I’m convinced that when you cook with homemade and homegrown ingredients, your meals turn out even more satisfying and unique! Case in point: making this braised chicken dish with garden-grown fava beans!
This last December, Adrian and I reserved a huge patch of our garden for favas, also referred to as a “broad bean.” We usually like to mix up the areas we plant in order to diversity our garden, but this year we decided to see what would happen if our favas had their own designated area.
Let me tell you, our fava field did not disappoint when it matured in April! We harvested at least a few pounds, which we definitely couldn’t eat all in one sitting. So we preserved them instead.
How did we preserve our fava beans? The first thing we did was blanch them. Blanching beans preserves their vivacious color and smooth texture and allows them to retain up to 1300% more vitamin C than they would unblanched. After letting the favas cool, we vacuum sealed them and put them in the freezer.
When I need them for recipes like this, all I have to do is take out my desired quantity of beans, thaw, peel, and throw them into whatever I’m cooking! Easy peasy.
Fava beans have the power to add a fun texture to any dish, especially when paired with chicken and artichokes. Fava beans also contain a high concentration of potassium, magnesium and zinc.
In this dish, paring favas with artichokes is neat because they are said to help detoxify the body and aid with digestion discomfort. When put together, artichokes and chicken are a match made in heaven. Combining all of these ingredients and adding wine really allows for the flavors to be fused together and lends a very Mediterranean flavor to the dish!
This meal is perfect for a warm summer night. With it’s Italian influence, it’ll send you to sunset in Tuscany. Pair with a dry Sauvignon Blanc and voila, dinner is served. It’s even great as leftovers the next day!
Ingredients 1 cup fresh fava beans (from about 1 pound pods) Kosher salt 2 lemons, halved 3 pounds baby artichokes (about 16) 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided Freshly ground black pepper 1 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces 8 shallots, peeled, halved 1 cup dry white wine 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Directions Cook fava beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain, remove skins, and place beans in a small bowl.
Squeeze lemons into a large bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove tough dark outer leaves. Using a serrated knife, cut off 1" from top, then trim stem, leaving at least 1/2" intact. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove dark outer layer from stem. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise, scoop out choke with a spoon, and discard. Transfer artichoke to lemon water to prevent it from turning brown.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Drain artichokes and pat dry. Add to pan; season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until brown and crisp in places, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Wipe out pot.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with kosher salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes (do not turn). Transfer to baking sheet with artichokes.
Reduce heat to medium, add shallots to pot and more oil if needed, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and beginning to soften, 8–10 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, and broth, and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add artichokes and chicken, skin side up. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Mix in fava beans.
Serve chicken and vegetables topped with chives and parsley and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
If you’re ever craving pasta, but trying to watch your waistline, I have the recipe for you!
This Zucchetti alla Puttanesca recipe, a.k.a. Puttanesca with Zucchini Noodles is a low-calorie pasta option! 20 oz of zucchini noodles will only set you back 30 nutritious calories per serving versus 400 calories in 1 lb of spaghetti.
Are you still following?! That is an insane calorie difference.
Luckily, this spicy puttanesca sauce pairs extremely well with the zoodles. Adding some oil, olives, anchovies, and parmesan cheese bumps up the calories to 400 per serving, which is perfect amount for many of us to stay satisfied!
What’s even more exciting is that I produced my first cooking video! Check out the step-by-step process for Zuchetti alla Puttanesca at my new IGTV channel! Note: the video is best watched on a mobile device!
Ingredients 1 ¼ lb zucchini (about 5 medium) or ¼ lb store-bought zucchini noodles 5 tbsp olive oil, divided 2 tbsp garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp red pepper flakes 2 tsp dried oregano 1 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes in puree with basil 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved, pitted 2 tbsp anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped 2 tablespoons capers, drained ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped, divided 1.25 cups parmesan cheese, grated, divided
Directions Using a spiralizer, cut Zucchini into thick spiral noodles.
Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, olives, anchovies, and capers. Break up tomatoes up with a spoon and simmer for 15 minutes, until thickened.
Meanwhile, in a separate large skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook until Zucchini is soft, but still al dente, about 2-3 minutes. Drain excess water.
Transfer Zucchini to the puttanesca sauce and simmer until combined, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp parsley and 1 cup parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on plates and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and parsley.
Get ready for the perfect light summer dinner that tastes great and will make you feel amazing! Fish in general is a perfect choice for a light and flavorful dinner. There are so many different ways to cook rockfish, but broiling your fish is an almost effortless and easy way to get the job done...yet still be full of flavor.
Rockfish has a mild flavor with a flaky medium-firm texture. Not only is the fish on the sweeter side, but the fillets are packed with iron and vitamin B-12. Rockfish also provides a decent amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies cannot produce on their own. Did you know that omega-3s are thought to contribute to brain function and may reduce the levels of harmful inflammation in your body? That’s why the American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5 oz servings of fatty fish each week!
Rockfish and oranges compliment each other quite nicely as the the fish already adds its own subtle sweetness. Cara Cara oranges and their unique red-tint bring a vibrant color pop to this dish. They also add an extra Vitamin C and A boost. Absorbing all of the flavor, the sliced fennel brings the ingredients together and the thyme intensifies these flavors even more.
While you may have not tried Rockfish before, it is delicious! Give it a whirl and prepare to be dazzled.
Rockfish with Oranges, Fennel, and Cannellini Beans
Time: 45 Minutes Serves 4
Ingredients Extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped + additional thyme leaves to garnish Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper ¼ cup mirin
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped ¾ cup chicken broth 1 medium cara cara orange: ½ thinly sliced, juice and zest of ½ orange 1 cup fennel bulb, thinly sliced, divided 4 (6 oz) rockfish fillets 1 medium navel orange, thinly sliced 1 large fennel frond (optional)
Directions Set an oven rack in the top third of the oven and preheat broiler.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion and stir until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add mirin and continue stirring until reduced, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, garlic, and chicken stock and stir until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add the cara cara orange zest, half the sliced fennel, and cook over medium-high heat until the fennel is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat fish on all sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, add half of the fennel and 2 tsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Top the fish with the remaining sliced fennel, cara cara and navel orange slices, and a large fennel frond. Squeeze cara cara orange juice over the fish and vegetables.
Broil the fish for about 10-12 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145F. Remove from heat.
Serve the beans on plates and top with the rock fish and orange slices. Garnish with thyme leaves if desired.
To showcase one of the many ways I like to make my camp breakfast anything less than basic, but easy at the same time, I brought my ‘Not-So-Basic Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash’ to life. If there’s one thing I can tell people about eating a well-balanced breakfast, it’s to make it easy, but more importantly enjoyable! You won’t be enticed to eat something if it feels like a chore.
Can you tell that my #1 tip for spicing up breakfast is to be bold and to add color?
I consistently have more of a savory palate, but every now and then I crave something sweet. This is my “sweet” take on the classic breakfast potato hash. It features spicy Indonesian flavors and is a unique and delicious way to start your day.
When cooking at camp, I love adding some cultural flare, just as I do in my kitchen. So I found some Indonesian inspiration by using sambal bajak. Sambal bajak is basically an Indonesian condiment. It’s made with chilies and salt and is accompanied by spices like palm sugar, lemongrass and tamarind, then blended together in hot oil. Can you say YUM?!
If sambal bajak isn’t available to you, you can also use sambal oelek or sriracha. Basically any fiery chili sauce will do, but sambal bajak does round out the hash's flavors the most! Hint: You can easily find the spice paste on Amazon.
Another way to make camp breakfast easier is to do your homework! We all learned growing up that coming to class prepared sets you up for success, right? This can absolutely be applied to your camp cooking as well.
Buying your veggies pre-cut saves so much time and takes the prep right out of the equation. Sometimes buying pre-cut veggies can be expensive, so another alternative is to chop and slice them before your trip and then pack them in your cooler, ready-to-go. You’ll for sure be set up for success in your camp kitchen!
The variety of veggies in this dish are packed with vitamins and minerals that taste good and are even better for you! This is why sweet potatoes and kale are two of my favorite ‘superfoods.
Sweet potatoes, one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, are filled with antioxidants that promote anti-inflammation while kale is filled with vitamin B, which is key for brain development. The sausage and eggs add the protein as well as a healthy fat boost, which will keep you full and energized.
Long story short, these ingredients compliment each other so well and will make a colorful and hearty meal that is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.
Pro tip: don’t overcrowd the pan when cooking, or the potatoes and sausage won’t brown evenly. Either use a large skillet or pan to cook them in a separate batches!
Ingredients Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes Extra virgin olive oil 1 chicken apple sausage link, cut into ¼ inch pieces 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 large shallot, sliced 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced 1 small green bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice 1 small red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice 1 cup kale leaves, ribs removed, chopped 1 tbsp chopped thyme 1 tbsp sambal bajak or oelek 1 tbsp paprika 4 eggs
Directions Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in an extra large skillet over medium heat.
Add sausage and sweet potatoes in an even layer, and cook on one side until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Season with ½ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook in batches, adding additional olive oil, to avoid overcrowding if necessary.
Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add shallots, jalapeños, bell peppers, kale, and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and sausage are browned on all sides, about 10 more minutes.
Season hash with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in sambal bajak and paprika and cook for about 2 minutes, until well combined. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan and heat oil over medium-low heat. Crack about 4 eggs into the pan at a time, spooning oil over the whites. Fry until the whites are firm, but the yolks are still runny.
Serve hash on plates and garnish with a fried egg!
Green mole, a.k.a salsa verde, is a quick and easy mole that is light, yet flavorful. Similar to other moles, such as roja and negro, mole verde has a diverse amount of ingredients ranging from several dried spices and aromatics, to tomatillos, epazote, and fresh chilies.
Depending on the traditional recipe, the list of ingredients varies. One of those varying ingredients is one that I am very excited to share with you today: hoja santa!
Hoja santa is a Mexican herb that looks like a large leafy green with a taste similar to root beer. Funky, but it’s able to add amazing and certainly unique flavor to anything.
I found out about hoja santa watching the Travel Channel years ago. It was featured in a Brazilian stew and sounded super exotic. I saved several recipes that utilized the herb, but never got around to trying one because I couldn't find hoja santa in any Mexican or South American markets in the Bay Area.
Funny enough, I remember reading message boards at Chowhound about this problem and found out that hoja santa grows on the side of the Interstate 280 between San Francisco and San Jose.
You can trust me that the freeway is not where I grabbed these greens! Looking for seeds on Amazon, I instead found a live plant. So I ordered it, planted it, and it is now thriving in my own garden!
I am proud to say that I can make mole verde with hoja santa, epazote, chiles, tomatillos, and corn (turned into masa) from my garden!
If you live in California or the Southwest, why not grow your own Mexican and South American ingredients that you can't find in store??
So what are you waiting for? Get this stuff growing in your garden if you can (otherwise use the dried leaves), and check out the recipe below for Chicken Mole Verde with Homemade Corn Tortillas. It's scrumptious and will cure any craving for authentic Mexican or South American food!
P.S. These corn tortillas were made with corn that was grown in my own garden :)
Chicken 1 (3–4-lb.) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces 1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro stems 2 tbsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns 4 cloves garlic 1 bay leaf
Mole 8 whole cloves or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 3 jalapeño chiles, tops removed 6 large tomatillos, husks removed 1 small onion, cut into chunks 4 sprigs fresh thyme 5 garlic cloves 1 cup (8 ounces) masa, either fresh or reconstituted by mixing 6 tablespoons masa harina to a smooth paste with 1 cup of water 1 medium bunch Italian parsley 8 (6-inch) sprigs fresh epazote or 1/4 cup dried, crumbled 3 large or 5 medium-size fresh hoja santa leaves or 6 dried leaves 2 cups cooked Great Northern or other white beans 1/2 handful cilantro, roughly chopped, to garnish 1 red jalapeno, finely sliced, to garnish Mexican crema, to garnish
Directions Place chicken, cilantro, salt, peppercorns, garlic, onion, bay leaf, and 12 cups water in a 6-qt. saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from saucepan and strain liquid through a fine strainer; reserve 6 cups and save remaining liquid for another use. Set chicken and liquid aside.
Meanwhile, grind the cloves and cumin together in an electric coffee or spice grinder, or with a mortar and pestle. Place the ground spices in a blender with the jalapenos, tomatillos, onion, thyme, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the strained stock. Process until smoothly puréed, about 2 minutes on high.
Return the remaining strained stock to the pan; bring back to a boil, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add the puréed mixture to the hot stock and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes.
Thin the masa by mixing with 1 cup water. Whisk the thinned masa into the stock mixture; whisking constantly, let the sauce return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. If lumps form, pass the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve (pushing with a spoon to force through the lumpy bits) and return to the heat. The mixture should thicken to the consistency of whipping cream; if necessary, increase the heat slightly to reduce and thicken it.
Place the parsley, epazote, and hoja santa in a blender or food processor. If using a blender, add a few tablespoons water to facilitate blending. Process to a smooth purée. Add the cooked beans to the masa-thickened sauce and let return to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pot along with the puréed herbs. Taste and add more salt if desired. Cook until just heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve pieces of chicken over tortillas and drizzle over mole. Garnish with cilantro, red jalapeños, and Mexican crema.
Are you ready for one of the easiest, but still healthy recipes ever? Look no further than the recipe below, adapted from Real Simple!
Adrian and I have been making this recipe for years. It's best for a weeknight when you're too pooped to prep a lot of ingredients or wash a lot of dishes. We keep it in the back of our minds when we're on our way home from work and realize our refrigerator is lacking in the dinner department!
Luckily it isn't too hard to find the ingredients at the store. With 10 minutes of shopping, 10 minutes of prep, and a short wait while the oven does all the cooking, you will have yourself one very satisfying, gourmet meal!
Ingredients 4 small crisp apples (such as Empire or Braeburn), quartered 2 leeks (white and light green parts), halved crosswise and lengthwise 6 small sprigs fresh rosemary 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 small chicken thighs, about 2.5 lbs
Directions Heat oven to 400° F. In a large roasting pan, toss the apples, leeks, rosemary, olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste and nestle, skin-side up, among the vegetables.
Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the apples and leeks are tender, about 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
What's better than making pasta with your own olive oil and home cured olives? Not much! Except maybe making pasta with garden grown spring greens and red pepper flakes. In another year or two, our caper plant might even produce fruit, which will make this recipe homemade times a million!
Last Christmas, my family and I went out olive picking near my sister's house in an abandoned orchard along Folsom, CA's Pioneer Express Trail. Between the six of us who foraged for these Mission olives, we picked at least 40 pounds, and didn't even make a dent in any of the lush trees! My husband Adrian and I took half of the bounty, determined to cure olives successfully for the first time and make our own oil.
After week of some intense labor where we pitted olives by hand for days, Adrian fashioned his own olive oil press, and we processed every last olive we picked! By the end of January, we had a few jars of the yummiest olives and olive oil, although a little less oil than we hoped. Next year we'll just buy a press!
The whole process was quite a labor of love, but we are so proud to be able to use our olives and oil in our home cooking.
My pasta recipe below was the perfect medium for our homemade/homegrown ingredients. I used Banza's chickpea rotini pasta, which is gluten-free, and was actually very impressed how well their pasta mimics wheat pasta! The chickpeas add tons of additional protein and fiber and have less net carbohydrates than traditional pasta. [Full disclosure: Banza sent me free product to sample]. An addition of spring greens from my garden (kale rabe, kale greens, and watercress) made this pasta not only extremely yummy, but pretty darn healthy!
Whether or not you're making this recipe with your own home-cured olives, you will certainly enjoy it! The flavors are on point and the pasta is so very comforting.
Cheesy Chickpea Pasta with Spring Greens, Tomatoes, and Olives
Time: 20 Minutes Serves 4
Ingredients Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 oz Banza Chickpea Rotini 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes 2 oz canned anchovies in olive oil ½ cup mission olives, halved, or Kalamata olives 3 tbsp capers 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste 8 oz mixed spring greens, such as kale, rapini, watercress 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated, divided
Directions Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Drain and return the rotini to the pot.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, anchovies with oil, olives, capers, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Simmer the sauce for four minutes, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon. Slowly add spring greens to the sauce and stir until all of the greens have wilted.
Transfer pasta to the skillet and gently toss with ¾ cup parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir until pasta and cheese are well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
Serve pasta in bowls and garnish with remaining parmesan cheese.
You probably haven't considered beans on pizza or even Indian flavored pizza for that matter. Let me tell you, both work and they work together deliciously!
I was recently sent Maya Kaimal's Everyday Dal pouches to sample and to experiment with for my own recipe. The Kidney Bean + Carrots + Tamarind pouch caught my attention and making a pizza came to mind.
Having never tried beans on pizza, I realized it would be worth a try! On their own, Maya Kaimal's Everyday Dal pouches are super healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Each pouch is flavor-packed too, so it just made sense that fusing Everyday Dal with pizza would be a healthful and delicious choice.
To balance the authenticity of making a pizza with these fusion flavors, I still used a little marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. But mixing the tamarind sauce with the marinara and topping the pizza with rounds of paneer, dal, serrano peppers, and tomatoes made for the perfect fusion! Yum, yum.
Want to buy Everyday Dal? Check out Maya Kaimal's Store Locator. The pouches are super convenient and microwave-friendly. Feel free to enjoy them on their own and/or on the pizza below. Your choice!
Everyday Dal Tamarind & Kidney Bean Pizza
Time: 30 Minutes Serves 4
Ingredients 1 lb pizza dough 1 (10 oz) pouch Maya Kaimal Everyday Dal Kidney Beans + Carrots + Tamarind ¾ tsp red pepper flakes, divided ½ tsp garlic, minced, divided 1 tsp light brown sugar, divided 4 oz marinara sauce, divided Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste All-purpose flour for dredging 1 cup low-moisture mozzarella cheese 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1 serrano peppers, sliced into thin rounds ¼ lb paneer, cut into eight ¼-inch thick rounds ¼ tsp garlic, finely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 6 sprigs fresh cilantro, to garnish 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Directions Set a pizza stone on a rack about 4-5 inches away from the broiler. Preheat broiler.
Open dal pouch and separate beans from the sauce by dividing them between two medium-sized bowls.
Add 1 tbsp of the dal to the sauce bowl and mash the dal to the side of a bowl with a spoon to thicken. To each bowl, add ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp minced garlic, ½ tsp light brown sugar, and 2 oz marinara sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
On a lightly floured surface, lightly dredge one pound of dough in flour. Stretch the dough out a bit at a time, waiting 10-15 seconds between stretches. Then stretch a little more, being gentle, until you’ve stretched the dough into a very thin round. Build a small rim around the edges to form a crust.
Place the dough on a lightly floured pizza peel and slide it around to make sure it’s not sticking. Spread the sauce over the dough with a spoon but add less to the center so the sauce doesn’t pool.
Quickly add toppings for pizza by adding the shredded mozzarella followed by the beans, cherry tomatoes, and serrano rounds. Top with paneer rounds. Finish with chopped garlic and ¼ tsp red pepper flakes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the pizza to a pizza peel lightly coated with flour. Quickly transfer the pizza to the stone and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer pizza to a grill rack. Garnish with cilantro and drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil.
Greek salad is one of my all-time favorite main courses. Eaten vegetarian, it's inherently healthy between the diverse array of vegetables and extra-virgin olive oil. I also love adding a hefty block of feta cheese on top!
When I know I need a few extra omega-3s in my diet, however, there's no better choice than a Greek salad with seared salmon.
For the pescatarian version, I typically use a little less feta and dressing than usual to keep the overall calorie count down - just because it's salad doesn't mean it's low calorie! The salmon adds an extra dimension of flavor that marries well with the salad greens and makes for quite the balanced meal.
Every time I eat Greek salad, I feel slightly euphoric, similar to the "runners high" after a challenging workout. I can almost feel the nutrients running through my veins. I guarantee you will feel healthier after making this recipe and hope that this one will become a staple in your kitchen!
Greek Salad with Seared Salmon
Time: 25 Minutes Serves 4
Ingredients ½ cup extra virgin olive, oil divided 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 tsp dried oregano Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets 2 heads butter lettuce leaves ½ English (seedless) cucumber, thinly sliced 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 12 Kalamata olives 3 medium vine ripe tomatoes, sliced 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Directions In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and oregano. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Coat the salmon fillets with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season evenly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Increase the heat to medium-high and add salmon in two batches, skin-side up. Sear salmon until the fillets are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, then turn over and cook on the opposite side until browned and the internal temperature reaches 140F. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Plate lettuce leaves and top with cucumbers, red onions, olives, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Top salad with warm salmon fillets. Sprinkle with feta on top and drizzle reserved dressing. Enjoy!
You know what I love about cooking the most? It never gets old. No matter how many dishes I've cooked up, there's always going to be something I haven't yet made, e.g. something I've been missing out on my entire life.
Case in point: Ffagadau. They're Welsh Meatballs, a.k.a Welsh Faggots, and are like a typical meatball with breadcrumbs, onions, and spices, but they're better! Between adding the cooked bacon, liver, and sherry, the flavors are off the charts. Wrapped neatly in suet, also known as caul fat, these are the most solid meatballs you're ever going to eat.
According to my mom's family genealogy, I'm 25% Welsh, so this dish is basically in my blood. Unfortunately for me the recipe wasn't passed down through the 5 generations since my ancestors lived in Wales.
Most fortunately, though, there are a ton of foodie series on television these days and Andrew Zimmern introduced me to this amazing dish for the first time on Bizarre Foods. I could just kiss that man! (Shh, don't tell Adrian).
Thanks to Zimmern, I picked up another trick in my recipe repertoire. Now I can dive into some delicious Welsh meatballs with gravy, mashed potatoes, and peas anytime I darn please!
Ffagadau – Welsh Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Time: 1 Hour Serves 6-8
Meatballs ¼ lb bacon, finely chopped ½ cup onion, minced 1 tbsp sage, finely chopped 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 lb pork, ground 4 oz pork, lamb, or beef liver, finely chopped 1 tsp mace 1 tsp allspice 1 cup bread crumbs 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream 2 oz suet or strips of streaky bacon 1/3 cup sherry
Gravy 2 tbsp butter ½ cup yellow onion, thinly sliced 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 1 cup homemade beef stock 1 tbsp sherry 2 tsp heavy cream
Mashed Potatoes 3 russet potatoes, about 2 lbs, cut into 2-inch pieces 4 cloves garlic, peeled 2/3 cup whipping cream ½ cup butter Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peas 2 tbsp butter 1 lb frozen peas ¼ cup onion, finely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions Preheat oven to 450F.
Heat bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until browned and crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in onion, and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Stir in sage and thyme and cook until the herbs are fragrant, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl, add cooked bacon mixture, ground pork, liver, mace, allspice, bread crumbs, and heavy whipping cream. Season with salt and pepper and gently mix with your hands to combine.
Form meatballs into 3-inch balls, cutting up pieces of suet and wrapping each meatball tightly once formed. Place meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake meatballs for 10-15 minutes, basting with pan juices and sherry every 5 minutes. Bake until meatballs are golden and the internal temperature reaches 160F. Keep warm.
In a medium saucepan, prepare the gravy by melting the butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until browned, 12-15 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in beef stock and sherry and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir in whipping cream and set aside. Keep warm.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and garlic and boil until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir in whipping cream slowly while mashing the potatoes. Keep warm.
In another medium sauce pan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring until soft, 5-6 minutes. Stir in peas with 3 tbsp water and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve meatballs on plates over mashed potatoes. Top meatballs with gravy and serve with peas on the side.