Cooking

Ottolenghi's Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar, and Lemon

Ottolenghi's Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za'atar, and Lemon

The thing with chicken is that it can often become a neglected ingredient in the kitchen. We often grill it and roast it, but it's not often that chicken becomes the highlight of our meal. In this recipe, Ottolenghi uses a combination of spices inspired by a Palestinian dish called m'sakhan to deliver a tasty and beautiful dish that makes chicken the star of the show.

Cherry Tomato Tart

Cherry Tomato Tart

Now that fall has arrived you may be wondering why I'm posting about cherry tomatoes. While the post is overdue by about two months, our cherry tomato plants are STILL producing. Thanks El Niño? We've had so many cherry tomatoes this year that I began to run out of ways to use them - we ate them roasted, in bruschetta, frittatas, you name it. Enter Pioneer Woman to save me from my creative rut. 

Arugula Pesto by Giada De Laurentiis

Arugula Pesto by Giada De Laurentiis

If you want to feel confident about your gardening abilities, plant arugula. When we picked up a six pack of cute little arugula plants back in early April we had no clue that they'd grow like weeds. No joke, we harvested some leaves on a Saturday morning, and went back to continue our gardening on Sunday afternoon only to see that new leaves had cropped up overnight. 

Watermelon Margaritas with Tamarind Pepper Salt

Watermelon Margaritas with Tamarind Pepper Salt

On a recent trip down to Punta Mita, Mexico, I was introduced to the watermelon margarita. Where has it been my entire adult drinking life? In comparison to its traditional cadillac margarita sister, the watermelon margarita is less acidic, more refreshing (aka you can drink many of them for better or worse), and the bright color is pretty lovely to boot.

Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey

Fresh Fruit Salad with Mint + Honey

On a fruit obsession scale of one to ten, I'm about a twenty, give or take a few points. Until about 10 years ago, "salad" in the traditional greens sense was not something I put in my meal rotation. However, given my passion for all things fruta, I have always been a connoisseur of the tried and true fruit salad. When I lived in Madrid, I think I startled my Señora with the sheer volume of "Macedonia de Fruta" I could consume. It's a gift. 

Beet, Goat Cheese and Garlic Herb Terrine by Hemsley + Hemsley

Vogue publishes articles about food. Who knew? My friend Liz sent me this recipe by Hemsley + Hemsley for a beet, goat cheese and garlic herb terrine, and it only took me a moment to understand why it would be featured. In addition to being tasty (my number one criteria for posting), it's an incredibly beautiful and très chic dish. Between the jewel tone ombre effect, specks of fresh green herbs, and the clean lines, it's a dish that is sure to impress. 

Most importantly, the goat cheese mixture reminds me of good ol' Alouette. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I recommend making a pit stop at your local supermarket.  My middle school self would recommend a wheat thin pairing. The garlic and herb flavoring of this cheese  is equally as fitting for a terrine as it would be on a sandwich or as a dip. 

A terrine was new territory for me, but I think it's a great party trick that you can easily add to your repertoire. This bright dish would be a great addition to an Easter menu, baby shower, or if you're really good at planning in advance, maybe even Mother's Day brunch. Use it as a starter, or even a main and serve it with a light bright salad.

Tasty for the palate and easy on the eyes. Now onto the recipe...


Beet, Goat Cheese and Garlic Herb Terrine  

Hemsley + Hemsley for Vogue UK

Ingredients:

  • 4 purple beets, about 300g
  • 4 golden or any other color beet, about 300g 
  • 2 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
  • 2 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 400g goats cheese
  • sea salt and black pepper

Directions:

1. Line a 1lb loaf pan (8.5" x 4.5") with parchment paper or plastic wrap, leaving enough hanging over the sides so that you can cover the terrine when the tin is full.

2. Scrub the beets, then place in a pan, cover with water, pop on the lid and cook for about 30-40 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool, then peel.

3. Meanwhile, mix all the herbs and garlic with the goats cheese in a bowl and season to taste. 

4. Slice the cooked beets into various thicknesses ranging from .1 - .2 inch. 

5. Put a layer of golden beets along the bottom of the tin, followed by a thin layer of the garlic and herb goat cheese mix. Do this for 6 layers of each, so you have 12 layers in total, and then start on the purple beetroot and cheese layers until you reach the top.

* Note: Spreading the goat cheese proved to be particularly challenging for me. Instead of scooping it in and spreading each layer out, place it in a plastic bag and snip off a corner. Piping the cheese spread seems like a much easier path. Also, between slicing my beets a tad too thick and having slightly under the required amount, I ended up with only 3 layers of each color. 

6. Pull the parchment paper or plastic wrap over so all the terrine is covered. Place a weight on top of the tin and leave in the fridge overnight or for 8 hours to set. Note: I think parchment will leave much cleaner lines on the finished product. 

7. Cover the set terrine with a plate and turn upside down to remove the terrine. Slice and serve or refrigerate the terrine until needed. 

Enjoy!

Dungeness Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil

Dungeness Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil

Every winter I'm tempted by the stock of fresh local Dungeness crab in the markets. For one reason or another (usually the exorbinant cost), I've never pulled the trigger and purchased. This year was different - the sea stars aligned and the crab were fat and plentiful which meant that I could buy this little luxury without breaking the bank. 

Healthy Spicy Turkey Chili

Healthy Spicy Turkey Chili

If there is one takeaway I have from years of making chili, it's that you really have to try to mess it up. Cooking chili is more of an art than a science. Everyone has their preference of bean to meat ratio, the type of onions used, whether to go with red bell peppers or yellow, etc. But in the end, after a good long simmer, it's all tasty.