and cannelloni baked in a cheesy mornay sauce. The cannelloni are bright and vibrant but creamy and comforting all in the same bite. This would be a great recipe to make ahead of time for a dinner party, heating up the dish as guests arrive or the first course is served.
Coconut Lime Poached Chicken
Coconut milk and chicken stock become the poaching liquid for boneless chicken breasts. Seasoned with a hint of lime and jalapeño, this chicken is full of flavor but light and fresh. A hint of sweetness from the coconut, some acidity from the lime, and a touch of heat from the jalapeño, the chicken is moist and perfectly balanced.
Farro Risotto with Pan Seared Black Cod
Risotto made with other grains can be just as good but does need some finishing work. Farro is a great in soups or pilaf, but what about a creamy risotto? It retains an excellent bite or toothsome quality and with a little heavy cream and some parmesan cheese, farro becomes a tender creamy risotto. A quick pan seared black cod, perfectly flaky, goes so well with the tomato and saffron in the risotto.
Back to Basics Steak and Potatoes
This dinner is a back to basics meal. Something we've all eaten and cooked countless times. Steak and potatoes. There are so many variations and versions, sauces and accompaniments, ways to make this dish unique. I'm sharing my simple, basic dinner that anyone with a bit of time and some quality ingredients can pull off.
Vegetarian Caesar Salad
When you follow a vegetarian diet closely, you learn all the hidden animal ingredients in your favorite foods. For example, frosted cereals often have gelatin in the sugary icing. Certain beer and wine brands use animal products in processing. Many cheeses are not vegetarian. And of course, caesar salad can have anchovies in the salad itself but classic caesar dressing has anchovies in the dressing. This salad is really about the dressing. It's not as creamy as a classic caesar, made with greek yogurt, but it works really well with romaine lettuce and fresh homemade croutons. I've served this salad several times to friends and family and find that almost everyone goes back for seconds!
Sous Vide Alaskan King Salmon
Sous vide cooking is by no means a new cooking technique but it has been popularized by the trend in molecular gastronomy. It has become a common technique in cooking television and is used in some really interesting restaurants. On a side note, dining at Alinea in Chicago is on my bucket list. If I ever get there I'm photo documenting the entire meal. Cooking at a consistent temperature in a water bath ensures even cooking throughout the entire item, lowering the risk of overcooking the food.
Peperonata with Shrimp and Sausage
Red peppers and onions cooked low and slow with crushed tomatoes and garlic; super fresh shrimp from the market and mildly spicy sausage. This is comfort food and therapy all in one. With every slice my knife makes through an onion I can feel the stress release from my shoulders. Does that sound crazy? Cooking is my drug.
Brined Pork Tenderloin with Maple Bourbon Glazed Carrots
Brining pork is a breakthrough. It was by pure laziness that this pork tenderloin spent a full 24 hours in a salty sugary brine and it was totally worth it. l had planned to make this dish on a weeknight and hoped to brine the pork while I ran a few errands; maybe an hour or two tops.
Chicken with Olives and Fire Roasted Tomatoes
I always have canned fire roasted tomatoes on hand; I think they are a far superior addition to chilis, stews, curries, etc. I had frozen chicken breasts thawing and olives left over from a charcuterie spread for a party. The mediterranean flavors worked well with each other; the heat of the tomatoes helping to cut the brininess of the olives.
Asian Chicken Salad
I don't know about you but I've eaten my way through the holidays and I need a break. Something fresh, light, but still filling. This salad fits that bill. Crisp napa cabbage, warm chicken, and a slightly spicy dressing. It's a salad robust enough for dinner yet a great departure from the heavy comfort food we've been buried under the last few weeks.
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Mmm....lasagna. Possibly one of my favorite comfort foods. I love all types of lasagna; traditional, white, vegetarian, even a little seafood thrown it. I love that feeling of satisfaction when you cut that first piece, pull it out of the baking dish and realize you have the perfect ration of ingredients; not so saucy that it starts to fall apart but not dry either. Lasagna is always a great way to feed a crowd, and in fact that's where this recipe started.
Cream of Asparagus Soup with Seared Scallops
One year for halloween, my grandmother dressed as a piece of broccoli. It was spectacular. She wore a green sweatsuit, painted her face green, and used temporary colored hair spray to tint her then gray hair a celery green color. She was at the time working as an aid for the local elementary school, and her students called her Mrs. Broccoli.