Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes

After much trial and error to recreate this Greek favorite, I finally found a recipe. It will knock your socks off, I promise.

From the May 1999 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine


  • 4 large russet baking potatoes (8 medium), peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Greek oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place potatoes in a metal roasting pan large enough to fit potatoes in a single layer. Add 1 cup water, olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss potatoes until well coated.
  2. Bake, uncovered, until fork-tender and brown on the edges, about 50 minutes. Turn potatoes halfway through for even browning; add water if all the liquid has been absorbed, before they have fully browned. If desired, garnish with oregano; serve.


You probably want to double this recipe. It's that damn good. The recipe did not call for garlic but I added about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic to step one.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

The secret to making this soup is buying pre-cut butternut squash and using an immersion blender. It is more expensive, but a total time saver!

From the December 2012 issue of Cooking Light'


  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 4 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 2 small Thai red chiles, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash in a bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and toss. Bake at 450° for 35 minutes or until golden and tender.
3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash mixture, stock, and curry paste. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice and coconut milk. Let stand for 15 minutes.
4. Place half of squash mixture in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour soup into a bowl. Repeat. Divide the soup evenly among 8 bowls, and top evenly with cilantro, coconut, and chile slices.

We served ours with some garlic naan bread, but any fresh bread would suffice. We substituted chicken stock with smoked turkey stock.
Make it Vegan/ Vegetarian! Swap chicken stock for vegetable broth.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fake out/ take out: Glazed chili tofu with noodles

With a meal like this, there's no need for take out. (From Oct 2012 issue of Sunset Magazine)


  • 1 qt. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • About 1 tbsp. Thai or other Asian sweet chili sauce

  • 1 pkg. (14 oz.) extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces fresh ramen noodles or fresh Chinese 
  • wheat noodles
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups spinach leaves


1. Combine broth, 2 cups water, the ginger, garlic, and 3 tbsp. soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 10 minutes.
2. Mix the remaining 1 tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tbsp. chili sauce in a small bowl; set mixture aside.
3. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 slabs, each 1/2 in. thick. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Cook tofu, turning once, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; pour soy-chili mixture over tofu and turn gently to coat.
4. Add noodles and carrots to broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook just until wilted. Ladle noodles, broth, and vegetables into bowls and top each with 2 slabs of tofu. Drizzle tofu with more chili sauce if you like.


We modified this recipe and added miso paste and only 1 tbsp. soy sauce. We added a soft boiled egg to each bowl as well as froze corn and fresh mushrooms and scallions. We substituted smoked turkey broth for chicken broth and kale for spinach. Instead of ramen we used dry soba noodles.

We will be making this again. It was so savory and filling. One of our new fall favorites!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • About 2 tbsp. butter, divided 
  • Syrup


  1. 1. Mix together all ingredients except butter and syrup in a medium bowl.
  2. 2. Melt 2 tsp. butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Spoon batter by 1/3-cup portions into pan, making 3 or 4 pancakes at a time. Cook, turning once, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, adding more butter to pan for each batch. Serve with syrup and more butter if you like.
We were out of nutmeg so we used pumpkin pie spice.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

This is also from the December 2012 issue of Real Simple. It was also really easy and satisfying and will be in my regular rotation.

  • 2  cups  low-sodium beef broth
  • 1  medium onion, sliced
  • 2  cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2  tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  pounds  beef brisket, trimmed
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 5  ounces  mixed greens (about 6 cups)
  • 1  large baguette—cut into 4 pieces, split horizontally, and lightly toasted
1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the broth, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, and flour. Season the brisket with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and place in the slow cooker. Cover and cook until very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
2. Ten minutes before serving, transfer the brisket to a cutting board and thinly slice against the grain. Strain the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and reserve the onions. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1½ cups, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the greens and toss to combine.
4. Dividing evenly, form sandwiches with the baguette, brisket, and reserved onions. Serve with the cooking liquid, for dipping, and the salad.
We skipped the salad and served it with roasted broccoli and homemade french fries.

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

This comes from the December 2012 issue of Real Simple Magazine. It is AMAZING. And really easy.

  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  medium onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2  pounds  medium sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3  apples (such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady), 1 peeled and chopped and 2 thinly sliced
  • 2  cups  low-sodium vegetable broth
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 4  ounces  blue cheese (such as Gorgonzola or Stilton)
  • 1/3  cup  walnuts
  • 16  crackers or crostini
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potatoes, chopped apple, broth, nutmeg, and 1½ cups water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Use a handheld immersion blender in the saucepan to puree.
3. Serve the soup with the blue cheese, walnuts, crackers, and sliced apples.

This was an unbelievably simple, yet rich dinner. We served it with almonds and a Gorgonzola (which I also crumbled into the soup) along with some white wine.