Do other people out there crave sandwiches on a regular basis?
It probably has something to do with my obsession with carbs, but sometimes all I want is a big, delicious sandwich on crunchy, crusty bread.
I could pretty much live off of fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, and pesto melted together in a warm panini. Ooh, or a warm roast beef sandwich with horseradish cream sauce! Ugh, yum. Or eat chicken or turkey smothered with black olive tapenade daily.
This was one of those days. Not a black-olive-tapenade kind of day. A serious, gourmet sandwich kind of day. Sometimes a Publix sub won’t cut it (actually, that’s not true — a Publix sub will always satisfy me).
For weeks now I’ve been wanting to make a chicken caesar sandwich. I’m thrilled to report back that, once again, Ina Garten has inspired one hell of a dish. Her homemade caesar dressing takes this over top, and I for one have never been more excited about leftovers!
Continue reading Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwiches
I’ve recently discovered that I don’t hate black beans.
I know, I know — how am I just learning this?
I’m not about to pop open a can and eat them straight out of the container, but I’m taking baby steps. I’m learning to add more than half a can when a recipe calls for the whole thing. And that mashing them up and adding lots of other tasty ingredients can yield a delicious patty that, while still mostly beans, can be adapted to any flavor profile I like.
Now let’s be honest: nothing in the world can replace a juicy, medium-rare beef burger done right, but for those nights when I’m looking for something a little healthier.. a little meat-free.. I’d recommend these bad boys.
Continue reading Black Bean Patties with Corn Relish and Avocado Cream Sauce
I seriously could not wait to share this recipe with you. It is fantastic. Amazing, even. Perhaps the greatest dish I’ve made this year. (True story: as soon as I took my first bite, I emailed John to inform him of this.)
Pasta with peas and mint is a classic combination. I’m not sure why it took me so long to give these flavors a chance, but if you’re in the market for something new and exciting, make. this. pasta.
Speaking of markets, that’s where the inspiration for this pasta came from. There’s an adorable Italian market right down the street from us (Tarry Market – owned by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich). Last weekend, John and I were walking around picking up a few goodies (black olive tapenade and, more importantly, homemade gelato) when I spotted fresh English peas. I only ever see these a few times a year, so I knew I’d have to act fast if I wanted to cook with them.
As soon as I got home, I planned out our menu, then went back a few days later to pick them up. Gone were the fresh peas that were already shelled, but I was able to pick up some fresh pea pods to shell myself. Also on the grocery list were pancetta, pasta, some sort of Italian cheese, and lots of fresh mint.
My mouth is watering just thinking about this. Continue reading Garganelli with Pancetta, Peas, and Mint
With all the grilling taking place during the summer months, I thought it would be nice to conquer a few homemade bread recipes that could take our burgers (beef, chicken, veggie, etc.) to the next level.
First up? A standard sesame seed bun.
I’ve had this recipe bookmarked since last year when I purchased Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.
Let’s take it for a spin. Continue reading Homemade Hamburger Buns
“What are we having for lunch this week?” – John
“You’ll see.” – Me
“Okay… why can’t I know now?” – John
“If I tell you, you might not want to eat it.” – Me
Probably not the best way to get someone excited about a new dish, but I was worried he’d hear the words “baked” and “quinoa” and think I was trying to prohibit him from something tasty.
I’ve talked about my appreciation for quinoa in the past: it’s filling, packed with nutrients, and can easily replace pasta or rice in most recipes (so no excuses for having never tried it) If only it had good looks, it’d be the whole package.
Fortunately, anything covered in cheese begins to look better. Am I right? Continue reading Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan
Every summer I go through this phase where I want to eat local, seasonal ingredients. I also try to cut back on meats, I limit my intake of cream, and vow to eat like that for as long possible. This gazpacho makes that easy. (Hamburgers and ice cream make that hard.)
This also happens to be vegetarian, vegan, raw, and gluten-free if you omit the bread (but I would never, ever suggest that unless you enjoy being sad — bread is my source of ultimate happiness).
Given the chef behind this recipe (Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park), it’s no surprise. Chef Humm has made a name for himself as a master of gastronomic fare in the last few years, but also excels at producing complex flavors from simple ingredients. No heavy machinery or fancy foods are needed to make this soup. It does benefit, however, from being served on an extra hot day. Fortunately (or not) for New England, we’ve got a few of those coming up later this week.
Continue reading Strawberry Gazpacho
Also known as: our new neighborhood French restaurant!
I haven’t experienced too many cravings during my pregnancy thus far (and hello, we’re finally in the third trimester!), but this past weekend I really wanted a breakfast sandwich. Like, had to have one. And not just any sandwich. I wanted a croissant (a good one) with egg and cheese.
Naturally, John caved and suggested we go out for breakfast. Yes, please!
*Photo from Yelp.com
There’s a small French restaurant in Greenwich, CT that we had heard good things about. French breakfast = croissants and homemade pastries, right? Continue reading Versailles
Here’s the thing about rolled or stuffed chicken: I generally don’t like it. It’s either too heavy (the ratio of cheese or filling to chicken is off) or the chicken dries out. Either way, I’m more likely to add a beautiful sauce or side dish to my chicken than to stuff it.
This chicken might be the only exception. By stuffing the chicken with mascarpone, I can pretty much guarantee that once the cheese melts, the chicken will be left with a beautiful sauce (flavored by the additional ingredients in the filling — pancetta and scallions!) and that the chicken will be moist throughout.
I realize this is all very confusing without pictures, so let’s take look.
Continue reading Bruschetta Chicken with Mascarpone, Pancetta, and Scallions
I considered posting a picture of these veggies and just the words, “Make this. Now.” … but then I couldn’t tell you how much I love them.
These veggies deserve more than that. They deserve a post dedicated to just how straightforward and wonderful they are. If you are not generally a vegetable person (I’m looking at some of John’s friends…), you have an open invitation to come over for dinner so I can make this for you and help you see the light.
Veggies are good. Veggies are your friends. Veggies are begging to be grilled.
Let’s not pretend I went off and reinvented the wheel here. Chopped vegetables + olive oil + grill = nothing new and fancy. It’s good, though. Like really, really good. And that’s all there is to it. Continue reading The Best Grilled Veggies. Ever.
Dear previous owners of our new-to-us grill,
Thank you for leaving the grill behind when you moved. I realize your hands were full with your 6-month old twins, and that your Pod was unable to fit anything else. We are deeply sorry for your loss. But not-so-secretly, we’re really glad you left this with us. We promise to take good care of her (she already received a much-needed cleaning), and keep her well-fed.
The proud new parents of a grill
Continue reading Grilled Chipotle-Honey Chicken Kebabs