Video Demo: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

step by step YouTube video

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: 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.

 

4 Ingredient Tomato Soup

This tomato soup recipe couldn’t get any easier. If you don’t count the garnishes there are only four ingredients. I had an abundance of tomatoes – so many I had to pick a recipe that used up many of them. Soup seemed like a great idea.

Ingredients:

  • Tomato, 8 cups, fresh with the core removed, cut in half
  • Onion, 1 ea, diced
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Chicken Stock, 3 cups, low sodium
  • EVOO, 2tbl

Begin by roasting tossing your tomatoes with the olive oil, and season with salt. Roast your tomatoes at 400 for about 20 minutes. Roast them long enough so you can peel off the skins with ease.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauce pot over medium heat and cook your onions until nicely browned and caramelized, about 7-8 minutes. If you season them with salt when you throw them in the pan, they will wilt and break down more quickly.

When the onions are nice and cooked, add in the garlic and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Then, add the peeled tomatoes to the pot, along with the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Purée the soup with an immersion blender (or a standing blender in batches). This might take longer with an immersion blender, but check the consistency to ensure it is smooth and velvety.

Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Ladle into a bowl, and garnish with anything you’d like. I’ve garnished my soup with a dollop of labneh, minced chives, and some extra virgin olive oil.

 

Garden Tomato Frittata with Heirloom Marinated Tomato Salad

I use a cast iron skillet for this recipe and it’s perfect. It is the perfect size and doesn’t stick to the pan when I’m finished cooking. Begin by sauteing your onions on medium heat with a tablespoon of butter. Sweat the onions for about three minutes until soft. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook for 2 more minutes, adjusting heat as necessary. Meanwhile, whisk eggs with a fork and add arugula to mixture. When the jalapeno and garlic have sweated for a couple of minutes, add egg and arugula mixture into the pan, and slightly stir to incorporate the aromatics with the egg. Add slices of tomato to the pan, layering them nicely into the pan so they stay on top. Cook the egg mixture on the stove for 2 more minutes, but turn on the broiler in the meantime. Grate the cheese over the par cooked frittata. After about 4 minutes on the stove, grab the skillet and put it into the oven and broil until the cheese has melted and frittata has puffed up and caramelized. Remove from oven, garnish with minced arugula, a dollop of labneh, and enjoy!

Ingredients for Heirloom Tomato Frittata:

  • Eggs, 4 ea
  • Onion, 1/4 cup chopped finely
  • Garlic, 4 cloves minced
  • Tomato, 1 or 2 ea, sliced
  • Arugula, about 1/4 cup minced
  • Jalapeno, 1 medium, minced
  • Butter, 1 tbl
  • Parmesan Cheese, small block for grating
  • Labneh, for garnish

For the tomato salad, I’ve used home grown roma and heirloom tomatoes with. a prepared salad dressing from Trader Joes. It’s so easy, this recipe. If the tomatoes are a bit bigger, cut them into more wedges. You can also make your own vinaigrette to dress the salad with, but Trader Joes has high quality products, so I can justify buying one to save myself some time. Cut the onion very thinly so it can cook in the acid from the vinaigrette to take away the sharp onion pungency. Season the tomato salad with salt and pepper.

Here are the ingredients for the tomato salad:

  • Roma tomatoes, 4 ea, quartered
  • Heirloom tomatoes, 2 ea quartered
  • Parsley, 1 tbl, minced
  • Onion, 1/4ea cut into fine julienne
  • Vinaigrette, your choice, 1/4 cup

Toss all of the ingredients together and store them in the fridge either in portions or in one big container. If the tomatoes are on the riper side, be gentle so the inside part of the tomato wedge doesn’t detach. Not a big deal but it ruins aesthetic. This is very quick and easy to make, and does not cost much at all. It’s a great way to use up excess tomatoes if you or someone you know has grown them, and the recipe only gets better as it sits in your fridge while it hangs in that marinade.

 

Cooking on a budget: Curried Lentil soup

Lentil soup with chives and labneh

Lentils are another great ingredient for low cost cooking and meal prep. I love them in soups as they blend and thicken very nicely. In addition, they taste sort of basic and neutral so they pair well with many other ingredients. Start this recipe by preheating the oven to 400F. You’ll also need a large sauce pot as you’ll be blending the soup later with an immersion blender.

Ingredients for this recipe are as follows:

  • 1 butternut squash, cut in half
  • 1/2 red onion, medium dice
  • 1 white onion, medium dice
  • 1 apple, medium dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 white button mushrooms
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 2 tbl high quality curry powder
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken,
  • 2 russet potatoes, cooked, peeled, diced
  • 1 cups lentils, cooked
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, low sodium (if vegetarian, use vegetable stock)
  • small bunch of chives, for garnish
  • labneh, for garnish

Begin by roasting your butternut squash, mushrooms, red onions, and jalapeños. Lightly coat in olive oil and roast until tender. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and discard. Remove the seeds and pith from the jalapeños. You can leave some if you like a little more heat in the finished product. Set aside.

In the sauce pot, add olive oil, and white onion, apple, carrots, and some salt. Sweat over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, then add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Set aside some of the cooked vegetables in a small bowl, for later. Add 1 cup of the lentils to the pot, and then add the curry powder and toast the veggies and lentils to open up the oils in the spice.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add half of the cooked potatoes to help thicken the soup. Turn off the heat and plug in your immersion blender if you’ve got one and begin pureeing the soup. If you’ve only got a stand up blender, blend the soup in batches.

Once the soup is pureed, taste for seasoning and add accordingly. Next, mix in the veggies you cooked earlier, the shredded chicken, and the diced potatoes. Ladle the soup into a bowl or your meal prep containers, and then garnish with snipped chives, and a dollop of labneh.

 

Cooking on a budget: Oven roasted potatoes.

potatoes/bellpeppers/onions/garlic/olives

Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods you can cook. There are hundreds of applications you can apply for texture, or flavor. The best part of cooking with potatoes is that they are extremely cheap so they’re a great option if you’re looking for some low budget meal prep. The other benefit to roasting potatoes is that you can do them in large batches and make enough for the week. For this batch I used:

  • About 30 small redskin potatoes, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell peppers, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 20 olives, pitted and halved
  • Salt, Olive oil

Begin by preheating your oven to 400F. Grab an oven safe baking sheet or roasting pan, and place your cut up potatoes into the pan. Toss them with a good amount of olive oil and season with salt. Toss them to distribute evenly, to ensure an even roast, and throw the potatoes in your preheated oven. I like a hotter oven not only because the potatoes cook a little more quickly, but they also brown a bit better over time. Cook the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, until about half cooked.

Next, add your cut onions and bell peppers on top, and toss them with the par cooked potatoes. Add a little more salt. You’ll want to ensure they’re well coated in oil so they begin cooking right away and continue to cook. Put back in the oven for about 20 more minutes, and leave in the oven until the peppers and onions are soft and slightly brown or caramelized. After this, add your minced garlic, and leave in the oven for a few more minutes. At this point, if your oven has a broiler, I’d suggest turning it on to high, to quickly caramelize everything. But keep a close eye because it can easily burn things if you’re not paying close attention.

Throw the olives on top and mix in well. Wait to cool until you throw into meal prep containers and you’re good to go!

Sautéed Vegetable Plate

I like vegetables. I love to roast them, or saute them with garlic. Simply prepared veggies don’t take much time and they taste great. Here I have sauteed some mushrooms and broccoli florets with garlic, cherry tomatoes, and then toward the end threw the kale in the pan and added water to steam and slightly wilt the kale. Delicious!

 

One delicious egg sandwich.

Chic-fil-a sauce? YES

Egg sandwiches are one of greatest pleasures in this life for me. So simple, easy to eat, and endless combinations. Here I’ve made one with a toasted english muffin, fried egg, roasted red peppers, muenster cheese, and chic-fil-a sauce. It was messy, but as tasty as it looks here!