Saturday, January 14, 2017

White Wine Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

   I love how easy making this soup is! Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a great duo for a crowd pleasing dinner, light party food, or a meal for two. When I made the soup I mixed in about a 1/4 cup of pesto. This added a lot of flavor, however it is completely optional. If want to add the pesto and don't have on hand, any store bought pesto will work fine- however, taste it first to make sure you like the flavor; I'd add anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1/4 cup to this recipe! 

2 large onions, medium chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
kosher salt 
coarse black pepper
*1/4 cup basil pesto, stirred into soup
Yields: 6 servings 

Grilled Cheese
1 tbsp butter
4 thick slices sour dough bread
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp cream cheese
4 slices Gouda cheese
Yields: 2 grilled cheese sandwiches 

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, oregano, and garlic. Saute until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes, water, and wine. Bring soup to a rolling boil over high heat. Give a stir and return to a low flame, letting the soup simmer for 40 minutes. Add kosher salt and pepper as needed. *stir in pesto for extra flavor

Grilled Cheese Directions 
In a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan heat butter until melted and sizzling over medium high flame. place first piece of bread in center of pan letting it sop up some of the butter. top bread with 2 slices of Gouda cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon of cream cheese and 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard on the second slice of bread, and close sandwich. Press down on the sandwich with a spatula. Continue pressing down letting bottom side of toast brown. After 1 minute, flip sandwich continuing to press down, letting both sides become golden and cheese to melt. Cut sandwich in half and serve with soup.
Bon Appétit!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sliced Skirt Steak with Wilted Kale-slaw & Roasted Pumpkin

   Making skirt steak is a quick and easy dinner; with little prep time and cook time, its ready in minutes. I love making this kale-slaw, and roasted pumpkin adds the perfect potato-like side to make this feel like a spin on the classic, "steak and potatoes". Don't substitute hot paprika with smoked paprika in this recipe- they have completely different flavors, use a couple sprinkles of cayenne pepper instead.

1 lb skirt steak
1 tsp hot paprika 
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 fresh lime
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp avocado oil
2 cups fresh pumpkin, medium chopped
2 cup kale shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup brussel sprouts, shredded

Yields: 2 servings 

1. Rinse and pat dry steaks. In a small bowl whisk together paprika, salt, pepper, and olive oil. rub steaks well in marinade and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator. in a large cast iron skillet, grill pan, or nonstick pan heat avocado oil over high heat. squeeze fresh lime over skirt steaks. once oil is hot place skirt steaks in pan. allow each skirt steak to cook for 40 seconds per side (it is very thin and doesn't need any longer). 
Remove skirt steaks from pan and let them cool for 10 minutes before cutting. continue heating oil in pan. add chopped pumpkin to steak pan. let pumpkin chunks brown on each side for about 2 minutes. add kale, cabbage, sprouts, a pinch of salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid. reduce flame to medium low heat. once pumpkin is cooked through, about 10 minutes remove slaw from flame. slice skirt steaks 1/4" inch thick slices. serve warm over kale-slaw and pumpkin.
Bon Appétit!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Slow Baked Salmon with Crispy Fennel & Onions

   If you haven't tried slow baking salmon yet, give this recipe a go! If you have slow baked salmon- then you know how incredibly amazing it is- and you still should give this recipe a go. Simply seasoned, and evenly baked, this salmon is buttery soft, and filling. Taking a fork full of salmon, crisp fennel, and garlicky onions reminds me how perfectly satisfying this recipe is, and why its so easy; a one-sheet-pan dinner with minimal clean up, and flavor that would seem like you used ten pots. 
1.5 lbs salmon, skin on
kosher salt
coarse black pepper
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 fennel bulb, cleaned and thinly sliced (keep fronds for garnish)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
2 table spoons rice vinegar
1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 275°. place a rack to the lowest level of the oven. on a large sheet pan toss the fennel, fennel seeds, onions, minced garlic, rice vinegar, and half of the olive oil. spread fennel mixture evenly on the pan. rinse salmon and pat dry. rub salmon with remaining olive oil, and generously sprinkle with kosher salt, and pepper. place salmon on top of fennel and onions and bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until salmon is light mink and onions are soft. top salmon with chopped fennel fronds for garnish. squeeze lemon over whole pan and serve. 

Yields: 4 servings
Bon Appétit!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Moroccan Tuna Salad

   This tuna salad reminds me so much of my mother and grandmother; my mother always says a good cook can whip something special up on a whim, with just the ingredients she has in her fridge, and pantry. My mother- like her mother, is always transforming simple ingredients into quality dishes. Here's an ingredient that we typically keep in our pantry to make a quick plain lunch or school lunch, turned into a restaurant dish. I love how briny and lemony this salad, and how fresh it stays packed into a container. Consider making this into a sandwich for your next plain ride, or school lunch. I made this for Shabbat lunch, and enjoyed it the next day over toast. 
2 6oz cans albacore tuna
12 (Moroccan) cured black olives, pitted and halved
1 large tomato, small diced
3 tbsp capers 
1 celery heart, small chopped
1 jalapeno, small chopped
1 heaping handful curly parsley, small chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 tsp kosher salt 
1 tsp coarse black pepper

1. In a medium bowl lightly flake tuna leaving small chunks. add olives, diced tomato, capers, celery, jalapeno, and chopped parsley. in a separate small bowl whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. toss dressing into tuna. drizzle tuna with olive oil before serving. 
Salad keeps up to 1 week in an airtight container. Best eaten with hot bread. 

Yields: 4 servings 
Bon Appétit!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sesame-Lime Tahini Chicken Salad

    I love to packing this salad on the go; it wont wilt if you make it in the morning- or even night before for your next day lunch. It's also a great salad to throw together with any extra chicken on hand. The dressing is meant to be thick, however you can add more water and salt to your liking. I like to serve this with lime wedges, chili paste, and sesame seeds as garnish. You can omit the jalapeno from the recipe if spicy doesn't agree with you. 
Salad ingredients
1/2 Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, shaved
2 cups pea shoots 
1 cup mint leaves
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 cups, shredded chicken (white/dark chicken)

1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

chili paste
lime wedges
sesame seeds


In a large bowl layer the cabbage, carrots, pea shoots, and mint leaves. top vegetables with shredded chicken, and jalapeno slices. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the tahini and warm water until completely combined. continue to whisk in the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, kosher salt, and garlic. once completely combined, drizzle the dressing over the salad. sprinkle sesame seeds on top of salad. serve with lime wedges and a dollop of sambal oelek chili paste.

yields: 4 servings 
Bon Appétit!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Savory Steel Cut Oats

  One of my favorite cookbooks was gifted to me by my sister; Seven Spoons, written by Tara O'brady, is full of practical, beautiful, and wholesome recipes. What I really love about this cookbook is that there are no more than a handful of ingredients in all of the recipes, and few step cooking processes. I try to emulate this in my own cooking, and feel that complicated recipes aren't always a sign of a good cook. The best cooks know how to make simple things taste delicious. This recipe is inspired by Tara O'brady's steel cut oats recipe. I like to toast the oats before cooking them- this gives them a nuttier, and toasted flavor. This breakfast will keep you full well into midday which is why I love it.

3 cups water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup steel cut oats
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp shredded parmesan
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

This step is optional: In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, toast the oats for 2 minutes until they begin to smell nutty. remove oats from pan and set aside.

Bring water and salt to a boil then add oats. reduce heat to a light simmer. cover and cook oats for 10 to 20 minutes depending on how chewy you like your cereal. stir occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand covered for a couple minutes. In a second small pot lightly steam the spinach until just beginning to wilt. stir chili flakes, parmesan, and spinach leaves into the oats.

yields: 4 servings
Bon Appétit!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Watercress Mushroom Salad

This salad is a power house of nutrients. Shittake mushrooms which are filled with selenium help boosts thyroid while watercress is filled with cancer preventives, helps build immunity, and also aids the thyroid. It has been proven that even one salad intake of watercress can help your body combat certain ailments. This is the perfect salad to be eating during these eight days of fried food filled festivities. Besides for all these incredible nutrition facts, this mushroom tossed salad is umami, beautiful, and filled with natural flavors making it the perfect side dish to a large dinner or a wholesome lunch on its own! 
5 cups watercress
1 large onion
1 lb mixed mushrooms (portobello & shittake)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1 handful curly parsley 
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup truffle oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp coarse black pepper

Wash mushrooms and dry well. thinly slice mushrooms and onions. heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes until they are translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 10 minutes until onions and mushrooms begin to lightly brown. once all liquid has evaporated from the pan season mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper. small chop parsley and stir into onions and mushrooms. In a separate small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, truffle oil, lemon, salt and pepper. put watercress in a large salad bowl, top with mushroom mixture, and drizzle in dressing as needed. lightly toss and serve.