Roasted Moroccan Carrots with Yogurt

I made these recently and forgot to post them! Such an easy recipe, and a great side dish. I like to buy the thin whole carrots because I think they’re so pretty, but you can also slice large carrots into 2-4 pieces instead. Once roasted they’re soft and sweet with a slight char to them, and the spices pack a flavorful punch!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Carrots:
7-10 petite whole carrots, or large ones sliced into thinner pieces
1 large garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Yogurt:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh herbs (I had dill on hand, but parsley would be great too)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil, followed by the garlic and all the herbs. Toss well to coat the carrots. Bake in oven for 40 mins, turning them halfway through. In the meantime, make the yogurt sauce by simply mixing together the Greek yogurt, herbs, pepper, and lemon juice. Carrots should be fork tender once cooked. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving with the yogurt.

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Dill & Shallot Potato Salad

It’s finally potato salad season! Thank goodness. Summertime makes me think of being home at my mom’s house with big containers of potato salad and pasta salad in the fridge, ready to be devoured by all of us kids (and grandkids) running through her house. It’s such a nostalgic food for me. I go back and forth between mayo and no mayo versions all summer, but I love them both. Last week I made this version with lots of fresh dill and apple cider vinegar. It’s a perfect side that goes with everything!

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)
4 large red potatoes, chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by boiling the potatoes. You want them to be fork tender but not too soft otherwise they’ll crumble when you mix in the other ingredients. Once cooked through, add to a large bowl and toss in the rest of the ingredients, mixing well to coat the potatoes. I like to let mine sit for about 10 minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb the flavors, then I give it a taste and adjust as needed. Easiest potato salad ever!

Mushroom & Potato Hash with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise

There’s not too many things I love more than Sunday breakfast. I just got back from a long trip in Puerto Rico, and before I left I was trying to use up everything in my fridge! I ended up making this on a whim and it was super delicious. The potatoes were crisp and mushrooms added a nice texture. And the egg with the hollandaise brought it alllll together. Sometimes the best meals are made with the random ingredients you have in the fridge!

Ingredients: (serves 1)
6 baby potatoes, cubed into smaller pieces
4 white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg

Hollandaise:
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Boil the potatoes until slightly fork tender but still a little firm. You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll break up when you sauté them in the pan. Remove and set aside. In a small pan, sauté the shallot in some olive oil until softened, about 2 mins. Add the potatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then toss in the mushrooms and green onion and continue cooking for another 5 mins – or until the potatoes are golden brown and the mushrooms are softened.

While the hash is a cookin’ start making the hollandaise. Add about two cups of water to a pot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside. In a metal mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and lemon juice then whisking vigorously until it thickens and almost doubles in size. Next, place the metal bowl on top of the pot with the simmering water and turn off the heat. Immediately start whisking very fast, slowly pouring in a tablespoon or so of the melted butter. Whisk vigorously the entire time! Add a little more butter and repeat until all the butter is added. Make sure to do just a little butter at a time. Set aside and whisk in a little black pepper, cayenne, and a sprinkle of lemon juice.

To poach the egg, boil some water in a medium sized pot. Add about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (will help make it fluffy) and gently pour in the egg. Cook for about 30-60 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon. I usually lift my egg slightly out of the pot and gently poke the centers until it feels a little firm but runny in the center.

To assemble, plate the hash and top with the egg and hollandaise sauce! I had some asparagus around as well, so I shaved that and quickly blanched it for about 30 seconds in the hot water then sprinkled with rice wine vinegar and a crack of pepper to eat on the side.

Easy Breakfast Burrito

Every weekend I dream of the perfect breakfast burrito. I used to go and get one at this place near my apartment, until one day they closed and I was left heartbroken and starving. So, I started to make my own! The best thing about a breakfast burrito is that all you really need are the eggs, then you can toss in whatever else you have on hand. This one I made with cheesy scrambled eggs, potatoes, a mixture of sauteed kale with green onions and shallots, and salami that I fried in a pan until crispy. It was perfection on a little Sunday morning…

Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 large flour tortilla
1/2 medium potato, or 4 baby potatoes, cut into small chunks
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 slices salami, chopped large
1/4 cup chopped kale
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 shallot, sliced
1 small green onion
2 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices ripe avocado
Salt and pepper, to taste

Start by boiling the potatoes until you can easily pierce them with a knife. Don’t overcook them or they’ll fall apart in the pan! Drain and add to a pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Cook until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. In the same pan add the shallots, kale, and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then set aside. Again in the same pan (because less dishes, yay!) add the salami and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Also set that aside. Turn down the heat. Scramble the eggs and pour into the pan, cooking slow and moving the eggs around often with a rubber spatula. When they are almost cooked, tossed in the cheese and the green onions then turn off the heat. Mix together while the eggs finish cooking. The reason a lot of people overcook their eggs is because they keep the heat up too high and all the way through to the end. The trick is to cook nice and slow over low heat, and when the eggs looks basically done, turn off the heat. They continue cooking on the way to your plate and will be perfect when you eat them! Okay back to the burrito… to assemble, scoops all the ingredients onto your tortilla with some room around the edges so that you can actually fold it up. Fold in the sides then start rolling away from you. Slice in half and inhale entire burrito….

Homemade Pork Belly & Garlic Ramen

One of my favorite food blogs is Lady and Pups – her recipes always look so amazing! I finally decided to make one of her recipes and set aside my Sunday night to do so. It look a few hours because the pork belly needs to cook in the oven for most of the time, but the final result was insanely delicious and one of my favorite things I think I’ve ever made. Some of the original ingredients I couldn’t find at my regular grocery store, but I just used some alternative items that I felt would do the trick. If you find yourself with a down day coming up, make this ramen! You won’t regret it.

Ingredients: (adapted from Lady and Pups) – Serves 2

GARLIC BRAISED PORK BELLY:
4 whole dried shitake mushrooms + 1/2 cup hot water
7 oz pork belly
15 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup sake, or rice wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
Dash of salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

FRIED GARLIC POWDER:
5 whole garlic cloves, finely minced or sliced
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
Dash of sea salt

GARLIC TOGARASHI OIL:
1/8 cup of garlic oil (from frying the above garlic)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp ground coriander

RAMEN STOCK AND TOPPINGS:
2.5 cups (unsalted or low sodium) chicken stock, warmed up
1/2 small shallot, peeled
1/2 cup unflavoured unsweetened soymilk
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
Salt to taste
2 servings of ramen noodles
2 soft-boiled eggs, for topping
1/4 cup finely diced scallions, for topping
Dried nori/seaweed, for topping

Start by making the pork belly, as this will need some time to cook in the oven. Preheat the oven to 330 degrees. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for about 20 mins until softened. In a heavy bottomed oven-safe pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat for a minute or so, then add the pork belly and sear for a few minutes on each side until browned. Remove the pork from the pot and add the garlic cloves, sauteing them until golden, about 3 minutes. Return the pork belly to the pot, then add the mushrooms with their soaking water, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and salt and pepper. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 2 hours, turning the pork every 30 mins. When finished, remove from the oven and let cook for a few minutes, then wrap the pork in plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to use. This will make it easier to cut. Set the shiitake mushrooms aside, and reserve the braised garlic and liquids from the pot.

While the pork is in the oven for those 2 hours, you can get to work on the other items. To make the garlic powder, heat some canola oil over medium heat, then add the minced garlic. Cook it until it is golden brown and almost crisp. Remove by pouring through a sieve, and keeping the garlic oil for later. Spread the cooked garlic on a paper towel to allow it to drain and dry, for one hour. If the paper towel gets too damn, swap it for a new one half way through. In a stone-mortar, pound the dried garlic together with the white pepper and sea salt until coarsely ground.

Now for the garlic oil. I know, SO much garlic in this recipe, but it’s worth the garlic breath trust me!! In a small saucepan, heat the reserved garlic oil (from the above step) along with the toasted sesame oil, chili flakes, and coriander. I couldn’t find togarashi powder or black sesame seeds at my grocery store, so I just skipped those ingredients from the original recipe.

Lastly, time to make the stock. In a blender, blend together the reserved garlic and liquid from the pork belly pot, along with the (warmed) chicken stock, and peeled shallot. Pour through a sieve into a pot, and discard the solids. Add the unflavoured/unsweetened soy milk, fish sauce (the original recipe used bonito dashi granules but I couldn’t find these so used my fish sauce instead) and 1/2 tsp of salt. Simmer for 5 min.

Boil the ramen noodles per the package instruction. Drain and divide into your two bowls and pour the broth over top. Now for the toppings! Add the finely sliced pork belly, the shiitake mushroom, finely diced scallions, dried nori/seaweed, and the soft boiled eggs. To make a perfect soft boiled egg, just boil the water, add the eggs, and cook for 6 minutes (no longer!) then remove and submerge in a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking process. Gently peel. I like to slice mine in half when they’re in the bowl to avoid a mess.

Spoon some of the fried garlic powder and garlic oil over on top, and serve immediately. ENJOY!

Eggplant & Artichoke Gemelli Pasta

What’s great about pasta, is that the options are endless, and it’s usually a fairly quick meal to make. I love going into my fridge and seeing what I can come up with during the weekday using whatever I have on hand. This pasta in particular I made with eggplant, marinated artichokes, spinach, and some fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Quick, easy, and delicious!

Ingredients: (serves 1 hungry person)
2 small garlic cloves
1 14.5oz can roasted crushed tomatoes (or whatever you have on hand!)
2 large marinated artichokes, cut in half
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 large handful fresh spinach
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Gemelli pasta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the eggplant slices and artichokes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the eggplant is softened through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, cut both the eggplant and artichokes into smaller chunks.

In a medium pan, sauté the garlic in olive oil and cook until softened – about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes then stir in the fresh spinach as well as the cooked eggplant and artichokes.

Cook the pasta per the box instructions, and reserve some of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well to coat all the noodles. Cook for 1-2 minutes, adding splashes of the pasta water as needed to keep the sauce smooth. Plate and top with Parmesan cheese!

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Kale and Leek Potato Rösti With Poached Eggs & Hollandaise

Basically anything that involves eggs and potatoes for breakfast is my jam. I make something almost every weekend involving those two items and never get sick of it. Throw some homemade hollandaise on there, and I’m in love. A rösti translates literally to “crisp and golden” and is basically made of just shredded potatoes that are cooked until – you guessed it – crisp and golden! Basically the same as a potato latke. I jazzed mine up by adding shallots, leeks, and kale. I think I ate this entire plate in record time, though I plan to beat that record the next time I eat it.

Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 cup frozen shredded potatoes, run under water until thawed
1/2 cup lacinato kale, chopped well
2 inches of a leek, washed well and chopped small
1/4 shallot, minced
1 egg white (you’ll only need about half – keep the yolk for the hollandaise recipe below!)
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 whole egg (for poaching)
Apple cider or white vinegar (optional, for poaching water)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil

Hollandaise: (serves 1 person)
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 stick of unsalted butter
Black pepper

Start by thawing your frozen shredded potatoes by running them under the water for a minute. Squeeze out the water as best as you can, then set aside. Alternatively, you can use fresh potatoes but shredding them, rinsing them under water, then squeezing out the excess liquid… but I was feeling lazy. Anyway, add a little olive oil to a small pan and sauté the shallots, kale, and leeks until softened. In a bowl, toss together the kale/leek mixture along with the shredded potatoes, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Next mix in half an egg white and the flour to help bind the mixture. In the same pan you cooked the kale/leek in, heat some more olive oil over medium heat, then scoop the entire potato mixture into a ball and form into a flat pancake with your hands. Place in the pan and press down with your spatula to help flatten it more, while keeping the edges intact. Cook for about 5 minute, then flip it over and cook the other side for another 5 minutes. You want the outside to be golden and crispy.

While the potato cooks, make the hollandaise sauce. Fully melt the butter in the microwave. In a metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and lemon juice for about a minute – you’ll see it thickens a bit. Fill a pot with about an inch of water and bring it to a boil then turn off the heat. Place the metal bowl on top of the pot (making a double-boiler) and while whisking vigorously, slowly add in a little bit of the melted butter at a time. You really need to whisk fast to avoid the eggs scrambling. Once all the butter has been whisked in, remove from the double boiler and add a pinch of cayenne and black pepper. Taste and add more lemon if you’d like. Set aside until ready to use, but give it a little whisk here and there to avoid a film on the top. If it thickens to much while sitting, you can add a tiny tiny splash of warm water to loosen it.

To poach your egg, boil some water in a medium sized pot. Add about a teaspoon of apple cider or white vinegar (helps make them fluffy) then swirl the water with a spoon to create a whirlpool to drop the egg into (this will help the egg to keep its round shape.) Gently pour in the egg. Cook for about 30-60 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon. I usually lift them slightly out of the pot and gently poke the centers until it feels a little firm but runny in the center.

Top your potato rösti with your poached egg and hollandaise and get to eating!!

Egg Sandwich with Spinach & Caramelized Onion

There’s nothing like a good breakfast sandwich in the morning. Especially if the ingredients of that sandwich are wedged between a freshly sliced croissant! I love grabbing a fresh biscuit or croissant on the weekends and filling it with whatever I have on hand. In this case it was spinach, onions, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. I got the amazing croissant from one of my favorite spots in Brooklyn, Court Street Grocers. Such a simple and satisfying breakfast!

Ingredients:
1 croissant, sliced
1/4 yellow onion, sliced thin
Large handful fresh spinach
1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Add some olive oil to your pan and saute the onions until slightly browned and caramelized. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside. In a separate small pan over medium low heat, add a little olive oil and crack two eggs into the center. Salt and pepper to taste. When the whites are cooked through and the yolk is still runny, turn off the heat. Working quickly, break the yolks then sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Fold the egg in half and place on one half of the croissant. Top with the spinach/onion mixture! YUMMMM. And as always I added some Cholula hot sauce, because I don’t know how to eat breakfast anymore without Cholula.

Homemade Swedish Meatballs With Creamy Parsnips

Another recipe I have never made before… Swedish meatballs! Super tasty and fairly easy to make. I saw some recipes that used cooked potato mixed into the meat, which I thought was interesting, so I tried it and thought it was a nice addition. The sauce is my favorite part, because you can smother everything with it… I’m a big fan of anything that involves a sauce like that. Originally I was going to make some mashed potatoes for the side, but decided parsnip mash would be a great alternative. The sweetness of the parsnips with the meatballs and sauce was perfect. I will definitely be making this again!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

Meatballs:
3/4 pound ground beef
1 small peeled potato (about 1/3 cup chopped worth)
1/2 shallot, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 small egg, beaten
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon all-spice
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Sauce:
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock
1/3 cup half and half (which is what I had on hand, though heavy cream is good too)
Splash of sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh Parsley, for garnish
Fresh radishes, for garnish

Bring a little saucepan of water to a boil, and cook the potato until fork tender. I chopped mine into large chunks so it would cook faster. Let cool slightly then chop well into tiny pieces. In a heavy bottomed skillet, saute the garlic and shallot in some olive oil until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add the potato and sauteed garlic/onion to a large bowl with the ground beef, bread crumbs, cardamom, all-spice, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on a plate.

In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of butter and let melt over medium heat, swirling it around the pan. Add half of the meatballs and cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until cooked though. Keep in mind that they’ll continue to cook a little when you remove them from the pan. No one likes over-cooked meatballs! Remove and place on a plate, covering them with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Repeat with another tablespoon of butter into the pan with the rest of the meatballs.

While the second batch of meatballs is cooking, get started on your sauce. Using the same pan you cooked the garlic/shallots in, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the beef broth to create a roux. Lastly, add the cream and sherry vinegar, then salt and pepper to taste. Let bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, about 8-10 minutes. At this point, you can either add the meatballs right to the sauce to coat them all, or you can plate and pour the sauce over top. Whichever you prefer!

I made myself some parsnip mash to eat with the meatballs, if you’d like to make this as well just peel and chop the parsnips (3 large is enough for 2 people) then boil them until fork tender. Add a splash of half and half, a pad of butter, salt and pepper, then mash until smooth. Alternatively, you can throw the parsnips/cream/butter/salt/pepper into the food processor to make them extra smooth!