Me: It smells like fish.
BF: It's fish. Isn't it supposed to smell like fish?
Me: No, it's supposed to smell clean like the ocean.
Every single time we go to a seafood restaurant or pass a grocery store fish case, the same Abbott and Costello routine ensues. It's too funny. Seriously though, this recipe only has a few ingredients, so make sure your fish is good quality and smells fresh (like the ocean).
A few changes were made to James Peterson's original recipe (mainly increased the amount of sherry and herbs and I strained the liquid), otherwise it's perfect. Here is what he says about this dish: "A 5-ingredient, 20-minute technique to make any white fish shine – bonus: it makes its own buttery, boozy sauce, without deglazing or reducing. So go to your local fishmonger or sign up for a CSF. Don't blindly buy halibut or sea bass or whatever a recipe calls for – ask your trusty fishperson what's in season, what came in fresh that day. Any firm-fleshed, non-oily white fish will work – sole, cod, bass, rockfish, or any white fish that's not too delicate (so skip scrawny fillets like flounder)."
Would also encourage you to use a good quality dry or very dry sherry. I have recently upgraded to Hartley & Gibson's Fino Very Dry Sherry, and it made a significant difference in the taste of the final dish.
For folks who don't have a fondness for fish, I have found that this dish is a great "gateway" into appreciating the taste of fish. So clean and light.
One of my clients orders this dish every single week, and I usually buy extra to make it a week night dinner option with the BF, since it's so easy to prepare. [Ed. note: #winning]
Adapted from: James Peterson, Food 52
Number of servings: 4-6
It was about seven years ago that I started to like avocados. I know. I was in the minority. Wouldn't touch guacamole. Didn't understand the draw of "nature's butter" on sandwiches. It truly puzzled me. The BF can take it or leave it.
Now I love them and can't get enough. Will plan entire meals around a ripe avocado I have hanging out in the kitchen. When my sister visits, avocado toast for breakfast. Every. Single. Day.
Guacamole? [Ed. note: The late George Carlin used to say, "That sounds like something you yell when you're on fire."] All the time. And god help me if I don't have spare avocados to top tacos.
Years ago I fell in love with this warm Indian spiced avocado dip from Heidi Swanson's cookbook Super Natural Every Day. She is also known for her blog 101 Cookbooks.
Serve this dip at room temperature, or warm with sesame rice crackers, fresh veggies, toasted naan, pita or tortilla chips. My current favorite scooper is parsnip chips from Trader Joe's.
Adapted from: Super Natural Every Day
Number of servings: 2 cups
Pizzerias will rightfully do brisk business for Super Bowl LII, and many will no doubt fire up the grill, but we'll be zagging while they zig, breaking out our slow cooker for these mini cheesesteaks. [Ed. note: The fact that these are cheesesteaks in no way constitutes a vote for any particular team.]
The chuck roast's flavor punch comes courtesy of a good amount of pepperoncinis, and really, the dish is deceptively simple to make. The main ingredient you need is time (7-8 hours in the slow cooker), and it's actually preferable to make the meat a day in advance to let the flavors coalesce. (Since it's dead time, you can use the slow cooker overnight while you sleep.) Serve in a soft jacket of the roll of your choice or gild the lily and add provolone cheese, melted under the broiler.
Robin Chapman originally made this Mississippi Roast, which went viral in 2016 thanks to the New York Times. They altered the "Internet darling of a recipe" by taking out the packaged ingredients (replacing the Hidden Valley Ranch mix with spices, mayo and buttermilk). The Times link is here cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017937-mississippi-roast, but honestly Chapman's version is better and easier.
I have catered a longtime client's Super Bowl parties for the past eight years, and when the Patriots face off against the Eagles this will be one of the main dishes, served with oven-baked yam fries, crunchy Asian coleslaw, warm Indian spiced guacamole and homemade baked veggie chips.
Adapted from: Robin Chapman
Number of servings: 6-8
NOTE: I don't add extra salt (the mixes have plenty in them already).
One year ago the BF and I did an abbreviated version of Whole30 (we allowed for an exception...or two). He lost 8.5 pounds and thought it was pretty easy to stay on the program. [Ed. note: You give me meat an potatoes and I shall find a way to survive.] I didn't fare that well in the weight-loss department, but it was a terrific reboot, and the real saving grace was the coconut milk sauce I developed that was incorporated into everything. With the exception of Indian and Thai dishes, I rarely used coconut milk. This turned out to be a worthwhile challenge, and the result was a savory sauce that is a brilliant dairy-free option.
Here the coconut milk –infused into a garlic turmeric sauce– is a perfect foil to the crunchy cabbage, spicy chives and crispy skinned potatoes. We actually had this as a main course, but it would work as a side dish for steak, chicken, pork, or any protein. (We are unapolegetic carnivoires.)
We will be hopping on the Whole30 again soon, and certainly will be incorporating this into the process.
Inspired by Dolly and Oatmeal
Number of servings: 2-3 entrees or 4-6 side dishes
Coconut-Garlic Turmeric Sauce
It's been raining here for a week. Not complaining, as even though I have now officially lived in California longer than Oregon, I'm still an Oregonian girl at heart. Plus, after so many years of California droughts, we need the rain.
When we get the precipitation, the BF loves to get Chinese take out, and sometimes, specifically, pork and shrimp wontons. Here we have the pork and shrimp wontons, but without the wonton wrapper (which makes this practically zero carbs). Let's not fool ourselves, it's what's inside the wrapper that counts, and no wrapper means gluten free, paleo and low carb.
I added a zingy sriracha mayonnaise dipping sauce and made it into sliders instead of meatballs, but other than that, the original recipe from Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo is perfect.
Adapted from: Michelle Tam, Nom Nom Paleo
Number of Servings: 4
Shrimp & Pork Wonton Sliders
NOTE: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and frozen for up to 3 months.
Marlowe practicing her concept of Hygge.
So. That last week in December. The BF and I overdid it, too. Sweets, breads, so many rich foods, spirits. We understand.
Now that the calendar has been turned over, we're going to reboot our systems with this cleansing broth, which we like to have between meals (I drink a cup for breakfast).
My BF and I have been eating low carb for many years. We try to mix a large variety of vegetables with smaller amounts of protein and no added sugar of any kind (including honey, agave or maple syrup) five or six days a week. The other day(s), we pretty much have whatever we want; on game days we often go for pizza...because it's game day.
I adore anything flavored with ginger, and turmeric gives it such a gorgous shade of yellow. Try to find fresh turmeric at your grocery store or farmers market, if you can. (The first time I made this broth I used powdered turmeric and it was delicious. The next time I found fresh turmeric and it was markedly more intense.)
Although I like this broth plain or with a few baby spinach leaves, it lends itself to add any number of ingredients to make it a more hearty entree. The basic recipe comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Sylvia Fountaine of Feasting at Home. The few changes I made are more suited to my personal taste of preferring broths and soups very, very clear. I strained it first through a strainer and then through cheesecloth not once, but twice.
Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
Adapted from: Feasting at Home
Number of Servings: 6
NOTES: If you are cooking the broth uncovered for any length of time, remember it will reduce (intensifying the flavor and salt). So you will need to add more water, or it may be too salty. Dilute the broth to your taste.
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.