Brûléed bananas are so easy to make. Just split a banana, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and flaxseed oil, and put it under the broiler for a minute or two. The sugar gets crisp and caramelized, the banana gets warm and juicy, and you get to eat it! I love brûléed bananas on top of oatmeal, on their own, or topped with plain Greek-style yogurt, homemade granola, and drizzled with honey! My kids love assembling their own “sundaes” for breakfast.
Every cook has a method for roasted chicken–and just about every cook will tell you what a simple yet important recipe it is. Roast chicken is almost never bad, but it can be truly incredible if you do it right. There are a lot of great ways to make it. My method is a combination of a few key tips from some of my favorite roast chicken recipes, (namely Zuni Cafe’s and Mad Hungry’s) plus a lot of practice roasting of chickens over the years. While the roasting method is basically always the same, you can finish the dish a number of ways. Here, I’ve made a simple tomato pan sauce, creating a nice summer-into-fall kind of dinner. Continue reading
One of the keys to cooking at home is to have an arsenal of easy, go-to recipes that you can pull off dependably and quickly with ingredients that are almost always on hand. I’ve recently came up with a steak marinade that fits the bill. It’s simple and delicious–great with the the flavorful “bargain cuts” that I usually grill, such as hanger steak and tri-tip (I can’t even tell you the last time I bought a ribeye or strip steak–meat has gotten so insanely expensive, no?).
This marinade is best made with a mortar and pestle, but you could also just chop everything up very finely if you don’t have one.
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Place garlic, thyme leaves, salt, and peppercorns in the bowl of a mortar; mash to a paste. Stir in vinegar and olive oil. Season steaks with salt and pepper and place in nonreactive dish or sealable plastic bag. Add marinade and coat well. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours, turning meat occasionally. Let meat sit at room temperature for an hour before grilling.
I made hanger steak this way for dinner the other night, along with some chocolate pudding for dessert. When I asked my 3 y/o son if he was ready for his pudding he said, “Yes, but can I have some more steak first?” It’s a keeper!
As I mentioned, I was in Sicily on vacation for the better part of August. My husband’s parents live there, and have a great five-unit place right across from the beach on the Southeastern coast. We had our own little apartment with a full kitchen and a washing machine (unfortunately, dryers are rare!), so I was able to cook a lot, and made a lot of Sicilian dishes while I was there. My mother-in-law stocked our fridge before we arrived–so I had all the ingredients to make classic caponata. (This cracked me up, since many of the ingredients–like salted capers–would almost surely require a special trip to the market in the US, but here, they’re staples. That’s how you know you’re cooking the right things while abroad!) Continue reading
Alright, this is definitely not the healthiest recipe, nor is it made from whole foods, but I have to admit it’s one of my proudest creations of late. I’m unapologetic about the use of American cheese and squishy packaged bread here. This recent article from the New York Times sums it up–this is my comfort food, and, on occasion, I still love it. Everything in moderation, right?
This invention came about after a recent party where I served pulled pork on these Martin’s mini “party roll” buns. They come in a pack of 24–two sheets of 12 rolls meant to be pulled apart and split in half to make tiny “sliders.” I had a surplus of buns after the party and needed something to do with them.
On a particularly crazy evening when I didn’t have much to make for dinner, I had this idea: Cut the entire sheet of buns in half, leaving them connected to each other, flip them inside out, and make a giant grilled cheese that can be pulled apart into little sandwiches! Ta-da!
Since, I’ve learned that this is a perfect playdate recipe. (We all know that other people’s kids don’t like our “healthy” cooking, right?) Serve this with some soup or fruit, and you’ll practically have a wholesome meal. And at least they’ll eat!
Just a note: be sure to use a moderately hot griddle when cooking the grilled cheese. The thick, dense bread needs time to heat up enough to melt the cheese. You don’t want the exterior to get too dark before the cheese is melted!