For those fans of watermelon sprinkled with flaky sea salt, this upgraded version of our favorite summer treat is for you! The salty cheese enhances the sweetness of watermelon, while the lime juice and cilantro brighten it and the jalapeño and paprika add complexity and heat. We also love this vinaigrette tossed with salads and even served with grilled chicken.
1 small watermelon, sliced into wedges 3 oz cotija cheese Fresh cilantro leaves Jalapeño-Lime Vinaigrette
For the Jalapeño-Lime Vinaigrette: ¼ cup fresh lime juice ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 Tablespoon minced jalapeño, plus more for garnishing Fine sea salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon sweet, smoked paprika ½ teaspoon chili powder
Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, jalapeño, salt, pepper and paprika. While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and continue whisking until an emulsion has formed and vinaigrette is thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning.
This makes about ½ cup of the vinaigrette. You likely won’t need all of it for the watermelon, so reserve the rest for another dish. It will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days in an air-tight container.
Prepare the watermelon: Place watermelon slices on a platter and drizzle vinaigrette evenly on top. Sprinkle the cotija cheese on top and garnish with cilantro and more jalapeño.
For the Toasted Cumin Seed Sour Cream: (Inspired by Smitten Kitchen) 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and partially ground in a mortar & pestle or spice grinder 1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Chicken Tacos: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 yellow onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, plus more for garnishing 1 tablespoon cumin 1 tablespoon dried crushed oregano (preferably Mexican oregano) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder 1 teaspoon sweet, smoked paprika ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice ½ chicken stock 1 cup crushed tomatoes 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken parts (we used white and dark meat) For serving: black beans, radishes, jalapeño, lime wedges, avocado, cilantro
Make the Toasted Cumin Sour Cream:
Whisk all ingredients together. Adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Make the Tacos:
Stove top Method In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook another minute. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the spices, lime juice, orange juice, chicken stock and crushed tomatoes and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Bring mixture to a simmer and then add the chicken. Toss to combine. Chicken should just be covered by liquid. Place a tight fitting lid on top and reduce heat to low. Cook 35-40 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a sheet tray and evenly spread out. Place the sheet tray under your oven’s broiler for about 3 minutes to get crispy bits on the chicken. Meanwhile, bring the tomato sauce to a heavy simmer and cook until it has reduced by half and is very thick, about 5 minutes. Toss chicken with the sauce. Spread a spoonful of the toasted cumin seed sour cream on tortillas followed by shredded chicken, black beans and garnishes of choice.
Instant Pot Method: Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot and press “sauté” button. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook another minute. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the spices, lime juice, orange juice, chicken stock and crushed tomatoes and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Bring mixture to a simmer and then add the chicken. Toss to combine. Chicken should just be covered by liquid. Secure the Instant Pot lid, press “manual” and set to 9 minutes. Release steam valve and then remove lid.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a sheet tray and evenly spread out. Place the sheet tray under your oven’s broiler for about 3 minutes to get crispy bits on the chicken. Meanwhile, press the “saute” button again on your Instant Pot and cook until tomato sauce is reduced by half and very thick, about 5 minutes. Toss chicken with the sauce. Spread a spoonful of the toasted cumin seed sour cream on tortillas followed by shredded chicken, black beans and garnishes of choice.
This lamb chop recipe is so simple and quick. It’s one of our go-to weeknight meals and also one of our favorite Easter dinners because it allows us more time to hunt easter eggs. You can get fancy with lamb chops and coat them in a pistachio crust like we did, but they’re also good simply seasoned with salt and pepper. And to balance the richness of the lamb, we paired the chops with a tangy sumac yogurt sauce and served alongside some arugula and shaved radishes tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.
For the Lamb: 1 lamb rack (1 ¾ - 2 pounds), French trimmed and cut into 8 individual chops Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
For Yogurt Sauce: 1 cup greek yogurt 1 Tbsp. sumac 1 Tbsp. good quality olive oil 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 TB lemon juice ¼ teaspoon cayenne, plus more for spice Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Allow lamb chops to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Pat them dry and then season both sides of the lamb chops with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmery (but not smoking), add the lamb chops and sear for about 3 minutes on each side until they are a deep golden brown and caramelized. Transfer the pan to preheated oven and finish cooking the lamb chops - about 4 minutes for medium rare. Transfer to a platter or board to rest while you make the yogurt.
Make the yogurt sauce by whisking together all ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with warm lamb chops.
Is it ter-meric or too-meric? We don’t know, but what we do know is that we LOVE it. Earthy, peppery and sort of mustardy, fresh turmeric is brighter and bolder than dried turmeric. Don’t let it (or the pronunciation) intimidate you. Treat fresh turmeric like you would ginger - peeled and then chopped, minced or grated. And because turmeric is less fibrous than ginger, it’s slightly easier to grate.
It also stains (Julie accidentally turned Jesse’s blender a beautiful shade of chartreuse once) so be sure to wear gloves or use a plastic bag when handling it and wash cutting boards… and blenders. immediately. Sugar snap peas - or any green bean for that matter - sometimes begs for loads of salt and butter. In order to satisfy our taste buds, we blanched sugar snap peas and tossed them with fragrant garlic and turmeric and then topped with crispy shallots.
For crispy shallots, make sure you’ve got enough oil in the saucepan to cover them. Otherwise, you’ll just end up caramelizing the shallots, which is also delicious but not crunchy.
For the Shallots: 2 shallots, thinly sliced Canola oil for frying
For the Peas: 1 pound sugar snap peas, stem and strings removed 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 (1-inch) piece turmeric, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped Kosher salt to taste Fresh ground pepper to taste
Fry the Shallots
In a small saucepan or skillet, heat ½ inch oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they gradually become brown, 10-15 minutes. Turn down the heat if they begin browning too quickly. Place a fine-meshed sieve over a bowl. Transfer shallots to sieve and let drain, then scatter them on a paper towel-lined plate to cool and get crispy; set aside.
Cook the Peas
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Set up an ice bath (stainless steel bowl of ice water). Carefully lower the snap peas in boiling water and blanch until they are cooked but still crunchy and bright green, 2-3 minutes. Using a sieve or slotted spoon, immediately transfer the peas into the ice water and leave for a minute to stop the cooking process. Remove peas from the ice water, pat dry with a towel and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add turmeric and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas to the pan with the turmeric and garlic, toss to combine. Season the peas with a pinch of salt and sauté until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve warm with crispy shallots.
Grits aren’t just for breakfast! This simple bowl is a great dish that can be prepped in advance for a quick weeknight dinner or side dish. Toasted breadcrumbs add a nice texture, while chili oil brings some heat to the party. There are no rules here. Build this satisfying bowl however you want.
For the Grits: 3 ½ cups chicken stock or water 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 cup stone-ground white corn grits 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for finishing
For the Kale: 1 large bunch Lacinato kale (dark green kale), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped ¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste
For Breadcrumbs: 5-6 slices bread, preferably from a rustic white loaf 1 tbsp. olive oil or melted unsalted butter Pinch of kosher salt
Make the Grits: Bring chicken stock or water and salt to a boil. Stir in the grits and butter and reduce heat to low, gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until grits are thick and creamy. Remove from heat, stir in more butter, salt and pepper to taste. Store grits in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 days.
Make the Kale: In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped kale, chicken stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the kale, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and tender and liquid has evaporated, 7-10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside and keep warm.
Make Breadcrumbs: Roughly tear bread and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into coarse crumbs and then toss the breadcrumbs with olive oil or butter and salt. Set a skillet over medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown and toasty, 5-7 minutes.
Build your Bowl: Spoon warm grits into a shallow bowl, top with sautéed kale and garnish with breadcrumbs and chili oil.
½ cup crushed red pepper flakes (we prefer Sichuan chili flakes) 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 3 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, divided ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup vegetable oil 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds and smashed 2 bay leaves Cinnamon stick 2 star anise pods
Place the red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, 1 Tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns and salt in a heatproof bowl.
In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable oil, the remaining 2 Tablespoons peppercorns, ginger, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and star anise.
Turn burner to low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices have darkened and mixture is very fragrant, 20-25 minutes. Strain the oil mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl of red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, peppercorns and salt. Discard the solids in the strainer. Stir well to combine and cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.
Allow oil to stand at least 12 hours before using. Oil will keep in the fridge for about 3 months.
Special Equipment Needed: Skewers Grill or grill pan
For the Marinade & Dipping Sauce:
1 ½ cups pineapple juice ⅓ cup soy sauce ½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice ⅓ cup mirin 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger 2 tbsp. sesame oil 2 tbsp. sriracha, plus more to taste 1 teaspoon cumin 2 tbsp. coconut palm sugar 2 tbsp. cornstarch ¼ cup water
For the Kebabs:
1 ½ lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces ½ pineapple (about 12 oz.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces Vegetable oil for grill Thinly sliced scallions, to garnish
For the Pork Kebabs:
Whisk together pineapple juice, soy sauce, lime juice, mirin, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, sriracha, cumin, and coconut palm sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Measure out 1 cup of the marinade and set aside. Pour remaining marinade over the pork and marinate in the fridge for 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Thread skewers with 3 pieces of pork, 2-3 pieces of pineapple and 2-3 pieces of onion, alternating between the three.
Prepare a grill to medium-hot or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the skewers, flipping every 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly charred all around, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with dipping sauce.
For Dipping Sauce:
Pour the reserved 1 cup of marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Pour the slurry into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick, about 3 minutes. If mixture gets too thick, add more pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
Special Equipment needed: 9-inch deep dish pie plate Rolling pin
For the Crust: 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes ½ cup whole milk, cold
For the Filling (makes 4-5 cups): 1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded and meat shredded 3 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 1 lb. carrots, chopped 2 tsp. fresh minced garlic 1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme leaves 1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary 1 tsp. finely chopped sage 1 tsp. lemon zest 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 3 tsp. kosher salt 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour ½ cup dry sherry 2 cups whole milk 8 oz. frozen peas 4 oz frozen corn
Make the Crust:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and using your fingers or a pastry cutter, mix the butter into the flour until it resembles parmesan cheese or wet sand. It’s ok if there are some larger butter pieces in there. Pour in the milk and stir the mixture together using a fork until dough forms. Do not overwork the dough. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. Shape each into a 6-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (at least an hour). If you’re in a hurry, place them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Make the Filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and then add the onions and carrots. Season with half of the salt and cook until onions are translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage and lemon zest and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until flour begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. Add the sherry and lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the milk, shredded chicken, peas, corn, and remaining salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until everything is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Transfer mixture to a shallow platter to cool completely before filling the pie crust.
Assemble the pie:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough discs into a 12 inch round and place in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Pour the chicken filling inside the pie plate and place in fridge while you roll out the other dough disc into a 12 inch round. Place the second pie crust on top of the chicken filling, pinch the edges of the two doughs together to seal and then crimp the edge. Brush the entire top with egg wash (egg + 1 tsp. water) and make a few slits in the pie dough for ventilation. Place the pie plate on a sheet tray (this catches any juices) and bake for about 55-65 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the crust is golden brown. If your crust seems to be browning too quickly before the pie is done, simply cover it with aluminum foil.
Allow pie to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
For the Okra: 1 pound fresh okra, rinsed and dried and tops trimmed 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, divided 1 cup buttermilk ¾ cup cornmeal, divided 2 teaspoons creole seasoning, plus more for finishing Canola oil Kosher salt
For Creole Seasoning: 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme ½ tablespoon white pepper ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper 3 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika 1 ½ tablespoon kosher salt
For Aioli: 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon creole seasoning 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic 2 teaspoons hot sauce, plus more to taste
Make the creole seasoning by whisking all ingredients together in a bowl. Make the aioli by whisking together all ingredients.
Pour oil (3-4 inches) into a large heavy bottomed pot and heat to 350 degrees.
In one large shallow bowl, whisk together half of the flour (3/4 cup) and a pinch of salt. In a separate large shallow bowl, pour in buttermilk. In a third large shallow bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, cornmeal, and 2 teaspoons creole seasoning.
Working in batches, add okra to flour and toss to coat. Transfer okra to bowl of buttermilk, shaking off excess flour as you do. Coat the okra in buttermilk. Finally, transfer the okra to the flour-cornmeal mixture and toss well to coat. Carefully lower the battered okra into the oil and fry for 5-7 minutes, until dark golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove okra from oil and transfer to a wire rack set over a sheet tray. While okra is hot, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and more creole seasoning.
For Kale Juice 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno ¾ cup water
For Cocktails 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger 1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno ½ teaspoon ground coriander, divided 4 oz. blanco tequila 2 oz. lime juice 1 ½ oz. agave nectar 1 oz. kale juice Flaky sea salt Lime and jalapeno slices for garnish
Make the kale juice: Combine kale, 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño and water in a blender or food processor and pulse until thoroughly blended. Strain through fine mesh sieve.
Make the Coriander-Salt Rim: In a small plate, stir together ¼ teaspoon ground coriander with flaky sea salt. Rub the rim of two cocktail glasses with a lime wedge and then dip glasses in the coriander-flaky sea salt mixture; set aside.
Make the Cocktails: Muddle the jalapeno, ginger and remaining ¼ teaspoon ground coriander with a few ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add the tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and kale juice. Shake and strain into prepared margarita glasses.
Add more ice if desired and garnish with lime wedges and jalapeño. Cheers!