Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Kabobs

If you’ve been to NYC you’ve seen the halal food carts that park on just about every street corner and serve up a variety of kabobs, gyros, rice concoctions, and mystery combo meals. You’ve also probably eaten at one of … Continue reading

Tomatoes en Papillote with Eggplant Rollatini

Freshly picked tomatoes are dead sexy. Their skin is warm to the touch, smooth, and a rich red that screams to be bitten into. When you do, the flesh inside initially resists before giving way and melting in your mouth … Continue reading

Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto

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Grilled Leg of Lamb with Mint Pesto (Serves 6-8)
  • LAMB
    • 3 1/2 -4 1/2 lb Butterflied Leg of Lamb
    • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/2 cup chopped mint
    • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • MINT PESTO
    • 1/2 cup mint
    • 1/3 cup parsley
    • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Coat lamb in olive oil and lemon juice. Combine Salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs in a small bowl. Press into the lamb and let sit covered in a cool room for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hrs.
  2. Start grill. It should be VERY HOT.
  3. Blend all pesto ingredients together in a blender, set aside.
  4. When the grill is hot, lift the lamb from the marinate, allowing excess oil to drip off and place on the hottest part fatty side down. Because of the oil and herbs it will probably flair up. That’s awesome. Just step back so you don’t burn your eyebrows off.
  5. Grill for ~10 minutes per side depending on the size of the roast. Note: grill longer if you don’t like your meat rare/medium rare.
  6. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably longer, before slicing. Top with mint pesto and serve with warm pita, grilled vegetables, and tzatziki sauce.

Crispy Skinned Salmon Over Rice with Wilted Spinach

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Need a simple dinner that’s healthy and sure to wow?

  1. Cook a pot of rice.
  2. Sauté minced shallots and chives in butter over medium heat.
  3. Pat salmon dry, season, and place in a VERY hot pan with coconut or peanut oil skin side down.
  4. Throw spinach into pan with shallots and chives. Turn heat to simmer and stir.
  5. After 4 minutes flip salmon, cook for 1-2 minutes before removing to paper towels. This will produce rare salmon with crispy skin. To ensure crisp skin, use a flexible metal spatula and do not try to flip the salmon until it releases easily from the pan.
  6. Pour a little bit of warm cream into the spinach.
  7. Plate.

*Note: The skin is not only edible, but delicious. If you won’t at least try it you are reprehensible.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted butternut squash with pumpkin seeds is a side for roast chicken (https://pippacooks.com/2013/10/11/spatchcock-roast-chicken/)

Roasted butternut squash with pumpkin seeds is a side for roast chicken (https://pippacooks.com/2013/10/11/spatchcock-roast-chicken/)

It finally feels like fall! Fall means fall food which is just about the most homey and comforting food there is. I turn to butternut squash, homemade pasta, hearty sauces, and bolder cuts of meat. Roasting butternut squash releases it’s natural sugar. It balance this out, it is important to layer on other flavors. In this recipe I used rosemary, thyme, and pumpkin seeds. I also recommend cayenne pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pumpkin Seeds (serves 2-3)

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash or 2 packages of pre-peeled butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel and cube squash.
  3. Toss with pumpkin seeds, thyme, olive oil, and salt to taste.
  4. Spread on lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes (turning with a wooden spoon after 10 minutes) or until soft.

Weeknight Loaded Mac & Cheese

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The other night I looked at the clock and it was 9:30pm. I hadn’t had dinner yet, was starving, and had lots of work left to do. I had two options: delivery or get creative. Not one to turn down a challenge, I decided to get creative.

When you need to cook a meal fast it is all about deciding on an easy base. My go-to is Annie’s Mac & Cheese. I grew up on Annie’s and I still love it. It is never a bad pick. Rummaging through the fridge, I pulled out butter (duh), milk, asparagus, a shallot, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and bacon (why not?). Next, I headed to the pantry for some bread crumbs and olive oil.

When you make a loaded Mac & Cheese the key is to use up the stuff you have in your fridge. Cauliflower? Throw it in! Brussels Sprouts? Chop those suckers up! Mushrooms? I am in love!

This takes a grand total of 30 minutes max. and the left overs are to die for.

Weeknight Loaded Mac & Cheese (feeds 2-3) 

  • 1 box Annie’s Mac & Cheese + ingredients box calls for (typically milk and a little butter)
  • 1 medium shallot sliced thinly
  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • 1.5 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1.5 cups chopped asparagus (1″ long chunks)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  1. Cook pasta till al dente.
  2. Cook bacon in a small oven-safe skillet or caste iron pan. When crisp, remove from pan and chop coarsely.
  3. Sauté shallots and mushrooms in bacon fat.
  4. When soft, add asparagus, season, and cover until steamed (about 8 minutes)
  5. Make ‘cheese sauce’ in a small bowl following the boxes instructions. Set aside.
  6. Combine breadcrumbs and butter in small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Add cooked pasta, bacon and mozzarella to vegetables, stir until combined evenly.
  8. Pour cheese sauce over top of the pasta mixture.
  9. Top with breadcrumbs and some black pepper.
  10. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
  11. Enjoy!

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