Sweet Corn & Black Bean Tacos

INGREDIENTS    Corn and feta salad   2 ears of corn, shucked (about 2 cups fresh corn kernels)  ¼ cup chopped cilantro*  3 medium red radishes, thinly sliced into small strips  1 medium lime, zested and juiced (to yield about 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons lime juice)  1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced  1 tablespoon olive oil  ¼ teaspoon sea salt  ½ to ⅔ cup crumbled feta, to taste (optional)   Black beans   2 cans black black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked black beans)  1 tablespoon olive oil  1 small yellow or white onion, chopped  1 tablespoon ground cumin  ⅓ cup water  Salt and black pepper, to taste   Everything else   10 small round corn tortillas (gluten free for gluten-free tacos)  1 large avocado, sliced into thin strips  Optional garnishes: pickled jalapeños, salsa verde and/or hot sauce   INSTRUCTIONS   To prepare the corn salad: Use a sharp chef's knife to slice the kernels off all four sides of the corn cobs. Transfer the kernels to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the chopped cilantro, radishes, lime zest and juice, jalapeño, olive oil and sea salt. Mix well. Stir in ½ cup crumbled feta, taste, and add a little more if you'd like. Set the bowl aside to marinate while your prepare the beans.  To prepare the black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and ⅓ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up about at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, season generously with salt and pepper, to taste, and cover until you're ready to serve.  To warm the tortillas: Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat and warm each tortilla individually, flipping occasionally. Alternatively, you can warm them directly over a low flame on a gas range. Fold a tea towel over the warmed tortillas to keep them warm.  Put it all together: Spread black beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top the beans with corn salad. Place a slice of avocado to the side of the beans and serve with optional pickled jalapeños, salsa or hot sauce on the side.   NOTES   Make it vegan/dairy free: Skip the feta and add pickled jalapeños or pickled radishes to make up for the feta's salty punch.  Meat lovers: Pretty much any protein - shredded chicken, ground beef, or fish - are great additions to this recipe!

INGREDIENTS

Corn and feta salad

2 ears of corn, shucked (about 2 cups fresh corn kernels)

¼ cup chopped cilantro*

3 medium red radishes, thinly sliced into small strips

1 medium lime, zested and juiced (to yield about 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons lime juice)

1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

½ to ⅔ cup crumbled feta, to taste (optional)

Black beans

2 cans black black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked black beans)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow or white onion, chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

⅓ cup water

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Everything else

10 small round corn tortillas (gluten free for gluten-free tacos)

1 large avocado, sliced into thin strips

Optional garnishes: pickled jalapeños, salsa verde and/or hot sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

To prepare the corn salad: Use a sharp chef's knife to slice the kernels off all four sides of the corn cobs. Transfer the kernels to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the chopped cilantro, radishes, lime zest and juice, jalapeño, olive oil and sea salt. Mix well. Stir in ½ cup crumbled feta, taste, and add a little more if you'd like. Set the bowl aside to marinate while your prepare the beans.

To prepare the black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and ⅓ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up about at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, season generously with salt and pepper, to taste, and cover until you're ready to serve.

To warm the tortillas: Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat and warm each tortilla individually, flipping occasionally. Alternatively, you can warm them directly over a low flame on a gas range. Fold a tea towel over the warmed tortillas to keep them warm.

Put it all together: Spread black beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top the beans with corn salad. Place a slice of avocado to the side of the beans and serve with optional pickled jalapeños, salsa or hot sauce on the side.

NOTES

Make it vegan/dairy free: Skip the feta and add pickled jalapeños or pickled radishes to make up for the feta's salty punch.

Meat lovers: Pretty much any protein - shredded chicken, ground beef, or fish - are great additions to this recipe!

Roasted Tomato & Corn Salad

INGREDIENTS   1 pint baby tomatoes 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper 1 head of butter lettuce 1 small fennel bulb, shaved thin 1 ear of corn, grilled and cooled 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts 4 ounces sheeps feta cheese  // jalapeno dressing //  1 jalapeno (or favorite variety of hot pepper) handful of cilantro 1 clove garlic 1 tsp. honey 1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar juice of half a small lemon 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil   DIRECTIONS   Preheat the oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with parchment. Halve the tomatoes and toss them in the olive oil, salt and pepper. If they aren't good ones, you know the type, I'll sprinkle a bit of sugar. Spread them on the baking sheet cut side up and roast for 20-25 minutes until dried on the edges. Remove to cool completely. They will dry up more as they rest.  Blend all dressing ingredients together and set aside. The dressing can be made up to a week in advance. The remaining salad ingredients are written prepped, so from this point, you just need to dress and assemble. Because butter lettuce leaves are larger, this salad plates best with the lettuce and fennel being dressed, and then the tomatoes, corn, pine nuts and feta cheese sprinkled on top of each portion. This prevents all the heavier goodies from falling to the bottom.

INGREDIENTS

1 pint baby tomatoes
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
1 head of butter lettuce
1 small fennel bulb, shaved thin
1 ear of corn, grilled and cooled
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
4 ounces sheeps feta cheese

// jalapeno dressing //

1 jalapeno (or favorite variety of hot pepper)
handful of cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
juice of half a small lemon
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350' and line a baking sheet with parchment. Halve the tomatoes and toss them in the olive oil, salt and pepper. If they aren't good ones, you know the type, I'll sprinkle a bit of sugar. Spread them on the baking sheet cut side up and roast for 20-25 minutes until dried on the edges. Remove to cool completely. They will dry up more as they rest.
Blend all dressing ingredients together and set aside. The dressing can be made up to a week in advance. The remaining salad ingredients are written prepped, so from this point, you just need to dress and assemble. Because butter lettuce leaves are larger, this salad plates best with the lettuce and fennel being dressed, and then the tomatoes, corn, pine nuts and feta cheese sprinkled on top of each portion. This prevents all the heavier goodies from falling to the bottom.

Summertime Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Corn & Jalapeño Pesto

INGREDIENTS    Pasta salad   ½ pound whole grain bow-tie pasta or rotini or penne  1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained  1 pint cherry tomatoes (10 ounces), sliced into thin rounds  1 ear fresh corn, shucked (about ½ cup fresh corn kernels)  ½ to ¾ cup crumbled feta or diced avocado   Jalapeño herb pesto   1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley  1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro or basil  1 to 2 medium jalapeños, roughly chopped (remove seeds and membranes for less heat), optional  1 medium lemon, juiced  1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped  ½ teaspoon salt  ½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or slivered almonds  ½ cup olive oil  Freshly ground black pepper, to taste   INSTRUCTIONS   Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve about a cup of cooking water. Drain and return to pot. Set aside.  Toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are making little popping noises and turning lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool a bit.  To make the pesto, combine the herbs, jalapeño, lemon, garlic and salt in a food processor. Pour in the pepitas. Pulse a few times and then run the machine while drizzling in the olive oil until the mixture is well blended, scraping down the bowl as necessary.  Pour enough pesto into the pasta to lightly coat it once tossed (you might not quite need all of it). Add a small splash of pasta cooking water and toss well. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add the drained black beans, sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh corn and feta or avocado. Stir until combined. This salad tastes best after it's had a chance to marinate for about 30 minutes, but you can serve it right away if need be.    NOTES    Make it vegan/dairy-free: Omit the cheese and use diced avocado instead.  Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.  Make it nut free: Be sure to use pepitas, which are seeds, rather than almonds or another nut in the pesto.  Storage suggestions: This recipe keeps well for several days in the refrigerator, covered. Leftovers are great served warm or chilled. If you want to change it up/stretch it out, add some fresh, leafy greens and a drizzle of lemony dressing.

INGREDIENTS

Pasta salad

½ pound whole grain bow-tie pasta or rotini or penne

1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 pint cherry tomatoes (10 ounces), sliced into thin rounds

1 ear fresh corn, shucked (about ½ cup fresh corn kernels)

½ to ¾ cup crumbled feta or diced avocado

Jalapeño herb pesto

1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley

1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro or basil

1 to 2 medium jalapeños, roughly chopped (remove seeds and membranes for less heat), optional

1 medium lemon, juiced

1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or slivered almonds

½ cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve about a cup of cooking water. Drain and return to pot. Set aside.

Toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are making little popping noises and turning lightly golden on the edges. Set aside to cool a bit.

To make the pesto, combine the herbs, jalapeño, lemon, garlic and salt in a food processor. Pour in the pepitas. Pulse a few times and then run the machine while drizzling in the olive oil until the mixture is well blended, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Pour enough pesto into the pasta to lightly coat it once tossed (you might not quite need all of it). Add a small splash of pasta cooking water and toss well. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add the drained black beans, sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh corn and feta or avocado. Stir until combined. This salad tastes best after it's had a chance to marinate for about 30 minutes, but you can serve it right away if need be. 

NOTES

Make it vegan/dairy-free: Omit the cheese and use diced avocado instead.

Make it gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.

Make it nut free: Be sure to use pepitas, which are seeds, rather than almonds or another nut in the pesto.

Storage suggestions: This recipe keeps well for several days in the refrigerator, covered. Leftovers are great served warm or chilled. If you want to change it up/stretch it out, add some fresh, leafy greens and a drizzle of lemony dressing.

Grilled Cabbage Wedges with Spicy Lime Dressing

Recipe from The Kitchn

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional — leave out for a vegetarian or vegan dish)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Lime wedges, to serve
1 head green cabbage
Grapeseed or canola oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill. Whiz the limes, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne, and sugar in a small chopper or blender until the sauce is pale orange and the garlic is pulverized. Set aside.
  2. Remove the loosest, toughest outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut into 8 evenly sized wedges. Do not remove the stalk or inner core. Lightly brush the wedges with grapeseed or canola oil.
  3. Place the wedges on the grill and cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the edges of each layer are blackened and the cabbage is beginning to soften. Flip each wedge over, cover the grill, and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes on the other side. Remove the cabbage when it is beginning to wilt, but is still firm in the middle. (This will also be somewhat a matter of taste; I like it fairly crispy still, but you may prefer it more well-done.) If necessary, turn the heat down or move the wedges to a cooler part of the grill so they don't burn. But don't be afraid of those blackened edges; you want a lot of grill and char marks on the cabbage to give it smoky flavor.
  4. Take the cabbage off the grill and arrange the wedges on a plate. Pour the dressing over top and serve immediately, with wedges of lime to garnish.

10 Ways to Cook Irresistible Carrots

Brought to you by the wonderful minds at The Kitchn

1. Cumin and Coriander

Cut carrots in two-inch lengths. Combine ground cumin and coriander with olive oil to make a spice rub; toss carrots to coat them. Season well with salt and pepper. Spread out the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet; cover tightly with foil. Roast carrots at 425°F for about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring once or twice until browned and tender, about 30 minutes more.

2. Brown Butter and Nuts

Blanch carrots until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, heat an oven and baking sheet to 450°F. Toss carrots with melted brown butter and spread them out on the hot baking sheet. Roast the carrots until caramelized and tender. Toss with toasted hazelnuts (or walnuts or almonds), and finish with a sprinkle of thyme and/or parsley.

3. Honey or Maple Syrup

Play up carrots' sweetness with honey or maple syrup (then add a splash of balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon juice to balance them). Toss carrots with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Add chopped rosemary or other herbs here if you wish.) Spread out the carrots on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes at 400°F, shaking the pan or stirring after 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, honey or maple syrup, and a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Drizzle the mixture over the carrots and stir to evenly coat them. Continue to roast the carrots until tender and browned on the edges. (Soak your baking sheet.)

4. Balsamic Vinegar

A splash of balsamic vinegar or a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar helps to balance carrots' sweetness. Toss carrots in balsamic vinegar just before the last 10 minutes of roasting or just after they finish. Alternatively, serve roasted carrots with a drizzle of syrupy reduced balsamic vinegar.

5. Orange, Ginger, and Cilantro

Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, minced ginger (some minced garlic, too, if you wish), and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss the carrots in the marinade (reserve about 1/4 cup, to toss with the carrots after cooking). Spread the carrots out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and roast at 425°F for about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring once or twice until browned and tender, about 30 minutes more.

6. Tahini

Roast carrots until caramelized and tender, then toss warm carrots with a spoonful of tahini and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt and black sesame seeds. Finish with chopped cilantro, parsley, thyme, or oregano.

7. Goat Cheese, Feta, and Yogurt

Finish any roasted carrots with a sprinkle of goat cheese or feta, a dollop of ricotta, or a spoonful of Greek yogurt combined with a shaving of raw garlic or a slash of lemon juice.

8. Walnuts, Almonds, and Other Nuts and Seeds

Finish any roasted carrots with a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds for crunch and a nutty taste.

9. Harissa

Whisk together olive oil, harissa, and a splash of lemon juice and honey. Toss the carrots in the mixture to coat them. Preheat a baking sheet at 425°F, then spread out the carrots on the sheet; roast until tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally, 35 to 40 minutes. If needed, toss with another small spoonful of harissa. Garnish with parsley or cilantro. (See #7 and #8 — also good additions.)

10. Avocado

Roast carrots in two-inch lengths or roast small carrots whole. Pulverize garlic, ground cumin, fresh herbs of your choice, and lemon or orange zest in a food processor or mortar and pestle. Blend in olive oil, salt, and pepper (and red pepper flakes if you wish). Toss and rub the carrots in the paste-like mixture and roast until tender and browned. Toss the hot, cooked carrots in a splash of lemon juice or orange juice, or red wine or balsamic vinegar.

Serve with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt over the top, and if you wish, a handful of greens or a spoonful of cheese or yogurt (see #7).

Simple Lo Mein

INGREDIENTS    Sauce :  3 tablespoons soy sauce  1 teaspoon sesame oil  1 teaspoon sugar   Lo Mein :  4-6 ounces uncooked ramen noodles  1 tablespoon sesame oil  3 green onions, chopped  (separate green parts from white parts - you'll use both separately)   2-3 cups julienne cut or chopped vegetables like carrots, red peppers, green cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, or broccoli  1-2 tablespoons mirin   INSTRUCTIONS     Sauce :  Shake all the sauce ingredients together in a jar.    Noodles :  Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.    Lo Mein :  Heat the sesame oil in a large wok or skillet. Add the green onions (white parts) and vegetables to the hot pan. Stir fry until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mirin to loosen the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Add the cooked noodles and about half of the sauce - toss around in the hot pan to combine. Add more sauce if needed (I usually gauge the amount of sauce I want by the color of the noodles - you want a medium brown color, not too light, not too dark). Serve topped with remaining green onions!   NOTES   You can use almost any vegetables and/or protein.  Ideas: Red pepper, carrots, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms, snap peas, onions, cabbage, broccoli. // Chicken, shrimp, eggs, beef, pork, tofu.  If you want to add a protein, stir fry it first, before the vegetables, then remove from heat while you cook the vegetables. Add back into the pan at the end with the noodles.

INGREDIENTS

Sauce:

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar

Lo Mein:

4-6 ounces uncooked ramen noodles

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 green onions, chopped (separate green parts from white parts - you'll use both separately)

2-3 cups julienne cut or chopped vegetables like carrots, red peppers, green cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, or broccoli

1-2 tablespoons mirin

INSTRUCTIONS

Sauce: Shake all the sauce ingredients together in a jar.

NoodlesCook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Lo MeinHeat the sesame oil in a large wok or skillet. Add the green onions (white parts) and vegetables to the hot pan. Stir fry until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mirin to loosen the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Add the cooked noodles and about half of the sauce - toss around in the hot pan to combine. Add more sauce if needed (I usually gauge the amount of sauce I want by the color of the noodles - you want a medium brown color, not too light, not too dark). Serve topped with remaining green onions!

NOTES

You can use almost any vegetables and/or protein.

Ideas: Red pepper, carrots, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms, snap peas, onions, cabbage, broccoli. // Chicken, shrimp, eggs, beef, pork, tofu.

If you want to add a protein, stir fry it first, before the vegetables, then remove from heat while you cook the vegetables. Add back into the pan at the end with the noodles.

Baked Eggs with Chorizo & Potatoes

    INGREDIENTS   2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes  1 1/2 pounds fresh chorizo, casings removed (see Note)  1 large onion, finely chopped  2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  Salt and freshly ground pepper  8 large eggs  Toast and hot sauce, for serving   INSTRUCTIONS   Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 25 minutes; drain and let cool. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces.   Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Add the chorizo, break it into chunks with a wooden spoon and cook over moderate heat, turning, until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Scrape the chorizo mixture into a bowl and wipe out the skillet.   Heat the oil in the skillet. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chorizo mixture. Remove the skillet from the heat.   Using a ladle, make 8 indentations in the potato-chorizo mixture about 1 inch apart; crack an egg into each one. Bake the skillet in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes, or until the egg whites are just set but the yolks are still runny. Serve at once with toast and hot sauce.    MAKE AHEAD   The potatoes can be boiled a day ahead and refrigerated.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes

1 1/2 pounds fresh chorizo, casings removed (see Note)

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 large eggs

Toast and hot sauce, for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 25 minutes; drain and let cool. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4-inch pieces. 

Meanwhile, heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Add the chorizo, break it into chunks with a wooden spoon and cook over moderate heat, turning, until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Scrape the chorizo mixture into a bowl and wipe out the skillet. 

Heat the oil in the skillet. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chorizo mixture. Remove the skillet from the heat. 

Using a ladle, make 8 indentations in the potato-chorizo mixture about 1 inch apart; crack an egg into each one. Bake the skillet in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes, or until the egg whites are just set but the yolks are still runny. Serve at once with toast and hot sauce. 

MAKE AHEAD

The potatoes can be boiled a day ahead and refrigerated.

One Chicken, Five Dinners

A few great ideas to make the most out of the whole bird!      Monday :  Weeknight Roast Chicken with Lemon and Sage  (Eat the chicken breasts for dinner tonight, along with some vegetables roasted in the oven with the chicken.)   Tuesday :  Crispy Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Spinach    Wednesday :  Sausage and Zucchini Soup  made with  Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock    Thursday :  Sweet Corn Risotto  made with the rest of the chicken stock   Friday :  Scrambled Egg Tacos  to use up all the leftovers     NOTE: Use the links to access specific recipes.

A few great ideas to make the most out of the whole bird!

 

MondayWeeknight Roast Chicken with Lemon and Sage (Eat the chicken breasts for dinner tonight, along with some vegetables roasted in the oven with the chicken.)

TuesdayCrispy Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Spinach

WednesdaySausage and Zucchini Soup made with Slow-Cooker Chicken Stock

ThursdaySweet Corn Risotto made with the rest of the chicken stock

FridayScrambled Egg Tacos to use up all the leftovers

 

NOTE: Use the links to access specific recipes.

Chili-Rubbed Salmon

INGREDIENTS    Chili-Rubbed Salmon   4 salmon fillets  2 tbsp olive oil  3 tbsp packed brown sugar  1.5 tbsp chili powder  1 tsp ground cumin  1 tsp black pepper  1 tsp salt   Avocado Salsa   2 avocados, diced into 1 cm cubes  4 tbsp chopped cilantro  ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered  juice of one lime   INSTRUCTIONS    Chili-Rubbed Salmon   Pre-heat grill to medium heat.  Rinse salmon and pat dry. Brush salmon fillets with olive oil.  In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin and pepper. Spread generously over the salmon fillets.  Cook salmon on grill (over direct heat) for 12-15 minutes.   To Oven-Bake:   Pre-heat oven to 425°F.  Bake salmon on parchment-lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.   Avocado Salsa   Combine all ingredients and serve immediately

INGREDIENTS

Chili-Rubbed Salmon

4 salmon fillets

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp packed brown sugar

1.5 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Avocado Salsa

2 avocados, diced into 1 cm cubes

4 tbsp chopped cilantro

½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

juice of one lime

INSTRUCTIONS

Chili-Rubbed Salmon

Pre-heat grill to medium heat.

Rinse salmon and pat dry. Brush salmon fillets with olive oil.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin and pepper. Spread generously over the salmon fillets.

Cook salmon on grill (over direct heat) for 12-15 minutes.

To Oven-Bake:

Pre-heat oven to 425°F.

Bake salmon on parchment-lined baking sheet for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.

Avocado Salsa

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately

Carrot Cake

INGREDIENTS    For the Carrot Cake:   2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour  2 teaspoons baking soda  1 teaspoon kosher salt  1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon  1 1/4 cups (295 ml) canola or other vegetable oil  1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar  1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar  1 teaspoon vanilla extract  4 large eggs  3 cups (300 grams) grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)  1 cup (100 grams) coarsely chopped pecans  1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins, optional   For the Cream Cheese Frosting:   8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature  1 1/4 cups (140 grams) powdered sugar  1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream  1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake   DIRECTIONS   Heat the oven to 350º F. Grease two 9-inch by 2-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper. Or, grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans.   Prepare Cake Batter  :  In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and the cinnamon until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.  Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins, if using them.   Bake Cake Layers  :  Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean; 35 to 45 minutes.  Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.   Make Cream Cheese Frosting  :  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.   Frost Cake  :  When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Decoratively swirl the top of the cake with remaining frosting, leaving the sides unfrosted. Scatter nuts on top.   NOTES    Preparing the Cake Pans  :  Even though it is a bit time consuming, don't skimp on prepping the pans. It's never fun to find your cake layer is stuck to the bottom of your pan. (If this does happen to you, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing).   How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes  :  For cupcakes, we'd recommend baking for 14 to 18 minutes (or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean). Then let them cool for a few minutes in the cupcake pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.  We use kosher salt. If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt.

INGREDIENTS

For the Carrot Cake:

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 cups (295 ml) canola or other vegetable oil

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

3 cups (300 grams) grated peeled carrots (5 to 6 medium carrots)

1 cup (100 grams) coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup (65 grams) raisins, optional

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups (140 grams) powdered sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream

1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350º F. Grease two 9-inch by 2-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper then grease the top of the paper. Or, grease and flour the bottom and sides of both pans.

Prepare Cake Batter: In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and the cinnamon until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.

Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts and raisins, if using them.

Bake Cake Layers: Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until the tops of the cake layers are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean; 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks, peel off parchment paper and cool completely.

Make Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. Pour in cream and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Chill covered until ready to frost cake.

Frost Cake: When the cake layers are completely cool, frost the top of one cake layer, place the other cake layer on top. Decoratively swirl the top of the cake with remaining frosting, leaving the sides unfrosted. Scatter nuts on top.

NOTES

Preparing the Cake Pans: Even though it is a bit time consuming, don't skimp on prepping the pans. It's never fun to find your cake layer is stuck to the bottom of your pan. (If this does happen to you, leave the cake pan upside down and allow gravity to do its thing).

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes: For cupcakes, we'd recommend baking for 14 to 18 minutes (or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean). Then let them cool for a few minutes in the cupcake pan before transferring them to a cooling rack.

We use kosher salt. If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt.

Buddy's Famous Grilled Chicken Wings

INGREDIENTS   2 sticks butter  1/2 cup lemon juice  1/4 cup horseradish  1/2 tablespoons tobasco hot sauce  1/4 cup distilled vinegar  1/2 cup ketchup  1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce  1 1/2 tablespoons salt  Chicken wings   INSTRUCTIONS   Add all of the ingredients (except wings) to a medium-sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the stove down to simmer for 1/2 an hour to blend flavors. Stir occasionally. Grill the wings and once done immediately coat the hot wings with liberal amounts of sauce - the more the better! Serve with lots of napkins & enjoy!   NOTES   Here is a link for instructions on how to grill perfect chicken wings: http://www.grillingcompanion.com/recipe/grilled-chicken-wings/

INGREDIENTS

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup horseradish

1/2 tablespoons tobasco hot sauce

1/4 cup distilled vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon worchestershire sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Chicken wings

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all of the ingredients (except wings) to a medium-sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the stove down to simmer for 1/2 an hour to blend flavors. Stir occasionally. Grill the wings and once done immediately coat the hot wings with liberal amounts of sauce - the more the better! Serve with lots of napkins & enjoy!

NOTES

Here is a link for instructions on how to grill perfect chicken wings: http://www.grillingcompanion.com/recipe/grilled-chicken-wings/

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

INGREDIENTS   For the slaw:  1 small head (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) cabbage (green, red, or a mix) 2 to 3 large carrots (3 to 3 1/2 cups shredded) 1 tablespoon salt,  optional  1 1/4 cup coleslaw dressing  For the dressing (choose one):   Mayonnaise dressing:  1 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt   Buttermilk dressing:  1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt   Sour cream dressing:  1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt  INSTRUCTIONS   Shred the cabbage : Cut the cabbage in half and peel off a few of the thin outer layers. Cut each half into quarters, then cut out the tough core in the middle. Slice each quarter crosswise into thin shreds, or run the quarters through a food processor with a shredding blade. Transfer the shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl.   Salt the cabbage — OPTIONAL : Salting the cabbage helps it  stay crisp a little longer  if you're making the coleslaw ahead. Transfer the cabbage to colander and toss it with a tablespoon of salt. Let stand on a plate or in the sink for an hour or two. Squeeze as much moisture as you can from the cabbage, then continue making the coleslaw.   Shred the carrots : Peel the carrots, then either cut them into very small matchsticks, or shred them using a food processor with a shredding blade or on a box grater. Transfer the shredded cabbage to the mixing bowl with the cabbage.  Toss the shredded cabbage and carrots together.   Whisk the dressing : Whisk together the ingredients for your dressing in a small bowl. Taste and add more salt, sugar, or vinegar to taste.    Toss the slaw with the dressing : Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage and carrots. Toss gently to combine, making sure all the shreds are coated evenly. (If you're making this more than an hour or two ahead of your party, save a little dressing to toss with the salad just before serving.)   Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving : Coleslaw has the best texture and flavor the day its made, but it still keeps well for several days in the fridge. If you're making this coleslaw more than a day ahead, don't skip the salting step above. For extra creaminess, drizzle a little reserved dressing over the top of the slaw, or fold an extra spoonful of mayo into the slaw just before serving.

INGREDIENTS
For the slaw:
1 small head (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) cabbage (green, red, or a mix)
2 to 3 large carrots (3 to 3 1/2 cups shredded)
1 tablespoon salt, optional
1 1/4 cup coleslaw dressing

For the dressing (choose one):

Mayonnaise dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Buttermilk dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sour cream dressing:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Shred the cabbage: Cut the cabbage in half and peel off a few of the thin outer layers. Cut each half into quarters, then cut out the tough core in the middle. Slice each quarter crosswise into thin shreds, or run the quarters through a food processor with a shredding blade. Transfer the shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl.

Salt the cabbage — OPTIONAL: Salting the cabbage helps it stay crisp a little longer if you're making the coleslaw ahead. Transfer the cabbage to colander and toss it with a tablespoon of salt. Let stand on a plate or in the sink for an hour or two. Squeeze as much moisture as you can from the cabbage, then continue making the coleslaw.

Shred the carrots: Peel the carrots, then either cut them into very small matchsticks, or shred them using a food processor with a shredding blade or on a box grater. Transfer the shredded cabbage to the mixing bowl with the cabbage.

Toss the shredded cabbage and carrots together.

Whisk the dressing: Whisk together the ingredients for your dressing in a small bowl. Taste and add more salt, sugar, or vinegar to taste. 

Toss the slaw with the dressing: Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage and carrots. Toss gently to combine, making sure all the shreds are coated evenly. (If you're making this more than an hour or two ahead of your party, save a little dressing to toss with the salad just before serving.)

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving: Coleslaw has the best texture and flavor the day its made, but it still keeps well for several days in the fridge. If you're making this coleslaw more than a day ahead, don't skip the salting step above. For extra creaminess, drizzle a little reserved dressing over the top of the slaw, or fold an extra spoonful of mayo into the slaw just before serving.

Poached Cod with Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS   3 cups low-sodium chicken broth   1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced   2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, divided   1/2 pound small potatoes, preferably fingerling and purple, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds   3 sprigs basil, plus leaves for garnish   1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes   Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper   4 skinless cod fillets (4 ounces each)   4 ounces snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias   1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges, for serving   Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling  DIRECTIONS   In a large saute pan with a tight-fitting lid, bring broth, onion, 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, potatoes, basil sprigs, red-pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Season cod with salt and pepper, add to broth mixture, and cover, simmering about 7 minutes more.   Remove and discard basil sprigs. Add peas, remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes, and lemon juice to skillet, gently stirring to combine; cook just until warmed through. Divide fish, vegetables, and broth among 4 bowls. Garnish with basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with lemon wedges.

INGREDIENTS 

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth 

1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced 

2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, divided 

1/2 pound small potatoes, preferably fingerling and purple, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds 

3 sprigs basil, plus leaves for garnish 

1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes 

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 

4 skinless cod fillets (4 ounces each) 

4 ounces snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias 

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges, for serving 

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS 

In a large saute pan with a tight-fitting lid, bring broth, onion, 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, potatoes, basil sprigs, red-pepper flakes, and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Season cod with salt and pepper, add to broth mixture, and cover, simmering about 7 minutes more. 

Remove and discard basil sprigs. Add peas, remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes, and lemon juice to skillet, gently stirring to combine; cook just until warmed through. Divide fish, vegetables, and broth among 4 bowls. Garnish with basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with lemon wedges.