Salmon with Anchovy Garlic Butter

I took a break from vegan cooking last weekend to make this delicious, flavor-packed dish. Anchovy tends to freak people out for some reason, but the truth is, it’s such a great umami-rich ingredient. It adds awesome flavor and a little goes a long way. Alongside garlic, capers and lemon in this delicious butter sauce, it’s a star, and dresses up a perfectly cooked salmon to make it dinner-party worthy. I served this over Israeli couscous, an awesome grain-slash-pasta, cooked in vegetable stock for some extra flavor. You can also use chicken stock. TW’s Tips
  • Cooking the fish on high heat on the stovetop creates quite a bit of smoke, so get your hood on high. Make sure the pan is really hot before you add the fish, otherwise it won’t crisp the way it should.
  • After reading some of the comments on this recipe, I took their advice and opted for a lower temp and slightly longer cook time in the oven. I did convection 200 degrees for 15 minutes, and the fish came out perfectly cooked and super moist.
  • Once you remove the fish from the pan, spoon out most of the sauce but keep some and quickly wilt some spinach in it to serve as a side dish.
This is totally delicious and super fast as well. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 fat garlic clove, minced (or 2 small ones)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry
  • ½ lemon
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for serving
Directions Heat oven to 400 degrees. [See tip above: I recommend a lower temp.] In a small bowl, mash together butter, anchovies, garlic, salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt about half the anchovy butter. Add fish, skin side down. Cook for 3 minutes over high heat to brown the skin, spooning some pan drippings over the top of the fish as it cooks. Add capers to bottom of pan and transfer to oven. Roast until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and add remaining anchovy butter to pan to melt. Place salmon on plates and spoon buttery pan sauce over the top. Squeeze the lemon half over the salmon and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve.
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Curried Chickpea Lentil Dal

My husband has been eating a mostly vegan diet (gasp!) for several months now, and although I’m not vegan and never will be, I’ve been eating vegan dinners with him almost every night. We love to cook and eat together, and honestly, I don’t miss the meat! What I DO miss are some of the great flavors you just don’t get (or are more difficult to get) from vegan food, like — my favorite — cheese. So, I’ll sprinkle parmigiana on my pasta and goat cheese in my salad to get those tastes. What I’ve learned over the past few months is that there are some excellent vegan dishes out there. It’s definitely more difficult for me as a cook, and I’ve been cooking much less as a result because it’s harder to find recipes, it takes more time to plan and it’s obviously limiting. But I’m giving it a go!

This recipe is a fantastic vegan dish — a dal made of lentils and chickpeas, flavored with coconut milk and curry, spicy ginger and garlic. It’s bursting with flavor with some good spice as well from the cayenne pepper. Last night we curled up with bowls of this and watched the Red Sox win the World Series (yeah!).

My favorite are the toppings. Freshness from cilantro, an awesome mustard seed turmeric oil, a chutney made from sweet raisins, onion and lime juice, toasted coconut and spicy sliced chiles (we used jalapeños we had on hand). There’s a lot going on, and it’s delicious! I especially loved the mustard seed oil. I’m not quite sure how to describe the taste — it’s a little smoky and toasty, a little spicy and pungent. It adds an awesome layer of depth.

TW’s Tips

  • Instead of using dried chickpeas, I used canned. I realized too late that I didn’t need to add all the water called for in that case, so I added additional chickpeas and lentils in to thicken it up. If you use canned chickpeas, add just a cup of water, and combine with the next step (adding coconut milk and lentils). If it gets too thick as you go, thin it out with water.
  • The recipe calls for adding two whole heads of garlic with the top third cut off. The recipe calls for plucking them out — feel free to press out the cloves into the dal — that’s what I did! They’re nice and sweet.
  • Any type of lentil will work, though this calls for red.
  • Serve over rice with pita or naan on the side to sop up the goodness.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

Mustard Seed and Turmeric Oil

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt

Cilantro-Raisin Chutney

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped golden raisins
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Stew and Assembly

  • 3 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heads of garlic, top third removed
  • 1 3″ piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1½ cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
  • 2 13.5-oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1½ cups split red lentils
  • Store-bought unsweetened toasted coconut flakes, thinly sliced Fresno or serrano chiles, and/or cilantro leaves (for serving; optional)

Directions

Mustard Seed and Turmeric Oil
Cook oil and mustard seeds in a small saucepan over medium-low, swirling often, until mustard seeds start to pop. Remove from heat and stir in turmeric and cayenne. Season with salt; let cool.

Do Ahead: Oil can be made 1 day ahead. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Cilantro-Raisin Chutney
Mix shallot, raisins, cilantro stems, lime juice, and oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Do Ahead: Chutney can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Stew and Assembly
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. Cook onions and garlic, cut side down, and ginger, stirring onions and ginger occasionally, until onions are translucent and garlic is golden brown, 5–7 minutes. Add curry powder and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and 5 cups water, stirring to release any bits stuck on bottom of pot; season with several pinches of salt. Bring to a simmer; cover with a lid, leaving slightly askew so steam can escape. Cook, adjusting heat to maintain a very gentle simmer and skimming foam from surface as needed, until chickpeas have swelled about 50 percent in size but are still crunchy, 25–30 minutes.

Add coconut milk and lentils to pot; season with more salt. Return to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until chickpeas are tender and lentils have broken down to form a thick broth, 30–35 minutes. Pluck out and discard garlic heads (don’t worry about any cloves that may have escaped into stew). Taste and season with more salt if needed. Ladle dal into bowls and serve with toasted Mustard Seed and Turmeric Oil, Cilantro-Raisin Chutney, coconut, chiles, and/or cilantro as desired.

Do Ahead: Dal can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

This chicken is awesommmmmmme. Marinating it overnight makes for super flavorful meat (garlic. chile. soy sauce. oh my!). But the real winner here is the sauce. I could drink this stuff straight. I put it on everything in sight! The base is cilantro, jalapeño and feta, with a little garlic, lime juice, chile paste and spices. Whip it up in the blender — it’s got some serious heat to it, and so much flavor!

This is another great recipe from NYT Cooking. I made some roasted potatoes alongside, which I couldn’t resist dipping in cilantro sauce as well. The classic taste of roast chicken still gives you the home-y feel, but the sauce takes it to another level.

TW’s Tips

  • Adjust the heat of the green sauce down (by seeding and scraping out the jalapeño peppers) or up (by keeping the seeds and ribs intact. Careful — it’s spicy).
  • Make sure you get a good crisp on the chicken skin. Drizzle with oil as it calls for and if it still needs more crispiness when you’re almost done, broil it for a few minutes at the end.
  • If you particularly like certain chicken parts (thighs, breasts, legs) feel free to modify and use them instead of sticking to the whole chicken called for in the recipe
  • The dip would also be great with vegetables, on sandwiches, with chips…

Enjoy!

Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

Ingredients

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 6 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon aji amarillo paste or another chile paste such as sriracha or sambal
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon aji panca paste or 1 teaspoon pasilla chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, halved (see Note) or 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup/1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon aji amarillo or other chile paste (see headnote)
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

For the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt.

Add chicken halves, turning to coat them all over with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin-side up on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes). Remove fro

m oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.

While chicken is roasting, make the sauce. In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, feta, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, aji amarillo paste, honey, and cumin until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt or lime juice or both.

Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.

Peaches and Tomatoes with Burrata and Hot Sauce

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It’s my favorite time of summer — when tomatoes and stone fruit are at their peak. This salad from Bon Appetit takes full advantage of these two stars. You must promise me one thing if making this — get your tomatoes and peaches from a farm stand in the summer. It will just not be the same if you make this in the winter time. It’s not even worth it.

The fresh fruit is dressed with a mixture of hot sauce and rice vinegar with olive oil. It sounds a little weird, but the hot sauce is a nice balance to the sweetness of the fruit. Tarragon garnish adds a little anise flavor. Combine that with the creamy goodness of burrata on top, and this is a dinner in itself. Use sea salt to season.

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TW’s Tips

  • You can use peaches or nectarines — I prefer nectarines which is what I used here (no fuzzy skin)
  • I recommend heirloom tomatoes. Try a couple of different colors to amp up the presentation aesthetics
  • You could use a combo of bigger tomatoes sliced and cherry tomatoes halved for some variety in size and shape
  • Buy your burrata at a specialty market (I go to Eataly in NYC) or in the fresh/specialty cheese section of your supermarket
  • This is simple and easy to make but makes a statement! Serve as a starter for a summer dinner party

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Peaches and Tomatoes with Burrata and Hot Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. mild hot sauce (such as Crystal or Frank’s)
  • 2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ripe peaches or nectarines, cut into wedges
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes or 1 lb. mixed tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 8-oz. ball burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn into large pieces
  • Tarragon sprigs (for serving)
  • Flaky sea salt

Directions

Whisk oil, hot sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until honey is dissolved; season with kosher salt. Toss peaches, tomatoes, and half of dressing in a medium bowl; let sit 5 minutes.

Transfer fruit salad to a platter. Top with burrata and drizzle with remaining dressing. Scatter a few torn tarragon sprigs over and season with sea salt.

Braised Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms

I have been on a real kick cooking from the New York Times Cooking app/site. Planning ahead tip: I get their daily emails and flag dishes that look different to save to my “Recipe Box,” then scroll through when I’m looking for ideas for what to cook for the week.

This recipe for braised chicken with artichokes and mushrooms is amaaaazing…but also amazingly simple. I love anything I can make in one pot and then throw in the oven to finish it while I relax for a little while. (This is also great when you have company, so you can pop it in the oven right before they arrive and have time to relax and chat instead of slaving over the stove.) Braising in the oven gets such great flavors going, too. Before it goes in the oven, you need to brown up the chicken in the pan in a bit of butter to get a nice crust on it — then saute the mushrooms with some flour that will work as the base of the sauce. While the recipe called for two pans, I just used a Le Creuset pot to start — no skillet needed.

The sherry gives the sauce a nice acidity. Serve over rice, pasta, couscous…anything would work. I roasted up some green beans in the oven in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Delish!

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TW’s Tips

  • Use one pan — no need to dirty two
  • Make sure you get the pan nice and hot before you add the chicken to make sure it gets a nice brown sear on it — that’s where you get the good flavor!
  • You can also use boneless skinless chicken in this if you have that on hand. I actually used some on the bone and some boneless (call me crazy) since my husband prefers boneless (call HIM crazy — right?)
  • Double the artichokes — you’ll be glad you did

Enjoy!

Braised Chicken With Artichokes and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Salt
  •  Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  •  One 3 pound chicken, cut into pieces (or 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  •  cup chicken broth or bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 (12-to-15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the paprika and sprinkle on all sides of the chicken.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Brown the chicken prettily on all sides, in batches, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer the chicken to a large Dutch oven or casserole.

Pour off the butter from the skillet, wipe it clean and return it to the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over them, stir in the chicken broth and the sherry and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Halve artichoke hearts and arrange them between the chicken pieces. Pour mushroom-sherry sauce over them and cook in the oven, covered, for 40 minutes to an hour.

Israeli Couscous, Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

If you’re looking for a hearty, satisfying meatless dish, Israeli Couscous, Eggplant and Tomato Gratin should be next on your “to make” list. I made this for dinner for my favorite vegetarian friend, and even I had seconds! Israeli couscous is a great little grain — it’s more like a pasta than a couscous actually. The grains are larger than regular couscous and have a nice chew to them when cooked al dente — and make sure you do. The layering and cheese going on here, plus the basil topping made this taste almost like a lasagna!

Serve with a salad and bread.

TW’s Tips

  • I used crushed San Marzano tomatoes but you could substitute your favorite canned tomato sauce
  • Any eggplant will do — use your favorite type or whatever looks best at the grocery/market
  • See tip below for cooking the Israeli couscous

Enjoy!

Israeli Couscous, Eggplant and Tomato Gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant (2 medium globe eggplants or 4 to 6 smaller or Japanese eggplants), sliced into rounds, about 1/3 inch thick
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil (plus additional for oiling the foil and baking dish)
  • 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous (see below). You can also use regular couscous or any other cooked grain
  • 2 cups fresh tomato sauce or marinara sauce made from canned tomatoes
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
  • Torn or slivered basil leaves for garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat foil generously with olive oil. Toss eggplant slices with salt to taste and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Line baking sheet with the slices in a single layer (you may need 2 baking sheets, or do this in batches). Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Eggplant will look dry on surface but should be soft when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and, wearing oven mitts, carefully fold the foil up in half over the eggplant and crimp edges to create a sealed packet. Allow eggplant to steam inside the packet for another 15 minutes (you can cook couscous during this time). Turn oven down to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Place cooked Israeli couscous in a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. Spoon into baking dish in an even layer.

Remove eggplant slices from foil packet (they should be thoroughly tender), and layer on top of couscous, overlapping slices slightly. Cover with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Drizzle on remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with torn or slivered basil leaves just before serving.

Tip
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add 1 cup Israeli couscous. Toast the couscous, shaking the pan or stirring often, until it colors very lightly and smells aromatic and toasty, a bit like popcorn. Immediately add 2 quarts water and salt to taste (be generous, as if you are cooking pasta) and boil 10 minutes, until the couscous is al dente; it should not be mushy and there should still be plenty of water in the pot. Drain through a strainer and rinse with cold water. Tap the strainer against the sink to drain well, then return the couscous to the pot, cover the pot with a kitchen towel, and return the lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. Measure out 2 cups and proceed with recipe.

Black Bean Soup

It’s been soup weather, and I whipped this up this spicy winner recently for a cozy night in — perfect with a side of corn bread. The knock-out ingredient is the chipotle chile in adobo. If you’ve never had one, a chipotle chile is a smoked jalapeño pepper. It’s got great spice, but also an intensely smoky flavor. They are often canned with adobo sauce (a tangy red sauce) and you’ll find them in the ethnic foods section of your grocery store — likely near the Mexican food items. The chipotle adds a great depth of flavor to this black bean soup, which also incorporates onion, carrot, garlic and fresh jalapeño in the base. All of the flavors cook down together into a hearty, spicy, satisfying soup that’s a perfect main course.

I love the array of accoutrements that often go alongside a soup like this to add different flavor elements — pickled red onions, lime, sour cream, cilantro, avocado and even more jalapeño if you can take it! It’s a fun little smorgasbord you can fan out across the top of the soup for a nice presentation.

TW’s Tips

  • Instead of dirtying a blender, I used an immersion blender to puree the chipotle chiles in a small bowl
  • If you want to add some meat to this (which is what I did), add some chopped up chicken after the vegetables have softened a bit. It does add more moisture to the pot, so you’ll need to let that cook out a bit before adding the wine.
  • The recipe offers a replacement for chipotle chiles in adobo, but in my opinion, nothing can replace them. They are super spicy and smoky and add a depth of flavor you just can’t get from ground spices.
  • This is the perfect occasion to take out your cast iron Dutch oven!
  • To make this vegetarian, just use vegetable stock.

Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 1 small (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound dry black beans (do not soak)
  • 2 quarts mild vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Red wine vinegar, to taste

For the pickled onions and garnishes (optional)

  • 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes
  • Salt
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Whole cilantro leaves
  • Thinly sliced fresh chiles
  • Sliced avocado

Directions

Empty the can of chiles into a blender or food processor. Purée until smooth, scrape into a container, and set aside. Put on a teakettle of water to boil, and keep hot.

In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots, onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes.

Pour in wine and let simmer until pan is almost dry and vegetables are coated. Add jalapeños and cook, stirring, just until softened, 2 minutes. Push the vegetables out to the edges of the pot and dollop 2 teaspoons of chipotle purée in the center. Let fry for a minute and then stir together with the vegetables.

Add beans, stock, oregano and bay leaves. Stir, bring to a boil, and let boil 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partly covered, stirring occasionally and adding hot water as needed to keep the soup liquid and runny, not sludgy. Continue cooking until beans are just softened and fragrant, 1 to 2 hours. Add salt and pepper and keep cooking until beans are soft.

Meanwhile, make the pickled onions, if using: In a bowl, combine sliced onions, lime juice and a sprinkling of salt. Let soften at room temperature until crunchy and tart, about 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze dry in paper towels and refrigerate until ready to serve. If desired, chop coarsely before serving.

Adjust the texture of the soup: The goal is to combine whole beans, soft chunks and a velvety broth. Some beans release enough starch while cooking to produce a thick broth without puréeing. If soup seems thin, use an immersion blender or blender to purée a small amount of the beans until smooth, then stir back in. Continue until desired texture is reached, keeping in mind that the soup will continue to thicken as it sits.

Heat the soup through, taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, drops of red wine vinegar and dabs of chipotle purée.

Serve in deep bowls, garnishing each serving with sour cream, pickled onions, cilantro leaves, sliced chiles and avocado as desired.

Tip
If chipotle chiles are unavailable, use 1 tablespoon each ground cumin and ground coriander. Add to vegetables at the same point in the recipe, in Step 3.