Posts Tagged ‘quick and easy’

Dinner Rush! Korean-Style Brussels Sprouts with Marinated Skirt Steak

My friend David has been staying at our house for the last week.  He’s a super famous and recently published doctor of physics at nearby Vassar College with a focus on acoustics. He just wrapped up a year long sabbatical in Germany and is working on settling back home. He’s a blast to have around and also a pain to go to the movies with (“The wavelength reverberations in this room are all off.  They should totally be all blah blah physics blah blah”).  He’s also a vegetarian, whose culinary integration into our home has truly tested the capacities of my refrigerator.

To say thank you for the temporary lodging, he made dinner for us last night.  It left me a bit speechless because (A) it was delicious and (B) he cooked us meat.  Legit, no soy involved, 100% grade A meat.  To a perfect medium, no less (I chalk it up to beginner’s luck.  Also to my telling him when it was ready and slicing it for him).

The star of the meal were his amazing Korean-style roasted Brussels sprouts.  They were sweet, spicy, Brussel-y (in a good way), and flavored with his vegetarian secret weapon: gochujang (“go-choo-tjang”).  Gochujang is a fermented soybean paste mixed with chili powder that’s a staple in Korean kitchens.  Think of it like sriracha meets miso.  Also think of it as the only way you’ll ever want to have Brussels sprouts ever again.

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Dinner Rush! Hanger Steaks with Ginger-Cranberry Sauce

Hanger Steaks with Ginger Cranberry Sauce

With Turkey Day just around the corner, everyone seems to have their knickers in a twist about turkey, stuffing and all that nonsense. Sure, it’s all delicious (and don’t even get me started on the binge-fest known as “dessert”), but I’m getting a bit of a head start on the unsung, fail-safe hero of the Thanksgiving table. I’m giving it up for the cranberry.

Pigeonholed into a can-molded, jellied sidekick to turkey or juiced companion to vodka and lime, the breadth of the cranberry’s abilities is far-reaching and delicious. Think of it as going great with more than just poultry or booze. Take a hanger steak, for instance. It is rich, meaty and sings in perfect harmony with the tart, acidic flavor of cranberries.

This time of year, picking up fresh cranberries is easy-breezy, but when the cornucopias and tinsel find their way back into the holiday storage bin, remember the humble cranberry (he does live in the freezer section in the off-season).  Think what a great companion he was at the holidays, and savor that all year long.

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Dinner Rush! Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken

Easy Maple Bourbon Chicken Recipe

I often joke with people that, in my house, bourbon is a food group. Thing is, I’m not really joking. Aside from the standard cache of artisan cocktails I keep flowing in regular rotation, I do my best to work bourbon into as many other edible applications as possible.

This recipe is a match made in heaven with bourbon, fresh thyme and maple syrup. It’s also a really cool method that is universal for preparing almost anything.

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How to Make Your Own Quick and Easy Sauerkraut

Quick and Easy Sauerkraut

Making your own kraut is easy and cheap, and the process uses ingredients and equipment you can easily source, if you don’t already have them on hand: a big bowl, a quart-size Mason jar, vegetables and sea salt. Cabbage is the traditional base for kraut, but you can include any other crunchy vegetables such as carrots, radishes or turnips. You’ll use a little more than one tablespoon of salt for every two pounds of vegetables. For this batch we used one small red cabbage, about one pound, three large carrots, again about one pound, slightly more than one tablespoon sea salt, and one teaspoon each yellow mustard seed and fennel seed.

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Dinner Rush! Miso-Honey Shrimp Stir-Fry

Miso-Honey Shrimp Stir-Fry

As a nerdy, husky jeans-clad teenager growing up in Northern New York, I always had a soft spot for Chinese takeout night. Like clockwork each week, origami cardboard containers of exotic concoctions like moo goo gai pan, boneless beef spare ribs, lo mein, and chicken with cashews would arrive in a sawed-off cardboard box and be subsequently devoured, funny-shaped flavorless cookies and all. It wasn’t until many years later — when I actually began to study the flavors and cooking methods of East Asia — that I realized how truly awful most of it was. I was just a hungry, hungry little hippo. What was I supposed to know? Knowledge can be a funny thing that way.

Which is why Chinese takeout night still rocks the party in my house. My husband and I crave the Iron Chef-esque challenge of taking the greasy, over-sauced memories of yesteryear and re-creating them over a couple of Tsingtaos or sake margaritas.

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Dinner Rush! Salmon Teriyaki Sliders

Salmon Sliders Recipe
After spending a recent (and most delicious) weekend in Washington, D.C., I’m dedicating this week’s Dinner Rush! to my father-in-law. For those who don’t know Ype Von Hengst, he’s an amazingly talented and accomplished chef who’s well-known for his multi-unit restaurant concept in the Mid-Atlantic region. One of his most-popular menu items (and also one of my personal favorites) is his Grilled Wasabi Salmon Sliders. These things fly out the door of his restaurant!

While not the exact recipe (he keeps his secrets closely guarded, that guy), I think I netted out pretty successfully in re-creating them at home. One definite thing revealed through my frequent tastings of Chef Ype’s sliders is that he uses the thicker part of the salmon, so make sure when you’re at the fish counter that you ask them for the center cut of the fillet (save yourself the time and have them skin it for you while they’re at it, too).

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Dinner Rush! Pork Chops With Warm Fennel-Apple Slaw

Isn’t fall just the best? In New York, anyway, the dappled landscape of red and orange leaves and the ever-present smell of apple cider doughnuts frying in vats of oil so dark and overused you can’t see through it just screams: “Feed me something delicious and hearty! And put on a sweater! Now!”

At my dinner table, the flavors of fall usually revolve around some combination of pork, fennel and apples — a serendipitous trifecta of flavor that has brought us together here today over this digital screen. It’s a combination that I find simple to prepare and a consistently delicious hit, even with a quick preparation like this one.

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Dinner Rush! Cheesy Baked Chicken Chopped Salad

Cheesy Baked Chicken Salad Recipe

I’m completely guilty of being an overbuyer in the grocery store’s produce department. I love the flavor and freshness of vegetables and am hard-pressed to leave my local market without some combination of them compromising the structural integrity of my shopping bag.

Assessing the contents of my refrigerator crisper drawer and noticing a bit of a Mediterranean theme in my most recent haul, I was inspired to pull together a quick and delicious Greek-style chopped salad.

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Dinner Rush: Thai-Style Wings

Quick and Easy Chicken Wings Recipe

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that, starting this week, you’re in at least one of two groups. If you’re like me, you’re waving with elation on the corner as yellow school buses ship the kiddies back to school. And if you’re a football fan, you’re pulling your jersey out of the closet to gear up for the early September premiere of the Fall season.

In either (or both) camps, feeding the masses with a big WOW factor and a low time commitment would definitely earn you that MVP trophy.

Sticky & Spicy Thai-Style Wings, anyone?

Thai Chicken Wings Recipe

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Fed in Five (or Six): BBQ’d Buffalo Chicken Hoagies

Fed in Five (or Six) is a delicious and time-savvy source for meal ideas and recipes that get you from the express lane to the dinner table without breaking a sweat. Dinner just got simpler with inspiration that combines some everyday pantry items with only five (or six) ingredients.

Summertime is barbecue time; there’s just no getting around it. And why would you try? Warm weather, fun in the sun and food savored right off the grill go together like peas, carrots and, well, more peas and carrots. As the days get shorter, make the most of your precious sunlit hours with these awesome BBQ’d Buffalo Chicken Hoagies.

Buffalo Chicken Hoagies

Inspired by the classic (and timelessly delicious) combination of Buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese, these weeknight wonders come together in literally minutes with almost no cleanup needed. Seriously, after you fly through the express checkout, you can just load up your cutting board with the ingredients and then cook and assemble grill-side. I highly encourage it, in fact. They taste better that way.

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