Sausage Tomato and Sprouts Toad in the Hole

Sausage Tomato and Sprouts Toad in the Hole puffed and browned

This Sausage Tomato and Sprouts Toad in the Hole is a somewhat new recipe for me. I certainly never grew up with it. It comes from my friend Jon, whose mother is English. He made it for breakfast during our Chesapeake Bay Weekend and it was my first experience with the classic English breakfast. Of course, I loved it and have been making it ever since. It’s really fun to make with kids because you can ask them about the name of the dish and have them help assemble it. Whatever you put in the pancaked batter will be peeking up through the holes, like a toad in the water since the batter will puff up and around the meats and veggies. Added kid bonus, Sausage Tomato and Sprouts Toad in the Hole is quite easy to make and really delicious. And who doesn’t love a savory pancake? Even super picky kids will likely enjoy this dish and it’s great as breakfast or breakfast for dinner. I love adding whatever cooked leftover veggies I have on hand, as well and cherry tomatoes and sausages of course. This week, I made it with roasted Brussels sprouts, but of course, you can add … Continue reading

Leek Soup with Fried Sage

Leek Soup with Fried Sage

This Leek Soup with Fried Sage is velvety, savory, smooth, and delicious. It’s easy to make in the large quantity I have it scaled for in this recipe. This way you can eat what you like and the freeze the leftovers. This Leek Soup with Fried Sage freezes really well, like many soups, for that matter. In fact, I made this soup a couple of weeks before I needed it for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu and simply pulled it out of the freezer and reheated it the day of the feast. I love cooking ahead for big deal meals; it’s so helpful for stress management a.k.a. hanging out with your guests drinking Rhubarb Lillet Rose Aquavit Spritzers, which is really what you should be doing anyway when you have a big party, right? The good news is that you can make the garnish ahead of time as well. The pretty green sage provides some visual interest and awesome texture, but this simple soup is still delicious without it if you want to keep it really simple or sage isn’t your thing. I think it would be great to try this Leek Soup with Fried Sage with other fried herbs. In … Continue reading

Vasterbottenpaj Swedish Quiche

Vasterbottenpaj Swedish Quiche sliced

It feels a little ominous to post my Vasterbottenpaj (Swedish Quiche) the day before the US v. Sweden Women’s World Cup game. While I love celebrating my Swedish heritage, I have to admit that when it comes to sports, I’m USA all the way. That said, it’s time to start gearing up for my Midsommar Menu, and first up is this Vasterbottenpaj (Swedish Quiche). I based my Vasterbottenpaj (Swedish Quiche) on a couple of Swedish recipes (One and Two), so I left in the metric amounts so you can see the conversions, because I think it’s fun. That said, I also provided the standard amounts as well. You’ll notice they’re not quite your typical amounts. The good news is, this Vasterbottenpaj (Swedish Quiche) isn’t the type of recipe that requires extreme precision. Also, don’t let the foreign cheese intimidate you. It’s very hard to find these days, so check out the note at the bottom on how to get a good substitute for the flavor and texture. I think one of the best lessons to be learned from these recipes is the addition of crème fraîche into the filling. It provides a richness and tang that I absolutely love and … Continue reading

Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo

Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo

For my English Polo Picnic, I picked dishes that are easy to make ahead for room temperature consumption and are both elegant and easily portable, like these Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo. I bought pre-formed Salmon Burgers to keep things easy and then just doctored up premade mayo and mango chutney for a very flavorful and unexpected picnic sandwich. I grilled them at home on a grill pan and then just packed them up in foil and served them room temperature at the party. If you’re going to grill them far ahead, you should definitely refrigerate them until you’re ready to go and then just let the Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo come up to room temperature as the party starts. These Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo are really flavorful and a fun departure from standard grill fair. If you can’t find pre-formed patties, they’re not too bad to make yourself, but anytime I find good shortcuts, I like to share them, especially when I’m making several recipes at once, like these Salmon Burgers with Curry Mayo as part of a party menu that needs to be transported off-site. And when you add little touches of your own, like I … Continue reading

Olive Honeydew Winter Summer Salad

Olive Honeydew Winter Summer Salad

This Olive Honeydew Winter Summer Salad is one of those amazing recipes that is fitting in both of the odd extremes of winter and summer. While a summer melon makes it burst with the gorgeous flavor only possible in summer fruit, the fennel, olives, and orange which are all readily available winter ingredients make this a salad I still think to prepare deep in the Winter. And as it finally warms up around here enough to make me more than dream of crisp mineral-y white wine and balmy summer night air heavy with the smell of barbeque and citronella (doesn’t that sounds wonderful as you sweep off your patios and plant your annuals?) I find myself making this salad early this year. After all, it truly was a long winter and I’m ready even if the weather isn’t quite. So, I will have to eat it inside with a glass of pinot instead… what a tragedy. The salt and sweet and bitter flavors are so perfectly balanced in the way of many Mediterranean dishes. Prosciutto Melone comes to mind. And even the Caprese. There’s something about simple but complex salads that Mediterraneans just “get” better than anyone else and this … Continue reading

Monkfish Stew with Potatoes and Dill

Monkfish Stew with Potatoes and Dill with golden tomatoes

This Monkfish Stew with Potatoes and Dill has been one of my favorite weeknight dinners this Winter. But all Winter long, I’ve been waiting to post it because I think it’s perfect as we (finally) transition from Winter into Spring. It’s light, bright and healthy, as well as easy, which is the winning combination, no? I love having dishes that I can prep really quickly but still are guest worthy. With guests in mind, Monkfish Stew with Potatoes and Dill is a great excuse to stop by the really good bakery on the way home and pick up a loaf of fresh bread, because it’s perfect with some tangy, crunchy sourdough. If you want to make enough for the whole week, just reserve the fish and add it raw to the soup as you reheat. It only needs to cook for a few minutes but it tastes better freshly cooked as opposed to reheated. Of course lots of different fishes would be great in this stew, but I love the flavor and texture of monkfish. The firm texture holds up to the broth without breaking apart and the almost lobster-like tasted is delicious. This Monkfish Stew with Potatoes and Dill … Continue reading

Citrus Flowers with Spicy Pistachio Brittle

Citrus Flowers with Spicy Pistachio Brittle cara cara oranges

I’m sure you have no need for this Citrus Flowers with Spicy Pistachio Brittle recipe. Afterall, I’m fairly certain I’m the only person on the planet who wants some sort of dessert every single night whether they went to the gym or not. Right? Cue eye roll. Because I don’t always do as I’m supposed to and go to the gym, or eat perfectly, I need to have recipes on hand that satisfy my dessert cravings without breaking the caloric bank so to speak. This is one of those desserts. The beautiful rainbow of citrus feeds your eyes and your taste buds, and the little hint of spice, salt and more from the pistachios helps you know you’ve had dessert. This dessert is also easy to whip up at a moment’s notice. Simply keep the extra brittle in a jar in the pantry and this time of year, in the height of citrus season, your fruit basket is probably full of oranges anyway, right? Win, win, win. A dollop of ricotta or crème fraîche on top makes my Citrus Flowers with Spicy Pistachio Brittle guest worthy. And it’s not like you need to save this one for virtuous only menus. It’s … Continue reading

Butter Bean Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Butter Bean Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette marinating

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get around to making this Butter Bean Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. I had something similar to it last Spring at the Fremont Diner and I absolutely loved it. I’ve bought the various ingredients many times in the past year or so, but it seems like I can never keep them all in the house at the same time. First I buy the fennel and then use it up roasting it with tomatoes and garlic for a quick pasta dish. Then I buy beets but use them up for salad or bruschetta. Then I buy beans but end up making them into basil bean spread. What can I say? Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of why something is in your fridge. But I finally made this Butter Bean Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and I’m so glad that I did. Since I finally held the initial salad together, we’ve had it multiple times. And each time I make it, I’m as grateful for the leftovers and I am for the salad itself, which is saying something, because too many salads make terrible leftovers. I grilled some sweet Italian chicken … Continue reading

Mint Butter Lamb Chops

Mint Butter Lamb Chops Jerusalem dinner

When you’re making a very special dinner to serve to friends, such as my Jerusalem Cookbook Dinner Party, sometimes you really just need at least one dish that’s simple, easy, and crowd pleasing, and my Mint Butter Lamb Chops are all those things and more. Since lamb chops are on the expensive side of things, serving them on a night when there are lots of other dishes is a good way to get away with serving them in appetizer portions and still have guests feel like they got their fill. When I was creating the dish I wanted flavors that were interesting enough to stand up to the brilliant flavors and colors of the rest of the dishes; that is such an amazing quality of the Jerusalem recipes, but I also wanted to nod to things just a little more traditional like the pairing of lamb and mint. Because of the fresh mint in the Baba Ganoush via Jerusalem, I already had it on hand and it’s traditional ties to lamb made it an obvious choice. It was important to me that the mint felt savory, not sweet. Also, around this time I had mint and pea ravioli with spicy … Continue reading

Spicy Cold Shrimp Cucumber Salad

Spicy Cold Shrimp Cucumber Salad and dressing

I love this Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Salad for a variety of reasons, first an foremost, as a girl from Wisconsin, I love recipes that are consistent year ‘round. It truly can be the bleak midwinter in much of the country around the Holidays, and having vibrantly colored and flavored food can make things bright. While you may not be able to find mouse melons, tender Persian cucumbers should be available. Aside from being made up of year ‘round vegetables, an exciting and hearty salad can be just what the palette (and the diet) need this time of year. There’s so much butter and milk and cream and carbs in the form of Christmas cookies and the like, and I love those things too, but sometimes one really needs a break. Finally, if you have lots of Jewish friends, like I do, you know that a common Christmas day tradition amongst Jews is Asian food and a trip to the movie theater. So this Spicy Shrimp Cucumber Salad is a break from the traditional in terms of Christmas-y recipes of baked goose and ham and is an homage to all of my wonderful Jewish friends. I encourage all of us, regardless … Continue reading

Roasted Cauliflower Hazelnut Celery Salad via Jerusalem

Roasted Cauliflower Hazelnut Celery Salad via Jerusalem

This Roasted Cauliflower Hazelnut Celery Salad via Jerusalem is one of my very favorite recipes, from one of my very favorite cookbooks from recent years. I have made, or tasted many of the recipes from this book, as the book has been very popular amongst my cooking and entertaining friends, but there’s something about this salad. I have made this Roasted Cauliflower Hazelnut Celery Salad via Jerusalem multiple times, which for a person who has to cook constantly and come up with new recipes of her own almost as frequently, repeating a recipes says something big. Basically, I really love this Roasted Cauliflower Hazelnut Celery Salad via Jerusalem and of course was quick to include in on the menu for my Jerusalem Cookbook Dinner Party. It’s absolutely everything that’s right about winter cooking, and more importantly, a winter salad. And you get to show off your new Pomegranate opening techniques when you make this Roasted Cauliflower Hazelnut Celery Salad via Jerusalem. Fun, right? … Continue reading

Gingerbread Crouton Fall Panzanella

Gingerbread Fall Panzanella with pickles and squash

The inspiration for this Gingerbread Crouton Fall Panzanella comes from a spread I saw in a Williams-Sonoma catalog! quite some time ago, and I must say, I’ve never made the recipe as it’s written. I served it as the salad course on my Caribbean Thanksgiving Menu and it’s so good, it’s made it into my regular fall repertoire. I always make all dishes served at Thanksgiving vegetarian (except the main dish). When I have lots of guests coming, I try to make all of the food as accessible as possible, at least in terms of accommodating allergies and dietary restrictions, but tastes, not so much. It’s the Wild West in my kitchen and you just have to give it a try, right? When I decided to make the Gingerbread Crouton Fall Panzanella it was in no way an exception to the feed the vegetarians rule. The original calls for bacon, which I’m sure would be good, but I like it just fine without. The gingerbread croutons are very rich and when paired with pickled berries and onions, well, let’s just say there’s plenty going on. I will admit that I do salt the squash and even the arugula itself liberally, … Continue reading