Earlier this summer, I was selected as one of the 50 blogger-participants for author and blogger Jenny Rosenstrach’s recipe challenge/recipe review for her latest book, Dinner: The Playbook which is the follow-up to her immensely popular first cookbook, “Dinner: A Love Story” - also the name of her equally popular blog. Her latest book includes a detailed, 30-day plan for mastering the art of the family meal which is a must-have for busy parents. It also includes 80+ kid-vetted recipes to help get those homemade dinners on the table without relying on the all too common menu rotation of pasta, pizza, burgers, and more pasta. I wish these books had been around when my son was younger….it may have helped him to become a more adventurous eater but at the very least, we always had a homemade meal on the table. And still do. But when time is limited and everyone has a crazy schedule, it can be rough to do so. From Dinner: The Playbook I made three recipes – Zucchini Fritters with Sour Cream and chives (delish), Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce (yum), and the Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs (sooo00 good). Jenny was wonderful to give me permission to post one of her recipes (I know a lot of you asked for recipes when I posted the pictures this summer) – so the recipe for Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs is included at the end of this post.
Now on to the giveaway! The publishers of Dinner: The Playbook sent us our new copy of the book (we had the preview copy) AND have been so nice to offer an additional book for giveaway purposes. You have four chances to win and please comment here on my blog in the comments section for each entry you make. Winner will be chosen randomly by random.org. Contest runs until 12 pm EST on Friday, September 12. US entries only please and you must provide a valid email address. You may select all or any one of the following:
1. Leave a blog comment here about what would make your family dinner routine easier. Or….what is your go-to dish that will get dinner on the table?
2. Tweet the following: Slow-Cooker Korean Ribs + giveaway @staceysiegal for @dinnerlovestory new book Dinner: The Playbook http://tinyurl.com/mudgycc
3. “Like” Dinner: A Love Story on Facebook
4. “Like” Kitchen Serendipity on Facebook
Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs
- 3-4 pounds country- style pork ribs or beef ribs (meat can go in frozen)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 3 fresh whole jalapeños
- Combine all of the ingredients in a slow-cooker, stir in ½ cup, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Recipe © Jenny Rosenstrach | 2014 Random House Publishers
Fall may be just around the corner for a lot of people, but here in Florida we get to endure a few more weeks of temperatures in the 90′s (ugh). So I think that this chilled soup that I adapted from Food & Wine magazine needs to be on the menu for September for sure. This will be the easiest gazpacho you every make – you halve the tomatoes, throw them in the blender along with a good extra-virgin olive and garlic, remove to a bowl and add a diced jalapeño, and chill. I do press the contents of the blender through a sieve into the bowl to get rid of the tomato skins but you don’t have to if you don’t want to – but I love the creamy texture. I used a brand called Solle from Lakeside Produce but check your farmer’s market as well.
Easy Yellow Gazpacho
- 30 ounces yellow grape tomatoes, halved (3 10-ounce containers)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/3 cup fruity extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and diced
- Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- chopped chives
- Add the tomatoes and garlic to a blender along with 1/3 cup of water and puree until combined. With the blender on, remove the top cap in the cover and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture .
- Set a sieve over a bowl and, using a spatula, strain the mixture and press down on the tomato mixture to release all the liquid into the bowl.
- Stir the minced jalapeño into the soup and season with salt and pepper. Chill for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Ladle the gazpacho into bowls and top with about 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche for each serving. Garnish with chives and serve.
Makes 4 servings Adapted from Food & Wine magazine, August 2014
Isn’t that such a beautiful cocktail? It’s called Norbu Lingka or “Jeweled Park” (scroll down for the recipe). Ahhhhhh……I was back in Boston early this month and was so happy to once again get together with friend and Trade’s head bartender Tenzin Conechok Samdo to to shoot another one of his gorgeous cocktail creations at this fabulous, eclectic restaurant in downtown Boston which is spearheaded by James Beard award-winning Chef Jody Adams of Rialto fame. Tenzin was recently featured – and well-deserved – in a Zagat article noting the nine up-and-coming bartenders you need to know in Boston. You can find that article HERE. We started in right away on the cocktails (and wine for Lafe and I as well lol) with a Chamomile Tea Soaked Bulleit Rye Sazerac cocktail that Tenzin whipped up while we were perusing the lunch menu. Yikes and wow. Yes, I sipped this baby and I’m not much of a hard liquor drinker. Whee! But seriously, the levels of flavors were outstanding. I moved right on to ordering lunch before any more sips and decided upon the Summer Squash and Zucchini Panzanella with Herbs and Pecorino which of course was delicious. Then it was down to serious cocktail creating…..
Hello Boston……happy to be “home.”
Exterior of Trade and Tenzin and I……
Interior of Trade and a couple of happy customers…..
Cucumber Mojito – recipe follows and can also be found on the Trade website HERE….
Tenzin working his magic. Was pretty busy at 3 pm on a Wednesday lol…..
Love this checklist……ha!
This drink is a “farm to glass” creation…love the edible flowers, chervil, and figs for the garnish. The edible flowers are from Blue Heron Farm in Lincoln, MA.
Please check out my photography blog Stacey Siegal Photography for additional pictures from Boston including The Gregg Allman concert in Hyannis and another visit to Row 34. Had to go there again. Just had to.
Norbu Lingka or “The Jeweled Park”
- 1 slice apricot
- 2 slices fresh figs
- 3 leaves basil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 4 dashes ginseng peach bitters*
- 2 ounces Four Roses Bourbon soaked in Mem’s Russian Caravan tea
- ½-ounce green chartreuse
- ½-ounce pineapple juice
- edible flowers, fresh chevil, and figs for garnish
- Muddle the apricot, fig slices, and basil leaves.
- Add the remaining ingredients, shake, and double strain.
- Garnish with the edible flowers, chervil, and fig slice.
*Ginseng cooked with orange zest, agave nectar, and peaches
- 1½-ounces Privateer Silver Rum
- ¾-ounce St. Germain liqueur
- 1-ounce agave nectar
- ½-ounce fresh lime juice
- club soda
- 6 mint leaves
- 4 cucumber slices
- Muddle the fresh mint and cucumber inside the shaker.
- Add Privateer Silver Rum, St. Germain, agave, and ½ cup crushed ice.
- Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and strain into tall glass.
- Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice and top off with club soda
- Garnish: Use a vegetable peeler and peel the cucumber one length (no skin) to make a ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the inside top of the glass. Finish with a sprig of mint.
Give me ANYTHING caprese-style and I will devour it! This is a take on The Market Couscous that can be found HERE on my blog – I punched up the garlic, limited the number of ingredients, switched out the feta for fresh mozzarella, and added grape tomatoes and plenty of herbs. The result is a delicious combination of summer flavors that make a great side dish or just a salad on its own.
While not a huge fan of African couscous, I LOVE Israeli (or “pearl”) couscous which is a pasta. These little pops of pasta hold up great in so many dishes whereas another pasta shape or type may not necessarily. In this recipe, the Israeli couscous is cooked ahead and cooled, using a couple of tablespoons of the garlicky vinaigrette to prevent it from sticking together before the dish is completed.
I used grape tomatoes, but feel free to substitute fresh, chopped tomatoes if you have them. I don’t here in Florida so grape tomatoes were a better choice…..and I like the way they look in the salad and balance the shapes of the other ingredients.
It’s summer! Enjoy and enjoy good food.
Israeli Couscous Caprese Salad
- 2 cups Israeli-style couscous
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 cup small bocconcini balls (I used the really small ones but you can use any type of fresh mozzarella and chop it)
- 2 tablespoons chives
- 3 tablespoons chopped basil (roll leaves like a cigar and thinly slice to make a chiffonade)
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir, cover, and reduce heat and cook according to the package instructions (usually 8-10 minutes).
- While the couscous is cooking, combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pressed garlic, and oil in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside. Season liberally with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.
- When the couscous is done, spoon into a large bowl and drizzle a couple of tablespoons or so of the vinaigrette over it to keep it from sticking as it cools. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the cooled couscous and pour over the vinaigrette. Taste again for seasoning.
The name of this appetizer may sound fancy, but tuiles are honestly the easiest thing to make and would be a perfect addition to your summer entertaining menu and will wow your guests. What is a tuile? It’s nothing more than a thin crisp or wafer of cheese for a savory version, or from a dough which is seen more often in sweet, dessert-style recipes. These are SO good paired with the tomato salad using baby heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs; the flavor combination is out of this world….salty from the cheese, the bite from the black pepper, and the freshness from the tomatoes and herbs. Totally addictive!! And I really feel that an important key to successful recipes – especially ones with few ingredients - is to source out the best ingredients you can find and afford. There are two ingredients I never ever scrimp on – Parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil – and I’m usually reduced to tears when I find I’m running out of one or both because I do spend a pretty penny on them (and go through them quickly). I only buy Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and for extra-virgin olive oil I use the Colavita brand which is actually very reasonably priced, available in your grocery store, and my hands-down favorite for everyday use. California Olive Ranch is another good brand that won’t break the bank. And, on occasion, I’ll seek out a special extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling. Just not often…… I bought a 1-pound bag of baby heirloom tomatoes from my local The Fresh Market….you can use regular heirloom tomatoes or on-the-vine red tomatoes. My bag contained Plum Lemon, Green Zebra, June Flame, Black Plum, Red Zebra, and Lemon Drop varieties – love the names. Shop your local farmer’s market or farm stand – our growing season kind of fades away here in Florida this time of the year and doesn’t really resume again until October so I’m super jealous of you guys up north and out west. Enjoy what you eat……and eat what you enjoy.
Black Pepper Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 1½ cups chopped heirloom tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons chiffonade of basil (roll up leaves and then thinly slice)
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano)
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- kosher salt and additional coarse ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the tomatoes with the chives, basil, and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, give it a stir, and set it aside so the flavors blend.
- Drop two heaping teaspoons of the cheese and black pepper on the baking sheet and slightly flatten into a round shape for each tuile, setting them about a ½ inch apart.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until crisp and golden in color. Allow them to cool and then remove them with a spatula.
- Top with the heirloom tomato salad and serve.
Makes: 12 (your quantity may vary according to size) @2014 Kitchen Serendipity | Stacey Siegal