I shot this INSANELY delish Mac and Cheese recipe as a part of Meiomi Wines’ collaboration with The Cheese Twins. It is cheesy, flavorful, and fabulous. It makes a massive batch, so make it for a dinner party and serve with a big green salad!
I’m in love with this Indian spinach dish that I created based off of Saag Paneer. It’s creamy, full of delicious Indian spices, and so incredibly quick and easy to make. It’s a perfect side dish with roasted fish or chicken, or is great as a main dish with a bit of rice or quinoa.
Find the recipe at Mealthy.com!
I'm not a hardcore meal prep fanatic, but I do like to have a few things on hand during the week so that I can pull together healthy meals easily. If there's nothing healthy on hand when I'm hungry, it's so much harder to stick to a healthy diet versus just grabbing the first snack available (chips and salsa!!!).
The Thai Turkey crumbles that make up the bulk of this salad are such a great, super simple recipe to keep on hand for several salads during the week. You could even throw it in a tortilla with some avocado, cabbage, and peanut sauce and call it a taco!
Thai Turkey Salad
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 shallot, minced1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small cucumber, halved and sliced into half moons
2 avocados, thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews
Optional: red onion, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, brown rice
Thai Peanut Dressing:
1/2 cup creamy peanut or almond butter
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha (or more if you like heat!)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons warm water
To make the Thai Turkey meat: Warm coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey, shallot, ginger, and garlic and cook until turkey is almost cooked through, breaking up the turkey into small crumbles. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, and lime juice and cook until the turkey absorbs all of the liquid. Set aside to cool slightly.
To make the Thai Peanut Dressing: Blend together all ingredients until smooth.
Toss together the cabbage and romaine lettuce and divide between 4 bowls. Divide the turkey meat, carrots, cucumber, avocado, coconut, basil and cashews between the 4 bowls. Drizzle with peanut dressing and enjoy immediately!
First things first, yes, I'm calling this Penne alla Vodka, but I used fusilli pasta. K? I LOVE these giant fusilli from my local market, but this dish is traditionally made with penne, so I'm sticking with that name.
This Penne alla Vodka recipe could not be any easier, or more delicious to make. It is definitely a decadent dish, best reserved for a special occasion or for splurging for NO OCCASION OTHER THAN THAT YOU FEEL LIKE IT!
Penne alla Vodka
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 cup (4 ounces) tomato paste
2 tablespoons vodka
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream
red chili flakes
1 pound penne or fusilli pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For serving: grated parmesan, basil
Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until softened and light brown.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain.
Stir in the tomato paste until it darkens in color and fully incorporates with the oil. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until simmering. Add vodka and continue stirring until it has evaporated.
Stir in the diced tomatoes and heavy cream and reduce heat to medium-low. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
When sauce is thick and smooth, add the cooked, drained pasta and the butter. Toss to combine. If you need to loosen the sauce, add a couple of tablespoons of cooking water at a time until the right consistency is achieved. It should cling to the pasta, and look very smooth and glossy.
Divide between bowls and top with parmesan and basil.
I'm so thrilled to be a contestant in the Woodbridge Wine #SummerSideDish Contest! It's a six-week long contest during which time a new recipe will release every Monday. Fans vote on their favorite recipes and the winner will receive $10k to put towards pursuing their culinary dreams!
In my case, I will be using that $10k to help promote my upcoming cookbook, Just Married, so I'm especially motivated. I'll use it to host extra book events, cover travel costs to more locations for book events, and do whatever I can to get the word out about this book I've been working so hard on for 2+ years now!
Each week we have a different theme to fulfill, and this week's is BACKYARD BBQ. I knew I had to throw something on the grill for this theme, but wanted it to be something that people might not think of on their own. Enter: peaches. The second I agreed to be a part of this contest I knew I wanted to do something involving peaches and burrata together, so I started playing around with those ingredients right away.
Eventually I landed on this crisp (arugula), warm (peaches and onions), CHEESY (burrata!!), tangy (champagne vinaigrette) summer salad. So often, dinner party salads are an afterthought - a thrown together bowl of romaine, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes - but in the summertime, with the abundance of fresh produce, they really should be the star. And this salad most certainly is that!
Head to the Woodbridge contest site to find this recipe, and to find recipes from the other 5 contestants. And if you get the chance, please VOTE FOR MY RECIPE! :)
I teamed up with my friends at Glitter Guide to create a perfect brunch dish to pair with Sutter Home Moscato. A Southern girl at heart, I know that no brunch is complete without deviled eggs, so I set out to create a lightly spicy, super savory deviled egg that would balance the sweetness of the wine. Sriracha-Bacon Deviled Eggs were born! Grab the recipe over on the Glitter Guide site, they're perfect for all of your summer potluck needs.
My friend Ali recently taught me how to make her go-to salad, and I can't stop obsessing over it. It has elements of a Greek salad (lots of salty feta and olives) but the leading flavor is a HUGE amount of fresh dill. Everything gets tossed together in the simplest lemon vinaigrette just before serving, and the tart lemon and dill together are absolutely addictive. I know what you're thinking - "Caroline, it's a SALAD" - but just trust me will you?! It's delicious.
It's a perfect side salad for all of your backyard BBQs this summer, or make it the main course by topping it with some quinoa and grilled shrimp or chicken.
Lemon & Dill Salad
Serves 4 to 6
Juice of 3 lemons
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
2 large heads romaine lettuce, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 bunch dill fronds, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and mustard together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss lettuce, dill, olives, and feta together.
Toss in desired amount of dressing just before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bust out your spiralizers, summer is upon us which means abundant zucchini, squash, and cucumbers will be popping up at the farmer's market and in your local stores for pennies. These summer crops are great for spiralizing and eating raw, or lightly cooked. Toss them with pesto like the one here, or toss them in a simple tomato sauce.
2 cups basil leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste
3 zucchini, trimmed
Add basil, lemon juice, parmesan, pine nuts, and oil to a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and season with salt as needed.
Spiralize zucchini using the spaghetti blade. Cut the zoodles into 6-inch pieces.
Toss zoodles with pesto just before you serve. Garnish with parmesan.
Is there anything better than sweet white summer corn? Growing up in North Carolina, driving down to the beach in the summertime meant stopping on the side of the road to buy sweet corn out of the back of a pickup truck for pennies per ear. It would be the kids job to shuck the corn out on the deck while the adults got dinner ready, then the corn would plunge into a giant pot full of boiling water just before dinner was served.
My mom used to serve it with big pats of butter, salt, and nothing else, and it was the greatest thing in the world. I still like my corn served simply, but every now and then I like to dress it up a bit, and this Chili-Mint variation is a flavor combination that I really love. It’s still simple enough so highlight the flavor of the corn, but adds a little something extra.
Chili-Mint Grilled Corn
Serves 4 to 6
4 ears of white corn, shucked
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced mint
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Juice of 1 lemon
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high.
Brush corn with oil and season with salt, then grill for 6 to 8 minutes, until it is tender and charred in spots.
Allow corn to cool slightly, then cut into smaller bite-sized pieces if desired (this is great for picnics or parties where you aren't really sitting down to eat!).
Transfer corn to a serving platter and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Scatter mint and red pepper flakes over top. Serve immediately or at room temperature!
I developed this recipe for Mealthy, a kitchen appliance startup where I am the Head of Culinary. Over at Mealthy, we focus on high quality recipes that are healthy, quick, and easy - something I also tend to value in my personal cooking!
This Chicken Sausage & Kale Frittata is a perfect meal prep recipe to get you ready for a week of healthy breakfasts, or a great brunch alongside a skillet full of hashbrowns, or a bowl of fresh fruit.
Chicken Sausage & Kale Frittata
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 (packed) cup chopped kale
2 garlic-and-herb chicken sausage links, diced
8 large eggs
⅓ cup cottage cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
Optional: avocado slices, chopped fresh parsley, hot sauce
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook shallot until softened, about 2 minutes; add kale and sausage and cook until kale is slightly wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
Blend eggs, cottage cheese, salt, and red pepper flakes in a bowl using an immersion blender until smooth; pour into skillet. Sprinkle cheese over the eggs.
Bake in preheated oven until frittata no longer wobbles when you shake the handle, 15 to 20 minutes.
Top frittata with avocado and parsley as desired. Cut into slices to serve.
Bowls are the 2018 *it* food - they're everywhere! Grain bowls, poke bowls, rice bowls, veggie bowls... take your pick. Restaurants like SweetGreen have made the concept of bowls incredibly popular and available on every corner.
Making bowls at home couldn't be easier, so I like to meal prep my grains, some veggies, a sauce or two, and maybe some grilled chicken or steak in advance so that I can easily throw bowls together for quick meals on the go. The simple spice mixture I use on the carrots and fennel in this bowl is a go-to, and works on practically any vegetable. The lemon-tahini sauce is another regular in our house - it has only three ingredients and is perfectly creamy and tangy.
A perfect bowl is about combining the right amount of grains, greens, vegetables, meat (if desired), fruits, fats, and sauces. I wrote an article about the perfect grain bowl formula on Mealthy's Cook Smarter blog.
Roasted Veggie Grain Bowls with Lemon-Tahini Sauce
2 pounds heirloom carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick on the bias
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups baby spinach, kale, or arugula
1 orange, cut into segments
1 large avocado, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted cashews
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
1 to 2 tablespoons warm water
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Place carrots and fennel on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder and toss. Spread evenly so that there is little to no overlap. Roast vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and browned.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the lemon-tahini sauce. Stir tahini, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon warm water together in a small bowl. If it needs to be looser, add the second tablespoon of warm water.
Divide the quinoa, spinach, veggies, orange segments, avocado, and cashews between 4 bowls. Drizzle with lemon-tahini sauce and serve immediately.
If you've ever eaten at In-N-Out, you know how damn good this recipe is going to be. At In-N-Out, you can order almost any menu item "animal style" and it will come slathered in cheese, their secret sauce, and caramelized onions. The animal style french fries are one of the best interpretations of this super fat-assy secret menu application.
Mark West Wines hired me to come up with some masculine, super delicious dishes, and I knew I had to make my favorite for crispy smashed potatoes go animal style. New potatoes are boiled until tender, then smashed, drizzled with oil, and cooked in a hot oven until crispy. They then get the animal style treatment - secret sauce and caramelized onions on top. I won't fault you if you add a slice of American cheese, too, In-N-Out style.
Animal Style Crispy Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6
2 pounds small new potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons pickle relish
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Drain.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Place all potatoes on baking pan and allow to cool completely. Using the back of your hand or the bottom of a skillet, smash the potatoes firmly. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
Bake in oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce and caramelized onions.
To make the caramelized onions, combine the onion and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir gently to coat all onions in butter. Cut the heat down to medium-low and stir the onions only once every 5 minutes for 35 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a splash of water, continue cooking for another 5 minutes, season with salt, then cut off the heat and set the onions aside.
To make the sauce, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
To make the dish, add all warm potatoes to a large serving dish. Spoon desired amount of sauce over top, then top with caramelized onions. Serve immediately.
Alright team, I got a seriously diverse array of reactions when I posted my new favorite breakfast on my InstaStory yesterday morning. Savory Oat Bowls seem to be EXTREMELY divisive - some people love 'em, some are cautiously intrigued, and some are like "WTF, NO, YOU ARE A MONSTER, CAROLINE!"
Basically, a savory oat bowl is a lot like a breakfast grain bowl. Instead of brown rice or quinoa as the base, it's oats! I don't know when oats became a sweet treat that had to be doused with butter and brown sugar to be considered edible, but they are lovely with just a pinch of salt! They're creamy and incredible filling and keep you satiated for hours.
Just like a grain bowl, you top the base with all kinds of different goodies. My favorite grain bowl has some combo of greens + protein + sauce, and this savory oat bowl is no different. This oat bowl is topped with bacon, an egg that is fried in that bacon's leftover grease, and kale that's sautéed in the remaining bacon grease.
It takes two pans to make - one small pot to make the oats, and one small skillet to make the bacon, egg, and greens. A little more time and dish consuming than your typical yogurt or protein bar, but so much more nourishing and delicious.
Savory Oat Bowl with Bacon, Egg, and Greens
2 cups water
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
salt and pepper
2 strips of bacon
2 large eggs
2 cups deribbed and chopped kale
In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Add oats and reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed and oats are tender. I like mine with a little bite, so I usually cook them for about 15 minutes total. If you don't have time to wait on steel-cut oats, you can also use quick cooking oats here.
While the oats are cooking, cook your bacon. Add bacon to a cold skillet, and place over medium heat. Cook until crispy, on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer bacon to a paper towel.
Reduce skillet heat to low and crack in both eggs. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cook until egg whites are set, about 3 to 5 minutes.
By now your oats should be finished cooking, so divide the oats between two bowls, and top with bacon and eggs.
Return the skillet and remaining bacon fat to medium-high heat and add the kale. Season with salt and pepper. Add a splash of water and sauté until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide kale between the two bowls.
Serve immediately, with hot sauce if desired.
MAKE AHEAD: You can batch cook steel-cut oats in advance, then rewarm them in the microwave with a splash of water to loosen them.
DO YOUR THING: I love making savory oat bowls on mornings when I have lots of leftover veggies. An oat base + leftover veggies + a poached egg + some feta cheese is a pretty killer way to start the morning!
Grilling season is upon us, peeps! I just spent the most glorious (and exhausting) two and a half weeks on the East coast for two weddings, a bachelorette party, and work projects in between. During that short time, the weather went from freezing cold to gloriously hot and sunny. It got me pretty excited to get home to Carmel for some summertime grilling. I am a year-round griller, but my love for grilling definitely picks up during the summer months.
Before all of the best summer produce starts to come in (corn!!!!!), I love grilling spring crops like heirloom carrots. When parboiled and finished on the grill, carrots become so sweet and tender on the inside, and perfectly charred on the outside. I love roasting carrots all winter, but in the spring and summertime, grilling them is my go-to method. They’re so inexpensive and require just a simple sauce, maybe a bit of dairy, and something crunchy like a nut or breadcrumb to make a perfect side dish.
This recipe for Grilled Carrots with Harissa Yogurt, Sprouts and Pepitas couldn’t be easier to throw together, and hits all of the notes for a great dish - crunchy (nuts), fatty (the yogurt), fresh, (the sprouts) and tender (the carrots). The variety of tastes and textures makes for a really impressive dish that can be ready in less than 20 minutes.
Throw some chicken on the grill alongside the carrots and you’ve got dinner!
Grilled Carrots with Harissa Yogurt, Sprouts, and Pepitas
2 pounds heirloom carrots, scrubbed clean
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Harissa
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sprouts
2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carots and boil for 5 to 8 minutes, until fork tender. How long they need to boil depends on how large they are.
Drain carrots and pat dry with a clean paper towel. Toss with oil, salt and pepper.
When you’re ready to grill, preheat an outdoor grill or grill plan to medium-high heat. Grill carrots until charred on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total.
Transfer carrots to a serving platter.
Stir yogurt, lemon juice, and salt together until combined.
Scatter pepitas over the carrots. Scatter sprouts over top, or serve alongside as seen here. Serve with harissa yogurt.
Enjoy immediately, or at room temperature.
This recipe was developed for the Cook Smarter blog on Mealthy's website.
I have always hated on boneless, skinless chicken breasts for their bland, dry, and generally boring qualities. But in January, George and I did our first (but definitely not last! we loved it!) Whole 30, and we found ourselves frequently leaning on B/S chicken breasts for lean protein.
I tried a TON of different techniques for how to cook them the fastest, but keep them as juicy as possible. Here's the method I landed on - which combines some different principles from across the web. Serena Wolf's method was by far my favorite, but I found myself a bit impatient during the waiting periods, so I found ways to speed it up a bit. Her method still rocks if you have about 30 minutes, so you should definitely check it out too.
My method takes about 15 minutes all in, and results in tender, moist, perfectly cooked chicken breasts, every time.
STEP ONE: SEASON YOUR CHICKEN
Season your chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and whatever else you're feelin'!
STEP TWO: SEAR THE CHICKEN
Sear the chicken by warming 1 tablespoon olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you prefer) in a skillet or saucepan that has a lid over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken until golden brown all over, 2-3 minutes per side.
STEP 3: COOK ON LOW FOR 10 MINUTES
After the chicken is seared all over, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
STEP FOUR: LET CHICKEN REST
Take the lid off and use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken has reached an internal temp of 165F°F. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 3 minutes.
STEP FIVE: Slice or chop and enjoy!
Use your chicken in tacos, salads, soups, or however you please!
Chicken & Zucchini Meatballs
Makes about 50 meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
1 pound ground pork
1 large zucchini, grated (about 2 cups), moisture squeezed out as much as possible
1 large egg
½ cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
2 tablespoons mint, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup sour cream
½ cup Greek yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, finely grated
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Using clean hands, mix to thoroughly combine. The mixture will be very moist and stick to your hands– this is OK.
Form the meat into mini meatballs, about the size of a golf ball. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each meatball.
Bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through. (Cook time will depend on the size of your meatballs, the bigger they are, the longer they will take to cook through.)
In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients. Allow flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours before serving.
DO YOUR THING: Want to make bigger meatballs? Make about 20 meatballs (instead of 50) for large, entree sized meatballs. Cook for a few minutes longer.
I love cooking shellfish like clams and mussels at home, for some reason it blows peoples MINDS. Steamed mussels are one of those dishes that people seem to reserve for ordering at restaurants, when in truth it’s got to be one of the easiest meals out there. Throw some aromatics and liquid in a pot, bring it to a simmer, throw the mussels in for a few minutes and there you are! All you need is a great, crusty baguette for sopping up all of those juices and dinner is served.
We recently spent a few days in the absolutely perfect Normandy port town of Honfleur, and I ate mussels at every meal. Aka, I ate mussels any time that I was not otherwise occupied by shoveling cheese into my face. Normandy-style mussels are cooked in a very simple broth, much like the one here, and are then topped with a heaping spoonful of creme fraiche. It melts into the mussels, and down into the broth, creating the creamiest most delicious mussel broth. I recommend giving it a shot. Or, to make a more traditional creamy mussel broth, remove the mussels from the pot after they’ve opened, pour in 2/3 cup heavy cream, and simmer until thickened.
There are so many ways to make mussels shine, I have a recipe for Thai Curry Mussels in my upcoming cookbook, Just Married, that is made spicy from red curry paste and creamy from coconut milk. Below is one of the purest, simplest renditions of steamed mussels - perfect for a cozy evening at home.
Garlic & White Wine Steamed Mussels
2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, finely minced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 pounds mussels, debearded and scrubbed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until softened, but not brown.
Pour wine into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add mussels and close lid for 5 to 7 minutes, giving the pot a good shake every couple of minutes.
Ladle mussels and broth into bowls and serve with toasted bread.
Do Your Thing: Stir in a tablespoon or two of grainy mustard with the wine. Forego wine in place of an ale. Stir in heavy cream or coconut milk after removing the mussels and cook for several more minutes to create a creamy, hearty broth. Add minced jalapeño along with the shallot and garlic to spice things up a bit. Use clams instead of mussels!
I'm still cooking and writing from my uncle's wonderful lake house on Lake Toxaway in the mountains of North Carolina. Last night, the rain finally cleared and the sun came out for the first time all week just as my uncle pulled into the driveway for dinner.
Last night, I wanted to make this recipe for Soy-Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit that I've been eyeing for a while. So I headed down to the closest grocery store, Save-More (yep), which is 30 minutes down the windiest roads you've ever driven. I gathered all of the ingredients, including all of the substitutions I wanted to make, and then headed to the meat counter.
Not only did they not stock short ribs, but the butcher had no idea what I was talking about. Remembering how tender these Asian Baby Back Ribs that I developed for Mealthy turned out, I decided to take the Butchers advice and substitute pork ribs for the beef short ribs I'd originally planned on. Plus, I love slow-braised pork shoulder, so why should this be any different?
Well, the results were wonderful, the rib meat comes out tender and melt-in-your-mouth, and the pineapple relish cuts through the richness of the meat beautifully. These are trickier to eat than beef short ribs, but they are a much leaner meat, and the extra work is totally worth it.
If you have an electric pressure cooker like an InstantPot or a Mealthy MultiPot, check out my instructions for how to cook these ribs in your cooker at the end of the recipe below.
Soy-Braised Pork Ribs with Pineapple Relish
1 rack country-style pork ribs (or St. Louis Style Ribs), 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 red onion
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sriracha
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup thinly sliced pineapple
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
Cut your rack of ribs into 2-rib segments. Season with salt and pepper.
Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then work in batches to sear the ribs on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Transfer ribs to a holding plate.
Chop 3/4 of the red onion, thinly slice the remaining 1/4 into half moons and reserve.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pot and reduce heat to medium. Cook the chopped onion and ginger for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Stir in the water, soy sauce, orange zest and juice, vinegar, honey, sriracha, and garlic cloves, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck bits.
Add the ribs back into the liquid and cover with a lid.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, turning the ribs every 30 minutes.
While the ribs are cooking, toss the pineapple, red onion, and scallions together in a small bowl.
Transfer ribs to a platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Use an immersion blender to blend the juices until smooth. Raise heat to high to bring mixture to a boil, and cook until braising liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. The sauce will look like a thick barbecue sauce when it’s ready.
Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the thickened sauce over the ribs and serve the rest on the side. Spoon the pineapple relish over top. Enjoy immediately.
Using an electric pressure cooker like the InstantPot or MultiPot:
Use the Sauté function to sear your ribs and cook your onions and ginger. Pressure cook the ribs on High for 22 minutes, then allow the pot to naturally release the pressure. Remove the ribs to a platter and tent with foil. Turn the pot back to the Sauté function on High to reduce the sauce by half. Follow instructions above for the pineapple relish.
I’m writing this recipe from the comfort of my uncle’s beautiful Lake Toxaway, North Carolina home, where my mama, sister and I are spending a few days together. We came for the epic hiking, but unfortunately it truly has not stopped raining for a single minute since we arrived. Murphy’s Law, eh? But the weather gods won’t get us down - the views of the lake in the rain are stunning, the sound of the rain across the lake is full of fond summer camp memories, we have a full shed full of firewood, and we ventured out to stock up on PLENTY of wine this afternoon.
We had a five hour drive to Lake Toxaway, and somehow (JK, I know exactly how - we were all very hungover from my cousin’s wedding the night before...) we wound up talking about what our favorite not-so-healthy foods were. Mine is Penne alla Vodka - a recipe that I love so much that you have one coming your way soon.
My sister and mom agreed on their favorite guilty food - Eggplant Parm! While it’s not high on my guilty pleasure list, it reminded me of a recipe I’d seen recently on both Delish.com and What’s Gaby Cooking - Chicken Parmesan Meatballs.
So, instead of spending my afternoon hiking, I spent my afternoon developing this recipe for Chicken Parm Meatballs, while my mama and sister read by the fire. My mom’s first reaction was “I can’t believe how much I like this!” to which I said - excuuuuse me?! Turns out she truly just couldn’t that something so simple, requiring so few dishes, could be so delicious. I try to always make it a point to use as few dishes as possible, cut out any time-consuming steps that don’t VASTLY improve the dish, and keep the ingredients to a minimum.
And now onto the meatballs. Guys, these are insane. Like truly out-of-this-world perfect and delicious. This entire skillet of cheesy, tomato-y, chicken goodness comes together in 30 minutes or less, can be served over cauliflower rice if you’re trying to keep things light, or with a great crusty bread for dipping into the delicious cheesy sauce. Serve with a simple salad, or with some roasted broccoli. We had ours with a delicious fresh country loaf and a side of garlicky roasted cauliflower.
Chicken Parm Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for rolling the meatballs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon each dried thyme, dried oregano, dried parsley)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, grated
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (I love Rao’s Roasted Garlic Sauce)
2 to 4 ounces burrata cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place chicken, panko, Parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, basil, and garlic in a large bowl. Beat the egg with a fork, then use your hands to combine all ingredients.
Pour about 1/3 cup panko into a shallow bowl or plate. Roll 10 meatballs out of the chicken mixture, then roll them through the panko to coat them in panko.
Warm 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Brown 5 meatballs at a time by cooking them for 30 to 45 seconds per side. Transfer meatballs to a holding plate and repeat with the remaining 5.
Remove skillet from heat and wipe out any oil and panko. Pour marinara sauce into the skillet - careful - it may splatter if skillet is still hot.
Nestle the meatballs down into the sauce.
Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven, tear burrata into pieces and scatter over top. Return to oven for 2 additional minutes.
Scatter fresh basil and more Parmesan over top and serve immediately, straight out of the skillet!
- 4 large garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 2 minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 pounds mussels, rinsed and scrubbed
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced, peeled tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Add crushed garlic clove and Prophecy Sauvignon Blanc to a wide saucepan and bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover and cook for 4 minutes, or until mussels open up. Transfer all open mussels to a bowl. Discard all mussels that did not open. Strain ½ cup of the mussel broth and reserve.
When the mussels are cool enough to handle, remove 1/2 from their shells and transfer to a small bowl. Leave the rest of the mussels intact. Set aside while you cook the tomato sauce and pasta.
Heat olive oil over medium in a large pan. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, the reserved mussel broth and the chili flakes and simmer for 15-20 minutes, uncovered. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and season generously with salt. Cook your pasta al dente, following the package directions. Drain the pasta.
Toss the pasta and the mussel meat (without shells) into th pot of tomato sauce and toss gently until all pasta is coated in sauce. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls, top with intact (shell on) mussels, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with parsley. Enjoy immediately!