Category - Recipe

Warm Potato Salad with Horseradish

It’s hot in the Bay Area. Well, it’s Bay Area hot. That means around 85 degrees. There’s even a “hazardous weather warning” on the weather channel. It’s toasty, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not unbearable. It cools down a ton at night and is no where near those humid New Jersey summer nights. It feels like BBQ’ing weather so I decided to make some potato salad to go with dinner. This can also be served the next day but I’m not in love with it cold, so serve at room temperature, if possible.

Warm Potato Salad with Horseradish 
1 lbs small red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup red onion
2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dill

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain potatoes and put into a large bowl. Toss with oil and vinegar while still warm.

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2. Add onions, horseradish, salt, pepper, and dill.

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3. Serve with grilled chicken and green beans.

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Vegas Recap + Chicken with Polenta

Our Vegas trip last weekend was outrageous. It was a once in a lifetime chance to see such a historic UFC card and even better to have seen it with our friends Deana and Jimmy from NJ. I couldn’t have imagined a more flawless outcome. We went to the Fan Expo, Old Vegas, the Weigh Ins, and of course, the fights. On top of all that, all of the fighters we wanted to win, won!

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The Weigh Ins Crowd

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Sitting in front of the FOX Table at the Weigh Ins

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Old Vegas

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UFC 189 — “It’s Time”

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Conor McGregor — Interim Featherweight Champion!

July has been unbelievably busy and exciting so far, which has in turn, limited my cooking time. I missed it a lot so it was nice to get in some kitchen time this weekend.

Chicken, Peppers, and Onions with Polenta
Olive oil
4 chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 red pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup polenta
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

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1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a dash of olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Brown chicken thighs on both sides then set aside on a plate.

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2. In same skillet, sauté the peppers and onions for about six minutes until they’re almost caramelized then add garlic and cook down. Add the chicken back to the skillet with skin side up and heat for about five minutes.

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3. Add chicken broth and a cup of water to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 10 minutes then uncover and cook for another 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced in half.

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4. While the chicken is braising, make the polenta. Bring 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of water to a boil then slowly whisk in the corn meal. Bring back to a boil and continue to whisk. Once the meal starts to thicken, add the butter and reduce heat to low. Stir frequently and add a dash more milk if the polenta starts to harden too much. The polenta should take about 15 minutes to become tender. Add parmesan cheese right before serving.

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… Also, Jason was craving chili and we needed to use leftover ground beef.

Quick Dutch Oven Chili 
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon oregano
3 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
1 6-ounces of hard cider
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 15-ounce can cannelloni beans
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1 6-ounce can of green chilis

1. Saute onions, peppers and garlic together. Add beef. Stir in everything else except beans and bring to boil. Add beans and let simmer for 2 hours. Serve with sour cream and cheese.
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Espresso & Chocolate Ice Cream

We had the pleasure of hosting Jason’s uncle and his girlfriend this past week. It was their first time in California and it was such a blast. The weather was absolutely perfect and we took advantage of it by BBQ’ing and spending a lot of time relaxing outside in the backyard. Since it was going to be so warm, I decided the perfect dessert to share with them would be homemade ice cream! This recipe has a super strong coffee flavor, so tread lightly if you’re not a huge fan. You can always omit the espresso — if you use a bourbon soaked vanilla bean it will give the ice cream an impressive flavor and you won’t need the coffee.

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Espresso & Chocolate Ice Cream
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup whole milk
Dash of kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
7 egg yolks
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. In a large saucepan on medium-low heat, combine cream, milk, salt and half of the sugar. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape seeds into the liquid and place bean in as well. Bring to a simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cover, letting it sit for about 25 minutes. While you’re waiting, melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

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2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and leftover sugar until the yolks begin to become pale. It may take upwards of two minutes. Slowly incorporate warm milk and cream mixture into the yolks, being careful not to cook them. Pour all of the contents back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken. The final consistency will be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
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3. Strain the mixture through a small sieve into a large bowl and stir in espresso powder. Cool entire bowl over an ice bath for about 10 minutes, slowly mixing it so that the entire custard cools.

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4. Once cool, put into a flat tray, I used a small brownie pan. Carefully drizzle about a quarter of the chocolate on top and place into freezer to chill.

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5. Remove the ice cream every 30 minutes, carefully mixing it up and chopping the chocolate up so it’s evenly distributed. Flatten the mixture again and pour another quarter of the chocolate on top. Repeat until you have enough chocolate throughout and the ice cream begins to stiffen. Once it’s almost completely frozen, put into an airtight container and allow to freeze overnight if possible.

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6. Try not to eat it all before you can serve it to friends and family!

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Turkey and Spinach Meatballs

I have no idea what’s happening with our broccoli plants. They’re producing broccolini-type veggies now, but they’re just as tasty so that’s fine by me. They were delicious sautéed with sliced garlic and olive oil and perfect with this meatball recipe. The fennel in the turkey-spinach combo is a really nice touch but I will replace the spinach with fresh kale from the garden next time. Definitely a recipe to keep around, thanks to bon appetit again.

Turkey and Spinach Meatballs
2 slices of gluten free bread, toasted
1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped sweet vidalia onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained of excess moisture
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Place toasted bread into a food processor and pulse until they turn into breadcrumbs. Use 1/2 cup for meatballs, keep the rest in an airtight container for the next recipe!

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2. In a medium bowl, combine turkey, onion, garlic, parsley, fennel, parmesan, spinach, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and egg. Roll into meatballs, approximately 16.

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3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook meatballs for about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Do not crowd the skillet, you will probably have to cook in batches. Once one batch is done, place on a paper towel covered plate to remove excess oil.

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4. Serve with broccoli and marinara sauce.

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Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe makes a lot of food! Our landlord and two of her friends came over and it was enough for the five of us to have decent portions. Everyone really enjoyed it and asked for seconds, which is usually a good sign. As a first attempt at making an Indian dish, this came out great. Next time I will serve it with basmati rice instead of brown rice. The chicken might also be better if marinated for a bit longer, I only had an hour to do it so I might put it in the fridge overnight next time.

Chicken Tikka Masala
(Recipe inspiration from bon appetit)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup whole milk yogurt (not greek)
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
4 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
2 cups heavy cream
Fresh cilantro and brown or basmati rice, for serving

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for one hour, overnight if possible.

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2. In a large dutch oven, heat oil and add onion, tomato paste and pods. Heat until onions begin to soften.

3. While the onions are doing their thing, heat the oven to broil. Place chicken on a wire rack on top of a aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Broil for approximately 10 minutes. The chicken should become crispy but not necessarily fully cooked inside.

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4. Add tomatoes to the pot, crushing them and adding all of the tomato juice to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken, stirring occasionally.

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5. Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken to the pot and stir in cream. Keep simmering until the chicken is cooked through completely, approximately 8-10 minutes.

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6. Serve with rice and enjoy with your neighbors!

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