25/06/2013 § 3 Comments
I will freely admit that I am not an expert when it comes to cooking, nor is it something I frequently do. In fact, at home, I actually keep my shoes in the kitchen cupboards where my pots and pans should be. My cardinal rule is that if I make something that you can consume, it’s to be considered “cooking” — and this includes cocktails, natch.
That said, I do enjoy eating well and luckily I have a someone to help me hone my (lackluster) culinary skills: my good friend Tara Cole, who is a holistic health and nutrition counselor. She patiently spent a recent morning cooking with me and passed along this super easy recipe for a sweet potato and kale frittata that looks a good deal fancier than it actually is. So whether you’re making an effort to impress the in-laws or to simply step up your home brunch game, I can attest that anyone can make this. Even me.
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes (thinly sliced)
- 1 red onion (sliced)
- 1 pepper (any color, diced)
- 5 stalks of kale (de-stemmed and ripped apart)
- 6 eggs
- goat cheese
- fresh thyme
- 3 tbsp almond milk (optional)
- olive oil (for cooking)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1-2 scallions (sliced for garnish)
- grape tomatoes (sliced for garnish)
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of fresh nutmeg (optional)
- red pepper flake (optional)
Salad and dressing ingredients:
- mixed greens
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ lemon (juice)
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Note: must use an oven-safe pan (no rubber handles).
Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
Saute sliced sweet potatoes in olive oil in a medium-heat pan for 10 minutes, (season with salt and pepper) stirring constantly. Once fork-tender, add in the onions and peppers and season, saute for 5-7 minutes (you may need to add a bit more olive oil). Add in both vinegars, stir, add kale and season, mix for 1-2 minutes. Whisk eggs and milk together, add thyme, nutmeg, and red pepper flake, and pour into pan. Ensure that the egg mixture is evenly distributed in pan, add as much goat cheese as you like. Place pan in preheated oven and bake 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked. Serve with diced tomatoes and scallions on top, and side salad (recipe below).
Salad: In a bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard,
and salt and pepper, mix together then toss in lettuce.
Voila! Fancy (looking)!
Tara assures me this is a great basic recipe to get creative with. She suggested substituting in things like mushrooms, Gruyere cheese, fennel, and/or spinach. If you have any questions — or would like more recipes — hop over to Tara’s site and she will set you right up. Enjoy!
22/02/2011 § Leave a comment
**QC’s 28 Days**
In February I will be bringing you daily tips
to cultivate more classiness and fabulousness in daily life!
Day 22: Have a Signature Dish
I was recently discussing the “28 Days” list with a good friend who aptly pointed out that I had made it all the way to day 22 and I was yet to discuss food or cooking. Epiphany! Have you guessed we’ve happened upon another topic that yours truly needs to work on?
A classy and fabulous life of course includes the enjoyment of good food, preferably paired with copious amounts of cocktails, friends and atmosphere. But how does one get good food? Cherie, I’m not a great chef, it’s true. I cannot share with you wonderful tips on how to make a souffle or Baked Alaska, because I simply don’t have the knowledge — which is why today’s tip is a very important to me! Whether you are a culinary virtuoso or a sometimes sous chef, you must have a signature dish — at least one “go to” up your fabulous sleeve. It’s not especially important what it is — be it an amazing frittata or a fantastic cobbler — if you take the time to perfect it, people will notice and beg for more. To go to a dinner party is plenty of fun, but to go to a dinner party and bring along a dish you are well-known for? Pure class.
What I handle beautifully is salads — laugh if you will, my darling! — but an excellent salad is probably my most favorite part of a meal. My current signature salad is quite easy, and was lifted with love from Williams-Sonoma.
2 pints large strawberries (1 lb. total)
8 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
4 tsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted
9 cups baby spinach
5 oz. pecorino romano cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a paring knife, hull the strawberries and cut them in half lengthwise. Spread the berries on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle with the 2 tsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. of the salt and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat the berries evenly, then spread them out again. Roast until softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
In a small nonreactive bowl, whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, tarragon, the 1 Tbs. sugar, 3/4 tsp. of the salt and several grinds of pepper until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil until well blended to make a vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
In a small bowl, stir together the almonds and 1/4 tsp. of the salt. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine, drizzle about one-third of it over the spinach and toss well (reserve the remaining vinaigrette for another use). Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Divide the dressed spinach evenly among individual plates, top each serving with an equal amount of the roasted strawberries, and sprinkle with the almonds and cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
I’ve actually simplified this already simple recipe in a few different ways to great success. I’ve omitted roasting the strawberries (which cuts down on the sugar), and simply used fresh ones. I’ve omitted making the vinaigrette, and simply dressed the salad with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Is this “cooking”? Perhaps not, but I am quite fine with that because so many have loved this salad. C’est la vie!
As I continue my culinary exploration, I would love to hear what your signature dish is! Just make sure it isn’t too hard or this girl is apt to lose her head…
25/12/2010 § Leave a comment
Admittedly, I am not much of a domestic goddess. C’est la vie! While I am definitely not a cook, there are a few recipes that I have quite an attachment to. With a little bit of convincing, my mom will break them out — she always prints out stacks of new recipes she wants to use, but the rest of us will hear none of it — and make our favorites.
Every Christmas, she makes sugar cookies that we leave out for Santa. She wants me to say the recipe is an old family secret, but the truth is, she isn’t quite sure where she got it from. No matter. As long as I have these on Christmas Eve, I know all is right with the world. Enjoy!
- 1 C. butter
- 1 C. granulated sugar
- 1 C. powdered sugar
- 1 C. oil
- 2 eggs
- 4 1/2 C. flour
- 1 t. cream of tartar
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 t. almond extract
Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in oil and eggs. Beat well.
Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, vanilla and almond extract.
Transfer dough, then chill for a few hours. The longer the dough is chilled, the longer it will take to bake.
Roll chilled dough into golf ball-sized balls, and flatten with a glass dipped in granulated sugar.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 9 to 12 minutes on 350° F. Remove immediately from cookie sheet and transfer to wire cooling rack.