Please Pass the Stuffing Muffins

 
 
 
 

RECIPE

Crispy on the outside, soft and speckled with flavorful goodness on the inside. There really isn’t anything to dislike about the stuffing muffin. Try em out on your Thanksgiving guests this year and prepare for the compliments to roll into the new year. :)

[MAKES 12 MUFFINS]

Ingredients:

  • 2 loaves of bread - about 14 cups, cut into 1 inch cubes (use what you’ve got- if you’re buying bread just for this I prefer a crusty french loaf)

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (click here if you need a new garlic press)

  • 2 teaspoons thyme, minced

  • 1 teaspoon rosemary, minced

  • 2 teaspoons sage, minced

  • 4 eggs, whisked (click here if you need a new whisk)

  • 2 cups veg stock

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

  • extra oil, or butter, for pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  2. Drizzle 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 of a teaspoon of pepper over the cut bread and bake in the oven on a large baking sheet (need a new one? click here) until slightly dry, about 10 minutes

  3. While the bread is crisping, heat a large sauté pan (click here if you need a new one) over a medium heat and add remaining olive oil into the pan. Sweat the onions with a touch of salt, then add the celery, garlic, cranberries and herbs

  4. Cook until the celery is soft, around an additional 5 minutes

  5. In a very large mixing bowl combine the bread cubes, vegetables, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, eggs, and vegetable stock

  6. Mix until everything is slightly wet and well combined

  7. Generously coat the muffin tin in oil or butter and fill each muffin cup equally

  8. Apply pressure to each muffin to pack them in and to form the tops into a traditional muffin shape

  9. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is crispy and the sides are golden brown

Other handy OXO tools featured in the video that you might want to get your hands on include…

Pop Containers

Mixing Bowls

Herb Keeper

Muffin Pan


Foolproof Lemon + Fennel Branzino

 
 
 
 

RECIPE

I know cooking a whole fish can be intimidating, but it's the cheapest and simplest way to acquire the best fish in town. You can look at a fish and instantly tell how fresh it is when it's whole and the skin and bones will help flavor the fish without having to put in any extra work. Yes, you do have to watch out for bones, but we're all adults here and we can chew our food. But if you are feeling squeemish about deboning, you can click here to watch this quick little video.

[SERVES 2]

Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4th cup olive oil

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped

  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds

  • 1 handful of parsley

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed with skins removed

  • 2 green onions, chopped into 4 equal sized pieces

  • 1 - 1 pound branzino, scaled, cleaned and gutted (this is something the fishmonger at your market can do… if they sell whole fish, they have a fishmonger)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your broiler, if you don’t have a broiler you can turn the oven on as high as it’ll go

  2. Heat a dry small pan over low heat and quickly toast your fennel and cumin seeds

  3. Gently move the seeds around the pan until they’re aromatic, but not discolored or darkened (about 3 minutes)

  4. Transfer the seeds into a small mixing bowl (or cup) and add the salt, olive oil, lemon zest, honey, red pepper flakes and chives

  5. Wash and dry the fish so it’s clean and ready for cooking

  6. Rub the oil mixture all over the exterior of the fish and also inside the fish so it’s evenly distributed

  7. Slide the lemon rounds, parsley, garlic and green onions into belly of the fish

  8. Broil for 5 minutes on one side and flip to broil for 5 minutes on the other

  9. If you are concerned that it isn’t cooked through use a meat thermometer and check to make sure it’s 145 degrees. The meat should be opaque, moist and firm. If it looks translucent at all, give it another minute under the broiler.

Spatchcock Chicken with Wine Braised Asparagus

 
 

If you’re squeamish you can purchase your chicken spatchcocked, if you’re a freak like me you'll want to do it yourself!!! First, you’re going to want to make sure you have a good pair of kitchen shears, if you don’t have these then the task at hand isn't going to be very pretty.  Place the chicken breast side down on a clean plastic cutting board, then using the shears you’re going to want to cut out the backbone. Cut from the tail to the neck as close to the backbone as possible on one side, and then repeat on the other side. Once the spine is out, twirl it around like a lasso and then keep it for chicken stock.  There is only one step left and it’s the yucky one...press down on each of the wings at the same time pretty firmly to crack the breastbone, allowing the bird to lie flat. You did it!  Now, onto the recipe...

4-6 depending on your hunger and the size of your bird

Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1 chicken (spatchcocked by your friendly butcher, or yourself if you’re brave)
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature butter (grass fed please)
  • 1 tablespoon chives (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • A big pinch salt
  • A few grinds pepper

Asparagus:

  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 shallot (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (something crisp and not too sweet)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (with the ends snapped off)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Chicken:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees 
  2. In a small dish combine the butter, chives, parsley, garlic, lemon zest and a big pinch of salt and pepper
  3. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan and pat it dry with a few paper towels
  4. Gently slide your hand below the surface of the skin to loosen the area between the skin and the meat, THIS is where you want that delicious butter to live.  
  5. Evenly distribute the butter and then sprinkle the bird with a bit more salt and pepper
  6. Roast for about 40 minutes until your meat thermometer registers 155 degrees in the thickest part of the breast (careful not to cook it any hotter, or you'll have a dryyyy breast)
  7. Rest for 20 minutes before cutting and serving

Asparagus:

  1. Heat a large sauté pan with oil over a medium heat
  2. Add shallot, salt and pepper
  3. Sweat shallot until translucent and let wine flow in
  4. Reduce for 5 minutes over a simmer
  5. Add fresh lemon juice, start with ½ the lemon, add more to taste
  6. Remove from pan and put aside Add a touch of olive oil to the pan and add asparagus
  7. Cook for two minutes, add the shallot mixture back in
  8. Let asparagus finish cooking in the sauce until al dente
  9. Add a small pat of butter or a touch of parmesan, if you like

To serve, cut up the chicken and serve hot with the asparagus and perhaps the chopped salad or some roasted carrots.
 

Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Party

RECIPE

Originally I made this recipe for Passover since it's sans dairy and made with almond flour, but I've had so many people enjoy making it year round that I've decided to let it break free from the chains of Holiday oppression. From now on, it's just called a Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Party and you can eat it whenever. you. like!

I usually finish the cake with whatever kind of vanilla frosting I have the ingredients for (a.k.a a little powdered sugar, vanilla and water) and toss some additional sprinkles around the edges of the cake.

[SERVES 6-8]

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs (separated)
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour (also called almond meal)
  • 1/8th teaspoon salt
  • 1/4th cup chocolate chips (preferably mini)
  • 1/4th cup rainbow sprinkles (plus extra for the top)
  • frosting ingredients

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Separate the eggs
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
  4. Set aside the egg whites
  5. Beat together the egg yolks and the sugar until the color of the yolks turn pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes
  6. Add the vanilla
  7. Add in the almond flour and salt
  8. Slowly fold in the egg whites until the batter is uniform (by folding the batter you avoid deflating the cake by un-whipping the egg whites)
  9. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips and the sprinkles
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes until fully cooked through (you can poke a toothpick through the cake, and if the stick is covered in any batter you know it isn't finished baking)

 

Matzo Ballin'

 
NWT-MatzoBallSoup-1.jpg

RECIPE

Here is the thing about making chicken soup, it isn’t a fast process. Maybe your mom used to basically add a few bouillon cubes to water, dump in some veggies and noodles and make instant soup, which honestly tastes pretty good- but that isn’t what we are going for here. We’re going for your great-great-grandma's version. You have to be patient and just let this happen slowwwlllyyyyy.  So make it on a cold day, start it early, go about your business. 

I like a stock that is made with roasted bones the best. If you happen to make roast chickens often I highly recommend storing the bones in a zip-lock bag in the freezer and pulling them out when it’s chicken soup time.  If you don’t have bones then you can just request that the butcher cut up a chicken into 8 pieces and maybe toss in an extra back bone and neck.

What’s a matzo ball you might ask?  In a word, a dumpling.  A dumpling that really absorbs the taste of your broth and is light yet filling, flavorful yet doesn’t overpower whatever veggie lives in your soup bowl.  

NOTE- if you don’t want to make the matzo balls from scratch you can buy a box of matzo ball mix in any grocery store, add oil and eggs and proceed. 

This stock freezes really well so I always make A LOT and keep it around for the next soup.

[SERVES 8]

Ingredients:

Stock:

  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 parts (make sure the butcher gives you the back and neck)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 stalks of celery ( don’t you wish you could just buy that?)
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns

Matzo Balls (this part of the recipe is straight up stolen from Joan Nathan’s NYT matzo balls because why fix what isn’t broken?):

  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup schmaltz (aka chicken fat)
  • 1 cup matzo meal (or ground matzo)
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley and dill (chopped)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Soup:

  1. Fill a BIG stock pot with water and add in the carrots, half the dill, half the parsley, onion, celery, parsnip, bay leaf, peppercorns and chicken and bring to a boil
  2. Reduce to a simmer and let it cook slowly for an hour and a half
  3. Chicken should be pretty tender, remove it and put aside
  4. Once the meat is cool enough to handle separate the meat from the bones and throw the bones back into the pot
  5. Put chicken meat in fridge
  6. Simmer for a few hours until it’s a luscious golden color (NOTE-good time to start making your matzo balls)
  7. CAREFULLY strain the liquid into another large pot and discard the soggy sad limp vegetables and bones that are left in the strainer
  8. Salt to taste (you're going to need lots of salt) and serve with the matzo balls, or reheat whenever you want 

Matzo Balls:

  1. In a big ass bowl combine all the matzo ball ingredients
  2. Mix it all together and refrigerate for a few hours, if you’re in a rush, you can also put it in the freezer for a bit 
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a tablespoon or so of salt
  4. Form the balls to be about the size of a vending machine-sized jumbo gum ball (it can be easier to form the matzo balls if your hands are wet) 
  5. Carefully drop them in the water and reduce the heat to a simmer 
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes and then add them to your soup 

When you’re ready to serve, top the soup with some fresh ground pepper and the rest of the dill and parsley.

 

Wine-Drunk Short Ribs

RECIPE

Ok, this is another one of those recipes where you just have to be patient. The difference between an hour here can make or break the dish, and you basically can’t cook it too long.  You can start them Sunday morning and have it for dinner Sunday night OR do cook it on Sunday and then reheat it for Monday, short ribs are always more delicious on day two.

Pro Tip: Do not crowd the short ribs when you brown them! They will steam rather than sear and if you’re looking for boiled meat I invite you to go to your nearest jewish deli instead of destroying these beautiful short ribs.

Serve hot, in a sandwich, or cold from the fridge, it’s all good. I like to cut the fattiness of this beast of a dish with a bitter green salad!

[SERVES 4]

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 2 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • ½ bottle red wine (don’t cheap out and ruin your short ribs with crap wine)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 4 lbs short ribs 
  • ½ bunch of parsley (chopped)
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • A few sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • ¾ container of beef stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Generously salt and pepper the short ribs 
  3. Oil a dutch oven and place on medium heat
  4. Brown all sides of the short rib until they’re a relatively uniform color
  5. Set browned short ribs aside and saute the onions, carrot and celery in the rendered fat
  6. Once they’re aromatic and tender add the tomato paste and give it a good stir
  7. Stir constantly until the tomato paste starts deepening in color and it smells bomb
  8. Add the short ribs followed by the wine, herbs, garlic and beef stock  
  9. Once it comes to a boil reduce the to a low simmer 
  10. Simmer until liquid begins to reduce 
  11. Put the lid on the pot put in the oven for 4 hours 
  12. Once the short ribs are fall off the bone tender remove from the liquid 
  13. Strain liquid, discarding the solids, and put the sauce back on the cooktop and reduce it further if you like. The longer it reduces the richer it will be.
  14. Serve short ribs in the braising liquid