Tag Archives: gluten-free

Strip Steaks with Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce

In a recent Milk Street article we found this Strip Steaks with Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce recipe which pairs a meaty steak with the sort of tomato sauce that might typically be used on pizza. There are many ways to prepare the dish, but this simple version is perfect for a weeknight meal.

The sauce is made with canned tomatoes, a punchiness from garlic and pepper flakes, and the umami quotient gets a kick up with a few anchovy fillets (in case you’re worried, the sauce won’t taste fishy at all). Slice and sauce the seared strip steaks, then finish the dish with torn fresh basil and fruity olive oil.

Our steaks were actually grilled because we wanted to take advantage of the nice weather, but either stovetop or hot grill sears the meat nicely. We served ours with orzo treated with olive oil and parsley; another option is thick slices of warm, crusty bread to dip in the sauce. And if you are lucky enough to have any of that fabulous sauce leftover, use it on pasta.

NOTE: Don’t use extra-virgin olive oil to sear the steaks; its smoke point is too low. Use grapeseed or another neutral oil to achieve a deep sear and to avoid the off flavor of overheated olive oil.

Keep in mind, the original recipe from Milk Street indicated this recipe would serve 4 to 6. The portions would be rather paltry if trying to feed six people. Our two strip steaks were smaller and a bit thinner, weighing in at just over a pound for two of them which rendered three servings.

Strip Steaks with Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 1-lb. beef strip steaks, each about 1 inch thick, trimmed and patted dry
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or other neutral oil

Directions

  1. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until beginning to turn golden, 30 to 60 seconds.
  2. Add the anchovies and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes with juices, a few basil leaves and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until a spatula drawn through the sauce leaves a trail, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and set aside; wipe out the skillet.
  4. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and black pepper. In the same skillet over medium-high, heat the neutral oil until barely smoking. Add the steaks, reduce to medium and cook until well browned on the bottoms, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Using tongs, flip the steaks and cook until the second sides are well browned and the centers register 120°F for medium-rare, another 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a platter, tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and slice them on the diagonal ¼ to ½ inch thick. Return to the platter and spoon on some of the sauce.
  8. Tear the remaining basil and sprinkle it over the top, then drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

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Recipe by Calvin Cox for Milk Street

Flank Steak with Tomato-Eggplant Ragù 

This dish borrows some of the flavors of Greek moussaka for a quick-one pan meal. Seared flank steak is finished with a wonderful rustic sauce-like side of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Crumbled feta cheese adds briny notes that contrast nicely with the sweetness of the vegetables and the richness of the beef.

We paired ours with rice pilaf doctored with herbs and olive oil.

Prep is pretty easy because there is no need to peel the eggplant, canned tomatoes are used, and the feta cheese is already crumbled; not to mention it all happens in one skillet.

To keep the eggplant from drying out so that the pieces become silky-soft, don’t drain the juices from the tomatoes—the liquid helps form the sauce. When slicing the flank steak for serving, make sure to slice it against the grain for the tenderest texture.

Flank Steak with Tomato-Eggplant Ragù

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. flank steak, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 14½ oz. can diced tomatoes, (don’t drain, save the juices)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh mint, chopped
  • 1½ oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about ⅓ cup)

Directions

  • Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the steak and brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes total, flipping the pieces once. Transfer to a plate.
  • In the same pan over medium-high, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the eggplant and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce to medium and add the tomatoes with juices, the garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the eggplant has begun to break down, about 5 minutes.
  • Off heat, stir in any accumulated beef juices and half the mint. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the steak against the grain and place on a platter. Spoon the eggplant mixture on and around the steak, then sprinkle with feta and the remaining mint.

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Recipe by Julia Rackow for Milk Street

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Apple, Sherry and Smoked Paprika

The inspiration for this Spanish spin on pork and apples comes from “Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America” by José Andrés. This version from Milk Street uses pork tenderloins that get a stovetop sear and finish in the oven on a bed of lightly sautéed onion and Granny Smith apple. The onion-apple mixture softens to a jammy relish-like accompaniment that is accented with smoked paprika and dry sherry. It’s a rich, woodsy complement to slices of the mild, meaty tenderloin.

We cooked only one tenderloin for the two of us which provided three servings of meat. The amount of ingredients for the sauce was kept the same because we prefer things saucy. Our accompaniments were roasted butternut squash cubes and a simple side salad. The flavors of the meal were outstanding!

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Apple, Sherry and Smoked Paprika

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 1¼-lb. pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin and halved crosswise
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, halved, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon of paprika and 1½ teaspoons salt. Rub the mixture onto all sides of the pork.
  2. In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Place the pork in the skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, the onion and apple to the skillet. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, about 8 minutes. Distribute the mixture in an even layer, then scatter on the thyme. Place the pork on top, add any accumulated juices and transfer to the oven. Roast until the center of the thickest piece of tenderloin reaches 135°F or is just slightly pink when cut into, 9 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven; the handle will be hot. Using tongs, transfer the pork to a cutting board and tent with foil. Add the sherry, broth and the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika to the pan, then cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 4 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, then remove and discard the thyme. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion-apple mixture to a serving platter, leaving the liquid in the pan. Thinly slice the pork and arrange over the onion-apple mixture. Drizzle the pan liquid over the meat and sprinkle with the chives.

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Ginger-Curry Pork and Green Beans

Identity crisis? This quick meat and vegetable curry starts as a stir-fry then finishes as a braise—but a quick braise. Usually pork shoulder takes hours to braise in the oven, but since the meat is cut into thin strips, the time dwindles considerably. Boneless pork shoulder has a rich, full flavor; plus slicing it thin before cooking counters its chewiness.

Green beans cook alongside, absorbing the spiced broth and providing a fresh, vegetal contrast. Curry powder is used as a flavor base, and whole spices amp up the intensity. Just remember to remove the cardamom pods before serving (if you can see them). The Hubs got quite a jolt when he accidentally bit into one!

In some cases you have choices on which spice to use. We incorporated as much of them as possible, i.e. both onion and garlic. And in the case of the noodles, you can always substitute steamed rice instead.

Ginger-Curry Pork and Green Beans

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. neutral oil
  • 1 lb. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 2-inch strips and sliced ¼ to ⅛ inch thick
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped OR 8 medium garlic cloves, chopped OR both
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed OR 1 cinnamon stick OR 8 curry leaves OR a combination
  • 8 oz. green beans, trimmed and halved on the diagonal
  • 1 1⁄2 cups water
  • Rice OR cellophane noodles, cooked according to package directions

Directions

  1. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the pork, curry powder, 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the pork is well browned, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, ginger and cardamom; cook, stirring, until the onion is browned, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and 1½ cups water; bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the sauce clings to the meat, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your rice or cellophane noodles according to package directions.
  5. Remove and discard the cardamom from the sir-fry, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Optional garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro OR toasted sesame seeds OR chopped chilies OR a combination

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Adapted from a recipe by Courtney Hill for Milk Street

Shawarma Roast Chicken with Shallots and Lemons

Yogurt is a common marinade throughout the Levant region, a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. Not only does it act as a tenderizer, but it also creates a crust on the meat and carries the flavor of the spices (here those are the shawarma heavy-hitters like cumin, coriander, and turmeric).

The chicken can marinate for as little as 30 minutes, or up to 12 hours in the fridge if you’re not in a rush, making it quite doable without tons of planning. Roasting the bird alongside halved shallots and sliced lemons means you get jammy and crispy accompanying bites built right in, cooked in the rich chicken juices.

The original recipe called for 3 shallots, but we more than doubled them to 7 (noted below), all their jammy goodness paired wonderfully with the seasoned chicken, as did the lemon. As sides, we prepared a Warm Farro with Lemon and Herbs dish, and some charred broccoli.

Shawarma Roast Chicken with Shallots and Lemons

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1½ tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¾ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ¼ cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 3½–4-lb. whole chicken, patted dry
  • Kosher salt
  • 6-7 medium shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 1 lemon, sliced into ¼”-thick rounds, seeds removed
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 4 oregano or thyme sprigs, plus leaves for serving
  • Flaky sea salt (for serving)

Directions

  1. Finely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, paprika, and turmeric in a spice mill. Transfer spice mixture to a small bowl; whisk in garlic, yogurt, and 2 Tbsp. oil.
  2. Generously season chicken with salt, then smear yogurt mixture all over. Let sit on a rimmed baking sheet at room temperature at least 30 minutes, or chill, uncovered, up to 12 hours. If chilling, let chicken sit at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Place chicken, breast side up, in pan, then nestle shallots, cut side down, and lemon slices around. Season shallots and lemon with salt. Tuck in oregano sprigs and cook, undisturbed, until shallots are starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour ½ cup water into pan; transfer skillet to oven, arranging so legs are pointing toward back of oven. Roast until skin has taken on some color, 10–15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°; continue to roast until chicken is cooked through and tender (an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast should register 155°; it will climb to 165° as the chicken rests) and shallots are jammy, 60–70 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and carve as desired. Arrange on a platter; tuck shallots and lemon slices around. Spoon juices in pan over, top with oregano leaves, and sprinkle with sea salt.

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Recipe by Andy Baraghani for Bon Appétit

Baked Salmon with Vegetables and Feta

This one-pan dinner is ready in no time, and you’ll love the bold Greek vibes in this dish. A perfect weeknight meal, this easy, “fancy” salmon recipe with vegetables and feta is brimming with healthy ingredients and enlivened Mediterranean flavors.

A couple of suggestions so that your salmon won’t dry out. Bring the fish closer to room temperature before baking. About 15 minutes before you start cooking, set the salmon on the counter to get it as close to room temperature as possible. Allowing the salmon fillets to return to room temperature helps them cook more evenly.

And, cover with foil to bake. Covering the pan with foil will trap the moisture and help cook the fish so that it is perfectly tender, moist, and flaky. Here, you’ll also par-cook the vegetables briefly before adding the salmon in.

The original recipe indicated to first cook the vegetables for 5-10 minutes before adding the salmon. We did not feel they were ready at that point and cooked them an additional 5 minutes, totaling 15 altogether. Since our fish was one slab, we let it sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Plus, due to the size and thickness, it took double the time at 20 minutes to cook to medium, 130°F after adding it atop the vegetables, covered with foil.

So we had to bide our time a little longer, but it was sooo worth the wait!

Baked Salmon with Vegetables and Feta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sumac
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, cored and sliced into thin sticks
  • 5 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
  • 4 to 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 to 6 oz. feta cheese block, cut into large chunks
  • 6 to 7 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 6-oz. portions salmon fillet
  • 1 to 2 large lemons, halved, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oregano, sumac, and cumin.
  3. In a baking dish or sheet-pan, arrange the tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, and 4 to 5 whole garlic cloves. Nestle the chunks of feta in between. Sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons of the spice mixture and a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Place the sheet pan in the heated oven on the center rack. Bake for 15 minutes until the veggies start to soften.
  5. Meanwhile, pat the fish dry and season on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper and the remainder of the spice mixture.
  6. Carefully remove the sheet pan/baking dish from the oven and add the fish in with the veggies and feta.
  7. Cover the sheet pan/baking dish with foil and return to the center rack of the heated oven. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily. (As one thick slab, ours took 20 minutes to reach the preferred 130°F.)
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately squeeze lemon juice onto the fish.

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Adapted from a recipe from Suzy Karadheh

Vegetable Fried Rice

Similar to it’s meat cousin, Pork-Fried Rice, this vegetable version with simple seasonings and a balance of mix-ins makes for a frugal and incredibly satisfying meal—or side dish. Typically you use day old rice, but if you cook rice like pasta, in other words in a lot of water with salt for 10 minutes then drain and cool it, you don’t have to make it ahead of time. Plus cooking it like pasta rids the raw grains of any surface starch so that it readily breaks apart into individual grains.

But, if you have leftover rice here’s the deal. Day-old jasmine rice works best; the varietal is loaded with a popcorn-y aromatic compound that perfumes the fried rice with gorgeous fragrance, and when stir-fried, the hard, dry clumps relax into tender-firm, distinct grains. All rice should be roughly room temperature when you stir-fry. 

To make fluffy, tender pockets of scrambled eggs, pour the raw beaten eggs into oil that is just smoking (not merely shimmering); the eggs will puff as their water rapidly turns to steam and their proteins set.

There’s no garlic or ginger to mince, no spices or curry paste to bloom, and no sauce to mix up, which keeps the prep work minimal and the backdrop neutral, not plain, simply highlighting the namesake ingredient: rice. However, you may want to serve with soy sauce on the side for those who wish a bit more flavor.

In case you are curious why this is labeled vegetarian, since they are not technically animal flesh, eggs are usually thought of as vegetarian. Eggs that have been fertilized and therefore have the potential to become an animal may not be considered vegetarian.

Vegetable Fried Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 4 oz. white mushrooms, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Directions

  1. Beat eggs and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl until well combined. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch carbon-steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until oil is just smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
  2. Add eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until very little liquid egg remains, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer to the large plate.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon oil to now-empty wok and reduce heat to medium. Add carrot and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until just beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to plate with eggs.
  4. Add scallion whites and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now-empty wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir until combined. (It’s OK if some clumps of rice remain.) Spread into even layer. Sprinkle pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt evenly over rice. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and pressing on rice with spatula to break up clumps, until grains are separate and heated through, 2 to 5 minutes longer.
  5. Add peas, egg and mushroom mixture, and scallion greens and cook, stirring frequently and using edge of spatula to break eggs into small pieces, until peas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve with soy sauce.

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Adapted from a recipe by Cook’s Illustrated

Bean and Vegetable Salad with Potlikker Vinaigrette

This cold-weather salad from chef Carla Hall hits all the notes: sweet, savory, spicy, and salty—with a bit of crunch from the squash seeds. Here, Hall uses her Country Ham Potlikker as an umami-rich base for a spicy vinaigrette that gets its silky texture from blended cannellini beans. 

But the thing is, most people are not going to have this potlikker broth on hand. We had some leftover from our Smothered Pork Chops dinner in which you had to pre-make the Country Ham Potlikker. Our suggestion is to use a mix of oil and vinegar instead, you won’t have that smoky ham flavor, but you will be keeping the meal vegetarian.

*We decided to roast our fennel slices since I didn’t shave them thin enough. Basically, place the fennel on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle olive oil all over, sprinkle with salt and pepper, rub it all together with your hands, then roast for about 30-35 minutes in a 400° oven. This can be done ahead of time, simply cover the roasted fennel with foil until ready to mix in with the other ingredients.

Bean and Vegetable Salad with Potlikker Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chilled Country Ham Potlikker
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed, divided
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal, or 1 1/4 tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and reserved, sliced crosswise 1/2″ thick
  • 3 extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large sweet-tart apple, (such as Honeycrisp), cored, quartered, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 large fennel bulb, quartered, shaved in very thin slices (*See note above for roasting option)
  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Blend vinegar, potlikker (or substitute), mustard, and ¼ cup cannellini beans in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, stream in vegetable oil; blend until emulsified. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  2. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400°. Divide sliced squash between 2 rimmed baking sheets; drizzle 2 Tbsp. olive oil over. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt; season with pepper. Roast 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse squash seeds and pat dry. Toss seeds with cayenne and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
  4. Sprinkle seeds over squash. Continue to roast until squash is golden brown and tender, 13–15 minutes more.
  5. Combine squash and seeds, apple, fennel, kidney beans, and remaining cannellini beans in a large bowl. Toss with ½ cup vinaigrette. Taste and add more vinaigrette if needed. Add parsley, season with salt, and toss again.
  6. Transfer salad to a platter; serve any remaining vinaigrette alongside.

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Recipe from Carla Hall for Bon Appétit

Umbrian-Style Chicken alla Cacciatora Revisited

Did you know that Umbria, in central Italy, is home to a tomato-free version of Chicken alla Cacciatora? Rather, the rustic braise gets it character from lemon, olives, garlic and herbs. Capers also are customary, but this version uses pancetta instead to build rich, savory depth. Finally, alternatively to cutting up a whole chicken, which is what we usually do, here we substitute bone-in, skin-on thighs.

Strips of lemon zest are simmered into the sauce to infuse the dish with subtle citrusy notes. For easiest results, use a sharp vegetable peeler to plane off wide strips of zest from the fruit; each piece should be roughly 2 to 3 inches long. You will need a 12-inch oven-safe skillet for this recipe, our 3-quart Le Creuset “Baby Blue” enameled cast-iron pot was perfect.

Fantastic! The combination of flavors had so much depth, we wanted to lick our plates clean. I know we loved the previous version using an entire chicken and capers, but this riff may have raised the bar to another level…

Umbrian-Style Chicken alla Cacciatora

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup pitted green or black olives or a combination, drained and halved
  • 4 strips lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken skin down and cook without disturbing until golden brown on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken skin up to a large plate.
  3. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet and set the pan over medium. Add the pancetta and onion, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, olives and lemon zest. Return the chicken skin up to the skillet and pour in the accumulated juices. Transfer to the oven and cook until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 175°F, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven; the handle will be hot. Using tongs, transfer the chicken skin up to a serving platter, then remove and discard the rosemary and lemon zest. Bring the liquid in the pan to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the lemon juice and vinegar, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce around the chicken.

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Adapted from a recipe from Milk Street

Crispy Parmesan Potatoes

Tasty spuds are always a welcome side dish at our table. Here, melted parmesan cheese takes these roasted potatoes to a whole new level. They’re foolproof and taste delicious with just about everything.

If there was such a thing as a Potato Olympics, these babies would be sure to medal. Just make them, you’ll be glad you did…

Crispy Parmesan Potatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fingerling potatoes, about 30 potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. Parmesan cheese, about 1 cup
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley, stemmed and chopped

Directions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise. Place in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to combine. Arrange the potatoes in single layer cut-side down.
  3. Roast until the bottoms are starting to turn golden-brown, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, finely grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1 lightly packed cup). Pick the leaves from 5 to 6 fresh parsley sprigs and finely chop until you have about 2 tablespoons.
  5. Carefully flip over each potato with tongs or a thin metal spatula so they are now cut-side up. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the potatoes. (It’s OK if some fall onto the pan.) Roast until the potatoes are cooked through and the cheese is crisp and golden-brown, about 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.

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Recipe from TheKtchn.com

Tomato and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This recipe is a lighter spin on the typical cheese-stuffed chicken breast, featuring feta, tomato and Greek-inspired flavors.

Purchase similarly sized chicken breasts so they’ll cook at the same rate. Because our 3 breasts were quite large, the stuffing mixture was doubled, although that is NOT noted in the list of ingredients below. And, they had to be cooked an additional 10 minutes to come to the proper temperature. As a side dish, we roasted some asparagus spears drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and Za’atar.

Preserved lemons are a common ingredient in Moroccan recipes. You can find the salty pickled citrus in well-stocked grocery stores (near the pickles and olives) or Middle Eastern markets. We usually make and keep a jar of them in our auxiliary refrigerator. (Forgot to include them in the set-up photo below.)

Tomato and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped grape tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped preserved lemon
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 4 same-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed 
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mash feta and yogurt together in a small bowl. Stir in tomatoes, olives, lemon, oregano and garlic.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut chicken breasts in half horizontally without cutting all the way through, to create a pocket. Stuff each pocket with equal amounts of the feta mixture; fold the chicken back over and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken and transfer the pan to the oven.
  5. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice.

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Original recipe from EatingWell Magazine.

Lemon-Rosemary Melting Potatoes

“These full-flavored potatoes are a great new approach to your typical potato side dish. The potatoes roast, then “melt” with the flavors of lemon, rosemary and garlic. They’re good enough for a special occasion, but easy enough for a weeknight.”
EatingWell

We paired our potatoes with a sous vide, pan-seared steak and spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

The original recipe indicates the potatoes will serve six. They were so good, we barely got three portions from them, so I would plan on a maximum of four servings.

A word to the wise, DO NOT use glass or stone bakeware. When it’s time to add the broth and lemon, even though the liquids are room temperature, there’s a high likelihood the very hot dish will crack, trust us on this one. Either a metal pan or enameled cast-iron one are good choices. Ideally, the pan should have a wide enough bottom to accommodate the potato slices arranged in a single layer.

Lemon-Rosemary Melting Potatoes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1 inch thick 
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground pepper
  • ¾ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice 
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced garlic

Directions

  1. Position rack in upper third of the oven; preheat to 500 degrees F.
  2. Toss potatoes, butter, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan. (Don’t use a glass dish, which could shatter.) Roast, turning once, until browned, about 30 minutes.
  3. Carefully add broth, lemon juice and garlic to the pan. Continue roasting until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are very tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.
  4. Garnish with additional rosemary.

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Recipe from EatingWell Magazine

Fennel-Steamed Salmon with Warm Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

While we know salmon isn’t a Mediterranean fish, this recipe riff from “Patricia Wells at Home in Provence,” uses high-impact Provençal ingredients which are an ideal match for the rich, meaty fillets. Here, steamed fish sits atop a bed of sliced fennel to add sweet, licorice-like perfume; after cooking, the tender-crisp slices make a delicious accompaniment.

The sharp flavors of the warm olive, caper and lemon vinaigrette complement both fish and fennel. Cook the salmon to medium doneness—that is, until only the center is translucent. For well-done fillets, steam the fish for a couple minutes longer than indicated.

If you prefer white fish over salmon, thick fillets of striped bass or sea bass work well, but increase the steaming time to about 10 minutes. No matter the type of fish you choose, try to select fillets of equal thickness so they cook at the same rate.

Don’t uncover the pot while the fish is steaming, as loss of steam will slow the cooking. Instead, simply set a timer (or tell Alexa to remind you 😉 ). Note to the wise: When opening the pot, angle the lid away from you to avoid a burst of steam to the face.

We chose broccoli rabe as the other side dish. By par-boiling it first, much of the bitterness is eradicated. Once chilled in an ice bath and drained, any extra moisture is wrung out in a clean dish towel. A little garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes give it a boost of flavor when reheated in a pan.

Fennel-Steamed Salmon with Warm Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 small fennel bulbs (about 1 lb. total), halved, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 6-oz. salmon fillets, each about 1 inch thick
  • 6 sprigs dill, plus 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the fennel with the lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper; set aside. Season the salmon all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a folding steamer basket in a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to fill the bottom of the pot without submerging the basket. Remove the basket. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high.
  3. Line the basket with the fennel. Place the salmon skin down on the fennel, then lay the dill sprigs on the fillets. Turn off the heat under the pot, then set the basket in it. Cover and return to a simmer over medium. Steam until the thickest parts of the fillets reach 115°F to 120°F (for medium doneness), 7 to 9 minutes; the fennel should be tender but not completely soft.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium, combine the olives, capers, oil and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, just until sizzling gently, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring, just until warm, another 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  6. When the salmon is done, remove and discard the dill sprigs. Using a metal spatula, transfer the fennel and fillets, skin down, to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped dill, then spoon on the warm sauce.

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Adapted from a recipe found in Milk Street; original by “Patricia Wells at Home in Provence”

Roasted Kale and Red Onions

Found in a recent Fine Cooking Magazine, this tasty side dish recipe is a perfect combination of balsamic vinegar, kale, and red onion. The side made a wonderful partner to our Roasted Loin Chops with Charmoula.

With only the two of us, we cut the amount of onions and kale in half, the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth by a third, and the remaining ingredients were kept the same. The original recipe is intact below.

Roasted Kale and Red Onions

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 large red onions, cut in wedges 
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided 
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chicken broth 
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 bunches (about 1-1/4 1bs.) kale, stems removed coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line large roasting pan with foil; set aside.
  3. In bowl toss onion with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large skillet; add onion mixture. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add broth and vinegar. Cover; cook 15 minutes or until onions are tender.
  5. Add butter. Increase heat to high. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until onions are glazed.
  6. Meanwhile, add kale to roasting pan. Toss with remaining oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast, uncovered, 15 minutes, tossing 3 times.
  7. To serve, gently toss with onions.

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Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops Greek-Style

Shoulder chops aren’t the most tender, but they truly have great lamb flavor. Plus, they are far less expensive than other types of lamb chops. The steaks are usually rather thin, therefore make sure you have a hot fire ready so they get a good sear on the outside before they have a chance to overcook on the inside.

Lamb and grilling are a classic combination in Greek cookery. In just minutes over a hot fire, they are nearly ready to serve with that quintessential Greek flavoring combination of fresh oregano, fresh lemon juice, really good olive oil, and just a touch of garlic. Simple is, as simple gets.

To complete the meal we roasted some baby Yukon potatoes which benefited from some of that oregano-garlic sauce; and a side of Roasted Green Beans with Pecorino and Pine Nuts which are mixed with oil, salt, pepper, and a tad of sugar to enhance caramelization.

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops Greek-Style

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Four 10- to 12-ounce lamb shoulder blade chops, 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to hot.
  2. Dry the chops with paper towels and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Place the chops on the grill and cook until well seared, 3 to 4 minutes per side. To check for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer. The chops are rare at 120°F, medium rare at 125°F, medium at 130°F, and well done at 145°F and higher. FYI, lamb can take on a gamey flavor when cooked past medium.
  3. When the chops are done, remove them from the grill, cover them loosely with foil, and let them rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, oregano, and garlic and mix well.
  5. Spoon the garlic mixture over the lamb chops, squeeze the lemon on top of them, and serve hot.

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Recipe by John Willoughby and Christopher Schlesinger