A perfectly grilled, juicy chicken breast is a thing of beauty – and once you have mastered this take-it-slow technique, chicken success on the grill will be guaranteed, every time! Don’t be afraid of the lightly spiced paste, I was worried my children wouldn’t go for it. But slathered in the sweet honey glaze? They gobbled dinner right up!
Consider making a double batch of the spice paste and honey glaze. With dinner insurance in the fridge, you are just a step away from a savory dinner - simply brush some on grilled or seared meat, pork, fish or shrimp. The flavor is incredible. Happy cooking!
½ cup Olive oil
1 tbsp Honey mustard
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp Paprika (preferably sweet paprika)
1 tsp Brown sugar, light
1 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Chipotle chili powder (optional)
4 - 4½ lbs of Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, trimmed
¾ cup Honey
2 tbsp Soy sauce, low-sodium
2 tbsp Ketchup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, honey mustard, garlic, paprika, brown sugar, oregano, Kosher salt and chipotle chili powder (if using).
Spread spice paste all over the chicken breasts and store them in a large ziploc bag. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
In the meantime, in a second small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and Sriracha (if using). Set aside and reserve ½ cup to serve with dinner.
Spray the grill with canola spray and heat to high. Close grill top and allow the grill to heat to 350 - 400 degrees.
Once grill is heated, turn the burners to low, place the chicken on the grill, preferably on a slant for the grilling marks.
Grill chicken for 5 minutes and then flip to the other side.
Once the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, brush with glaze and then flip for an additional 5 minutes. From this point forward, brush with glaze every time the chicken is flipped.
Once that time is up, flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. At this point the chicken might be finished, or need an additional 5 -10 minutes of cooking time.
You should pull the chicken when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, while resting, the chicken will continue to cook an additional 5 degrees (chicken is ready to eat when the internal temperature is 165 degrees).
Once chicken is finished cooking, allow the chicken to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
This meal idea originally began life as a grill recipe, but when you look outside and see your grill literally in flames – it needed to be completely cleaned – a fast pivot was necessary. Thank goodness for sheet pans! And a sheet pan with aluminum foil? That’s complete no-dishes-to-wash heaven! Back to the recipe…I had some leftover wasabi sauce that I wanted to use and I thought it could be perfect on the side of an Asian flavored flank steak. This marinade could not be simpler, it’s TWO ingredients, and the kids really enjoyed it. We are mostly a chicken and pork family, but when we do eat red meat, flank steak is my first choice. It’s lean, and to feed a family of 5 or 6, you can buy an entire flank steak for less than $20. So, while that certainly isn’t cheap, it is way more cost-effective than individual steaks and it’s a much leaner cut of meat, which I personally like much better. I have to confess that both Dashiell and Trafford always ask where the fat is…how they can eat that stuff I will never understand…yuck!
Flank steak is mouthwatering in the oven or on the grill. If you decide to grill, the cooking times will be very similar, see my recipe for That Steak Salad for grilling instructions. Just be sure to let it rest for 10 minutes. The cut is so lean, it's crucial that the juices re-distribute. Happy cooking!
1¾ - 2 lb Flank steak, scored (see note)
1 tbsp Wasabi, prepared
½ cup Soy sauce, low-sodium
In a small bowl whisk the wasabi with the soy sauce.
Place flank steak in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Massage the marinade into the steak and place bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Remove flank steak from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Place flank steak on the sheet pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Lower the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove sheet pan from the oven and transfer the flank steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
A flank steak is done when the internal temperature is 130 degrees, which is medium rare. Feel free to cook for a few more minutes if you want it more to a medium doneness.
Slice the meat thinly, against the grain (which means finding the direction of the grain, the way the muscle fibers are aligned, then slice across the grain rather than parallel with it) and serve.
Scoring - Flank steak has long fibers, so try making ⅛ inch shallow cuts against the grain in one direction, then another set of cuts the other way (it will look like a cross-hatch pattern). These cuts sever some of the long fibers, so your steak becomes noticeably more tender. A bonus is the shallow cuts absorb the seasoning or marinade, making for a more flavorful piece of meat.
Pork loin is always a big hit in our house. It’s delicious, lean, healthy and lends itself to all types of savory flavors. When it’s cold outside I sear and then roast the pork, but as soon as Spring arrives I head out to the grill. Not only am I fascinated by the alchemy of the grill, I love not having dishes to wash, so I am always trying to figure out how to make our entire dinner outside. The tasty marinade bastes the pork and then transforms into a delicious sauce for your dinner…and a vinaigrette for a quick salad later in the week. Now that’s getting some serious mileage from a small cooking investment!
When you are feeding a crowd you can't go wrong with pork loin. It's a crowd pleaser and so much easier to manage on the grill then lots of burgers or chicken breasts. If you don't have oregano, either thyme or rosemary would work equally well in this marinade. Happy cooking!
1 cup Oregano leaves
¼ cup Garlic, minced
2 tsp Kosher salt
¾ cup Olive oil
¼ cup Sherry vinegar
4½ - 5 lb Pork loin, trimmed (see note)
In a food processor combine oregano leaves and garlic and pulse until a paste is formed.
Add Kosher salt, olive oil and sherry vinegar and pulse until the dressing is emulsified.
Place the pork in a pyrex dish, poke about 10 holes with a fork in each side of the pork and spread both sides with approximately ⅓ cup of the dressing.
Transfer the rest of the marinade to a mason jar - now you have dressing for your pork.
Cover the pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Spray grill with olive oil or canola spray and heat to high. Let grill preheat until the temperature gauge reads at least 300 degrees.
Place pork on the grill, I like to put it crossways for grill marks, and grill over high heat, turning every few minutes for about 15 minutes total (this is the searing part of the cook time).
Turn heat to low and continue cooking, turning the pork every 15 minutes, for about 45 minutes longer.
The internal temperature of the pork should be 145 degrees when you take it off the grill. Let it rest for about 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute, the internal temperature will continue to rise.
Thinly slice to serve (the meat will be slightly pink in the center).
Pork loin - it's important to trim not only the excess fat and the silver skin off the pork. The silver skin is tough and inedible when cooked, so you definitely want to cut it off.
Seared ahi tuna is one of those fabulous meals that exists somewhere between dreams and reality…this recipe was born from a sushi craving. I love to feed my kids as much seafood as possible, but the reality is that means frozen shrimp or seafood on sale. I saw yellowtail on sale at Wegmans last week, so I snapped it right up. My kids really like seafood, so it wasn’t hard to get them to try tuna. However, the sesame seeds are completely strange to them and I definitely got some pushback, so I adjusted accordingly. I made one of the tuna steaks sesame seed free – and everyone ate their dinner. You have to pick your battles….
If you aren't sure your kids will eat sesame seeds then play it safe and make one tuna steak sesame seed free. To introduce them to the flavor give them a small piece from your plate and let them try it. For my kids I try to have realistic expectations...eating sesame seeds is less important than enjoying a happy and healthy dinner. Happy cooking!
2 Tuna steaks (1¼ - ½ lbs total)
4 tbsp Canola oil, divided in half
2 tsp Sesame oil, divided in half
⅔ cups Sesame seeds, mix of white and black seeds, divided in half
½ tsp Kosher salt, divided in half
Spray grill with canola spray and turn to medium high.
Pat tuna dry.
On one plate combine half of the canola oil and sesame oil.
On a second plate combine half of the sesame seeds and Kosher salt.
Dip tuna in the oil mixture, making sure to completely cover the tuna.
Transfer to the plate with the sesame seed mixture and throughly coat the tuna, pressing the sesame seeds to adhere to the tuna.
Grill tuna on medium high for 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and slice thinly to serve.
At this time of year there’s still some uncertainty in the weather, lots of warm days hint of Spring, but the nights can be chilly and some days you need warm socks and a jacket. This stew is the last one I make each year, it’s fresh and light, and chock full of vibrant flavors – cumin, turmeric, dried red chiles, olives and lots of lemon. While this stew is great for a family dinner, it’s also special enough to serve for a cozy dinner with friends. Don’t be scared away from the long recipe – it’s very simple actually. I also included some technique notes that hopefully will add to your cooking knowledge.
Try my recipe for poached chicken breasts. I guarantee tender, juicy and flavorful chicken – the ideal starting point for literally hundreds of recipes.
You will notice the recipe calls for 1-3 chile de Arbol (check the notes for more on them), they do make this stew a bit spicy. If you aren't sure you want it spicy make it the first time with 1 or 2 chiles. If you want to make this stew super family-friendly you could even omit the chiles entirely and only add the olives in the adult servings (I know my kids wouldn't touch olives). Your stew will still be totally delicious! Happy cooking!
¼ cup Olive oil
2 Onions, yellow, large, minced
12 tsp Minced garlic
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp Turmeric, ground
1 tbsp Cumin, ground
1 tbsp Coriander, ground
1-3 Chile de Arbol, stemmed, seeded and minced (see note)
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 Bay leaves, dried
3 (15.5 oz) cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained, with 1 can pureed (see note)
6 cups plus ½ cup Chicken broth, low-sodium or homemade
3 Lemons, zested and juiced
4-5 lbs. Chicken, cooked and shredded (I use skinless, boneless breasts)
2 cups Green olives, small, pitted (optional)
1 (6 oz) bag Baby Spinach, with stems removed (optional)
In a Dutch oven over medium low heat add the oilve oil. Once the oil has warmed add the onions. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
Add the garlic, Kosher salt, turmeric, cumin, and coriander and continue to cook for 5 minutes more.
In the meantime, puree 1 can of the chickpeas with ½ cup of chicken broth. (If you don't have a food processor you can simply mash them with a potato masher)
Add chile(s), cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, all of the chickpeas (pureed and regular), chicken broth, the zest and juice of 2 lemons and the chicken. Stir well, adjust heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Remove Dutch oven from heat. Add last lemon (zest and juice) as well as olives and baby spinach if using. Stir well. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can also freeze for up to 1 month.
Why do I add spices so early in a recipe? Many years ago I discovered the Indian technique of "blooming" spices. All that means is you add your spices and seasonings to hot oil and allow them to cook for a few minutes. You achieve two things - one, the hot oil helps release the flavors and two, your dish has so many more layers of flavor. Give it a try! Chile de Arbol - one of my favorite aspects of cooking is that you never stop learning, there is ALWAYS a new ingredient, technique, recipe to experiment with. I came late to dried chiles - I did not start cooking with them until this winter and I was instantly hooked. They add such an interesting complexity to dishes. Yes, they are a bit expensive (a container of these costs around $5, but they last forever). Depending on your heat tolerance start with small, maybe just use 1 chile and see how you enjoy the heat. Chickpeas - They can be a wonderful way to add thickness and body to a soup or stew, so in this recipe I take 1 can and puree it in the food processor with ½ cup of chicken broth. It's a great technique to use in a variety of dishes.
I have never been one for frying meatballs (too messy!), so I am constantly tinkering around with baking meatballs instead. This recipe was inspired by Ina Garten’s new cookbook. I have always baked my meatballs, but usually at a low temperature. I still make meatballs that way from time to time, but I really appreciate the speed with which these meatballs come together. The additional breadcrumbs and higher heat help the meatballs keep their shape and cooks them all the way through…then all you need is a quick simmer in the sauce and dinner is ready!
Have a few extra minutes? Make my delicious marinara sauce!
If your family is anything like mine, everyone has certain foods they like better than others. I thought it would be fun to show you my kid's plates - so take a look and see if your family resembles mine! By the way, this recipe makes a lot of meatballs...which freeze beautifully, so go ahead and put some meatballs in the dinner bank (i.e. freezer). Happy cooking!
4 Eggs, large, lightly beaten
1 cup Yogurt, whole milk Greek
1½ cups Red wine, dry
2 tsp Kosher salt
4 tsp Minced garlic
2 tsp Oregano, dried
2 cups Grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
4 cups Breadcrumbs, fresh or Panko
2½ - 2¾ lbs Meat mixture (a blend of sirloin, veal and pork) (see note)
2 (32 oz) jars of Marinara sauce (good quality, homemade is even better)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make sure oven racks are in the upper and lower positions. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
Place eggs, yogurt and red wine in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add Kosher salt, minced garlic, oregano, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Mix throughly (the reason you want to mix completely before adding the meatloaf mixture is because you never want to overmix the meat - it will toughen the meatballs).
Add the meat mixture to the bowl and gently mix with your hands until all ingredients are combined.
Measure out enough meat mixture to form a 2 inch ball (an ice cream scoop is really helpful here) and place each ball 1 inch apart on the sheet pans.
Transfer sheet pans to the oven, starting one pan on the upper rack and one pan on the lower rack. Your total cooking time with be between 20 - 30 minutes, you will want the meatballs to be lightly browned, After 10 - 12 minutes, switch the positions of your sheet pans so that the meatballs can cook evenly.
Meanwhile, in large pot add the marinara sauce and simmer until heated through.
Add browned meatballs and simmer until flavors are melded, 10 - 15 minutes.
Serve on top of spaghetti or polenta or even on its own. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Meatball / meatloaf mixture comes in a package that is generally in packages of 1¼ or 1⅓ lbs. So, that’s why I called for a specific pound range, I am figuring on you buying two packages of the meat mix. If you are making meatloaf in the spring or summer, you won’t find the mix in the store. In that situation, I buy ground beef and ground pork (it’s hard to find ground veal so I just skip it). The meatloaf is still fantastic!
This recipe thunderbolt really happened by accident. I was trying to make pulled pork last minute and the grocery store was out of pork butt. Tragedy! I know, not a horrible thing, but what was I going to do? Well, I decided to grab a pork loin and see what I could do with it. Turns out the pork loin made a delicious and much healthier pulled pork. The one change, since it has so little fat, you really want the shredded pork to sit overnight in the braising liquid. So, this is a recipe you need to start 1 day before you want to eat it.
Try my barbecue sauce, it’s great on the pulled pork.
I used a slow cooker, but you can just as easily make this pork low and slow in the oven. I've included instructions for both methods. The most important part of this recipe is to make sure the cooked and shredded pork go back in the braising liquid overnight. It's the best way to add the flavor that you're missing when you don't have the fat from a pork butt. Happy cooking!
½ cup Brown sugar, light
2 tbsp Mustard, ground
1 tbsp Kosher salt
4 tbsp Paprika
2 tbsp Garlic powder
2 tbsp Onion powder
6 lb Pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 4 equal pieces
3 cups Apple juice
¼ cup Liquid smoke
Accompaniments - barbecue sauce, potato rolls.
In a small bowl combine mustard, Kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.
Rub the 4 pieces of pork with the spice rub. If you have extra time, you could refrigerate the pork overnight for additional flavor.
Slow cooker: place the pork in the slow cooker and add apple juice and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 - 7 hours.
In the oven: preheat oven to 300. Place pork in a large 4 quart baking dish (you could also use a Dutch oven), add apple juice and liquid smoke and cook for 2½ - 3 hours.
When the pork is cool enough, shred into bite-size pieces.
Place shredded pork back in the slow cooker or baking dish in the braising liquid and refrigerate overnight.
To serve reheat pork in a covered dish in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Sheet pan dinners are all the rage, and it’s easy to see why – a delicious meal and only one pan? What’s not to love? However, when you’re feeding 6 people you normally can’t make an entire meal on one sheet pan. My solution is to make my chicken and potatoes on one sheet pan and steam some veggies – so, yes, there’s 2 dishes to wash, but dinner tasted great and everyone ate their food. Ah the small victories…Sweet potatoes can be a tough sell in my house, if your family doesn’t love sweet potatoes, try my solution. Roast half sweet potatoes and half redskin potatoes, and make a deal with your kids to have a few bites of the sweet potatoes to give them a try.
Buy a big value pack of chicken for this recipe. Usually you will have 5 chicken breasts per pack, so you'll have 1 extra - poach it (see my recipe for poaching chicken) and try one of my recipes for chicken salad. Happy cooking!
3 lbs Sweet potatoes, cut into 1½ - 2 inch cubes
4 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
4 Chicken breasts, with skin and bone, cut in half so you have 8 pieces total
4 tbsp Butter, unsalted, melted
2 tbsp Brown sugar, light
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp Thyme or Oregano, dried
Preheat oven to 450, making sure the oven rack is in the bottom third part of the oven. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
Place sheet pan in the oven and preheat for 10 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil and Kosher salt.
Whisk butter, brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, Kosher salt and thyme or oregano in a small bowl.
Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven and place sweet potatoes in a single layer (I also always make sure to have a cut side facing down).
Place chicken on top of the sweet potatoes and brush with the sauce.
Return the pan to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, stirring the exposed sweet potatoes about halfway through. You don't need to stir the potatoes that are under the chicken.
After 30 minutes, check the chicken for doneness, you want to remove it at 160 degrees (it will continue to cook and reach the required 165 degrees).
Remove the chicken to a plate and put the tray with potatoes back in the oven. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, giving the potatoes that were under the chicken and chance to crisp up.
If you take my suggestion and do a sweet / redskin potato mix than you will need to start cooking the red skin potatoes first. Give them a 10 minute head start in the oven before adding the sweet potatoes and chicken. If you do spilt the potatoes 50/50 then you are going to want to rotate the chicken pieces halfway through as well. They will cook faster on the redskin potatoes, so you need to balance that out.
I don’t use the word “perfect” lightly, but here I am confident in saying this is the most delicious roast chicken EVER! I have spent years simplifying and testing roast chicken recipes, and this chicken has it all – crispy skin, succulent white AND dark meat – and best of all it’s so easy to prepare. Roast chicken for this weekend – it’s simple enough your kids will love it, yet it will be so perfectly cooked, impressive even, that you could serve this chicken as part of a casual dinner with friends.
The secret to this recipe is planning ahead. It sounds like such a small thing, but letting the chicken air-dry in the fridge for at least a few hours, and hopefully overnight, adds so much flavor and really is key to the crispy skin. Happy cooking!
7 - 7½ lb Chicken, rinsed (see note)
2 tsp Kosher salt
½ stick Butter, unsalted, melted
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a rack inside (this could be a cooling rack used in baking - it's just to elevate the chicken while it air drys).
Place the chicken on the rack and sprinkle with the kosher salt.
Refrigerate uncovered for at least 4 hours but optimally overnight.
Remove chicken from the fridge 1 hour before you want to begin cooking, it helps to take the chill of the chicken (so the cooking time is not extended).
Preheat the oven to 425.
Transfer chicken to a baking dish or roasting pan (I have a 4 quart Pyrex dish that is perfect for this size chicken).
Pour butter over the chicken.
Place the chicken in the oven and roast uncovered for 1½ hours.
Remove chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board (I improvise with a flexible plastic cutting board set inside a rimmed sheet pan).
Cover the chicken tightly with foil and let stand for 20 minutes (this will allow the chicken to finish cooking).
Remove the foil and check the internal temperature - it should be 165 degrees.
Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes or until it's cool enough to handle.
I know this is a big chicken - you can go as small as 5 lbs with this recipe. The only difference would be you will not need to cover with foil when you take the chicken from the oven, you would carefully transfer to a cutting board to let it rest for 20 minutes.
We are big fans of Asian food in my house, and chicken teriyaki’s one of our favorites. If you haven’t introduced your children to Asian flavors, this recipe is a great place to start. The chicken’s firm texture and sweetness from the brown sugar and honey will make this meal a kid home run. Once you’ve made this quick, easy and healthy sauce you will never buy teriyaki at the store, it’s so delicious!
I'm so excited for share this recipe. I love making Asian at home, most recipes are quick, lots are str-fries...tailor-made for busy weeknights. Plus cooking Asian food at home means no extra sodium or preservatives in your food. Happy cooking!
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, honey, garlci and 1½ cups water. Bring to a simmer.
In small bowl whisk cornstarch with ½ cup water.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the soy sauce mixture, whisk to combine and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes until thickened.
Place chicken cubes in a Ziploc bag and add marinate, reserving 1 cup of the sauce. Marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown and heated through, 5-6 minutes total.
Serve with the extra sauce on the side, steamed vegetables and rice.
If you are doubling the recipe, make sure you cook your chicken in 2 or 3 batches. You never want to crowd the pan. If you do so, the protein with steam not sear and you won't be able to get a browned exterior on the chicken.