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Winter Cabbage Slaw

It’s almost March. The in-between winter and spring. Not quite as lovely as the other in-between, September. Here in New York, we are still in muffin season at the farmer’s market. With the exception of root vegetables and hearty cabbages, there’s not much green around right now. Maybe that’s why we welcome green beer and shamrock shakes? I digress.

It doesn’t help that all my California friends have been posting their perfect strawberries, indigenous avocados and delicate local baby lettuces. Is fruit FOMO a thing?

Instead of reaching for another bundle of (California-grown) kale or (Brooklyn greenhouse) clamshell of greens, I decided to lean into winter and make a damn slaw. I am a big fan of slaw year-round. It’s usually relegated as the thing to go with all the other things - pulled pork, burgers, fried chicken. I would argue this slaw is THE thing. It also plays well with crispy Merguez sausages, za’atar rubbed chicken or with a bunch of other veggies, hummus and pita.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 large Medjool dates, pitted, thinly sliced
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs of mint, torn
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (or feta), crumbled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Sumac, for serving (optional)

Directions:

Whisk lemon zest, juice and honey in large bowl. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking continuously. Season with salt and pepper. Add cabbage and dates and toss well. Let the slaw hang out for a few minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if it needs it. Scatter with the mint, goat cheese and sumac.

 

Holiday Entertaining 101

I have cooked countless dinner parties over the years. My goal is to create an experience that you can not get at a restaurant (no small feat here in NYC). I can remember my first "big" dinner party years ago when I was fresh out of cooking school. I was hired to cook a British-themed dinner in honor of the Queen's birthday. Picture an East Village bachelor pad, 20+ people, an endless supply of Pimm's Cup and me, at the stove, frying fish and chips for, oh, the first time EVER. I've learned a thing or two since then. I recently spoke with Revel Events NYC, an amazing female-owned event production company. They pull off the most gorgeous events, check them out!

Check out this article for my favorite secret ingredients, places to shop and the one thing I always send home with guests.

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golden granola

Let’s talk granola. This is a controversial subject, you know. People have opinions. Convictions. Sweet or salty? Clumpy or flaky? Spices? Nuts? DRIED FRUIT?! It’s a venerable rabbit hole. I like to think I make pretty good granola. I’ve tried them all and there is nothing that beats homemade. There was one store-bought one I tried at Butcher & Bee in Charleston that came close. It was grainless and about $10 more expensive than I would have liked to pay, so take that what you will.

If you’ve found this page, chances are you know I cook a bit for other people. I spent a good part of this summer in coastal Maine, just across the bay from Acadia National Park. It was not ugly. I made lunch, dinner and dessert (always) for a lovely family. Breakfast? You’re on your own. Except for granola. I got in the habit of making jars and jars of it, riffing on my usual combination of olive oil + maple syrup with a good bit of salt. If you don’t forget granola is essentially socially-accepted cookies-for-breakfast, it’s really quite perfect. This version evolved after seeing a recipe in Alison Roman’s book with turmeric. I couldn’t help myself in the spice department. The result is a nod towards those golden turmeric lattes. I first tried it with plain yogurt, persimmons, oranges and dates. It's just as good eating with your hands.

Do it.

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nuts and/or seeds (I used a combination of pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Use what you have)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Heat oven to 300F.

Stir together oats, nuts, spices, maple syrup, oil and salt. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Press down into one layer.

Bake for about 40 minutes until dark golden. Rotate once during baking, but don’t stir (you want some chunks, right? don't stir it). Let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Cauliflower Rice Chickpea Curry

This was the first "real" meal I made in my new apartment. Funny story: I posted a photo on Instagram about my new 1 BR - long story short, people thought I BOUGHT the place! I was  flattered (and a little confused) that the people in my life thought I could buy what Zillow tells me is a half million dollar investment. Tangent over. This curry is exactly the kind of thing to make when most of your things are in boxes. You only need a cutting board, knife, skillet and something to stir it with. Can't find your plates or bowls? I won't judge if you eat directly out of the pan.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1" piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 3 cups cauliflower rice*
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (one 14-oz. can)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins 
  • 2 handfuls chopped or baby greens (such as kale, spinach, chard)
  • 1 cup (or more) coconut milk
  • Lime wedges, cilantro and toasted cashews, for serving

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and suate for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the spices and stir to toast for about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower rice, chickpeas, stock (or water) and raisins, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. 

Stir in the greens and coconut milk, adding more if you want a thinner consistency. Cook until greens have wilted. 

Serve garnished with a squeeze of lime, cilantro and cashews.

*Cauliflower rice is easy to make in a food processor, pulsed in a blender or on the large holes of a box grater. Or, buy it!

    

 

 

Roasted Grapes + Greens Crostini with Almond Aioli

This simple crostini was born when there was "nothing" in the fridge and I needed an appetizer - fast. No one suspected that I used stale bread, wilted greens, shriveled grapes and the last of a bag of almonds. Oh, and these are also secretly vegan.

Makes about 12 crostini plus extra aioli

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices baguette or sourdough
  • 2 cups red grapes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped greens (such a kale, collards or chard)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)

Almond aioli:

  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Place bread on a sheet tray. Place grapes on another sheet tray and drizzle with balsamic. Drizzle both grapes and bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until crostini are golden and grapes are caramelized and a bit charred about 15-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add greens and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

For aioli, place almonds and garlic in a high-speed blender or food processor. With motor running, gradually drizzle in oil and lemon juice

To assemble, spread a thick layer of aioli on crostini. Top with greens, grapes and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

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Spring Vegetable Braised Chicken

I make a version of this dish each season. I especially love it in the springtime when all the yummy alliums are in season - feel free to switch things around based on what looks good at the market (ramps! radishes! favas!) 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 3-4 lb. organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bulb green garlic (or 2 cloves regular), minced
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat dry chicken, season with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Sear on each side for about 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a platter and lower heat.

Add leek, carrot, fennel and thyme to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add back chicken and any accumulated juices. Add enough chicken stock (or water) to barely cover chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until chicken is very tender. 

Remove chicken. Bring pan juices to a boil, uncovered, until slightly thickened. Stir in spinach, lemon zest and juice. Season; return chicken to pan, basting with sauce. Serve immediately.