Lentil Sloppy Joes

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 4 servings

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1¼ cups French green Puy lentils, rinsed and picked over for stones

1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed plus 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 medium dried bay leaf

3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small

3 medium stalks celery, diced small

1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cored and diced small ­

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup unsweetened ketchup

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

¼ cup water

4 toasted hamburger buns

Add 3 cups of stock, lentils, bay leaf and the 1 crushed garlic clove to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer lentils for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat, drain lentils and discard bay leaf and crushed garlic clove.

In a medium saucepan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, onion, celery, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and lightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the last tablespoon of olive oil, chopped garlic, chili powder and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute to cook off the raw flavor of the tomato paste.

Add the Dijon mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dark brown sugar, vinegar, fire-roasted tomatoes and water in addition to the drained lentils. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture has thickened to sloppy Joe consistency.

Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on burger buns.

Note: you might want to offer spoons for this recipe – it can get a little sloppy!

Boozy Apple Clafoutis

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Yield: 8 to 10 servings

2 cups whole milk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

5 whole large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup Gran Marnier

1/3 cup white miso

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3 medium apples (1¼ pound) (any apple you like eating), peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Add milk and 2 tablespoons butter to a small saucepan set over low heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to steam. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the flour and ¾ cup of the sugar to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, Gran Marnier and miso. Whisk until well combined. While whisking continuously, slowly stream in the warm milk mixture into the medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup of sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a large (12-inch) oven safe nonstick pan. Set over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, stir to combine with a rubber spatula. Distribute the apples atop the mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes.

Immediately pour the batter from the medium mixing bowl over the apples. Do not stir.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The dish will soufflé and the edges should be lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and let sit in the pan, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. It will deflate and the clafoutis will pull away from the edges.

After 10 minutes, place a large cutting board on top of the nonstick pan, then holding both the cutting board and pan, invert the clafoutis.

You can slice and serve while it’s still hot (it may be a bit messy, but it’s still delicious) or you can serve at room temperature. It will firm as it cools.

Serve as is (inverted) or if room temperature or chilled (aka easier to work with), you can flip the clafoutis to be apple side up.

Optional toppings: powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream

Ras al Hanout Spiced Flank Steak Skewers with Couscous and Spicy Orange Citronette

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 4 servings

Flank Steak

1¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic paste, cloves grated on a microplane

2 tablespoons ras al hanout

1½ teaspoon ground coriander

1½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 pound flank steak, cut into ¼-inch slices against the grain

Neutral oil for cleaning the grill

Mix the salt, pepper, garlic, ras al hanout, coriander, cumin, brown sugar, olive oil and orange juice in a medium bowl until a paste is formed.

Add the steak and mix thoroughly to coat all the steak in the paste.

Thread steak on skewers, fitting approximately 2 pieces per skewer.

Turn your grill burners to high, to preheat your grill, for 15 minutes.

(Tip: while your grill is preheating, continue with the recipe)

After 15 minutes, clean the grill, then, using tongs, lightly dip a cloth in neutral oil and wipe to coat the grill rack.

Transfer skewers to the grill and cook, uncovered, over high heat, for 7  minutes, flipping the skewers once halfway through. Transfer skewers to an aluminum-lined sheet tray (for easy clean up) and tent with foil to keep warm until service.

Alternatively, you can cook skewers on an aluminum foil lined sheet tray under your broiler, for approximately 7 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Orange Citronette

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon harissa spice paste

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

Couscous

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large shallot, peeled and diced small

1½ cups couscous

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup roughly chopped dates

½ cup roughly chopped dried apricots

2/3 cup golden raisins

½ teaspoon orange zest

2 cups chicken stock

¼ cup roughly chopped mint leaves

¼ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves

2/3 cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup roughly chopped roasted, salted pistachios

Heat the butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the butter foams up, subsides, and begins to turn a light golden brown.

Add the shallot, stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add the couscous and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until the couscous is warm and thoroughly coated with the butter. Add the cinnamon, coriander, salt and pepper, stir and cook for approximately 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the dried fruit and orange zest and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the stock, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

To serve, drizzle half of the orange citronette over the couscous and then fluff the couscous with a large serving fork. Transfer couscous to a serving dish and top with the mint, parsley, pomegranate and pistachios. Top with the steak skewers and pass around the remaining citronette for people to drizzle over their serving.

Flank Steak Tacos with Roasted Pineapple and Cilantro Lime Sauce

Flank Steak Taco with Roasted Pineapple and Cilantro Lime Sauce

Yields: 10 tacos

Ingredients

Steak

1½ pound flank steak

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Cilantro Lime Marinade/Sauce

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 2 limes)

1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped roughly

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons worcestshire sauce

½ teaspoon soy sauce

¼ teaspoon fish sauce

¼ cup grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon adobo sauce

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pineapple:

1 3 to 4-pound pineapple, ends, outer rind and eyes removed, sliced lengthwise into 1/2–inch slabs

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Tacos

10 Corn tortillas

2 avocados, halved and pits removed

Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, for finishing

Pat the steak dry with a paper towel. Pierce, in rows, both sides of the steak with a fork.  Cut the steak into four equal-sized pieces, cutting with the grain. Season all pieces/sides with the salt and pepper. Place meat in a zip-top bag.

Combine marinade/sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times during the processing.

Transfer 1/3 of the marinade into the zip-top bag containing the steak. Seal and massage bag so that the steak pieces are coated in the marinade/sauce. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Adjust an oven rack to the upper position. Turn the oven to broil.

Combine granulated sugar, cumin and salt in a small bowl and stir. Sprinkle mixture evenly over both sides of pineapple pieces.

Transfer pineapple pieces to aluminum-lined sheet tray and broil for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping once halfway, until lightly caramelized.

Remove steak from bag and wipe off excess marinade with a paper towel. Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add grapeseed oil and heat until the oil just begins to smoke. Lay steak in pan and cook on all sides until well caramelized. Use your digital thermometer to achieve the perfect medium-rare, 125 to no more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The total cooking time will be 7-9 minutes.

Remove steak from pan and let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.

Cut cooked steak pieces in thin slices against the grain.

Heat corn tortillas directly over medium-low heat on your stove. Flip every 10 to 15 seconds with tongs to achieve a lightly toasted tortilla.

Assemble your tacos! Add steak, roasted pineapple, sliced avocado, cilantro leaves and a drizzle of the remaining cilantro lime sauce to your tortilla and enjoy.

Harissa Braised Chickpeas with Potatoes and Spinach

Watch me make this on my YouTube channel!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small

3 large carrots, peeled and diced medium

3 celery stalks, diced medium

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated on a Microplane

3 tablespoons harissa, plus more to taste

1 pound potatoes (your choice), cut into ½-inch cubes

1 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas (do not drain)

4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 (16–ounce) bag frozen spinach (loose leaf, not a block)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche

Add the olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper to a 5.5 quart Dutch oven or small pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the garlic, lemon zest and harissa. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the potatoes, chickpeas (with their liquid) and stock. Cover and increase the heat to high to bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the frozen spinach until fully incorporated and thawed. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper and additional vinegar.

Serve in bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and, if you’re game, stir in additional harissa.

Braised Pork Shoulder (Ragu) with Fennel and Mushrooms

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 6 servings

2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1½ inch cubes

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced medium

3 celery stalks, diced medium

4 large carrots, peeled and diced medium

1 medium fennel bulb, end trimmed and diced medium

1 pound baby bella mushrooms, quartered

2 tablespoons tomato paste (preferably double concentrate)

10 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly

1/8 teaspoon crushed red (chili) flakes

1 tablespoon toasted whole fennel seed

1 cup red wine (red zinfandel or cabernet sauvignon)

2 cups chicken stock

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 cup water

2 dried bay leaves

7 sprigs fresh thyme

3 (4-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

3 (4-inch) sprigs fresh oregano

4 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Ragu Base: pasta, polenta, gnocchi (your choice!)

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, not pre grated

Season the pork (cubes) all over with the salt and pepper.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle-lower position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Open a few windows and/or turn on the oven hood/fan; it might get a little smoky!

Heat a heavy 5.5 quart Dutch oven over medium-high until hot, then add 1 tablespoon oil. It will most likely start to smoke. Evenly distribute the pork and brown on all sides, about 1 minute per side. (Work in batches if need be to not overcrowd the pan) Transfer the pork to a medium bowl. (You should have about 2 tablespoons of oil left in the Dutch oven. If not, add some extra-virgin oil to make up the difference.)

Add the onion, celery, carrots, fennel and mushrooms. Stir, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the tomato paste, garlic, chili flakes and toasted fennel seed. Stir. Cook uncovered for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has thickened.

Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, loosening up any brown bits stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. Cook for 5 minutes more; it will begin to thicken and you will see large bubbles.

Stir in the stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, oregano, soy sauce, Worcestershire, sugar and pork with any of its juices left in the bowl.

Bring the Dutch oven to a simmer throughout (not just the sides), cover partially (opening the lid about an 1-inch) and transfer to the oven. Cook for 90 minutes, stirring once after 45 minutes, until the pork is tender and can be easily shredded with a fork.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes, covered (lid on fully). Remove the pork and transfer to a large bowl. Shred the pork with two forks. Discard the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, rosemary and oregano. Return the pork to the Dutch oven. Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle pork ragu over pasta, polenta or gnocchi. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Sweet and Spicy Brussels Sprouts Salad

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield:  4 servings

1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and any discolored outer leaves discarded

1 large shallot, peeled and halved lengthwise

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 small apple diced small

1/3 cup toasted and salted pecans, roughly chopped

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Feed Brussels sprouts and shallot through the food processor chute with the slicer attachment.

Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, shallot, cayenne pepper, coriander, salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Add olive oil and stir to combine.

Spread Brussels mixture evenly on an aluminum foil-lined sheet tray.

Place an oven rack in the upper position. (Approximately 5-inches below the heat source.) Place sheet tray under broiler for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir and broil for an additional 3 minutes. (Keep your eye on things!) Remove from oven and set aside.

In the same bowl you used to mix the brussels sprouts, add the mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine.

Transfer the brussels sprouts mixture from the sheet tray to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Stir to combine.

Add the apple, pecans, pomegranate, parsley and Parmigiano and stir to combine.

Serve while still warm.

Cinnamon Spiced Carrot Ginger Muffins

Watch me make this on my YouTube channel!

Yield: 12 Muffins

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

½ cup whole roasted and salted pecans (you will also need an additional ½ cup finely chopped pecans – see last ingredient below)

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pieces

2 whole large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup (Zante) currants

¼ cup small diced candied ginger

½ cup grated carrots, grated on a Microplane

½ cup whole roasted and salted pecans, finely chopped

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Place oats on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Once oven is preheated, bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasted. Set aside.

Place the sugar and ½ cup of the whole pecans in a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse 15 times until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse 10 times to combine. Evenly distribute the butter. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until it starts to resemble wet sand. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Pulse until the texture turns into a uniform, thick batter, approximately 25 times.

Add the toasted oats, currants, ginger, carrots and finely chopped pecans to a medium bowl. Stir gently to combine.

Transfer batter from food processor to the medium bowl with the ginger carrot mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold to combine with the spatula.

Fill each muffin tin equally with the batter. (It’s just over a ¼ cup per muffin.)

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of a muffin; if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from oven. Place tin on a cookie rack and let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin.

Spicy Gochujang Meatloaf

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Gochujang Glaze:

5 tablespoons gochujang, divided

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

¼ teaspoon grated fresh ginger, grated on a Microplane

3 tablespoons (unseasoned) rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Add 4 tablespoons gochujang, the Worcestershire, soy sauce and sesame oil to a small pot. Whisk to combine. Transfer ¼ cup of this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of gochujang, the ginger, rice wine vinegar and sugar to the small pot. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

Meatloaf:

¼ pound frozen bacon, roughly chopped (it must be frozen!)

1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces

5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 large whole eggs, whisked

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (white or black)

2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2¼ pounds ground beef, 80% lean

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 325ºF.

2. In a food processor, pulse the frozen bacon until it’s finely chopped. Transfer chopped bacon to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

3. In the same food processor (no need to clean) pulse together the onion and garlic until very finely chopped. Transfer to the large mixing bowl with the gochujang mixture.

4. Add the mustard, egg, pepper and sesame seeds to the large bowl. Mix together thoroughly.

5. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the mixture.  Sprinkle the ground beef (breaking it up as you go) over the mixture. Finally, sprinkle the bacon over. Fold together (get in there with your hands) until combined. Avoid squeezing the meat.

6. Press the meat into a 9” x 5” loaf pan, pressing the top to make it level. Using a pairing knife, run the blade along the inside edges of the pan to loosen the meat from the sides of the pan. Turn the raw meatloaf out (flip it) onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. If your oven has a gas (flame) broiler, use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. (Remove the loaf pan.)

7. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Rotate the sheet tray and continue cooking for an additional 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 150ºF.

8. While the meatloaf is cooking, place the small pot of glaze over medium-low heat. Reduce the glaze, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until it is thick like a barbecue sauce.

9. Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Turn oven to broil. Glaze the top and sides of the meatloaf using a brush, with half of the glaze. Place sheet tray back in the oven on the middle rack and broil for 1 minute. Keep your eyes on it and set a timer – the high heat may cause the parchment paper to brown (which is why you should use aluminum foil if your heating element is gas/a flame).  Remove the sheet tray and glaze again with the remaining liquid. Broil again for 1 minute.   

10. Remove and let the meatloaf rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pairing suggestion: serve meatloaf with a vegetable, such as green beans, as well as rice and kimchi. Go crazy and top your slice with a fried egg!

Chicken Teriyaki Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

TeriyakiChix

Watch me make this on my YouTube!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Teriyaki Chicken:

1/3 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons mirin

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, grated on a Microplane

¼ teaspoon freshly grated garlic, grated on a Microplane

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

Add all ingredients, except chicken, to a medium saucepan (do not put over heat) and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add chicken and stir to coat. Let sit at room temperature while you prep the pilaf.

Pilaf:

2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, grated on a Microplane

1½ tablespoons minced garlic

1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained well

1¼ cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons white miso

2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced medium

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias, white and green parts

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the oils, ginger, garlic and shallot to a 5.5 quart dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until shallots are soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and are soft, approximately 5 minutes.

Add rice, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock and rice wine vinegar. Stir to combine. Add miso and stir until incorporated fully. Add squash and pepper and stir to combine. Level rice mixture with a spatula. Add the chicken thighs (but not the sauce – keep the sauce in the saucepan!) in a single layer on top of the mixture. Cook, uncovered, until mixture is simmering all the way through (center and sides – everywhere!). Once a simmer is achieved, cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven (keep covered) and let rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

While the pilaf is resting, put the teriyaki sauce over low heat and reduce, stirring occasionally, until 1/3 cup sauce remains. Remove from heat. (You may want/need to reheat sauce if you wait a long time before serving pilaf).

Pour teriyaki sauce over the chicken. Top with scallions and sesame seeds and serve!