Smoked Salmon, Cool Cilantro Sauce, & Mango-Burrata Salad


So I've slacked off a ton on posting recipes. It's not that I haven't been cooking and experimenting. I just haven't documented any of it along the way. Some of it had to do with focusing on finishing school and putting my time in other areas (family, work, and exercise). 

But here's a super easy week night dish that our family LOVES! 


Cilantro Sauce

1 cup cilantro 

1/2 cup chopped chives 

1 tbsp lime juice

1-2 Garlic cloves 

1 tbsp of white or apple vinegar 

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste 



1 1/2 lbs salmon filet 

1 tsp smoked paprika 

2 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp ground coriander 

1 tsp rosemary flakes 

Salt and Pepper

Drizzle with olive oil


Arugula Mango Burrata Salad

1-2 Mangoes 

3 tbsp olive oil 

salt and pepper 


3-4 cups of baby arugula 

1/4 cup mint 

1/4 cup parsley



salt and pepper 


For the sauce, simply take the ingredients and blend them all in a food processor. Add ingredients as necessary for desired texture/flavor. 

For the salmon, get your charcoal grill going, place a pan of water opposite the coals and let your grill get to about 220 F. Season the salmon and then drizzle with oil. Place the salmon on the grill and cook for about 2 hours on indirect heat. For the last 5 minutes add wood chips of desired flavor to the coals and smoke the salmon. 

For the salad, pan sear the mangoes in olive oil for a few minutes. Let them just begin to turn brown. Dice up the strawberries. Tear up all the leafy bits in a bowl. When the mangoes are browned, dice them and add them, the strawberries, and tear up one of the burrata balls, olive oil and a really good balsamic (we love the OMG! Fig and Vanilla), and mix well. 

Plate. Drizzle salmon with the cilantro sauce. Perhaps some rose would pair well.

Super simple. Ridiculously easy and tasty. 

Flank Steak Tacos




1/2 cup Soy Sauce

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup Cooking Sherry

3 tbsp Honey

2 tbsp Minced Ginger

3 cloves Minced Garlic

1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

For those that dig sesame sauce - you can add 1-2 tbsp if you like 



Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, place flank steak into large freezer bag, pour in and let marinade for a couple of hours. Grill until medium rare. I mostly enjoy tossing mine in a skillet and searing it to get the edges right. 



2 cups – thin sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup – carrots julienned/grated

1/2 cup – thin sliced red onion

4 tbsp – chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup – rice wine vinegar

1/8 cup – canola oil

Honey to taste

Celery seed to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

6” Flour Tortillas

Amazing – heat about ½” of canola oil in a skillet on medium high, toss in one tortilla at a time until they start to blow up a bit, not long maybe 15-30 seconds, so they are still pliable, but the light frying opens up the flavor a shocking amount. Lightly salt the tortillas.... glory. 

Take some chances and add a small bit of red pepper jelly or pineapple pepper jelly to the base of the tortilla and build up from there! So good! 

***Oh and if you happen to be a good friend of farmer John Dunn (Bassist in Demon Hunter, Motorcycle Enthusiast, and BBQ Connoisseur), he just may share some of his candied jalapeños  with you that will take all your meals to unspeakable joy. 

Octopus Tacos w/ Pineapple Salsa



  • 3 ½ pounds octopus (you can go fresh like I do (snag one from Pike if you're in Seattle. The ones in the International District that I've tried a few times just don't cut it. Also stop by Chowder and ask to see LeRoy! Such a good dude!). You can do this with a previously frozen octopus.

  • 1 large onion chopped

  • 1 carrot chopped

  • 1 fennel bulb chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 TBSP red pepper flakes

  • 2 TBSP coriander seeds

  • 6 garlic cloves peeled 

  • 1 bottle dry white wine

  • 3 wine corks (Mmmmhmmm. Corks. I've read that the corks aid in softening the octopus. I'm not sure how true it is but I've done it every time I've made octopus and it's been fantastic).  

  •  Salt to taste


  • 2 oranges, quartered and crushed

  • 1 lemon, quartered and crushed

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • ¼ cup olive oil


First, preheat the oven to 300. Then combine all the ingredients and put them into a pot with the octopus and cover the pot. Let it go for about 75-90 minutes. You want to let it tenderize a good bit. When time is up, let it cool in the liquid and remove the head and beak with some kitchen scissors. 

Then combine the ingredients for the marinade and put the tentacles into it and let it sit for about a half hour. 

Lastly, grill the tentacles! So fun! 


Pineapple Salsa 



  • One fresh pineapple chopped

  • One red onion - diced

  • Two limes - juiced

  • 2 Tbs of coconut flakes

  • 2 Tbs chopped oregano 


Simply combine the ingredients below and then prep the tacos on fried tortillas, of course!

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Pineapple-Strawberry-Mango Salsa

Of all the seasonings that you can throw at salmon, this one by Emeriil Lagasse is still my favorite. 



2 salmon filets



2 1/2 TBSP paprika 

2 TBSP garlic powder 

1 TBSP black pepper

1 TBSP onion powder 

1 TBSP cayenne pepper 

1 TBSP oregano 

1 TBSP thyme


Pineapple-Strawberry-Mango Salsa

3/4 cup diced pineapple 

3/4 cup diced mango 

1/2 cup diced strawberries

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 jalapeno diced (stemmed and seeded, of course!) 

2 TBSP chopped mint 

2 TBSP orange juice 

1 lime juiced 

1/4 TSP salt 



Take care of the salsa first. Reason being is that the salmon is so quick and you don't want that finished only to get cold while you're doing all the chopping and dicing with the salsa. So prep the salsa first and chuck it in the fridge. 

Next, for the salmon, combine the ingredients. Then cover both sides of the salmon with a heaping 2-3 TBSP olive oil and then season both sides of the salmon with Emerill's goodness. Place in your skillet on medium (or grill!) skin side down and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then turn the fish a quarter turn and allow to cook for about 3 more minutes. Then flip the fish and cook for about 2 minutes and you're good to go! 

Then fry your tortillas quickly in canola oil (let em puff and then pull em!), salt, and assemble the tacos!  

Pork Belly Tacos & Watermelon Salsa



  • 2-½ lbs. boneless skinless pork belly, cut into large chunks approx. 4 oz. each

  • 1 c. fresh squeezed orange juice

  • 1 c. white distilled vinegar

  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1-2 Tbsp. annatto paste

  • crushed red pepper (optional)

  • salt & pepper

  • vegetable oil



1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center of the oven.

2.  Lightly score the pork belly on the fat side by making a few 1/8″ deep cuts.  Generously season the pork belly with salt and pepper.  Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or flame-proof roasting dish over medium high heat until it shimmers.  Lightly sear the pieces of pork belly on each side.

3.  Drain the excess fat from the pan and position the pieces of belly with the fat side down.  Add the orange juice, vinegar, garlic, annatto paste, and a pinch of crushed red pepper so that the liquid comes halfway up the pieces of meat. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven 1-1/2 to 2 hours until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork.

4. While the pork is cooking, prepare the garnishes.

5.  When the pork is cooked, let it rest covered in the cooking liquid for 5-10 minutes before pulling apart.  Once it has rested, shred the meat with a pair of forks, or your fingers and mix it with just enough of the braising liquid to coat each morsel.  Add salt to taste.




  • 3 cups cubed, seedless watermelon

  • Juice from 1 1/2 limes

  • 1 cup peeled, diced jicama

  • 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons seeded, minced jalapeño

  • 1/2large red onion, peeled/minced

  • Salt, to taste

The Greatest Shrimp Tacos of All Time

These really are the greatest shrimp tacos of all time! Undisputed. Undefeated. Unrivaled. 

(Developed over 3 years by Jon Snell, Grandy Streets, & Alex Early)



2 avocados, chopped

1 lime, juiced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp minced cilantro

4 tsp minced red onion

4 tsp olive oil



Mix it all together…  It is a good idea to make this component last for two reasons.  #1, you don’t want the avocado turning brown while you are cooking the other stuff, so plan to prep everything and wait until the last minute to cut open the avocados and mix them in.  #2, if you make it ahead of time you will eat all on chips, tortillas, or off your fingers before the rest of the stuff is ready, and you DO NOT want to miss having this in the shrimp tacos!






1/2 cup sour cream

2 tsp hot sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

You can make this FIRST and throw into the fridge so the flavors can meld.



2 cups – thin sliced red cabbage

1/2 cup – carrots julienned/grated

1/2 cup – thin sliced red onion

4 tbsp – chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup – rice wine vinegar

1/8 cup – canola oil

Honey to taste

Celery seed to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 lb shrimp



Marinade for the Shrimp


1/2 cup – soy sauce 

1/2 cup – cooking sherry

4 tbsp – honey

2 tbsp – sesame oil

4 cloves – minced garlic

2 tbsp – minced ginger

Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes

Shell & de-vein shrimp, salt and pepper


Preheat a skillet on medium heat, quickly sauté shrimp & garlic in olive oil 3-5 minutes until pink and opaque.  They say a perfectly cooked shrimp is a “C” shape not an “O”.

I know vinegar to oil ratio generally is the other way around, but trust me 2 vinegar to 1 oil is the way to go in this case.  For the honey we do a good spiral drizzle over the top.  For the celery seed, a good sprinkling over the top (it’s easy to put too much celery seed, but DO NOT go without).  We like a lot of S&P but remember you can always add more, but you can’t take away.  You also want to make this early in the process so the flavors can marinate some, but again not so far ahead that things get wilty…

6” Flour Tortillas

Amazing – heat about ½” of canola oil in a skillet on medium high, toss in one tortilla at a time until they start to blow up a bit, not long maybe 15-30 seconds, so they are still pliable, but the light frying opens up the flavor a shocking amount. Salt the hot tortillas ever so slightly…






Red Pepper Jelly**


This is the MOST important ingredient.  Your heart will sing songs to heaven…


Pepper Jack Cheese/ 4 cheese Mex




Take one fried tortilla


Spread a thin layer of red pepper jelly on one side


Spread a dollop of Screamin’ Sour Cream on top of that


Sprinkle cheese


Add 3-5 shrimp (I will sometimes cut these in half depending on the size)


Sprinkle more cheese


Sprinkle smashed lime tortilla chips


Add a dollop of Holy Guacamole


Finish with a good spoonful of Sanctified Slaw


Go ahead and make 2-3 per plate


Pair with IPA


Alternate - Try on hard shell tostados instead of soft shell flour


Man! It has been a while since I posted a food piece! The combination of family, moving, *FINISHING MY DOCTORATE*, publishing another book, and pastoring at our amazing church may have in some small ways contributed towards me not keeping up here as well as I would've liked. However, now that we're settled back into Seattle and I've *FINISHED MY DOCTORATE* (hope you can sense the stoked-ness with the all caps), I plan on jumping back on here much more regularly. Over the last several months I've worked on several apps, mains, and of course, desserts and will be posting those in days to come...

So. Ratatouille. I love this dish for a number of reasons. 1) Ratatouille is my favorite Disney movie. 2) All the veggies makes my girls (Jana and Tov) particularly excited. 3) You can serve it hot or cold as a main or as a side and it is always a winner. 


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium white onions
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 3 sweet red peppers 
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup olive oil, more as needed
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 small bay leaves (tear em up)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  •  Freshly ground black pepper




  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Slice onions thinly to their roots. Chop both zucchini and eggplant into 1/4 inch pieces, slice up peppers into strips, peel and dice tomatoes and place tomatoes in bowl, add a bit of salt, pepper, and bay leaves and mix with your hands, grate and mix garlic into the tomatoes. 
  • Next, on separate baking sheets spread out the veggies (onions on one, zucchini on one, egg plant on one, peppers on one). Drizzle each pan with olive oil covering (not drowning!) all the veggies. Add rosemary (1) and thyme (2) to each of the veggie pans) and place in the oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes for all the veggies (the onions will take longer!). Shake the pans or use a spatula to turn the veggies every 15 minutes to mix up the aweomeness. (By now your kitchen smells glorious). 
  • Once all the veggies are done, mix in the tomatoes really well and then place everything back on a baking sheet and cook for an hour. Look and see if you need more oil or not. Some recipes will call for you to hit it with oil again but that's not always necessary because you don't want your ratatouille swimming... that's what pools are for. 
  • That should do it. I also grilled chicken for a protein and made a parsnip puree for a side and it all paired wonderfully with a $10 bottle of Rosé! 




Basil Chicken Curry with Coconut Lime Rice

Basil Coconut Ginger-Lime Rice

1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

1 cup jasmine rice

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 lime, juiced and zest


Chicken Curry

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, diced

2 bell peppers, chopped

2 ears corn, kernels removed from the cob

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoon thai red curry paste (I used nearly the whole jar)

1 tablespoon spicy curry powder

1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 mango, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded + diced

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Greek yogurt, naan, and chutney for serving!



Coconut-Ginger-Lime Rice

Add the coconut milk to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice, salt, ginger. Stir and let rest on a very low setting for about 10 minutes. Then turn the burner off and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Next add your lime juice, zest, ginger, and basil. BAM. 


Chicken Curry

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Ive got this incredible braiser that I used for this (and nearly everything else!). 


Once hot, add the diced chicken and sauté the chicken until browned and then pull out of the skillet and set aside for a moment. 

Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the red peppers and corn, sauté  and then toss in the ginger and garlic. Sauté all the veggies together and add the chicken back in. 


Then add a heavy tablespoon of curry powder and curry paste (you really could just use the whole jar) and give everything another good toss. Cook 1 minute and then add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a boil, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit more. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and cilantro.

In a small bowl toss together the mango and jalapeño.

Serve the curry over the rice. Add a spoonful of the mangos and a sprinkle of goat cheese. 



I discovered this recipe here

Weeknight Flank Steak Pizza


Here's something that you can throw together for an easy and super-tasty weeknight meal. 



1/2 cup Soy Sauce

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup Cooking Sherry

3 tbsp Honey

2 tbsp Sesame Oil

2 tbsp Minced Ginger

3 cloves Minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 whole Flank Steak (don’t get the small ones… leftovers. Yes).

(adapted from the Dee Drumond). 



1 Purple onion

1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1-2 tbsp butter

Salt and Pepper



1 ball fresh mozzarella

1 small herbed goat cheese

1/2 cup-1 cup shredded mozz



Simple premade pizza crust (like I said... weeknight).

Favorite marinara from a jar (Weeknight again).



First thing, make your marinade for your steak in a larger bowl, cut your steak in half and place in the marinade. Place in the fridge for an hour. 


Second go ahead and chop your onion and begin to caramelize it slowly in a pan in butter, add salt and pepper about half way through, and about 2 minutes before you pull them, add the balsamic vinegar. 


Third, when youre ready to eat, pan sear your flank steak until its cooked the way you like it. (Medium rare is perfect). 


Slice it into reasonable bite-size pieces. 


Add your marinara to your crust. 


Then your cheeses. 


Then your steak. 


Cook in the oven at 450 for 5-8 minutes, keeping an eye on the crust and cheeses getting them to your liking. 

Chipotle Chicken Chili, Toasted Cumin Sour Cream, Chunky Avocado Relish, and Bacon Encrusted Cornbread

OK, so here is the core chili recipe and I will tell you tips and how I altered it below it…


1) Note to you hot-heads: Definitely don’t overdo the heat on the peppers! It is way easier to add heat later on than just start on inferno


2) I’ve done this chili several times and really like to use a Corona with lime as the beer to cook with. Follow the recipe, then use the second beer to add liquid to adjust thickness as it reduces / cooks.


3)  Note: Masa Harina is just Masa flour. Super important ingredient here! 


4)  2 tbsp sugar


5)  My friend Jon adds 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. He digs it combined with the spices. It’s not for me. But… you know.  


6)  1 tsp smoked paprika with spices


7)  ½ cup heavy cream & ½ cup sour cream, I used these to cut the heat, but it adds a great creaminess too.


8)  I probably simmered it a lot longer, maybe an extra hour or two periodically stirring and scraping up the bottom of the pan.


9) We also let it rest overnight in the fridge and gently re-heated to simmer the next day, man those flavors really meld overnight! 



Toasted Cumin Sour Cream


1)  8 oz Mexican Crema


2)  2 tbsp milk


3)  1 tbsp cumin seeds (seeds not powder)


4)  Toast cumin seeds over med heat in a small skillet (no oil) until they get toasty smelling / don’t burn!!!


5)  Mix seeds with crema and milk and then we put it all together in a squeeze bottle, but that’s not necessary…  Make this early and the toasted oils will infuse the crema the longer it sits.



Avocado Relish – make right before you serve


1)      3 avocados


2)      ½ red onion diced fine


3)      Cilantro chopped to taste


4)      S&P


5)      Mix it all up together, leave a little chunky.




Bacon Encrusted Cast Iron Cornbread


1)  Follow recipe, I used a 10” cast iron skillet (10” on the BOTTOM), was perfect.


2)  Use the shortening in the batter as directed


3)  5 slices bacon, chopped fine


4)  Cook chopped bacon in bottom of pan until crispy with the OTHER 2 tbsp of shortening


5)  Spread bacon around the bottom of the pan and pour batter over it gently


6)  Cook over med heat for 1-2 minutes


7)   Put into the oven per directions, we did 20 minutes and it was perfect


8)  When you pull out, flip onto a plate and let cool, then cut into fingers (should have crispy edges) kind of like biscotti, SO GOOD!!!!  Dip in chili to eat!









Chinese Potstickers


Hey guys, these are super easy and pretty fun to make, too! 


INGREDIENTS (Pot Stickers) 

2 Cups flour


1/2 cup (or more) of cold water


6 oz ground beef


6 oz ground pork


1/2 cup of water chestnuts, chopped


3 oz of scallions, chopped finely


2 oz grated ginger


1 tsp rice vinegar


1 tsp soy sauce


Canola oil for frying


INGREDIENTS (Dipping Sauce)

6 oz soy sauce


2 oz rice vinegar


1 tbsp red pepper flakes


1 oz honey


1 oz grated ginger


2 tbsp scallions




1) Put your flour in a large bowl and add half of your water and mix. Then add the other half. You may (probably will) need to add more water as you continue to work the dough. Once it is smooth and has a consistent texture set it aside for about 30 minutes. 


2) Heat a pan on medium to high heat and add your beef, pork ,ginger rice vinegar and soy and brown the meat and then set aside.


3) Divide your dough up into 3 parts. Roll out one part at a time on a flour-dusted surface. Then get a regular drinking glass and use it to cut out round circles in your sheet of dough. Repeat this until you’ve used all of your dough. 


4) Take the pork/beef filling and add about a tablespoon to each circle. Fold over in half, sealing up the edges. It doesn’t hurt to go around the edges with a fork and make sure each are closed up well. 


5) Add your canola oil to the pan and fry them! 


Ham, Cheese, and Spinach Puffed Pastries


2 Sheets of puff pastry

2 TBSP of unsalted butter

2 TBSP of all purpose flour

1 Cup of warm milk

1 Pinch of salt

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 lb. cooked ham/diced

2 Cups spinach, chopped

1 Cup Swiss cheese



Cut the puff pastry sheets into 5-inchsquares. Set aside in the refrigerator. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F. 


For the bechamel sauce: Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add flour and salt; cook and keep stirring for about 8 minutes. 


Pour warm milk in two or three steps and stir it constantly with wooden spoon until mixture is smooth and creamy.


Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for a few minutes. 


Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute. Add ham and cheese and stir well. Set aside.


Arrange the puff pastry squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Scoop 2 tablespoons of the bechamel mixture, top with grated cheese and close fold the pockets at the corners, closing in all that goodness.


Beat an egg, and then brush the pastries. Back in the oven for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them and pull them when they’re golden brown.  



Tomato and Basil Soup


  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes

  • 1 medium onion

  • 7 garlic cloves

  • 3 large carrots
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups vegetables broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese





Preheat your oven to 375. Chop Roma tomatoes in half, onion into chunks, crush garlic cloves, peel and chop your three carrots in half. Take all of these and your cherry tomatoes and place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for about an hour. Toss the veggies half way through. 

Remove from the oven and puree in your blender. 

Then place in the dutch oven over medium heat and add the broth, red pepper flakes, balsamic, and the basil pesto, stirring. Garnish with a few pieces of fresh mozz and a sprig of basil. 

Goes great with a baguette! 

Jude's Chocolate Chip Cookies


These are coming to you via David Leite. David, your contribution to the human race is well-received. Thank you! Jude and I made these together and had a blast! Do like David says and dont skimp on the chocolate! Get the good stuff, if you ca. Its worth it! These cookies are seriously good.


2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea Salt



  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Spicy Peanut Chicken Grilled Cheese

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce


1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon red curry paste

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste)

2 tablespoons peanuts roasted and chopped



Grilled chicken



2 chicken breasts

4 tablesppoons olive oil

4 cloves of minced garlic

salt and pepper



I know everyone knows how to grill chicken. The only

thing I do that’s a little different from some is put a slit into

the chicken breast about every 1/4 inch, add the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Lastly, grate some aged Gouda onto the bread, chop the chicken, dress the sandwich, then grill it up!


Beef Satay Burgers w/ Thai Peanut sauce, topped with Lime Slaw

Lime Slaw


3 cups finely chopped purple cabbage

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Juice of one lime

1 tbsp white sugar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

 1/4 teaspoon black pepper



Make this first. Combine all and place in the fridge until it is time to eat. 


Beef Satay Burgers



2 lb. 80/20 ground chuck

1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 teaspoons sweet yellow curry powder

1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp fresh ginger (minced)

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon black pepper


Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and assemble the burger patties.


Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce 


1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon red curry paste

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sriracha (or to taste)

2 tablespoons peanuts roasted and chopped


Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the curry and sauté for about a minute. Then add the rest of the ingredients and allow it to thicken and simmer for a few minutes. 



    Sausage Ragù

    This comes to us via Julia Moskin. You really have to do it her way. She says about two hours. However, it took me nearly four hours. It took ages to let everything caramelize together. Do it her way! I tried it again, caramelizing the veggies separately. It did NOT have the same turn out. They really need all that time together. So do that. Also, I did add a bit of red pepper flakes and they added tiny bit of kick that worked well. It may be worth trying different sausages, too. Or even do some bacon in the oven and add it. Either way, she absolutely killed it. Highly recommended if you like spending time in the kitchen on a cold/rainy/wintery day. 




    1 pound sweet Italian sausage or bulk sausage

     Extra-virgin olive oil

    1 onion, minced

    1 carrot, minced

    1 celery stalk, minced

    ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish

    1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with its juice

    1 large sprig fresh thyme

    1 large sprig fresh rosemary

    3 tablespoons tomato paste


     Ground black pepper

    1 pound tubular dried pasta such as mezzi rigatoni, paccheri or penne

    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish, optional



    With the tip of a small, sharp knife, slit open the sausage casings. Crumble the meat into a wide, heavy skillet or Dutch oven and set over medium-low heat. If the meat is not rendering enough fat to coat the bottom of the pan as it begins to cook, add olive oil one tablespoon at a time until the meat is frying gently, not steaming. Sauté, breaking up any large chunks, until all the meat has turned opaque (do not let it brown), about 5 minutes.


    Add onion, carrot, celery and parsley and stir. Drizzle in more oil if the pan seems dry. Cook over very low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables have melted in the fat and are beginning to caramelize, and the meat is toasty brown. This may take as long as 40 minutes, but be patient: It is essential to the final flavors.


    Add tomatoes and their juice, breaking up the tomatoes with your hands or with the side of a spoon. Bring to a simmer, then add thyme and rosemary and let simmer, uncovered, until thickened and pan is almost dry, 20 to 25 minutes.


    Mix tomato paste with 1 cup hot water. Add to pan, reduce heat to very low, and continue cooking until the ragù is velvety and dark red, and the top glistens with oil, about 10 minutes more. Remove herb sprigs. Sprinkle black pepper over, stir and taste.


    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil pasta until just tender. Scoop out 2 cups cooking water, drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Quickly add a ladleful of ragù, a splash of cooking water, stir well and let cook 1 minute. Taste for doneness. Repeat, adding more cooking water or ragù, or both, until pasta is cooked through and seasoned to your liking.


    Pour hot pasta water into a large serving bowl to heat it. Pour out the water and pour in the pasta. Top with remaining ragù, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese at the table, if desired.





    Aged Gouda, Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms Grilled Cheese

    Here’s more proof that grilled cheese sandwiches know no age limit. Super simple. So tasty. 



    8 oz. block of aged gouda

    8 oz. of mushrooms (slice these up)

    1 sweet onion (sliced)

    2 tbsp olive oil

    salt and pepper

    1 tbsp balsamic

    Rye Bread



    Shred the aged gouda

    Chop the onions

    Slice the mushrooms

    Heat olive oil in a pan

    Add the veggies

    Salt and pepper the veggies

    Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the veggies as needed

    Add balsamic to veggies

    Reduce for about 30 minutes


    Add cheese to bottom piece of bread

    Add onions and veggies

    Top with more gouda

    Grill in a separate skillet (in butter, of course)

    Tahini Chocolate Cakes by Florence Fabricant


    10 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pans

    ⅓ cup/25 grams unsweetened cocoa, plus more for pans

    3 tablespoons/27 grams sesame seeds

    ½ cup/60 grams all-purpose flour

    Pinch of salt

    5 ½ ounces/165 grams 70 percent dark chocolate, in pieces

    3 large eggs

    1 cup/200 grams superfine sugar

    5 tablespoons/100 grams tahini

    Zest of 1 lime

    Crème fraîche or ice cream, for serving



    Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to grease 6 half-cup muffin molds or similar, or use smaller molds. Dust molds with cocoa and sprinkle the sesame seeds in the bottom of each. Sift together remaining 1/3 cup cocoa with the flour and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

    Step 2

    Melt chocolate and remaining 10 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, or in a small, heavy saucepan on very low heat. (Watch carefully if using a saucepan.) When almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Set aside.

    Step 3

    Using a whisk or electric beater, whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stir a little of this mixture into the tahini to lighten it, then stir the tahini into the egg mixture. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the cocoa mixture.

    Step 4

    Pour the batter into the molds and set molds on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, less for smaller molds. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle should not come out clean.

    Step 5

    Cool 20 minutes or more before unmolding. Dust tops with lime zest and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.

    Adapted from “Smashing Plates” by Maria Elia (Kyle Books, 2014) 

    I discovered this recipe here –