Monday, April 7, 2014

springtime wheat berry salad

Sometimes the thing I miss most about Los Angeles are the sandwiches. A simple prosciutto and cheese on baguette from Larchmont Wine and Cheese, a pork belly banh mi from Mendocino Farms, or a G-dmother from Bay Cities. Josh was recently reading an article about the top 10 sandwiches in LA, and he didn't recognize a single one. Apparently sandwiches are being turned upside down in Los Angeles. It's a sandwich revolution. More reason to fly back and visit, I guess.

One of my favorite things to buy for lunch from my beloved sandwich shop, Mendocino, was actually not even a sandwich at all. Their wheat berry, fingerling potato, garbanzo bean, and asparagus salad was killer. If that salad was on the menu, I knew it was going to be a good day.

Try as I might, I've never been able to replicate that exact salad. But this version is a pretty good replacement, if I do say so myself. It makes me a little bit more chipper on some of these extra brisk Chicago days.

springtime wheat berry salad
(serves 2)

1/2 cup cooked wheat berries
1 lb. asparagus
1 can garbanzo beans
2 T chopped fresh dill
4 eggs

1/4 cup Whole Foods Caesar dressing
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
Salt, pepper

To hard boil the eggs: bring 1 inch of water up to a boil in a saucepan. Gently place eggs in pan and cover with lid. Let eggs steam for 10 minutes. Immediately run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters.

Chop and steam the asparagus until bright green and fork tender, about 3 minutes. Mix together the wheat berries, drained garbanzo bans, asparagus, and dill. Mix together the dressing ingredients and gently toss with the salad. Place the egg quarters a top of the salad.

A note on the dressing: my family has always been a supporter of using pre-made dressings as a great base. The Caesar is a perfect creamy starting point that I love to "doctor" up in different ways for different recipes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

vanilla chia yogurt with berries

Have you all discovered the chia seed? It's my absolute new favorite thing to cook with/bake with/top everything with. The little seeds are minuscule (like the size of ground pepper practically) but they pack some major health benefits and a dose of protein. My dad bought me this book for the holidays and I instantly flagged the recipe for chia seed yogurt. It's incredibly simple and delicious, and it has the best texture. We made a giant portion and then dished some out for breakfast every morning.

vanilla chia yogurt with berries
adapted from giada de laurentiis
(makes 4 servings)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extra
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
Optional toppings: raspberries, blackberries, pumpkin seeds

In a medium bowl, whisk the almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until blended through. Whisk in the chia seeds and let stand for 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let set in fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight. Top with your favorite berries and pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

browned butter dutch baby

Josh whipped up this guy for a holiday breakfast for the family. The dutch baby is sort of crepe-like. We dusted our slices in powdered sugar and it was absolutely heavenly. The browned butter was actually an accident, but lent such a fantastic warm and nutty flavor - it's a must.

Josh's dad suggested making this again with cinnamon and orange in the batter and topping the whole thing sauteed cinnamon apples. Sounds like the ideal Sunday morning to me!

browned butter dutch baby
adapted from Alton Brown

3 T butter, separated
1/2 cup flour
3 T granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
Lemon wedges
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 2 tablespoons of cold butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set in oven for 15 minutes or until butter begins to brown and is slightly nutty in scent.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, and 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a food processor. Pour mixture into the preheated skillet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pancake is puffed and golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges and powdered sugar.

Monday, December 2, 2013

kale caesar with southwestern chicken

This salad is becoming quite the staple in our household. It's incredibly easy to make, requires a minimal list of ingredients, and it's got kale - so it must be healthy, right?!

The salad is inspired by my lovely friend's blog. I typically throw in some white canellini beans or chicken for protein. And then - voila - we have dinner.

Since I'm a fan of everything spicy, I added a Southwestern spice mix to the chicken. Any type of spice or even just salt/pepper would be perfectly fine.

kale caesar with southwestern chicken
inspired by Mint Love Social Club and Mrs. Lilien
(makes 4 servings)

10 oz kale (I like the Tuscan kale from Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shaved parmesan
8 oz caesar dressing (I like the organic caesar dressing from Whole Foods)
1 lb chicken breast
1/4 cup Southwestern spice rub mix, optional

Place kale in a large bowl. Add parmesan and caesar dressing. I prefer to do this a few hours before dinner. It lets the kale break down a bit, so it's less aggressively crunchy. Just place in the fridge once mixed together.

Immediately before serving:

Rub spice mix into the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute chicken until cooked through, approximately 8 minutes on each side. Let chicken rest, covered in foil for 5 additional minutes. Cut into thin pieces and mix through salad.

Immediately before serving, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Toast panko crumbs until lightly browned. Toast crumbs throughout salad

Thursday, November 21, 2013

sweet potatoes with feta, grapes, and spicy sausage

Opposites attract. Even in the food world. I mean, this literally sounds like an episode of Chopped where you open your basket and there's (gasp!) a sweet potato, a bunch of red grapes, some spicy pork sausage, and feta cheese. Uh - what would you possibly make? This. And it will be real, real good. Trust.

There's something about the tangy, salty feta mixed with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the grapes. And then spicy sausage for that heartiness and protein that dinner time calls for. I threw on a drizzle of honey for good nature. Feta and honey? You haven't lived until you've tried this.

This dinner is incredibly fulfilling. I downed it after a few mile run and it was ever so satisfying. I could also see this with 1 (maybe 2?) glasses of red wine being the ultimate Wednesday night. Especially if you have an episode of The Voice on your DVR. You know you love it....

roasted sweet potatoes with feta, grapes, and spicy sausage
makes 1

1 lb. sweet potato
1 link of spicy pork sausage
2 tablespoons feta
1 bunch of red grapes, rinse and sliced in half
1 teaspoon honey
Salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste

Set oven to 375 degrees. Wash sweet potato and prick several times with a fork. Roast until fork tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, remove the sausage from its casing and cook in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through.

When potato is done, remove and let cool for 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Slice open and create a pocket for stuffing. Add in sausage, feta, grapes, drizzle with honey, and season with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

roasted squash and mushroom pockets

These savory tarts are legit. Josh has a way with dough and whipped these little puppies up for my birthday a few nights back. The pastry has poppy seeds and sunflower seeds and everything nice. And then you bite into the filling and - oh my goodness - it's like a bite of Autumn in your mouth. Like a really good bite of Autumn. A mix of sweet and savory onions and acorn squash and cremini mushrooms.

You could serve these as an appetizer. Or atop a lightly dressed salad. Or you could eat it standing in front of your open fridge. I won't judge.

roasted squash and mushroom pockets
from the incredible Joy the Baker
(makes 6 pockets)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppers
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 small acorn squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 8-oz package cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala


Combine flour, salt, seeds, and black peppers. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg white, 1/4 cup cold water, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with fork.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it comes together in a disk (add water or flour as necessary to get a moist but not overly sticky texture). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge. Overnight is best.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut acorn squash in half, remove fibers and seeds, slice into 1/2-inch semi-circles, and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Remove skin from onion and slice into 1/4-inch semi-circles. Add to the baking sheet. Smash the clove of garlic, add to baking sheet. Clean mushrooms with damp paper towel, slice into bite-sized pieces and add to baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil and a healthy portion of salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables until browned and fork tender, approximately 25 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Remove skins from squash and place in bowl. Add in roasted onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Add cumin, garam masala, and salt and pepper.

Roll out dough into a 1/4-inch thick sheet. Slice the dough into 6x6 squares. Spoon 1/4 cup filling into the center of the pasty. Beat 1 egg. Lightly brush the edges of each pastry with the egg wash. Bring opposite corners together of the dough and pinch together - it should form an X on top. Brush the tops of each tart with egg wash.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

Monday, March 11, 2013

banana cream pie

So there's this little dessert shop in New York - Magnolia Bakery. Maybe you've heard of it?!

People go on and on about their cupcakes. But, I'll let you in on a little secret. The banana cream pie is where it's at.

They mix in fluffy whipped cream with their banana pudding so every bite is light and creamy and decadent. It's that sort of dessert where you have to close your eyes and enjoy every. single. bite.

We made a slight variation on the traditional recipe. Instead of vanilla wafer cookies, we used a salted chocolate cookie crust. The crust really complements the sweetness of the pudding.

The result was just as good as Magnolia's. It's helping me get through my winter blues - when will the snow and rain stop?

We used this recipe from the Momofuku cookbook - another dessert shop I adore in NYC. Try their corn cookies. Trust me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

creamy lemon pasta with spinach and chickpeas

My absolute favorite recipes are the most forgiving. The sort of recipes that you can leave the kitchen half way through, watch part of Homeland, and then get back to the cooking. These recipes never require a ton of ingredients and are reliably tasty.

Life is busy around these parts. I've been whipping up massive portions of pastas like this one, so I have dinner for a couple of days.

The citrus and goat cheese are bright and creamy and the spinach and chickpeas offer a bit of veggies and protein to get you through the day. This dish heats up beautifully, so you won't be dreading your leftovers.

creamy lemon pasta with spinach and chickpeas

12 oz dried pasta (I used a combination of pastas I had in the cupboard. Any short pasta will work).
1 can chickpeas
3 cups spinach
6 oz goat cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water up to boil. Generously salt the pepper. Boil your pasta according to the directions on the packaging.

On medium high heat, place the spinach in a pan with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and let spinach wilt, about 3-5 minutes. Stir spinach and season with salt and pepper. Mix in goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chickpeas. Season to taste.

Drain pasta and mix with sauce.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

blueberry thyme waffles

You know what's amazing? Waffles. You know what's even more amazing? When you slyly mention that waffles sound delicious and then 5 minutes later your husband is making you waffles from scratch.

Oh, Sundays.

This waffle recipe is delicious. It would satisfy any waffle lover. It somehow manages to be light and fluffy but toothsome at the same time. It's delicate but filling. And it holds up wonderful to toppings, which - let's be honest here - is half the reason that I love waffles.

Two fun facts for you:
Blueberries should always be cooked with thyme and black pepper. They need each other.
I have discovered the magic of making homemade whipped cream in a magic bullet blender. Easy breezy.

The combination of the waffle with savory blueberries and fluffy whipped cream? The perfect Sunday morning meal.

blueberry thyme topping
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon jam (I used strawberry)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Mix all ingredients in a pot and place over medium high heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving, in order to let the sauce thicken up slightly. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

dried cherry, gruyere, and brussel sprout salad

So the other night we ordered in dinner at work. One of my coworkers tossed a menu on my desk from a neighboring bowling alley. I was fairly skeptical, but she claimed that they took their food seriously and I would not be disappointed.

I was rather impressed. So much so, that I attempted to recreate my dinner just a few days later.

And that is how I ended up with a dried cherry, toasted almond, brussel sprout, and gruyere salad. So random. So good.

I ordered mine with a grilled salmon fillet. Even better.

cherry and gruyere brussel sprout salad
2 cups arugula
1 lb. brussel sprouts
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
8 oz. gruyere, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Place balsamic vinegar in a pot over high heat. Boil until reduced in half.

Bring a pot of water up to boil. Clean the brussel sprouts and peel off all the leaves. Place the leaves into the boiling water for about a minute. Remove the leaves and place in a bowl of ice water, to stop the cooking. Dry the brussel sprout leaves with a salad spinner or between paper towels.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper.

Mix together the arugula, blanched brussel sprouts, cherries, almonds, and gruyere. Gently toss with dressing. Drizzle with reduced vinegar.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

grapefruit meringue tart

This tart deserves a prize. I came home from a long week of work and Josh had made this tart. It was just sitting there in the kitchen, waiting to be eaten. So there’s that.

And I should point out that it’s delicious. The crust is unique – somewhere between shortbread and an English biscuit. It’s subtle and chewy and probably my new favorite crust. The grapefruit curd is just different enough from a typical lemon one, so it feels a bit special. And the meringue offers a touch of creaminess.

The tart is beautiful and not overbearingly sweet – you almost want to convince yourself that it’s okay to eat it for breakfast. Don’t worry, I maintained self-control  (well, this time).

Josh also whipped this up on Wednesday and we served leftovers to guests on Friday and they were still raving about it. We just stored it in the fridge with loose plastic wrap and let it warm up on the counter for about an hour before serving it.

grapefruit meringue tart
adapted from rachel khoo

Grapefruit curd:
1 grapefruit, zest and juice
1 egg plus, 1 egg yolk
3 ½ oz. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 heaping tsp flour
1 ¾ oz. soft butter, cubed

Measure 6 tablespoons of grapefruit juice into a pan and whisk with the zest, sugar, salt, and eggs over low heat. Slowly mix in the flour and whisk continuously. Once the curd is thick and has released a bubble or two, remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter, a cube at a time. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly on top of the curd to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate for at least an hour (best overnight).

Biscuit base:
2 ¾ oz butter, very soft but not melted
2 ¾ oz sugar
Generous pinch of salt
½ lemon, zest only
2 egg yolks
3 ½ oz flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Cream together the butter and sugar with the salt and lemon zest until fluffy and pale in color. Add the egg yolks and continue to beat. Whisk the flour and baking powder together and then add to the creamed mixture and continue beating until the dough comes together as smooth paste. Put the dough into a piping bag (or a large Ziploc bag with the corner clipped off).

Pipe the dough in rings around the outside of the spring form pan, working your way in. Ensure the dough is spread evenly, use a knife to spread the mixture if necessary.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden, but not too dark.

3 ½ oz sugar
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
½ tsp pepper

Put the sugar into a pan with 1 oz of water and place on high heat. Bring to 118C (measures on a sugar thermometer), which will take about 10 minutes. (To test without a thermometer, drop a tiny bit of sugar syrup into a bowl of very cold water. When it forms a soft sticky ball, it’s ready.
While waiting for the sugar syrup, start whisking the eggs whites with the salt. Whisk until a light froth forms, stopping before any soft peaks are formed.

Once the sugar syrup has hit 118C, beat the eggs whites at the same time as pouring the syrup onto them in a thin stream. Don’t pour the syrup over the whisk, but down the side of the bowl. Add the pepper and continue to whisk for 10 minutes or until the egg whites are glossy and stiff.
While waiting for the sugar syrup, start whisking the egg whites with

To assemble:

Spoon the curd onto the biscuit base, and then gently spread the meringue atop. Place under a broiler until browned, about 1-2 minutes.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

avocado and soft-boiled egg toast

So in my mind, there's weekday breakfast and then there's weekend breakfast. Weekdays are for heating up baked oatmeal and drinking your coffee in the car. Weekends are a bit more leisurely; there's a few extra moments of thought put into my breakfast.

I have an absurd obsession with eggs. Love them. In any which way or form. What would my last meal be? Eggs. I'm not kidding.

One of my favorite forms of eggs is soft-boiled, and I finally came across a full proof recipe at Cooks Illustrated! The egg white is fully set and the yoke is still a bit gooey, but firmer than the yoke of a poached egg. Divine.

I also have a love for avocado. Growing up in California, we had avocados with every single dinner. I am not overexaggerating. Sliced avocado with sea salt or with balsamic vinegar. It's amazing. Try it.

Have you all been seeing the rage about avocado toast? Toasted up bread with mashed avocado, some mayo or olive oil, sea salt and pepper? It's all over Pinterest and the blogs.

Well I upped the ante with a bit of soft-boiled egg action. It did not disappoint. With some of my favorite coffee, it was a wonderful way to start my Sunday.

avocado and soft-boiled egg toast
adapted from hither and thither
1 slice of bread, toasted (we had wheat, but any type would work)
1/2 avocado
Olive oil
2 soft-boiled eggs
Salt and pepper

Bring 1/2 inch of water up to boil. Place your eggs in the pot (with the shells on). Reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid, and cook for 6 1/2 minutes. Remove eggs and run under cool water, to stop the cooking. Gently remove the shells.

Mash the avocado on top of the toast. You want it to be sort of chunky. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Set your eggs on top, crack into them so the yoke oozes a bit, and enjoy!

Monday, January 28, 2013

veggie taco night

Some nights I just get an undeniable craving for Mexican food. But with the recent bleak weather out in Chicago, I've also had an undeniable need to take shelter in my warm apartment.

Solution = taco night at home.

I adore tacos in all forms. I love simple street tacos (carne asada, onions, and cilantro - yes!), fried fish tacos, or swanky, fancy tacos on late-night bar menus. But when I'm at home, I sort of like to mess around with unique flavors. I mean everything tastes good wrapped up in a tortilla, right?

After lots of back and forth, I settled on soyrizo + sauteed onions and peppers + apple and radish salsa in a maple mustard vinaigrette + sliced avocado + greek yogurt with sriracha mixture. Besides being a tad bit on the messy side, the tacos were amazing! Perfect combination of spicy, tangy, crunchy, creamy. I would make these again and again.

veggie tacos
Tortillas (I recently discovered Mission's artisan tortillas - they are the best store-bought version I've ever found)
avocado, sliced
2-3 bell peppers (I used a variety of colors)
1 yellow onion
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 T sriracha
1 granny Smith apple
7 red radishes, scrubbed clean
1 T dijon mustard
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 T maple syrup
Salt and pepper

Slice the onion thinly and saute over medium heat in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Slice the bell peppers into thin strips, mix in with the onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the bell peppers soften, an additional 5 minutes.

Cook the soyrizo in a pan over medium heat until some of the moisture evaporates, approximately 5 minutes.

Cut the apple into thin sticks, about the size of matchsticks. Cut the radishes into thin rounds. Mix the apples and radishes with the mustard, goat cheese, vinegar, and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the Greek yogurt with the Sriracha.

Serve it up as a taco bar with all of the toppings in separate bowls. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

baked oatmeal

You know what they say....breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Most of the time, I'm running out the door, coffee in one hand and granola bar or slice of toast in the other. I'm usually starving by about 10am.

I made a pan of baked oatmeal this past weekend. It's delicious and keeps me unbelievably full. I went with a pretty straightforward recipe, but I'm looking forward to changing it up (maybe some quinoa or steel cut oats?).

Every morning, I scooped out a portion into a bowl poured a bit of almond milk over it (you can use whatever milk suits you) and popped it in the microwave for about a minute. Sprinkle on some fruit (berries...bananas...oooh, pears would be delicious!) and you have yourself a quick and wholesome breakfast.

baked oatmeal
recipe via a kitchen cafe

3 cups rolled oats
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup flax seed
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 13 inch round pan or a glass 9 x 12 dish.

Mix together syrup, oil, and eggs. Mix with remaining ingredients. Bake for 35 minutes in a round pan or 25 minutes in a 9 x 12 dish.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

peanut butter jelly time

For all of you peanut butter and jelly lovers out there, this ones for you.

These cookies are just the right mix of salty/savory (peanut butter) and lovely sweet (jelly). They really are a match made in heaven.

We followed Miss Martha's recipe pretty closely and they turned out fabulous. We mistakenly left them out on a cakestand and managed to eat through a full batch in a weekend. Apparently New Year's resolutions do not exist in our house.

We also made this lovely concoction this past weekend and it was sinfully gorgeous. I - in my excitement - forgot to take a picture. So we shall be making them again shortly and posting here. Oh darn....

Thursday, January 10, 2013

spicy sweet potatoes

These potatoes are ridiculous. Like my new favorite comfort food. Except they're totally healthy.

Warning: they have a kick to them. You know when you used to eat Flamin' Hot Spicy Cheetos and they were so spicy, but so addicting, so you just had to keep eating them? It's sort of like that.

By the way, if you still each Spicy Cheetos, I won't judge you.

Oh and this whole Greek yogurt and Sriracha combination? Phenomenal. I put it on everything. Tacos. Eggs. Do it...

spicy sweet potatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes, washed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Greek yogurt (I love Fage)

Thinly cut the sweet potatoes. Toss in a pan over medium heat with the oil, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and  pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Stir frequently.

Serve with a large dollop of Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of Sriracha. Have a glass of water nearby.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

white bean, turkey, and swiss chard stew

I've determined the perfect answer to a long, cold day.


I made white bean, turkey, and swiss chard stew to be exact. But, honestly, any and every soup is perfect. It warms the soul and fills you up. Oh and it's pretty inexpensive.

And I love that you make a giant batch of it and then make it stretch by adding a bit more meat and a bit more broth.

There shall be more soup. And I'm excited about it.

I mean, like seriously, how good does this and this and this look? Sunday shall be weekly "cook a soup" day.

white bean, turkey, and swiss chard stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled
1 medium white onion
3 celery stalks
12 oz. shredded turkey, white and dark meat (chicken would be great too!)
1 can cannelini beans, rinsed
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablesoons worchestire sauce
10-12 dashes tobasco
3-4 oz. of shredded pecorino

1 bunch swiss chard, thoroughly cleaned and shredded, stalks removed
Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste

Chop the onion, carrot, and celery into similarly sized pieces. Place the carrots over medium heat in a soup pot with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for approximately 3-4 minutes. Add in onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the vegetables release liquid and the onions turn translucent in color. Add chicken stock, turkey, beans, worchestire sauce, tobasco, and pecorino. Season with salt and pepper. Let soup cook on medium low heat until it starts to slightly thicken, approximately 30 minutes. Stir every so often.

About 15 minutes before serving, mix in swiss chard and stir through the soup until the chard wilts. Add lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Service with slices of lemon and shredded pecorino.

Friday, December 7, 2012

jetting off to india

(image via la petit coterie)

I'm off to India for a business trip. I'm not all too familiar with Indian cuisine, but I'm lucky to have a friend who's been introducing me to some of her favorite dishes from home. I'm sort of obsessed with naan and chutneys and the dosas are fantastic. I know I have an abundance of new flavors awaiting me, and I'm looking forward to sharing them here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

pot pie crust

What is everyone's favorite part about a pot pie? That's right, the crust. If you answered something other than the crust, you are obviously confused.

I have discovered the mecca of crusts. This is undoubtedbly the finest pot pie crust recipe ever created. It comes from none other than my beloved Smitten Kitchen.

We've made swiss chard and pancetta pies. Leftover turkey pies. We've even eaten the crust straight up with cranberry sauce. (It was insanely good, you should try it).

We made a big batch of the dough, wrapped it up tight, and stored it in the freezer. It defrosts in the fridge in just a few hours.

Just a tip: when you use this crust, it's best to brush it with an egg wash (1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water) to give it that beautiful golden color.

pot pie crust
makes 4 individual sized crusts
recipe from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
13 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons whole Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup ice water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut them up and into the flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles. Keep breaking up the bits of butter until the texture is like uncooked couscous. In a small dish, whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, and water, and combine it with the butter-flour mixture. Using a flexible spatula, stir the wet and the dry together until a sticky dough forms. Using your hands, knead the dough a few times into one big ball. Pat it into a flattish ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 2 days. Or wrap tightly and freeze for several months.

Monday, December 3, 2012

spicy kale and goat cheese pesto

Kale is one of those winter vegetables that makes me forget that the world outside my (very heated) apartment doors is practically tundra-like. It's so vibrant and hearty and satisfying and versatile. I almost - almost - stop reminiscing about my summer tomatoes and berries.

This past weekend, Josh turned the traditional pesto recipe upside down. What was once basil-centric, is now filled with the depth and loveliness of kale. He paired it with goat cheese to give it a bit of creaminess and finished it with a dash of vinegar and a healthy dose of red pepper flakes.

It was divine.

We made enough to feed us for days because sometimes we get a little carried away with ourselves. But it heats up just splendidly.

spicy kale and goat cheese pesto
serves 4 
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 small shallots, peeled
1 bunch kale, stalks removed and washed
1/3 cup olive oil
2 oz goat cheese
1/2 T white wine vinegar
Hefty pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of salted water up to a boil. Boil the garlic and shallots for approximately 2 minutes. Stir in the kale. After approximately 10 seconds, remove all ingredients with a slotted spoon directly into a food processor. Add in the oil, goat cheese, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until fully mixed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over your favorite pasta. I enjoyed this with penne rigate.