Do you remember where you were when you had your best “ah-ha!” moments? For me, the lightbulb always goes off in the shower – the only place where I can seek solitude these days. No phone, no computer, and no toddler. So it was in the shower one morning, that I was envisioning making blueberry pie for the 4th of July because really, it doesn’t get more American than that, right? Or wait, maybe ice cream sandwiches instead. Those are always crowd pleasers. Hmmm, what if I replaced cookies with mini blueberry pies? Blueberry pie cookies?? Ice cream sandwiches made with blueberry pie cookies?!?!?!? Honestly, American. Honestly, YUM. Ding, ding, ding. I nearly ran out of the shower with a head full of shampoo suds.
My obsession with fried chicken began way back when I was in the womb. When my mother was pregnant with me, the only thing she wanted to eat was fried chicken, and outside of her pregnancy, she never ate fried chicken. So, I had a taste of the good stuff early on. And since I could start cooking, I’ve made fried chicken using all kinds of methods. When I saw this method used by Tyler Florence at Wayfarer Tavern that I hadn’t seen before, I knew I had to give it a go. He bakes the chicken first on low heat in the oven, marinates the chicken in buttermilk and then dredges and fries up the chicken. I’ve changed up the recipe a little since I’m not a huge fan of fried chicken seasoned with herbs, but I used the same technique. The results were incredibly crunchy skin and juicy meat– exactly what you want in fried chicken. Serve these with some fresh buttermilk biscuits and you have yourself a pretty stellar 4th of July dinner!
I don’t know whether to call this a dessert or a breakfast because it would be appropriate for either occasion. The classic clafoutis is a cherry clafoutis which will do perfectly well since cherries are abundant but I wanted to change things up a little and use peaches. I added a whole lot of fresh vanilla bean to this which goes just perfectly with sweet ripe peaches. If you’ve never had clafoutis, it’s like an eggy pancake batter (imagine a souffle without the lift or perhaps after it’s been sitting out for a while). It’s custardy and barely sweet, allowing the fruit juices to ooze into the batter and permeate the batter. And clafoutis couldn’t be easier to make– it’s rustic simplicity is why I keep coming back to this dish. That and those browned edges. Last but certainly not least, the vanilla infused creme fraiche, in my opinion, is really the star of the dish. It’s elevates the clafoutis into a complex peaches and cream. Trust me, you’re gonna love this!
Last week my wife surprised me with a delicious birthday meal. One of the dishes she made was this beautiful plate of roasted yams, jalapeños, green onions, goat cheese, and fresh figs with a balsamic reduction. It’s one of our favorites from the celebrated Jerusalem cookbook. I still remember how tentative I was the first time I gave this dish a try. At first glance, it seems like an odd combination of ingredients. But like all perfect recipes, the final result is bursting with flavors much greater than a simple sum of its parts. With figs in season, I thought it was about time I shoot it for the blog – which really was just an excuse for seconds. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!
It’s official– I’ve moved across town to my new home in Silver Lake in Los Angeles and said goodbye to my little abode in Culver City. I love the neighborhood and just as I’m moving out a long-time resident is opening up a new restaurant. Akasha Richmond, chef and owner of Akasha in Culver City has recently opened her second restaurant Sambar inspired by the flavors of India right next door. I was instantly fascinated by the menu and, as a self-proclaimed Indophile, I was truly impressed by Akasha’s depth of knowledge of Indian cuisine. Her menu takes you far and beyond the same old saag paneer and tiki masala you seem to get at every Indian restaurant. The turmeric naan is made from freshly grated turmeric and the sev (crunchy noodles made from chickpea flour) topped on the sevpuri chaat is made from scratch. It’s so rare that you find something like sev handmade! So in honor of my love for all things Indian, I bring you some of my favorite South Asian inspired links!
I rarely feature the recipes I make on a daily basis on HonestlyYUM, but I thought this one was worth sharing. My weekday meals are usually pretty healthy and consist of grains, veggies and lean proteins. This features one of my favorite vegan sauces that I use over whole grain bowls or as dressing on salad. The creamy sauce is vegan and is made from cashews, toasted pumpkin seeds, cumin, lime, garlic and cilantro. This time I’ve taken some quinoa, fresh corn, beans and zucchini and stuffed roasted poblano peppers with the mixture and topped it with the cashew-cilantro cream. It takes a little extra effort to roast and stuff the poblanos, but if you’re entertaining it’s worth the extra step. You could alternatively assemble bowls with quinoa on the bottom, top with the veggies and chopped up roasted poblanos and dress with the cashew cream. This recipe makes a lot of the cashew dressing as I like to make a lot at once so I can use it through the week. And guaranteed you’ll finish it before the week is done!