Being a kid from the snow covered hills of Northern New York, I love a classic Northeast winter. Snow storms, sledding, and mornings so chilly you can see your breath — it’s nostalgic and delicious. That being said, I don’t mind a bit of a refresher on the beauty of summer fun and flavors every now and then.
Enter taco night! Being that tacos come in so many different shapes, sizes and varieties, I opted this week for a simple and delicious chicken & chorizo combo with a big kick up on the spice factor. My husband loves spicy food (I’m getting there, too; give me some time) so I reached for a heavily seasoned fresh chorizo from my local Latin market and topped these tacos with a chipotle cream and quick pickled jalapenos — both of which I made fresh at home in the time it took the meats to cook through.
The toppings that I used were what I had in the fridge. Take my suggestions as a guide, then go ahead and get crazy with whatever you have around. That’s really what’s so great about taco night, isn’t it? They’re easy; they’re interactive; and they’re just so delicious.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Spicy Chicken & Chorizo Tacos
Imagine what happens when you combine your favorite tailgating beverage with America’s favorite sandwich. Chardonnay Hoagies? Yuck. Cosmo Reubens? Way off point. But beer and burgers? Now we’re talking.
This “knife & fork” style beer-braised burger does most of its cooking in a delicious sudsy bath of brew, which not only builds in a great depth of flavor, it also helps to create a killer pan sauce that you can pour over your finished masterpiece. While it looks like 110% “so bad, but so good” man food, a few tricks can help lighten this dish. Opt for ground sirloin to cut out some excess fat from the meat and use a strongly flavored cheese (such as the recommended Stilton) to get the most flavor bang for your caloric buck. You can also use a lighter beer like a lager or ale (though I’d recommend something hearty like a porter or stout).
Now – if you’ve had enough time to shake the thought of what a train wreck Cosmo Reubens would be – game on!
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Beer-Braised Burgers
It’s now week two of the “Resolution Stretch.” How you holding up? I know, I’d rather we call them long term goals, too. How about a quick and healthy dinner plan to get “two birds with one stone” ahead of the game?
The combo of cooked beans and hearty greens is a pretty classic one in Italian home cooking. The beauty of it, really, is that you can easily make a super hearty dinner for four (or even a few more) that is nutritionally balanced, ready in no time and light on the wallet.
Reach for whatever cooking greens your grocery store has around – mine happened to have some beautiful escarole and rainbow chard so I went with a combination of the two. Anything will work. Although you’d never know it from the depth of flavor, this recipe is also vegetarian. If you prefer a bit of meat with your dinner, go ahead and crisp up some pancetta, bacon, or their leaner Canadian cousin and add that to the mix too.
You’re saving money, time and calories all in one dish. Go on, you Resolution Rockstar.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Beans & Greens Spaghetti
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).
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Salmon Teriyaki Sliders