I moved in October to a new apartment that has a deck! And, the last renters left a gas grill! That’s right, a grill! So I have been lucky enough to pop outside and bbq any time I want, which is basically unheard of in New York. My favorite meal as a kid, and what I always requested for my birthday, was grilled steak, au gratin potatoes, and artichokes with melted butter. Clearly I can not have the au gratin potatoes or the butter, but I can still have a really good steak and delicious potatoes. Here is my twist on that birthday dinner, with the bright fresh flavors of herbs on the char grilled steak.
Grilled Sirloin with Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 Sirloin Steak per two people
- 1/2 of Chimichurri Sauce
- Salt and pepper
Marinate the steak for one hour in the Chimichurri sauce and season with salt and pepper. Grill to temperature and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Oven Roasted Smashed Potatoes
- 6 small yukon gold potatoes for every two people
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and lightly crushed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss everything together in a baking dish. Roast in oven for about 40 min or until potatoes are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Press down on the center of each potato, gently with the palm of your hand. Drizzle with herbed olive oil from the pan and serve
Chimichuri Sauce/ Marinade
- 2 oz fl Canola Oil
- 2 oz fl Olive Oil
- 2 oz fl White Vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Oregano Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
Purée in blender. Reserve 1/2 of marinade. Marinate steak for one hour. Grill steak. Serve w/reserved marinade.
One of the best compliments that I have had in a while was how much my friend and photographer liked my food, especially my cookies! He confessed he was unsure about how everything would turn out, me just being a home cook, and everything being gluten and dairy free. Each time he took a bite of something new and I saw the look on his face, it made my day. I sent him home with a few extra cookies and I have heard that they didn’t make it to his apartment.
It is so hard to find a good gluten and dairy free cookie. I was so sick of the dense and bland cookies out there so I decided I need to come up with one of my own. These chocolate chip cookies are thin and crispy, yet gooey and soft in the middle. They are a hybrid between an oatmeal and a regular chocolate chip cookie, as I grind gluten free oats into a flour, to then use in the dough. That one extra step really makes all of the difference. I hope you enjoy these as much as Derek and I do!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 7 tbsp Earth Balance (butter sticks) + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup oat flour (grind Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free oats in your food processor until it is a flour consistency)
- 1 tbsp Coconut flour (optional)
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips/ or 1.5 good chocolate bars cut into small chunks, I used Mast Brothers Dark Chocolate with almonds and sea salt from Brooklyn
- Parchment Paper
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Allow the Earth Balance and egg to come to room temperature.
2. With a stand or electric mixer, beat the earth balance and oil until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3. Combine and sift together flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
4. Beat in the remaining ingredients adding the flour mixture in three batches. Fold in the chocolate chips.
5. With wet fingers, shape tablespoon balls of dough and place on the baking sheet. Flatten the balls down lightly with fingertips. Bake for about 10-11 minutes until slightly golden along edges. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins. on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes.
I love thai food, and have tried to find the perfect red curry sauce, and I think I have found it! While it is a rich sauce, it does not feel heavy or loaded with oil as many take out curries are. Naturally gluten and dairy free, I am using this sauce with seared scallops. I love this combination, the sweetness of the scallop with the rich and spicy sauce. Reduce it like I do here and use it as a sauce, or amp it up with veggies and the protein of your choice and serve as a traditional curry over rice.
For an easy appetizer for a party, take a Japanese soup spoon, add some of the red curry reduction, and place the seared scallop on top for a flavorful and easy bite!
Seared Scallops With a Red Curry Reduction
- 4 oz. Coconut Cream
- 3 tbsp Red Curry Paste
- 12 oz Coconut Milk
- 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 4 Lime Leaves
- 3-4 Fresh Scallops per person
- 3 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Pour the coconut cream into a saucepan, and heat over medium low heat for about 5 minutes until it thickens. Continue to stir and be careful not to let it burn. Add the red curry paste and let that simmer for about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, maple syrup and lime leaves. Let simmer for another 10 minutes or until it thickens.
Pull the small tab-like muscle off of the side of the scallops. Give them a quick rinse under cold water and pat them completely dry. Sprinkle each side with salt and black pepper. Put the oil in a frying pan and heat over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the scallops, do not over crowd, and then do not move them! This is the key for a golden brown crust. Flip after 1 to 1 1/2 min and sear the other side for about 30 seconds to a minute. They should be crisp on the outside but tender in the middle.
Serve with the red curry reduction and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
During the winter I often crave the warm comfort foods of my past, that are almost impossible to find gluten and dairy free, as well as prepared in a healthy way. One thing I really miss is Chicken Pot Pie. Usually loaded with butter and cream and topped with a pastry crust, this is a dish I wasn’t sure I would be able to have again. I decided to try it with goat’s milk, olive oil, and a gluten free pastry dough that I made and it was fantastic! I added some swiss chard for added nutrients on top of the traditional carrots, celery, onions and peas. I used earth balance in the crust but you could use another dairy substitute if you are avoiding soy. The crust was crumbly and delicious, the sauce creamy and not tangy as I would have expected with goats milk, and the chicken was poached to perfection. I made a big batch, baked some off with the crust on top and put the rest of the filling in individual containers in the freezer so that I could have it anytime the craving hit! I actually just reheated it and stirred in some gluten free fusilli one evening and that was delicious and a bit lighter without the crust! Either way it is a hearty meal, full of vegetables and chicken, that anyone who is missing chicken pot pie will enjoy!
I am lucky to work so close to the Union Square Farmers Market, which I have doted on before. Every wednesday after I work a lunch shift, I walk by the fish stands at the market and think about what I am craving. I have been in a scallop mood lately and thought it would pair well with my favorite charcuterie, Serrano Ham, from Brooklyn Larder. I had some potatoes from my CSA farm share and a couple of brussel sprouts from the Park Slope Food Coop and so I created this dish. It is a potato puree, with seared serrano wrapped scallops, drizzled with chili oil and topped with shaved brussel sprouts dressed with lime juice. It was incredible and very easy to make! It was light, yet filling, and the perfect fall/ winter seafood dish. The restaurant I work at put something similar recently on the menu, unfortunately with quite a lot of dairy, but it affirmed that I was on the right track with something good! The chili oil is essential in this dish. The spice with the acid from the lime and the creaminess of the potatoes and scallops all go together beautifully. Find the recipe HERE!
My new, good friend Danielle was coming over for dinner and we were brainstorming what to make. Tacos? I have been on a kick and could take a break. Pizza? Great! I have a stone and it is always fun to make, although for some reason I never want to eat the leftovers. I think it has to do with the guilt that I already ate pizza the night before!
What is light and a nice summer dish? We decided on halibut. In the past, my favorite way to do halibut was to lightly bread it in panko and bake it, served with a home made tarter sauce. It was like adult fish sticks. However yesterday I decided I wanted to pan sear it and make some sort of tomato broth (inspired by amazing chef Greg McCarty) but I was not exactly sure how to execute it. That is when working in an amazing restaurant comes in handy. With a quick how-to from Chef Extrodinare Amanda Wilson, I whipped up this pan seared halibut into something amazing. It was simple, fresh, vibrant, light, and to be honest I can not wait to cook it again! I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did!
For my birthday this year, my sister got me an oven probe thermometer, which is heat resistant and can stay in the meat while cooking. You can set it for the type of meat, and the doneness you desire, or the actual temperature that you want the meat to be. It is incredible! I have made the most succulent, flavorful, and perfectly cooked meat with it. I highly recommend that you invest in one if you like roast meat, and like me, worry about making sure things such as a chicken are fully cooked! I often err on the side of overcooked so that I don’t risk it, leaving my chicken dry and lacking in flavor. So far I have made Herb Roasted Chicken, and a Roasted Rack of Lamb. I cooked the chicken to 170 degrees and the lamb to 135 (medium rare) and they were both perfect.
I was talking about creme brulee the other day and thought to myself, I bet I can do that with goats milk. After a trip to chinatown where I found the perfect dishes, shallow and wide for optimum sugar coverage, and a blow torch, I was ready to go. There are a few things that could be problematic in making a goats milk creme brulee. Creme brulee calls for heavy cream to make the custard and it is sort of impossible to find goat cream. Full fat goat milk is available, however, it has less fat then cow milk, and so therefore even less fat that if I were to just substitute cows milk for cream. So, I was hoping it would just be a light custard that still set. It overall worked pretty well! It was slightly thinner then a normal creme brulee but the flavor was fantastic and to be honest I liked the light texture. It didn’t weigh us down as much as a normal creme brulee would. It is also an added bonus that creme brulee is naturally gluten free! This recipe for Goats Milk Creme Brulee is really easy and can impress a crowd. I would highly suggest you try it!
So this past I was in Texas visiting my aunt and her two amazing three year old twins. Her fridge was stocked with a bounty of berries and greens. I commented on how amazing the fruit was as it is quite expensive in New York and so I rarely have berries in the winter. She proceeded to tell me we were going to Costco to stock up and I would bring some home. I was a bit apprehensive about how I would get 4 pounds of strawberries as well as raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries home on the plane, but she found the perfect bag and off I went. So, what to do with all this fruit? Eat it fresh of course, and plentiful smoothies have been wonderful but I thought, what else? I washed, cut, and froze half of them and then my sister Emily suggested I make a pie. I decided on a strawberry raspberry pie with a coconut crust. I figured the raspberry was a nice twist on the traditional rhubarb as it has a similar tartness. It turned out quite well, although a bit too much liquid cooked out of the berries, so it was very juicy. Next time I would toss them in a bit more corn starch, but warm with a bit of coconut ice cream, it was heavenly. I plan on freezing individual slices so that I can have a dessert whenever feeling slightly indulgent.