RECIPES + BLOG
Sometimes one recipe leads to another. In testing out last week's bhel puri recipe I started to imagine another place where that sweet, salty and crunchy combo can balance out: a steak. Why not add a bit of sweetness and tartness with some tamarind? And instead of rice puffs why not just let rice krispies do the trick and add a bit of crunch to the otherwise heaviness of a steak?
This recipe has only four ingredients but they work some serious magic. Tamarind adds the perfect compliment to brighten up everyone's favorite meat and the drizzle of crunch on top makes it irresistible.
I am obsessed with the middle ground of recipes that are easy but look fancy. So when I saw Adrienne Cheatham's sweet potato gnocchi recipe I knew I had to share it.
Gnocchi is one of the only pastas I make at home because it is so easy and yet it seriously impresses people. But the sweet potato twist takes it a step further because with no extra work you are adding an extra comforting flavor and a beautiful color. Combine that with my absolute fave miso paste and you had me at hello.
You might recognize Adrienne from last season's Top Chef (where she was a total boss and made it to the finals) but now you can find her at her pop up dinners, Sunday Best, which showcase her classically trained, Southern-inspired cooking. Mostly now I just want her to come cook with me every day. But in lieu of that we have a video of her awesome technique and a full recipe below.
I lived in India for a year and its food will always have a special kind of hold on me. But one snack in particular is near-impossible for me to resist: Bhel Puri. It's an Indian street food snack that you can find everywhere. When made well it has the perfect ratio of sweet, tangy, spicy and crunchy. It is every kind of flavor packed into one delicious bite.
So when I tried Floyd Cardoz's version I knew we needed his recipe. I have loved his cooking for years but I am so in love with his newest spot Bombay Bread Bar. It brings me back to my time in India but with a New York twist.
Watch the video below or follow the recipe to make your own!
So I try to not eat any processed food in my house but sometimes it is hard. There are some products that are so delicious they defy explanation. I feel like nutella fits into that category. It's an ooey gooey spread that can add delight and flavor to almost anything. But it's also a long way from eating something 'real'. So I set out to find an alternative.
Really it's pretty simple if you're just looking for the flavors. Just combine hazelnuts and good chocolate. Easy peasy. The vehicle is really only needed so far as to keep it together. Sure, the ooey gooey is a great option but what about just a plain ole cakey cookie?
Enter the Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies. They are addictive, not too sweet, and a crumbly texture that makes them hard to put down. Instead of trying to liquefy everything it leans into the texture of both the hazelnuts and the chocolate. You're tasting both so fully rather than hiding behind a whole lot of processing.
I'm such a sucker for this time of year. I was walking around the farmers market on Saturday as though it was the perfect day. Local strawberries are finally out, the weather is beautiful, and my son didn't knock anything over.
So I think one of the best kinds of items is highlighting that freshness without overdoing it. This salad just tastes like the sweet early start of summer. I love a corn and black bean salad but I feel like it's one of those items stuck in a rut - why do they always have to have cilantro and red pepper? I wanted something to change it up.
I like using rice vinegar because it adds a bit of sweetness that marries well with the corn. The rest of it is like a deconstructed pesto - you have the basil and the pine nuts but all the textures are coming through. And it uses one of my favorite strategies for corn, which is grilling it on the stove. Nothing makes summer feel more present than a little bit of char on a piece of corn.
It is simple but still special. It's hearty enough to eat as a meal and will hold up as a side if needed. Get ready for a whole lot of summer content coming your way.
Dumplings are one of those items that feel like you have to eat them only when you go out. They seem complicated when actually they are a simple staple that everyone makes at home.
I felt so lucky to have Hsiao-Ching Chou stop by the test kitchen because the minute I picked up her new book, Chinese Soul Food, I knew it was a keeper. It somehow finds the middle of the road between being authentic but still easy for people who aren't as familiar with Chinese cooking. So I thought we would start with the basics and learn how to make dumpling dough. With just flour and water and Chou's tips anyone can do it.
Some ingredients are just back-pocket game changers that you should always have around. Dehydrated olives may not sound like a necessity, but they can add a punch of flavor to almost anything. Don't be concerned with people who claim they don't like olives, it's not the same flavor. In the way that miso paste or soy sauce can add a depth of umami to a dish, so too can a bit of dehydrated olives just sprinkled on top. On pasta, on meat, even on a salad this little dust can do wonders.
And it's not a difficult task - it's really just about sticking them in an oven and remembering to take them out. You can make a giant batch and then seal them in a jar, always at the ready for an infusion of oomph.
This recipe takes something lovable but basic - chicken and pasta - and makes it feel like a sophisticated dish. It takes the ordinary and makes it addictive. But with the combination of the olives and the flavor of the chicken skin, you're basically unstoppable.
Gaby Dalkin seems to live on of those breezy California lives that makes me question all my life choices for living in New York. Her sunny blog, What's Gaby Cooking, has really delectable recipes and now she is out with a new book based on the style her readers have grown to love.
I loved getting to bring a little bit of that California feel into my new test kitchen. I am going to be doing a lot more videos from the kitchen which will allow for a lot more cookbook authors from out of town to share recipes - and I'm doing in a series I'm calling The Easiest Recipe. The Easiest Recipe will take what I think is the simplest recipe from the book and we make it in real-time right in the kitchen. For Gaby's book we picked the citrus marinated olives. These might be the most addictive snack - be careful if you make them for a party because you might just eat them all on their own.
So watch the video, check out Gaby's new book and you can make the recipe below if you feel inspired!
I grew up with smoked salmon on a bagel. In Charleston there was always one place that served a decent bagel. And since moving to New York a decade ago it's been a staple no matter what. There's something about the combination of bread, cream cheese and the fatty perfection of lox.
But it is also somewhat of a cooking cop out. When I want to ignore actually doing anything I will buy some good smoked salmon from Russ and Daughters, order a dozen bagels from my favorite spot (Bagels on the Square in my neighborhood) and stick out a brunch that requires pretty minimal effort. It is so delicious but feels a little bit cheap.
I was in Austin recently at the Lake Austin spa teaching a class about Bring It! and they had this poached egg dish with salmon and cumin. It was such a delight to see smoked salmon with a bit of spice to it. And it immediately made me want to change up my own lox routine.
So the smoked salmon tart was born. It has all the ingredients of a typical bagel but with little twists- the light puff pastry replaces the bagel; a dash of that cumin gives it a little bit of depth; and some time in the oven makes it a warming treat. And the truth is that it is almost as easy as a regular bagel would be.
I'm a little giddy around this spring weather. It makes me want to have light, bright and healthy every single day. But salads and rice bowls can get exceptionally boring.
I recently went to a restaurant that had a chopped hearts of palm salsa on top of a fish. It was tart and refreshing - and everything I want in my springtime meals. So I took the idea and made it into a lunchtime-friendly all purpose pesto kind of sauce. It's basically just throwing a bunch of deliciousness in a blender and then making sure you keep some on hand for anything you want to brighten up.
I made it for a rice bowl and then literally ate it for lunch every single day for a week. I started pouring it on eggs in the morning and salads at night. It's the very definition of cheap and cheerful.