Saturday, July 28, 2018

Blueberry Crisp

I found a huge container of blueberries at Costco, so I knew I wanted to bake something tasty with them.  I found this recipe for blueberry crisp and it was perfect -- super easy to prepare and bursting with juicy blueberries.  The topping is sort of like crumbled oatmeal cookies sprinkled all over the blueberries - yum! I made this for our 4th of July barbecue, and it would be great for any gathering. Leftovers make an excellent breakfast.

Blueberry Crisp (adapted from Martha Stewart)

For the Filling:
6 cups (3 pints) blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 T plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: Mix blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish.

2. Make the topping: Stir together flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir dry ingredients into butter. Using your hands, squeeze topping pieces together into clumps.

3. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling. Bake until bubbling in center and brown on top, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Grilled Chili-Garlic Flank Steak with Avocado Butter

One of the best parts of owning a home is that we now have a grill in our backyard!  This steak is super flavorful and delicious, and is easy to prepare.  The recipe makes more avocado butter than you'll need, but it keeps well in the fridge and makes for a killer toast-topper! Make some grilled bread on the side for a great accompaniment. 

Grilled Chili-Garlic Flank Steak with Avocado Butter (adapted from Fine Cooking)

4 ounces softened, unsalted butter
1/2 large ripe avocado, finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
Kosher salt
2 T olive oil
2 tsp granulated garlic
2 packed tsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, avocado, lime juice, jalapeno, coriander, and a generous pinch of salt.  Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper.  Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.  Let cool slightly, then rub all over the steak.  Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
3. Prepare a medium-high grill.  Grill the steak, flipping once, until medium rare (about 4 minutes per side, 8 minutes total).  Transfer to a cutting board, smear with a good amount of the butter, tent with foil, and let rest 5-10 minutes.
4. Slice the steak against the grain and serve with the remaining butter.  Grilled bread is fantastic on the side!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mini Vegetable Tacos

Top mini steamed tortillas with an assortment of grilled veggies, crumbled queso fresco, and tomatillo salsa.  Many types of vegetables would be delicious here, but here's what we used:

Cherry tomatoes: toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and blister in a cast iron skillet
Zucchini: quarter lengthwise, toss with oil and Florida pepper, and roast or grill until tender
Scallions: roast or grill until charred, then trim and chop
Corn on the cob: soak in water and grill in the husks for about 15 minutes

Tomatillo salsa: Husk and rinse about a pound of tomatillos.  Place in a pot with half a jalapeno (more for spicier salsa).  Cover with water and simmer until tender.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a blender.  Add about 1 tsp minced garlic, 3/4 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Blend until smooth, taste, and adjust seasoning.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Chicken Sausage Frittata

This frittata is the perfect one pan breakfast-for-dinner.  It's got all your major food groups, and makes the perfect meal with toast on the side.  Plus, leftovers are awesome cold the next day!  Feel free to switch around the ingredients based on what you have in the fridge -- this is a great way to use up odds and ends.

Chicken Sausage Frittata (adapted from The Kitchen)

6 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 fully precooked chicken sausages, sliced into thin rounds
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups baby spinach
Crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Pea shoots or fresh herbs, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until frothy.
3. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken sausage coins and brown them on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes, turning often. Transfer the sausage to a plate until ready to use.
4. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and heat until shimmering.  Add the shallot and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cook, stirring often, until softened.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.  Add a splash of water to the skillet and then stir in the spinach and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.  Stir for about 2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted.
5. Spread the spinach filling evenly and top with the chicken sausage.
6. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the frittata filling and use a silicone spatula to scrape the sides of the pan and gently pull eggs from the edges toward the middle so that soft curds form and the frittata begins to firm up.  Sprinkle the cheese on top.
7. Transfer to the oven and cook until the eggs are set, 5-7 minutes.
8. Sprinkle with pea shoots or fresh herbs, then slice into wedges and serve with toast.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Yogurt-Spinach Dip with Walnuts

My mom and I made this dip on a recent trip back to Ohio.  It's super flavorful and delicious, plus pretty healthy too!  The recipe makes a ton, so this is a great choice for a crowd.  Make sure to have lots of pita chips for dipping.

Yogurt-Spinach Dip with Walnuts (loosely inspired by Bon Appetit)
Makes dip for a crowd

Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add 1 cup chopped walnuts and a small diced onion and saute until the onion is softened.  Add a good amount of minced garlic and saute until fragrant.  Set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups whole milk plain Green yogurt, a few handfuls chopped fresh spinach, a bunch of chopped fresh mint, and the juice of one lemon.  Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the walnut-onion mixture.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve with pita chips or fresh veggies for dipping.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta

I've never tried pasta in the Instant Pot before, but I have to say I really love this recipe! Since everything cooks in one pot, it's quick to make and cleanup is also super easy.  The flavors go really well together and the sauce is so creamy and savory.  Plus, it's the perfect use for the overabundance of basil from our backyard garden!

Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta (adapted from Cooking Classy)
Serves 4

32 ounce carton low-sodium chicken broth
6 T sun-dried tomato pesto
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 T minced garlic
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
12 oz uncooked campanelle pasta
5 oz fresh baby spinach
8 ounces cream cheese (low fat is okay), cut into cubes
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Put the chicken broth, sun-dried tomato pesto, Italian seasoning, and garlic into the Instant Pot insert.  Whisk to combine.
2. Add the chicken and pasta and stir to combine.
3. Seal and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
4. Quick release the pressure, and add the baby spinach, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir to combine.
5. Replace the lid, and let sit 5-10 minutes for the sauce to thicken.  Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.  Between the pesto and cheese, I didn't think mine needed any additional salt.
6. Stir in the basil just before serving.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Zucchini-Cheddar Pancakes with Soft-Boiled Eggs

These vegetable pancakes are a great way to use up summer zucchini, and make for a delicious light dinner with salad.  The yolks of the soft-boiled eggs make for a really tasty sauce for the pancakes, but a yogurt or avocado sauce would also be fantastic.  Leftovers are good warmed up in the microwave the next day for lunch -- I had mine with half an avocado.

Zucchini-Cheddar Pancakes with Soft-Boiled Eggs (adapted from Fine Cooking)
Serves 4

3-1/3 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 oz. Cheddar, grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup finely sliced scallions (about 3 medium)
1 egg
Milk, as needed
Spray oil

For the eggs:
6 soft boiled eggs (I do them for 3 minutes in the Instant Pot)

1. Squeeze the zucchini over a strainer to remove excess liquid.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a large bowl.  Add the shredded zucchini, grated cheese, and scallions and toss to coat.
3. Crack the egg into a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough milk to make 2/3 cup.  Add to the flour-zucchini mixture and gently combine to create a thick batter.
4. Heat an electric griddle or non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Spray with oil.  Scoop 1/3-cup portions of the batter and spread to form pancakes about 1/2-inch thick.  Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 9 minutes total.
5. Serve with halved soft-boiled eggs, sprinkled with za'atar.