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This is a delicious, easy-to-make, rich meal that combines unusual flavors to create a retro classic. It’s like if fettuccine alfredo had a baby with a tuna fish sandwich and it was all topped with potato chips. The Magic Bullet comes in handy for making a delicious, creamy sauce, and cooking the pasta in the pan makes this an easy, one pot meal.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 lb egg noodle pasta
  • 1.5 cups creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tbl cornstarch
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cans tuna, best quality, drained
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • Crushed potato chips, for serving (omit if you dare)

Instructions

  1. Put noodles in a big pan and cover with water. Add a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until pasta is just short of al dente. Drain most of the water but leave a little wet.
  2. Blend creme fraiche, egg, cornstarch, and half the lemon juice in the Magic Bullet.
  3. Add the mixture to the skillet and cook until sauce is thickened, stirring to coat noodles. Turn off the heat.
  4. Mix in the tuna, peas and rest of the lemon juice. Serve, passing potato chips.

 

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Recreating Chinese-American food classics at home: What’s the point? Can’t you just get delivery? I’ll tell you the point: it’s healthier, tastier, and cheaper. (I won’t say “faster” because that’s just silly.) Case in point: this beef with broccoli and scallions with loads of roasted broccoli and extra scallions. Believe it or not, the standard kitchen in China does not include an oven, so you’re verrrrry unlikely to find roasted broccoli in a Chinese-American dish. But it’s delicious: the roasting brings out savory notes and crunch that adds extra dimensions to the whole dish. Greasy take-out, no way. I really amp up the amount of broccoli here for delicious healthfulness, and sweet scallions make everything better.

Pro-tip: put the beef in the freezer for an hour or two before slicing to make it easy to get the perfect thin slices. And the marinade slash sauce comes together in the Magic Bullet in no time flat.

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Beef with Broccoli and Scallions

Ingredients

  • 1 lb flank, sirloin, or skirt steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 medium sized heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • ½ bunch scallions, cut into wedges
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. At least 30 minutes in advance, blend the garlic, vegetable oil and salt in the Magic Bullet. Toss with the steak in a sealed container and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 12 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss broccoli and scallions with a dash of oil and salt and roast until crispy and brown.
  3. Add a dash of oil to a large skillet over high heat. Add the beef with the marinade into the pan, using a big dash of water to rinse out the container and add that to the pan too. Cook until beef is just cooked through, about five minutes.
  4. Toss broccoli and scallions with beef. Serve over rice.

 

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Fennel is… strange. The middle of it looks like celery, the top of it (the “fronds”) look like Muppet hair, and the bottom like… fennel. And the whole thing tastes like licorice. And then there are fennel seeds, which also sort of taste like licorice, or maybe like anise? And where do the seeds come from?

Anyway, put aside your fennel confusion, because it turns out that chopped fennel makes a tasty, crunchy, vaguely licorice-y salad, especially when dressed in this delicious dressing of tahini, roasted garlic, and smoked paprika. The smoked garlic provides richness, caramelized notes, and deep flavor, the tahini provides a subtle sesame flavor and more richness, and the smoked paprika spice adds smokiness. And it all comes together in a just a few minutes (well, after you roast the garlic).

I use griddled squid in this salad, which provides nice chewiness and squid’s distinct sweet seafood flavor, but really you could use any protein, like shrimp, tofu, an egg, or nothing at all. Roasted chickpeas provide crunch, flavor, and fiber.

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Fennel Salad with Tahini, Roasted Garlic, Smoked Paprika Dressing

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tbl tahini
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Water
  • Olive oil

Ingredients – Salad

  • 2 heads fennel, bulb and stems chopped, fronds discarded
  • 1 can chickpeas, dried on a paper towel
  • ½ pound protein, like squid, dried on a paper towel and salted
  • 1 tomato, sliced

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the top off the garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven until just beginning to brown, about 45 minutes. (Check every ten minutes after thirty minutes or so.)
  2. Let the garlic cool, remove the cloves, and blend the garlic, tahini, paprika, and lemon juice in the Magic Bullet. Add water just until you have a salad dressing consistency.
  3. Roll the chickpeas in olive oil and salt and roast in the oven until crispy, about twenty minutes. Cook your protein as desired (I griddled in a pan, but you could also roast).
  4. Mix dressing, fennel, chickpeas, protein, and tomato. Serve, garnishing with fennel fronds.

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Yeah, that just sounds good, doesn’t it? This recipe features a bunch of delicious tasting notes: miso and umami are salty, honey is sweet, butter is rich, and when the combo hits the chicken and is roasted, it creates a flavorful, crispy skin. The miso, though a bit of an exotic ingredient, really blends into the background here, creating a rich and beguiling flavor without being noticeably unusual. Your kids will love it (if you have kids).

The Magic Bullet does a great job of blending up the marinade, which you then smear under and on the chicken skin. I used chicken legs here (it was weeknight), but thighs or even a whole bird would be equally delicious. The idea for this recipe came from food52.

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Chicken with Honey Miso Butter

Ingredients

  • 4 tbl butter, left out on the counter for half an hour
  • 2 ½ tbl miso, any type (I use awase)
  • 2 ½ tbl honey
  • 4 chicken legs or thighs, or any skin-on chicken

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Blend all the ingredients (except the chicken!) into a cream using your Magic Bullet.
  2. Put the chicken legs into a baking dish and pat dry with paper towels. Using a knife or your hands, pull the chicken skin so that it’s not attached so firmly, then take a spoonful of the miso-honey butter and spread it underneath the skin. Repeat with all the chicken, then take whatever miso-honey-butter is left and spread it on the outside of the chicken skin.
  3. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until the chicken is done. (I use a meat thermometer.) Don’t flip during cooking (to preserve skin).

 

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Herb butters are on my brain lately, after making an incredibly good one-pan meal of pork tenderloin the other day. I try to eat at least a few meals of fish each week and am able to get great herbs at the farmer’s market this time of year, so I turned to my Magic Bullet to create a quick, easy and delicious salmon dinner. The key to this meal is the mixture of acid, fat, and flavor. The herb butter melted over the salmon after cooking turns this meal from everyday to extraordinary.

A quick tip on salmon: I recommend “dry brining” it. All that means is put the salmon in a bag with salt and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This does wonders for not only seasoning the fish and adding flavor but it also makes the meat juicier.

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Salmon with Tarragon-Lemon-Chive Butter Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb salmon
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1 bunch chives, rinsed
  • 1 bunch tarragon, rinsed with the leaves picked off
  • 1 lemon, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

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Instructions

  1. Rub the salmon all over with salt and put it in a plastic bag. Move to the refrigerator for at 30 minutes and 12 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the lemon peel in the Magic Bullet. Blend the garlic and add the tarragon and chives. Blend. Add the butter and blend. Add a big squeeze or two of the lemon juice and blend again.
  3. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add a glug of oil to the pan. Remove the salmon from the bag and wipe the salmon down with a paper towel. Add the salmon to the pan and cover. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the salmon is cooked through to medium-rare.
  4. Move the salmon to a plate, cover with the herb butter, and tent with aluminum foil. Serve when the butter melts.

 

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It’s spriiiiiiiiiiiiing. Finally! Actually not really, we had a pretty mild winter here in DC. Anyway, though, you can get stuff at the farmer’s market in spring that you can’t get any other time of year. Like ramps! OK, if you’re over ramps, I don’t know what to tell you — I see the point but I think they’re delicious. And if you combine ramps with their springtime partner asparagus, you get a once-a-year treat that takes a bowl of plain pasta to a whole new level. This all comes together extremely quickly in the Magic Bullet after a quick blanch in boiling water (which can then be used to cook the pasta, hey-o).

Of course, you also could just eat the pesto with a spoon. It’s that good, and hey, it’s mostly asparagus, so no shame. I like to eat it with pasta and salted tomatoes, if you can get any good ones where you live this time of year. Pro tip: top with soft-boiled egg.

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Asparagus-Ramp Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1 bunch ramps, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 cup walnuts or other nuts, toasted in the microwave
  • 1 large chunk parmesan cheese
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Olive oil, to taste

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Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the asparagus. Let it cook for a minute or two, then add the ramps for about thirty seconds and remove everything with a strainer, reserving water to cook pasta.
  2. Blend the parmesan in the Magic Bullet. Remove to a plate. Blend the walnuts in the Magic Bullet.
  3. Working in batches, blend the walnuts, cheese, and ramps and asparagus in the Magic Bullet with plenty of olive oil and a pinch of salt and lemon juice. Add the end, mix everything up and taste for salt.
  4. Serve, passing more parmesan.

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This delicious chicken dish is both savory and hearty without being too heavy. The mustard and balsamic vinegar sauce brings together the tartness of both the mustard and the vinegar while really cutting through the richness of the chicken.

Best of all, the sauce all comes together in the Magic Bullet with minimal work and fuss.

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Chicken Legs with Mustard and Balsamic

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken legs, cut into thighs and drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbl dijon mustard
  • 1 tbl honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Olive oil

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Instructions

  1. In a large oven-safe pan, add a glug of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken legs and cook until well-browned. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the garlic in the Magic Bullet. Add the honey, the mustard, and the vinegar and blend.
  3. Add the sauce to the pan all over the chicken and stir. Move to the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through.

 

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Sometimes you want a dinner that brings you completely new and different flavors, and sometimes you want to rearrange familiar flavors into something delicious and straightforward. This pasta dish takes the latter approach, taking a classic Spanish tapa — shrimp with garlic and pimenton (smoked paprika) — and turning it into a tasty pasta. I came up with the idea after getting some beautiful, large raw shrimp at the supermarket. This all comes together in under twenty minutes and is quite good: the garlic butter spiked with pimenton and juices from the shrimp serves as a perfect sauce for the pasta, which absorbs lots of delicious flavor.

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Pasta with Spanish Shrimp in Garlic and Pimenton

Ingredients

  • 2/3 lb long pasta, like spaghetti
  • 2/3 lb raw shrimp, peeled, preferably large
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbl pimenton
  • 3 tbl butter

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente, reserving about a cup of pasta cooking water.
  2. Add garlic to the Magic Bullet and blend. Add pimenton and blend.
  3. Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter melts, then add the the garlic-pimenton and cook for a few minutes, just until garlic is translucent.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp is just cooked through (shrimp will change color).
  5. Add the pasta to the skillet with about half of the pasta cooking water. Stir everything and let the pasta absorb the sauce. If the pasta is dry, add more pasta cooking water. Serve.

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If you’re tired of the usual chicken-beef-pork routine, here’s an easy recipe to mix things up. Lamb shanks are inexpensive and make a delicious, rich, different-but-not-too-crazy meal. Braising them in pomegranate juice and honey provides a delicious sweet-and-sour sauce that is just perfect over couscous. The sauce comes together easy in the Magic Bullet, and I bet your family will be surprised at just how easy it is to devour something a little different.

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Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Shank Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs lamb shanks
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 12 ounce pomegranate juice (beware blends that are mostly apple)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Vegetable oil

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Instructions

  1. Blend garlic in Magic Bullet. Add pomegranate juice, vinegar, and honey and blend.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Add a glug of vegetable oil to a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Rub salt all over the lamb shanks and add them to the dutch oven. Cook, turning frequently, until well-browned and set aside.
  3. Add the onions with some salt and cook until the onions are beginning to brown, about eight minutes.
  4. Add the juice mixture and scrape the bottom of the dutch oven. Raise the heat to high and bring everything to a boil.
  5. Add the lamb shanks bank to the dutch oven with their juices. Cover partially with a lid.
  6. Check periodically to make sure liquid remains (if not, add some water). Cook for approximately three hours or until meat is appropriately tender.
  7. Remove the shanks from the dutch oven. Pour the liquid into a small pot, trying to avoid rosemary seeds or any other solids. Bring liquid to a boil and reduce until syrupy.
  8. Serve shanks with sauce over couscous.

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I guess my mind is on the perfectly sweet and delicious corn and basil I keep finding at the farmer’s market, because here’s another crazy delicious recipe taking advantage of this spring bounty.

Taking my lead from Serious Eats, here’s a way to whip up a corny, corny soup with lots of deep, rich, and complex flavor in under 30 minutes using your pressure cooker. (I suppose if you didn’t have a pressure cooker you could cook this for about four times as long, for similar results.) If you’ve never had corn soup (I hadn’t), you’re in for a treat: it’s like the essence of corn and so creamy without adding any extra cream. Plus, it’s vegan if you use vegetable broth. I take this to the next level by topping it all with crispy chorizo – in my case, soy chorizo, so that’s vegan, too. What a world!

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Pressure Cooker Corn Soup with Basil and Leeks

Ingredients

  • 2 tbl butter
  • 2 small leeks, dark green parts discarded, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 4 ears of corn, husk and silk removed, cobs broken in half crosswise and reserved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs basil
  • 3.5 cups chicken or veggie broth
  • Minced fresh chives, for serving
  • Crispy chorizo, for serving

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Instructions

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a pressure cooker. Add leeks and a big pinch of salt. Blend the garlic in the Magic Bullet and add to the leeks. Cook, stirring, until softened, about four minutes.
  2. Add corn with cobs, bay leaf, basil sprig, and enough broth to barely cover the corn.
  3. Seal pressure cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook for 15 minutes. Release pressure using quick-release method and uncover.
  4. Fish out the corn cobs, bay leaf, and basil sprigs. Discard them.
  5. Working in batches, transfer remaining mixture to the Magic Bullet. Blend, adding broth as necessary to get a nice consistency. Taste for salt.
  6. Serve, passing chives and chorizo.

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