Butternut Squash Medallions with Toasted Squash Seeds, Browned Butter, and Fried Sage

I’ve been on a butternut squash and browned butter kick lately. Perhaps it is because it’s a delicious combo, but it’s probably because it’s a really inexpensive delicious combo. Squash is a very versatile fall and winter veggie that I … Continue reading

A Twist on A Classic Mignonette

 

 

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Mignonette, the acidic sauce served beside or on top of oysters, helps to balance out oysters salty sweetness. You might not make one often, but having a mignonette in your cooking repertoire is a must. This is especially true as the weather heats up and summer barbecues fill our calendars. When you pick up your oysters, say no to the sickly sweet cocktail sauce and whip up your own quick mignonette. This recipe uses the milder and more nuanced white balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar and makes enough for one dozen oysters, scale up as needed and serve in a small dish.

Mignonette

  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp minced parsley

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

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Oh pasta, how I love you. Carbs are a good friend of mine as are bacon, eggs, and cheese, all key ingredients in the Italian classic carbonara. It’s a simple dish but also an easy dish to mess up. Add the pasta without tempering the eggs first and you might end up with an unappetizing scramble.

I topped my carbonara with a bunch of green beans because veggies are important and I like my veggies covered in silky sauce and bacon. Traditional carbonara is veggie-free and so I apologize to all you traditionalists, go authentic by going veggie-free. Using dried pasta is also important. Fresh pasta is amazing, but it actually doesn’t hold onto sauce as well as dried pasta. More important than carbonara’s veggie-less state or pasta is the black pepper. Go big or go home as freshly cracked black pepper gives carbonara the blast of flavor that it’s iconic for.

Spaghetti Carbonara (Serves 4)

  • 3/4-1 lb dried spaghetti
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated or shaved parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lots of cracked black pepper
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Cut bacon into 1/2″ pieces and cook until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Save 1 tbsp of bacon fat.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  3. Whisk 2 eggs in a large heat proof bowl. Add bacon fat, parmesan, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Whisk together.
  4. Cook pasta till al dente.
  5. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup water.
  6. Slowly pour hot pasta water into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously.
  7. Add bacon and pasta to the mixture. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Mozzarella & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken with a Side of Kale

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Deglazing a pan with beer turned out, to my surprise, to be the best idea EVER. Last night I arrived home at 9pm, ridiculously heavy grocery bags in hand. I was so hungry and tired that I was tempted to pull out a Trader Joe’s frozen meal, pop it in the oven, and put my feet up. Somehow I held out and got to cooking. A little over 30 minutes later I had sautéed kale and chicken stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto on my plate with more in the fridge for future lunches. The best part? Halfway through cooking I decided to pop open a Brooklyn Brewery Lager. After cooking the chicken I realized that it would be smart to deglaze the pan before adding the kale so that the kale would be flavorful with minimal work. Without a red wine open I turned to the next best option, my recently opened lager. It did the trick!

Mozzarella & Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken with a Side of Kale (Serves 2) 

  • 4 thin (<1/4″) slices of low moisture mozzarella
  • 2 slices of Prosciutto
  • 2 Chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 4-5 cups uncooked kale, chopped
  • 1 Brooklyn Brewery Lager
  1. Place 2 slices of mozzarella and 1 slice of prosciutto on each chicken breast. Roll up (similar to a jelly roll) and fasten with toothpicks if necessary.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat, drizzle with olive oil, and place chicken in. Brown on all sides before covering. After ~10 minutes remove lid and continue to cook until all liquid has evaporated from the pan. Test chicken for doneness. When cooked through, remove from pan and let rest.
  3. Keeping pan over the heat, add kale and then pour in 3-4 tbsp of beer. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, until all of the yummy goodness is mixed in. Continue to cook kale, stirring occassionally, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon kale onto plate, top with 1/2″ thick slices of chicken breast.
  5. Eat up alongside the rest of your beer!