I want to start this recipe with a disclaimer. Tieghan makes amazing recipes. A lot of her stuff is in my arsenal, or on my to-try list. HOWEVER. I usually end up cutting out upwards of three or four ingredients of hers per recipe, because as nice as those things are, they’re there more for garnish, and don’t really add anything to the dish. Here, I cut… three things, but we’ve still got a damn amazing recipe here. 

The most expensive things you will likely have to get are the cherry tomatoes and the feta, but the rest you likely either have in your pantry/fridge, or can find them nearby for reasonable prices. You can still make this for a pretty reasonable price, and it makes enough for you to have leftovers and then some. 

Twenty Minute Mediterranean Hummus Noodles with Blistered Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 6 baby bell peppers (I used about half of what the original recipe recommends, found them cheap at my local grocery, look for sweet snacking peppers)
  • pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • .75 lb thin spaghetti, or your personal preferred thin pasta (I went angel hair here)
  • .75 c of your favorite hummus (roasted garlic, here)
  • 1 c pasta cooking water (drain this off right before you’re done!)
  • 1 c fresh basil (I tore it, Tieghan isn’t really clear on if it needs to be chopped, diced, left whole, etc)
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • .25 c kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz feta crumbles

Take a pot of water, salt it, and bring it to a boil.  While the pot warms up and begins to boil, take a large grill pan, pour 2 T olive oil in, and heat over high heat. Once heated, add the cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and grill until the cherries begin to wrinkle and grill marks appear on the peppers, flipping from side to side. The difference between pictures one to three here is about 10 minutes’ time, and pic 3 is what it should look like at the end of that time. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to instructions, until al dente. Right as it finishes, scoop off one cup of the water the pasta’s cooked in, and add it to a medium sized bowl. Then drain the pasta, and let it sit a minute while you get the next part ready. 

To the pasta cooking water, add the hummus, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes, and whisk together until you’ve got a thin sauce (see pic five). Let it sit a bit to thicken. Then, take your pasta, and toss it to coat with the sauce. 

Take 1 c of your blistered cherry tomatoes, put them in a small bowl, and smash them lightly with a fork, so that the juices are released. Stir in the oregano, chopped kalamatas, remaining 2 T olive oil, a bit of sea salt and pepper to taste, and balsamic, and toss to combine. 

When ready to eat, take the sauced pasta, add the tomato-olive mix, a few blistered tomatoes and peppers, and feta, and toss to combine, and then enjoy the amazingness!

Spring is here, which means it’s asparagus and citrus season! Looking for something to combine those two things? Then look no further than this. You can pick up asparagus from the farmer’s market for super cheap, along with an orange and lemon for cheap, and with the juices they release while roasting, combined with the butter and olive oil here, and the end result is pure amazingness. Hell, you could also probably do this well on a grill. 

Citrus Butter Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed (original recipe recommends two bunches, may try it with 2 lbs next time)
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1 blood orange, sliced thin (I used tarocco, because it was on sale, cara cara and clementines also work)
  • 4 T butter, split into 1 T pieces
  • 2 T olive oil
  • .5 c grated parmigiano-reggiano (or parmesan)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400. Take your lemon and orange slices, and asparagus, and lay it together on a foil-lined sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil over it, and layer the butter slices on top of it, while sprinkling with the parmigiano-reggiano, sea salt, and pepper. 

Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until your asparagus is tender, and ever so slightly charred. And then, enjoy the citrusy asparagus goodness!

I was able to find this roast for $.99/lb quite a while ago, and it’s just been hanging out in the freezer waiting for the perfect recipe. This is definitely it. I would’ve never thought of using lemon zest in a rub, but as it turns out, it goes really well, especially with all the spices mentioned here. Definitely going on the keeper list.

Roast Chicken with Plums

Ingredients

Roast Chicken

  • zest of 2 large lemons
  • 2 T ground sumac
  • 4 t sea salt
  • 1 T fresh ground pepper
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t allspice
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated or minced (I went minced)
  • whole chicken (original recipe recommended 2 4ish lb chickens, I went with one big almost 10 lb one)
  • 1 bunch thyme (or ground, if you’re me and don’t want to get the fresh herbs)
  • 1 T lemon juice (fresh squeezed ideal)

Plums

  • 2.5 lbs plums, halved, quartered if on the larger side
  • (original recipe mentions shallots, I omitted them, didn’t want to make the grocery run)
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • .5 t cinnamon
  • pinch allspice
  • 1 bay leaf torn in half
  • 2 T water

Take your lemon zest, and mix in the sumac, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, the minced garlic, and 3 T of the olive oil. The resulting mixture should feel like wet sand. Rub the mixture all over the chicken, including the insides. Take your thyme bunch and rest it inside the cavity (or if you’re me, just sprinkle a bunch of thyme in the cavity). Let the rubbed chicken marinate in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, or up to 24 hours. 

Either way, once you’re ready to roast the chicken, take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature, letting it sit for about 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 450.

While the chicken sits and the oven preheats, take the plums, honey, water, olive oil, cinnamon, allspice, and bay leaf, and toss together in a roasting pan. Spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of the roasting pan. Once the oven is preheated, transfer the chicken to the roasting pan, resting it on top of the plums, and roast for 30 minutes to start.

After 30 minutes, take 1 T of lemon juice and the remaining 1 T olive oil from earlier, mix it together, and drizzle over the chicken. Put the chicken back in the oven, and continue to roast for another 45 minutes, until cooked all the way through. 

Let your chicken rest under a foil blanket for 10 minutes once it’s been removed from the oven, and then enjoy!

So, when I originally made this, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for doing so (I think I only had half the necessary rice and tried to reduce accordingly), but what I got out of it was pretty good, and I definitely want to try making this again. Seems like a perfect spring type recipe, with the lemon, and especially with the herb garden I want to get going out here. 

Baked Risotto with Finnes Herbes and Lemon

Ingredients

  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts finely chopped and well washed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 t sea salt
  • .5 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1.5 c arborio rice
  • 1.25 c dry white wine
  • 3.5 to 4 c chicken stock, warmed
  • .5 c Parmesan cheese (I used parmigiano reggiano)
  • .5 t fresh lemon zest
  • (original recipe recommends .25 c fresh parsley, 3 T finely sliced chives, and 1 T coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, I think I did a bunch of dried parsley and tarragon, going to try that again once fresh herbs are more in season)

Preheat your oven to 425. Keep your chicken stock warm in a separate nearby pot. While your oven preheats, take a large (roughly 2 qt, I used this to break in my new dutch oven) baking dish, and lightly butter it. If you’re me, what you’ll do is just use that dutch oven for everything, making this a one-pot meal. If you don’t have a baking dish that’s stovetop usable, grab a separate pot. Whatever you end up cooking in, melt 2 T butter over medium heat. Once melted, add your chopped leek and onion, sea salt, and pepper, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, which should take around 10 minutes.

Then, add your rice. Stir to coat in the butter, and cook until the rice starts toasting (you’ll get a nice nutty smell, and it sizzles and pops a bit), about two minutes or so. Then, add your wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until almost completely absorbed, about three minutes total. (And yes, in accordance with the other risotto recipes, you absolutely need to drink the rest of the bottle of wine for science.)  Then, add 3 c of chicken stock, bring everything back to a simmer, and either just put it straight in the oven, or, if you needed a separate dish, put it in that. 

Bake your risotto for five minutes at a time, stirring every five minutes, for fifteen minutes total, until the stock is completely absorbed into the risotto. (See the difference between pictures 3 and 4.) Remove from the oven, and stir in your herbs of choice, the remaining 1 T butter, the parmesan, and the lemon zest. Then add the remaining .5 to 1 c chicken stock slowly, and stir until the rice is creamy. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Back in December/January, rib roasts were available for super fucking cheap because of the holidays, so I got to try a new roast recipe. Not sure if I’ll try it again, but if nothing else, the gorgonzola sauce that goes with it is pretty great. 

Sage Crusted Rib Roast with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Rib Roast

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 semi boneless rib roast (this one was appx 7 lbs, I want to say?)
  • sea salt and pepper for sprinkling
  • 2 bunches fresh sage (or, if you’re me, a whole bunch of ground sage)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 c red wine
  • 2 c chicken or beef stock (I used chicken)

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

  • 4 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 T fresh ground pepper
  • 6 oz gorgonzola cheese crumbles
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 450. Take your olive oil, and heat it in a large pan on high. Once warmed, sear each end of the rib roast, about 4 to 5 minutes a side, until nicely browned. 

In a roasting pan, mix together your stock and red wine, and add your sliced onion. Lay the roast on top of the onion, and then drizzle with the remaining olive oil, placing your sea salt, pepper, and sage to taste on the roast. Cover the roast with foil, and then roast at 450 for about 20 to 25 mins, and then reduce the heat to 350, roasting for another hour and a half (to get to rare). Here and there throughout the roasting, baste the roast with the wine/stock/juices mix. For the last half hour, remove the foil. 

In the last ten minutes or so, heat the butter, olive oil, and garlic over medium heat, cooking until the garlic is fragrant and soft, and just a bit caramelized, about five minutes. Add the white wine in and cook until reduced by a third, another fiveish minutes. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and gorgonzola, melting until you have a smooth sauce. Then, add in your pepper, a bit of sea salt to taste, and remove from heat.

Once your roast is removed, let cool for about fifteen to twenty minutes, serve with the gorgonzola sauce, and enjoy!

This is one of the more interesting flavor combinations I’ve ever tried. Caramelized pears and blue cheese makes perfect logical sense to me, but as a cream based soup?? (It works way better than you’d think.)  

I’m not quite sure if I’m feeling it at the moment, but honestly, worst comes to worst I try this again in a while. (Plus, we’re still in pear season at the farmer’s market for a good long while, this will probably be even better come fall.)

Parts of the original recipe are a bit vague/contradicting, so I’ve clarified where I can and honestly just guessed where I can’t. Kevin also recommends crispy prosciutto as a garnish for this, and I’d agree with that – however, this was made for vegetarians on this initial round, so I’ll try that in the future. 

Caramelized Pear and Blue Cheese Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 6 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch pieces (I used most of a small bag of Asian pears from the farmer’s market)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • .5 t thyme (ideally fresh and chopped, but ground works just fine if you don’t have any)
  • 3 c vegetable stock
  • .5 lbs potato, peeled and diced (I used some small red potatoes)
  • 4 oz crumbled blue cheese (I used a gorgonzola per recipe recommendations)
  • .5 c milk (half and half and heavy whipping cream are also options)
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • (optional: diced crispy proscuitto or bacon or pancetta if making it not vegetarian!)

Melt your butter over medium high heat in a large pot. As soon as it’s melted, add the brown sugar, and cook until the butter and sugar starts to bubble (see pic 1). Add in your pear pieces, and cook until lightly browned and tender (this took about 5 to 7 minutes, should look like pic 2). 

Then, add your onion, and cook until tender, about another three to five minutes. Add in the thyme and garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute) , then add in the broth, milk, and potato. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, until the potato is tender (about ten to fifteen minutes, I went for ten because one of the people I was cooking for had to leave soon). 

If you have a stick blender, take it and puree the soup until you’ve got a nice silky soup. If you don’t, put it in the blender in batches, and puree until smooth.  Turn off your heat, return the soup to the pot, and then take your blue cheese crumbles and stir them in in small batches until melted, tasting after each batch to make sure that the cheese doesn’t overwhelm the sweetness of the caramelized pears too much. Once you’ve got it at the perfect balance for your tastes, add in the sea salt and pepper, give it a last stir, and serve! (The recipe mentions stirring in the milk again here, I chose not to, and it still came out well.) (If you would want to add in the pancetta/prosciutto/bacon, this is where you’d do it.)

This recipe, just on general principle, is pretty fantastic. Roasted berries, brie, and a balsamic maple vinaigrette – can’t really go wrong there. However? Do this right when you’ve got strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries at the farmer’s market concurrently, and I’m pretty sure this will blow it all out of the water. (Also be sure that your berries are cooled when you mix the brie in, the triple cream I used ended up melting into the berries and juices. Not that I’m complaining.)

A brief side note: I find both quinoa and kale to be overused and overpriced, so unless they really add something to a meal, I usually tend to omit them. This is one of those cases in which I did. If you’d like this recipe with the original kale and quinoa, click the linked recipe below!

Roasted Berry and Brie Salad

Ingredients

  • assorted berries, in whatever quantity you’d like (used a combination of strawberries (hulled and halved), blackberries, and blueberries at a 2:.5:1 ratio)
  • olive oil
  • sugar (used brown sugar to 
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 4 oz brie (I used a triple cream, Delice de Bourgogne)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 T whole grain mustard

Preheat your oven to 400, and line a baking tray or glass pan with foil. Take your berries, toss them with olive oil and sugar to coat, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Put them in the pan, and roast for about ten minutes, until slightly softened. LET THEM COOL. Seriously, do this, or the brie will melt into the juices (which isn’t a bad thing, per se, but if you want the cheese to remain whole, let the berries cool.)

Once your berries are cooled enough, put them into your serving or storing container, and cut your 4 oz of brie into small chunks, and put it into the berries, tossing lightly to combine. 

To make your vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and a bit of fresh cracked sea salt and pepper, and whisk together to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss lightly again to coat, and then enjoy your ridiculously awesome summer dish!

Notes for future: keep brie separate until the last possible moment prior to serving, make in smaller quantities. 

I’m back, kids, and with a whole bunch of food porn for ya. Didja miss me?

I’m officially settled in my temporary place in Chicago, was able to pretty quickly secure a job, and have finally fully restocked my pantry and taken a trip to the farmer’s market down here (Green City Market hyyyyype).  

That market is where I got the tomatoes and basil for this recipe, and let me tell you, using the heirlooms I did for this recipe (I want to say these were tangerine varietal?) blew this recipe out of the water.  (It also helps that buratta is on sale at Whole Foods right now for $5 for I’m pretty sure the entire month?)

Use the last little gasp of summer here, go out to the farmer’s market, and do the thing. It’s so worth it. 

Burrata Roasted Caprese Salad
Lasts for however many lunches you can stretch out the buratta or the tomatoes, whichever you run out of first

Ingredients

  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced thin (I used tangerine heirlooms, so good)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 ball burrata
  • handful of basil leaves, torn
  • balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 375. Take your tomatoes, slice them thin, and then layer them in a glass baking dish with some foil, drizzling olive oil, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper over them. Roast your tomatoes for 20 minutes, until they just barely start to wrinkle at the edges (see picture 2). 

Take your tomatoes, and transfer them to whatever you will store them in (I just layered them in a take out soup container). When you’re ready to eat, take the roasted tomatoes, and layer them in with the torn basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and reheat the tomatoes a little, so that they’re just barely warm. Then, take a bit of your ball of burrata, layer it into the tomatoes like in the final picture, and just enjoy the absolute deliciousness.

And this, right here, was my final meal cooked at the old place. A combination of things fresh from my garden, frozen farmer’s market items, and just a good combination of flavors. Peas, proscuitto, parmesan, egg yolk, and mint all together over a lovely pasta just makes the perfect summer meal. Also, HyVee makes pot-sized pasta, which means that you can just stick in your box of pasta and not have to worry about breaking it all over. It’s pretty fantastic.

I might be on hiatus for a while as I make the transition down to Chicago here. Hopefully it won’t be long before I’m back, but these things can’t be helped. See you all on the other side!

Fresh Mint and Pea Pasta Alla Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 1.5 plus .5 to .75 c peas, shelled, frozen or fresh (I used the ones I had in my freezer, with 1.5 c frozen, and the other .75 c thawing out while everything cooked)
  • 5 slices prosciutto
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large handfuls of mint, leaves whole (I took a bunch of peppermint from the garden)
  • 1 lb thin pasta of choice (seriously, get HyVee pot sized pasta, it’s the best thing ever)
  • 2-3 egg yolks
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • fresh grated Parmesan (used Sartori’s)

Get your pasta water boiling in a separate pot. While that gets going, take 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter and melt it in a large pan. Once it’s melted, take 1.5 c of your peas (mine were frozen when I tossed them in) and your minced garlic, and saute them over medium heat until they’re soft, about 8 minutes. I chose to salt and pepper (including red pepper flakes) the veggies rather than the yolks, and found it worked very well. Don’t be afraid to use a heavy hand on the sea salt here, as the pasta will not be salted. Remove from heat.

Right about the time your peas finish, the pasta water should be boiling. Add in your pasta, and cook according to package instructions until al dente (usually 8 minutes). While the pasta cooks, take your prosciutto slices, tear them up, and heat 1 T of olive oil in a small pan. Take the torn prosciutto and cook it in the pan over medium high heat, until crispy. 

Once the prosciutto is fried, your pasta should be ready to go. Take a half cup of pasta water and add it to the peas, before draining and straining your pasta noodles. Combine the noodles with the peas, and add more salt, pepper, and pepper flakes after a quick taste. 

To serve, put your pasta in whatever you will be serving/storing it in, add the fresh peas and prosciutto, and toss to combine. Then, add the egg yolks and parmesan, and mint leaves, and toss to combine, until the pasta is coated. And then, enjoy the amazingness!

This is a neat little recipe. Didn’t really notice that it was billed as “skinny”, but eh. The recipes in the original are a little vague, so I tried to spell things out as much as possible. Nice, hearty recipe, though. 

Chicken Saltimbocca
Makes however many chicken breasts you use

Ingredients

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts (either packaged, or however many you may want to get if you have a good meat counter)
  • sea salt 
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sage leaves (didn’t have any, used a liberal dash of ground sage per breast)
  • slices of prosciutto (get as many as you have chicken breasts)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • .25 c white wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Angel Food)
  • .5 c chicken stock
  • 4 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T capers
  • .5 T butter

Season your chicken with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper. If you have the sage leaves, take two leaves, and if you don’t, season both sides with ground sage. Wrap the prosciutto slice around the chicken breast, and secure with a toothpick, securing the sage leaves if using just under where the slice ends meet. 

Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium high, and sear the wrapped chicken for six to ten minutes a side, until golden brown and the prosciutto is crispy. (Original recipe recommends shorter and lower temp, but that doesn’t get it done all the way through.)  Remove to whatever you will be serving/storing the chicken in.

Deglaze the pan with your white wine, and then add your chicken stock, lemon juice, and capers, bringing to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half (about 6 to 8 mins), and then add in your .5 T of butter, and cook until melted and the sauce has thickened a bit, an additional 2 to 3 mins. If it’s not thickening enough, throw a dash of corn starch in. 

Then, pour the sauce over the chicken, and nom!