Cowboy Beans

Inspired by Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday, these beans are my take on a beloved Mexican restaurant side. These beans were for the older boys first dinner home from school for the summer. Along with Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos, Mexican rice and Creamy Guacamole Sauce, big servings of Mexican comfort food were devoured at dinner. Smoky, a bit spicy, Cowboy Beans are sure to become a favorite with your family.


Cowboy Beans
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Use this classic Mexican bean side to inspire all sorts of flavor combinations. You could add pickled jalapenos, roasted red peppers, or change things up and make a black bean version. Fresh cilantro would be delicious in either a pinto or black bean version. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of Bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces (preferably thick-sliced)
  • 2 tsp Minced garlic
  • 1 (15 oz can) Tomatoes, fire-roasted, drained (use regular tomatoes for less kick)
  • 2 (15 oz cans) Pinto beans (do not drain or rinse)
  • Salt to taste (I love salt and did not find this dish to need any additional salt)
Instructions
  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook until bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Add the garlic and sauteed for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned.
  4. Add tomatoes and beans with their liquid and stir to combine.
  5. Simmer over low heat, allowing the flavors to meld, for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon.
  7. Beans can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Reheat in the microwave or over low-heat on the stovetop.

 

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Skillet Baby Potatoes

Potatoes are a dinnertime staple in our house, so I am always on the lookout for new ways to prepare them. I have tinkered around with cooking them in a skillet, but they would never cook evenly, or would end up overcooked before they were done. Through trial and error I finally figured out that they have to be parboiled – that way you get a head start on getting them tender before adding them to the skillet. And now your oven is free for the rest of dinner. These savory potatoes are sure to be a hit with your family!


Skillet Baby Potatoes
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
These potatoes are a great candidate for a weeknight dinner. Why? Because you can do the parboil section of the recipe a day ahead of time. That way, you simply need to toss the potatoes in a hot skillet. If you do parboil ahead of time, try to let the potatoes come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 (24 oz) bag of Baby potatoes
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a medium size saucepan, cover with cold water and Kosher salt. Turn burner on high, and bring the water to a boil. Allow potatoes to boil until you can pierce them with a fork and they are nearly tender, 8-10 minutes (they will finish cooking in the pan).
  2. Drain in a colander, and give the colander a good shake to get the excess water off the potatoes.
  3. Slice the potatoes in half and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the potatoes and sprinkle with Kosher salt and garlic powder (if using).
  6. Cook potatoes, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are crisp and browned on the cut side, 15-20 minutes.

 

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Skillet Miso Potatoes

My current ingredient obsession is miso paste. I go through these phases of getting hooked on ingredients from time to time – it’s one of the most fun parts of making a living through food. Right now, it’s miso, specifically white miso. White miso is the mildest form of miso paste, so it’s the best choice to try. One tub, which only costs about $6, will keep in your fridge for months and adds a subtle, salty kick to so many dishes. Plus, because it has such a mild taste I can sneak it by my kids (another big plus). Recently I used white miso to make Grilled Baby Bok Choy, and I was hooked. It’s such a versatile ingredient – it’s ups the flavor with vegetables, as a glaze on proteins, in marinades, dipping sauces and of course soup.


Skillet Miso Potatoes
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
I used baby potatoes in this recipe, but you could really use any type of potato. The important thing is that they are parboiled (so you don't have to burn them to cook them through) and that the pieces are no bigger than 2 inches thick. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 (24 oz) bag of Baby potatoes
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 tbsp Miso paste, white
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a medium size saucepan, cover with cold water and Kosher salt. Turn burner on high, and bring the water to a boil. Allow potatoes to boil until you can pierce them with a fork and they are nearly tender, 8-10 minutes (they will finish cooking in the pan).
  2. Drain in a colander, and give the colander a good shake to get the excess water off the potatoes.
  3. Slice the potatoes in half and set aside.
  4. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted stir in the miso paste.
  5. Add the potatoes and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
  6. Cook potatoes, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are crisp and browned on the cut side, 15-20 minutes.
Notes
These potatoes are a great candidate for a weeknight dinner. Why? Because you can do the parboil section of the recipe a day ahead of time. That way, you simply need to toss the potatoes in a hot skillet. If you do parboil ahead of time, try to let the potatoes come to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

Looking for another miso recipe to try? http://whatskatecooking.com/2017/04/grilled-baby-bok-choy/

What to learn more about miso? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/03/different-kinds-of-miso_n_6993590.html

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Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms

Few vegetables are more delicious on the grill than portabello mushrooms…they lend themselves to all types of flavor profiles and they grill beautifully. This mouthwatering marinade pairs perfectly with the mushrooms, but would also work well with steak.

Shown with Grilled Baby Bok Choy

Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms
Author: 
Serves: serves 4
 
This marinade is soooo good! Your mushrooms need as little as an hour in the marinade, but up to overnight works well too. Planning a quick weeknight dinner - I would double the marinade and include a few steaks. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp Soy sauce, low-sodium
  • ½ of a Lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Sambal oelek (see note)
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • 4 Portabello mushrooms, gills removed (see note)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl mis together soy sauce, lime, garlic, sambal oelek and canola oil.
  2. Place mushrooms in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Spray grill with canola spray and preheat to medium. Place mushrooms on the grill and cook, turning every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes total.
  4. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
Notes
Sambal oelek - An Indonesian hot sauce that adds a subtle kick to the mushrooms. If you don't have it swap in Siracha. These mushrooms aren't spicy so you don't want to skip some type of hot sauce.
Why remove the gills? You simply need to scrap them out with a spoon. The gills can hide any sand or dirt - which would make your mushrooms taste gritty. And if you are making any type of sauce the dark gills can discolor anything they touch.

 

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Grilled Baby Bok Choy

Bok choy on the grill is so good, flavorful and interesting…and best of all quick, which makes it the perfect candidate for a weeknight dinner side. Of all the Asian ingredients I keep in the fridge, miso paste might be my favorite. I love it’s unami punch and versatility.

Shown with Asian-style Portabello Mushrooms

Grilled Baby Bok Choy
Author: 
Serves: serves 4
 
I love bok choy on the grill, it's just like grilled romaine, unexpectedly good in a way you never anticipated. I know it sounds crazy, but bok choy is actually very kid-friendly. You don't need to do much for these ingredients, just toss them with a bit of butter or oil, and seasoning and hit the grill. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp Canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Miso paste, white
  • 1 lb Baby bok choy not trimmed (see note)
Instructions
  1. In you have a grill basket - preheat grill to medium. If you do not have a grill basket, spray the grill with canola spray before preheating.
  2. Melt butter, canola oil and miso paste in a small bowl in the microwave.
  3. In a large bowl toss bok choy with miso butter mixture.
  4. Transfer to the grill, and cook, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  5. The leaves should be slightly crisp and the bulbs tender. When eating you can discard the bok choy bulbs.
Notes
Bok choy - I like to cook the bok choy without trimming the stalks - it's easier to grill if everything is intact.

 

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Jasmine Rice

Rice is a dinnertime staple in our house. I serve it with all types of meals, but especially with Asian dinners, so Jasmine is the rice I make over and over again. The secret here is the cooking technique. I bake my rice which means hands-off cooking and even more important, it cooks consistently. Perfect, fluffy rice every time!


Jasmine Rice
Author: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Why is this rice so good? The secret to baking the rice is the consistent temp - unlike the stovetop where you can never achieve the same result. Make sure you have boiling water and chicken broth (by the way, the combination of the two makes the rice so much tastier). The boiling liquid to kick start the cooking process. Did you know that rice freezes really well? So, yes this recipe makes a lot, but I toss half of the cooked rice in a Ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Jasmine rice
  • 2¼ cups Chicken Stock
  • 2¼ cups Water
  • 4 tbsp Canola oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375:
  2. Prepare the rice: Measure rice in a casserole dish.
  3. Make the broth: Pour the chicken broth, water, canola oil, kosher salt, and garlic powder in a small stockpot. Heat on high until boiling. You can also do this step in the microwave! Immediately remove from heat and pour into the casserole dish. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Put it in the oven: Cover tightly with foil and put into the oven. Cook for 50 minutes. Remove from oven, pull back the foil. Two results can happen now - one, if the liquid has been completely absorbed, fluff with a fork and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Two - if there is any liquid left in the pan, then re-cover and put back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Then remove, fluff with a fork and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes
I always use a aluminum pan when cooking rice. Why? It just conducts heat better than a Pyrex dish and the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
You can use a glass baking dish, just be sure to spray the dish with canola spray before starting the recipe.

 

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Oven-Baked French Fries

We are a household of potato lovers, led and encouraged by yours truly. Roasted redskin potatoes are a dinner staple in our house, but sometimes you need to change it up a bit, so instead of our usual redskin cubes, I made russet fries. A big dinner hit! They crisped up great and sometimes all you need is a little change to mix up your dinner rotation.

I made a double batch and they kept great in the fridge for leftovers a few nights later
Shown here with my Blue Cheese Dip, since I had to photograph them I made a little snack…

Oven-Baked French Fries
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
These potatoes were gobbled up by the kids. But you can fancy them up a bit for grown-ups. Try sprinkling them with some grated Parmesan and fresh minced flat-leaf parsley. If you are doubling this recipe to feed a crowd, you could make one tray with simple potatoes for the kids and another for the grown-ups. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. Russet potatoes, sliced into ½ inch thick fries
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 and spray a sheet pan with canola spray (or line with parchment paper for easier clean-up).
  2. In a medium bowl toss potatoes with olive oil, Kosher salt and garlic powder.
  3. Transfer potatoes to the prepared sheet pan. Make sure each potato slice has contact with the baking sheet (it helps with the crisping).
  4. Cook for 30 minutes, then toss with a spatula before increasing the temperature to 425 for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Notes
If you decide to double the recipe then you will need two sheet pans. Don't forget to rotate the pans in the oven to ensure even cooking.

 

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Southern-style Green Beans

Green beans are a favorite of mine – grilled, roasted, steamed, sauteed – always delicious and enjoyed by the kids. But sometimes I crave them softer and more unctuous, and only a long-cooking time can coax out that level of flavor. I made these for Sunday dinner a few days ago, and served them alongside a baked ham. There’s an element of nostalgia in a meal like this…it’s comforting, delicious and feels like home – all on a plate of simple food.


Southern-style Green Beans
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
I was a little apprehensive to make these beans for my kids, because they loathe mushy food, so instead of the classic mushy green beans, I sought to find the middle ground and I was successful! These beans have all the flavor of long-simmered, but I only cooked them for 45 minutes, so they still retained texture and shape. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 6 sliced Bacon, chopped
  • 1 Onion, yellow, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 6 cups Chicken broth, low-sodium or homemade
  • 2 lbs. Green beans, trimmed
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon and stir while it starts to render fat. Once you start to see some bacon fat, add the onions and Kosher salt.
  2. Reduce heat to low and let the bacon and onion slowly cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until onion is lightly browned.
  3. Add chicken stock and green beans to the pot. Mix in with bacon and onion, and cover the pot.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until beans are soft. If you prefer them softer, continue to cook until the texture is to your liking.
  5. Taste the beans and add salt and pepper if desired. I like to add another ½ tsp Kosher salt at this point. Serve immediately.

 

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Old Bay Potatoes

How I LOVE potatoes! They are just my favorite food (and of course a carb downfall), but you only live once and everything is good in moderation. I am always working on new potato recipes and of course anything with potatoes, cheese, bacon and butter is going to be a winner, including this spicy potato casserole that’s perfect for an afternoon of football. It’s an ideal year-round side for pulled pork, brisket, ribs and burgers on the grill.


Old Bay Potatoes
Author: 
Serves: 10-12
 
Just like a mashed potato casserole with some kick to it! There is a good bit of butter here, but consider this a special treat...definitely not an everyday dish! Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 package Crab boil mix (I like Old Bay or Zatarain)
  • 3 lbs Red skin potatoes, skin on, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 (16 oz) Bacon, thick sliced
  • 1 Red onion, medium, diced
  • 2 Tbsp Minced garlic
  • 1 stick Butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 12 oz Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 2 Scallions, minced green parts only (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a 5-6 quart pot about ⅔ full of water. Add boil seasoning mix and stir to combine. Add potato slices and bring water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until fork tender, 20 - 25 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, place bacon in a large skillet and cook until crispy, 10 - 15 minutes. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, leave bacon grease in the skillet. Once bacon is cooled, crumble into small bits.
  4. Add red onions to the skillet and cook until almost caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes longer.
  5. Drain potatoes in a large colander and set aside. Do not rinse!
  6. In a large bowl place the butter, red onions and garlic, ½ of the crumbled bacon, ⅔ of the cheddar cheese, the Kosher salt and the sour cream. Mix thoroughly until well combined. Carefully fold in the potatoes and gently stir to combine.
  7. Place potato mixture in a oven-safe casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese and bacon. Add scallions if using.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.
Notes
I always like to have do-ahead dishes for entertaining, but because of the sour cream in the dish, you can’t really re-warm in the oven. However, there are several make-ahead components.
The potatoes and crab boil mix can be prepared, drained and placed in Ziplock or Tupperware overnight in the fridge. The same goes for the bacon and the red onion / garlic mixture.
Before assembling the dish, warm both the potatoes and red onion / garlic mixture in the microwave.

 

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Pan-Fried Potatoes

Jeff always finds it funny that for someone who really tries to watch her carbs, I am obsessed with potatoes. I just love them – baked, roasted, mashed, stuffed…you name it, I want it. I have been making my roasted potatoes for years, they’re probably one of my top 5 most beloved recipes of all time. The challenge I’ve found this summer, is that while I am lucky enough to have 2 ovens, the second is one of those half ovens, not particularly helpful when cooking for a crowd. I just don’t always have the oven space to devote to a tray of potatoes – which meant I needed to develop a stove top recipe. I am thrilled with how these potatoes turned out – delicious and so easy. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner…or in my world they’re perfect anytime.

Pan-Fried Potatoes

Pan-Fried Potatoes
Author: 
Serves: 6-8
 
It's super important to not crowd your potatoes, so if you don't possess a mammoth 14 inch skillet like the one pictured here, then you have two choices. Either make the potatoes in two batches or halve the recipe. I know it's tough to do, but try to resist the urge to move the potatoes or flip them - you want to develop that delicious crust. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Potatoes, unpeeled and cut into a 1-1½ inch dice (I used redskin)
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. You need a 14 inch skillet to hold all of these potatoes.
  2. Add potatoes to the skillet, making sure they are in one layer with each potato piece in contact with the skillet (that's how you get the crispy side) and sprinkle with Kosher salt and garlic powder.
  3. Cook, without moving for 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes have a nice crispy crust on the bottom.
  4. Flip potatoes over and continue to cook without moving for an additional 5-6 minutes.
  5. At this point, you can adjust the heat down to low if you think the potatoes are getting too brown. You can start moving them around the pan, until they are browned on most sides. This will take approximately another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve.

 

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