Monday, June 22, 2015

Artichoke Tapenade

This is my new go to snack food. Seriously, olives and artichokes? What could go wrong?
This dip has the sharp tang of olives and garlic while keeping the mouthwatering, mild sweetness left by the artichoke. The best of both worlds.

"Comeback Kid" Brett Dennen


5 artichoke hearts
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 cup pitted green or Spanish olives
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
2 to 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp freshly grated lemon peel (optional)
3 to 4 tsp.
1/3 cup olive oil
cracked or ground black pepper to taste


In the bowl of a food processor whirl the artichoke hearts, walnuts, olives, garlic, parsley, and lemon peel for a few seconds until everything is uniformly minced. Scrape down the sides and add the lemon juice and olive oil, and process or a few more seconds until the mixture forms a rough paste. Season with pepper to taste. Tapenade can be stored, covered, and refrigerated for up to a week

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

More summer grilling! This definitely spruces up your usual grilled corn.

I'm usually not too too much of a basil fan. The taste always has echoes of anise for me. Yuck!
But with the salt and butter and sweetness of the corn, it fits right in.

This recipe makes a bit of extra butter. The leftovers can be eaten on toast or other vegetables. 
So good!

"Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes

From Food 52


8 ears of corn, shucked
Olive oil

For the butter:

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup basil, loosely packed
1 tablespoon sea salt


Preheat grill to medium hot. Roll corn in a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. When grill is hot, add corn and close the lid. Rotate the corn a few times, until some of the kernels are blistered and the rest a bright and shiny yellow. This shouldn't take longer than 8 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, or the corn will be dry. 

Meanwhile, add the butter, basil, and salt to a food processer and let it rip. You may need to scrape down the sides once or twice. When the basil is finely chopped and the butter has a light green tint, it's done.

When the corn comes off the grill, slather it with the basil butter. Sprinkle with a little more salt if desired. Eat immediately. 

Note: basil butter can be made ahead and extra basil butter will keep for about a week or two in the fridge. You can roll it into a log with plastic wrap and slice it off as you need it.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spiced Fries

What goes better with the start of grill-out season than French fries?

But maybe this year, it's time to step up your French fry game with these.
Of course, I'm terrible at grilling, so I will be munching these with something simple like grilled corn or veggie burgers. There isn't so much finesse with those.

 Chili powder and cumin is my all time favorite spice combination, so of course, I loved these!
Seriously, the hotter spices with mellow potato is so good!

I changed these up a bit and baked them instead of frying them. They came out just as good and crisp.
But if you're set on frying them or you're just in a rush: use grapeseed oil heated to 350 degrees in a Dutch oven and cook them for 5-7 minutes.

Naked and Famous "Young Blood"


3 Idaho potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks (about 2 pounds)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup chickpea flour
4 cups vegetable oil
Spicy ketchup


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and soak the potatoes under cold running water for 20 minutes. Strain and pat dry.

Toss together the parsley, salt, chili powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine the cornstarch and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the potatoes and toss to coat.

Spray a baking sheet with oil, and spread the fries evenly on the sheet. Spray with oil.

Cook in oven for 35 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes to turn fries to prevent burning, or until crisp.

Remove from oven and toss with spice mix. Serve with ketchup.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Murphy's Onion Soup

We've talked about my love affair with onions. 

And of course that translates to a love of onion soup.
And obviously, I'm always up for a new type of onion soup. 

I work at a library and this book and I have been skirting each other for months.
Almost all of the recipes use alcohol, but those pictures? *swoon*
(What can I say? I'm a visual gal)

I'm also a bit of a history nerd, so I love all the little Irish and brewing history facts in the book.
(Did you know the term "honeymoon" comes from the amount of mead made to last a month after the wedding? Or that the word "whiskey" actually comes from the Irish words for "water of life", uisce beatha, pronounced isk'ke ba'ha?

And fitting folk music to go with it:

Celtic Woman  "At the Celli"

Adapted from The Irish Spirit by Margaret Johnson (Serves 8 as a starter)


2 tbsp unsalted Kerrygold butter (or just unsalted butter)
3 large yellow onions, sliced
2 large red onions, sliced
4 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 cups homemade beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
1 cup Murphy's Irish stout
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Kerrygold Swiss or Blarney cheese for topping (instead of the usual Gruyere)


In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, shallots, and garlic, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft but not browned. Add the bay leaves, basil, thyme, brown sugar, stock or broth,and stout. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat the broiler. Arrange 8 flameproof crocks on a baking sheet. Ladle the soup into the crocs and sprinkle with the cheese. Place under the broiler 4 inches from teh eat source and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Remove from the oven. Using oven mitts to protect your heands, place a crock in the center of each of 8 serving plates and serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Buffalo Tofu Wings

We had wings like this at Northstar in Ithaca, NY, which if you ever get the chance, check it out!
They have a mac and cheese du jour and of course these wings are delicious.

If you can't make it out to New York, you'll have to suffice with these instead, which are an accurate replica of the real things.

Echosmith "Bright"


Buffalo Tofu Wings
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, pressed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons  hot sauce


Make the wings:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the tofu into 6 slices, then cut each slice in half lengthwise so you have 12 sticks. Place the tofu sticks in a shallow dish and sprinkle them with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Gently roll them to coat—they'll break easily, so be careful!
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tofu wings in the skillet and cook them on each side until lightly browned and crispy, 3-5 minutes on each side.
Transfer the tofu to the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce and coconut oil until the oil is fully incorporated. Drizzle the sauce onto the tofu and gently toss to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time, until the tofu is crispy.
 Serve with additional hot sauce, if desired, and ranch dressing with celery sticks.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Indian Fried Chicken with Yogurt Sauce

I'd been eyeing this chicken for so long because frankly, there are so many good chicken recipes it can be hard to decide what to make.

If you're in that position let me just stop you right here. This is the chicken recipe you've been waiting for.

On its own it's a perfectly spiced wonder. With the yogurt sauce it adds another dimension of flavor that works well the spice of the breading and marinade.

New Politic "Harlem"


For the chicken and the marinade:

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as desired
2 cloves garlic, crushed
One 1-inch piece ginger, grated
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
For the seasoned coating:
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder or Hungarian hot paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt and fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
1 egg, beaten
Neutral oil, for deep-frying

For the yogurt sauce:

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a shallow container. Set aside. 
To make a marinade for the chicken, whisk together the chili powder, ground coriander, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice as desired. Rub into the chicken pieces and marinate for at least an hour, ideally overnight. 
To make the seasoned coating, stir together the cornstarch, flours, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and salt and pepper. Set aside. 
Heat the oil in a deep pot to 375º F. Dredge the chicken pieces in the beaten egg, then through the seasoned flours. Carefully deep-fry the pieces, four to five pieces at a time, for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the hot oil, using a slotted spoon, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. 
To make the yogurt sauce, whisk together the yogurt, cumin, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, garlic, and salt and pepper. 
Serve the chicken pieces warm with the yogurt sauce on the side for dipping. Usually this recipe is served as an appetizer, but it also make for a great entrée.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Leftovers Club: Glazed Coconut-Lime Shortbread

I made these for the Leftovers Club. If you haven't done it you should check it out

These were easy to make and easy to eat. 
A little bite of sunshine.

Perfect to get your summer mood on.

And for music to help with a mini-vacation:

"Island in the Sun" Weezer

Adapted from The Flying Brownie by Shirley Fan


  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tablespoon freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp lime zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving extra for overhang; set aside.

Make the shortbread: in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and lime zest; mix until combined. Add the flour, coconut, and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and firmly press into the bottom of the pan. Bake until the edges of the shortbread are golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the shortbread cool in the pan.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: in a small bowl, mix the confectioners' sugar, lime juice, and zest until well combined.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fajita Mac and Cheese

Well, as a senior just graduating high school moving away from home for the first time in a few months, I've been trying to savor the homely comforts: AKA mac and cheese. 

In case you didn't know, beef, bell peppers, and cheese are one of my favorite combos, and they make this comfort food even more homely.
Also, with the chilly weather here this week, (winter in June anyone?) baked mac and cheese is just the thing to warm you up.

So there are three perfectly good excuses reasons to eat this mac and cheese. 

Besides, it's delicious.

Noah and the Whale "Shape of My Heart"


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 pound macaroni
  • 1tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick)unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  •  4 oz jalapeno Jack, grated, divided
  • 8 oz sharp Cheddar, grated
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • lime wedges and tortilla chips for serving


Bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent it from boiling over. Add the onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves to the milk. Allow the milk to steep for 30 minutes. Strain the milk, and discard the solids.

While the milk steeps, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until it is just beginning to soften to the al dente stage. Drain the pasta, run it under cold water, and return it to the pot.

Combine the chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Mix well, and set aside.

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute, or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly, and appears to have grown in volume. Increase the heat to medium, and slowly whisk in the steeped and strained milk. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes.

Reserve 1/2 cup of the jalapeño Jack. Add the remaining cheeses to the sauce by 1/2 cup measures, stirring until the cheese melts before making another addition. Stir in two-thirds of the seasoning mixture and all of the nutmeg.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 2 garlic cloves, and cook, stirring frequently for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is browned. Add the red pepper and remaining seasoning mix.

Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the onion mixture, and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer the pasta to the prepared pan.

Combine the breadcrumbs, parsley, and remaining garlic, and remaining olive oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the dish, and then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

Bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is bubbly and the crumbs on the top are deep brown. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then serve, garnishing each serving with lime wedges and a few tortilla chips.