My favorite thing about talking to some of our less-cheffy friends is that they make you feel super impressive and creative, even when your ideas are pretty standard. For example, Liza was recently telling The Chef and me about how there’s only so much you can do with chicken and vegetables, and you just can’t make pork tenderloin for two.
To which I said, um, depends on how large and fattening your portion sizes are, but that’s really not the point. Tenderloin is surprisingly simple to make, and it’s just about the best snack ever.
So when The Chef told Liza about this sweet and tangy marinade and the ways you could re-purpose your leftovers – tenderloin tacos, quesadillas, on buns with horseradish or honey mustard – she acted like he had just discovered fire. It was hilarious.
So this one’s for you, young Liza. Treat yo’self!
1 1/2 cups of maple syrup
1 cup of creole mustard
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
salt and pepper
- Whisk together all ingredients.
- Pour marinade over tenderloin and marinate for 4 hours – overnight, depending upon how intense you want the flavor to be.
- Grill (or bake) until a thermometer registers 150 degrees. (If you are a little braver and like the pink, you can stop at 140.)
- Let the tenderloin rest for 30 minutes before slicing. Or, if you’re making this ahead of time for a specific occasion, refrigerate and slice when ready to serve. Tenderloin is just as good room temp.
© Quentin Bacon
It has been so long since I started writing up this recipe from my brother’s engagement party that he is now married. Inexcusable, no?
Well I’m not sorry! With the warm weather and the actual paying writing jobs, something had to give, and this was it. (I actually am sorry, though. This recipe nonsense is considerably easier and more fun to write about than FAA grants, and this audience is loyal as hell, so please forgive me.)
Anyway, we – and by “we” I mean “The Chef” – made a huge batch of this recipe for a St. Patrick’s Day engagement party and served it up in shot glasses. In my world, Soup + Shots + Bacon = Phenom. Seriously – peas are usually beyond lame, but the toppings on this make it delectable.
This is actually Daniel Boulud‘s super schmancy pea soup recipe, but it has been classed-down by Food & Wine for an easier preparation. It’s served cold so it’s a cinch for a party. Make a bunch and sip all summer.
8 slices of bacon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
2 rosemary sprigs
salt & freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2 10-oz boxes frozen baby peas
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
- In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate; reserve the fat in a bowl in case you need to add it at the end for more bacon flavor.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add the frozen baby peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain.
- Add the sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture.
- Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.
- In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
- Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. (Use a squirt bottle to make pretty designs out of the cream. It’s absurdly cheffy, but so freaking fun.) Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve.
With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals. Lentils are my latest thing. I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best. It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style. The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too! I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination. Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
- In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I rarely order shrimp at restaurants for some reason, but when it comes to cooking at home they are a go to ingredient for me. Living in NOLA, we have access to the best gulf shrimp. Also, since Chef John and I plan on cooking every recipe in Besh’s My New Orleans, there are lots of shrimp dinners ahead of us, so expect more shrimp recipes to be posted! Below is one we used on these amazing huge fresh gulf shrimps that our friend gave us. I wish I had a picture of them raw because they were beauties. This is a very basic recipe so really feel free to change it up with whatever spices and herbs you like. I think this recipe was adapted from an Emeril recipe, but honestly I cannot remember. We served this with a frisse salad and roasted veggies. -ts
1/2 pounds large unpeeled shrimp
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Devein shrimp, leaving shells on.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 6 tablespoons lemon mixture for serving. Place shrimp and remaining lemon mixture in a resealable plastic bag; seal bag and shake to coat shrimp. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- Heat grill high. Remove shrimp from marinade, wiping off excess. Grill until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve shrimp drizzled with reserved lemon mixture.
As RipleyPickles mentioned, fall is in the air. Down here in NOLA that means it is a cool high 80’s/low 90’s, so I think a nice comfort chicken dish is needed. Provencal Chicken has all the right ingredients- shallots, butter, wine, rosemary, and garlic. Unless you serve this chicken raw, it is impossible to ruin. This is easy, delicious, and will impress any dinner guests. This recipe comes from Pierre Franey’s “Cooking In France.”
Chef’s note: the secret to making this the perfect chicken dish is cooking the chicken skin-side down for at least ten minutes. The crispiness is key. As always, using homemade chicken broth changes a dish completely and is highly recommended. -ts
3-4 pound chicken cut in pieces (ask your butcher to chop it) or use 2 pound chicken pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
- Season chicken pieces on both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat in heavy skillet large enough to hold pieces comfortably until butter foam has subsided. Add chicken pieces skin-side down and cook undisturbed until skin is crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Turn chicken pieces over and add garlic and rosemary to skillet. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes.
- Remove chicken to rest and carefully remove all but a few tablespoons of fat from skillet. Add shallots and cook for 30 seconds, then add wine and chicken broth. Scrape up pan juices from surface and reduce sauce by half
- Return chicken pieces to pan skin-side up and cook, covered, until chicken is cooked through. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to skillet to finish sauce. Serve chicken immediately with sauce draped around it.
This recipe comes to us from Mr. Justin Pitts, Esq. of Malibu, California, so you know this shiz be fancy.
I have yet to try this, but I think we all recognize that bubbly cheese=fatty goodness about 98% of the time.
(The other 2% of the time is made up of randomly scarring incidents such as the time I saw a cheese-and-mayonnaise sandwich that was left out on the picnic table for 2 days in kindergarten. This girl Amanda used to trade me her Kraft-single-and-mayo sammys for my boring turkey ones because my mom wouldn’t make them for me. Dot said they provided no nutritional value… which is ironic, because she also used to let me eat whole sticks of butter. But I only parent a small dog who eats olives and pickles on the regular, so what do I know.)
Anyway, bubbly cheese + fresh herbs + a cast iron skillet should be enough to melt any Southerner’s heart, so we’re glad to see Pitts hasn’t let SoCal fancify all the good sense out of him. Now let’s get melty:
1.5 lbs Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, rind cut off, 1-in dice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
- Put the cheese cubes in a 12 Inch cast iron skillet. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle the garlic and herbs all around and season with salt and pepper.
- Put under broiler 5 inches from the heat for about 6-7 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown.
- Dip the bread in it and devour.
It’s spicy up in here, y’all.
I feel like everywhere I look these days, there is a different colored bell pepper staring up at me, like a little edible Oompa Loompa. (Sometimes I like to imagine veggies are little people.. but then that brings up the distasteful idea of murdering them just so I can have salsa or whatever, and that’s a little more unseemly. Except for those Veggie Tales effers. Those creepy little things can burn.)
Anywho, there’s nothing better to do with these ripe little suckers than bathe them in a little olive oil, dress ’em up in garlic and send them out on the town.
The Chef tells me that “peperonata” is an Italian condiment for meats, but it can also be a great fish-topper and is yummy served cold as part of an antipasta course. I just think it’s fun to say.
As long as you don’t take it too far like Giada de Laurentiis (You’re Italian! We get it!). If I hear her over-pronounce “spahhh-gihhh-ti” or mohhh-zah-reh-lllla” one more time, I’m gonna smack the perky right off of her face.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1.5 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Slice peppers and onions thin.
- Heat oil in a large skillet on medium low heat.
- Add onions and peppers and salt. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Then add garlic, rosemary, and vinegar. Cook for about 15 minutes. Voila.
Chef John says: Shortly before leaving NYC, I was introduced to a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant called Balaboosta. If you are in NYC you should definitely go, there isn’t a bad item on the menu. A must-order from here was the Brick Chicken. I don’t really get how the whole brick thing works and I don’t really care, all I know is it’s delicious. The skin is super crispy, the meat is juicy and that’s what matters the most. I recently came across a recipe so I decided to give it a shot.I found the marinade to be very flavorful but switch it up to your tastes. Just be sure to use the brick.It’s allllllllll in the brick.
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped, plus additional sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
One 4-pound whole grass-fed chicken, butterflied
- Combine the garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, crushed red pepper and salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Rub two-thirds of the marinade all over the chicken and under the skin.
- Prepare your grill for direct medium-low heat or heat a cast-iron pan over a medium-low flame. Place the chicken on the grill or pan skin side down. Place a foil-wrapped brick or a heavy cast-iron skillet on top of the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the brick and turn the chicken over. Place the brick on the chicken again and continue to grill until the chicken is golden and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade.
This is a super simple breakfast potato recipe. I don’t really have measurements because this is all by taste and what I have in the fridge or pantry. It takes no time at all, incredibly easy and is the perfect hangover cure. I highly recommend topping with an egg over easy and using lots of hot sauce. – ts
5-6 small potatoes (any potatoes will do)
1 small red bell pepper chopped
½ large yellow onion chopped
seasoning (whatever you have on hand) options:
- fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary
- dried oregano (make sure to squish dried oregano between your fingers to release the seasonings before using)
- chili powder
1-2 scallions chopped green and white parts
2 cloves garlic minced
salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- Boil water, and then boil potatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until tender
- Drain and let cool while you chop the bell pepper, onions, and garlic
- Heat pan with olive oil, and then add garlic. Let cook about 45 seconds or 1 minute, until fragrant. Add peppers and onions and sauté for a few minutes. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.
- While peppers and onions cook, slice potatoes up to about ½ inch slices. Add potatoes to pan along with all seasonings. Cook for about 20 minutes. Top with fresh scallions. Serve hot with hot sauce and fried egg over easy.
Because they’re adorable, that’s why.
Other than as side dishes on some high-falutin* Cooking Channel shows, I had no experience with baby carrots until I bought them on my last trip to the Whitton Farms stand at the Memphis Farmers Market 2 weeks ago. Obviously, I had to purchase them because I purchase anything tiny or orange (Go Vols!), but I was delighted to find out that they are not only cute as crap but really freaking tasty too.
The Chef gave these a good olive oil and herb bath and roasted them until they were like little bite-sized candies. Cooking them at this high temp makes every bit of them soft, right down to their little green hats.
Serve these up alongside the Zucchini Crudo and the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette and you have an embarrassment of farm-fresh riches. Whitton Farms, you’ve done right by us once again.
3 bunches of baby carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1.5 tbsp chopped herbs (sage and rosemary are great choices and they make the house smell amazing)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Toss carrot with oil, then salt and pepper, then herbs.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Eat with your hands. So much more fun that way.
*Many thanks to Carly whose blog came up first when I googled “What does the word falutin’ mean?” It does my heart good to know that the pressing Google issues I face are being taken care of by people who I already know.