My love of cauliflower is well documented. And while I normally prefer it roasted, this salad is a great way to enjoy it in the summer when you dread cranking up the oven.
Marinated Cauliflower Salad
Author: Jacky Hackett
1 head of cauliflower
¼ red onion, finely diced
⅓ cup golden raisins
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
½ teaspoon garlic chili sauce
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
black pepper, freshly ground
Chop cauliflower into bit size pieces
Finely dice the red onion and parsley
combine cauliflower, red onion, raisins, and caraway seeds in a large bowl
In another bowl make dressing, add garlic chili sauce, parsley, dried oregano, olive oil, vinegar and salt. Stir to combine.
Pour dressing over cauliflower and stir to coat.
Cover and place in refrigerator to marinate a couple of hours or overnight.
Caraway seeds add peppery licorice flavor, it also evokes the flavor of meat to me. Probably because a soft rye with caraway seeds is essential for a killer corned beef sandwich. The golden raisins add sweetness that is tamed with the bite of the red onion. The garlic chile sauce gives it just enough heat.
This salad gets better the longer it sits, so make a big batch and eat it all week. Serve it as a meal over salad greens, as a side dish, or even on some fresh bread for a veggie sandwich.
No matter how you chose to eat this salad, it is delicious!
Breakfast is a challenge on work days. My preference is something savory, low-carb, and satisfying. Oh, and I try to keep breakfast around 300 calories. Eggs are a preferred choice, though I prefer to eat later in the morning (at work), so they are not a great option most days. Chobani black cherry yogurt with a tablespoon of peanut butter is my fallback option. It doesn’t always satisfy though, I end up really hungry before lunch. Ditto on smoothies. Granola is an easy add-in for the yogurt, but shoots the calories and carbs way up. Besides, MUST EAT ALL THE GRANOLA.
I am finally climbing out of a long winter rut that did not include much cooking or kitchen creativity. The other day I passed by the bookcase with the overflow of cookbooks in our basement, and a few caught my eye. As I was looking through Super Natural Every Day the muesli recipe caught my eye. I love how Heidi Swanson wrote the recipes in this cookbook, she lists the star ingredients directly under the recipe title. I immediately saw it called for oats, golden raisins, Marcona almonds. Oats, check. Marcona almonds, check – just happened to buy a large container of from Costco, check. Golden raisins, check – leftover from another recipe (coming soon).
Muesli is like granola, except it is raw. No baking obviously makes the prep super simple. No oil or sweeteners, which keep the sugar and fat in check. The recipe fits nicely in a quart size mason jar. I only strayed from the recipe a bit, I could not find wheat or oat germ any where, I used oat bran that I had on hand instead.
You can serve the muesli in milk like a cereal or mixed into yogurt. I mixed it into plain nonfat Greek yogurt, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and added in my toppings of choice right before eating.
Admittedly, it is not much to look at. But can we talk about the bowl for a minute? My daughter made it at school. in fact, she made all the bowls pictured. We are lucky that our high school has a kick-ass arts department, with a ton of offerings. This was her first wheel throwing class, and the pottery she made is phenomenal.
Top with your favorite fruit. Or stir in nut butter, or cinnamon.
Or top with one teaspoon of pure maple syrup and a few chopped Marcona almonds. Whatever you like!
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Jacky Hackett
3 cups oats, old fashioned
1/2 Marcona almonds, chopped
1/4 golden raisins
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 teaspoon salt
Stir to combine all ingredients
Store in an airtight quart size container
Makes 8-1/2 cup servings
Here is how I made mine, letting it sit overnight. I used a 1/2 cup of water and it was still very thick. Adjust to your taste. Left to combine overnight, I did not find the oats chewy or doughy and the almonds still had a bite to them. According to my calculations for a serving of muesli + yogurt = 248 calories, 6 grams of fat, 34 carbs, 4.5 fiber, 9 sugar, 17.5 protein.
Muesli with Yogurt
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Jacky Hackett
1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, nonfat
1/4 – 1/2 cup of water (depending on how thick you want it)
1/2 cup of Muesli
Stir to combine
Let sit in fridge overnight
Optionally, when serving stir in sweetener, fruit, nuts, raisins, nut butter of choice
I used 1/2 cup of water, and it was still thick.
Fulfills all my requirements, savory, low-carb, and very satisfying. A great workday option for breakfast, especially in the summer.
I haven’t been making much worth sharing lately. But this, this makes up for it.
While this Ahi is delicious, it’s all about the sauce.
It may not look like much, but there is a whole lot of awesome packed in that little bowl. The chili garlic sauce and pickled ginger being the leads on flavor.
Move over Sriracha, I have rekindled an old flame. This goes on everything! Morning, noon, and night. It packs way more depth of flavor with the garlic and less spicy chili. The sweetness of the pickled ginger mellows out the heat, so don’t fear the spice in the sauce, or add more chile garlic if you want more heat.
Clearly, I prefer my tuna very rare. I marinated the steak in soy sauce for about 30 minutes. Patted each side dry, and then coated the top and bottom in toasted sesame seeds. Sear it in a hot pan, with a touch of oil, for about 1-2 minutes per side. Let cool, slice and serve.
The tuna is even better if you park it in the fridge until well chilled. Great as an appetizer or a main course. Perfect for a hot summer night.
Seared Ahi Tuna and Chili Garlic Ginger Dipping Sauce
Author: Jacky Hackett
2 Ahi tuna steaks
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sweet pickled ginger
1 – 2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
Ahi Tuna Steaks:
In a shallow dish or zip bag, cover the tuna steaks with soy sauce and garlic. Marinate for 30 minutes in fridge.
While steaks marinate, toast sesame seeds and make sauce
Heat a skillet under medium heat. Toast sesame seeds, about 2 minutes and remove pan to a plate to avoid burning
Combine first five sauce ingredients in a bowl
Whisk in mayonnaise until smooth and creamy, park in fridge
Remove steaks from marinade, pat dry
Coat top and bottom of steak in sesame seeds
Heat skillet over medium-high heat, with oil to coat
Sear steaks 1- minutes per side
Cool steaks and slice about 1/4″ think, against the grain
Serve with sauce and pickled ginger
For me, the tuna becomes a conduit for maximum sauce enjoyment. Try it with shrimp or even grilled steak.
Though of course you could make your own caramel sauce, or just use store-bought. This recipe came out of the fact my husband ordered a lifetime supply of microwave popcorn from the Boy Scouts. Well, that and the fact I wanted an excuse to dig into this jar of cayenne cinnamon caramel sauce.
Pop the popcorn, heat the sauce with some brown sugar, combine and bake in the oven. Easiest caramel corn ever!
I used buttered flavored popcorn, which made the end result tastes like kettle-caramel corn magic. Oh, and you think it can’t better, but it can if you throw in some cashew halves.
Nothing says “I Love You” quite like butter and heavy cream. Right? Oh and strawberries. Ya know what else, the smell of strawberries drying in the oven is AMAZING! Heat oven to 200 degrees, slice the strawberries, arrange in single layer on parchment lined cookies sheet. Cook for 4 hours, flip at the halfway point. Voila, a bowl of goodness.
The strawberries were for these rich and buttery strawberry scones. The recipe is from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten. This cookbook has reliable, easy recipes. Scones being one of the easiest to make, I had these in the oven in under 15 minutes. Lots of butter and cream baked in.
Butter is love, so I whipped up some honey butter to slather on the scones. Beat room temperature butter with honey, to taste. I used 1 stick of butter and about 2 tablespoons of honey. Kerrygold salted butter is best, the touch of salt is just perfect with the sweetness of the honey.
Strawberry scones and honey butter, love that lasts.
Go make some for you Valentine, they’ll love you for it!
The best part of working from home is (besides being able to eat Brussels sprouts for breakfast) the time I save on commuting can be spent in the kitchen. Relaxed time in the kitchen, without the normal rush of a weeknight meal. It gives me time to dig into recipes on my to-cook list. A few weeks back I ran across this recipe for oven-roasted chicken shawarma, and it went right to the top of my list. Right next to this naan bread.
Over the weekend I stocked up on meat at Costco. The organic skinless and boneless chicken breast are the best we’ve had. Same goes for the organic grass-fed beef. A bit more expensive than non-organic, but worth the price to us since we only eat meat few times a week, and mostly because the flavor can’t be beat. I grabbed some organic skinless and boneless chicken thighs too, since the shawarma recipe called for them.
I made the marinade on Sunday, and marinated the chicken for couple of days in a Ziploc bag. so they were ready to go. The naan bread was easy, but took some active cooking time. I followed the recipe exactly (minus the Tandorri), and it turned out perfect.
As you can see, not a completely traditional meal. I served it with cucumber, tomato, avocado (because I forget to pick-up hummus), spicy herbed feta, and giardiniera (because my husband and son put that shit on everything they eat). The feta was leftover from an appetizer I served on Sunday, spicy herbed feta.
The feta was a quick appetizer served on bread, though you can serve it with picks on an olive tray and skip the bread. Or if you want something more spreadable, whip it up in the food processor with a bit of milk to make a dip.
Spicy Herbed Feta
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Condiment
Author: Jacky Hackett
½ cup extra virgin oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp basil, finely chopped
1/2 – 1 red jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 lemon – rind, finely grated
1/4 tsp black pepper
8oz feta cheese (block, not crumbled)
Combine oil and garlic in a small pan over medium heat. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
Stir parsley, basil, jalapeno (to taste), lemon rind, and pepper into oil.
Cut block of feta into cubes and place in a container. Pour oil mixture over the cheese and let sit for about 2 hours.
It was a great addition to the shawarma dinner. It wasn’t too spicy, and the creamy rich with the cool tomato and cucumbers was just right.
Cooking beats commuting any day in my book. And it was time well-spent, every bite of this meal was better than the last. The kids even wolfed it down.
I’ve made a few recipes from the Plenty cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi. This cookbook is gorgeous, with a plush cover and amazing photos, I just love to read through it. Ottolenghi makes it easy to succeed with simply written recipes, and every one I have attempted has been noteworthy; Caramelized Garlic Tart, Smoky Frittata, and Burnt Eggplant with Tahini. Tonight’s was no exception, fresh fettuccine topped with spiced butter.
The original recipe calls for homemade tagliatelle, I didn’t attempt that. Maybe another time. We also decided to top the fettuccine with salmon, baked simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It was delicious but honestly the pasta didn’t need it. The pasta stands on its own, just as Ottolenghi intended.
Saffron Fettuccine with Spice Butter
Author: Jacky Hackett
2 sticks butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces fresh fettuccine, 4 servings
2 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 tablespoons mint, chopped
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Combine butter, oil, shallots, and onions in a large skillet.
Cook until the shallots and onions are softened, about 10-15 mins.
Mix in ginger, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and keep warm.
Cook pasta, add saffron and salt to the cooking water. Boil noodles per directions provided with noodles. Drain once cooked.
Combine spiced butter and cooked noodles.
Put pasta on plates, top with mint, parsley and pine nuts.
The original recipe also called for turmeric, which I sent my husband to the store for and then forgot to include. For the best, once he smelled it, he decided he probably wouldn’t like the addition, I agreed.
This spiced butter isn’t the prettiest, but holy crap did it smell and taste amazing. A savory cinnamon spice smell that just warms the soul. The flavor was rich and satisfying. A great meal!
I regret not making Biz’s Naan bread recipe to go with this, it would have been a perfect tool to clean my plate of all the tasty spiced butter. Nest time, and it will be soon, I will skip the salmon and make the Naan.
I love how simple, yet flavorful Ottolenghi’s recipes are. Easy enough for a week night meal, but impressive enough for a dinner party. If you don’t own Plenty I highly recommend purchasing it, it does not disappoint.
Off to watch another sports related movie with the 8 year-old, Rudy and Hoosiers was so far this weekend.