COOKS AT HOME
We're welcoming you into our home kitchens to see how we're staying busy and well fed. Stop by anytime to get tips, recipes and inspiration for all your meal planning and preparation—plus a glimpse at our candid, sometimes messy countertops. We'll be updating the content regularly with ideas to inspire you to cook more, stay healthy and keep connected.
Blood Orange Chicken with Whiskey and Green Olives
Blood Orange Chicken with Whiskey and Green Olives
If you’re getting into meal prepping this year, here’s some inspiration from Chef Meredith! This week, she’s making Blood Orange Chicken with Whiskey and Green Olives. It’s a lively, pretty, Mediterranean-flavored sheet pan meal that Chef Meredith calls “so delicious.” Plus, you won’t have a sink full of dishes to do after dinner!

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
2 small blood oranges, or 1 large Cara Cara or navel orange
¼cup smoky Scotch whiskey or Pernod
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red chile flakes
1 small red onion
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds chopped for garnish
1 whole chicken (3½ pounds), cut into 8 pieces and patted dry
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
½cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise
½teaspoon granulated sugar


ingredients for Blood Orange Chicken with Whiskey and Green Olives
Directions
1. Finely grate the zest of one blood orange (or half of a large orange), and place in a large bowl.
2. Slice the ends off the oranges. Stand each orange up on a cut end and use a paring knife to slice off the peel and pith. Slice oranges crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds and set aside.
3. Stir the whiskey, brown sugar, mustard, lemon juice, fennel seeds, thyme sprigs, garlic, salt, pepper, and chile flakes into the bowl containing the orange zest.
4. Cut the onion in half lengthwise, through the root. Cut each half into ¼-inch-thick wedges, keeping the root end intact. Do the same with the fennel bulb. Add the onion, fennel, and chicken pieces to the bowl. Toss the entire mixture well to combine. Let it stand, covered, at room temperature for 30 minutes, or refrigerate it overnight.
5. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 475° F.
6. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the marinade, leaving as much liquid behind as possible (discard the liquid). Arrange the meat and vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with the olive oil. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.
7. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the chicken until it is blistery, 1 to 2 minutes (watch it carefully). Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent it with aluminum foil to rest. Sprinkle the olives over the vegetables. If the vegetables look pale, run the sheet quickly under the broiler until the vegetables brown and caramelize; watch them carefully so they don’t burn. (If they don’t need broiling, just toss the vegetables and olives together in the baking sheet to warm up the olives.)
8. Arrange the reserved orange slices in a small roasting pan, sprinkle the slices with sugar, and broil until browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape the vegetable mixture and the pan juices over the chicken, and serve topped with the oranges and fennel fronds.



Croque Madame sandwich
Croque Madame
Who’s in the mood for a weekday brunch? Chef Meredith is making Croque Madames! If you haven't made a Croque Madame before, then you're in for a treat. It's a classic French sandwich layered with ham and Gruyère cheese, then topped with béchamel sauce and a fried egg. Bon appétit!

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 ounces grated parmesan cheese
12 ounces grated gruyere cheese, divided
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices Pullman bread or thick country bread
4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 slices French ham
4 large eggs


ingredients for Croque Madame
Directions
1. Pre-heat broiler with rack in the top position.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking until the mixture bubbles, about 1 minute. Pour in milk while whisking constantly to ensure there are no lumps. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parmesan and half of the gruyere cheese; stir until cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the nutmeg and taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. On a clean work surface arrange 4 slices of the bread and spread each with a teaspoon of the Dijon. Evenly lay 2 slices of ham on top of each slice and top with generous tablespoon of sauce, spreading it slightly out towards the edge. Evenly sprinkle the remaining gruyere cheese over the sauce and top each of the remaining bread slices.
4. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoon butter to the skillet; melt until butter is foaming. When the foaming subsides place two sandwiches in the skillet and cook until golden on one side and cheese is beginning to melt, about 2 minutes, turn the sandwiches over and cook on the other side, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread generously with sauce. Repeat with remaining sandwiches, wiping out skillet and adding another 2 tablespoons butter. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and broil until the sauce is golden-brown and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm while preparing the eggs.
5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoon butter to the skillet; melt until butter is foaming. When the foaming subsides, add the eggs and cook until just set, about 3 minutes. Place one egg on top of each sandwich, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.



Kale and White Bean Soup
Kale and White Bean Soup
Snuggle up to a hearty and nutritious vegetarian soup. Chef Meredith is kicking off the year with this Kale and White Bean Soup, which is delicious on its own or as a starter for a special meal. It’s packed with carrots, kale, white beans, sweet potatoes and yellow onions. Chef Meredith suggests serving it with toasted bread and a generous shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
8 ounces dried white beans, such as cannellini beans or Great Northern
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, ¼-inch dice
1-½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh, minced thyme (if using dried thyme, use 1 teaspoon)
6 cups vegetable stock, low-sodium
4 cups kale (preferably Lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


ingredients for Kale and White Bean Soup
Directions
To soak the dried white beans, there are 2 methods you may choose to use:
1. To soak overnight, rinse the beans and place in a large bowl and cover with cold water, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans again prior to use.
2. Alternatively, there is a quicker method. Rinse the beans, place in a saucepan, covered with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes and leave the beans to soak for about an hour off the heat, until the beans are puffed. Add fresh water and continue to cook the beans until soft, about 60 to 90 minutes. For every 1 cup of uncooked beans you will need 3 cups of water.

To prepare the soup:
1. Place a large, heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and, carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potatoes and cook until coated in the aromatics, about 2 minutes.
2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans and transfer to the saucepan until well coated in the vegetables, about 2 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir in bay leaf and thyme.
3. Add the stock, until the beans are well covered in liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes. If beans are not tender, let simmer on stove for another 10 to 15 minutes.
4. When the beans are tender, stir in the kale and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.



Mulled Mule mocktail
Mulled Mule Mocktail
Cheers to 2021! This week, Chef Meredith makes our Mulled Mule Mocktail. This non-alcoholic ginger beer mule is warm, delicious and perfect for a cozy night in. Plus, you’ll love the smell in your kitchen as it simmers on the stove. In the mood for a cocktail? Spike your mule with 1½ ounces of vodka, gin or tequila. Feeling festive? You can use cranberry juice instead of orange juice!

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
12 ounces non-alcoholic ginger beer
1 cup blood orange juice or freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
1 orange
1 teaspoon whole cloves


ingredients for mulled Moscow mule mocktail recipe
Directions
1. To prepare the orange rounds: With a chef’s knife, slice the orange into 2, ¼-inch slices. Push several cloves into the flesh of each orange slice.
2. To a small saucepan, add the ginger beer, orange juice, cinnamon stick, star anise and orange rounds and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mule is hot and the spices are fragrant, about 8 minutes.
3. Divide the mocktail into two mugs. Garnish each mug with an orange round and a cinnamon stick.



The Scarlet Sipper holiday cocktail
The Scarlet Sipper
This week, Chef Meredith is making spirits bright with a festive cocktail! The Scarlet Sipper is made with bourbon, fruit-forward red wine, citrus juice and amaro. Winter never looked so bright! Depending on the amaro you chose, you can enhance its herbal notes with garnishes of rosemary, thyme, sage, or freshly ground cinnamon. Cheers!

Yield: 2 cocktails

Ingredients
Simple syrup (makes 3/4 cup)
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water


6 ounces fruit-forward red wine like Pinot Noir or shiraz
2 ounces bourbon
1 ½ ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce Amaro, like Amaro Etna, Amaro Montenegro or Campari
Garnish: Orange wheels and fresh rosemary sprigs


ingredients for The Scarlet Sipper holiday cocktail recipe
Directions
1. To prepare the simple syrup: To a small saucepan over medium heat, heat water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and cool completely.
2. To a cocktail shaker, combine the wine, bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, simple syrup and amaro. Add ice, shake and strain over crushed ice into a tall collins glass. Garnish with orange wheels and a sprig of rosemary.



Brioche French Toast Casserole with Pecans
Make-Ahead Breakfasts
This week, Chef Meredith is making Christmas morning breakfast two ways: sweet and savory! If you have a sweet tooth, go for the Brioche French Toast Casserole with Pecans. More of a savory breakfast person? Pick the Winter Squash Bread Pudding with Spinach and Gruyere. Either way, these make-ahead breakfasts couldn’t be easier to prepare—just assemble the night before and pop it into the oven about an hour before you sit down to eat.

Brioche French Toast Casserole with Pecans

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 loaf (about 1-½ pounds) brioche or challah, cut into 1-½-inch thick slices
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
½ cup chopped pecans

Powdered sugar, for garnish
Maple syrup, for serving


ingredients for Brioche French Toast Casserole with Pecans recipe
Directions
1. In a 13x9x2-inch baking dish, combine the melted butter and brown sugar. Arrange bread slices in the dish, overlapping as needed to fit.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Pour egg mixture over the bread slices, allowing bread to absorb mixture. Top with pecans. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a rack in the center. Allow the chilled casserole to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
4. Bake casserole until browned and set, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly.
5. To serve, sift powdered sugar over the casserole. Cut into serving pieces and place on warmed plates. Serve immediately with maple syrup on the side.



Winter Squash Bread Pudding with Spinach and Gruyere


Winter Squash Bread Pudding with Spinach and Gruyere

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 medium (1 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound rustic sourdough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing baking dish
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices, and rinsed well
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


ingredients for Winter Squash Bread Pudding with Spinach and Gruyere
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Add squash to a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the squash in an even layer on baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes; set aside.
2. Add bread cubes to a large bowl and set aside. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. To a medium bowl, add eggs, milk, cream, and nutmeg; whisk to combine. Generously season with salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, stir to combine, and set aside until the custard is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
3. To a medium skillet set over medium heat, add butter. When butter melts, add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until wilted, 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the bread, add the roasted squash, gruyere cheese, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan; stir well.
4. Spoon the pudding into the prepared baking dish; top the pudding with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Make-ahead tip: Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Allow bread pudding to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking.
5. Bake until set and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.



Finished Spiced Nuts in a bowl
Spiced Nuts
This spiced nut mixture is a great do-it-yourself gifting idea. Just let cool, then package into airtight containers and add some festive ribbon! It’s super snackable, with a perfect balance of sweet and spice. Customize this recipe to your taste by choosing the mix of raw nuts you include—almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts all work well. Not a fan of spiciness? You may choose to reduce the amount of cayenne pepper.

Ingredients

4 cups mixed raw nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chile powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon all-spice powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 large egg white

Makes 5 cups

ingredients for Spiced Nuts
Directions
1. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F and position an oven rack in the center. Line a rimmed baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with salt and all the spices.
3. In a large bowl, use a whisk to whip the egg whites until it increases in volume, is frothy and all liquid from the egg has been aerated. Add the mixed raw nuts and spiced sugar mixture and toss until well combined.
4. Spread the nut mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake, stirring with a wooden spoon halfway through the cooking process, until the nuts are lightly browned, about 40 minutes.
5. Remove the cooked nuts from the oven and leave to cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally until cooled.
6. To serve: Transfer spiced nuts to serving bowls or make ahead by storing in an airtight container for up to 2 days.



Decorated Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookie Dough
‘Tis the season for holiday cookies! Chef Meredith is spreading cheer this year by making and decorating classic sugar cookies. Our sugar cookie dough recipe makes three dozen, so there will be plenty to go around. You can find fun cookie cutters and other baking tools in our holiday baking shop. Need decorating inspiration? Pipe fun designs onto your cookies using royal icing, add color with some sprinkles or create a beautiful marbled effect.

Ingredients

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

Makes 3 dozen cookies

ingredients for Sugar Cookie Dough
Directions
1. To a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk to combine.
2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and sugar and beat together at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula as needed. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix for 30 seconds.
3. Turn machine off and add the dry ingredients; beat at very low speed, scraping the side of the bowl occasionally, just until the flour is mixed in and dough is smooth, about 30 seconds. Divide dough in half, pat each half into discs and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F and position the racks in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
5. To prepare the dough: Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Carefully transfer the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet leaving 1 inch between each cookie.
6. To bake: Bake until cookies are pale but set, 8 to 10 minutes, (baking times will vary based on the size and thickness of your cookies) rotating sheets halfway through. Remove sheets from oven and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating.



Leftover Turkey Pot Pies with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Leftover Turkey Pot Pies with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
We look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers almost as much as the actual meal! This week, Chef Meredith shows you how to turn your leftovers into Turkey Pot Pies with Cheddar Biscuit Topping. Your leftover turkey goes into a hearty filling with carrots, celery, potato, and peas. Then the filling is topped with buttery cheddar cheese biscuits. Delicious!

Ingredients

Filling:
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large Yukon Gold potato, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons dry sage
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk or half and half
4 cups roasted turkey meat, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby peas, thawed

Biscuit crust:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely-grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
¾ stick cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 ¼ cup buttermilk

Makes 8 servings

ingredients for Turkey Pot Pie
Directions
1. To make filling: Heat a 12-inch oven-safe straight-sided pan over medium-low heat; add butter. When butter melts and foam subsides, add onion, carrots, celery, potato, garlic, thyme, and sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in stock and milk, scraping up any brown bits, and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in turkey and peas. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside while you make biscuit topping.
3. Preheat oven to 400° F with rack in middle.
4. To prepare biscuits: Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add cheese and thyme; toss to coat. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Drop biscuit dough onto filling in 8 to 12 mounds, leaving spaces between biscuits.
5. Transfer pan to preheated oven and bake until biscuits are puffed and golden brown and filling is bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.



Autumn Leaf Cranberry Apple Pie
Autumn Leaf Cranberry Apple Pie
This week, Chef Danielle is making our Autumn Leaf Cranberry Apple Pie. Get inspired for your own fall baking projects! This pie is filled with tart apples and cranberries, and beautifully decorated with festive fall dough cutouts. When choosing baking apples, look for firm, sturdy apples that will hold their shape in the oven. Tart Granny Smith apples are always reliable or try seeking out local varieties at the farmers market during apple season! Chef Danielle used Honeycrisp apples in her pie.

Ingredients

2 recipes Flaky Pie Crust
3¼ pounds (about 8 medium) crisp-tart apples such as Granny Smith, Gala, Honeycrisp or Fuji, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
10 ounces fresh cranberries (about 2½ cups), roughly chopped in a food processor
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar, plus more for dusting crust
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
Good-quality vanilla ice cream, for serving

Makes 1 (9- or 10-inch) pie

ingredients for Autumn Leaf Cranberry Apple Pie
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and place a baking sheet on the rack.
2. To prepare filling: In a large bowl, gently toss apples and chopped cranberries with brown sugar, granulated sugar, lemon juice, spices, salt and cornstarch, until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to a large skillet or Dutch oven. Cook apples over medium-high heat until juices are very thick and apples are crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Remove filling from heat, set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.)
3. To prepare pie shell: Lightly flour a work surface. Place one recipe of pastry dough and dust a little flour on top. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round about ⅛-inch thick. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, center the pin over pie dish, and carefully unroll the round over the dish, easing it into the bottom and sides and allowing the excess to overhang the sides. Trim the dough so that it overhangs by 1-inch. Freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Lightly flour work surface, place the remaining pastry dough in the center, and dust a little flour on top. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round about ⅛-inch thick. Use decorative pastry cutters or mini cookie cutters to make 3 or 4 cuts around the center of the dough to form the vents, keep the pastry cutouts, set aside.
5. Fill chilled pie shell with the cooled filling. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin, center the pin over the pie dish, and carefully unroll the dough, to cover the top. Trim the top crust flush with the rim and decoratively crimp the edges. (Optional: Chill pie while rolling out any remaining dough scraps to make additional decorative cutouts.)
6. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk to create an egg wash and use a pastry brush to lightly glaze the surface of the pie. Arrange your decorative cutouts on the top of the pie crust and brush with egg wash. Lightly dust pie with granulated sugar. Bake pie for 60 minutes or until the crust is a lovely golden brown and the apples are bubbling. (Plan on an additional 20 minutes of baking time if the pie filling has been made ahead and refrigerated). Halfway through baking, cover crust with foil or pie crust shield. Transfer pie to a cooling rack and let cool for at least one hour. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream.



Roasted Acorn Squash and Broccoli Rabe Salad with Ricotta Salata
Roasted Acorn Squash and Broccoli Rabe Salad with Ricotta Salata
Here’s a fresh take on squash! This week, Chef Meredith made a Roasted Acorn Squash and Broccoli Rabe Salad with Ricotta Salata. Roasted squash works wonderfully in salad, where it adds both sweetness and a velvety texture. This recipe has dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and cider-vinegar dressing. It’s a perfect first course or side for any fall feast!

Ingredients

1 small acorn squash (about 1¼ pounds), halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch wedges (you don’t need to peel it)
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch (about 12 ounces) broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
3½ ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (about ¼ cup)
½ cup pecans, toasted
⅓ cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons cider vinegar, plus more as needed
Coarse salt, as needed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Makes 4 servings

ingredients for Roasted Acorn Squash and Broccoli Rabe Salad with Ricotta Salata
Directions
1. Heat the oven to 425° F.
2. Place the squash wedges on a rimmed baking sheet and toss them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
3. On a separate rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli rabe with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the remaining ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
4. Place the squash in the oven and roast, without moving it, until the undersides are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
5. Flip the squash wedges over and return the pan to the oven. At the same time, place the pan of broccoli rabe in the oven. Roast until the squash is cooked through and the broccoli rabe is tender and lightly colored, about 15 minutes.
6. In a large bowl, combine the squash, broccoli rabe, ricotta salata, pecans, and cranberries. Season with the vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, coarse salt to taste, and black pepper to taste. Toss in the parsley just before serving.



Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
It's November, which means it's time for all the Thanksgiving sides! Whether you’re making a more intimate feast or doing a virtual potluck this year, we’ll be sharing Thanksgiving inspiration all month long. First up, a classic: mashed potatoes! This recipe was perfected in the Sur La Table test kitchen, and just might result in your fluffiest mashed potatoes ever. Chef Meredith’s tip: if you aren’t serving the mashed potatoes right away, pour a little extra warm butter and cream over the top to keep them moist.

Ingredients

5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
1⅓ cup whole milk
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

Makes 8 to 10 servings

ingredients for perfect mashed potatoes
Directions
1. To a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon salt.
2. Lower heat to medium, cover partially, and simmer until potatoes are tender and can be pierced with a fork with little to no resistance, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander.
3. While potatoes are cooking, to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, add cream, milk, butter, and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Cook until butter is melted, 3 to 4 minutes; remove from heat.
4. Set a potato ricer on the rim of the pot used to cook potatoes. Fill the ricer halfway with cooked potatoes and press them through. Continue until all the potatoes have been riced.
5. Using a silicone spatula, mix the cream mixture, adding a little at a time, into the riced potatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
6. To serve: Mound potatoes in a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.



Chicken and Kabocha Squash Stew
Chicken and Kabocha Squash Stew
Chef Meredith has this Chicken and Kabocha Squash Stew on repeat! She likes this recipe because it’s super flavorful, nutritious and makes great leftovers. Plus, it’s the ultimate cozy meal on a chilly day. If you can’t find kabocha squash, any hard winter squash like butternut or acorn will do. For a vegetarian version, increase the vegetable quantities and add mushrooms.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound chicken thighs, trimmed
1 large onion, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 small kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into medium dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 tablespoon madras curry powder
1 bunch cilantro stems minced, leaves set aside for garnish
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 6 to 8 servings

ingredients for Chicken and Kabocha Squash Stew
Directions
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat until shimmering.
2. Add the chicken thighs and season with salt and pepper. Sear chicken on both sides until golden, remove and set aside. Tip: Chef Meredith diced the raw chicken before cooking because she preferred the texture in the finished dish.
3. Add remaining oil to the pan and add the onions, celery and carrots and sauté until onions are translucent.
4. Add the squash, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, curry powder and cilantro stems and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Stir in chicken broth and chopped tomatoes and simmer until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
6. While the soup is simmering, cube the chicken into 1-inch cubes and add to soup to finish cooking through.
7. Turn soup down to low and add the coconut milk, stir until thoroughly combined. Add chopped spinach and cook for about 1 minute to wilt spinach. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
8. To serve: Divide soup between soup bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves.



Apple and Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Truffle Salami
Apple and Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Truffle Salami
We love apples for all things sweet, but how about something savory? This week, Chef Meredith made an Apple and Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Truffle Salami, adapted from a recipe by Ari Laing of Well Seasoned Studio. This works great for a fun lunch or an easy dinner! Chef Meredith suggests serving it with a bowl of your favorite soup or a hearty green salad. Can’t find truffle salami? Regular salami works just as well!

Ingredients

4 slices multi-grain sourdough, or other hearty bread
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 cup (8 oz) Kerrygold reserve cheddar, grated or thinly sliced, divided
1 large apple, cored and thinly sliced
1-2 oz truffle salami or other salami
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Yield: 2 sandwiches

ingredients for apple and cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches
Directions
1. Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat.
2. Spread a thin layer of butter onto one side of each slice of bread. Place each slice of bread butter-side down onto preheated griddle. Spread the Dijon evenly over two of the slices.
3. Divide the cheese between the four slices of bread. Then divide the sliced apples and salami and place on top of two of the slices.
4. Heat bread until golden and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Then assemble sandwiches: place slices with Dijon and cheese on top of slices with salami and apple. Serve immediately!



Fall One Pot Meal
Fall One Pot Meal
It doesn’t get much cozier than this autumn stew from Staub! Rich chicken thighs, nutty farro, and sweet butternut squash combine for a one pot meal that feels like a warm blanket on a chilly fall day. Chef Meredith used barley instead of farro, and it worked just as well! Tip: Add coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts for an extra crunch. This will be your weeknight go-to all season long!

Ingredients

4 oz. bacon, cut into ¼-in. cubes
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, cut into ½-in. wedges
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 lbs.), skin on
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. sunflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup (4 oz.) dry white wine
1 cup (8 oz.) chicken stock
10 fresh sage leaves, tough center rib removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup farro
2 cups ½-inch cubes butternut squash
½ medium cauliflower, outer leaves removed, cut into 2-in. florets
¼ cup tightly packed coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


chicken thighs, cauliflower, onions and baby bella mushrooms
Directions
1. Heat an 11-inch Staub skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon.
2. Once the fat starts to render, add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Transfer the bacon and mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.
3. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the skillet and swirl around. Then add the chicken, skin-side down. Cook on all sides for 6 to 8 minutes, until browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
4. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the wine and reduce by half.
5. To the skillet, add the stock, sage, farro, and the chicken and any accumulated juices, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12 to 14 minutes.
6. Then add the squash and cauliflower and cook until the veggies are fork tender, 14 to 16 minutes. Stir in the reserved mushrooms and bacon. Garnish with parsley and serve.



Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce
Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce
The winner of today’s game: you! Score points with this Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe from Breville. It’s perfect in sliders, tacos or even steamed buns. Chef Meredith made pulled pork sandwiches with hers and topped them with a crunchy slaw made of cabbage, radicchio, celery, parsley and roasted bell pepper. Note: The pork shoulder should marinate overnight, so be sure to coat it with spice rub and refrigerate the evening before cooking!

Ingredients

Spice Rub:
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Pork:
6 pound (2.6 kg) boneless pork shoulder, skin removed
1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1¼ cup (300ml) apple cider vinegar
¼ cup (60ml) Worcestershire sauce
½ cup (125ml) water


BBQ Sauce:
⅔ cup (150ml) cider vinegar
2 cups (500ml) tomato puree
½ cup (180ml) molasses
⅓ cup (85ml) Worcestershire sauce
½ cup (80g) brown sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons mustard


Pork shoulder coated with spice rub
Directions
Spice Rub
1. Combine spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Coat the pork with the spice mixture and place in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Tip: If you’re not a fan of spiciness, Chef Meredith recommends cutting the amount of cayenne pepper in half.
Using a Breville Oven
2. Place onion and garlic in a large (5.5 quart/6 liter) Dutch oven. Place pork on top of onion and garlic. Pour over any juices that may have accumulated in the bowl.
3. Add the cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and water to a medium bowl, stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the pork. Cover the Dutch oven with a double layer of tight-fitting aluminum foil.
4. Position the wire rack in rack position 3 (Rack position 8 for the BOV 900). Select SLOW COOK/Convection and cook the pork on HIGH for 6-8 hours or on LOW for 8-10 hours.
5. Remove pork to a bowl and shred with two forks. Skim fat off cooking liquid and return pork to Dutch oven.


Adaptation for a Traditional Oven
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Adjust racks so your Dutch oven fits in the center of the oven.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
3. Sear pork shoulder on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add yellow onion, sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
5. Deglaze with cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, scrape up browned bits from the bottom of your pan.
6. Add seared pork into Dutch oven, along with any juices. Cover and transfer to a 350°F oven for about 4 hours or until pork is tender.
7. Remove pork to a bowl and shred with two forks. Skim fat off cooking liquid and return pork to Dutch oven.


Make the BBQ Sauce
1. Add vinegar, tomato puree, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, paprika, garlic and mustard in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring, for 10 minutes or until smooth and combined.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until sauce has thickened and turned to a maroon color. Season. Cool completely.



Spiced Pumpkin Loaf
Spiced Pumpkin Loaf
Is it even fall without pumpkin spice? This week, Chef Meredith is celebrating the season with a Spiced Pumpkin Loaf. Add warmth to any occasion with this classic pumpkin loaf from Nordic Ware featuring zesty ginger for added spice. This recipe is beginner-friendly and goes into the oven quickly. Plus, it’s delicious! Chef Meredith’s tip: coat your loaf pan with butter and sugar instead of flour for a sweet and crunchy crust.

Ingredients:

1½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
Powdered sugar, for dusting


Spiced Pumpkin Loaf ingredients
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prep pan with shortening and flour or with baking spray. Tip: Chef Meredith coated the pan with butter and sugar instead for a sweet and crunchy crust!
2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl combine sugars, vanilla, pumpkin, eggs and butter until smooth. Then add flour mixture and milk and combine all ingredients.
4. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter gently to remove bubbles. Bake until done, about 40-50 minutes. Loaf is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



Pear Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzle
Pear Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzle
Sure, apples may hog the spotlight when it comes to fall fruit, but perfectly ripe pears, with their subtle flavor and heady aroma, really make seasonal sweets shine. Chef Meredith kicked off fall baking season with a Pear Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzle. In this recipe, bittersweet chocolate provides the ideal counterpoint to pears’ natural sweetness. Chef Meredith’s tip: place your springform cake pan on a baking sheet to avoid any spillage in your oven. Happy baking!

Ingredients:

3 ripe-firm Bosc pears, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
¾ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
2 cups (10-ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1½ cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


Pear Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Drizzle ingredients
Directions
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F and position rack in the center.
2. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter and dust with flour. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
4. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until melted and slightly brown with a nutty aroma, about 6 minutes.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a wire whip attachment, add the eggs and sugar and whip on high speed until pale and very thick, about 5 minutes.
6. Using a large silicone spatula, fold in one third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the butter mixture. Add another one third of the flour mixture, followed by the remaining butter and then the rest of the flour. Fold until just combined, ensuring the mixture does not lose volume.
7. Using a silicone spatula, pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the pears over the top and cover with the remaining batter. Tip: while it might look pretty, Chef Meredith does not recommend decorating the top of your cake with pear slices, as it will prevent the cake from rising correctly.
8. Transfer to the oven to bake until cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and is golden-brown, about 50 to 60 minutes.
9. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
10. Using a spoon drizzle the top of the cake with the melted chocolate. Cool cake on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing the sides.
11. Cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream on the side.



Garden Gin & Tonic
Garden G & T
Hone your home bartending skills with this Garden G & T from W&P Designs! In this recipe, the classic gin and tonic gets a refreshing update with muddled cucumber and fresh herbs. Chef Meredith substituted seltzer water instead of tonic for a lighter option. A garnish of fresh basil or mint completes the drink. Best enjoyed on a sunny patio. Cheers!

Ingredients:

2 cucumber wheels, plus 1 for garnish
½ ounce fresh lime juice
1½ ounces gin
Tonic water
1 lime wheel, for garnish
1 sprig each mint and basil, for garnish (optional)


garden gin and tonic ingredients
Directions
1. In a Collins glass, gently muddle 2 cucumber wheels in the lime juice until they’re lightly crushed.
2. Fill the glass with ice, add the gin and top with tonic water.
3. Stir once or twice, garnish with the remaining cucumber wheel, lime wheel and herb sprigs (if using) and serve.



Big Summer Salad with Rustic Croutons
Big Summer Salad with Rustic Croutons
As summer winds down, we’re savoring every moment! Chef Meredith celebrated the season's best produce with this Big Summer Salad with Rustic Croutons. It includes grilled corn, heirloom tomatoes and nectarines. She added grilled chicken for a heartier dish that works as an entrée. While it may have a long ingredient list, this recipe is quick to prepare and well worth it!

Ingredients:

Salad
2 ears of corn, grilled and kernels removed
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1 pound nectarines, cored and cut into wedges
1 bunch Italian kale, stem removed and sliced thinly
1 small red onion, cut into a small dice
9 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces


Herb Vinaigrette
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, basil and dill
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Rustic Croutons
1 small rustic loaf of bread, torn into 1" pieces
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


big summer salad ingredients
Directions
To prepare croutons:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. To a large bowl, add all ingredients and toss well to evenly distribute oil and seasonings over bread.
3. Spread bread over prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until bread is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.


To prepare herb vinaigrette:
1. To a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, shallot, lemon zest, juice, vinegar, Dijon and herbs.
2. Whisking vigorously, drizzle in oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.


To prepare salad:
1. To a large mixing bowl add salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette.
2. Gently toss and transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately.



Fresh Blackberry Ice Cream
Fresh Blackberry Ice Cream
We never want summer to end! This week, Chef Meredith made the most of the season with a Fresh Blackberry Ice Cream. When the market is bountiful with fresh blackberries, there’s no better time to make this delicious recipe. Perfectly tart, sweet and creamy—it’s definitely worth getting out your ice cream maker. You won’t be able to resist a second scoop!

Ingredients:

3 cups fresh blackberries, or frozen when fresh are not in season
1 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
¼teaspoon kosher salt
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


fresh blackberry ice cream ingredients
Directions:
1. Prepare an ice bath in large bowl, set aside. Place a 1 quart-size freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid in the freezer to chill.
2. Place blackberries in a blender and puree until smooth. Pass purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup of cream and salt; bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Place the remaining cream in a large bowl, set a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl, set aside.
4. In a medium bowl add the egg yolks, remaining ½ cup sugar and vanilla; whisk to thoroughly combine. Using a whisk, constantly stir and slowly add warm milk mixture into the egg yolks. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan.
5. Place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Using a silicone spatula and scraping the bottom as you stir, heat the mixture until it thickens and reaches 175°F on an instant-read thermometer and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. (Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will scramble.)
6. Remove the saucepan from the stove, still stirring constantly, and pour mixture through the fine-mesh sieve set over the bowl of remaining cream. Place warm custard over prepared ice bath. Add blackberry puree and lemon juice; stirring occasionally until cold.
7. Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Transfer ice cream to chilled container. Freeze for about 2 hours or until ice cream is firm enough to scoop.



Grilled Salmon with Summer Herb Pesto
Grilled Salmon with Summer Herb Pesto
Here’s a simple way to make the most of bountiful summer herbs! Basil, mint, parsley and chives are gorgeous this time of year. Chef Meredith used them all in a Summer Herb Pesto, served over grilled salmon. Salmon can be cooked many different ways, but grilling is one of the best and simplest methods. Don’t have a grill? No worries! A grill pan works well here too. Serve with orzo, couscous or brown rice to complete your meal.

Ingredients:

Pesto
1 medium garlic clove
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup minced chives
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salmon
Vegetable oil
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, pin boned and trimmed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

fresh salmon and herb ingredients To prepare the pesto:
1. To a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the garlic, parmesan cheese and the pine nuts and process until they look like fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the herbs, olive oil and lemon juice and blend again to make a smooth mixture.
3. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.


To grill salmon:
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Using a silicone pastry brush, lightly coat the grill with oil.
2. Brush salmon fillets with oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Place salmon fillets, skin side up, on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the fillets and grill until still slightly pink in the center and flaking around the edges, 3 to 4 more minutes for fillets less than 1 inch thick. (For thicker fillets, finish cooking in a 425°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.)


To serve: Garnish each piece of salmon with a generous dollop of pesto and serve immediately.


Corn and tomato salad
Barbecued Corn and Tomato Salad
In celebration of corn season, Chef Meredith made this summery Barbecued Corn and Tomato Salad. It’s the perfect addition to your next backyard picnic or dinner al fresco! Grilling corn enhances its natural sweetness, and fresh oregano lends a slightly earthly flavor to this delightful salad. It’s great as a side dish, or even a light lunch!

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons finely minced red onion
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large ears of corn, shucked
2 large, very ripe plum tomatoes, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
Vegetable oil, for brushing grill grates
1 to 2 serrano peppers, trimmed, seeded, and minced


Corn on the grill Directions:

1. To prepare oregano vinaigrette, combine vinegar, honey, and red onion in a medium mixing bowl. While whisking vigorously, drizzle in ½ cup olive oil by drops to form an emulsion. Stir in chopped oregano. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. To prepare corn, heat a large pot of generously salted water over high heat until boiling. Add corn and cook until crisp-tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain through a colander and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, prepare a moderate charcoal fire, preheat a gas grill to medium, or heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Brush grill grates or grill pan with a thin coating of olive oil using a silicone pastry brush.
4. Place corn on grill and cook just until grill marks are visible on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Using tongs, transfer corn to a serving plate and maintain grill temperature. Let corn cool to the touch, and remove corn kernels with a corn stripper. Place kernels in a salad bowl and add serranos to taste.
6. To prepare tomatoes, brush cut sides of tomatoes with some of the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place tomatoes, cut side down, on the grill at medium heat and cook, flipping once, until charred, about 6 to 8 minutes total.
7. Transfer tomatoes to a cutting board. Cut into ¾-inch pieces and place in the bowl with the corn.
8. To serve, drizzle vegetables with oregano vinaigrette, toss well to coat. Serve immediately.


Rainbow Cake
Rainbow Cake
Pride is a joyful celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. It is also, and has always been, a fight for human rights, inclusion, and equality. As a company built on the principle of bringing people together, we honor this fight, this celebration and everything for which it stands. For Pride 2020, Chef Meredith made this spectacular Rainbow Cake. It’s the perfect baking project for this weekend. Please share your creations with us on social media by tagging @surlatable and #MakeMore in your posts!

Recipe Notes: This six-layer creation is an ambitious undertaking, so we recommend planning on a two-day process. You will need a minimum of three 6-inch cake pans to make this recipe. If using three cake pans, divide the ingredients in half and make the recipe twice.





Makes 2, 6-inch 6-layer cakes

Ingredients:

Butter for greasing cake pans, at room temperature
10 large eggs, separated
17 ½ ounces (2 ½ cups) granulated sugar, divided
12 2/3 ounces cake flour (3 cups), sifted
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine kosher salt
8 ounces (1 cup) lukewarm water
8 ounces (1 cup) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Scant ¼ teaspoon each red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet food colorings
Buttercream Frosting (click for the recipe)



Directions:

To Prepare Batter:

Rainbow Cake
1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment add egg whites. Beat whites until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar to the whites, beating until soft peaks. Scrape whites into a clean mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Wipe bowl clean and set on stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add flour, remaining 1½ cups sugar, baking powder, and salt. While on medium-low speed add 8 ounces lukewarm water into dry ingredients; increase speed to medium and add in oil, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat until mixture is smooth and no streaks of flour remain, scrape sides of bowl with silicone spatula as needed. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions.
3. Divide the batter evenly between six clean bowls, each portion will weigh 11 ounces. Add a scant ¼ teaspoon gel food coloring to each bowl. Adjust coloring as needed, folding coloring through as to not deflate your batter. Gently pour each colored batter into a prepared cake pan.
4. Transfer cakes to preheated oven, bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool Cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Turn cakes out of the pans onto the racks and cool completely.

For the rest of the directions, click here.

For the Buttercream Frosting recipe, click here.

Ginger-Soy Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
Ginger-Soy Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner
This sheet pan dinner is perfect for those weeknights when you need something simple and quick. Chef Meredith even prepped her vegetables and marinade in advance, so her meal came together in under 30 minutes. She used Sockeye salmon, but you can use any salmon, firm fish or even shrimp—the ginger-soy marinade works great on all! Chef Meredith suggests serving this alongside rice and adding any leftovers to a salad or grain bowl the next day. Enjoy!


Ingredients:

Marinade
3-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup honey
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt


Salmon
12 ounces Sockeye salmon, skin on (any salmon, firm flesh fish or even shrimp is great)
6-8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 pound baby bok choy (or regular bok choy cut into ½-inch slices)
1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into ½-inch slices



Ginger-Soy Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. To a small bowl, add all marinade ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. Transfer salmon, skin side down to a rimmed baking sheet. Pour ½ cup of marinade over salmon and let marinate while you are preparing the remaining ingredients.
4. Add mushrooms, bok choy, and pepper to the baking sheet with the salmon and pour over remaining marinade, gently tossing to coat.
5. Transfer to preheated oven and roast until salmon is cooked and vegetables are tender and edges are crisped, about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, check fish for doneness, stir vegetables and baste vegetables with pan juices.
6. To serve: Divide salmon and vegetables between 4 warmed plates. Great served alongside rice! Leftovers can be added to a salad or grain bowl the next day.


Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Green Olives
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Green Olives
Summer is almost here, so Chef Meredith made a fresh, Mediterranean-inspired chicken dish best enjoyed on a sunny patio. This Lemon Chicken with Green Olives recipe comes from the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook. Chef Meredith made it in an Instant Pot in under 30 minutes, then served it alongside brown rice and green beans for a complete meal. We’d suggest pairing it with a crisp, citrusy white wine or rosé. Cheers!


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
1 cup pitted green olives (Chef Meredith used Castelvetrano olives)
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (Chef Meredith used more thyme to garnish instead)


Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Green Olives Directions:

1. Turn the Instant Pot on to Sauté. Heat the olive oil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with the salt and pepper. Add half of the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
2. Add the garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the onion, lemon, olives, and thyme, and cook, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot, for 2 minutes. Lay the chicken on top. Press Cancel.
3. Lock the lid. Press Manual and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Chef Meredith suggests preheating your oven broiler here, as she likes to re-crisp the chicken for serving.
4. Use the “Quick Release” method to vent the steam, then open the lid.
5. If you want to re-crisp your chicken, Chef Meredith says: transfer chicken thighs to a rimmed baking sheet and move to oven under broiler. Broil until chicken skin is crispy and golden.
6. Serve the chicken with the onions, lemon, and olives, and sprinkle with the parsley (or thyme, in Chef Meredith’s case!). She served her chicken alongside brown rice and green beans.


10 Cup Cookies
10 Cup Cookies
Chef Meredith recently asked Instagram what kind of cookie she should make. There were lots of responses and quite a few shout outs for Christina Tosi’s Corn Cookies from Milk Bar. They taste like they’re made with cornflakes, and who doesn’t love cookies made with breakfast cereal? That got Meredith thinking about an Abbott family tradition: 10 Cup Cookies! Chef Meredith tells us that these are the best cookies her mom ever made and that they would always have a bag of them in the freezer. (Her whole family agrees that they are best eaten frozen.) She never heard the story of how they got their name (which doesn’t even make sense, since there’s more than 10 cups of ingredients in the cookie). But with their roots in the Midwest (Chef Meredith and the cookies) and ingredients like oleo, salad oil, butter flavoring and Rice Krispies, we had to give them a try. To quote our beloved chef, “These cookies sound bizarre, but my oh my, they are delicious and have a shattery, crispy texture that will knock your socks off.” Gather up the kids (or kids-at-heart)—it’s time to bake!


Ingredients:

10 Cup Cookies 1 cup oleo (butter), room temperature
1 cup salad oil (vegetable, or canola oil)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon butter flavoring
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oats
1 cup coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened
1 ½ cup Rice Krispies (or puffed rice cereal)
6 ounces chocolate chips, semi-sweet preferred

Yields: about 72 cookies


Directions:

1. Add butter, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cream of tartar to the bowl of a stand mixer.
2. In a separate small bowl, add egg, vanilla, butter flavoring and coconut flavoring; set aside.
3. Put a mesh strainer over a medium bowl and add flour, salt and baking soda. Sift to combine and break up lumps.
4. In another bowl, combine oats, coconut, Rice Krispies and chocolate chips.
5. Attach bowl to your stand mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Beat butter and sugar mixture until smooth; add egg and flavorings and beat again, scraping bowl as needed.
6. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in stand mixer and beat on medium-low until no streaks of flour remain. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
7. Add in oat/chocolate chip mixture. Beat on low, or fold in by hand.
8. Using a ¾-ounce portion scoop, portion all cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator and chill dough balls for 20 minutes.
9. Preheat oven to 350°F and position racks into lower and upper thirds of oven.
10. Transfer cookie dough balls to another parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball.
11. Place cookie sheet in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes.

* You may freeze remaining dough balls and bake anytime. Just pre-heat oven, put frozen dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 13-14 minutes.

Pork Shoulder Roast
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Here’s a great weekend cooking project—Chef Meredith made slow-roasted pork shoulder which is delicious right out of the oven or can be used for several satisfying meals. Our favorites on her list are pulled pork sandwiches, carnitas for tacos or nachos and pork tossed with red sauce and pasta.

Directions:

Pork Shoulder Roast
1. Preheat oven to 300°F
2. Slice onion and garlic, set aside. Season all sides of the pork shoulder with the Bitterman Herbs de Northwest.
3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add 2 tablespoons oil.
4. When oil shimmers from the heat, sear each side of pork until a deep, golden crust is achieved. Remove pork and let it rest on a plate.
5. Add onions, garlic, fennel and paprika cook until softened and slightly browned.
6. Add can of crushed or diced tomato and scrape up fond (browned bits) from bottom of Dutch oven.
7. Add pork shoulder back into pot and nestle into sauce. Add enough water (or broth) to pan to bring liquid 2/3 way up pork.
8. Top with lid and transfer to oven. Roast for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 5.
9. Remove lid and roast for an additional 30 minutes to reduce sauce and crisp top of pork.
10. When cooking is complete, put Dutch oven on stovetop with the burners off. Remove any twine, and using tongs or forks, “pull” pork into large chunks and stir into sauce.
11. Serve immediately or divide into shallow food storage containers and refrigerate for future use.



Pork Shoulder Ingredients:

2-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
28 ounce can (1) of crushed or diced tomato
1 yellow onion
4-6 cloves of garlic
Neutral oil (e.g. canola, grapeseed)
2 tablespoons Bitterman Herbs de Northwest (or 1 tablespoon Italian-style dry herbs + 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt)
2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Grilled Pizza
With longer days and a craving for fresh air, Chef Meredith headed outdoors, fired up the grill and made pizza. It’s a delicious way to eat your veggies and this versatile base works well with so many toppings—cured meats, anchovies, thinly sliced potatoes, mushrooms, leftover cooked sausage, chicken, pesto, and more. Buon appetito!

Directions:

Grilled Pizza
1. Make the pizza dough recipe we developed for our cooking classes or buy this one ready-made and delivered to your doorstep.
2. Preheat your grill, then grill the veggies. Cool slightly and cut down to pizza topping size.
3. Place a pizza stone, pizza steel or large cast iron skillet on the grates of your grill and allow the cooking surface to get hot. This should take 5-8 minutes.
4. Coat with a thin layer of oil, then transfer 1 thinly rolled pizza round into skillet (or pizza stone/steel). Close lid and let it cook for 2 minutes.
5. Flip and repeat. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler in your oven.
6. Remove crust from grill and place it on a baking sheet. Top crust with pizza sauce (light coating or abundant to your taste), add grilled veggies, and finish with low-moisture shredded mozzarella.
7. Broil on top rack until cheese is melted and bubbly golden, check at 4 minutes.
8. Drizzle edges of crust with olive oil and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.



Grilled Pizza Ingredients:

¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water (110° to 115°F)
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast or 1¾ teaspoons instant (fresh) yeast
3¼ cups (16¼ ounces) bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (8 ounces) water
3 tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
1 bell pepper
2 zucchini
1 yellow onion (leave root attached and quarter)
a few stems of kale
pizza sauce
low-moisture shredded mozzarella


Crusty, Comforting Sourdough Bread
Chef Danielle bakes spectacular sourdough bread and documented how she recently made this crusty comfort food for her family. It takes several days from starter to finish but is well worth the wait. Let’s do this.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread Directions:

First the starter:
1. Mix 3 ounces white bread flour
1 ounce whole wheat flour
4 ounces warm water
Mix well and cover. Let sit 2-3 days until starter begins bubbling. Optional: If your starter isn’t bubbling, add 1 T rye flour to boost activity.
1. When starter begins to bubble, begin regular daily feedings. Weigh your starter and discard 80% (by weight) then feed the remaining 20% of starter 2 ounces water and 2 ounces white bread flour. Repeat daily until the starter rises and falls regularly and has a sour, yeasty smell like buttermilk. This should take 3-7 days. Note: Instead of throwing away your starter discard, you can make crackers, waffles or pancakes.
3. Now it’s time for a float test. Fill a container with cool water and drop a tablespoon of starter into it. If it floats, move on to the next step. If not, feed the starter again and repeat the float test in 5-6 hours.
4. Take 1 tablespoon of starter and mix with 7 ounces white bread flour and 7 ounces warm water. Cover and let sit overnight. Note: We recommend that you save the remaining starter and store it in your fridge. Feed it every few days or so.

Sourdough Bread Making your dough:
1. Gather and mix ingredients: 7 ounces starter, 4 pounds white bread flour, 4 ounces whole wheat flour, and 4 teaspoons fine kosher salt dissolved in 2 ounces warm water. Mix all together to a shaggy mass.
2. Turn dough out onto counter and split into two pieces.
3. Flour counter and using wet hands, take one corner of the dough and pull it over the entire dough to the opposite corner. Repeat with all 4 corners.
4. Flip dough and shape into a rough circle.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 with second piece of dough.
6. Cover each piece of dough and repeat folding every 30 minutes for the next 2½ hours.
7. Turn dough into a well-floured proofing bowl (or other bowl) so that the smooth side is facing down. Place inside a large plastic bag or wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, cover with a towel and allow to rise 2-3 hours at room temperature.

Sourdough Bread Bring on the baking:
1. Remove dough from refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 500°F then place Dutch oven or cast iron skillet into oven for 30 minutes.
3. Remove Dutch oven or cast iron skillet from oven and place on stovetop or other heat-safe surface.
4. Carefully invert dough from bowl into Dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
5. Using a bread lame or sharp knife, score the top of the dough.
6. Transfer Dutch oven with dough into the oven and top with lid. If you are using a cast iron skillet, place a pan of water in the bottom of your oven.
7. Reduce oven temperature to 450°F and bake for 20 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 20-25 min until the crust is dark brown.
8. Let it cool, slice—yum!


Ingredients:

3 pounds white bread flour
5 oz whole wheat flour
Rye flour (optional – 1 tablespoon)
4 teaspoons fine kosher salt
water

Bourbon Smash
Bourbon Smash
Chef Meredith created this cocktail to toast good health and staying home. Any berries you have in the freezer will do and this is a tasty way to put them to use. Here’s to you!

Ingredients:

1 ½ ounce bourbon
5-8 frozen blackberries (You can use any berry you like—adjust sugar and lime juice to your taste)
2 wedges of lime
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Plain soda or seltzer water
Ice in a rocks glass or highball


Directions:

1. Add berries, lime and sugar to a cocktail shaker and muddle together. If you don’t have a muddler use the handle of a wooden spoon.
2. Pour in bourbon, add two ice cubes and, this is important, put the top on your shaker!
3. Shake until cup is frosty.
4. Strain over ice into your glass and top with soda water.
5. Squeeze in remaining lime wedge. Cheers! (Your Zoom happy hour friends will be jealous.)

Other tips: Vodka, tequila or gin can be substituted for bourbon. If you want to add some fresh herbs when muddling, we recommend mint or thyme.

Hummus
Homemade Hummus
Chef Meredith made fresh hummus using things you probably have in your pantry too.

Hummus is a great source of protein and fiber, plus it’s absolutely delicious and easy to make. We like it as a dip for pita chips, pretzels or fresh vegetables or as a spread to amp up your sandwich. Let’s get to it.









Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained
1-2 tablespoons tahini (Chef Meredith substituted 2 teaspoons
white miso paste + 2 teaspoons unsweetened peanut butter)
Juice of half lemon
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 shakes paprika
1 shake cayenne
Water if needed
Other optional seasonings: cumin, za’atar, coriander

Hummus
Directions:

1. Drain chickpeas and then pour them into your food processor.
2. Add garlic clove, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice. If you don’t have tahini, try the miso paste and peanut butter substitution.
3. Process until semi-smooth.
4. Add salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne.
5. Process again until completely smooth.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you prefer your hummus extra smooth, add water 1 tablespoon at a time to desired consistency.
7. Enjoy!


Making Spam Musubi with Kids
Spam
Chef Danielle Vauthy, our chief recipe developer, has two kiddos at home with her while she concocts more delicious dishes for our cooking classes. Here's how she's keeping them busy.

People have strong opinions about Spam. What I've found is that everyone thinks it's delicious until they reach a certain age when "good taste" favors meats that don't come in tins. That's why Spam Musubi is a great dish to make with kids: they love the stuff, and it gives you an excuse to eat it, too—you've got to try their handiwork. (Really, though, Spam is tasty.)

For those not initiated, Spam Musubi is prevalent in Hawaii, where it's enjoyed as a snack or a light lunch. Those that have lived on the Islands view it with nostalgia as local fare. They compare notes on where to find it, who makes it best and how much you can mess with the traditional recipe. Your kids will just think it's fun to play with the sushi rice and nori, plus it's relatively healthy as far as kiddie bites go. You don't even need a musubi mold to make it—you can use the Spam can. Just remove the top and bottom of it. See how great Spam is! It's a full-service pork.

Spam
Ingredients:

1 can Spam, cut into 6 even slices
½ cup sake
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ cups sushi rice cooked and cooled slightly (Make at least 1 ½ cup dry rice for each can of Spam.)
6 sheets of nori
Furikake flakes




Directions:

Spam
1. Slice Spam into six pieces and sear on both sides on medium-high heat in a skillet until crispy and golden.
2. Remove Spam. Don't discard rendered fat. Deglaze fat with sake. Simmer on medium scraping up all the brown bits. Stir in granulated sugar and soy sauce. Simmer until the glaze is thickened, about 3 minutes. (Tip: make extra glaze, then whisk in 1 Tablespoon of Sriracha and serve with musubi as a dipping sauce.)
3. Return Spam slices to skillet and coat with glaze.
4. Lay a sheet of nori on a cutting board, shiny side down. Center musubi mold on nori, wet hands and fill mold with an even layer of rice, about ¼ inch thick. If you're using the Spam can as a mold, cut the nori in half to fit.
5. Wet hands to handle rice. Use the plunger or hands to shape rice into one even flat layer. Sprinkle furikake on rice. Top with a slice of Spam. Repeat with a second layer of sushi rice ¼-inch thick.
6. Unmold musubi by pushing down with plunger with one hand and pulling up mold with your other hand.
7. Fold nori around the rice, pressing up and over to make a sharp right angle. If nori doesn’t stick, use a piece of rice between the nori as glue. Allow musubi to set 10 minutes before cutting.
8. Slice each piece of musubi in half. Wiping down knife with a wet towel between each cut. Plate and serve.
9. Wrap musubi in plastic wrap and refrigerate if you have any leftovers. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for Chef Danielle's tips for making pizza dough with the bambinos.

Cooking and Freezing Grains
Quinoa
Chef Meredith shares tips on how to bulk prep and freeze white, brown and wild rice; quinoa; farro and barley. These time-saving tips also work for lentils.

No matter what's for dinner, a wholesome, nutritious base of grains is like a cozy blanket for your belly. Rice, quinoa and barley are what fill us up, keep us full and make our meals satisfying. Most of my favorite dishes use some form of grain as a foundation food. As a result, I've found ways to make grains in advance to save time in the kitchen—even though it's my favorite place to be, this is also the Golden Age of Streaming, so there are shows to watch.

Here's how to bulk prep and freeze grains and lentils, plus a few of my favorite ways to put quinoa to use.

Quinoa
Step 1: I cook these grains like I cook pasta. To start, heat a large amount of water (over four times the volume of the grain you're going to cook) and season it generously with salt.
Step 2: Stream in the grains, stirring initially so they don't stick together, lower the heat to a simmer. Then cook the grain until it still has a bit of chew to it (al dente).
Step 3: Strain through a colander.
Step 4: Spread the cooked grains onto a rimmed baking sheet. Cool down at room temp, then slip them into the refrigerator until completely cooled.
Step 5: Divide the grains into reusable freezer-safe containers. Frozen grains will stay good for about a month and you can quickly microwave them for a few minutes before use.



A couple of my favorite quinoa recipes:


One-Pot Wonderful
Meredith Abbott
Chef Meredith Abbott, Sur La Table's Manager of Culinary Content, shares this easy and tasty recipe that will become your go-to for weeknight meals.

Simple is often best—especially in complicated times. In my experience, recipes that use easily nameable and shoppable foods become the repeat hits. They're the type of dishes we revisit whenever we want something satisfying and nourishing, and when we're just stumped about what to have for dinner.

This creamy one-pot meal is one of those dishes. All the ingredients are common grocery store items that can also be substituted to suit your particular tastes and cravings. You might try adding zucchini, carrots, swiss chard, kale or broccoli instead of or on top the veggies I chose below. You can also use pork sausage instead of chicken for a richer flavor. For the hotheads out there: a pinch or two of red pepper flakes or sliced chilis adds just the right kick. And this dish will heat up well for leftovers later in the week.

One-Pot Chicken Sausage and Veggie Dish Chef Meredith's One-Pot Chicken Sausage and Veggie Dish
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
1 lb. Italian chicken sausage
1/2 yellow onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups baby spinach
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into large pieces


One-Pot Chicken Sausage and Veggie Dish Directions:

1. Set a large Dutch oven or a stockpot over medium heat. Add chicken sausage. Cook, breaking up large pieces until golden brown all around, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onions, cauliflower and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Add tomato paste, stir to coat vegetables. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes.
4. Uncover and stir. Add cream cheese, cover with lid until vegetables are crisp tender, about 4 minutes.
5. Add spinach, carefully stir until spinach is wilted.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
7. Serve. We like it with glass of chardonnay.


Meredith Abbott
A Week's Worth of Yum
Chef Meredith Abbott, Sur La Table's Manager of Culinary Content, shares how she makes delicious meals each week while limiting her shopping trips with planning tips and suggestions.

Meal planning for more than a few days has always been a struggle for me—I like to cook spontaneously, depending on what my partner Zac and I are craving. But with stay-at-home protocols, we have to limit the time we spend running errands like grocery shopping, and I have to adapt. I’m with you in this struggle!

Here are four steps I take to make sure we're all eating well and staying sane while staying home.

Gather Inspiration

To plan your menu for the week, get with your dining companions to discuss the foods that you all want to eat that week. We started with dinner—it’s the biggest meal, and the one we have the most opinions about. Once we had our list of food options, I chose meals with common ingredients. For us, that meant chicken, shrimp and versatile vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and salad greens. You might also flip through cookbooks and look online for ideas to get you started. (Sur La Table has put together some great recipes for home-cooked meals.)

Grocery List Create a Shopping List

This is a must. To limit your time in the store, you need to be organized. Begin by checking how many your selected recipes serves to determine if you need to decrease or increase the required ingredients. Also, make plans for leftovers! You may even want to double up on some meals so you've got lunch covered the next day.

Next, write out the ingredients on a shopping list, then sort the ingredients by where you'd find them in store. For example:

Produce
Refrigerated & Dairy
Meats & Seafood
Freezer
Pantry: Canned & Dry Goods
Bulk Bins
Beverages
Home Goods (personal care, cleaning supplies, etc.)

Meredith Abbot This will increase your efficiency in the store, and it also makes it easier to divide the list up if you go to with another person from your household. If the person who is joining you is new to shopping for your house, also write down brands you generally buy, sizes or any helpful notes to help them grab the right items.

Here's what my grocery list looked like.

Create Your Meal Plan

Once you've made your grocery list, you can start to plan out the weekly meals. Since we prioritized dinner, those meals just need to be slotted in the corresponding days. They also inform what we'll be eating for breakfast and lunch, since they share ingredients—we might have leftovers that we'll reheat or use to make something else. Build in flexibility with frozen and prepared meals, even takeout. You don’t have to make everything from scratch!


Here's what our meal plan for the week looked like.
WEEKDAY BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER SNACK
MONDAY Scrambled eggs with cheese and toast; coffee with almond milk Caesar salad with pepitas/nuts Roasted whole chicken with roasted mixed veggies with lemon and chili (roast half of extra chicken for future meals, half stays raw for Friday—freeze until Thursday ) Bulk bin finds / protein bar
TUESDAY Rolled oats with nuts, fruit and coffee with almond milk Sandwiches: Roast beef or ham, cheese, spinach, mayo, mustard, bread; sides: Pirate’s Booty and veggie sticks Sauteed or grilled shrimp with cheesy cauliflower grits with spinach Homemade hummus and veggies sticks
WEDNESDAY Egg and bacon breakfast sandwich with cheese of choice Caesar salad with leftover roasted chicken and pepitas One-pot meal: chicken sausage and veggies (cauliflower, bell pepper, spinach) with cream cheese sauce; optional: add quinoa Toast with peanut butter and berries/apples
THURSDAY Scrambled eggs with cheese, toast and coffee with almond milk Leftovers of choice Coconut chicken curry with quinoa (add spinach if some is left) Bulk bin finds
FRIDAY Rolled oats with nuts, fruit and coffee with almond milk Tuna salad on toast (melts?), small side salad with sliced veggies Lemon oregano chicken (grilled if nice out); Greek-ish salad with tomato, feta, oregano, bell pepper and olives Hummus and veggie sticks or yogurt and nuts
SATURDAY Egg and bacon breakfast sandwich with cheese of choice Chicken and veggie soup with pesto and quinoa (stock made from chicken bones and trim), toast or crackers—freeze what we don’t eat for next week Grilled (or broiled) fish tacos with cilantro and tapatio cream with cabbage slaw Yogurt with fruit or nuts
SUNDAY Scrambled eggs with cheese, toast and coffee with almond milk Sandwiches of choice (BLT, ham, roast beef, cheese) with crackers/chips LEFTOVERS!!!! + fridge cleanout Fridge cleanout: crackers, cheese, veggie sticks, random snacks
Manage Your Time and Expectations

This may surprise you, but just because I’m a chef doesn’t mean that I want to be in the kitchen all the time, cooking meals from scratch—especially when I still have my job to do. So I made lunches and breakfast easy on myself (and Zac)!

Making Lunch We decided that lunch would be simple sandwiches, salads and leftovers, with soup on the weekend (because it’s the weekend, I won’t be on conference calls or at my computer).

Breakfasts, I also kept simple, with eggs playing a big role. We love eggs, and more importantly, Zac loves cooking eggs. Planning meals that let one person take a break is key, and breakfast is when I get to take it easy. We also have a simple rule in our household—the person who isn’t cooking does the dishes, and we take turns making coffee in the morning.

In other words, meal planning is much easier (and more sustainable) when it’s a team effort.



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