My husband made this full-flavored grilled chicken for my birthday dinner. One of our favorite grilled chicken marinades is yogurt-based. It truly results in the most juicy and flavorful meat. Because yogurt is more gentle than vinegar or lemon juice used in other marinades, the marinating time can be extended without altering the texture of the meat. Making the marinade a day in advance is perfect when activities are planned for the day of the meal and there is little time to spend in the kitchen.
Much of my birthday celebration was focused on food- no surprise. 🙂 My first surprise was a very special breakfast pastry delivery from Dominique Ansel in NYC. (I am a huge fan!) So beautiful, I had to take a few photos.
If that wasn’t enough, we enjoyed the beautiful weather by going out to lunch at a favorite outdoor spot. Lovely.
We ate this grilled chicken over rice for dinner. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. The original recipe suggests serving it with pita and cucumber-tomato salad. I loved it with grilled tomatoes. We also had warm naan on the side.
My daughter and I made Strawberry Crumb Cake for our celebratory dessert. We ate it warm with vanilla ice cream. ❤
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
6 garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed, or minced
2 lemons, zested
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the tomatoes and for serving
1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 8)
8 to 10 Campari tomatoes
pita, rice, or naan, for serving, as desired
In a large bowl or container, stir together 5 of the grated garlic cloves, half the lemon zest, 1/3 cup yogurt, the cilantro, oil, za’atar, oregano or marjoram, salt and black pepper. Add chicken and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, light the grill to medium (or heat your broiler with the rack 3 inches from the heat source).
Remove chicken from bowl, shaking off any excess marinade, and grill or broil on one side until charred in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken and grill or broil for another 5 to 8 minutes, until just cooked through. Using an instant-read thermometer, the meat should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Brush the Campari tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread onto skewers. Grill until heated through, slightly charred, and soft.
While the chicken and tomatoes are cooking, place remaining 2/3 cup yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in the reserve grated garlic clove and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut one zested lemon in half and set aside for serving (save the other zested lemon for another use).
To serve, place chicken on a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and a large squeeze of the zested lemon. (We served it over Basmati rice and drizzled it with the juices accumulated after removing the chicken from the grill.)
Top with cilantro and oregano or marjoram sprigs and serve with yogurt sauce.
Inspired by pizza she loved on a tropical vacation many years ago, my daughter has been eating corn on her pizza for nearly 10 years. Apparently she is ahead of her time! We were so happy to see that Bon Appétit realized that this delicious pizza topping was worthy of their publication. 🙂
I loved that this pizza recipe used creamed corn instead of tomato sauce- it brought our usual “corn pizza” to the next level. It was also a sheet pan “Grandma” pie which is a family favorite. Lastly, it can be made with fresh or frozen corn. Perfect.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kay Chun. I used a homemade sourdough pizza crust instead of store-bought. I also used fresh mozzarella, frozen white corn, Campari tomatoes, and more garlic. I modified the method and baked the sheet pan on a pizza stone positioned on the lowest oven rack. Great.
Yield: One Grandma Pie (half-sheet pan)
For the Pizza Dough:
1 cup (241g) sourdough starter, unfed/discard
1/2 cup (113g) warm water (plus 2 tsp water- if using whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups (150g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (141g) white whole wheat flour (can substitute and additional 1 1/4 cups/150g all-purpose flour)
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn (from about 2 medium ears) or thawed frozen corn, divided
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 oz sliced pepperoni (more or less, as desired)
8 to 9 oz Campari tomatoes (sliced 1/4-inch thick) or cherry tomatoes (halved, about 1 1/3 cups)
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil (or oregano) leaves, sliced, for serving
To Make the Dough:
Stir any liquid on top of your refrigerated starter back into it before measuring 1 cup (241g) into a large mixing bowl. Note: This is a good opportunity to feed the remainder of your starter, if necessary.
Add the warm water, flours, salt, and yeast. Mix to combine, then knead for about 7 minutes in a mixer with the dough hook, until the dough wraps itself around the hook and cleans the side of the bowl.
Place the dough in a greased container, cover and let rise until almost doubled in bulk. Depending on the vitality of your starter, this will take between 2 and 4 hours. For a faster rise, place the dough in a warm spot, or double the yeast. (I placed my dough in a warming drawer and it doubled in about 2 hours.)
Towards the end of the rise time, preheat your oven to 500°F. (I heat a baking stone positioned on the lowest rack of the oven.)
Oil an 18″ x 13″ half-sheet pan or coat with cooking oil spray.
Place the dough in the pan and press it out to the edges, again giving it a 15-minute rest before continuing if it starts to snap back. After this rest, gently press the dough toward the edges of the pans. (If it starts to shrink back, cover and let rest for 15 minutes before continuing.)
Cover the pan and let the dough rise until it’s as thick as you like. (It will rise quite a bit in 30 minutes. I just let it rest while preparing the sauce and toppings.)
While the dough is rising, make the sauce.
To Make the Sauce, Toppings, & Bake the Pizza:
If using Campari tomatoes, slice and season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let sit to remove excess moisture.
Process the Parmesan, ricotta, cream, garlic, salt, pepper, 3/4 cup corn, and 2 T oil in a food processor until mostly smooth (mixture will still have some texture). (I used a mini-food processor.)
Scrape creamed corn into a small bowl; stir in 1/4 cup corn.
Spread creamed corn over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Top with pepperoni, then tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup corn.
Tear the fresh mozzarella and distribute the pieces evenly over the crust.
Bake until crust is golden underneath and cooked through and the cheese is lightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Top with a drizzle of oil and sliced basil (or oregano) leaves.
Note: The creamed corn mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
This was such an elegant, fresh, tasty, and quick-cooking dish. It is part of a recipe collection that Food and Wine published for their 40th anniversary titled “Food & Wine: Our 40 Best-Ever Recipes.”
The recipe was contributed to this special issue by Marcella Hazan. I modified the ratio, using less swordfish but the same amount of sauce. By serving the fish over a bed of rice, the rice absorbed all of the extra deliciousness.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons table salt (I used coarse salt)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds swordfish steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick (I cut 1-inch thick steaks in half)
Light a grill or preheat the broiler.
Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the salt until the salt dissolves. (I used coarse salt- which took quite a while to dissolve.) Stir in the oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season generously with pepper.
Grill the swordfish steaks over high heat (as close to the heat as possible), turning once, until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (6 minutes total).
Transfer the fish to a platter. (I covered the platter with a bed of rice first.)
Prick each fish steak in several places with a fork to allow the sauce to penetrate. Using a spoon, beat the sauce, then drizzle it over the fish (and rice, if desired). Serve at once.
I actually have a third tasty soup to share. This one is reminiscent of one of our family favorites, Lentil-Kielbasa Soup. Don’t worry- it’s not so similar that it will prevent me from making my tried and true lentil-sausage soup as well this season. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah Digregorio. I used French green lentils instead of black lentils, modified the proportions and incorporated a mixture of CSA greens including beet greens, broccoli greens and escarole. I also garnished the soup with my CSA parsley instead of basil.
This soup could easily be made on the stove top instead of in a slow cooker. I loved that it gobbled up my CSA greens too.
Yield: 6 servings
1pound hot or sweet Italian pork sausage, loose or removed from its casing
olive oil, if necessary
1large red or yellow onion, chopped
10 largegarlic cloves, chopped
1teaspoon onion powder
1teaspoon garlic powder
2oregano sprigs, leaves only, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
generous pinch of red-pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
3/4cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
2cups dried lentils, preferably black beluga (I used French green lentils)
1(14-ounce) can whole or chopped tomatoes
8cups chicken stock
5ounces greens, such as baby spinach or kale, or 1 medium bunch greens, such as chard or kale, stemmed and chopped (I used a mixture of beet & broccoli greens with escarole)
1 T red-wine vinegar
chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish
grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish
In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is in small, coarse pieces, and starts to brown and sizzle in its own fat, about 8 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a 5- to 8-quart slow cooker. There should be a thin layer of fat covering the bottom of the skillet. If there is much more than that, pour a bit of the fat off. If there is not enough fat to cover the bottom of the pan, add a drizzle of olive oil.
Add the onion to the skillet, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the onion and garlic powders, the herbs, red pepper flakes and several generous grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
Increase heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot. Let the wine bubble until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
Scrape the skillet mixture into the slow cooker with the sausage.
Add the bay leaf and the lentils.
Add the tomatoes with their juice. If using whole, crush the tomatoes into pieces using your hands as you add them with their juice.
Pour in the chicken stock.
Season generously with pepper and add 1/2 teaspoon salt if you are using low-sodium stock or 1 teaspoon salt if using homemade unsalted stock. Do not add salt now if you are using fully salted stock.
Stir well to combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are tender, about 6 to 8 hours. (Taste the lentils to make sure they are firm but creamy on the inside; black lentils can vary in their cooking time depending on their age and the heat of your slow cooker.) The soup holds well on warm for 2 additional hours.
Switch the heat to high. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes for baby spinach, 10 minutes for kale.
Stir in the vinegar.
Serve in bowls, topped with chopped parsley and/or basil and grated Parmesan.
I have a couple more zucchini recipes to share. I receive a healthy amount of zucchini in my CSA share and I enjoy finding new dishes to make with all of it. I recently roasted a zucchini or two with fresh thyme and CSA onions, then added my special CSA corn (raw), and used it as a calzone filling. Delicious!
I knew that I would really enjoy this wonderful zucchini dish because it incorporates farro and arugula- my favorites. I ate it as a main course but my husband ate it as a side with grilled chicken and roasted potatoes. Everyone was happy. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I roasted the zucchini and increased the amount of arugula. I also decreased the amount of salt and oil and used a combination of basil, predominantly, with parsley, and oregano in the finished dish.
1cup soft, fragrant herbs, such basil, mint, tarragon, or a combination, roughly torn or cut
freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 large handfuls of arugula
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
Parmigiano Reggiano, for shaving
Rinse and drain the farro and chickpeas. Add both to a medium pot with 2 large pinches of salt and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim foam from the top, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until farro is tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, divide your squash haul in half. With one group, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick planks. Reserve the other 1/2 pound for later.
Place the zucchini planks on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 to 2 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a preheated 425 degree oven, roast the zucchini planks until lightly browned and tender, about 10 minutes per side. (I set my oven to convention roast.)
Transfer browned zucchini to a shallow dish and, if desired, cut the planks into 2-inch pieces. (I cut mine.)
In a small bowl, whisk together 4 T olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and half the herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour about half the dressing over the zucchini and let marinate while you finish making the salad. Set remaining dressing aside.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave the rest of the zucchini into ribbons (here’s the easiest way: lay the zucchini on a cutting board, then drag the peeler across it). If your farro is far from done, you can preserve the zucchini strands by soaking them in cold salt water. Drain and pat dry before using.
Drain the farro and chickpeas and transfer to a large mixing bowl. (I returned mine to the pot.)
Toss with the reserved dressing and season with salt and pepper.
Add arugula, zucchini ribbons, marinated zucchini, lemon juice and Parmesan shavings. Gently toss to combine and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and top with the remaining herbs and more arugula and Parmesan, as desired.
My non-pork tenderloin-eating son gobbled up these bites of meat! The sauce and seasoning were absolutely delicious.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball. I doubled the recipe to use two pork tenderloin. We ate it with Basmati rice and green salad. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 6
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
1 T smoked paprika
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 one-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 T lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 T honey
3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
2-3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1-2 T chopped fresh oregano
In a medium bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
Add the pork and toss to coat evenly, massaging the spices into the meat until no dry rub remains.
Let the meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Set aside.
In a large skillet (I used a 14-inch skillet) over medium-high, heat 2 T of the oil until just smoking. Add the meat in a single layer and cook without moving until deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
Using tongs, flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees.
Off the heat, pour the lemon juice-garlic mixture over the meat and toss to evenly coat, then transfer to a serving dish. (I tossed the sauce with the meat in my serving dish.)
Sprinkle the oregano over the pork and drizzle with the remaining 1 T of oil, if desired. (I omitted the additional oil.)
I love springtime pasta dishes loaded with vegetables. This version was creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. Chopping the asparagus so that it could be completely incorporated throughout the pasta was genius.
This recipe was adapted from Ruth Rogers of River Café London: Thirty Years of Recipes and the Story of a Much-Loved Restaurant cookbook, via Food 52. I modified the proportions to use one pound of pasta. I also left the asparagus tips intact. Amazing!
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
14 to 16 ounces taglierini, tagliatelle, or pappardelle pasta
5 to 6 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
Trim or snap off the tough ends from the asparagus spears. Cut into 1-inch pieces; reserve tips in a separate bowl.
Finely chop the 1-inch pieces of asparagus all together with 2 of the garlic cloves and the herbs in a food processor. (I chopped the garlic and herbs first and then added the asparagus.)
Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan with the remaining 4 whole garlic cloves and simmer until the cloves are soft. Remove from the heat; discard the garlic.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a separate large pan and sauté half of the chopped asparagus for 5 minutes, stirring. (I used a 14-inch skillet.)
Add the rest of the chopped asparagus-herb mixture and the reserved asparagus tips, followed by the flavored cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the cream begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Cook the pasta in a generous amount of boiling salted water, then drain thoroughly.
Add to the sauce along with about half of the Parmesan and toss together.