Granola Bars

 

New Year, new me right? Dieting is not my forte because I love sweets! I created a granola bar recipe that is overall pretty healthy and truly satisfies my sweet tooth.  The toasted oats, flax and nuts combined with the honey and almond butter give these bars such a warm, comforting and rich flavor. They are the perfect afternoon pick me up and an easy way to get yourself out of bed in the morning.  Make the batch on a Sunday and enjoy them all week long. You'll never get sick of these because you can change up the mix-ins up as you wish! Maybe try dried apricots and candied ginger, or how about a cinnamon and dried blueberry with yogurt chips! Make your own variation and get featured on our Instagram! @gotroomformore or facebook.com/gotroomformore 

 

Ingredients-

  1. 2 Cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  2. 1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds (not sliced, slivered- you can also used chopped whole almonds) 
  3. 3 Tablespoons Flax Seed
  4. 6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
  5. 3 Tablespoons Packed Light Brown Sugar 
  6. 2 Tablespoons Coconut oil
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 Heaping Tablespoons of Almond Butter ( My favorite is the Classic flavor from The Nutty Spoon https://thenuttyspoon.squarespace.com/) You can order online! 
  10. 6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries or blueberries ( I used Dried Cherries)
  11. 2 Tablespoons Cocoa Nibs (I used dark chocolate coated nibs from Trader Joes but you can just use raw nibs if you like)

(Feel free to put in any mix ins that you like! Use different nuts like cashews or even put in some unsweetened coconut or sunflower seeds! )

Steps-

  1. Line a 9 by 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.(you can use a square dish too and have them a bit thicker) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the oats and almonds onto a half-sheet pan. Place the flax seed on a separate sheet pan. Place pans in the oven and toast for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Flax seeds may be faster depending on your oven so check on them frequently! You just want them lightly toasted and aromatic. 
  3. In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the Almond Butter just until it is melted and incorporated. 
  4. Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish. Sprinkle the cocoa nibs over the top and and place a piece of parchment on top and press down to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (will take a few hours or so). Cut into squares (or whatever shape you like) and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Savory Fall Tart

Puff Pastry filled with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Here you have it! An easy and impressive looking/tasting tart that will start your holiday dinner off with a bang! 

Ingredients-

  1. 1 Large Vidalia Onion
  2. Balsamic Vinegar (Just a few Tablespoons)
  3. 1 Large Butternut Squash (peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes) You can also use one package of pre cut squash if you find it at the grocery store..just makes your life easier!
  4. About 25 Brussel Sprouts( (cleaned, dried and cut in half or quarters if their very big)
  5. 5 Oz Creamy Plain Chevre Goat Cheese (can also use Cranberry goat cheese)
  6. 1 Sheet of Frozen Puff Pastry Dough, thawed (I like Pepperidge Farm) 
  7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Salt & Pepper
  9. Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  10. 1-2 Tablespoons Honey
  11. Egg wash-1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of milk

Steps-

While your caramelizing the onions roast the sprouts and squash!

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Caramelized Onions-

  1. Heat olive oil and butter, add onion slices: Use a wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan for maximum pan contact with the onions. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter (about 1 teaspoon per onion). Heat the pan on medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.

  2. Depending on how strong your stovetop burner is you may need to reduce the heat to medium or medium low to prevent the onions from burning or drying out.

  3. After 10 minutes, sprinkle some salt and black pepper over the onions, and if you want, you can add a dash of sugar to help with the caramelization process. One trick to keeping the onions from drying out as they cook is to add a little water to the pan.

  4.  Cook, stirring every few minutes: Let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. You want the onions to get nice and soft and a caramel color (but not hard and burnt!).When the onions are at this point add about 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar to deglaze the pan and create more flavor.  Let the liquid evaporate. Set onions aside. 

Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash

  1. Spread out the peeled and cut squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. 
  2. on a separate sheet pan spread out the cut Brussels Sprouts and drizzle with Olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. On separate racks in the oven, roast until fork tender and caramelized. 

Assemble the Tart- 

  1. On top of parchment or wax paper roll out the puff pastry dough until it is about a 10x16 inch rectangle. 
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of a sheet pan or rectangular roasting pan. Carefully flip the dough onto the prepared pan making sure it doesn't have any holes. Remove the parchment paper. 
  3. Leaving a 1 & 1/2 inch rim of bare puff pastry around the tart, spread on an even coating of caramelized onions. Use all of them!
  4. Then sprinkle and even layer of the Brussels Sprouts and roasted squash. 
  5. If you like, sprinkles a little red pepper flakes over the top as well as a little black pepper and salt.
  6. Drizzle a little honey over the top of the filling. 
  7. Fold in the sides of the puff pastry to create a barrier so the filling doesn't spill out. 
  8. With a pastry brush, baste the edges of the tart with the egg wash. 
  9. Bake the tart in a preheated 400F oven for 20 minutes or until the edges and bottom are golden brown. Remove from the oven and crumble the goat cheese over the top of the tart. Bake another 5 minutes or so or until the goat cheese melts slightly and everything comes together. 
  10. Option-drizzle some more honey or some balsamic reduction (you can buy at the store) over teh top of the tart for a little extra flavor and color. 
  11. Cut with a pizza wheel or knife and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta with Sausage & Wilted Spinach

It’s getting cold out here in NYC, so after a long day at work and walking around the cold, busy city, sometimes you just need a rustic, comforting meal like pasta. I love pasta because the possibilities are endless and even something as simple as pasta with butter and parmesan cheese can be oh so satisfying. With pasta simplicity is sometimes best! This recipe is simple but the flavors are bold! The fennel seed in the Italian sausage combined with the spice from the red pepper flakes, the acid from the wine, the freshness of spinach and the creaminess of the cheese…it is just delicioso! This recipe is great because it takes about as much time as it takes to boil the pasta water and cook the pasta. The sauce only requires one pan and it doesn’t need to simmer for hours, super duper easy. Enjoy!

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Feeds about 2-3 People

Ingredients-

  1. 4 Italian Sausages (Medium size) (3 sweet and 1 hot, or more hot if you like it spicy)-Remove from the casing and crumble into small pieces.
  2. 1 Large Shallot diced small (or half a medium yellow onion)
  3. 1 Bay Leaf
  4. 1 Large Garlic Clove minced fine
  5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. 1 Cup Dry White Wine
  7. ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  8. ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
  9. ¼ Cup Beef or Chicken Broth
  10. 4 Ounces Baby Spinach
  11. Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  12. ¼ Cup of Grated Parmegiano Reggiano Cheese (plus more to sprinkle on top when serving)
  13. Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  14. ½ Lb Fresh Pasta (Any type works- Tagliatelle, Fettucine, Rigatoni, Orecchiette)

 

 

 

Steps-

  1. While you are prepping the sausage boil the water for the pasta. Be sure to salt your water so the pasta is flavorful.
  2. In a large skillet on medium-low heat sweat the shallots and Bay Leaf in about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and Red Pepper Flakes just until fragrant.  
  3. Add the crumbled raw sausage into the pan and cook until cooked through and brown.
  4. Add the white wine and cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the chicken broth cream and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Allow the liquid to reduce until it is “nappant” or can coat the back of a spoon. Set aside for a moment while you cook the pasta.
  6. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. IF you are cooking fresh pasta it should only take few minutes but follow the directions on the pasta packaging.  When you drain the pasta be sure to reserve some of the liquid and set it aside in a cup or bowl.
  7. When the pasta is ready put the sausage back on the stove on medium heat. Add the cheese and stir until combined. At the very end add the baby spinach until wilted but still green. Then toss in the chopped basil.
  8. Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture.  IF there is not enough liquid to coat the pasta, add a little of the hot pasta water. To serve, top the pasta with a little more parm cheese and more fresh basil if you like.

Enjoy!

**For a variation: Add some chopped marinated Sundried Tomatoes or even swap out the spinach for some Broccoli Rabe, Chopped Broccolini or Fresh Peas.

 

 

Garlic Parmesan Wings

Growing up in a big Italian household we did not eat chicken wings…they just aren’t something Italians make! So then I went to college in Pennsylvania where you can find wings on every corner and what can I say…I fell in love! Not only did I fall in love with chicken wings, but I fell in love with a red headed, wing loving boy named Dan.  Now here we are 6 years later, living together and I’m making chicken wings for him in our tiny NYC apartment.  I try not to make the same wing recipe twice.  I am always coming up with new and innovative wing flavors that are quick and easy to execute. Here is my Italian take on chicken wings! You’ve got zesty spices and fresh herbs like rosemary, basil and garlic and the beautiful salty bite of the fresh Parmesan.

 

 

 

Feeds about 2 people

Ingredients-

  1. 2 ½ Lbs Chicken Wings (make sure the drum stick is detached from the small wing)
  2. ½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  3. ¼ Teaspoon Mustard Powder
  4. ½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  5. 1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary Chopped finely
  6. ½ Teaspoon Salt
  7. ¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  8. ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  9. 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
  10. Dash of Cayenne Pepper (or more if you like spice)
  11. 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  12. 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
  13. 2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  14. ¼ Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese or Locatelli Cheese

Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing to Serve

 

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. In a small bowl stir together the Cumin, Mustard Powder, Oregano, Rosemary, Salt and Pepper, Onion Powder, Parsley and Cayenne.
  3. Lay the chicken wings on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken wings with all of the spice mixture.
  5. Bake the chicken wings for about 20 minutes.  While the chicken is baking, mix together the butter, fresh basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt.
  6. When the chicken is cooked through, toss the wings with the butter mixture until fully coated.  Then place the wings back in the oven for about 10 more minutes until they are golden and fragrant.
  7. Serve with the ranch or blue cheese  and even hot sauce if you’d like and enjoy!

Truffle Mac and Cheese

Its an american staple...its cheesy, ooey gooey and the most coforting dish you can make. It is Mac and Cheese and it's everyone's favorite meal, whether you are 2 or 102. The only thing better than mac and cheese is mac and cheese with truffle! A small amount of good quality truffle oil can really amplify the flavors of a dish and make it taste and smell so luxurious, your guests are sure to be impressed. This recipe is not only simple, it is so creamy and flavorful you will never make that powdered stuff again!

Ingredients-

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

1 Lb Small Pasta (I use elbow macaroni)

1 Stick (8 tablespoons), melted

2 Cups Shredded Cheese Blend (I use the bag with Cheddar and Jack Cheese (not pepper jack just regular jack))

1 ¼ Cups Velveeta Cheese (use the block and cut into cubes)

2 Cups Half and Half

2 Large eggs beaten

¼ Teaspoon White Truffle Salt (or regular salt if you cant find truffle salt)

¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Plain Breadcrumbs (I use half plain breadcrumbs and half panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 Tablespoon White Truffle Oil

 

Steps-

Preheat the oven to 350F

Lightly butter a 2 ½ qt casserole dish or pyrex.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the oil. Boil the pasta for 7 minutes, do not overcook. Drain the pasta then return to the pot.

Stir the melted butter and cheeses into the pot with the pasta.

In a separate bowl, stir together the eggs, salt, pepper and half and half.

Stir it quickly into the pasta and cheese, stirring continuously until completely combined.

Pour into the buttered dish.

In a small bowl stir the crumbs with the truffle oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.

Bake the mac and cheese for 15 minutes and if the crumbs are not golden brown and crispy yet then place the dish under the broiler until crisp and golden.

 

 

 

Miso Glazed Fish

The reason why I love living in New York City so much is because I can get the best food from any  type of cuisine at any time. My sister recently introduced me to this fabulous Japanese restaurant in the West Village that is serving up some super authentic yet innovative dishes every evening. One of our favorite dishes that they serve is their Miso Black Cod. One night I decided to surprise my big sis and make my own version of this flavorful fish. The marinade is super simple and tastes good on pretty much any white flaky fish or even salmon.  I even toss veggies in it and roast them until caramelized and tender. The salty, umami flavor or the miso paste (which is fermented soy beans), along with the sweet dark brown sugar and tangy Japanese cooking wine..hello heaven! Yea let me hear you say it "Oh Ive Got Room For More!"

Ingredients-

For the Glaze- Enough for about 1 Lb of Fish (enough for 2 people)

  1. 2.5 Tablespoons White/Blond Miso Paste (I use low sodium. You can usually find it in the grocery store's refrigerated section)
  2. 2.5 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  3. 1 Large Clove of Garlic Minced
  4. 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  5. 2 Tablespoons Mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
  6. 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  7. 1/5 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger (I grate it fresh on a microplane)
  8. A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  9. A dash of ground black pepper

Garnish- Toasted Sesame Seeds and Chopped Scallions

Fish-

I use fresh Cod filets or even fresh Atlantic Salmon.  Traditionally this is made with Cod. For this amount of marinade I buy 1 Lb of fish which will feed roughly 2 people.  You can even toss your vegetables like broccoli or diced Japanese eggplant in this marinade and roast them until tender.  This marinade brings so much flavor to just about any fish or veggie!

Steps-

  1. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. 
  2. Place your fish in a ziplock bag or in a container and baste the filets with about 2-3 tablespoons of the marinade. Set the rest of the sauce aside. 
  3. Marinate the fish in the fridge for about 45 minutes, but no more than 1 hour. For the last 15 minutes remove the fish from the fridge, you don't want to start cooking it when it is ice cold.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375F. Heat up an oven proof skillet or grill pan with low sides on medium heat. Put a small drizzle of olive oil on the pan to prevent the fish from sticking. Gently place the fish onto the hot pan. Allow the fish to get slightly charred and caramelized on one side. 
  5. Take the fish off the heat when you see the fish has caramelized on one side. Do not flip it it may fall apart if you are using cod. Baste the fish with as much of the remaining marinade as you can get on it. Then place the pan in the oven so the fish can cook through. It should only take about 5-6 minutes. Just make sure the fish is flaky and not cold or raw in the center. 
  6. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and scallions over the fish and serve with your favorite veggies, rice or whatever you'd like! I love to baste some eggplant in the same marinade and roast it until tender and golden.  I also love to serve this with nice greens like sautéed garlic broccolini. 

Squash Toast

I would like to think I am not like all the other 20 something year old years, except for my taste in television shows. I have to admit I love the show The Bachelor. The drama, the unrealistic dates, the sappy proposal speeches, you just can't not get hooked! Why am I bringing this up? Well my sister, my best friend and I have Bachelor Mondays where we each take turns hosting the group for dinner and of course The Bachelor viewing. For the shows big finale, my best friend Rebecca had one wish, and that was for me to recreate her favorite appetizer from one of the best restaurants in NYC. Lucky for her, her best friend (me) is a chef, so helloooo challenge accepted and dominated, but of course I had to put my own "Got Room For More" spin on it.  I changed up the type of squash and added the beautiful nutty crunch of the toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Well lets just say I totally got the rose that night...and so did Lauren B (who we were rooting for since day 1). You go girl! Now what to do until The Bachelorette starts..sigh. We cannot wait to cheer on JoJo the newly elected Bachelorette while we stuff our faces and cry about how we don't look as good in a bikini.

Ingredients-

  1. 1  2 1/2- to 3-pound Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash or kabocha, peeled, seeded and diced into 3/4 inch pieces  (NOTE: I use one acorn squash and 1 small butternut squash. I find the blend is very nice)
  2. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the bread
  3. ½ teaspoon dried chile flakes
  4. 1 Tablespoon Honey (I like a nice wildflower honey)
  5. 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  7. ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  8. ¼ cup maple syrup
  9. 4 slices country bread, 1-inch thick ( I prefer Puglisi bread or ciabata
  10. ½ cup fresh, creamy ricotta cheese
  11.  Coarse salt & Ground black pepper to taste
  12. 4 tablespoons chopped mint
  13. 3-4 Tablespoons of toasted, hulled Pumpkin Seeds

Steps-

 

  1. Heat the oven to 450F. Combine the squash, 1/4 cup olive oil, chile flakes, honey and 2 teaspoons of salt in a bowl and toss well. Transfer the mixture to a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender and slightly colored, about 20-25 minutes or a little longer. You want the squash to be fork tender and slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, heat another 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat, add the onions and remaining teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft and darkening, at least 20 minutes.Add the vinegar and syrup, stir and reduce until syrupy and broken down, again at least 15-20 minutes or so. You want it to be a nice caramelized, cohesive mixture that has a jam like texture. 
  3. Combine squash and onions in a bowl and smash with a fork until combined. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil onto a baking sheet. Place slices of the bread onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the tops of the bread with more olive oil.  Sprinkle the bread with some ground black pepper. Toast in the oven on 400F until the bread is toasted and slightly golden, but not too toasted where it is very hard to eat. (but please toast to your liking! My grandfather likes it burnt..I mean completely burnt ;) )
  5. Spread the ricotta cheese on toasts, then top with the squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle with a small pinch of coarse salt, a little bit of the toasted pumpkin seeds and finally the fresh mint.

Korean BBQ Sauce

There is nothing better than good ol American BBQ! The combination of smoky, savory and sweet all coming together on a beautiful slab of meat that perfectly caramelizes on the fire...I mean common now! Asian flavors like soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and scallion combined with traditional american bbq flavors are a match made in heaven. As the sauce simmers and reduces down it becomes rich and robust and so darn tasty you will want to make a double batch because you will want to drink it! I love to use this sauce on baby back pork ribs, chicken wings, steak..you name it! 

Korean BBQ Sauce-

  1. 1 cup soy sauce
  2. 1 Large Bay Leaf
  3. 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  4. 2 Large Garlic Cloves minced
  5. 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon Siracha (or any hot sauce you like) (optional) 
  7. 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  8. 1 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
  9. A dash of Allspice
  10. Juice of 1/2 a Lime
  11. 1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
  12. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  13. 1 Tablespoon Honey
  14. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  15. 1 Tablespoon Water

Garnish for your Meat- Toasted Sesame Seeds, Chopped Scallions

Steps-

  1. Stir soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, rice wine vinegar, Siracha, ginger, Mustard powder, allspice, sesame oil, and black pepper together in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves; pour into boiling soy sauce mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce is thick, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Lime juice and Honey towards the end so the flavor kicks up a notch. Remove the bay leaf.
  3. Brush some sauce on your meat while it is cooking and baste it throughout the cooking period. After the meat is cooked sauce the meat to your liking and then stick it under the broiler to caramelize and then baste a little extra sauce on the meat afterwards to moisten it. When the meat is done, Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions over the top. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crumb Cake

I have to honest, this cake gets me going, it is so darn delicious! My boyfriend and I are very opposite, from our appearance to our personalities, we are pretty ying and yang, but as you know opposites attract! Something we do have in common, besides our names (Danielle and Daniel), is we LOVE Peanut butter and chocolate together, so back in September I came up with this recipe for Dan's birthday.  We are two weeks away from Christmas now and this is the perfect cake to give as gifts to coworkers, neighbors, mailmen..whomever! It is made in a large rectangular pan, so you can cut it into big squares and pack them into nice little boxes tied with holiday ribbon. If you are not a peanut butter person you can leave it out and it just becomes a double chocolate crumb cake! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients-

For the cake-

  1. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  2. 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  3. 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  4. 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 cup white sugar
  8. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  9. 3 large eggs
  10. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  11. 1/2 cup sour cream
  12. 1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter (I use Skippy)

For the Chocolate Crumbs-

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 ¼ cup sugar
  3. 2 sticks butter, melted
  4. 3/8 cup cocoa powder
  5. ¼ cup confectioner's sugar

 

Steps-

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 13inch x 9inch pan or a "jelly-roll" pan ( a pan about 15-inch by 10-inch by 2-inch) if you'd like, by greasing the pan generously with butter and dusting it with flour.  You can also line the bottom with parchment paper after you butter it if you are worried about it sticking. 

In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and espresso powder.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer or using an electric hand beater, cream the butter and sugars together.  Once the butter mixture is nice and light add the eggs one at a time until they are fully incorporated.  Next add the vanilla.

Next add the dry ingredients into the butter/egg mixture alternating with the sour cream.  

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Place the peanut butter into a microwave safe bowl, and microwave it for about 30 seconds or until it is liquidy. Drizzle the peanut butter all over the cake and then use a butter knife to swirl it lightly around the cake. You want to see the peanut butter so do not mix it completely into the batter.

Place the cake into the oven and bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes. While cake is baking, make chocolate crumb topping as follows: In a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 ¼ cups sugar, and 3/8 cup cocoa powder. Add 2 sticks melted butter and stir until mixture is thick and workable.

With your hands, pinch off chunks of the chocolate mixture and place them on top of the partially-baked chocolate cake. Continue until all of the chocolate mixture is used and the cake is evenly covered. Return the cake to a 350 degree (F) oven, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven. Do not over bake, you want it to be a little fudgy inside, but make sure it is set!

Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely. Dust the top with the confectioners sugar and enjoy! For an added touch, melt 1 cup of peanut butter chips (reeses makes them in the baking isle), in the microwave with 1 teaspoon of crisco shortening and then drizzle it over the top of the cake.  Once it hardens and cools enjoy!

 

 

Roasted Ranch Chicken

So I am a New York girl, born and raised, and where I am from Ranch dressing was not really a thing. When I was 18 this New York girl went off to college in a new land called Pennsylvania where the bagels were rolls with holes in them and the pizza, oh the pizza, it was so bad you had to drench it in ranch dressing. I will never forget the first time I saw people putting ranch on pizza, I was floored, I was disgusted! But then I tasted the pizza and quickly found myself reaching for the bottle of the tangy creamy stuff just to mask the taste of the overly sweet, poorly spiced tomato sauce. To make a long story short, after years of consuming ranch dressing in college I began to love the stuff and according to Hidden Valley the rest of America is obsessed with it too. Here is a simple chicken recipe that utilizes dry ranch seasoning which is cheap and believe it or not, super flavorful! I never thought I would be cooking with that stuff, its a little bit of an insult to my culinary degree but I won't tell if you don't tell ;) 


Ingredients-

Preheat the oven to 400F.

1 Large oven roaster chicken (about 5-6lbs) (take out the pack of gizzards inside the rear cavity and rinse off the chicken with cold water)

1 Large Ranch Seasoning Packet (I used Lipton brand) It may be by the soups in a box

1 Stick of Unsalted Butter Softened Slightly

2 Medium Size Carrots Peeled and cut into 2 inch long pieces

2 shallots cut in quarters

2 Large Stalks of Celery

Salt and Pepper

Wondra Flour (very fine flour for the gravy)

Steps-

Place the chicken with the breast up on a roasting pan. Make sure it is dry and if not pat it down with paper towels. 

Stir the entire ranch seasoning packet into a bowl with the softened butter and mix until well combined. 

Stuff the cavity of the chicken with a few pieces of carrot, celery and shallot and then place the remaining mirepoix around the chicken on the roasting pan.

Loosen the skin of the chicken with your hands gently, being careful not to tear it. Then take the seasoned butter and rub it under the skin of the chicken generously. Make sure you get the thigh area and as close to the legs as you can. Take some of the butter and rub it on the outside of the skin as well, this will give it color and help it to crisp up. Sprinkle the skin with a little salt and ground pepper, not too much salt though as the ranch seasoning has a lot of salt. 

Place the chicken in the oven and cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear and the chicken reaches 165F in the thickest part of the meat. Make sure to take the temperature of the thigh as well since the dark meat usually takes longer to cook. 

Take the chicken and place it on a cutting board and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan in a pot and as the grease settles to the top, skim the oil off and discard, leaving you with just the juice of the chicken. 

Place the drippings back on the stove in a small pot, add a tablespoon of Wondra flour at a time and whisk quickly. Cook down and add more flour until you reach your desired thickness for the gravy.

Cut up the chicken and serve with the roasted veggies from the pan and the gravy. 



Neapolitan Egg Stuffing

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is enjoying my family recipes that have been passed down for generations. For as long as I can remember I have been enjoying my grandma's Neapolitan style stuffing every Thanksgiving. The most unique part of this stuffing is that the main ingredient is not bread, it is actually egg. This stuffing will really give you a true taste of old world Naples, Italy, because it contains a few classic Neapolitan ingredients including Pine Nuts, Raisins and Prosciutto. This stuffing is sweet and savory and has a wonderful moist, eggy texture. You can make the stuffing and then put it inside the turkey before you cook the big bird, or you can make it separate like my family does. 

 

Ingredients-

  1. 10 Large Eggs (beaten in a bowl)
  2. 1 Small Mozzarella about 3/4 LB diced small (you can use a bran like Polly-O because it doesn't release as much water) 
  3. 1 Cup Raisins
  4. 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
  5. Two 10 oz Boxes of White Mushrooms- You will be using the stems only! Remove the Stems and  boil them for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Drain and dry with paper towels. Then dice into small pieces. 
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste
  7. 1/3 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (I use Locatelli)
  8. 1/3 cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  9. 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts, lightly toasted 
  10. 3 Thin Slices of Prosciutto Chopped into Small Pieces
  11. Olive Oil

 

Steps-

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. 
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan (just enough to coat the pan).
  3. Pour the stuffing mixture all at once into the pan and use a wooden spoon to push the ingredients around as they cook just like you would scrambled eggs. 
  4. Once the eggs fully scramble and the ingredients come together and the cheese is melted etc. you are all done! If you make it ahead, just pour the stuffing into a pyrex dish and then reheat in a low oven.  You can also stuff your turkey with this stuffing and tie the legs of the turkey closed so it doesn't fall out. 

Acorn Squash with Apple, Sage Cream & Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

It is that time of year again! Thanksgiving is just 10 days away! Everybody knows that the turkey is just a showpiece, we all really look forward to the side dishes! Acorn squash is the perfect Thanksgiving side because everyone gets their own little "cup" of sweet and savory goodness. This recipe is beautiful and will surely take your Thanksgiving dinner Instagram pic to the next level. The squash is rich and slightly sweet with the addition of the dark brown sugar, and then the sage yogurt cream gives it this perfect tangy flavor that cuts through the sweetness, the apples give it a nice juicy freshness and finally we top it all off with spicy toasted pumpkin seeds which give this dish the most satisfying crunch. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Ingredients-

  1. Acorn Squash- 1 half per person
  2. Dark Brown Sugar (1 Tablespoons per half)
  3. Salted Butter (1 Tablespoon per half of squash)
  4. salt and black pepper
  5. Dash of Cinnamon per squash
  6. Dash of Nutmeg per squash
  7. Pinch of Clove per squash
  8. Olive Oil to baste the squash before baking
  9. 1-2 Apples shredded on a mandolin or cut into a fine julienne (I like honey crisp apples but granny smith or macintosh are great too
  10. Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (recipe below)
  11. Sage Cream (recipe below)

Pumpkin Seeds-

 

  1. 1/3 Cup light brown sugar
  2. 2 cups pumpkin seeds shelled
  3. 1 large egg white
  4. 1teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ Teaspooon Ground Ginger
  6. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  7. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  8. a few dashes of cayenne pepper (if you like spicy you can add ¼-1/2 teaspoon)

Sage Cream-

  1. 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I use Fage 0% fat to cut calories)
  2. 6-8 Fresh Sage Leaves
  3. 1 Teaspoon Honey
  4. Small Pinch of salt and pepper

Steps-

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds-

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F
  2. Stir together all the ingredients.
  3. Spread the seeds out on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in one layer.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed up slightly and brown. Keep an eye on them because they can burn easily. Remove from the oven and stir them up a bit then pop them back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool and dry out . Sprinkle with a little extra salt if needed.

Sage Cream-

  1. In a food processor or blender, blend together the yogurt, sage leaves, honey, tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until the sage is nicely chopped up and incorporated into the yogurt.  If it is too thick to blend add a drop of water.
  2. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve. 

Acorn Squash-

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Cut the Squashes in half horizontally. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
  3. Place the squash halves on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle the insides of the squash with some olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle each squash half with salt and pepper, a dash of nutmeg, a pinch of ground cloves, and a nice sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
  5. Bake the squash for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and top each squash half with 1 tablespoon of the salted butter and 1 Tablespoon of Dark Brown Sugar and place back in the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes then remove and baste the squash with the melted butter and brown sugar from the center of the squash. Bake another 10-15 minutes  or  so, until the squash is fork tender.  Remove from the oven.

**To assemble- Top each acorn squash half with some shredded apple, a nice dollop of sage cream and then finish it off with some spiced pumpkin seeds.




Danielle's Chicken and Waffles

We all know that brunch is a GRFM specialty.  Chicken and Waffles is an iconic Southern, American dish, but this aint your mama's chicken and waffles, this new and improved.  This has everything you want in a good southern dish, but with a more refined twist.  First off my waffles are not just plain ol buttermilk waffles, they are buttermilk, cheddar, cornbread waffles! They are subtley cheesy, mildly sweet and the perfect texture.  They are crisp on the outside, but the club soda that is folded in the batter really gives them this wonderful airiness inside and the buttermilk of course gives them the perfect amount of moisture. The sweet and savory honey butter full of fresh thyme and honey just elevates the whole dish as it brings this very aromatic, floral note to the dish. The fried chicken is rather perfect if I do say so myself.  The combo of the rice flour and cornstarch along with the spices, gives the chicken the perfect, extra crispy, texture on the outside, just like your favorite fast food restaurant..but totally better.  Soaking the chicken in buttermilk and Harissa makes the meat so incredibly juicy and flavorful it almost explodes when you bite into it. How I recommend you eat this dish is, you need to eat each element of this dish all at once, in one big, messy, orgasmic bite. You need that fluffy, cheesy, corny waffle with that crispy, spicy, juicy fried chicken, the creamy, floral, salty honey butter and finally the sweet, sticky, delicious maple syrup...try not to drool on yourself there, I know you did. 

Ingredients- 

Fried Chicken

  1. 1  1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  2. 1/4 Cup Cornstarch
  3. 1/4 Cup Rice Flour 
  4. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  5. 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt plus more to sprinkle on the finished fried chicken
  6. 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  8. 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  9. 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard
  10. 1/8 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (or if you like spicy go for 1/3 teaspoon)
  11. 1/4 Teaspoon of Oregano 
  12. 1 Lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut lengthways so they are about 1  1/2 inches thick)- You can do this same recipe for chicken wings or any chicken pieces on the bone
  13. Harissa Paste (A spicy, savory pepper spread) You will use about 1 Tablespoon
  14. Buttermilk (enough to cover the chicken- about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  15. Canola Oil for frying

 

Steps-

  1. The night before you are serving up your fried chicken, you will want to do this step! When the chicken soaks in the buttermilk mixture overnight it is magical! 
  2. First you want to coat your cut chicken breasts in the Harissa paste using your hands (use gloves if you have them and don't touch your eyes!).  Make sure they are fully coated. 
  3. Stir together in a bowl the paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, ground mustard powder, cayenne and oregano. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the chicken that you tossed in the Harissa, set the rest of the spice mixture aside for later. Place the chicken in a sealable plastic container or a heavy duty ziplock bag.  Pour buttermilk over the chicken until it just covers the chicken.  
  4. Allow the chicken to sit no less than 4 hours but preferable overnight, it makes a huge difference. 
  5. The next day, fill a large dutch oven or large pot with canola oil.  You want enough oil where the chicken can be fully submerged. Heat the oil on the stove until it reaches about 360F, use an oil thermometer if you have one.  Remove the chicken from the fridge. Stir together the AP flour, rice flour, baking powder, cornstarch and the remaining spice mixture. Piece by piece, remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture and allow the excess to drip off.  Drop the chicken into the flour mixture in a sealable container or large ziploc bag. Toss to coat the chicken and then once all the chicken is coated, seal up the container or bag and shake to get the chickens really encrusted in the flora mixture. You can use your hands to press more flour onto the chicken if necessary. 
  6. Preheat your oven to 300F
  7. Fry a few pieces of chicken at a time until they are golden brown and crispy and fully cooked inside.  Remove form the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan.  Sprinkle the finished chicken with salt. As you are frying the rest of the chicken, place the finished chicken thats on the rack into the oven to stay warm and crispy.  Keeping it on the rack will keep it from getting too oily and soggy. 

Cheddar Cornbread Waffles-

Ingredients-

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup cornmeal
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1  1/3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 1 cup buttermilk
  10. 1 cup club soda
  11. 1/3 cup canola oil

Steps-

  1. Sift together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in cheese. Combine eggs, buttermilk, and canola and gently stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Next with a rubber spatula gently fold in the club soda until fully combined.  
  2.  
  3. Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray.  Spoon batter onto preheated waffle iron. Cook 3-5 minutes or until crisp and golden brown and fully cooked on the inside. Repeat with remaining batter.
  4.  
  5. Transfer waffles to a baking sheet with a wire rack, and keep warm, uncovered, in the oven at 200° until ready to serve. Waffles can be frozen in zip-top freezer bags and reheated in oven or toaster oven or oven.
  6. For the chicken and waffles- For each person, place 2 waffles on each plate, top these waffles with a dollop of honey thyme butter, few pieces of fried chicken and then drizzle it all with some maple syrup :) 

Honey Thyme Butter-

  1. Salted Butter room temperature or softened until spreadable 
  2. Fresh Thyme
  3. Honey

Stir together the butter with some fresh thyme and a good amount of honey.  Taste it and adjust according to your preference! I love a good amount of honey and thyme in mine. 

 

Peach Galette

It is Stone Fruit month at the Farmer's Market! My favorite fruit in the entire world is peaches..I mean come on, fleshy, sweet, juicy, colorful..DEEELISH! Now that we are at the peak of the season for peaches, plums and apricots, it was time to make a pie.  Now this is not any pie, this is a galette which is essentially a buttery, flaky pie dough that you fold around fresh fruits...no pie pan or tart mold needed! Once you get the hand of this simple dough recipe, you can stuff anything your heart desires inside, based on what is in season.  At the start of the summer you can do strawberries and rhubarb, in the middle of the summer you can do blueberries and in the Fall you can do Apples.  When you take a few extra minutes to nicely arrange the fruit in an elegant pattern inside the dough, you are left with a work of art! Top this warm galette with your favorite flavor of gelato like vanilla, strawberry, or even something unique like green tea and enjoy! For more culinary inspiration follow me on @Gotroomformore !

Filling:

  1. 3-4 medium Peaches, ripe but not overly ripe
  2. ¼ cup sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  4. ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 Tbsp butter

Crust:

  1. 1¼ cup flour 
  2. 1½ tsp sugar
  3. 1/3 tsp salt
  4. 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter 
  5. 4 to 6 Tbsp ice water
  6. 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract (optional)
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  8. 1 egg
  9. A Sprinkling of sugar in the raw (large granule sugar) and cinnamon for the crust
  10. 1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar

Steps: 

  1. In a large food processor with the blade attachment or in a bowl by hand, pulse 1¼ cups flour, 1½ tsp sugar and ½ tsp salt 
  2. Cut cold butter into small (1/2-inch) cubes and add it to the food processor. If doing it by hand use a pastry cutter or two butter knives and cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas. If using the food processor, push the pulse button 8 times until the butter is pea size. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the ice water  and add 1 Tbsp at a time to the flour mixture and pulse between each addition. If doing by hand just stir together with a fork until you see the dough is starting to come together. Your dough should be ready when it just begins to clump. It should take about 4-6 tablespoons of water.
  3. Form the dough into a disk. Don’t overwork it with your hands because the texture of the dough will get tough.  Just pat it into a disk shape, dust with flour on all sides and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside.
  6. Slice peaches into ½″ thick slices. Place peaches in a bowl and sprinkle with flour, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir gently being careful not to break up the peaches. 
  7. In between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough into a 12″ circle. Place the parchment paper and dough into a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the top piece of parchment. 
  8. Arrange the peaches in circles over the dough working from the outside in. Leave a 1.5″ to 2″ dough border. Discard any excess juices from the peaches, or your galette may overflow. Dot the top of the peaches with small chunks of 1 Tablespoon of  butter and sprinkle the top of the peaches with the 1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar. 
  9. Fold the edges of the gallette up and over the peaches, pinching the overlapping edges together to form a nice seal. If there are any tiny holes patch them up with dough. Brush the crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar in the raw.  Bake for 18-22 minutes until the crust is golden brown on the sides and the bottom. Let sit 15 minutes before serving. Serve with you favorite vanilla ice cream..or even green tea ice cream is fabulous with this too!

Strawberry Basil Shortcake

It is June which means it is the start of Strawberry season! In NY we can buy berries all year long, but there is a drastic difference between the berries in the winter and the berries in the early summer.  Strawberries in June are deep red throughout, they are extremely juicy and fragrant and they are as sweet as sugar! This easy recipe really showcases summer fruits, and the best part is you can use whatever you have on hand! Use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or fresh or grilled peaches! The basic buttermilk biscuit recipe is super flaky and buttery and if you want savory biscuits you can even leave out the sugar and cinnamon and add chives and cheddar or leave them plain! My strawberry filling is brought to a whole new level with the addition of fresh chopped basil...my favorite smell in the world is basil.  I always say if I could walk around with sprigs of basil under my armpits I would ;) My whipped cream filling has a little vanilla and a little almond extract which really compliment the strawberry flavor. This is the perfect 4th of July treat or for any summer night for that matter ;)

 

Shortcake (Sweet Buttermilk Biscuits)- You can leave out the sugar and vanilla for a delicious savory biscuit! Use them for egg sandwiches, biscuits and gravy and more!

Ingredients-

  1. 2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 7 tablespoons cold butter
  7. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  8. 1/2  teaspoon vanilla
  9. 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  10. Sugar in the Raw (white sugar is fine too but large granule is better)- All you need is a few teaspoons
  11. Cinnamon (a sprinkle)

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  3. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or using an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  You want the butter to be tiny pea size pieces in the flour mixture. Make sure the butter is super cold because it will only make the biscuits more flaky.
  4. Make a well in the center of butter and flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla extract; stir until just combined.
  5. Turn dough onto a floured work surface, pat together into a rectangle.
  6. Fold the rectangle in thirds. Turn dough a half turn, gather any crumbs, and flatten back into a rectangle. Repeat twice more, folding and pressing dough a total of three times.
  7. Gently roll dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Cut out 10-12 biscuits using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
  9. Transfer biscuits to the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops of biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle a decent amount of sugar in the raw on top as well as some ground cinnamon.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes.

Strawberry Basil Filling

Ingredients-

  1. 1 Lb Fresh, Ripe Strawberries sliced in 1/4 inch slices (tops removed)
  2. 2-3 Tablespoons Granulated White Sugar
  3. 4-5 Basil Leaves Chiffonade (cut into thin ribbons)
  4. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice 

Steps-

  1. Stir together the ingredients and set aside for at least 30-45 mins. You want the juice to slightly extract a little.  If it doesn't have enough juices, add a few drops of water.

Vanilla Almond Chantilly Cream- (You can use store-bought whipped cream as well)

  1. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  2. 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Steps-

Whip all the ingredients vigorously with a whisk or use hand beaters or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until it is fluffy and forms peaks.  Do not over whip or it will get grainy or even turn into butter!

To Assemble the Cakes-

Cut each warm biscuit in half, top with a heaping scoop of the strawberry basil mixture, top with the chantilly cream and then place the top of the biscuit on top.  You can even place another dollop of cream on top and then sprinkle some toasted slivered almonds over the top. 

The ULTIMATE Fish Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! Growing up in a very Italian family, I was never introduced to Mexican food.  It wasn't until I was in late High School that I experienced it for the first time when my friends took me to a local Mexican joint.  Lets just say I fell in love right away! Now Mexican food is a staple in my diet, and  it is one of the most fun types of cuisine to make especially when you are entertaining.  Last month I spent 2 weeks in sunny California, where Mexican food restaurants are on every corner, and each have something fresh and delicious to offer.  My favorite Mexican dishes have a nice balance of meaty, creamy, spicy, sweet, crunchy and zesty.  I have made many fish tacos over the past few years and I can honestly say that this is my BEST one yet.  This one has a layer of creamy, rich avocado, crunchy and sharp red cabbage and jicama slaw, crunchy, smoky Chipotle Beer Battered Fish, sweet and juicy Grilled Chili Lime Apricots and finally a silky, tangy Lime Crema. If you make these tonight for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta along side a cold margarita, you will have your family and friends salsa dancing through the house.    .

 

Feeds 4 People

Ingredients-

Crispy Beer Battered Fish-

  1. 1.5 Lbs of Fresh White Fish (I use Flounder but Cod is great too) - Make sure there is no skin or bones! Cut the filets in half long ways if they are very large.
  2. 1 Can of Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  3. 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour (You can use White Rice Flour as well) plus some extra rice flour to dredge the fish in
  4. 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  5. 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  6. 1 Large Egg
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Salt plus more to sprinkle on the hot fish when it comes out of the oil.
  8. 1/4 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
  9. 3/4 Cup of Beer (I use Budweiser) 
  10. Canola Oil for Frying

Red Cabbage & Jicama Slaw-

  1. 1  1/2 Cups Shredded Red Cabbage
  2. 1/2 Cup Peeled Jicama Shredded (Use a Mandoline or a knife to julienne the jicama into thin strips similar in size to the shredded cabbage)
  3. 3 Scallions Chopped
  4. 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  5. 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  6. 3 Tablespoons Mayo
  7. 1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
  8. A few drops of Fresh Lemon Juice
  9. Salt and Pepper to Taste 

Chili Lime Grilled Apricots-

  1. 3 Ripe Apricots cut into 1/3 inch slices (you can use peaches as well!)
  2. Mexican Chili Powder
  3. 2 Teaspoons Dark Brown Sugar 
  4. Lime Zest (about 1/3 of the zest of 1 lime) Be sure to only get the green part because the white is bitter
  5. Dash of Paprika
  6. Pinch of Salt 

Lime Crema-

  1. 1 Cup Sour Cream
  2. Juice of 1/2 Lime plus the zest of 1/2 Lime
  3. 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger Root (peeled and grated)
  4. 3 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro (you can put more if you love cilantro!)
  5. Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnishes- 

  1. Flour Tortillas (Corn Tortillas are great too)- I put mine in the oven for a few minutes to warm/soften them up 
  2. Sliced Ripe Avocados (a must!)
  3. Chopped Cilantro
  4. Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese (optional)
  5. If you like more heat add some hot sauce, Sliced Jalepenos or spicy salsa!

 

Steps-

Marinate the Fish-

  1. Open the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and pour it into a container.  
  2. Place the fish filets in the container and rub the sauce all over the fish.  Set in the fridge for about 45 mins to an hour while you are making all the other elements of the dish. 

Red Cabbage & Jicama Slaw-

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the Vinegar, Mayo, Dijon, Celery Seed, Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper.
  2. In a larger bowl toss together the Shredded Red Cabbage, Shredded Jicama and Chopped Scallion. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss until evenly coated. Set aside in an air tight container int the fridge.  You can do this a day ahead or a few hours ahead if you'd like so the flavors meld together.

 

Lime Crema-

  1. In a food processor blend all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if need be.
  2. Set in the fridge covered until its time to eat.

Chili Lime Apricots-

  1. Gently toss the sliced Apricots with the brown sugar, lime zest, a few dashes of Mexican Chili Powder and one dash of Paprika and a pinch of salt. Make sure they are evenly coated. 
  2. Heat an indoor grill pan or skillet on medium high heat. When it is nice and hot wipe the pan with a little bit of canola or olive oil so the fruit doesn't stick.
  3. Grill the Apricots on both sides until they are nice and caramelized on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Beer Battered Fish-

  1. In a shallow, side dish whisk together the 1/2 cup rice flour, AP flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and egg.  Slowly whisk in the beer.
  2. Heat a deep skillet on medium heat and add the canola oil until nice and hot.  To test if the oil is ready, place a drop of batter into the oil and if it starts to brown and float to the top and bubble up around it then the oil is ready.
  3. Take the fish out of the adobo sauce and dredge it in rice flour on all sides until it is covered.  Then gently dip the fish in the batter allowing the entire filet to get coated, then let the excess drip off.  Quickly lay the fish in the hot oil.
  4. Cook the fish on one side until it is nice and crispy and golden brown then using tongs gently flip the fish onto the other side.  Cook until golden and then transfer onto a pan lined with paper towels to get ride of excess grease.  Sprinkle with more salt when it is hot.  Be careful not to crown the fish in the hot oil because the temperature will go down and you will have soggy fish.  Do it in batches or have two pans going at once so you can cook it all at once.

Build your Tacos!-

In a warm tortilla place a few slices of ripe avocado. 

Place a nice scoop of the cabbage jicama slaw on top of the avocado.

Place a piece of the crispy fish on top.

Place a few sliced of the grilled chili lime apricots on top of the fish 

drizzle it all with the Lime Crema and then top it with a little chopped cilantro and any other toppings you'd like, including Mexican shredded cheese, diced jalepenos or salsa.  In my opinion salsa is not needed because the apricots give the taco a nice juiciness and fruitiness that a mango salsa would do!

 

 

 

Matcha Almond Cake

Lets just say that New York is Mad about Matcha! Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown green tea. What's great about Matcha is that it is incredibly versatile.  Matcha has many health benefits and will give you an energy boost without the crash and caffeine withdrawal that coffee gives you.  As a caffeine sensitive person, trust me this is a great way to start your day.  The obvious way to enjoy matcha is as a hot beverage, but in recent years it has been popping up in all sorts of recipes, from ice cream to crepes and even in savory dishes like sauces and rubs. Last week I stopped by a new NYC brunch hotspot called Egg Shop, down on Elizabeth Street in Soho.  Normally I opt for the traditional mimosa when I have brunch, but when perusing this menu the Matcha Almond Latte jumped out at me.  The latte consisted of steamed almond milk and matcha powder and had this incredible earthy and mildly sweet flavor.  When you first try Matcha you may think it is a little bit grassy in flavor, but do not give up right away!  Trust me as you continue to drink it or eat it, it will grow on you and you will find it extremely pleasant.  After I had this latte, the chef in me began to ponder ways I could use it in an original recipe for GRFM.  I loved the almond and green tea flavors together, so I decided to make a delicious tea cake that you can eat for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack.  I originally wanted to make a very dense poundcake style loaf, but in the end I ended up with a moist but fluffy loaf that will be awesome with a cup of tea or coffee and a great asset to my next brunch spread.  If you love green tea..give this one a go!

Ingredients-

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour

  2. 1   1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt

  4. 1/2 cup butter

  5. 5 oz  cream cheese softened

  6. 2  1/2 Teaspoons Matcha Powder

  7. 3/4 cups white sugar

  8. 2 large eggs

  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  10. 3/4 teaspoon almond extract

  11. About 1/3 Cup Slivered Almonds

Glaze-

  1. 1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  2. Fresh Lemond Juice
  3. Almond Extract
  4. Water

Steps-

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F . Grease (with butter) and flour a loaf pan.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the Matcha Powder, vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. DO not over mix! Do it by hand if you want to prevent over beating. 
  4. Spread into prepared pan and sprinkle some slivered almonds evenly over the top.  You can put as much or as little as you want or none at all! I think it adds a wonderful crunch to the top of the cake.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes,then turn out onto a wire rack.  Quickly put together the glaze while the cake is still pretty hot. 
  6. Stir together the confectioners sugar, a few drops of fresh lemon juice, a drop of almond extracts (remember it is very strong and concentrated so a drop is enough) and a few tablespoons of water until it is a loose glaze consistency.  Next drizzle it over the top with a spoon and brush the sides of the cake with the glaze using a pastry brush.  When the cake cools the sugary glaze will leave a nice sugary crust on the outside. 
  7. Enjoy!

Lebanese Brussel Sprouts

One of my favorite things about living in NYC is that you can find any cuisine from any part of the world, no matter how obscure.  One of my top 5 favorite cuisines is Lebanese food.  Of course the hummus, Babaganoush, lamb dishes and Tabbouleh are second to none, but one of my favorite Lebanese restaurants in town, has the best brussel sprouts you will ever taste.  So good that I did everything in my power to figure out the recipe.  After a few trial runs I came pretty darn close to the recipe! These are perfect for your next dinner party or holiday celebration!  They are nutty and sweet and umami and they take you on a flavor journey. This dish consists of Brussel Sprouts, a mint yogurt sauce, fig jam, toasted walnuts and sliced red grapes.  With each bite and each breath you will be introduced to new flavors and textures. A great recipe isn't one dimensional, it makes you experience and array of different flavors as you are eating it. This gorgeous dish is sure to impress!

brussel fig.jpg

 

Ingredients- 

  1. 1/2 Cup Water
  2. 10 Dried Black Mission Figs (cut the stems off)
  3. 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  4. 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  5. About 18 oz Brussel Sprouts (I use two round containers you buy in the grocery store)
  6. Olive Oil
  7. 3/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I like to use Fage brand)
  8. 1  Garlic Clove Minced 
  9. 2 Heaping Teaspoons Tahini Paste (Sesame Paste)
  10. 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
  11. 1  1/2  Tablespoons Fresh Mint Chopped
  12. 1/2 Cup Red Seedless Grapes Sliced Thin
  13. 1/3 Cup (or more depending on what you like) of Lightly Toasted Walnut Halves
  14. Salt and Pepper to taste

Steps-

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Prepare the Fig Jam by placing the dried figs, the water, sugar and vinegar in a small pot.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook the figs until they rehydrate and almost all of the liquid is evaporated and whatever is left is syrup like.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and then place in a food processor or blender until smooth and jam like.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare the Yogurt Sauce by blending the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Fresh Mint, Garlic, Tahini, and a dash of Salt and Pepper. 
  4. Wash and dry the Brussel Sprouts and cut the tough core off the bottom.  Slice each sprout in half or in quarters if they are really big.  You just want them bite size.  Lay them on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and drizzle them with olive oil , the 2 Tablespoons of Sherry Vinegar and salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven until they are golden brown and crispy on the edges and tender inside. 
  5. Place the Brussel Sprouts in a bowl and toss them in a few spoonfuls of the yogurt sauce and a few spoonfuls of the fig jam, and the toasted walnuts.  You do not want them saturated in it, you just want them to pick up some of the flavor.  
  6. Plate them on on a nice serving dish and sprinkle some more of the nuts nicely on top along with a nice sprinkle of the sliced grapes.  Using a spoon drizzle some more of the yogurt sauce on top and then dot some more of the fig jam on top.  Garnish with more fresh mint if you'd like.