This week, #SundaySupper has a breakfast for dinner theme – one of my favorites so far – but since I posted a waffle recipe a few weeks ago, I wanted to make something more on the savory side. These tarts, with their tangle of roasted red peppers and onions and sunny-looking egg, caught my eye as I was flipping through my copy of Jerusalem: The Cookbook and I knew they’d be perfect!
Spring is finally here! It was so gorgeous this weekend that I wanted to spend every second possible outside. From the looks of my blog analytics, we’re all on the same page… there weren’t very many people looking at recipes this week and I definitely don’t blame them. I have the perfect recipe for you though – it takes practically no time or effort at all. If you have a burner on your grill, you can even make the whole thing outside (and it will be done in even less time, since those grill burners are so hot that they bring water to a boil in the bat of an eye!)
With sweet dried apricots, bright lemon, and fragrant spices, this braised lamb is the perfect way to bridge the gap between winter and spring.
I thought I was headed to Morocco with this recipe, but I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up somewhere closer to India. No matter, it was still delicious even if it wasn’t traditional. This recipe takes a little longer than most of my dinners, but it’s mostly inactive time. You probably won’t want to make it on a weeknight unless you don’t mind eating late (I’m ready for dinner at 5:30… which doesn’t usually work out well since I don’t get home until closer to 6!), but it’s the kind of recipe that can easily be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready for it. I made this on a Sunday with plans to eat it on Tuesday, and it was so nice to come home and not have to worry about cooking. I just moved the pot from the fridge to the stove and, in the time it took to boil some rice, dinner was ready.
Balsamic chicken with mushrooms might not be the prettiest dish to look at, but it tastes absolutely lovely. The chicken is browned on the outside and juicy in the middle, the mushrooms are earthy, and the balsamic gravy has the perfect touch of sweetness. Served over creamy parmesan polenta with a bitter green vegetable like broccoli rabe or swiss chard on the side, this is the kind of meal that will leave everyone (including the cook!) impressed.
One of the best parts about living in Albany is that it’s in a great location for day trips.* On any given Saturday, especially in the summer, it isn’t at all uncommon for us to find ourselves wandering randomly around Lake Placid, taking in the scenery in Vermont, or hitting the outlets (and the Trader Joe’s!) in Massachusetts.
Lately, one of my favorite day trips has been to Connecticut – specifically to New Haven and the Peabody Museum. We discovered it last summer, and I couldn’t believe that I’d live so close to it for so long without ever hearing about it! It’s a small museum, but it’s full of really cool stuff like dinosaur bones and mummies (it doesn’t matter how old I get, I’ll always think those things are awesome). Through this past January, they had a temporary exhibit of x-rayed fish – it sounds strange, but they were absolutely beautiful. I even went into the gift shop to see if they sold prints, but unfortunately I was out of luck on that one.
Have you ever had toasted/fried ravioli before? I don’t see it on menus very often, but it’s sometimes offered as an appetizer at Italian restaurants or pizzerias. And it’s amazing. (Then again, it’s deep fried pasta filled with cheese. Of course it’s awesome!) When I came home to find a shipment of Monterey Gourmet Foods™ ravioli and pesto to play with, it took me about 2 seconds to decide what I wanted to do with it. This oven-toasted ravioli does away with the guilt that goes along with fried food, and it swaps out the lighter flavors of roast chicken and pesto for the more traditional garlic and marinara.
I’m sitting at an airport Starbucks right now, waiting for my flight to DC for Eat, Write Retreat. The people sitting behind me keep glancing over like “What is that crazy girl doing with a million pictures of food?” (Hi people reading over my shoulder!) Anyway, it’s going to be a great weekend, and I hope to come home with new skills and fresh inspiration that will help make this blog better. I’m really excited!
I’m also really excited about last night’s dinner – I just couldn’t wait any longer to share it. I really enjoyed the Southwest lentil patties that I created for the lentil challenge that I participated in last year, and I knew that I wanted to do a fresh take on them this year. This time, I put a Moroccan spin on the patties, with lots of lemon zest, cardamom, and za’atar. They had a wonderfully bright flavor and a great falafel-like texture with a crispy exterior and a soft, velvety center. Served over a salad inspired by some gorgeous kale that I picked up at the Schenectady Green Market, this was a light, yet super filling dinner that we both enjoyed immensely.
For any of you from the Capital Region who love the Troy Market but have never been to the one in Schenectady, I urge you to check it out! It’s on Sundays, which a little inconvenient for me (I like to plan y weekly menu and get my shopping out of the way on Saturday) but I really love it. The atmosphere is more intimate than the Troy market and the produce seems rawer and a little rough around the edges — but in a good way! There are always unique items to be found, like mustard greens, this amazing Russian red kale, and white beets. Whereas I tend to leave the Troy market with tons of prepared foods, I leave the Schenectady market with arms full of fresh produce and tons of inspiration.
I really wish that I had taken a photo of this kale before I chopped it up — it was stunningly beautiful. It seemed like a shame to cook it, and I remembered the massaged kale salad that I had when I visited Northern Spy Food Company. Chopping up the kale and literally giving it a nice long massage with some salt draws out all of the bitter liquid and allows you to eat it raw. Be sure to start out with lots of kale though — it loses a ton of volume as you massage it. I started with about 3 cups of loosely packed and ended up with about a half cup once it was ready to eat. It was enough for the two of us but definitely don’t plan to have ay left over.
For the third and final week of the Tazo Cookoff, I faced a bit of a dilemma: the pears that I had been presented to use in my recipe weren’t as ripe as I would have liked them to be. They would have been fine in a few days, but I was headed out of town and only had one night to get my recipe done. To make matters worse, the only thing I felt like eating was a sandwich — which put a quick end to my idea of poaching the pears in tea and making them into a chutney to eat with lamb chops and polenta (I mean, I like to cook, but I’m not about to make something like that when I’d be happier with a simple panini!)
As I tried to think of ways to incorporate the tea and pears into my sandwich or a side dish, I remembered the sangria-like iced tea that I had at Radiance Tea and Bookstore this spring. It seemed like the perfect accompaniment to my sandwich as well as a great way to use up some other fruit before I headed out of town.
The resulting tea was a nice change of pace from my standard unsweetened black tea, and I plan to make it again often. I especially loved the way that the ginger flavor infused the fruit — it was unexpected and extremely refreshing. Eating the fruit at the bottom of the glass was just as much of a treat as drinking the tea!
This is your final chance to win a great Tazo gift pack including a one year supply of tea and a selection of tea-brewing essentials! You’ll be entered one time for every comment you leave on one of my Tazo recipes. This is recipe # 3 of 3. Previous recipes included
Tea-smoked Salmon with Lavender and Honey Glaze.On September 1, I’ll randomly pick a winner from all of the comments left on those three recipes. (Only commenters with valid US addresses are eligible to win) Every comment you leave will also help me win a $1,000 gift card to Williams Sonoma.