Sometimes you get into a culinary rut and as much as you want inspiration to strike, it’s not coming. For this distancedishes date, Amanda had a night to herself and treated herself to a dinner she found quite exciting. Feeling a bit gloomy and uninspired that weekend, I was much more excited to lay in the fetal position and feel sorry for myself. Still wondering what I would make, even a few hours before our skype session, I thought that I would make something for those nights when nothing sounds good.
Sometimes, you’ve just been really on point all week and you’re just tired of bringing it. Sometimes you feel like you’ve been doing the same old thing for all your dinners lately and everything is so…blah. Sometimes, its a weeknight and you had a long day at work and just need food. Sometimes, you don’t want to deal but your tummy is still a-grumblin. All of that is fine. You should still probably eat though.
I know there have been quite a few pizza type things from me lately, but it’s so easy if you take a few shortcuts and I’ve been in the mood for easy lately, okay? It’s comfort food with its cheesy and bready goodness and you can make it as easy or fancy as your heart desires (and depending on where you are in your food rut). A buffalo chicken pizza is pretty low maintenance, especially if you get creative with the crust (go store-bought, or hey, use a tortilla, whatever). It’s a nice break from the traditional tomato and cheese flavors but still so comforting. Give it a try when you’re feeling good or just need a break, it’s great for all times!
- 1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (however you wanna get there, store bought rotisserie, some instant pot breasts, or just bake)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (plus a little extra)
- 3-4 green onions, chopped with whites and greens divided
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing.
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- Salt & Pepper as desired.
- Pizza crust of your choice (see above–yeah I did not go homemade this time)
- Cornmeal for dusting
- Preheat your oven to 425°F for at least 30 minutes.
- To make the buffalo chicken spread, stir together shredded chicken, cream cheese, hot sauce, the whites of the green onions and salt and pepper if you would like. If you’re using cold chicken, it may take some effort for this to come together and I would recommend a stand mixer. If you’re really not feeling cooking, you can stop here, warm this up and curl up with a bowl of this and some corn chips and dip to your heart’s content. We usually make this as just a dip for potlucks (some ranch dressing in it makes it even better!).
- Roll our pizza crust onto a peel or baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Brush your ranch dressing onto the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch unbrushed on the outside all over.
- Spread your buffalo chicken spread evenly onto the pizza and top with the mozzarella cheese evenly. Sprinkly the greens of the green onions on top.
- Bake on the baking sheet or pizza stone/steel (or both) for 20-25 minutes until crust is cooked, cheese is melted and a little bubbly, and everything is a little golden. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing–everything usually becomes a melty mess if I try it before cooling. Drizzle a little extra hot sauce over the pizza so you feel fancy, slice, serve and enjoy while you await for culinary inspiration to return to your life.
Wine Pairing: ugh, I don’t know, what do we even have? Yeah ok, pour me some of that.
But seriously if you have more energy than I had, a dry Rose, Riesling or even Champagne would be a nice match.
With the turn of the season and the heat in full swing, something about the start of the summer makes me want to entertain. For this theme week, we wanted to do some easy appetizers with a running theme that could be crowd-pleasers without being too much effort. While Amanda did amazing and fancy things with Balsamic Vinegar, I decided to go a little more “game day” with a series of sliders.
Since I was making a couple options, I knew I didn’t want any one type to dominate my time. With the electric pressure cooker to do the heavy lifting for the pork sliders, I was freed up to work on the other two options. I thought I’d cover my bases with the shredded pork in the pressure cooker, ground buffalo chicken sliders with ranch dressing and a vegetarian option of goat cheese and zucchini sliders. The zucchini was the surprise hit, and the herb yogurt sauce was such a great addition to this yummy little snack.
It is worth mentioning, if you don’t feel like standing over a pan or two waiting for all of these little patties to cook, you could always make these full size. Or if you don’t think this is enough slider options, check out our previous burger recipes, the Greek Chicken and Chickpea burgers which could easily be divided into more patties just before cooking.
Blackberry Pulled Pork
- 12 oz fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 pork tenderloin (can also use about 1 lb pork shoulder preferred)
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Slider Buns
- Generously coat your pork tenderloin with salt and pepper on all sides. Add it to your instant pot along with the chicken broth. Seal your instant pot and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally when done.
- After the pressure has been released, remove the pork tenderloin and shred the meat with two forks. Return the shredded meat to your instant pot to keep warm while you cook the sauce.
- In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, stir together the blackberries and wine. Allow the mixture to boil and reduce by half, stirring occasionally. About 10-15 minutes.
- When reduced, pass the mixture through a sieve to filter out any seeds and bits of berry.
- Place some of the shredded pork on a slider bun and top with a spoonful of the sauce. These are now ready to serve and enjoy!
*Mer’s Note: So there are some flavor combinations that are just classic, and I completely forgot Amanda did something similar previously. Because I was trying this one as a keto recipe, you might want to check out hers as an alternative as well. Both could be converted into sliders!
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
- 1 lb of ground chicken
- 5 tbsp buffalo sauce
- 1 stalk celery finely minced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 3 green onions, greens and whites minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Ranch Dressing to serve
- Slider buns to serve
- Combine the ground chicken, buffalo sauce, celery, carrot, green onions, 1 tsp salt & pepper, garlic powder and breadcrumbs. Combine with your hands until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Separate the mixture and form/flatten into 16 equal patties.
- In a large pan over medium heat or a grill, cook the patties for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Place the cooked patties on slider buns and top with a dollop of ranch dressing to serve. Enjoy!
- 2 medium zucchinis, coarsley shredded
- 1 tsp salt plus a pinch extra for seasoning zucchini
- 2 oz herb goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cup panko breadcrumbs
- Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp neutral, high smoke point oil (like canola)
- Slider Buns to serve
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- Sprinkle the zucchini with the pinch of salt and squeeze the shredded zucchini over a sieve and sink to release as much water as possible. If time allows, wrap the zucchini in paper towels and place in the sieve with something heavy on top to drain over an empty container for 30 minutes to an hour. While allowing the zucchini to drain, mix together your yogurt sauce.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, herbs and lemon juice together and allow to sit in the fridgefor at least 30 minutes for the flavors to come together.
- Once you have released as much moisture from the zucchini as possible, combine the zucchini with the goat cheese, Parmesan, oregano, garlic powder, and the egg. Mix together and form into 16 flat patties (they will be very delicate).
- In a wide bowl or container, combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining salt and pepper to your liking. Meanwhile, heat a large pan with the oil over medium heat. Dip each zucchini patty into the breadcrumb mixture until you have an even coating and transfer directly to the heated pan. Until cooked, these patties are very delicate so I would recommend as little handling as you can manage.
- Heat the patties for about 1-2 minutes on each side until a brown and crispy, and the egg firms up the patty a little bit.
- Transfer to a slider bun and top with a dollop of your yogurt sauce to serve. Enjoy!
One of the new kitchen toys Amanda received for Christmas was a baking steel. I had acquired one over the summer in an impulse purchase and we both love when one of us gets a new kitchen gadget upgrade. While we’ve both made a few recipes on our baking steels independently (let me tell ya, it’s a game changer), we decided to really test them out we needed a flatbread theme night. I had recently tried an out of the bow Asian-fusion pizza place and so I was interested in making something a little different than the normal pizzas. As you can probably tell from my trend of recipes, tomatoes don’t really excite me, and so traditional pizza doesn’t really excite me (much to my husband’s frustration). So for this DistanceDishes night, I wanted to make a pizza with some non-traditional theme and without tomato sauce.
Amanda’s Korean Styled pizza turned out excellent, and I will be making her recipe in the very near future as just her picture of the result made my mouth water (and you know how I feel about anything Bulgogi related). I wanted mine to be different enough, so I bring you the South American flavors in a flatbread with delicious chimmichurri as the sauce alternative. Each bite was an explosion of flavor, and so satisfying. If you don’t feel up for making a whole pizza out of these ingredients, the steak marinade is worth checking out alone. I was sneaking some bites as I assembled, and no part of this recipe disappoints. Don’t worry if you don’t have a baking steel, a stone or baking sheet will work just fine.
Steak Marinade Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp aji amarillo (Optional)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Finely grated lime zest
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp Sharp Paprika
- 1 lb flank steak or skirt steak, cut into large strips
- Whisk together all the marinade ingredients and pour over steak strips in a shallow dish or plastic bag. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
- After, remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry. In a skillet over medium-high heat, sear the strips of steak so that they have a nice brown color on the outside and are rare on the inside. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then cut the strips into 1/2 inch cubes. This can be done ahead of time, or while your pizza oven is preheating.
Chimichurri Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup curly parsley
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro
- 1 tsp dried mexican oregano
- 7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Juice 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Roughly chop the parsley, cilantro and the garlic in a small bowl or blender. Add the oregano, pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice and olive oil and stir to incorporate.
- Using an immersion blender (or the regular blender), pulse to for break up the herbs and garlic until you have a paste-like consistency, but can still make out individual herb pieces. It should be only about 10-20 seconds of blending needed. Store the sauce in the fridge until ready to assemble your pizza.
- Pizza crust of your choice, go as store bought or homemade as you want
- Cornmeal for the bottom (if desired–you could also use semolina flour if you’d like)
- Diced Red Onions
- Diced Avocado
- Fresh Cilantro
- Diced Bell pepper
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Shredded Oaxaca Cheese
- Chimichurri sauce from recipe above
- Steak, cut into cubes from recipe above.
- Preheat oven to 450°F, and if you are using a stone or a steel, turn your oven on for at least 30 minutes before cooking so that the stone/steel can thoroughly heat.
- Roll out your pizza crust if needed. If transferring to a stone, sprinkle the back of a baking sheet or a pizza peel with cornmeal to form an even layer. Otherwise, sprinkle your baking sheet with cornmeal on the actual baking side. Place your pizza crust on top of this layer.
- Spread a layer of the Chimichurri sauce over the crust, top with the above listed toppings in the distribution of your choice. Place your baking sheet in the oven or slide the pizza off of the back of the baking sheet or peel and onto your stone/steel.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is slightly golden and cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Wine Pairing: Even though we’re talking steak here, with all the spices in the marinade and pizza sauce, I think a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc would be a really nice pairing with the spicy flavors.
I originally bought my slow cooker with the intention to never be limited by its size when I wanted to make a meal, which turns out to have backfired. I bought a larger model so that I could cook large, cheap cuts of meat without thinking about the leftover implications. Usually when I use my full sized crockpot, those leftovers sit in the fridge for far too long with my excitement over eating a crockpot creation waning with each reheating (chili again?),. Sure, I could freeze soups for another day, but my freezer is pretty full and since I’m mostly cooking for two, the slowcooker does not make an appearance as often as it should in my home. So, when Amanda and I decided on slow cooker theme week, I knew I needed to make something that would keep me coming back for more.
So as not to get too tired of those leftovers, I knew my plate after the night of the wonderful slow cooker whole chicken dinner had to look different enough to entice me. Chicken is so versatile, and I decided to shred what I did not devour on the first night to turn into a healthy and fresh wrap for the following evening. The result, I think I liked even better than the original intended slow cooker meal. What’s that you say? This wrap looks so delicious but you don’t have the time to cook a whole chicken and deal with that whole other recipe? Well, this one could easily be made into a weeknight meal with some leftover grocery store rotisserie chicken or quick pressure cooked chicken breast–whatever floats your boat. I think this recipe will be making an appearance whenever I get that magical combo of feeling lazy but also wanting to stay pretty healthy (that’s a lot…it happens a lot…).
Oh, and if you do happen to shred your own whole chicken for this recipe, be sure to save the bones to make some broth, like Amanda does (you could even do it in the slow cooker)! That can help turn one slow cooker Sunday into a week of dinner delights.
- 1 cup of shredded cooked chicken
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
- 1 tsp za’atar seasoning
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
- Cucumber, seeded and sliced thin
- Bread wrap of your choice
- Whisk together your za’atar, lemon juice, 1 tsp of salt and oil to create an emulsion vinaigrette.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette over your cup of shredded chicken with an additional 1/2 tsp of salt and mix
- Spread a layer of your hummus onto your wrap bread to create a cement for the rest of your ingredients.
- Add a layer of spinach, chicken, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese. Drizzle an addition tsp of your vinaigrette over all of your ingredients and close your wrap as tightly as you can. Slice in half if desired and enjoy!
If you wanted to go the pita route, that’s a delicious option as well!
Wine Pairing: I really want to sit outside on some Mediterranean island while enjoying this wrap and in my mind, a chilled Rose just works with that image. Something medium bodies would stand up nicely to all the acid in this wrap, while also keeping with the lighter feel of the whole experience.
I’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks! Between having the pleasure of visiting Amanda in Tampa (and running a very humid half marathon together), road tripping to Iowa on another adventure and driving to and from the St. Louis airport a few times in the last few weeks I was beat. Plus, somehow while I was away, my oven heating coil suspiciously decided to snap–the maintenance men said “it happens” but I still have my doubts what happened :). So, when Amanda and I were brainstorming themes for this week’s skype date, we were all about that low effort deliciousness. I’ve written about the benefits of using the slow cooker in the summer, but really the slow cooker is great all year round for so many reasons. Between my strong desire to be lazy on the day or our date and the fact my oven was out of commission, this slow cooker meal was just what I needed.
I decided to do a whole chicken and vegetables for this meal, and while Amanda has done a traditionally cooked whole chicken dinner here before, I decided to mix up the spices a bit so that I could repurpose the leftovers into something delicious the following night. I even saved the bones so that I could make chicken stock, as Amanda demonstrated previously. The flavors are light and remind me of a warmer season, which makes this a nice choice for both the summer and winter. Plus, if you ever make this chicken for a dinner party, they’d never know how little prep and effort this really takes!
- 1 tbsp za’atar seasoning
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 whole chicken, giblets and neck removed if applicable
- 2 tbsp softened butter
- vegetables of your choice to line the bottom of the slow cooker (I used 2 potatoes, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, and 1 zucchini)
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters
- 2-3 stalks of thyme
- 1/2 bulb of garlic (ish)
- Mix together the above spices listed (from za’atar to oregano) and the salt.
- Chop your vegetables into large chunks (since it will be cooking for a long time, you don’t want them to be so small they fall apart), and add them to the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Miz your softened butter with your blended spices to form a butter paste. Spread generously over your chicken and try to get some under the skin on the breasts and legs if possible.
- Stuff 1 quarter of your lemon (add the rest to your vegetable layer in your slow cooker), at least 5 garlic cloves and a quarter to half of an onion (whatever you can fit) into the cavity of your chicken. If you have garlic leftover, sprinkle amongst your veggies.
- Place the chicken on top of your veggies, cover with your lid and cook on low for 8 hours. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165°F at the end of the time period, and return to the cooker for additional time if needed.
- Optional: If you would like crispy skin on your bird, move your chicken to a baking sheet and broil in the oven on normal setting for 2-5 minutes depending on the strength of your broiler (keep an eye on it! Mine goes from perfect to charred mess in about 2 seconds).
- Carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and carve, and enjoy with your cooked vegetables as well. You can shred any remaining chicken for a variety of recipes. This one fed me for a few more meals so stay tuned for how I repurposed my leftovers!
Wine Pairing: Since this one is light with a hint of lemon, I think a perfectly chilled Pinot Grigio would be a nice light pairing to go with these yummy flavors.
With the Winter Games happening earlier this year, Amanda and I wanted to celebrate those South Korean flavors much like we did with the Summer Games in Brazil. There’s nothing quite like taking a huge bite of delicious food from the comfort of your couch while watching athletes in their physical prime work their hardest for gold. I know bulgogi is one of the best known foods from Korea, but to me it does have a special place in my heart.
Back when my preferences were only for chicken nuggets and french fries, my parents had a favorite sandwich place near our house that specialized in bulgogi sub sandwiches. They would often treat themselves to a foot-long and the aromas would permeate the air in the car as they brought them back home, often lingering for days. While anything with such a name I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole at the time, I remember loving that smell. Years later when my eyes were opened to the deliciousness of bulgogi, I still lament that I never had the chance to try that sub (and duh, anything that smells that great should taste so amazing). With this theming, this seemed like the perfect chance to create my version! I’ve come a long way since then; I mean I even added vegetables voluntarily! The fresh crunch of the veggies with the bold flavors of the mayonnaise and bulgogi really make this sandwich a memorable treat and I encourage you to try your own, even though the games are long over now.
- 2 lbs of thinly sliced sirloin or ribeye*
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 tbsp minced garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 onion, diced (4 green onions also work)
- Black pepper
*If you can’t find thinly sliced beef, you can pop your preferred cut into the freezer for 30 minutes and then slice as thinly as you can manage.
- Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the beef in a shallow dish or zip-top bag. Allow to marinate for at least one hour, ideally overnight.
- When you are ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and remove the beef from the marinade. Sear the beef in batched so as not to overcrowd the pan, until the beef is cooked through. At this point, bulgogi can be enjoyed over rice, as part of another dish or in the sandwich we’re making here.
Mayonnaise* Ingredients :
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp gochujujang
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 cup olive oil
- Up to 2 tbsp water
- Using a food processor, combine the lemon juice, egg yolk, gochujang and grapeseed oil. Process on low until you have a thick consistency and the color has lightened.
- With the processor on low (you can also use a whisk), drizzle the olive oil in slowly to create an emulsion. This might take a few minutes. Once the oil is combined, the color has lightened further and you have a mayonnaise consistency you are ready for use. Add in the water to achieve your desired consistency, and add salt to taste. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or so and then you can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*If the idea of raw eggs isn’t your game, you can always try mixing gochujang with some store-bought mayo, proportions to your taste.
- Baguette or bread of your choice, although I’d recommend a sturdy one.
- Shredded carrots (I used slices made with a peeler but the pre-shredded ones could work as well)
- Mild onions, or you could try a quick pickled onion recipe
- Thinly sliced cucumber
- I like to spread a layer of the mayonnaise on the bottom half of the bread, topped with the lettuce to keep it in place. Then add your carrots, cucumber, beef and finally onions. Top with more mayonnaise if desired, add your top half of bread, and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: I think a Pinot Noir would go well with the beef as well as stand up to the spicy mayo. Enjoy!
While Amanda and I both enjoy going all out for these posts, sometimes we just don’t have the time. We generally cook and skype to discuss our meals on the weekend so we have all day to putter around in the kitchen. Not this time. For this meal, we wanted to make something quick and seasonal that we might actually bother to make on a weeknight when we’re just trying to have a nutritous dinner after a long day. I’ve made this dish a few times on weeknights and it always satisfies. It’s also a great winter dish with apples and brussels sprouts being in season. Plus, if you cook the eggs directly in the pan instead of as topped with it as pictured, it ends up being a one pan meal. I don’t know about you, but on a weeknight I am all about less dishes (well, on all nights really).
- 2 cups shredded brussels sprouts
- 2 small red potatoes, shredded or cubed to make about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 small or 1 large granny smith apple, shredded or diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 6 eggs
- Dried Italian herbs if desired
- Place the cubed pork tenderloin in a medium-sized bowl and add a teaspoon of salt, teaspoon of pepper, the white wine, apple sauce, thyme, rosemary and and a sprinkle of any other italian herbs that strike your fancy. Toss to combine.
- Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or cover and marinate in the fridge up to 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil and add the pork. Cook until all sides are brown and meat is mostly cooked through.
- Transfer the pork from the skillet to a plate to await being added later.
- Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and cook until the shallot becomes translucent–about 3-4 minutes and be careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the shredded potatoes and a pinch of salt, and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are starting to soften slightly. Then add your brussel sprouts and apple.
- Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, then reincorporate your pork. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. At this point, you can serve as is or add an egg.
- To add eggs, you have two options: you can fry them up separately in another pan to your liking (I do this when I suspect I’ll have leftovers so I can top with a fresh egg later) or you can cook in the same pan. To do the second option, make 4-6 divets in the hash mixture and crack an egg in each hole. Cover with a lid, and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the eggs have a white film over them and are no longer too jiggly.
- Scoop onto a plate and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: Well, you have some of that white wine leftover right? No? A Chardonnay’s butteriness might be a nice match with the tartness of the apple flavor.
The winter sick season is real this year. Right after the New Year, both Amanda and I got hit with maladies and were both craving something that would bring some kind of comfort. As we each huddled under a blanket of tissues in our pjs on our respective couches, we both craved a dish that would warm our bellies and bring a bunch off flavor. You must know by now how we both feel about curry and Amanda made herself a wonderful curry meal. I wish I could have gone the same route, but since my nose was hopelessly stuffed up, I couldn’t taste a thing. I knew that the nuances of a delicious curry would be lost on me and better saved for a healthier day. The one thing I both craved and knew I could taste was a nice, brothy soup.
This Miso-Ginger noodle soup hits all the criteria I was looking for in a sicky meal. The saltiness and punch of the miso, I knew could fight past my currently restricted senses. Broth and fluids are always a good choice when sick, and ginger helps to settle the stomach. Plus, I just wanted to slurp something–enter soba noodles. This soup made me feel all warm and fuzzy, an impressive feat while sick, but is also good enough to enjoy when you’re feeling 100% as well.
- 1 tsp oil
- 6 cups broth (I used homemade chicken broth Amanda’s recipe but vegetable broth could easily be used to make this dish vegan. I would definitely recommend low-sodium though)
- 1/4 cup miso paste (I used half and half red and white, but any combo would work)
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 carrot, sliced into half moons, about 1/4-1/2 in wide
- 3 green onions, sliced with greens and whites separated
- 1 inch knob of ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- Cooked Soba noodles, amount of your preference.
- Soy Sauce to taste
- Sriracha to taste
- In at least a 2 quart pot, drizzle the oil into the pot over medium heat. Add the whites of the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the broth, miso, mushrooms, carrot, ginger and garlic. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the carrots are fork tender, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach and cabbage. Once they are wilted to your liking, taste the soup and add soy sauce and sriracha to your preferred taste.
- Add some cooked soba noodles to the bottom of your soup bowl (however much you want) and pour the miso soup over the noodles. You are ready to serve and enjoy!
Wine Pairing: Well, if you’re up for a glass with this soup and not currently getting over an illness (or if you still are, you do you), a full-bodied Chardonnay would probably be able to stand up with the heavy flavors of the miso. Plus, a nice chilled glass of wine with a hot bowl of soup might be a nice mix. Enjoy!
For this week, Amanda and I were in the mood for some brunch. Since with the holiday and the new year, it’s definitely brunch hosting season. We wanted to share some interesting, low maintenance, and somewhat nutritious brunch ideas that would definitely please a crowd, just in case you still had a few people around to share a meal and you were sick of something too heavy. This breakfast pizza, a twist on the classic Shakshuka, might be something that is a little different, has a little bit of a kick to wake everyone up and is easy as can be. In addition, if you have a big day of eating ahead of you, as I often do when family is around, this will both be likely a different flavor profile than your future meals and has at least some nutrition. Overall, it’s a nice meal to add to your breakfast rotation, even if it’s not a special occasion and just a random Saturday, and its convenience is big selling point.
If you’re hosting a New Years Day get-together, sometimes being alone in the kitchen preparing a feast can be a much needed social pause (introverts ftw!). Often, though, at breakfast I just want to enjoy my tea and not dirty too many dishes. Since this pizza’s sauce and crust can be made in advance, it’s fairly low maintenance (which, I mean, I don’t know how you celebrate New Year’s Eve, but it you might not be in the mood to do too much). However, the results are pretty impressive so if you still need to get away, feel free to relax and sip your tea while hiding in the kitchen and pretending you’re slogging away.
Pizza Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp Hungarian Half-Sharp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp vegetable or grapeseed oil
- Pinch of salt
Heat a small saucepot over medium heat and add the oil. Add your diced onions and salt to the pot and sweat them for 2-3 minutes until translucent in color. Add the minced garlic and stir in with onions, cooking for an additional minute.
Add your remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before adding to your pizza or make ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container.
Other Pizza Ingredients:
- Pizza Crust (I used premade Naan but any flatbread would do, or you can make your own)
- Feta Cheese crumbles
- Spinach Leaves
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (if using a pizza stone or baking steel, preheat the oven for 45 minutes at least).
- Spread a nice dollop of sauce onto your pizza crust (up to you how much you want although I went a little thicker than I normally would since Shakshuka is all about the sauce).
- Top with a few spinach leaves and feta cheese evenly distributed.
- If you’re planning on using a pizza stone, I would recommend transferring your crust and ingredients at this point in time. If using a baking sheet, no worries. Create a divot in the pizza sauce if possible and crack an egg or two into the divots or wherever you think the egg will not run off the sides. Try to make your egg placement so that the pizza will have good egg coverage.
- If using that pizza stone/steel, quickly and carefully crack the egg directly onto the pizza on the stone.
- Bake for 12-18 minutes, monitoring how the eggs are set. Ideally you want set whites and fairly runny yolks. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and serve. Enjoy!
Wine Pairing: I mean, I know a Mimosa is my go-to breakfast drink, but that’s what I’d probably have. If you’re going the breakfast for dinner route or if you wanted to just go full on glass of wine (I’m not above it) I think I’d still pick a light wine like Pinot Grigio but a Beaujolais would go well also.
This was the second course of our “one ingredient: 3 courses” dinner and I knew I wanted something a little different than the first course, the Potato and Mushroom Galette, but also that still had potatoes as the star of the dish. Since potatoes can be a little heavy and we had three courses to get through, I also wanted something that wouldn’t leave me needing to change to elastic pants halfway through the meal so these pierogies-meet-Indian flavors were the perfect choice–albeit labor intensive.
I opted to use pre-made wonton wrappers rather than make my own dough, since I had a big day ahead of me and don’t always have luck with making my own wrappers. If you have your own recipe, feel free to use it. I know I usually like to make everything from scratch when I do these posts, but as our dinner date approached and my back started to ache from stuffing these dumplings, I had no regrets. This will make quite a few dumplings and if you use full fat yogurt they should freeze nicely.
So, if you aren’t sick of potatoes yet, here is course #2:
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups roughly chopped spinach
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup plain, full fat yogurt
- 2 tbsp butter
- Salt & Pepper
- Potsticker or wonton wrappers
- 1/2 cup plain, full fat yogurt
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp lime juice
- Peel and cut the potato into quarters. In a medium size pot, add your potato pieces, enough water to cover them and a heavy pinch of salt.
- On the stovetop, bring the pot to a boil and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and mash. with a masher, ricer or food mill.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of oil, onion and the minced garlic.
- Stir the garlic and onion, careful not to burn it, until fragrant: about 1-2 minutes. Add the garam masala, curry powder, cumin and turmeric and stir for an additional minute.
- Add the spinach and cook until fully wilted and turn the heat to low. Add the potato mash, yogurt, butter, and salt and pepper (to taste) and ensure that everything is fully incorporated in the potato mash. Remove from heat and allow to cool so that you can safely spoon it in the wonton wrappers.
- Once ready to start your dumplings, lay out your potsticker wrappers and a small cup of water to dip your fingers for sealing.
- Spoon 1 tsp of the potato mixture into the center of the wrapper and using a finger dipped in the water, wet one half of the outer 1/4″ of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half being sure to push out any air and making sure the filling does not come out. Press the two sides of the wrapper together firmly to make sure the dumpling is sealed.
- Repeat until you have no more filling. At this point, you could freeze these for later by lining the dumplings up on a cookie sheet and freezing flat for 30 minutes. Then, transfer the frozen dumplings to a plastic bag for freezer storage.
- When ready to cook the dumplings, first, whisk together the yogurt, curry powder and lime juice in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan and cook the dumplings on each side for about 3 minutes, until the skins look crispy and brown.
- Transfer the cooked dumplings to a plate and drizzle with the yogurt sauce and some fresh cilantro or green onion slices. Enjoy!