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.

Lemony Spaghetti with Cannellini Beans, Arugula and Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 4 servings

Brown Butter Breadcrumbs:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¾ cup panko

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, heat the butter until it foams up, subsides, and begins to turn golden brown.

Add the panko, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are toasted, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside.

Lemony Spaghetti:

2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

½ pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large shallot, peeled and diced small

10 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon red pepper (chili) flakes

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest, zested on a Microplane

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1 packed cup baby arugula

¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (not pre-grated)

Add 16 cups water to a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti to the boiling salted water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (almost done, or “to the tooth”).

While the pasta is cooking, in a Dutch oven, add the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt, butter, olive oil, shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, lemon zest and beans. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

When the pasta is al dente, lift the pasta out of the water with tongs, and add it to the Dutch oven. Add in 1 cup of pasta water and the lemon juice. Stir until the liquid has thickened. Add in the parsley and arugula and stir to combine. If you feel that the sauce has gotten too thick, add additional pasta water.

Serve immediately by dividing the pasta among bowls and topping each serving with generous helpings of breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

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!

Green Tex-Mex Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomatillos and Spices)

texmexshakshuka2 copy

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into eighths

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 large cloves garlic, peeled

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon whole coriander seed

¼ teaspoon chipotle powder

¾ pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered

1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans (do not drain)

10-ounces frozen spinach (whole leaf or cut)

4 large whole eggs

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup salsa of your choice

1/3 cup sour cream

 

Add onion and garlic to a food processor. Pulse, approximately 20 times, until onion is chopped.

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

While cooking, add tomatillos to food processor and pulse, approximately 15 times, until roughly chopped. Add pinto beans (beans + liquid) and pulse 5 times.

When onions are soft and translucent, add cumin, coriander and chipotle powder. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add tomatillo bean mixture and spinach to the pan. Stir and turn heat to high to bring mixture to a boil, stirring until spinach has thawed. Once boiling and spinach has thawed, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced by about half, 5 to 10 minutes.

Crack the eggs, equally spacing them apart, into the pan.

Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until whites are just set. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle over crushed tortilla chips, cilantro and salsa and dollop over some sour cream.

Tray Bake Sausage with Cabbage and Roasted Cherries

sausagetray2 copy

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yields: 4 servings

 

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small cabbage (1¼ pound cabbage) cored, quartered and thinly sliced (7 packed cups)

1 large shallot, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

4 (5-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

1½ pounds fresh Spicy Italian Sausage (4 links), poked with a sharp knife (5-10 times per)

1 pound frozen, pitted cherries, thawed

½ cup roughly chopped toasted and salted pecans

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the cabbage, shallot and rosemary and mix thoroughly to combine.

Spread the cabbage mixture over 2/3rds of a parchment paper-lined sheet tray.

Evenly space the links on top of the cabbage mixture.

In the remaining 1/3 space on the sheet tray, spread out the cherries.

Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the sausages.

Continue baking until the internal temperature of the sausages reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately 15 minutes.

To serve, place some of the cabbage in a shallow bowl. Top with a sprinkle of pecans and parsley. Spoon roasted cherries around the cabbage and top with a sausage.

Brown Butter Sweet Corn Pancakes

corn pancake

Watch me make this on my YouTube Channel!

Yields: 12 pancakes

Spice Mix:

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.

 

Pancake Mix:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned, cooled slightly, plus more for greasing the pan

½ cup low-fat buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal (not coarse)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoon spice mix

3 scallions (green onions), very thinly sliced (½ cup)

2 cups fresh corn or thawed frozen corn

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, buttermilk, eggs and adobo sauce.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper and spice mix. Add the liquids from the small bowl into the large bowl. Fold together until just combined. Fold in the scallions and corn with a rubber spatula.

Place a large nonstick pan over medium heat for 1½ minutes.  Add a small amount of butter to pan, just enough to lightly coat. Scoop batter into ¼ cup measure cup. Add the batter to the pan using a spoon to get it out of the measuring cup. Gently press the pancake batter with the back of the spoon to flatten it and form a 3-inch pancake. (Cook 3 to 4 pancakes at a time.) Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Pro tip: start your timer after the last pancake is added to the pan. Repeat until all pancakes are cooked.

Transfer pancakes to a cookie rack until all are made and you are ready to serve.

 

Pancake Topping Options:

Sour Cream

Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped

Cotija Cheese, crumbled

Avocado, sliced

Green onions, thinly sliced

Spice mix

To serve, place 3 pancakes on a plate. Top with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of the spice mix and all of your favorite toppings.

Herb Encrusted Chicken Paillard with Spicy Lemon Quinoa Salad

paillardquinoa

 

Watch me make this on my YouTube channel!

Yield: 4 servings

 

Chicken:

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approximately 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, oregano or thyme (or a combination of all three)

2 teaspoons lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons), grated on a Microplane

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (1 tablespoon)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

 

Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Adjust an oven rack to the upper position.

Pat the chicken breasts dry. Using a mallet, rolling pin, or the back of a saucepan, pound each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap until ⅓ inch thick.

Remove the chicken from the plastic wrap, then drizzle lightly with the olive oil, just enough to coat both sides, rubbing to coat evenly. Season equally with herbs, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper.

Set your oven to broil. Place chicken on sheet tray and broil for approximately 8 minutes, flipping the breasts halfway through, until the internal temperature is 150 degrees Fahrenheit. (Keep your eyes on that chicken under the broiler – things can happen fast!)

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing / serving over the quinoa salad.

 

Spicy Lemon Quinoa Salad:

Citronette:

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 medium shallot, peeled and diced finely (3 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

In a small container with a tight fitting lid, combine the citronette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

 

Salad:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

½ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste

3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1/4 cup roughly chopped kalamata or green olives, pits removed

 

Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

Transfer the quinoa to a medium sized bowl. Add the chile flakes, parsley, pine nuts, garbanzo beans and olives. Drizzle the citronette over the salad. Fold to mix everything together. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Spicy Smashed Cucumber Salad

Spicy Smashed Cuc salad

For those of you who like spice – this recipe is for you! The play of the heat from the red pepper flakes and numbing effect of Sichuan peppercorns (commonly used in Sichuan cuisine) makes this dish have an addictive quality. That, plus it’s easy to whip up AND when you have a glut of summer cucumbers on hand, it’s nice to try something new!

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Smashed Cucumbers:
1 pound small cucumbers, Persian or Japanese, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon natural (unseasoned) rice wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons roughly chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 scallion, ends trimmed, sliced thinly (white and light green part), optional

Place cucumbers flesh side down on a cutting board. Gently smash with the side of a large knife. Tear into bite sized pieces.

Place vinegar, sugar, oil and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Add cucumbers, peanuts and scallion (if using) and stir to combine.
Spiced Oil:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper (chili flakes)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium low. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic turns light brown, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour spicy oil over cucumbers. Fold to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve.

Sweet Cherry Shrub with Fresh Mint (Bevvy)

Sweet Cherry Shrub with Mint

Yield: approximately 2½ cups shrub concentrate

 

1 pound organic sweet cherries, pitted

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon zest (zested with a microplane)

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

30 medium mint leaves, plus more for garnish

6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on medium-low for 1 minute.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, pressing on the solids with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.

Transfer shrub mix into a bottle or jar, close to seal, and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Serve one part shrub mixture for every four parts sparkling water (or to taste). When serving, add water and ice (if using) first (to a glass). Then slowly stir in the shrub. This helps to reduce any foaminess.

Add a shot of gin or mezcal for a delicious adult beverage.

Garnish with fresh mint.