5 Ingredient Recipe: Harissa Braised Kale. A Simple Weekday Side Dish.

Harissa Braised Kale on YouTube

A side dish that is easy to make, and doesn’t take much to put together. It’s ready in no time! If you cook regularly, the only unique ingredient is the harissa paste. Other than that, you most likely have everything on hand and can whip this up quickly.

  • Kale, 1 bunch, stems removed and chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic, 6 cloves minced
  • Harissa Paste, 2tbl
  • Chicken Stock, about 1 qt

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, then harissa, and sweat for 3 minutes. Add kale and coat in the flavored oil, then add stock. Cover and braise for 45 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Knife Skills: How to Oblique Cut Carrots. aka "Roll Cut."

A straightforward video on how to oblique cut, in this case, carrots. You may have also heard it called “roll cutting.” This cutting technique gives each carrot piece a unique look. Best suited for cooked dishes, if you’re going to roast or saute. I will be posting a follow up video for glazed carrots coming soon.

A video demonstration on how to perform the oblique cut.
An upcoming recipe in which I use the carrots I cut in the video. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch it.

Culinary Demo: Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Vegetables, and Pan Sauce

My YouTube channel, with the step by step video

I love roasted chicken. It’s a classic simple dish, and you can add whatever other vegetables to roast along with it. Here I’ve added some root veggies in carrots and parsnips as they are more seasonal. This technique will give you a lot of food with not a lot of work, and it surely wont break the bank. If you wanted to add or swap vegetables, go ahead. Just make sure you par cook the harder vegetables (i.e. beets) before you put in the ones that will cook more quickly like mushrooms or green beans.

  • Chicken, 1 ea. I’ve used a small 3lb Amish Bird.
  • Potatoes, about 8 redskins, halved
  • Onions, 1 ea, large dice
  • Mushrooms, about 12ea, halved
  • Green Beans, about 30
  • Carrots, 3ea, oblique cut
  • Parsnips, about 4ea, oblique cut
  • Cherry Tomatoes, about 20ea
  • Garlic, 8 cloves, minced
  • Rosemary, 3 sprigs, stems removed, lightly chopped
  • Olive oil / Butter, as needed
  • Flour, 1-1/2tbl
  • Chicken Stock, about 2 cups

Preheat oven to 450. Place seasoned chicken in the oven to begin hard cooking the skin, then after 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400 and add hard vegetables (carrots and parsnips) and potatoes. Continue cooking for about 8 more minutes, and add the rest of the vegetables. Once chicken reads 160 on a thermometer, remove the chicken and set aside, and continue cooking the veg until tender. Remove all veg from pan and add flour to the greases accumulated in the bottom of the pan, adding a little bit (about a tablespoon) of oil or butter if needed to create more of a roux. Cook the flour and fat over medium heat for about a minute or two, then add chicken stock. Continue cooking until sauce thickens, and season with salt, and lemon juice as needed. Cut the chicken in half if desired, and plate up with some of the potatoes and veg, and finish with sauce.

Culinary Demo: Beet Salad with Dill, Lemon and Sour Cream

A Polish inspired beet salad. Incredibly simple and very tasty. Requires a little bit of patience because the beets take awhile to cook, but other than that there is really nothing to it!

  • Beets, 6ea, medium sized
  • Sour Cream, 1/2 cup
  • Dill, 2 tbl, chopped
  • Lemon, 1ea, zest and juice
  • Onion, 1/4ea, julienne

Cook the beets in salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool in an ice bath. Meanwhile, julienne the onion, use the juice of half the lemon, and season with salt. Toss to combine. This will start to break down the onion. Then, peel and slice beets, and toss with all ingredients. You can add more or less of anything you like or don’t.. give it a taste and adjust as you need to!

Video Demo: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

A favorite Thanksgiving side dish of mine. Salty bacon, acid from the cider vinegar, and a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup, with shallots – that are good with anything.

  • Bacon, 5 slices, cooked and cut into small pieces
  • Brussels Sprouts, about 30 ea
  • Shallot, 2 ea, minced
  • Maple Syrup, 2 tbl
  • Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tbl

Cook bacon until crispy, reserve bacon fat. Cut stem from sprouts, cut in half, and par cook in salted boiling water. Chill in ice bath, and remove from water. Heat bacon fat over medium heat. Dry off your sprouts very well or they will splatter in the pan and make a tremendous mess. sear until nicely brown, then flip the sprouts, add the shallot, and cook until the shallot is translucent and the sprouts are brown on both sides. Add maple syrup and cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, and then continue to cook reducing the liquid until it is syrupy. Turn off heat, add bacon to pan and toss to coat.

Par cooked sprouts being seared in bacon fat

Video Demo: How to make an Omelet | Kale and Mushroom Omelet

Here is a step by step video on how to make a basic omelet. The technique takes a few tries before you perfect it, but becomes second nature quickly. The hardest part I think, is knowing when to flip, not the flip itself. You can add anything you like, I’ve kept it simple here for the sake of focusing on the technique, rather than creativity.

  • Eggs, 3 ea
  • Butter, ~1 tbl
  • Button Mushrooms, 1 ea, very small dice
  • Kale, 1/4 cup, chopped finely
  • Parmesan Cheese, ~1/4 cup
  • Zhug (optional, for garnish)

Heat pan over medium heat, add butter, and saute mushrooms until tender, seasoning with salt. Add kale and saute one minute. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork, then add to pan. Turn heat to medium low, and, with a rubber spatula, lift the sides of the cooked egg and allow the runny egg to go underneath and cook. Keep doing this, tilting the pan and lifting with the spatula until there is no more runny egg. Continue to leave the omelet in the pan over medium low heat, until it becomes very loose in the pan, and flip to cook the other side. Don’t try to flip it if it doesn’t feel loose enough in the pan. Once flipped, turn off the heat, and add cheese to one side, then, using the spatula, be very careful to slowly fold the omelet in half. If you are careless, it will break at the “seam.” Plate up and garnish with zug, pesto, or anything else you like.

The finished omelet, topped with zhug

Video Demo: Ham and Potato Soup with Bacon and Green Beans

A hearty soup for the fall and winter, with a roux acting as the thickening agent. Bacon and ham give this soup a good depth of flavor. If you have never made Velouté before I will be posting a recipe and video soon about it. It is a classic french Mother sauce that involved simply a roux, and stock. It is used to make soups, and gravies primarily but the technique can be used with many applications.

  • Bacon, cut into small pieces – about 6 slices (thicker is better)
  • Ham – ~1cup
  • Onion, small dice – 1ea
  • Carrot, small dice – 1ea, med
  • Celery, small dice – 2 stalks
  • Garlic, minced – 4-5 cloves
  • Velouté* – about 3 cups
  • Chicken Stock – as needed
  • Parsley, minced – ~1/4cup
  • Potatoes, russet – 2 ea, peeled and diced
  • Green Beans – 14.5oz can
  • Heavy Cream – ~2tbl

Render bacon on med-low heat. Add ham and continue to brown. Remove from pan, crank heat to med-high and add onion, carrot, and celery, with salt, and cooking until browned. Add garlic and sweat for 1 minute. Add velouté, then thin out with chicken stock to desired consistency. Add parsley, then potatoes, and cook until potatoes are almost tender. Then add the green beans, and finish with heavy cream as desired.

Video Demo: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

This is a very simple classic Italian pasta. There are just five ingredients. Pasta, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, and parsley. Slicing the garlic is essential, don’t crush it and mince it. This is an easy dish to make with things you most likely have on hand if you cook at home often.

  • Pasta, 1/2lb, dry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, about 1/2 cup
  • Garlic, about 8 large cloves, sliced, germ removed
  • Chili Flakes, 1/2tsp
  • Parsley, 1/2 bunch, minced

Begin by heating the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat, and adding the sliced garlic. Let the garlic lightly fry until just starting to turn brown. Add pasta to boiling salted water and remove/drain when 75% cooked. Add the chili flakes to the pan with the garlic and toast for about ten seconds, then add a ladleful of pasta water. Add the partially cooked spaghetti to the pan with the oil and toss to coat, adding more pasta water as necessary to prevent sticking and finish cooking the pasta. Just before finishing, add parsley and toss to coat, and remove from heat. Plate up and enjoy!

Video Demo: Carrot Soup with Ginger, Chile, and Fish Sauce

Another simple fall/winter soup recipe demo video. Carrots are relatively cheap so this is an approachable low budget option. Fish sauce is one of those ingredients that makes a dish stand out but is hard for people to identify. I like to use it as my secret ingredient. I have garnished with sour cream and zhug. You can add something with texture if you want, or some fresh cilantro.

  • Carrots, 10 ea, small dice
  • Coconut oil, 2 tbl
  • Red Onion, 1 ea, julienne or small dice
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Ginger, 1-inch piece, peeled, and grated
  • Red Chile, 1 ea, minced
  • Curry Powder, 1 heaping tbl
  • Chicken Stock, about 5 cups
  • Coconut Cream, 16 oz
  • Fish Sauce, 1tbl+

Start by heating coconut oil on medium high heat, and saute carrots until browning begins. Add red onion, sweat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red chile. Saute for another 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock, then coconut cream. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes to ensure everything is tender. Next, puree the soup in batches if using a standing blender, or with an immersion blender. Season with salt as needed, as well as with more chicken stock if the soup is too thick. You can add additional fish sauce as a seasoning agent to add even more flavor.

Video Demo: Pan Fried Green Beans with Smoked Paprika

A very simple recipe, just a handful of ingredients, any of which you may already have on hand! This recipe uses a little more oil than usual to get that “fried” preparation.

  • Green Beans, about 30ea, washed
  • Onion, 1/4ea, julienned
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • Smoked Paprika, ~1tbl
  • Olive Oil, ~3tbl – enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan
  • Salt

With heat on high, add the olive oil to the pan and cook the beans until wilted and brown, about 6 minutes, seasoning with salt. Add the onion, then after a minute the garlic, and continue to cook until the onion is soft. Turn the heat off, and add the paprika to the hot pan. The hot oil will toast the spice and it should smell very aromatic. Set aside and serve warm.

Side note – If you leave the pan on the heat for too long the paprika may burn and become very bitter.