Monday, March 31

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Romanesco

Spaghetti tossed with roasted romanesco and garlicky aglio olio sauce

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Roasted Romanesco

They've been selling huge heads of romanesco at our farmers market lately. It's a striking bright green alien-looking vegetable that's a cross between cauliflower and broccoli and tastes great roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Here it's tossed with spaghetti, a super strong aglio olio sauce made with a ton of fresh garlic, dried chiles, and anchovies and topped with crispy gremolata breadcrumbs. The anchovies completely melt into the sauce and impart a wonderful salty umami flavor that's not at all fishy or overpowering. It's a simple, homey dish that makes a great weeknight meal and is just as good (if not better) reheated for leftovers the next day.

Note: If you can't find romanesco, this dish would be just as good made with broccoli or cauliflower.

Related Recipes:
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
- Spicy Broccoli & Onion Pizza
- Parmesan Roasted Romanesco

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Romanesco:
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, remove the core from 1 large head of romanesco and cut into bite-size florets.
  • Toss the romanesco with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, turning with a spatula once, or until the florets are tender and caramelized in some places.
  • While the romanesco is cooking, add a large pinch of salt and 1/2 lb. of spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  • In a large skillet, add 3 tbsp. olive oil, 4-6 thinly sliced cloves of garlic, 2 crumbled chile de arbol,* and 2 anchovy fillets.
  • Place the skillet over medium-low heat and cook until the garlic is fragrant and soft and the anchovies have melted, about 5 minutes. This is the aglio olio sauce.
  • In another small skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter and add in 1/4 c. breadcrumbs.**
  • Toast the breadcrumbs until golden and crispy, then turn off the heat and stir in the zest of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp. minced parsley. Set aside.
  • Add the romanesco to the aglio oil and toss to combine.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. pasta cooking water, and add the pasta to the skillet. Add some of the pasta water to moisten.
  • Toss the pasta together with the sauce and romanesco for a minute or two.
  • Divide the pasta onto plates and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.

Serves two-three
*Can substitute for 2 large pinches of red chili flakes.
**To make breadcrumbs, tear a piece of stale baguette into pieces, then pulse in a blender or food processor until ground into crumbs. Or use store bought panko breadcrumbs.

Friday, March 28

Moscow Mules

Ginger beer, lime, and vodka served in traditional copper mugs

Moscow Mule Cocktails in Copper Mugs

It's Friday, which means you're probably needing a cocktail (if you haven't already started) for that party you're hosting this weekend, or for pre-gaming tonight, or to enjoy on the couch after a long week of work. Moscow mules are one of my go-to drink recipes because they are so easy to make but always manage to impress people. It's just a mixture of vodka, ginger beer (non-alcoholic, tastes like a stronger ginger ale), and freshly squeezed lime juice and is served over ice. I like to go heavy on the lime in all my drinks, but it's easy to adjust this recipe to whatever tastes best to you. It's a super refreshing cocktail that goes down easy and hides the booze well. If you're lucky enough to have warm weather this weekend, it also makes a fantastic day drink.

Note: Moscow mules are traditionally served in copper mugs. These were a wedding gift and guests are always complimenting them. In addition to looking cool, they keep the drinks ice cold.

More Refreshing Drink Recipes:
- Jalapeno Margaritas
- Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
- Mojitos

Moscow Mules:

  • Fill a copper mug with ice.
  • Pour in 1/4 c. vodka and the juice of 1 lime.
  • Add in 1/2 c. ginger beer and stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.
  • Repeat.

Makes as many as you want

Thursday, March 27

Three Easy Fish Dinners

Incorporate more fish into your diet with these quick and easy recipes

Quick and Easy Fish Recipes
Pictured: Grilled Swordfish with Eggplant-Pepper Relish

A lot of people are intimidated by cooking fish, but it actually makes a super easy and delicious weeknight meal. Fish is a great source of lean protein, full of essential vitamins and nutrients, and is one of the quickest-cooking choices for a simple and healthy meal. I make salmon, trout, or mahi mahi pretty often because they are relatively inexpensive and are readily available at our local seafood market. Feel free to use whatever is fresh and local in your area and don't be afraid to try substitutions in these recipes. There are a lot of high-quality frozen fish available at the supermarket nowadays, too.

We try and eat some type of fish at least once a week and it's easy to fall into the same routine of pan-searing or baking it and serving it alongside a veggie or grain. But it's just as easy to add a quick marinade or sauce to make the dish more exciting. Here are some of my favorite simple fish recipes to turn to on busy weeknights. These dishes are quick to prepare but are exciting enough to serve for company.

Click here to see a full list of Kitchen Sink Diaries' fish dishes.

Quick & Easy Fish Dinners:

**Want more quick weeknight meal ideas? Check out these easy chicken dinners or quick-cooking stir-fries.

Wednesday, March 26

Dry-Brined Pork Shoulder

Simple slow-roasted pork shoulder is a delicious main for your next dinner party

Dry-Brined Pork Shoulder with Anchovy Herb Rub

My parents are on vacation and my husband and I spent the weekend up at their house to watch their cat and enjoy a mini getaway. We decided to completely hole up there for the night and brought up some groceries to make a simple slow-cooked meal for dinner that simmered in the oven while we did tons of laundry and watched a marathon of new releases. This pork shoulder recipe comes from Canal House Cooks Everyday and is the ideal dish to make on a lazy weekend. Pork shoulder is a tough but inexpensive cut of meat and is a perfect candidate for cooking low and slow. First it gets dry-brined in a mixture of salt and sugar which keeps the meat moist and imparts a ton of flavor. Then it gets rubbed with a genius paste made from anchovies and herbs, is seared in a sizzling hot pot, and then get roasted slowly in the oven until the meat is nearly falling off the bone. The combination of the brine and rub forms a deep dark crust on the outside of the roast that is juxtaposed with the meltingly tender meat. It's a great dish to serve at your next dinner party, Sunday supper, or to enjoy as leftovers or weekday lunches and dinners.

More Recipes for Pork Shoulder:
- Slow-Braised Pork Shoulder
- Asian Caramel Pork & Scallions
- Pork Carnitas

Dry-Brined Pork Shoulder:
  • Whisk together 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. kosher salt in a small bowl. This is the dry brine.
  • Place a 3-4 lb. boneless pork shoulder* in a shallow baking dish and rub the dry brine all over it. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Heat the oven to 300F.
  • Take the pork out to room temperature and rub off any dry brine from the outside.
  • Meanwhile, chop 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, a small handful of fresh oregano leaves, a small handful of fresh thyme leaves, a pinch of pepper, and a pinch of salt until it forms a paste.
  • Rub the paste all over the pork.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  • Add in the pork and sear on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
  • Add 1/2 c. water to the pot and cover with a lid. Place in the oven.
  • Cook for 3 hours, checking every hour to make sure the bottom of the pot isn't getting too dry. Add a little more water if necessary.
  • Remove the pork from the pot, let rest for 15 minutes, and then cut into slices.

Serves six-eight
*Also called pork butt or Boston butt.

Tuesday, March 25

Quinoa-Stuffed Artichokes

Steamed artichokes filled with a flavorful quinoa stuffing

Quinoa-Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables but I don't make them all that often because they take some time and effort to clean and prep. They've been selling them all over our farmers' market the past few weeks (a sure sign that spring is here), so I came up with this recipe for quinoa-stuffed artichokes. It's basically a marriage between a steamed artichoke and a quinoa cake. Each artichoke is steamed, cleaned, and then stuffed with a filling made from cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and the chopped stems of the artichokes. The stems are really as tender and delicious as the artichoke hearts and often to go to waste because people don't know how good they are. I was lucky enough to find artichokes with very long stems for this recipe, but if your artichokes have short stems then you can cook another artichoke and chop up the heart to use in the stuffing instead. This dish makes a beautiful appetizer or side dish or a light vegetarian entree.

Note: This recipe definitely takes some time to put together. I highly recommend steaming the artichokes and cooking the quinoa in advance so that the final dish can be assembled quickly for a weeknight meal. It's a great way to use up leftover quinoa, too.

More Artichoke Recipes:
- Raw Artichoke & Mixed Greens Salad
- Crispy Roasted Baby Artichokes
- Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

Quinoa-Stuffed Artichokes:
  • Cut the stems and 2" of the top off 3 large artichokes, pull off any tough or bruised outer leaves, and use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the sharp pointed edges off any remaining leaves.
  • Place the artichokes, stem-side down, and the severed stems in a large pot and fill with 1/2" of water.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 25-35 minutes, or until a sharp knife easily slides into the stem-side of the artichokes.
  • Let the artichokes cool, then cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the hairy choke and most of the center leaves. Cut off the tough outer layer of the stems and dice the tender inner stems.*
  • Meanwhile, cook 1/2 c. quinoa according to package directions and let cool.**
  • In another pot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 diced onion and sauté until softened, about 4-5 minutes. In the last minute, add in 2 cloves of minced garlic.
  • Mix the onion and garlic in with the quinoa, along with the diced artichoke stems, 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, 1 lightly beaten egg, the zest of 1 lemon, a large pinch of salt, and a pinch of red chile flakes.
  • Place the artichokes, halved side up, into a baking dish, then spoon the quinoa mixture into the hollowed cavity. Top with a little more breadcrumbs, cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Add a 1/4" of water, stock, or white wine to the bottom of the baking dish and place in a 375F oven.
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.

Serves six (appetizer)
Serves two (main course)
*Can be cooked, cleaned, cooled, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge a day or two in advance.
**Can be cooked, cooled, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge several days in advance.

Monday, March 24

Vegan Chocolate Cake

A vegan-friendly chocolate cake that bakes in less than thirty minutes

Vegan Chocolate Cake

One of my husband's closest friends is visiting from Minneapolis and we had him, his girlfriend, and another friend over for dinner last night. His girlfriend is vegan, which posed a bit of a challenge when trying to come up with a menu that would satisfy both her and our other meat and dairy-loving eaters. For dinner, I served soba noodles with roasted kale, coconut, and avocado (loosely based on this recipe), which is so uniquely good that I've actually been making it nearly once a week for last few months. Dessert was a little trickier, since almost all baked goods are made with eggs, butter, or both. I could have chosen something light like sorbet or fruit, but I really wanted to round out the meal with something rich and filling after serving a vegetarian entree.

This vegan chocolate cake is lightly adapted from a recipe on Food52. Unlike a lot of vegan dessert recipes that I've seen, this cake doesn't use any fancy powders or butter substitutes and relies on a handful of easy-to-find ingredients. Instead of butter or eggs, the wet ingredients are made up of coffee and coconut oil, which enhance the chocolate flavor and keep the cake moist. I'm not going to claim that it's the best chocolate cake in the world (there's really no substitute for butter), but it's dense and moist and chocolatey and will satisfy a craving. And it's even easier to bake than most normal cakes since it only doesn't require any stand mixers or special equipment and bakes in less than thirty minutes. We served it with some sliced strawberries and were pleasantly surprised with the results.

More Vegan Recipes:
- Curry Coconut Lentil Soup
- Black Sesame & Tofu Soba Noodles
- Tofu & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Vegan Chocolate Cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Line the bottom of a 9" cake pan with parchment paper, then spray the pan and the paper with non-stick spray.
  • Sift together 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 generous c. white sugar, 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt into a mixing bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk together 1 c. brewed coffee, 5 tbsp. coconut oil,* 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until totally combined and lump-free.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and tap to release any bubbles in the batter.
  • Cook the cake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched in the center.
  • Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and finish cooling to room temperature.
  • Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.

Serves eight
*If the oil is solid, melt it in the microwave until liquid. Can substitute for any neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed.

Friday, March 21

Spring Vegetable Recipes

Spring Vegetable Recipes

We're lucky enough to have farmers' markets year-round in L.A. and I love seeing the new produce that comes in every season. My husband and I usually walk to our local market every Sunday, but because of travel this was our first trip in over a month and I was amazed to see all the new fruits and vegetables for sale. Spring is probably my favorite time at the market because we get access to lots of unique produce that's not available at the grocery store. I especially love green garlic, fava beans, shelled English peas, big and small artichokes, and super thin stalks of asparagus. Most of the items are only around for a few weeks, so I can't resist hoarding as much as possible during that short time. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make with these delicious spring vegetables.

Spring Vegetable Recipes:

**Radishes, spring onions, and chives are also great this time of year.

Thursday, March 20

How To Make Croutons

Transform stale bread into crunchy salad toppers with this simple recipe

How To Make Homemade Croutons

There are plenty of ways to repurpose leftover and stale bread (french toast, anyone?), but my favorite way is to make croutons. I keep the ends of leftover baguettes and loaves in a big plastic bag in the freezer so that I can whip up fresh croutons any time I need them. The basic idea is to cut or tear the bread into cubes, toss with olive oil, and season. Most of the time I make plain salted croutons, but sometimes I'll add in some fresh or dried herbs, spices, or even a sprinkle of cheese. These homemade croutons taste ten times better than hard-as-a-rock store-bought varieties and can keep fresh in an air-tight container for a couple days. They add the perfect crunch to a salad or as a garnish to a soup and a handful of them makes a nice snack while I'm cooking everything else.

Use Your Croutons in These Salads:
- Arugula, Corn, & Tomato Salad
- Kale Ribbon Salad with Parmesan & Garlic Vinaigrette
- Tricolore Salad with Parmesan & Anchovy

Homemade Croutons:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Slice the crusts off a piece of leftover bread* and cut or tear into bite-size pieces.
  • Place the croutons on a baking sheet and toss with a few tbsp. of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and a tsp. or more of dried herbs.**
  • Use your hands to gently squeeze the croutons so that they absorbs more oil, then shake them into an even layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the croutons for 10-15 minutes, turning once, or until they are crispy and golden.
  • Let cool, then toss into salads and serve or store in an airtight container.

Make as many as you want
*I usually use a leftover baguette or ciabatta. You can use fresh bread, but it might take longer for the croutons to get crispy.
**The exact amount of oil and seasonings depends on how much bread you use. Taste and adjust as you go.

Wednesday, March 19

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Smooth blackberry ice cream studded with flecks of semi-sweet chocolate

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Our friends gave us an ice cream maker attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer over Christmas and I've been keeping the bowl in the freezer at the ready ever since. I'm partial to fruit flavors and my husband leans more towards the chocolate side, so this blackberry chocolate chunk ice cream was the best of both worlds. It starts out with a traditional custard ice cream base (but I cut back on the egg yolks a little so it wouldn't be too rich) and then a couple pints-worth of fresh blackberries get swirled in. Once the ice cream is mostly frozen, a handful of chopped semisweet chocolate gets added. I love the gorgeous purple color that the ice cream turns and the flavor is outstanding. We've been enjoying a scoop or two after dinner and it's been a delicious way to end the night. We can't wait to try out more fun flavors this summer.

Related Recipes:
- Blackberry Buttermilk Cake
- Tangelo-Orange Sorbet
- Berry Pavlova

Blackberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream:
  • Puree 12-14 oz. of fresh blackberries in a blender until smooth, then pour into a bowl over a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids.
  • Meanwhile, bring 1 1/2 c. heavy cream, 1 c. sugar, and 1 1/2 c. half and half to a simmer in a saucepan.
  • In another bowl, whisk together 3 egg yolks.
  • Whisk a 1/4 c. of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then add in another 1/2 c. and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the egg mixture back into the cream and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour the cream base into the blackberry puree through a fine mesh strainer and discard any solids.*
  • Mix the cream and berries together until completely combined.
  • Cool the ice cream base until completely cold, ideally overnight.
  • Once cool, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen, about 15-25 minutes. 
  • Stir 4 oz. of chopped semisweet chocolate into the ice cream during the last minute or two of churning.
  • Transfer the ice cream into a freezer-proof container and freeze for another few hours, or until completely frozen.
  • Scoop into bowls and serve.**

Serves eight-ten
*This will ensure that the ice cream is completely smooth and void of any lumps of cooked egg.
**The ice cream will last in the freezer for about a month.

Monday, March 17

Classic American Cheeseburgers

The classic American cheeseburgers are perfect for your next barbecue

Classic American Cheeseburgers

We had a bit of a heat wave over the weekend and decided to take advantage of the weather by having some friends over for a barbecue in our backyard. We cleaned off our patio furniture, raked up the dead leaves, and put together a simple (mostly) make-ahead menu. L.A. is home to lots of a delicious gourmet burger spots (my husband is obsessed with Father's Office and Umami), but a classic cheeseburger is always a crowd-pleaser. These burgers were made with a good blend of ground beef, double American cheese, grilled onions, and toasted buns. The rest of the toppings were pretty simple and fresh, which really allows the flavor of the beef to come through. We let everyone customize their own burger at the table and served them alongside a big plate of crispy sweet potato fries. It was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon and we look forward to hosting many more barbecues in the upcoming summer months.

Related Recipes:
- Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli
-Turkey Burgers with Green Apple & Brie
-BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

Classic American Cheeseburgers:
  • Divide l 1/3 lb. of ground beef into 4 equal quarters and shape each quarter into patties.
  • Use your thumb to press an indentation into the center of each burger* and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, cut one yellow onion into 1/4-1/2" rings and toss with a little oil, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a grill to high and cook the burgers for 3-4 minutes, then flip and top each burger with 2 slices of American cheese.
  • Add the onions to the grill and close the lid.
  • Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and then onions have softened and take on grill marks.
  • Place the onions on top of the burgers and remove to a plate to rest for a few minutes.
  • Lightly butter both sides of 4 burger buns and cook on the grill for 2 minutes, or until light toasted.
  • Place the patty on the lower bun and top with lettuce, tomato, ketchup, etc. and cover with the top bun.

Serves four
*This will keep the center from rising into a dome while cooking.

Peanut-Scallion Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce cups filled with shredded chicken and a peanut-scallion-cilantro relish

Peanut Scallion Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I always get excited to spring forward for daylight's saving time. When you work full-time, it feels good to drive home and still be able to enjoy some sunlight while making dinner. Combined with the warm weather we've been having in L.A., I've been leaning towards making lighter and fresher dinners that don't require much time in the kitchen. These chicken lettuce wraps were a hit, and since I used leftover roasted chicken from a previous night's dinner, I was able to have these on the table in about 10 minutes. The sweet-salty-spicy-crunchy peanut relish (adapted from this recipe in Bon Appetit) packs a ton of flavor and texture into the wraps and compliments the juicy chicken and tender lettuce. It's a simple, light meal to enjoy for lunch or dinner on a sunny day.

Related Recipes:
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Sesame Peanut Chicken Satay

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut-Scallion-Cilantro Relish:
  • Gently pull off the leaves from 1/2 head of butter lettuce* and arrange on a plate. Keep in the fridge until ready to assemble.
  • Meanwhile, shred or slice 1-2 cooked chicken breasts or thighs (about 1-3/4 lb. total) into bite-size pieces.
  • In a separate bowl, combine 1 sliced scallion, 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 3/4 c. roasted peanuts, 1 thinly sliced Fresno chile, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  • Taste peanut relish for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  • To assemble, stuff the chicken into the lettuce cups, then sprinkle the peanut relish on top. Garnish with more fresh cilantro.

Serves two
*Iceberg lettuce or savoy cabbage would also work.

Friday, March 14

St. Patrick's Day Recipe Ideas

Celebrate St. Patty's Day with something other than corned beef and green beer

St. Patrick's Day Recipes

St. Patrick's Day is a holiday largely known for heavy drinking, leprechauns, and getting pinched for not wearing green. In general, it's not really a food-lover's holiday, but there are menu options if corned beef and cabbage isn't your thing. Here are a few festive recipe ideas to celebrate the Irish whether you're having a quiet night at home or throwing a big party.

*See previous St. Patrick's Day recipes here.

St. Patrick's Day Recipes:
  • Roasted Bratwurst with Caraway Cabbage: Crunchy, tangy sauteed cabbage replaces the traditionally limp, boiled version that St. Patty's is known for. This is a great meal to multiply for a crowd.
  • Garlic Hassleback Potatoes: If the Irish are known for one food, it's potatoes. These are stuffed with thin slivers of garlic and baked in the oven until crispy.
  • Roasted Salmon with Green Harissa: This bright-green, spicy, herby sauce is a festive nod to the holiday. It's paired with salmon in the original recipe but would taste great on chicken or steak, too.

Thursday, March 13

Fauxtisserie Chicken & Potatoes

Achieve a perfect rotisserie-style chicken by cooking it low and slow in the oven

Fauxtisserie Chicken and Potatoes

We've done a lot of traveling in the last month and it seems like forever since I spent a day in our kitchen. Our pantry and fridge were pretty bare after returning from the Bahamas, so I picked up a few essentials and made this roasted "fauxtisserie" chicken and potatoes (based off this recipe in Bon Appetit). We ate some of it for dinner one night, and I had plenty of leftovers to transform into quick lunches and weeknight meals the rest of the week. Plus, it made the whole house smell delicious and lived in again. Unlike normal roast chickens, this one bakes in the oven for up to three hours at a low temperature. The chicken gets incredibly tender and stays surprisingly moist and the potatoes get basted in all the cooking juices to take on a deep flavor. It reminded us of one of our best meals in Paris during our honeymoon: the rotisserie chicken and potatoes we ate off the street on Rue Mouffetard.

Related Recipes:
- Simple Roasted Chicken
- Roasted Chicken & Grapes
- Braised Chicken & Mushrooms

Fauxtisserie Chicken & Roasted Pee Wee Potatoes:
  • Preheat the oven to 300F.
  • Pat a 4-4 1/2 lb. whole chicken dry with paper towels, then stuff the inside with half a head of garlic and a halved lemon* and season with salt and pepper.
  • Tie the chicken's legs together with butchers twine.
  • Meanwhile, combine the zest of 1 lemon, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 3 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, and 3 tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl.
  • Rub the seasoning all over the chicken, then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Toss 1 lb. of pee wee potatoes** with 2-3 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt, then scatter around the chicken on the baking sheet.
  • Roast the chicken in the oven for 2 1/2 -3 hours, turning the potatoes with a spatula and basting the chicken every hour or so.
  • Let the chicken rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then carve and enjoy.

Serves four
*Zest the lemon for the rub before stuffing it in the bird.
**If you can't find pee wee potatoes, just cut larger waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Golds) into bite-size chunks.

Wednesday, March 12

Lobster Hash

A tender lobster and potato hash is a decadent way to start your day

Lobster Potato Hash

It was lobster season in Abaco, and I had the good fortune of eating some almost every day of our trip last week. We had so much lobster, in fact, that we even had a bunch of leftover lobster tails from dinner at our house one night and repurposed them into this delicious breakfast hash. We chopped the lobster into bite-size pieces and folded it into some leftover roasted potatoes and grilled peppers that we had in the fridge from another meal. It was probably the finest meal of leftovers that I've ever eaten, and was made even more heavenly with a poached egg on top. If you ever have the fortune to have leftover lobster at your house, this is a must-make meal.

Related Recipes:
- Chorizo, Potato, & Pepper Hash
- Lobster, Corn, & Bacon Chowder
- Duck Hash

Potato & Lobster Hash:
  • Chop 1 1/2 lb. cooked lobster meat* and 1 lb. cooked fingerling potatoes into bite-size pieces.
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet over high heat and add in the potatoes.
  • Cook for 3-5 minutes, without stirring, until the potatoes start to turn golden brown.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add in 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2 chopped roasted peppers.**
  • Cook for another few minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, then add in the lobster and a little more butter.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the lobster is warm.
  • Check and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Divide onto plates and top with fried or poached eggs (optional).

Serves eight
*We used leftovers, but you can find already cooked lobster from a good fish shop or can steam your own.
**We used leftover grilled bell peppers, but jarred roasted peppers would work too.

Tuesday, March 11

Week in The Bahamas

A travel recap from The Abacos, Bahamas

The beach in front of our house

We just got back from a long, relaxing trip to The Abaco Club in the Bahamas with my husband's family. The island is beautiful and very remote, filled with tropical plants, soft white sand, and turquoise waters. Our house was right on the beach and most mornings we would eat a big breakfast together (usually bacon and eggs, although one morning we made a delicious lobster hash) on our back porch and take in the ocean views before spending the day by the pool, in the sea, or on the golf course.

Everyone was on their own schedule for lunch, which mostly consisted of simple sandwiches at home or the fish tacos at Buster's on the beach. In the afternoon and evening, we'd all enjoy a few Kalik beers or tropical cocktails - my favorite being the Bahama Mama, Goombay Smash, and Pina Coladas - and come together for dinner and games.

The view from Pete's Pub

The club was on a pretty quiet side of the island, so we rotated through our only dinner options: eating at the clubhouse, at our house, or at the only nearby restaurant, Pete's Pub. We were lucky to have local chef Chaka cook at our house for three meals and got a real taste for traditional Bahamian food like conch fritters, jerk chicken, and peas and rice. Pete's Pub was another favorite: a local bar on the beach that turns out a small nightly menu featuring whatever fresh fish they just caught, served on paper plates and eaten on self-seated picnic benches in the sand. Our favorites were the mango grouper and the triggerfish.

Abaco is truly an island paradise and I can't say enough about its beauty, friendly people, and unique Bahamian cuisine. Now that we're home, I'm looking forward to trying my hand at recreating some of our favorite dishes from the trip.

The Abaco Club