Braised Chicken with Leeks and Saffron

  • 2 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
  • 2 lbs potatos, parsnips, or carrots (or a mix), cut into 1.5″ pieces
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and rinsed thoroughly
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the leeks, saffron, and ¼ teaspoon salt to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth, wine, thyme, and bay leaves, scraping up any browned bits.

3. Nestle the chicken and veggies, into the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 20 minutes for the breasts (160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), or 1 hour for the thighs and drumsticks (170 to 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). (If using both types of chicken, simmer the thighs and drumsticks for 40 minutes before adding the breasts.)

4. Transfer the chicken to a serving dish. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Return sauce to a simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, 4 to 6 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal (preferably stoneground)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries, preferably wild, rinsed and dried
  1. Whisk lemon juice, milk, and zest in medium bowl or large measuring cup; set aside to thicken while preparing other ingredients. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to combine.
  2. Whisk egg and melted butter into milk until combined. Make well in center of dry ingredients in bowl; pour in milk mixture and whisk very gently until just combined (a few lumps should remain). Do not over mix.
  3. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes; add 1 teaspoon oil and brush to coat skillet bottom evenly. Pour ¼ cup batter onto 3 spots on skillet; sprinkle 1 tablespoon blueberries over each pancake. Cook pancakes until large bubbles begin to appear, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and cook until golden brown on second side, 1 to 1 ½ minutes longer. Serve immediately, and repeat with remaining batter, using remaining vegetable oil only if necessary.

Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Marinade

For steak

  • ⅓ cup Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest from 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium scallion, sliced thin

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars

Yield: 16 small bars, as shown, or 8 large ones; recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch baking pan, where they will come out a little thicker

  • 1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
  • ¾ cup (95 grams) plus up to 2 tablespoons (15 grams) extra all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (95 grams) light brown sugar
  • Heaped ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (125 grams) small-diced rhubarb (from about 1 ½ medium stalks)
  • 1 cup (155 grams) small-diced strawberries
  • Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. For easy removal, line bottom and two sides of 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix oats, ¾ cup flour, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Pour melted butter over, and stir until clumps form. If the clumps feel soft or look overly damp, add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. 

Set aside ½ cup of the crumble mixture. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

Toss fruit with cornstarch and lemon juice. Spread half the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with ½ tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over this, and top with second ½ tablespoon sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes (firmer fruits will take longer), until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and fragrant.

Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store leftovers in fridge.

Grill Smoked Salmon

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 (6- to 8-ounce) center-cut skin-on salmon fillets
  • 2 cups wood chips
  1. Combine sugar and salt in bowl. Set salmon on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle flesh side evenly with sugar mixture. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour. With paper towels, brush any excess salt and sugar from salmon and blot dry. Return fish on wire rack to refrigerator, uncovered, while preparing grill.
  2. Combine soaked and unsoaked chips. Use large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil to wrap chips into foil packet and cut several vent holes in top. Place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Turn primary burner to high (leave other burners off), cover, and heat grill until hot and wood chips begin to smoke, 15 to 25 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium. (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of 275 to 300 degrees.)
  3. Clean and oil cooking grate. Fold piece of heavy-duty foil into 18 by 6-inch rectangle. Place foil rectangle over cool side of grill and place salmon pieces on foil, spaced at least ½ inch apart. Cover grill (positioning lid vent over fish if using charcoal) and cook until center of thickest part of fillet registers 125 degrees and is still translucent when cut into with paring knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve, or allow to cool to room temperature.

Cauliflower soup

  • 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4½ – 5 cups water
  • ½ tsp sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh chives
  1. Pull off outer leaves of cauliflower and trim stem. Using paring knife, cut around core to remove; thinly slice core and reserve. Cut heaping 1 cup of ½-inch florets from head of cauliflower; set aside. Cut remaining cauliflower crosswise into ½-inch thick slices.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, onion, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt; cook, stirring frequently, until leek and onion are softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high; add 4 ½ cups water, sliced core, and half of sliced cauliflower; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add remaining sliced cauliflower, return to simmer, and continue to cook until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
  4. [Optional] While soup simmers, melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring frequently, until florets are golden brown and butter is browned and imparts nutty aroma, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and use slotted spoon to transfer florets to small bowl. Toss florets with vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour browned butter in skillet into small bowl and reserve for garnishing.
  5. Process soup in blender until smooth, about 45 seconds. Rinse out pan. Return pureed soup to pan and return to simmer over medium heat, adjusting consistency with remaining water as needed (soup should have thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred) and seasoning with salt to taste. Serve, garnishing individual bowls with browned florets, drizzle of browned butter, and chives and seasoning with pepper to taste.