So few things in life can make almost anything better. But I think shrimp butter really can. It is basically a sauce that can be made easily but elevate any type of dish. Spread it on toast in the morning or make a fancy-seeming pasta at night for guests. Make a tomato sandwich spread with shrimp butter or put it in a bowl of rice and take it to the next level. There are very few things that shrimp butter can't do. And you know what makes it even better? It takes less than 10 minutes to make.
I grew up with variations on shrimp butter since in the Lowcountry of South Carolina there are few things more prevalent than shrimp. But I also saw a version in Normandy that knocked my socks off. So this aims to be the in-between - a Southern staple but that still tries to be as light and bright as possible.
This is also great in the freezer - keep it on hand and then whip it out when you have guests. Trust me, no one will think you didn't plan ahead.
There are some dishes I just can't ever get enough of and in the summer I will have ceviche in any form. But some have sauces that make you want to lick the bowl at the end.
I went to De Maria in Soho recently and every dish had that joyous pop of flavor that makes you want to just jump for joy. But the leche de tigre on the ceviche really took the cake.
If you're not familiar, leche de tigre is a sauce used in Peruvian cooking to add a bright citrus pop to their famous seafood. It is literally 'tiger's milk' and its a creamy take on a lot of flavor. But the one at De Maria was the perfect combination of texture and citrus so I knew I needed the recipe. Turns out it is as simple as can be.
Watch the video below or follow the recipe below for a sauce you'll want to put onto everything.
So if you follow me on social media you might have noticed in the last week that I was in Rhode Island and was mildly obsessed with blueberry picking. It's one of my favorite activities because it's a soothing task that somehow also yields pounds upon pounds of blueberries - how could that not be a winning combo?
I made a ton of pies and pancakes and just about a million handfuls of blueberries on their own, but of course when you pick tons of fruit there is nothing better than jam.
Now, you all know I love to make things as simple as humanly possible because I'm incredibly lazy. But jam is one of those things I have never understood the insanity around. Everyone wants to make it more complicated. Pectin! Canning machines! Special ingredients! I say screw all of that and make it as easy as possible.
This recipe is my classic because it takes the least amount of work and ingredients but still tastes like a glorious batch of summer. Blueberries are perfect for this kind of jam because they get jammy pretty naturally. If you do want a slightly less cooked version you can add pectin. But if you're like me and you don't make a ton of jam at home then this is a simple solution that will suddenly make you feel like a home cooking superstar. The truth is that great in-season fruit makes excellent jam without much else, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Sometimes life just requires baking. In those moments nothing is better than a cookie. And when you want simplicity to go along with it, a shortbread cookie can be the ultimate satisfying treat.
Jim Lahey, the brilliant mind behind Sullivan Street Bakery grew up on Walker's Shortbread. I became a bit addicted to them myself when I lived in Scotland. But unlike Lahey I didn't spend years honing and perfecting my own version. Luckily he was willing to share his Italian take on the classic
I love a good hack, and apple sandwiches are kind of my new current favorite. If you use tart apples instead of bread you create a whole new category with texture and a fun factor that is hard to beat.
Recently Siri Daly stopped by to talk about her new book, Siriously Delicious. The wife of famed tv host Carson Daly uses her book and blog to showcase her easy recipes that help her keep her busy family on the go. Siri is one of those people who tries to make life easier and I loved the fun outlook in the book. But these apple sandwiches with nut butter and granola have made me a convert.
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!