Curry Chicken Salad

Curry chicken salad…a marriage of my deep love of Indian food and good chicken salad. This builds on my classic chicken salad recipe with a few Indian twists. While deep in chicken salad recipe development a few weeks ago, I had a craving on my curry version, but not sure Jeff would like it, I still made a traditional one for him. Surprise! The person who claims not to like Indian food couldn’t get enough of this salad!

Don’t have any chicken? Try my fail-proof poached chicken recipe for tender, flavorful chicken every time http://whatskatecooking.com/2016/06/poached-chicken/

Curry Chicken Salad
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
You will notice that my chicken salads tend to be a little "wet". That's a purposeful way for me to eat them on a plain undressed salad and still feel satisfied. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Whole milk Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise (I use Duke's)
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp Curry powder
  • 2 Celery, minced
  • 2 Scallions, green and white parts, minced
  • 1 -2 tbsp Cilantro, minced
  • ¼ cup Raisins, golden (optional)
  • 3 cups Shredded chicken breasts (from about 2 chicken breasts)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl place Greek yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, Kosher salt and curry powder. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add celery, scallions, cilantro, raisins (if using) and chicken.
  3. Mix throughly.
  4. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 2 days.

 

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Bacon & Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

We love bacon in our house…me, Jeff, all the kids…it is consumed on almost a daily basis (I probably shouldn’t confess that). So how about bacon, shallots fried in bacon fat AND roasted beets? I don’t know about you, but for Jeff and me that equals food heaven! If beets are not in season feel free to swap in whatever vegetables are fresh at the market. You could simply slice the vegetables are add them to the salad, but consider roasting or grilling them, it adds a flavor dimension and textural contrast you don’t get from raw veggies. What makes this salad sing is the combination of the bracing vinaigrette, the bacon, the fried shallots and the goat cheese. All of the other parts of the salad can be changed according to the season. This salad is truly spectacular, make this and show your family some food love, or serve it for company and add some seared scallops, grilled steak or chicken…an easy and elegant dinner with friends.

Here’s the delicious side salad version
Add some savory seared sea scallops for a delicious dinner salad

Bacon & Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Consider this recipe the template for your new salad showstopper. Some ideas for pairings are grilled asparagus and radishes, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas...the list goes on and on. It just has such a terrific mix of flavors and all of the components can be made ahead of time. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of Beets (2-3 beets per bunch), stems and tops cut off
  • Olive oil (1 tbsp for each beet)
  • 4 Slices of Bacon, thick-sliced works best
  • 1-2 Shallots (decide on the quantity of fried shallot garnish you want), thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Olive oil
  • 1 (5 oz) bag of Arugula (or lettuce of your choice)
  • 2-3 oz Goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and make a foil packet for the beets. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil for each beet (bunches vary from 2-3 beets). Seal foil packet, place on a sheet pan and roast for 1 hour.
  2. Remove tray from the oven, carefully open packet and allow the beets to cool. Once cool, peel skins (you can use a vegetable peeler but I find they come off easily using my hands which I wash right away). Slice beets into thin wedges or small chunks depending on your preference. (You will have some extra beets for another salad)
  3. In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Fry until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper-toweled plate. Once bacon is cool, slice into ¼ strips (I use kitchen shears for this).
  4. Fry shallots over medium heat in the bacon fat until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes. Turn down heat if they start to brown too quickly. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  5. In a Mason jar add the garlic, Dijon mustard, Kosher salt, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Shake vigorously to combine. (see note).
  6. In a large bowl toss arugula with dressing to taste.
  7. Plate salad and top beets, goat cheese and fried shallots. Add protein if serving as a dinner salad.
Notes
Using the vinaigrette - The extra dressing can be used to make additional salads, or as a marinade for seafood or chicken. You can store this in the fridge for up to a week, let come to room temperature before using so the olive oil, which hardens in the fridge, can turn back to a liquid.

 

 

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Romesco Sauce

A quick Romesco sauce makes the most delicious topping for steak, as well as grilled chicken, roasted shrimp or a appetizer plate. I love my version because you get to skip the roasting of the peppers and instead just crack open a jar. You definitely need a food processor to whip this sauce up, but it couldn’t be easier to pull together, and keeps great in the fridge for up to a week. Perfect for a Spanish-inspired dinner!


Romesco Sauce
Author: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
There are lots of Romesco recipes that call for red peppers and tomatoes...I developed this one to be simple and quick (hello jarred roasted red peppers) and add a little punch to lots of different meals. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup Almonds, slivered
  • 3 tsp Garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Paprika, smoked
  • 1 (16 oz) jar Roasted red peppers, drained
  • 2 tsp Sherry vinegar
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the almonds and cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes, or until golden.
  3. Add the garlic and smoked paprika and cook, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Transfer skillet ingredients to the food processor.
  5. Add the red peppers, vinegar and Kosher salt and blend until almost smooth.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature.
  7. Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

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Roasted Cauliflower Mash

It took me years to really understand why anyone would make pretend mashed potatoes. The real ones were just so good and cauliflower was so bland. Two things happened to change my mind. First, I got older and my metabolism started to slow down. Suddenly the idea of not eating carbs at night seemed to make a lot of sense. Second, as I began to roast more and more vegetables I added cauliflower into the mix. Cauliflower is not my kids favorite veg, but they will eat it, especially when it’s combined on a tray with broccoli. Roasting cauliflower, alongside a head of garlic, turns a boring mash into a savory delight. This recipe makes a lot, but if I’m making the effort I would rather go big, and Jeff and I will eat from one batch all week long. This recipe is an essential part of our pre-vacation prep!

Low-carb heaven!
All you need is two sheet pans and some aluminum foil. The garlic roasts right alongside.

Roasted Cauliflower Mash
Author: 
Serves: 8-10
 
I don't know about your children, but mine don't like to eat anything mushy. So - while cauliflower is not their first choice, they would much rather eat the roasted cauliflower than the mash, so if your kids feel the same way, reserve some cauliflower to feed your kids for dinner. A food processor makes quick work of this side, but you can use a potato masher and get equally great results. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 2 heads of Cauliflower, trimmed into bite-size florets
  • 1 head of Garlic, the top trimmed off to expose the cloves
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt, divided plus 1½ tsp Kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup Olive oil, divided
  • 4 tbsp Butter, unsalted, divided
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, whole milk, divided
  • ½ cup Sour cream, divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
  2. Make a small rectangular packet for the garlic and place the garlic in the center.
  3. Divide cauliflower evenly between the two baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil evenly between the baking sheets, adding a teaspoon or so to the garlic. Close up garlic packet.
  4. Sprinkle baking sheets with the 1 tsp Kosher salt divided and using your hands, make sure the olive oil and Kosher salt are well combined with the cauliflower.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, then rotate trays in the oven to cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to cook for 10 additional minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and slightly browned.
  7. Remove both trays from the oven and carefully open the garlic packet.
  8. In a food processor or a large bowl, carefully slide the cauliflower off the first baking sheet (you want the olive oil in there too!) Add ¾ tsp Kosher salt, 2 tbsp Butter, ½ cup Greek yogurt and ¼ cup sour cream.
  9. Prepare a 2 quart baking dish and spray with canola spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Pulse or mash cauliflower mixture until smooth. Transfer to the baking dish.
  11. Now, for the second sheet pan. Repeat all instructions above with the addition of adding the garlic. Once cooled to the touch, carefully squeeze it directly into the food processor or large bowl. Pulse or mash to combine.
  12. Transfer second batch to the prepared baking dish and gently mix to blend the flavors (you want that roasted garlic flavor spread throughout)!
  13. At this point you can cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing.
  14. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

 

 

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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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Asian Salad with Honey Bacon

Bacon is big in our house, and while I love to add it to salads I had never thought of bacon in the context of Asian food. Inspiration struck while reading a Food & Wine cookbook – why not marry bacon with Asian flavors? With that idea I was off! Jeff says learning to cook bacon in the oven is one of the three most important things he has learned from me (I am absolutely serious). I choose to interpret the fact that this food lesson is in the top three as evidence of our shared passion for bacon. Once you have cooked bacon in the oven you will never go back – it’s so hands-off and you get perfectly crisp bacon everytime. Combine honey bacon with arugula and a bracing vinaigrette…side salad heaven!


Asian Salad with Honey Bacon
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Cooking bacon in the oven might be one of the best things you ever learn on WKC. Using the oven eliminates all the work and mess. A sheet pan with aluminum foil, add the bacon and pop it in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until perfectly crsip. Drain on paper towels and you are done. Easy enough for a weekday morning and a lifesaver when you are feeding a crowd on the weekend. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 6 slices Bacon (I use low-sodium)
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce, low-sodium
  • 5 oz bag Arugula
  • 2 tbsp Sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 Lime, juice and zest
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • ¼ Cup Rice vinegar, unseasoned
  • Vegetables for salad (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together 2 tbsp honey and soy sauce.
  3. Lay 6 slices of bacon on the sheet pan and brush with honey/soy mixture.
  4. Cook in the oven until crisp, 12-15 minutes. Watch carefully because the honey makes the bacon more susceptible to burning. Once cooked, remove bacon to a plate to cool (do not put on paper towels because the honey will make the bacon stick).
  5. In a Mason jar combine sweet chili sauce, remaining honey, lime, canola oil and rice vinegar. Shake vigorously until dressing is emulsified.
  6. Place arugula in a medium bowl and add vinaigrette to taste.
  7. Once bacon has cooled, slice into small pieces (I use scissors for this task).
  8. Divide dressed arugula among 4 plates, adding any vegetables (optional) and top with bacon.

 

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Baby Bundt Vanilla Cake

I love to make desserts for the kids, but whole big cake is just too much to have around, and besides it’s way too tempting for Jeff and me. Enter the baby bundt, I named it “baby” because it fills up about half of a bundt pan. This cake is Dashiell’s current favorite – it’s yummy, can be dressed up with whipped cream or ice cream, and cooks in 30 minutes. You certainly don’t need to make this cake as a bundt. I didn’t even have a bundt pan until about a month ago, when I found an extra one in my mom’s basement. A bit off topic, but the kids and I know Gigi’s basement is a treasure trove of surprises. Right now I have my eye on a panini press and some vintage Maryland food tins to add to my collection. Back to the recipe…now the bundt pan is staple for me. Anytime I am tempted to make cupcakes (usually from a box mix), I just dump everything in a bundt pan instead, it’s so much faster! Kids love cake, so whip this one up when you have a little bit of extra time.


Baby Bundt Vanilla Cake
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
This cake has a poundcake-like consistency with a delicate vanilla flavor. Delicious with a cup of tea or as an after-dinner treat. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks Butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, large
  • 4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Flour, all-purpose, leveled in measuring cup (plus extra for the pan)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray (I use canola spray or you can butter) and flour a bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. In a standing mixer or a medium mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, combine butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs and mix well.
  4. Add vanilla, salt and flour and beat until just mixed.
  5. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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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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Sheet Pan Wasabi Flank Steak

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!

Try the steak with my delectable Wasabi Sauce on the side….http://whatskatecooking.com/2017/04/wasabi-sauce/

Sheet Pan Wasabi Flank Steak
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
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!
Ingredients
  • 1¾ - 2 lb Flank steak, scored (see note)
  • 1 tbsp Wasabi, prepared
  • ½ cup Soy sauce, low-sodium
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk the wasabi with the soy sauce.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove flank steak from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  5. Place flank steak on the sheet pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Lower the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Remove sheet pan from the oven and transfer the flank steak to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
Notes
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.

 

 

 

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Mason Jar Buttermilk Dressing with Fresh Herbs

Any regular reader of WKC knows I am obsessed with my food processor. Not all of us have a food processor, and frankly sometimes it’s easier to just be simple – enter humble and wonderful Mason jar. One of my greatest pleasures is watching Ridgely run wild making a Mason jar dressing. She chops herbs and maybe a shallot, pours her oil and vinegars, shakes the jar and then the alchemy – a delicious vinaigrette! There are so many studies out showing kids are more bought-in when they have a hand in choosing and making a family meal. It’s not only being on-board with dinner, it’s that they are proud of their contribution. They become excited to share their creations and we, as parents, want them engaged.

I always serve salads undressed to my family. My kids will only eat a salad plain, but they will try a bite of the dressing. Baby steps!
Jeff and I love this dressing! I was enjoying it so much I had two helpings!

Mason Jar Buttermilk Dressing with Fresh Herbs
Author: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
A perfect recipe to make with your kids! It has a short ingredient list and you can't really mess this up! If your children aren't ready for a knife, just give them a pair of scissors to chop up the herbs. I have 4 pairs designated just for my kitchen and they go right into the dishwasher. Consider this recipe a template - I used a mixture of dill and scallions, but this dressing is equally delicious with chives. Parsley or thyme would also be great. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp Fresh herbs
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ of Lemon, juice (You can also add the zest if you have time)
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • ½ cup Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake vigorously.
  2. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

 

 

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