Slow-Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

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You’ve gotta love a great crock pot meal, especially when the weather heats up and you really don’t want to turn on the oven. This is one I’ll be coming back to — it’s spicy, flavorful and suuuuper easy. If you love Indian food, you’ll love this. It combines boneless chicken thighs, potatoes and onion in a rich sauce spiced with garam masala, cinnamon and some spicy chile peppers. The addition of cilantro at the end is the perfect freshness.

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TW’s Tips

  • I forgot to add the cream (oops!) and it was great without.
  • For the accompanying naan, toast it up over a gas burner using some tongs.
  • Serve with rice and a side salad. I went with avocado, tomato and cucumber.

Enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

Ingredients

  • 3 pieces naan bread
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 Fresno chile or red jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems separated, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 15 -ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (TW: I forgot to add this and it was great without!)
  • Kosher salt

Directions
Crumble 1/2 piece naan into coarse crumbs; transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the red onion, potatoes, chile and cilantro stems. Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer over the vegetables and sprinkle with the garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Dot with the butter and add the cinnamon stick. Pour the tomato sauce over the top. Cover and cook on low, 7 hours.

Uncover and switch to the warm setting or turn off. Gently stir in the heavy cream, breaking the chicken into large chunks; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro leaves and season with salt. Serve with the remaining naan.

Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon and Soft Boiled Egg

IMG_6590This salad is really, really delicious. It’s so simple. And so good. The ingredients are few:  you get an awesome contrast from savory caramelized onions and garlic, salty bacon, sweet honey and the bite of the apple cider vinegar all on top of the nice freshness of the spinach. And in my opinion, put a runny egg on top of anything and you’re golden. This is yet another winner from Tyler Florence — his “Ultimates” cookbook is one of my regular go-to’s.

Everything comes together really quickly on this one, so make sure you time it well so the egg isn’t sitting around and cooking more while you wait for the onions to caramelize. Recommend getting the water to boil on first, and cooking up the bacon while you wait for that to work. Once the onions and garlic are caramelized, you can turn the burner off if the water has still not come to a boil, and then turn it back up when it’s almost there, so the spinach is ready when the eggs come out.

TW’s Tips

  • I skipped cutting up the bacon ahead of time and just cooked it up nice and crispy and crumbled it over the salad
  • I made this for one (would be really tough to reheat), and used 2 pieces of bacon, one egg, 1/4 onion, 1 garlic clove and almost a full bag of spinach for one serving. One onion seemed like an awful lot to me.
  • The original recipe called for letting the eggs sit for 12 minutes — this does NOT work for a soft boiled egg. The ideal you’re looking for here is a runny yolk so you can mix all that goodness up in the spinach. After trial and error I got a pretty soft yolk letting the egg sit for 2 minutes — if you do 1 minute it would be nice and runny.
  • Pull the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and run under cold water/plunge into an ice bath immediately to stop the cooking.

Enjoy!

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Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon and Soft Boiled Egg

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs (TW: or more)
  • 2 bacon, slices cut crosswise into thin strips (TW: see note above)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons honey (TW: I used agave syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (1 lb) bag baby spinach (TW: recommend 2 bags)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, turn the heat off and let the eggs sit for 1 1/2-2 minutes. Lift the eggs out of the pan and cool; peel the eggs.

Meanwhile, put the bacon strips into a big skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat to render the fat. Scoop the bacon out and set aside onto a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Add the honey and vinegar and keep cooking until the onion has caramelized, about 5 more minutes. Toss the spinach into the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss with tongs until the spinach is just wilted, about 30 seconds. Dump the spinach out into a bowl and add the bacon. Halve the eggs and arrange on top of the salad.

Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon and Radicchio

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I hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day — I spent mine in New Hampshire hanging out with my parents and grandmothers. It was super relaxing and I got in lots of crossword time with my Dad, had lunch with my Grams and got to meet a dear friend’s daughter for the first time.

Weekends like this are best for cookouts, which I don’t get to do much of in NYC. This recipe is one you can do on the grill, but you can also make do with a grill pan on the stove if needed (and I do need most times!). And just check out how beautiful it looks plated up!

The secret to this Tyler Florence recipe is a really awesome vinaigrette loaded with garlic, parsley, lemon and thyme, and the perfect juxtaposition of the juicy chicken alongside the bitter radicchio with some great acid from the balsamic and the lemon. I love what grilling does to the radicchio, giving it a nice char and sweetness, and same with grilled lemon — it adds a little something that you don’t get from it when it’s raw.

TW’s Tips

  • You can make the vinaigrette a day ahead; keep in the fridge and bring to room temp before using.
  • The recipe calls for one chicken broken into parts; I love chicken legs so I used a big pack of legs for this, just aim for about 4 pounds of meat

Enjoy this chicken with some of your favorite grill sides — or make it a meal in itself.

Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon and Radicchio

Ingredients

  • 2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 6 sprigs
  • 2 lemons, juiced, plus 2 lemons, halved
  • About 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
  • 1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (or any combination — I used just legs)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads radicchio, preferably Treviso, cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a piece of aluminum foil about 12 inches long.

Put the garlic on 1/2 of the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle in some olive oil, and add 2 sprigs of thyme. Fold the foil enclosing the garlic, making a pouch, and add a couple teaspoons of water. Fold the foil over the garlic to enclose and fold in the edges 2 or 3 times to seal. Put the package in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or longer, until the garlic is soft. Open the package and let the garlic cool a bit, then squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, parsley, and thyme leaves and puree to make a thick vinaigrette.

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put the pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat with the seasonings and then refrigerate while you get everything else together.

Put the radicchio in another bowl, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss; set aside.

When you’re ready to cook, take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface.

Season with salt and pepper and place the radicchio quarters on the preheated grill. Cook the radicchio for about 2 minutes per side until it has a nice char; pull it off the grill, place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam and finish cooking.

Then put the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and grill. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes, turning once, then baste with about half of the vinaigrette and keep cooking until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F and the chicken is nice and caramelized all over, 15 to 20 more minutes. During the last few minutes, throw the lemon halves on the grill, cut sides down, and cook until just marked and smoky.

To serve, separate the radicchio into individual leaves in a big bowl. Add the chicken and the rest of the dressing and toss well. Serve with grilled lemon halves, squeeze the lemon over the chicken, and top with reserved dressing.

Three Seed Crusted Ahi with Lima Beans, Corn and Pancetta

IMG_6108Want to impress the dinner company? This one’s it. It presents like it came out of a restaurant kitchen, and on top of that, it’s really quick and easy so you won’t be slaving over the stove. Key is buying really high quality tuna steaks (I got mine at Costco) and cooking exactly as instructed in the recipe to get a great sear with the crunch of the seeds (and pop of tart from the mustard seeds). On top of the mix of corn, lima beans, roasted red pepper and salty pancetta, it couldn’t be simpler. (Recipe courtesy of the Wine Lover’s Cookbook.)

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IMG_6111TW’s Tips

  • You can roast the red bell pepper in advance, slice and reserve.
  • Use fresh corn if you have the opportunity and it’s in season.
  • The pan really pops a lot when the tuna hits it — and when the recipe says high heat, it means high heat. This will give it a good sear but keep it rare inside. This is a must for the best taste and texture.

Enjoy!

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Three Seed Crusted Ahi with Lima Beans, Corn and Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 pound shelled fresh of frozen lima beans
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • 2 pounds of tuna (Ahi/yellowtail), cut into 6 steaks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • Minced green onions for garnish

Directions

In a preheated 350 degree oven, roast bell pepper for 30 minutes on a baking sheet. Remove from oven and place in a brown paper bag for 8-10 minutes. Remove and peel off skin. Remove stems, seeds and white ribs. Dice pepper and reserve for lima beans.

Chop pancetta into small pieces. In a medium, nonstick saute pan or skillet, saute pancetta in olive oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove, pat dry and reserve.

In a medium pot, bring stock and shallots to a boil, add lima beans and simmer uncovered for 15-17 minutes. Don’t overcook; beans should be cooked to just past al dente so that they are cooked through but not overcooked and mushy. Discard most of remaining stock. Stir in corn kernels, pancetta and roasted pepper with beans and keep warm until ready to serve.

Using a pastry brush (or your hands) coat tuna steaks with olive oil on all sides. Mix seeds, salt and pepper together in a bowl and coat tuna evenly on top and bottom with the mixture.

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. When very hot, add tuna to the pan. It will sizzle a lot when you first add the ahi because the pan is so hot. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side, making sure you don’t overcook it. It should be very rare inside; overcooking will completely change the texture of the meat and make it rubbery. Slice thinly with a sharp knife.

To serve, spoon lima beans onto plates with a little of the remaining liquid. Top with thinly sliced ahi. Garnish with green onions.

Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken

IMG_5851I love some crispy, delicious fried chicken, but the process to cook it at home and the lingering fried food smell is enough to prevent me from doing it very often. This crispy chicken recipe (an Ina Garten) is a much easier substitute, and though it doesn’t result in crispy chicken skin you can eat (my fave), it’s still quite delicious. You get great flavor and a little tang from the white wine/dijon mustard combo, and I’m a huge fan of panko vs. traditional bread crumbs (crunchier, lighter). I served this with some mashed potatoes and green beans with pine nuts.

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IMG_5848TW’s Tips

  • Make this for a dinner party and you can get it ready to pop in the oven and work, so you can take care of the sides/have a drink and socialize.
  • Make sure you do a good job of patting the chicken dry before you start the breading/coating process, so everything sticks sufficiently.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables in cooler weather, or pasta salad/green salad or grilled veggies in the summer.

Enjoy!

Crispy Mustard-Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese bread flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, such as Grey Poupon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken, cut in eighths

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the garlic, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the garlic is finely minced. Add the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and butter and pulse a few times to moisten the bread flakes. Pour the mixture onto a large plate. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the mustard and wine.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Dip each piece in the mustard mixture to coat on all sides, and then place skin-side down only into the crumb mixture, pressing gently to make the crumbs adhere. Place the chicken on a sheet pan crumb-side up. Press the remaining crumbs on the chicken pieces.

Bake the chicken for 40 minutes. Raise the heat to 400 degrees F and bake for another 10 minutes, until the crumbs are browned and the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Chicken Piccata, Lemon Spaghetti and Broccoli and Green Beans

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Italian food is a standby for me — it’s at the top of my list. Many of my favorite restaurants are Italian — L’artusi and dell’anima in New York, Buon Appetito in San Diego — hell, I’ll even go to the Olive Garden (those breadsticks though). This is a classic Italian dish that uses really simple, fresh flavors that combine perfectly (recipe courtesy of Giada de Laurentis). The essence of a piccata is lemon, butter and capers and a thin cutlet of meat that is lightly breaded and sauteed. The sauce is bright and acidic but also rich and smooth from the butter, with a little salt from the capers. It’s just delicious. I served this alongside a lemon spaghetti — also super simple with parmesan, basil and lemon juice/zest, and a healthy amount of fresh ground black pepper — and a broccoli/green bean combo with some crushed red pepper and garlic.

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IMG_5932TW’s Tips

  • Make sure you use unsalted butter for the piccata — salted will be way too salty
  • You can see from the picture that my sauce separated a bit — I needed to do a better job of emulsifying it (fierce whisking in order).

Enjoy!

Chicken Piccata

Ingredients

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Lemon Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil

Broccoli and Green Beans

Ingredients

  • 8 cups broccoli florets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • 2 tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Place broccoli into pot and cook for 2 minutes. You just want to parboil the broccoli at this point since you will saute it later on. Using a spider strainer, remove broccoli from pot and shock it in a bowl of ice water. When broccoli is completely cool, place it in a colander and allow to drain. Refresh the bowl of ice water. Bring the water back to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4 minutes. Like the broccoli, you just want to parboil the green beans. Remove green beans from pot with spider strainer and add to ice water. When green beans are completely cool, add them to the colander and allow to drain.

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. When almost smoking, add the garlic and saute for about 45 seconds. When the garlic starts to brown, remove immediately and discard. Overcooking the garlic will impart a very bitter taste to the dish. Add the red pepper flakes, broccoli and green beans to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Roasted Beets with Beet Green Salsa Verde

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This is a hearty, delicious salad (another Food and Wine favorite from Tyler Florence) that works well for the main course or as a starter/side. Beets are one of those veggies that I didn’t discover a love for until they became popular in restaurants over the past 15 years or so. Now you can find a beet salad on practically any menu, and for good reason — they’re meaty and earthy and go perfectly with cheese and a dash of acid from lemon or vinegar. This salad uses beet greens, which are for the most part overlooked and thrown out. They’re actually delicious both raw and cooked. I grew up eating them boiled and topped with butter and salt — these days I’d recommend sautéing like you would spinach. The beet green salsa verde that tops this salad is fantastic. It’s a combo of chopped beet green stems, red onion, oil, vinegar and dill, and it gives a great hit of brightness.

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TW’s Tips

  • If you don’t want to roast your own beets, you can buy them already roasted and peeled in the produce section of the grocery store — you’ll just need to buy the beet greens (or replace out with another leafy green).
  • Beets dye things really quickly, so make sure you wash your cutting board right away so it’s not stained pink.
  • FRESH ricotta is key here — if you buy it in a packaged container, this dish just isn’t worth it. My grocery store here sells their own in the cheese section.
  • Pomegranate seeds can be insanely expensive, so if you’re lucky enough to live in California, grab fresh pomegranates from the grocery or your friend’s yard and do it yourself (watch this video or you will have a miserable time).
  • You could also substitute a different fruit for the pomegranate seeds or leave them out entirely.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds small or medium beets, scrubbed
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 cups beet greens, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup minced beet green stems
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Wrap the beets in foil and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until tender when pierced. Unwrap and let cool.

Spread the ricotta on a platter. Cut the beets into chunks and arrange on the cheese. Season lightly with sea salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar. Add the beet greens and stems, the onion and chopped dill and mix well. Season the salsa verde with sea salt and pepper and spoon over the beets. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top, garnish with dill sprigs and serve.

The roasted beets can be refrigerated for 2 days. Return to room temperature before serving.

Simple Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

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Tomato soup is one of my favorites — so simple yet so delicious. And with the crazy April winter weather today (30 degrees? What?), this seemed about right. This version of the classic is particularly simple — you use canned (San Marzano) tomatoes, onion, garlic and stock, flavored with some saffron and toss in some orzo. The recipe doesn’t even call for pureeing it, though I did choose to do that since I like the creamy texture. Then, Ina Garten makes a genius move and turns the traditional grilled cheese pairing into — wait for it — grilled cheese croutons. Yes. It’s the perfect combo.

TW’s Tips

  • I had some grape tomatoes hanging around that I wasn’t sure I’d use, so I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes and added them to the mix
  • I used an immersion blender to cream the mixture a bit before I added the cream — I like a silkier texture to the soup.
  • The grilled cheese croutons are awesome but add them gradually as you eat if you don’t like the grilled cheese too soggy.
  • If you don’t have a panini grill (I don’t) just use a frying pan for the grilled cheese, or a grill pan.

Enjoy!

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Simple Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • Large pinch of saffron threads
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Grilled Cheese Croutons (see below)

Directions
In a large pot or Dutch oven such as Le Creuset, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, saffron, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with water, add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 minutes. (It will finish cooking in the soup.) Drain the orzo and add it to the soup. Stir in the cream, return the soup to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Serve hot with Grilled Cheese Croutons scattered on top.

Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ingredients

  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices country white bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

Directions

Heat a panini grill. Place the four slices of bread on a cutting board and brush lightly with the melted butter, being sure to butter the corners. Turn the slices over and pile Gruyere on two of the slices. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top of the Gruyere, buttered sides up.

Grill the sandwiches on the panini grill for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Place on a cutting board, allow to rest for 1 minute and cut into 1-inch cubes.

 

Leeky Linguine with Shrimp

IMG_5845Shrimp is the perfect weeknight meal. Why? Because they cook so fast your food is done in no time. Plus, they’re delicious. This is a super simple pasta meal — it combines leeks (basically mild green onions, don’t be scared) with lemon, garlic and white wine, and a hit of red pepper flake for a tasty dinner. It’s a Rachael Ray recipe that really might only take 30 minutes! For reals.

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TW’s Tips

  • To clean the leeks, chop off the upper part of the leek where it starts turning from light green to dark green. Cut the bottom in half lengthwise then cut into half moons and drop them into a bowl of water. All kinds of dirt gets stuck between the layers, so you need to swish them around then let it sit for a minute so the dirt sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Then fish out the leeks and dry them on a towel.
  • You can choose to keep the tails on your shrimp or take off the whole shell.
  • I buy the shrimp that are tail-on but already shelled so you don’t have to mess with that.
  • I added mushrooms to this since I had some hanging around and it wasn’t that bad! Then again, I like mushrooms on everything.

Enjoy!

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Leeky Linguine with Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh linguine
  • 4 leeks trimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and washed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (a generous handful)

Directions

In a bowl, toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons EVOO, the lemon peel, garlic and crushed red pepper; season with salt and black pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.

While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, season with salt and black pepper and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Push the leeks to the side of the pan, add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until pink and firm. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the pasta to the skillet; season with salt and black pepper. Add the parsley and toss.

Winter White Turkey Burgers

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Snow is falling outside tonight — apparently didn’t get that whole spring memo. This is hopefully one of the last “winter” weekends we have for quite some time , so this recipe seemed a propos — Winter White Turkey Burgers, courtesy of Rachael Ray. Unfortunatley the pictures don’t look anywhere near as delicious as these burgers are. It’s so simple yet so many awesome flavors happening. First let me say that I’m not a big turkey burger fan. They can be dry and flavorless. But this one works — it’s got Dijon mustard mixed in, which is pretty genius, along with scallions, thyme and lemon peel. And on top of that is pear cooked in white wine — um, yes. Plus cheese, because a burger’s not a burger without cheese, and hot pepper jelly. Yum. This thing is good.

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TW’s Tips

  • I found a pepper relish at the grocery but not the pepper jelly — I bet this would be even better if I found the right thing. I’m on a mission now.
  • I used regular sized English muffins — just make the burgers sized appropriately to fit the bun.
  • Serve alongside a green salad or fancy chips.

This comes together super fast so it’s perfect for a weekday dinner. Enjoy!

Winter White Turkey Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 4 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 ripe bartlett pear, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons hot pepper jelly or jalapeno jelly
  • 4 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, scallions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.

In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.

Spread 1 tablespoon hot pepper jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.