Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks

Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks baked

What’s a girl to do when it gets to be grilling season but she’s got no grill? Make Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks of course! This chicken recipe is really simple to make and delicious all year long, but the best news is, it’s just as easy for a city mouse as it is for a country mouse. And even if the chicken will never have those beautiful char marks, it’s flavorful marinade and golden brown crispy skin make my Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks the perfect accompaniment for hot weather food. It’s perfect with corn on the cob and summer salads of all sorts. The well-balanced marinade pairs well with Asian and Mexican salads for sure because I’ve been doing lots of improvising, but I’m sure you’ll find this sweet, spicy, rich chicken will pair with just about anything. And don’t let the scale of the recipe hold you back ;the leftovers are awesome, hot or cold. Of course, leftovers require that you and your guests haven’t already polished off every last piece of Sweet Chili Lime Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks. … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Gumbo

Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Gumbo

This Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Gumbo is a very popular recipe in my family. My brother in particular requests this one every year. The good news is that aside from being a crowd-pleaser, this hearty stew is a great way to use up any extra turkey you have hanging out post Thanksgiving feast. I always make a great big pot of this Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Gumbo, since I usually have lots of lovely turkey stock as well and it freezes nicely for some ready to serve weeknight meals. And while I typically serve it with rice, if I convinced you to make a rice stuffing like my Rice and Peas Thanksgiving Style off my Caribbean Thanksgiving Menu, you can easily serve it over that instead as another great way to use up any leftovers you may have. It’s full of lots of kinds of vegetables and loaded with flavor. And keep in mind that if you made a turkey like my Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey you want to keep an eye on the salt, because there will be plenty in the stock and the meat from all of that delicious bacon. But no matter how you make your turkey each … Continue reading

Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt

Carrot Wheat berry Salad with Yogurt

This Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt is a perfect fall salad that works well as a meal or as a first course if you like. It’s also a fun one to prepare for guests, because it’s just a little unusual. This Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt makes a great meal because it’s chock full of good things and is served on filling wheat berries. I served it in small portions for my Scandinavian Thanksgiving Menu, but we were really glad there were leftovers so we could eat it for dinner for the next few days. And I continued to make it all winter long since it feels fresh and light while still being easy to make in the winter. And it’s fun to swap out the root vegetables or mix them up. It’s great with parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, etc. But don’t take my word for it, try out this Carrot Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon Caraway Yogurt and make it to your exact preference. Full disclosure, this recipe is based closely on a food and wine recipe. I made it because of its Scandinavian pallet and I was thrilled that it went so well … 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

Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey

Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey herbs and bacon golden brown

This Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey is a variation on a Food and Wine recipe that I’ve been making for years. Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey is also one of my most requested recipes and it’s a great solution to send to the many people who complain that they don’t like turkey that much, it’s the weak link of Thanksgiving, or the turkey is always dry. Au contraire, mon frère! I promise that if you make this Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey there will be so few leftovers that you will go up a size next year so that you will have enough turkey leftover to make my Leftover Thanksgiving Enchiladas or Turkey Gumbo. I also promise that your guests will rave and the gravy will be the best gravy you’ve ever made. Tall promises, I know, but not tall tales. This Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey will deliver and the best part is, it doesn’t even require you to get up at the crack of dawn to cook it. When you do decide to make my Bacon Herb Paste Stuffed Turkey for Thanksgiving, please make sure to check out the complete Thanksgiving 2009 menu for awesome sides, decorations, and … Continue reading

Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze

Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze ready for grill

Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze is quite straight forward, in terms of recipe; there’s just not much to it. Most of the drama and the flavor comes from the cedar planks themselves. That said, there is lots of drama and flavor, both of which make Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze a perfect dish for parties all summer long. Be it the 4th of July, Midsommar’s or just a Saturday night with a few friends over you’re going to have fun preparing it to your guests amazement and only you will know how simple it is. You will have to plan ahead a bit to make sure you have appropriate cedar planks around as you probably can’t just grab them at your local grocery store, but other than that, my Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze preparation is straight forward and really delicious. I first made Cedar Plank Salmon with Cherry Glaze for a Midsommar’s party as both salmon and cedar are very Scandinavian. The cherry glaze came about because I was in Door County for the solstice and since we were sipping on Door County Cherry Spritzers anyway… well, you see where I’m headed. But the flavor was so great … 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

Seafood Big Mamou Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce

Seafood Big Mamou shrimp and scallops

May is one of my favorite months and this Seafood Big Mamou Spicy Tomato Butter Sauce is in honor of one of the reasons why May is so special. I do a lot of entertaining in my social circle, but I’m also the fortunate guest to many wonderful parties as there are many talented cooks and entertainers in my life. Two of my favorite events that I get to just be a guest at happen in May. The Kentucky Derby, and the Crawfish Boil. A crawfish boil is a lot of work that requires special skills and equipment so I’m not going to walk you through how to do it at home, but you can join in on the fun of a raging Cajun party with a recipe as simple as my Seafood Big Mamou. My love for Cajun food began in college, when I waited tables at Davis Street Fish Market in Evanston, Il. The cooks at the restaurant were willing to share their knowledge with a curious waiter (that’s me). I was constantly trying new dishes and asking about sauces and I learned a lot of the basics of Cajun cooking, such as: what is the holy trinity, … 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

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