You'll find over 310 of my favorite recipes here, including ideas for Quick meals, Cooking for 2, Feasting on Leftovers, and cooking with 5 Ingredients or Less. I'm adding new posts regularly; you can subscribe by email or RSS feed if you'd like to receive the latest recipes. Bon appétit!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos involve a bit of prep work (slicing and dicing), but they are so addictively delicious! They are actually very easy to make and are worth the time that it takes.
Laura discovered the recipe and highly recommended it to me. She used ground turkey, which is sometimes easier to find than ground chicken, and said it was great.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos was originally published in Nordstrom Flavors An Artful Celebration of Food, by Nordstrom corporate chef, Michael Northern. The recipe was recently recreated by the Nordstrom blogs editor, Jeff Powell. Jeff published it, along with his beautiful professional photographs, on The Thread.
In his blog post, Jeff recommends using ground thigh meat because ground chicken that is 100% breast meat makes the filling too dry. If you can only find breast meat, he suggests grinding boneless chicken thighs in a food processor. I used Smart Chicken 95% lean ground chicken and it worked fine.
It’s really the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette that puts these tacos over the top. As the blog post on The Thread says, it is a “bold, well-balanced dressing that’s a little sweet, a little sour and a little spicy”.
The original recipe uses corn tortillas that are fried to make taco shells. We prefer soft tacos, so I simply heated corn tortillas in a dry cast iron skillet. Hop on over to The Thread if you’d like to see how Jeff makes the taco shells.
These Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos definitely belong in my A+ Favorite Recipes category. In fact, just writing about them makes me want to make them again. Soon!
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
(Adapted from Chef Michael Northern’s recipe in Nordstrom Flavors and Jeff Powell’s version on The Thread, a Nordstrom blog)
Serves 4 – 6
When chopping the cilantro, there is no need to first painstakingly remove the leaves from the stems. Cut the bottom part that is mostly stems off and then just chop the remaining stems with the leaves.
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce
Pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon light olive oil (or canola oil)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Chicken Taco Filling
2 tablespoons light olive oil (or canola oil)
1 pound ground dark-meat chicken (turkey can be substituted)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce to ¾ teaspoon)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce (use wheat free tamari for gluten free)
Tortillas and toppings
12 corn tortillas
½ head romaine or iceberg lettuce, finely shredded crosswise
4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
Fresh cilantro springs for garnish
Toppings: Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, diced tomatoes, lettuce, diced yellow pepper, crumbled queso fresco
1. In a blender or mini food processor, blend the first 6 ingredients for the vinaigrette.
2. With the blender or food processor running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream so the vinaigrette is emulsified.
3. Add the ½ cup cilantro to the vinaigrette and process until it is well blended with just a few small flecks of cilantro. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
4. For the chicken filling, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken, ½ cup cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks.
5. When the chicken is fully cooked (It takes 7 – 8 minutes.), add the lime juice and soy sauce. Stir well and cook until the juice and soy sauce are almost evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
6. Using your favorite method, warm the corn tortillas. (I like to heat them 2 at a time in a dry cast iron skillet for about 20 seconds on each side. I wrap them in foil as I finish each batch to keep them warm.)
7. To assemble the tacos, put some chicken filling in each tortilla; top with some lettuce and then add about 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. Add some tomato and yellow pepper, some cheese, and a cilantro sprig. Offer the extra vinaigrette at the table for serving.
By Kath Dedon
Although Senate Bean Soup may be the simplest soup I’ve ever made, it also is one of the best soups I’ve ever made!
I guess there’s a reason that Senate Bean Soup has been on the menu at the U.S. Senate’s restaurant for decades. Who knew it was so easy to make? The original recipe can be found on the Senate’s website. It serves 8. I wanted to try it, but I wanted to serve 2 so I adapted it to make 2 generous servings.
In the end, my version has proportionately more ham, onion, and butter. It was fantastic! The combination of the creamy navy beans and the smoked ham is a match made in heaven. Sometimes the simplest is the best!
If you’re cooking for 1 or 2 and want a warm bowl of comforting soup, give this Senate Bean Soup for Two a try. I think you’ll like it!
Senate Bean Soup for Two
(Adapted from the recipe on the senate.gov website)
This makes a very thick soup, which we liked. If you like a thinner soup, simply add a bit of hot water before seasoning it. Then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Generously serves 2
½ pound dried navy beans
1 quart hot water
12-ounce smoked ham hock
½ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash the beans in a colander and run hot water over them for a minute or two.
2. Put the beans and ham hock in a pot. (I used a 3-quart pot.)
3. Pour the hot water into the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours, turning the ham hock a time or two and stirring occasionally.
4. Remove the ham hock and let it cool a bit.
5. Cut up the meat from the ham hock and stir it into the soup.
6. Cook the onion in the butter until it is starting to brown and add it to the soup.
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. (I found that the ham hock added plenty of salt, so no additional salt was needed when I made it.)
By Kath Dedon
I recently made this Flourless Orange Cake twice in one week. It’s really quite tasty. Since it’s wheat free (for me) and sweetened with honey (for Bob), it’s a dessert that was enjoyed by the whole family on Easter.
The first time I made it, I used 2 organic thin-skinned navel oranges. Following Elena’s lead (Elena’s Pantry), I used baking soda for leavening. It was great, but it rose quite a bit in the oven and then kind of collapsed in the middle.
The second time I made it, I used 5 Clementine oranges and used baking powder as Deb does at Smitten Kitchen. I think the baking powder gave it a more even rise and a slightly better texture. I think I’ll stick with baking powder.
I have concluded that it doesn’t matter what kind of oranges you use. Seedless are easier and it makes sense to me that you don’t want a thick rind like you find on some navel oranges.
I may not be done tweaking this recipe, but it’s good enough to share now. If you’re looking for a flourless cake, this is easy to make and delicious. It keeps well for several days.
I’m thinking about trying it with Meyer lemons soon!
(I also found that it makes a great breakfast. You got your eggs, you got your almonds, you got your oranges….) :)
Flourless Orange Cake
(Adapted from recipes on Elana’s Pantry and Smitten Kitchen)
Generously serves 8 – 10
Oranges – about 375g (13 – 14 ounces, or just under a pound – about 2 thin-skinned navel oranges or 4 – 5 Clementine oranges)
¾ cup honey
2 cups (224g) almond flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (Not all baking powders are gluten and wheat free, so make sure yours is if that’s important to you. The Rumford Aluminum-Free Baking Powder I used is gluten free.)
1. Wash the oranges and put them in a large pot and cover with a lot of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 1½ hours. (Check occasionally to make sure you don’t need to add more boiling water. My pot was big enough and I had enough water in it that I did not have to add more water.)
2. Remove the oranges from the water and let them cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 325˚.
4. Grease a 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom of the greased pan with a piece of parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper.
5. Cut the cooled oranges into smaller pieces* and remove any seeds. Put the orange pieces, rind and all, into a food processor and process until smooth.
*After they cooled, I cut one of the oranges in half to confirm that they were seedless. The clementines were small enough that I just processed them whole. When I used the navel oranges, I quartered them first.
6. Add the eggs, honey, almond flour, sea salt, and baking powder to the food processor and process until everything is well-combined.
Measuring the almond flour – 224g
7. Pour the batter into the prepare pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
8. Cool the cake completely on rack before turning it out on a serving plate.
9. Serve as is, or dusted with powdered sugar.
By Kath Dedon
Are you having ham for Easter? If you are, you should rejoice if you have leftover ham for this recipe!
Bob declared that Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Gratin from One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder is a “5 Star recipe”. One of the best ever! And I agree. I have made it two times this week and I can’t wait to try it with some of the leftover Snake River Farms ham after Easter Sunday dinner.
This is a very rich recipe, though it’s not as rich as it is intended to be. Carla uses 1½ cups heavy cream. Now, I’m not one who has a fear of fat, but I just couldn’t do that. I used half and half and it was fabulous. It was still rich and luxurious and oh-so satisfying.
The recipe is meant to be a main course for two, with very generous servings. I saved a small portion of mine to enjoy the next day. If served as a side dish it would easily serve four.
Give Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Gratin a try if you have leftover ham. I think you’ll love it! (If you don’t have leftover ham, buy a small ham steak so you can make it. It’s that good!)
Creamy Yukon Gold Potato Gratin
(Adapted from the recipe in One Pan, Two Plates, by Carla Snyder)
I bought a small 8-ounce ham steak ( Hormel Cure 81) and used half of it for this recipe. I was going to save the other half for something else, but we liked it so much I just made this recipe again.
Generously serves 2
Your favorite Creole seasoning salt (I used Tony Chacheres) or make a blend of ½ teaspoon salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper and some freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 – 3 Yukon gold potatoes (about 16 – 18 ounces total)
4 oz ham, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups half and half
4 oz Gruyère cheese, shredded
1. Preheat the oven to 375˚.
2. Scrub the potatoes; you don’t have to peel them. Slice them in half lengthwise. Slice each half into very thin slices. I used a mandoline but it could be done with a sharp, thin knife.
Use the guard on your mandoline to protect your fingers!
3. Melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet on the stovetop. Remove from the heat.
4. Make a layer of 1/3 of the potato slices over the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle with a bit of the seasoned salt. (With the ham, you don’t want to use too much salt.) Add a layer of half of the diced ham and half of the garlic.
5. Make another layer with another third of the potato slices. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and add the rest of the ham and the garlic.
Second layer of potatoes, salt, ham, and garlic added
6. Pour 3/4 cup of the half and half over the potatoes.
7. Layer the rest of the potatoes over the top. Gently press the potatoes down a bit with your hand.
8. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup of half and half over the potatoes.
9. Put the pan back on the burner over medium heat; heat until the half and half is bubbling.
10. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the grated Gruyère cheese over the potatoes.
12. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Check the potatoes by piercing the casserole with a sharp knife to see if they’re done.
12. Serve immediately.
I served a super healthy salad with the potato gratin to balance the meal. It included baby kale, raw cauliflower, radishes, and red onion tossed with just a bit of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.
(aka Lean Green Burgerettes)
By Kath Dedon
I thought I didn’t like turkey burgers. Indeed, I had never tried one that was any better than just OK. That said, I was drawn to Yotam Ottolenghi’s Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin in his latest book, Jerusalem. Jonathan Lovekin’s photo of the burgers is irresistible. (The whole book is filled with gorgeous photos by Lovekin and Adam Hinton. If you’re looking for a new cookbook to add to your collection, check out this one!) The ingredients sounded like they would come together to make great burgers. And I do love zucchini.
I gathered the ingredients, opened the cookbook, and went to work. Bob wandered in and took one look at the recipe and said, “Ewwww….”, or something like that. I guess he thought he didn’t like turkey burgers, either. I told him, “These will be good”, and carried on.
The final verdict? These Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin are fantastic! Served with the Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce, they are full of flavor with a tender texture. They are not at all dry like some turkey burgers. Bob and I both thought they were delicious and blog-worthy.
Bob said, “OK, they may be good, but the name of the recipe is terrible!” I don’t agree; I think it’s descriptive and it made me want to explore the recipe.
The next day, Laura came over and enjoyed the leftover burgers with Bob for lunch. She loved them, too, but agreed with Bob about the name. So they came up with a new name: Lean Green Burgerettes. Whatever…
I highly recommend these burgers, no matter what you call them. If you’re cooking for 1 or 2, make the whole recipe. The leftovers are great reheated or even eaten cold from the refrigerator. (I may have tested one cold from the refrigerator the next morning. Just so I could confirm that they are very good cold from the refrigerator. ) :)
Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion & Cumin
(Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in Jerusalem)
The burger mixture is very loose and wet. You could shape the burgers with your hands, but I found a 2 tablespoon scoop that made it easier. I just scooped them on to the parchment paper and then flattened the mound with my hand.
Serves 4 (Makes 16 – 18 small burgers)
1 pound ground turkey
1 large (about 7 – 7.5 ounces) zucchini
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
About 6½ tablespoons oil for frying
Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce
Scant ½ cup (100g) sour cream
Scant 2/3 cup (150g) Greek yogurt (not nonfat)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Coarsely grate the zucchini, put it into a strainer and set aside.
2. Make the Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce. Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 425˚.
4. Press the zucchini with paper towels to remove any surface water. (There won’t be much because it wasn’t salted.)
5. Mix all of the burger ingredients together with your hands. Put a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper on a cutting board. Form into small (about 1½ ounces each) burgers. Place the burgers 2 – 3 inches apart on the wax paper or parchment paper. When they are all formed, cut the paper between the burgers so each one is on its own little piece of paper. (Trust me on this; it makes it much easier to transfer the soft burgers from the board to the pan.)
6. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet. (Ottolenghi says to use wax paper, but I wouldn’t use that in a 425˚ oven.)
7. Heat enough oil in a large frying pan so you have about 1/16 inch of oil. When the oil is hot, lift a burger with the paper under it and carefully flip the burger into the oil. (You have to be careful not to splatter oil on your hand.) Continue adding burgers to the pan until it’s full but not crowded. (I cooked them in 3 batches.) Cook for about 2 minutes, then turn and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the burgers to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Add more oil to the pan, if necessary. Cook the remaining burgers in 1 or 2 more batches and add them to the baking sheet.
8. Bake the burgers for 5 – 7 minutes, or until just cooked (165˚ with an instant-read thermometer).
9. Serve with the sauce over them or on the side.
This Corned Beef Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes is from Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen, the first of Tom’s three cookbooks. Tom is a popular restaurateur in Seattle; this hash is served on the brunch menu at one of his restaurants, Etta’s.
I already have a good, but pretty basic, corned beef hash recipe on the blog. But I had been eager to try Tom’s recipe to see how his version compares. Bob and I both loved his version! Most hash recipes have equal proportions of corned beef and potatoes. Tom’s recipe goes heavy on the beef. He adds a bit of spice with a poblano chile and just a touch of chili sauce. Along with the green chile, he uses some diced carrot. I love the flecks of color in the hash. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if the poblano chile had been hotter. The one I used was pretty mild.
I did not make the Habanero Ketchup that Tom makes to serve with the hash. Bob doesn’t like anything that is ketchup-like, and I thought the habanero would be too spicy for me. Maybe I’ll try it next time.
Corned Beef Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes
(Adapted from a recipe in Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen)
If you don’t have leftover corned beef, buy a 2 pound corned beef. Put it and the pickling spices it comes with in a large pot and cover with water. Cover; bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours until it is tender. Add more water, if needed, as it cooks to keep it covered. This method makes the meat easier to shred for the hash. Let it cool. Remove the fat and shred it with your fingers. Chop the shredded meat into smaller pieces.
About 3 cups cooked, shredded, and chopped corned beef (see above)
½ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup diced onions
1 poblano chile, seeded and minced (about 2/3 cup)
1 carrot, diced (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon chili sauce (like Heinz)
8 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 200˚
2. Put the potatoes in a pot. Cover with water and stir in about 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
3. Put 3 of the tablespoons of butter in a large oven-proof skillet and heat over medium high heat. When the butter stops bubbling, add the potatoes, onions, poblano chile and the carrot. Toss them with the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just starting to brown.
4. Add the corned beef and the chili sauce. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add a bit of salt, if it needs it. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s starting to get crispy. Put the pan in the oven to keep warm while you cook the eggs.
5. Cook the eggs the way you like them (poached, fried, scrambled). Serve the hash topping each serving with two eggs.
These are not my best looking fried eggs, but they tasted good! ;)
Optional Habanero Ketchup
½ cup ketchup
1/3 cup orange juice
1 dried habanero chile (or 1 fresh one cut in half)
1 tablespoon molasses
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the chile and the cloves. Let it cool and serve.
The Curry House Cauliflower (Aloo Gobhi) in Raghavan Iyer’s Indian Cooking Unfolded is, he says, a simplified version of the dish that is served in most Indian restaurants. Many restaurants include tomatoes and “a host of spices”. Raghavan took the recipe back to the basics to put the focus on the cauliflower and potatoes.
I actually first made Curry House Cauliflower as a vegetarian main dish which I served over rice. That time, I did add a 14.5-ounce can of undrained diced tomatoes. It was very good, but I felt it wasn’t quite substantial enough to serve as a main course.
I recently made it again and I stuck to the suggested ingredients. I omitted the tomatoes, and served it as a side dish. It was excellent with a grilled steak. I guess there’s a reason Raghavan put the recipe in his chapter called “Side Dishes Unfolded”.
I will happily make Curry House Cauliflower again as a side dish to enliven dinners with grilled or roasted meats or seafood.
Curry House Cauliflower (Aloo Gobhi)
(Adapted from Raghavan Iyer’s recipe in Indian Cooking Unfolded)
Using the chiles’ seeds gives the dish its heat, which we enjoy. You could discard the seeds if you want a mild curry.
1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 pound)
2 slices fresh ginger (each about the size of a quarter; no need to peel)
2 fresh green serrano chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (10 – 12 ounces total weight)
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
½ cup water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems (optional)
Yellow mustard seeds
1. Separate the cauliflower into florets. Put the florets in a large bowl. Cut the core and ribs into thin slices and set aside.
2. Slice the ginger into thin slices.
3. Cut the stems off of the chiles and slice them into thin strips. Do not discard the seeds.
Chile strips, ginger, and sliced cauliflower core ready to go
4. Measure the cumin, salt, and turmeric into a small bowl so they’re all set to go when you need them.
5. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add the potatoes to the cauliflower florets in the bowl.
6. Using a large skillet that has a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the mustard seeds and put the lid on the skillet. The seeds will start popping like popcorn.
7. After the mustard seeds stop popping (in about 30 seconds), add the reserved cauliflower slices, the ginger and the chiles. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3 – 4 minutes.
8. Add the potatoes, cauliflower florets, cumin, salt, and turmeric to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes.
9. Stir in the half cup of water. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for another 10 – 12 minutes, or until the potatoes and cauliflower is tender.
10. Serve, garnished with the cilantro, if desired.