Recipe Reviver: The New Bon Appetit Magazine

Kind of like the drink, Corpse Reviver, that’s how I felt about the latest issue of Bon Appetit - it’s revised my recipe senses! I have to admit, October through January is whirlwind of recipe madness; from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas (indulgence, indulgence, indulgence) to January (stop the brakes…EAT ONLY KALE AND QUINOA), I was pleased to get back to a pace of just darn good food and from what I can tell, Bon Appetit just brought it in spades.

I’ve only made one dish so far (more in a minute) but I earmarked, I believe, half the magazine including:

  • Braised Beef with Red Onion and Gremolata
  • Fennel-Crusted Pork Chops with Potatoes and Shallots
  • Thai Beef Stew with Lemongrass and Noodles
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Mushrooms
  • Fried Chicken Biscuits
  • Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage
  • Caramel Dipped Popovers with Chocolate Mousse
  • Glazed Chocolate-Creme Fraiche Cookies
  • Celery Spiked Guacamole with Chiles
  • Seared Scallops with Avocado and Daikon
  • Grapefruit and White Beets with Yogurt and Tarragon
  • Dark Chocolate Waffles
  • Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts
  • Escarole Salad with Horseradish and Capers
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Indian-Spiced Chicken with Tomato and Cream (image from Bon Appetit)

Seriously! Get ready for a LOT of Bon Appetit if all of these work out. Who’s excited? So I did make the Indian-Spiced Chicken with Tomato and Cream and wow, did we love this one you guys. I will say if you are not a spices person, this may not be the dish for you, but if you dig the Indian spice fivefecta (turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin, garam masala) you are going to simply love this one. It’s simple to put together and I double loved it because it’s a one pot meal. These days, with a 14-month old who is either rolling toilet paper through the house or pointing at everything in the house going ‘THAT?” (she’s asking a question on what it is – the game goes on for hours y’all hahahaha), a one pot meal is a huge food blessing.

Have you guys looked at the new Bon Appetit? Any other mags I should check out?

Seduced by the Slow Cooker & Christmas 2013

Cooking Light hit my sweet, er savory spot with not one, not two, but a whole section devoted to the sultry workhorse of the kitchen – The Slow Cooker.  In their Slow Cooker Recipes to Feed a Crowd feature I made four of the recipes including the Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew; Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine; Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches and Sweet & Tangy Short Ribs.  Most of these were knock your socks off good, but the hands down winner has to be the Chicken Tagine. Nom, nom, nom. This is a new go-to when I don’t feel like doing much in the kitchen but want something spectacular when I get home.

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David and I made the short ribs together, followed it to the letter and boy, we were not fans. The Sambal Oeelek (which usually we can both handle) was HOT. I mean on fire, I was choking a bit hot. Not sure what happened, but we are going to try again and see if it was user error. David and I are still both scratching our heads on what went wrong. Regardless, give the the other three a try. They are simply delightful and easy to prep. I just love coming home to the smells of something in the slow cooker don’t you?

Now on to the BIG DAY – CHRISTMAS! I am one of the biggest nerds on the planet for Christmas and last night, David and I were talking about why. On the surface, I love all the smells, colors and flavors of the season – it’s all up my alley. But more importantly I feel this time of year is when things are a little slower and people are just a bit kinder towards one another. Goodness, I sound just like the opening to Love Actually don’t I? But I truly do believe it!

Enough of this gushy stuff, let’s get to the food. So I had to make this perfect roast chicken again and yes, once again, it turned out perfect. So, so, so perfect. I don’t think I will ever follow another roast chicken recipe again. I also made this Stupid Simple Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream from Food & Wine magazine – jeez, this was outrageously delicious. It was perfectly medium rare and juicy to boot. Was it stupid simple? You bet! We smeared and smothered the spicy, creamy horseradish sauce all over the meat and ate with abandon. I also roasted some red potatoes along with meat and then tossed them in the pan drippings when done. These were cracktastic. At one point, Lila had eaten all of her potatoes and when David asked the table if there were any more, one of guests was trying to hide his – he didn’t want to share, hahahaha. I also served a simple side salad of roasted beets, kale, shaved parmesan and roasted hazelnuts with a lemon infused creme fraiche sauce.  Easy, breezy and mostly healthy – it has kale and beets, come on!

Stupid Simple

The only misstep for us was the Dark Chocolate Pudding with Pretzels from Bon Appetit. I followed this to the “T” (as I always do duh, but especially so since it’s a pudding and those can be tricky) and it was waaaay too rich for the table; even with the salty pretzels. People took a few bites and then kindly set it to the side. Good thing we had cheesecake as a backup! Overall, Christmas 2013 dinner was a success but more importantly, we were so grateful to be with amazing family and friends. Hope you and yours had happy holidays and who is ready for 2014?

Guess Who’s Back?

Oh no pandas! It’s been two months since my last post. Yoikes! While I have been doing some serious Cooking Inside the Lines my poor little blog has suffered at the hands of new and good things from a new gig (at Wellington Group – love those ladies over there!) and of course, our awesome kiddo Lila who is now one. One! Can you believe it? I have to admit I was crying like a big old baby when we sang her happy birthday. Who knew you could feel such sweeping emotion of happiness and being totally overwhelmed in the span of two minutes. Parents, you’re feeling me right?

So, let’s get to some of the great dishes we’ve had in the past few months. I will admit, there was a two week span where everything I made was meh and since “meh” just won’t cut it, I will not share here. I will say David and I were praising the recipe gods because the drought of just ho hum dishes was starting to feel like a curse upon our house.

Oddly enough, my first recipe comes from BuzzFeed (Really???!!!) for the hands down best way to roast a chicken by the one and only Chef Thomas Keller (I feel like I should put “bow down” between Thomas and Keller every time I type his name). Now, I’ve roasted some chickens in my day because, as the hubs knows, it’s one of my favorite things to make…ever. So when I saw “How To Make The Best Roast Chicken Of All Time” roll-up in my Facebook feed I gave a look to the computer screen and said “BRING IT!” (that might be a bit over exaggerated. Who me?). Well, they brought it and all that was left were some chicken bones and empty plates. This was simple, delicious and perfect. Heck, use the best way to cook a steak post and you will have your chicken and steak bases covered for forever. Seriously though, I do think I will use this method until the sun explodes. Loved it.

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Photo from Buzzfeed

 

Moving on!

This Gardener’s Pie from Cooking Light was fantastic to the max. It was so good that I made it on a Monday night and David requested it for the next week’s lineup to try it again. And yes, it was still fantastic to the max. It’s creamy, ooey, gooey with delicious roasted vegetables that are all cooked and season juuuuust right. Make this. Inhale your dinner. Inhale the leftovers. Repeat.

Finally, a super fast and family friendly meal was this Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Cilantro Shallot Relish from Food & Wine. We only had six thighs so the cooking time was a lot less than 45 minutes and we had just enough time to make the Cilantro Shallot Relish, heat up some Naan and boom, dinner was done. I did have some Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and Garam Masala and we found ourselves mixing the greek yogurt blend and cilantro shallot relish together and dipping our warm, delicious (store bought as I’m not making that from scratch) Naan. Yumm. The chicken was super, duper moist and had just enough oomph from the spice blend without being too overpowering (I mean it looks like it could have that potential right?). Oooh man, I will make this again.

Photo from Food & Wine Magazine

Photo from Food & Wine Magazine

I promise to not be away for this long again – seriously!  Love to you all and have a wonderful holiday season and break…ahhhh, a break. Can’t wait to spend it with our amazing family and friends.

David Did It!

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Welcome to a new series of posts that feature recipes I’ve tried in the past but this time, we retest for accuracy and awesomeness but my adorable hubs, David. David likes to claim he doesn’t know his way around the kitchen as well as I do, but let me tell you, he most certainly does. I call him the egg, seafood and sandwich whisperer. He makes absolutely hands-down perfect over-easy eggs, knows exactly when to pull fish off the heat just by looking at it and always makes the most perfectly balanced ratio of meat/lettuce/bread/sauce on a sandwich. He’s definitely got the chops in the kitchen and I  know he follows these recipes to letter just like I do. So, let’s see how he did!

Usually while I cook, David and Lila are off climbing Mount Pillow in our bedroom or conquering the downstairs toy chest, but last night, David made this Scallops with Green Tea Cream from Cooking Light while I fed the munchkin. P.S. we just got her a highchair, and the OXO Sprout is an incredible product – we highly recommend it.

David followed this recipe to the letter and once again it turned out perfect (yes, we did the same measurements but just treated it as an entree). That sauce seriously I could smother on anything and it would taste good. Yum, yum, yum. Seeking out  green tea powder is worth it for this dish alone. If you haven’t tried this yet, what are you waiting for?

Hmmmm, what other recipes is David going to try?

Vegetable “Ceviche”

Guys I have been digging the heck out of vegetables recently. Don’t get me wrong, I love veggies of all kinds, and even tried to make them the center of the plate at least a few times a week. But, I’ve really concentrated the past month on making them more of mainstay in our diet than red meat and even chicken or pork, and I’m loving it.

This bad boy from Food & Wine magazine was PERFECT. I love the ceviche style preparation and the colors and flavors were out of this world. Seriously, look at this…

Ceviche

This is great for end-of-summer/back-to-school parties as I think kids and adults will dig it, plus the vegetarians will love you! David, who is from the East Coast/Canada is our in-house fish expert, had been wanting to make me his “fish fry” for some time. It’s basically fish (we used Tilapia) coated in Saltine cracker crumbs, salt and pepper, dredged in egg and fried in olive oil. It was light, delicious and a nice balance to the intense flavors of the Vegetable “Ceviche.” I’m definitely making this again before the summer runs out. I can’t believe summer is almost over but you know what that means? COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Squee!

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Ratatouille Tian

They are so many food blogs I love on the intertubes but one of my favorites is from Clotilde Dusoulier (I also love her name) of Chocolate & Zucchini. From the recipes to the photography and her writing, I am so inspired by what she does and now she has a cookbook! I can’t wait for it to arrive at our house and I didn’t have to wait to try one of her recipes since Daily Candy had a sneak peek of a few of them, including her delectable Ratatouille Tian.

This dish, made famous by the Pixar movie Ratatouille, has been one of my favorites for a long time. I love the blend of zucchini, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. Yes, even eggplant, the one veggie that I really don’t dig, but in ratatouille, I can do it (so can David since he hates eggplant too). Also, I didn’t know that Tian translated into any kind of casserole-style baked dish, thank you Yumsugar.

I will say this dish took a long time. From cutting the vegetables on the mandolin to roasting for a good hour and a half. Speaking of, have you ever cut yourself on a mandolin? YOWZA. I did one time and from then have worn safety gloves after one small cut. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain and the cut was deep. Sorry, I went on a mandolin rampage but it seriously hurt so bad. This is my PSA for you to be careful with those things, OK?

So, after cutting all the veggies, and layering and roasting and more roasting, I thought my love for this dish might be slowly dwindling, but we took one bite and it really was like the scene from Ratatouille when Anton Ego takes one bite and is shot back to his childhood memory of him having a rough day and his mama making this dish for him. Happiness wells up inside him and tears begin to flow. Well, I’m from East Texas and definitely don’t have that memory, but I was shocked at how delicious it was and happiness did well up! It was perfectly balanced, cooked to perfection and so deliciously satisfying, just as this dish should be.

Tasting the ratatouille

Anton Ego taking the first bite of ratatouille from Pixar’s film, Ratatouille

This can be a bit of work but it definitely is worth the prep and time. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Coltide. I can’t wait to try more of your delicious work.

Let’s Talk Tikka

Mind blowing is the only phrase I can think of for this Tikka Masala recipe from Bon Appetit. My husband and I love Indian food but don’t typically make it at home (as you can tell from this blog), but after making this it will go on heavy rotation in our house.

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This was a bit of lengthy recipe with a bunch of steps but the end result was well worth it. We loved the deep, rich and spicy flavors the marinade and sauce provided. We also made the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Spicy Sautéed Spinach. I loved the surprising addition of mustard seeds in the spinach, YUM! The only thing I didn’t make in their fabulous Indian food smorgasbord was the onion naan. Seriously, HEB store bought works just fine. :)

David was taking the leftovers for lunch and when he was about to leave them behind, I almost didn’t say anything so I could have them all to myself. Haha, that’s so wrong. If you are up for a unique dish for a crowd, this line-up is definitely an excellent choice. Make this now!

Chile Braised Short Ribs

 

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It’s no secret that The Hubs and I like short ribs, heck, we had them at our wedding (bless you Primizie, bless you) and when I see a recipe for them I have to make it, it’s like an itch I gotta scratch!

With that, I just had to make these Chile Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit because of our aforementioned love of short ribs and because I randomly had a ton of dried New Mexico chiles in our pantry. What an odd thing to have a lot of huh? I was worried that this dish was going to be too spicy for my gentle husband, who loves spice but let’s just say it doesn’t love him back. Actually, the weren’t spicy at all but instead had a great smoke flavor and they were perfect in the falling off the bone department that all great short rib dishes require. We also loved the addition of the fingerling potatoes, carrots and the salty olives. I served this over some braised collard greens since it is my goal for us to eat a leafy green each day. We will be healthy damnit!

I would recommend this for people who have been around the short rib block a few times and want to try a new avenue of short rib deliciousness – you won’t be disappointed, trust me!

Italian Vegetable Stew

“A bowl full of health” is what David calls this Italian Vegetable Stew from Bon Appetit.  I made this a few weeks ago for the two of us when the plague was attacking everyone and everything in Austin, including the three of us. It was the first time little Lila was sick and I was on pins and needles but just like everything else with kids, you get through it and you learn that your “gear” is everything. Bless the NoseFrida, the humidifier and saline spray is all I can say.

David and I were so impressed with this stew the first time around we decided to make it again for friends last night for dinner and once again, it didn’t disappoint.  I did make this without adding in the bread since two of our friends are gluten-free and served up toasted garlic bread on the side so everyone else could dip as much as we wanted. Also, I did add a splash of red wine vinegar at the end just to give a hint more acidity, which seems counterintuitive given all the tomatoes but actually, we all agreed it needed it.  Winter does seem to be winding down so be sure to put this into your rotation before the hot summer months get to you…heck, it’s already 80 degrees here today, yeesh. Mangia!italian-vegetable-stew-646

Food & Wine Week!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved recipes from Food & Wine magazine but I’ve noticed as of late that they have really inspired me to want to cook. Like these whimsical Garlic Bread “Fries” with Marinara “Ketchup” or the three bomb diggity dishes I made the past two days.

Lila just started daycare and while she’s fine, I’m the one losing it with worry and well, missing the heck out of her. So, while I was waiting for her and David to get home, I did what I know will help calm me down and keep my mind off of things…COOK! What better way than to honor the Chef who found sheer joy in cooking than the one and only Julia Childs. I tried this Julia’s Favorite Roast Chicken recipe from Food & Wine and to start, it was divine! Roasted chicken always sounds so simple but to nail it, it takes great timing, and a few simple ingredients to really make it shine and shine this one did. I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot to this but I didn’t mind the effort given the return when it was done. We both raved about this and I followed the instructions to a “T” to ensure I honored Miss Julia. As recommended, I paired it with the Bread Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts.  This was bonkers good and perfect with the roasted chicken. I would recommend a smidge more dressing than it calls for since I felt it needed it at then end to dress it up and add a little more flavor. Otherwise, perfect.

For tonight’s State of the Union speech we made this Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade from another icon of women chefs, Nancy Silverton. Simple should be this recipes middle name and out-of-this-world delicious would be its last. YUM. We snarfed this down in no time, and while I was hoping for leftovers the next day for lunch that was just not the case. The only thing I added was toasted bread to add a bit more crunch and texture to the salad.

I’ve got to say that roast chicken recipe was probably my favorite. It’s lengthy and a bit more of a food workout than normal but worth it! As Julia would say, Bon Appetit!

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

© John Kernick