All posts filed under: Dinner

savory vegetable crumble with hazelnuts and hard cider

This winter has worn heavy. Slowly, the darkest days are getting lighter. The sun spreads across the sky a little earlier each morning. If it’s not raining too hard, I hear the birds finding their songs for the season. The other day, I caught a glimpse of a fat squirrel tipping off a skinny branch. Spring is coming. But it is arriving at a snail’s pace, and I am growing more impatient every day. Yearning for long walks through the city, along Alki Beach, or weaving my way through Discovery Park. Toes sinking into the sands of Lake Washington. Watching the sun set, sending the most brilliant gradients of color streaking across the sky over Golden Gardens Park in Ballard. I am ready for summer in Seattle. I am longing, too, for the farmer’s market. Exploring (and tasting) the bounty of summer. We are entering the spring hunger stretch — the last of winter’s reserves are wearing thin, but the precious first shoots of spring haven’t fully arrived yet. In the depths of winter, I’ve ventured …

sweet potato risotto

grain-free sweet potato “risotto” with bacon-wrapped squash

I have a confession. I have never made an actual risotto. OK. I did try it once. Years ago. I knew very little about cooking at the time, and followed a recipe in a book. One of the first cookbooks I ever bought for myself. But I didn’t use Arborio rice. (I thought that all rice was interchangeable. BIG lesson learned.) After hours of stirring and simmering and adding more (and then more) stock, the rice was still crunchy. Not creamy. Not satisfying. Not good. Then I discovered Schar’s gluten-free Anellini pasta noodles at a dedicated gluten-free bakery and grocery store in Michigan. The woman working in the shop that day told me her mom prepared the noodles risotto-style. I was inspired, and this was the kind of “risotto” that I made for years. It cooked quickly and was soft, creamy, rich and totally indulged my pasta-holic side. This recipe was a serendipitous discovery. A few weeks ago, I had a roast simmering away in the crockpot. I wanted to make a side dish that was …

how to use thanksgiving leftovers

how to use your thanksgiving leftovers

Let’s be real. Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers. You see my sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy soaked bread in the middle. I call it the Moist Maker. Raise your hand if you really wanted to soak a piece of bread in leftover gravy to put in the middle of your leftover turkey sandwich after hearing about Ross’s sandwich on Friends. It must have been good, because he freaked out when someone else ate it. That sandwich was the only good thing going on in his life. And, as I’m nearing 30 myself, I can kind of understand where he’s coming from. That must have been one helluva sandwich. For the first Thanksgiving I ever hosted, all on my own, I bought my turkey just a few days before Thanksgiving. There wasn’t much of a selection left at the grocery. I ended up with a huge turkey. I think it was at least 20 pounds. (We had 7 people over for dinner.) We had …

sweet potato and hard apple cider chicken pot pies

It’s the season for serious comfort food. I may have gone on a little bit of a pie bender after introducing you to how I make gluten-free pie crust. Sweet or savory, the options are really limitless! These little cuties. They’re bowls of savory, comforting warmth full of seasonal goodness. Sweet potatoes and granny smith apples enhanced with the crisp, refreshing flavor of cider. They’re hearty, but not heavy — partly because they don’t have crust on the bottom. These are time-saving pot pies. I like making individual pot pies because they’re cute, and leftovers are more convenient for carrying to work, but this recipe would be just as good in a savory galette or a single large pot pie. Autumn has finally arrived here, in full force, with cooler temperatures and rain. I was driving through downtown the other day and watched men climbing trees to hang Christmas lights, and noticed that most of the trees still have their leaves. I was grateful to still see so much foliage. It’s totally sweater weather, but …

fish tacos

rockfish tacos with cortido, cukes and cotija cheese

Taco Tuesday! A few weeks ago at the farmers market, we were on the hunt for fresh fish. There’s always frozen and smoked salmon available, as well as locally farmed oysters. But I was having a hankering for fish tacos. We spotted a neon poster board sign written with thick black permanent marker. Fresh rockfish $9/pound. The farmer led us to an open Igloo cooler packed with ice and started rummaging around, showing us different packages of fresh fish. This fish. He paused, balancing the clear zip-lock plastic bag in his hand, thinking and recalling. Hmm. Yep. This fish was caught three days ago. It’s one of the things I love most about the farmers markets. Unless you plan to grow and harvest vegetables yourself, or catch and filet your own fish from the water, this is the freshest you’ll find. (I’ve been given steep discounts because the arugula was four days old. I would have happily paid full price for something that, in my mind, was still fresher than I would find anywhere else.) At …

salmon patties with aioli

salmon potato patties with horseradish and chive aioli

There’s a longstanding argument in my family: whether salmon patties should or should not (and, also, do or do not) include onions. (Spoilers: Mine do. Sorry Dad.) The argument dates back, I think, to when my grandparents were first dating. My grandfather was a southern boy and to him salmon patties required just two ingredients: salmon and saltine crackers. The first time my great-grandmother invited him to dinner, she crafted an elaborate but comforting meal including macaroni and cheese and salmon patties. Salmon patties with onions. My mother and father have been arguing, playfully, for years. My father is adamant that there are no onions in salmon patties. My mother, who makes them, contends with absolutely certainty that she does, in fact, put onion in the patties. When I first started cooking, I made an elaborate version of salmon patties with lime zest, dill and scallions. After going gluten-free, I couldn’t make the traditional patty held together with saltine crackers and dusted in all purpose flour. I discovered that mashed potatoes made an excellent binder …

cucumber kimchi fried rice with shiitake mushrooms and perpetual spinach

Spring has arrived in Seattle. Every week on one of my days off, I walk the mile or so to Pike Place Market. Usually to pick up some groceries, but often just for the exercise and to wander. And sometimes to visit Coffee & A Specialty Bakery, an entirely gluten-free bakery offering the most incredible pastries. (This week I indulged with a pineapple topped mini brioche and a tender vanilla madeline.) Spring weather in Seattle is scattered. Sunshine gives way quickly to rain, and just as quickly in reverse. From our apartment, we can see the block where blue skies are cut off by the gray, where the wall of rain starts. On Tuesday, I walked under a canopy of sunshine and managed to make it home with just a few sprinkles of rain falling. I try to change up my route on these walks. Sometimes I’ll take 1st Avenue all the way down, or Elliott or Western. Sometimes weaving up and down the hilly side streets to avoid construction or a conglomeration of tourists. …

pan-roasted pastured pork chops with brussels sprouts, butterball potatoes and a bacon-sage brown butter drizzle

The Butterballs were highly recommended. Not turkeys. Potatoes. Yellow, waxy and crisp with a delightful buttery-nutty flavored flesh from Olsen Farms. We saw them one Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market, but passed them up in favor of the classic red-skinned (Craig’s favorite). After one of his colleague’s recommended them, we filled a paper sack full at the following week’s market, after digging through their igloo cooler to find two matching pastured sirloin pork chops. The first pastured pork chop I ever made I overcooked. A lot. It was mid-July in Atlanta and hot. The sticky, humid hot of a bright Southern summer. Craig and I were visiting Grant Park Farmers Market for the first time, weaving through the thick throngs of people, filling up our bags with the bounty of summer. I made a peach pie that weekend with margarita jelly from One Screw Loose, and a thick ketchup from three pounds of the juiciest, heaviest heirloom tomatoes. The woman from Riverview Farms who sold us the chops that weekend told us we should cook …

creamy parsnip grits with lion’s mane mushrooms and andouille sausage

This dish is like Donny and Marie. It features a little bit of where I came from and a little bit from where I am now. (A little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll, if you will.) The stone-ground cornmeal is from Riverview Farms in GA, and came with me across the country. I bought it late last summer when I was craving cornbread. I made a big batch of that, studded with fresh corn kernels, in my cast iron skillet. It was in Georgia, too, that I first discovered lion’s mane mushrooms. These Tribble lookalikes are adorable, as any fluffy living creature could be, soft but sturdy and meaty, with a delicate seafood-like flavor. Since I no longer live near the gulf, and thus have less local access to fresh shrimp, I dusted the mushrooms with Old Bay and used them in place of the seafood to play with this traditional Southern dish. I didn’t grow up eating oatmeal or porridge, so it was in Georgia where I first tasted and then …