Soup and stew season is in full season and I love these hearty winter foods! Unfortunately I can’t eat braised short ribs and chili night after night. I found this curry bouillabaisse recipe that is perfect for a cool night. Its got a beautiful light broth and is full of delicious seafood but is still warm and hearty from the cardamom, clove, cinnamon, curry, and red pepper! It looks like a ton of ingredients but this really isn’t a difficult or time consuming recipe and it makes a ton. And make sure to make the rouille to serve on baguette alongside! It’s addictive dipped in the broth.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- Lemongrass, beaten with the back of the knife, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 t crumbled saffron threads
- 1/4 t ground cardamom
- 2 whole cloves
- 2.5 T curry powder
- 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 14.5 can diced tomatoes with juice
- 8 oz Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 6 cups clam juice or fish stock
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 t minced garlic
- 1/2 t smoked paprika
- 1 T lemon juice
- 15 mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 15 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 15 little neck clams
- 1 lb cod, cut into 4 oz portions
- Kosher salt
- 4 baguette slices, sliced on the bias
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the onion, lemongrass, and garlic and sauté until starting to brown.
Add the white wine and reduce.
Add the orange zest, saffron, cardamom, cloves, curry, red pepper, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, potatoes, and clam juice or fish stock.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender and the broth has reduced, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the rouille, combine the sour cream, mayo, garlic, smoked paprika, and lemon juice.
Taste and season with salt.
Preheat the broiler.
Adjust the heat to medium-low and add the mussels and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the shrimp and clams and cook for 3 minutes more.
Toast the baguette slices under the broiler while finishing up the stew.
Add the cod and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
To serve, ladle the broth into bowls and arrange the shrimp, mussels, clams and cod around the bowl.
Spread a little rouille on the toasted baguette and serve alongside each bowl.
Now things are getting really fun! These are gifts for eating. They are either delicious or will make your food more delicious. Try not to drool…
Maldon salt - This flaked sea salt is an amazing finishing salt with a great crunch, for your steak, caramel or on salads, it’s simply the best.
Smoked Olive Oil - I like smoked anything so enter the newest smoked star on the scene, olive oil. Even comes with it’s own gift bag!
Demi-glace - Demi is the restaurant secret to deep, rich dishes. Just a touch at the end will send things over the top! You could make it at home but it’s probably not worth all that work.
Duck confit - one of my favorite foods. Perfect for a hoilday meal! I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t benefit from the addition of duck confit.
Jambon de Bayonne - French prosciutto! If you gave me a whole ham from D’artagnan I don’t know how I would ever thank you. But I’d try!
Benton’s Bacon - I don’t need to explain to anyone here why Benton’s is the best bacon, right?! Smoky, rich, luscious, heavenly, perfect.
Dana’s Bakery Macarons - I stumbled upon these and they are amazing! They have non-traditional flavors and a fun different flavor of the month each month. They have pecan pie this month. A pecan pie macaron!!! You can customize a box of 12 with whichever you like for $30.
Sucre Chocolate Truffles - These chocolates are delicious and beautiful. They are a great for a friend of family member who is engaged or newly married since they have an amazing wedding cake truffle!
Vosges Exotic Truffle Collection - A Vandy grad started this unique and decadent chocolate company. I love their unexpected flavor combinations. These are so good that one year my Mother-in-Law and I both gave these to each other!
Chuao Chocopods 8 piece gift set - I’ve only tried the honeycomb version of this mini chocolate bar but it was amazing. Following suit with the inventive artisanal chocolate companies, I can’t wait to try the rest of Chuao’s flavors. I’m thinking these are the perfect stocking stuffer!
'Tis the season…are you overwhelmed yet? If you haven't quite started your shopping and your list of holiday obligations is starting to get a bit long, not to worry! These poppers are super quick, easy and delicious for you to make and take to countless holiday potlucks and can be served warm or room temperature. Make these your holiday go-to and there's at least one thing off your list!
10 sweet mini multi-colored peppers
6 oz Boursin cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 T butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, keeping the stem intact.
Put on a rimmed baking sheet.
Remove the ribs and seeds, leaving hollow peppers.
Fill each pepper with cheese and level off with a small offset spatula.
Place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
Pour the butter over the breadcrumbs and stir until breadcrumbs are fully coated.
Cover the peppers with the buttery breadcrumbs.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Just because it’s colder out doesn’t mean I have to put the grill away! To make this easy, quick, and delicious grilled salmon I brought out the indoor grill and of course you could grill outside or simply sear your salmon in a saute pan. The glaze gives this dish a sweet and smoky flavor I love! Really reminiscent of smoked salmon. A beautiful, light and healthy dish to enjoy before (or during) the holiday binge!
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 4 (6 oz) salmon filets
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Pour honey into a small pot and heat over medium until slightly thinned and just hot, about 3 minutes.
Add rosemary and lemon zest and stir.
Remove from heat and let sit to infuse for 15 minutes.
Strain into a small bowl.
Arrange salmon, skin side down, in a shallow dish.
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 T honey.
Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-low and rub grates with the olive oil.
Place salmon, flesh side down, and cook, rotating 180 degrees on each side, 5-6 minutes per side, for medium.
To cook salmon completely through, finish in the oven for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Squeeze with lemon juice and serve hot or room temperature.
If you’re looking for something extra special for the food-obsessed person in your life, here’s a list of some of the my most cherished investment pieces and a few that I don’t have, but I know others love!
Le Creuset Dutch Oven - Pick the color you love and then bring home the newest addition to your family. You’ll find yourself using your dutch oven for everything. It’ll last a lifetime so it’s worth the investment.
Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer - Also available in countless adorable colors, if you’re a baker this will change your life!
Cuisinart food processor - Not only will you blend, puree and chop in your food processor but you can also use it to shred and grate using the optional attachments. DO NOT throw away the optional attachments. They are so handy for shredding veggies and grating lots of cheese!
Salt keeper - This is beautiful on your countertop or table for a finishing salt such as Maldon or your everyday Kosher salt.
Stainless steel oil can - Looks great on your countertop and is great for pouring directly into pans or into salads.
Immersion blender- Ideal for pureeing soups, much easier than transferring to a blender, easy to clean, available in a variety of colors.
Kitchenaid stand mixer attachements - Instead of buying lots of dditional appliances there are countless attachments to transform your kitchenaid into a multi-tasking machine!
Vitamix - I don’t have one and I don’t really feel like I need one but I see why people like them, make hot or cold foods in seconds, make nut butters, cleans itself in seconds. Yes, it blends, but this isn’t really a blender.
Slow cooker - Aka crockpot, love this one as you can brown foods on stove before adding the insert to the base. Just add it and forget it! Also awesome for keeping soup warm for a party.
Juicer - This is another I don’t have but if I had the extra cash and counter space I would consider it. Juice is delicious and nutritious so if you love it like I do you may want to make juice in your own home.
Boos wooden cutting boards - Practical showpieces, Boos boards are a lifetime investment if you take care of them. You can use them daily to cook with and also to serve meat or cheese on.
There’s not much you can do to improve upon a classic like French onion soup but while I was looking for bread to top my soup with I saw pretzel bread and thought um yum! I know it’s traditional to top the soup with the bread and cheese and toast the whole thing but honestly it’s so cumbersome and messy and difficult to clean so I’m taking note from Slate and toasting the bread separately and dropping it on top. That makes this super easy. It may be time consuming, but it couldn’t be easier. French onion soup is also a great recipe to double, or triple, and freeze, while you’re at it!
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T butter
- 3.5 lbs yellow onions, sliced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups beef stock
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 oz gruyere cheese, grated
- Small loaf pretzel bread, sliced on the bias
Melt the butter and oil together in a large pot over medium-low heat.
Add the onions, season, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and dark brown, 1-3 hours.
Add the wine, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the wine evaporates.
Add the stock and thyme sprigs, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, top the pretzel bread slices with the grated cheese and broil until melted and light brown.
Remove the thyme from the soup and discard.
Taste and season.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cheesy pretzel toasts.
Chicken salad is a favorite around Nashville and there are plenty of delicious options but how about one that’s a little different and homemade? I love this recipe because it’s got great crunch and color from the cabbage and the curry, lime, ginger and honey are an amazing and unique flavor profile. This is quick and easy to whip up for a week of lunches or dinner for the family.
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups diced roasted chicken (from 1 2-lb store-bought roasted chicken
- 1.5 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1/2 cup plus 2 T mayo
- 1 T curry powder
- 1 T lime juice
- 2 t honey
- 1.5 t fresh ginger, minced
- Kosher salt, to taste
In a large bowl combine the chicken, cabbage, mayo, curry powder, lime juice, honey and ginger.
Taste and season.
Serve with crackers, on a sandwich, or atop greens.