All posts by Danielle Oron

Danielle is an Israeli chef, bakery owner and food blogger. Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Spaghetti with Olive Tapenade and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

One of my best friends thinks that I’m Italian. Maybe it’s because I made rigatoni Bolognese during the first cottage weekend I spent with her, or maybe it’s because I really enjoy feeding everyone, have dark hair and an olive skin tone, and happened to grow up in New Jersey. All to say, this is how I inherited the name Nona.

If you’re like me, you always have spaghetti in your cupboard. Spaghetti is one of those pantry items you should always have on hand come Sunday night, when you want carbs. If you’re really like me, you put more carbs on your carbs. In this recipe, it’s in the form of garlic breadcrumbs on top of spaghetti.

888_Tapenade-Spaghetti-4

This dish is so simple to throw together and it’s made completely from scratch; big Spanish olives with red peppers are paired up with lemon zest, fresh parsley and anchovy, adding a kick of umami flavour.

My husband and I eat this standing up, right out of the pan, mostly because we don’t feel like doing dishes on a Sunday evening, but I would like to believe that it’s the Italian Nona in me. Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Olive Tapenade and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serving Size: 4 servings

888_Tapenade-Spaghetti-3

Ingredients:

For the Tapenade:
2 ¼ cups large Spanish green olives with red pepper
2 Tbsp drained capers
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup very roughly chopped parsley
1 anchovy fillet, optional
Zest from 1 lemon

For the Garlic Breadcrumbs:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced finely
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 pinches of salt
¼ tsp fresh black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp chopped parsley

1 lb (454 g) spaghetti
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided in recipe
½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

888_Tapenade-Spaghetti-2

Directions:

For the Tapenade:
1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor.
2. Pulse until coarsely chopped (just a few pulses). Set aside.

Tapenade_Spaghetti-7

For the Garlic Breadcrumbs:
1. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil.
2. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. About 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat them with the garlic-y butter/oil.
4. Cook and toss for about 2 minutes to toast the breadcrumbs, and then season with salt and pepper.
6. Turn the heat off and add the red pepper flakes and parsley, and toss to combine. Set aside.

Tapenade_Spaghetti-8

For the Spaghetti:
1. Cook the pasta in heavily salted boiling water until just al-dente (9-11 minutes, depending on the brand).
2. Before draining the spaghetti, reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid then drain the spaghetti.
3. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter with the olive oil.
4. Add the tapenade and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Add the spaghetti, 2 more Tbsp of butter, parmesan cheese, reserved cooking liquid, salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cook and toss for about 1-2 minutes until the spaghetti is coated with the tapenade.
7. Turn the heat off and sprinkle the garlic breadcrumbs over top. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper.

How to Make Everything Garlic Bread Knots

Garlic knots are incredibly easy to make. Don’t be afraid of yeasted dough — it’s actually very versatile. I’ve used this recipe to make pizza and focaccia as well. If you’re looking for something sweet, you can make a cinnamon and sugar mixture to roll the dough in before knotting it, too. I also believe that everything spice can be used as a condiment or topping of sorts. Use it to garnish soup, add flavour to dressings or top avocado toast. These are best eaten the day you make them, but are just as delicious warmed up the day after.

Everything_Garlic_Knots-4

Everything Garlic Bread Knots

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Baking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes
Servings: 12 knots

Ingredients:

Dough
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 cup room temperature water
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl

Everything Spice
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp dried garlic flakes
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp coarse salt

Garlic Butter
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all dough ingredients on low speed. Once the dough starts to come together, turn the mixer up to medium to knead for 3 minutes.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly oiled surface and knead by hand for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the dough is tight and smooth.

Everything_Garlic_Knots-2

3. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

4. Combine all the spice ingredients together in a bowl. Transfer the spice mix onto a large plate for easy rolling.

Everything_Garlic_Knots-1

5. After the dough has doubled in sized, turn it out of the bowl onto a lightly floured or oiled surface. Roll out the dough to a 6-inch by 12-inch rectangle with a rolling pin. Don’t over work the dough!

6. Cut the rectangle into twelve 1-inch strips with a knife or pizza roller. Using lightly floured hands, roll each strip in the everything spice mix and knot the dough.

Everything_Garlic_Knots-3

Everything_Garlic_Knots-10

7. Place the knots on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and place them in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and bake the knots for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through for even baking.

Related: Mouth-Watering Recipes That Use 10 or More Cloves of Garlic

9. Combine the olive oil, butter and minced garlic in a small pan. Heat over medium-low until the butter has melted and the garlic is fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.

10. When the knots come out of the oven, brush each generously with the garlic butter, making sure to get the minced garlic onto the knots.

Everything_Garlic_Knots-9

Published September 1, 2015, Updated January 3, 2019

Greek-Style Baked Beans With Tomato Sauce and Feta

Dried beans are a hidden treasure. Well, I guess they’re not really hidden, but you should know that they’re like gold. They’re cheap, healthy, easy to make and have the longest shelf life ever. You can find so many kinds too — red kidney, beautiful borlotti AKA cranberry beans, orca beans, chickpeas… the list goes on and on. For this recipe, I was able to find dried Greek gigante beans. Naturally, they were begging for an herby tomato sauce full of dill and oregano. If you can’t find dried gigante beans, large white lima beans work just as well here. The sauce is simmered and added to the boiled beans, then covered in feta cheese and baked into a bubbly gorgeous casserole, which can be served as a side dish or appetizer with crusty bread. If there are any leftovers (I’d be surprised if there were), you can heat the beans up in a pan and serve with an egg for breakfast.

Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta-6

Greek-Style Baked Beans With Tomato Sauce and Feta

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Soak Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 13 hours, 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 cups dried gigante beans (or large white lima beans)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp olive oil + some to finish
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
26 oz can or box strained tomato sauce
1 cup chopped dill
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano OR 1 Tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
½ cup water
⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Crusty bread, to serve

Directions:

1. Rinse the dried beans to remove any dirt or impurities, and then place them in a large bowl and cover with tons of water. Leave on the countertop overnight or at least 9 hours to rehydrate.

2. Drain the beans and transfer them to a large pot. Cover the beans with at least 3 inches of water and add in the bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta-5

3. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remember: the time will depend on the kind of bean and how long you’ve soaked them for. Check the doneness of the beans after 10 minutes. They should be soft, but not mushy. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

4. In a medium sauce-pot with lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and saute until softened and slightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, dill, parsley, oregano, salt and water. Once the sauce is simmering lightly, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt.

Related: Healthy Mediterranean Recipes to Bookmark Right Now

5. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the cooked beans with bay leaf and herb tomato sauce into a casserole or baking dish and combine.

888_Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta

6. Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly. Remove for the oven and add crumbled feta cheese on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The sauce will be bubbly and hot.

7. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread on the side.

Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta-10

Published November 2, 2015, Updated December 22, 2018

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

Still craving pumpkin everything this fall? I know I am. So I made a comforting meat-less pasta dish that you can throw together in no time. Consider this a fancy mac and cheese of sorts; creamy, cheesy, smooth…I’ll take one bowl of comfort, please!

Pumpkin_Alfredo_Fettucine_Danielle_Oron-6

For this recipe, I use canned organic pumpkin purée to make it a quick weeknight meal. But if you have time to make your own pumpkin purée, I would recommend roasted a kabocha or butternut squash to really elevate the dish. Both are the perfect amount of sweet, and roast and purée beautifully. This dish is a great way to hold on to that fall feeling before winter arrives!

Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Pumpkin_Alfredo_Fettucine_Danielle_Oron-1

Ingredients:
1 lb (454 g) fettuccine
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp flour
15 oz can organic pumpkin puree
1 cup table cream or half & half (10%-18%)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh black pepper
½ tsp fresh thyme
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

Shaved parmesan
Thyme leaves
Fresh black pepper

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook the fettuccine until al dente, about 8-9 minutes depending on the brand.

2. Before straining, reserve 1 ½ cups of pasta water. Drain into a colander and run cold water over fettuccine until cool to the touch.

Pumpkin_Alfredo_Fettucine_Danielle_Oron-2

3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add olive oil, butter and garlic cloves. Sauté garlic for about 2 minutes until fragrant.

4. Add the flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes until it begins to brown and smell nutty.

5. Transfer all of the contents from the skillet into a blender. Add pumpkin purée and table cream to the blender, and purée until smooth.

Pumpkin_Alfredo_Fettucine_Danielle_Oron-3

6. Transfer the sauce back to the pan and place over medium-low heat.

7. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and parmesan cheese to the sauce and cook until bubbling and thickened.

Pumpkin_Alfredo_Fettucine_Danielle_Oron-4

8. Add the fettuccine and combine. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with the pasta water (I added about ¾ cup). It will continue to thicken after turning off the heat, so it’s OK if it’s slightly thin. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Pumpkin_Alfredo_Fettucine_Danielle_Oron-5

9. Serve immediately. Plate the fettuccine and garnish with shaved parmesan, thyme leaves and lots of fresh black pepper.

How to Make the Perfect Croissant Croque Madame

This is going to be the fanciest ham and cheese sandwich you will ever have. Leave it to the French to take something so simple and humble and top it with tons of cheese and toast it until golden brown. And to top it off, let’s put a fried egg on it. Typically made on basic white bread, I’ve taken this dish even further and made it on a croissant. There’s one thing that will happen after having this: you’ll never be able to go back to a regular ham and cheese sandwich.

888_Croissant_Croque_Madame_5

Croissant Croque Madame

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

Béchamel
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups milk
½ tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
½ cup grated Gruyére
¼ cup grated Parmesan

Sandwich
6 croissants
Grainy mustard or Dijon
400 g black forest ham
⅔ cup grated Gruyére
⅓ cup grated Parmesan
Salt
Fresh black pepper
6 fried eggs
Chopped chives, garnish
Maldon salt, garnish

Directions:

1. Heat the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sized saucepot. Once the butter is completely melted and begins to bubble, add the flour and whisk until combined. Switch to a heat-proof rubber spatula and continue stirring until the mixture is a light golden colour and smells slightly nutty. Be sure to scrape all around the sides and bottom to ensure nothing is sticking or burning.

2. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk into the pot. Switch back to the rubber spatula and cook, constantly stirring and scraping the sides and bottom, until thick and bubbly. About 6-8 minutes.

3. Turn the heat off and stir in the salt, black pepper, nutmeg, Gruyére and Parmesan until cheese has melted. Set aside to cool.

Related: Creative Ways to Use Croissants, From French Toast to Bread Pudding

4. Pre-heat the oven to broil and set the rack in the middle of the oven. Slice the croissants open and spread a generous amount of mustard on each half. Lay the ham on the top halves of the croissants and top with the bottom halves. This will give the béchamel a nice flat surface to sit on. Transfer the sandwiches onto a sheet pan.

5. Top each sandwich with lots of béchamel spreading it to the edges of the croissant. This will prevent the edges of the croissant from burning in the oven. Combine the Gruyére and Parmesan and top each sandwich with the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

888_Croissant_Croque_Madame_4

6. Place sandwiches under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until cheese and béchamel are melted and bubbly.

7. Remove from the oven, plate each sandwich with a fried egg, garnish with chopped chives, fresh black pepper and Maldon salt.

888_Croissant_Croque_Madame_1

Published November 5, 2015, Updated October 29, 2018

Breakfast Skillet With Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

If you live in Toronto, you know that grabbing brunch can sometimes be a three-hour endeavour and it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere with more than four people. If you do, you know you’ll be waiting. And after a full night of drinks, you’re body does not want to wait to be nourished. Hanger kicks in. Through my frustration, I decided that I should be making more brunches at home. Those are the times when I concoct my one-pot breakfast skillet. It’s always a mashup of what I’ve got in the fridge or pantry, with the addition of some eggs.

This recipe is one of my favourites. Sautéed mushrooms and wilted, garlicky spinach are the perfect (and quickest) accompaniments to eggs with a runny yolk. Yes, there are a ton of other great ingredients that can be used as well, like potatoes, corn, beans, zucchini, chorizo… the list goes on. But this is what I just happened to have in my fridge one day and now I continue to go back to this.

Breakfast skilled served onto two plates

Breakfast Skillet With Spinach, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

350 g cremini and/or baby bella mushrooms, sliced 1/3” thick
3-4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
2-3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
100 g baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
6-8 eggs
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Toasted sourdough grain bread or bread of choice

Directions:
1. Over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid.

2. In batches, sauté the mushrooms. Make sure not to crowd the pan so the mushrooms crisp up evenly.

3. Sauté for 4 minutes, flipping the mushrooms halfway through and seasoning with salt and fresh black pepper, to taste.

4. Add more butter and olive oil as needed for the second batch of mushrooms. Remove from the pan as well after seasoning.

Related: The Best Ways to Prepare Eggs Around the World, From France to Japan

5. Add a bit more olive oil and butter to the pan and toss in the spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.

6. Add the mushrooms back into the pan and create pockets for the eggs. Crack an egg into each pocket and cover immediately with the lid.

7. Let the eggs cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes. Do not lift that lid! This ensures the egg whites cook from the top as well as the bottom. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.

8. Crumble goat cheese over top and serve with toasted bread.

Breakfast skillet in pan

Best-Ever Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich

Packed with all the components of a classic chicken Caesar salad pressed between bread — can you really ask for more? Maybe just a side of fries or salt and vinegar chips, otherwise, nope!

Chicken_Caesar_Salad_Sandwich-10

This is my version of a Caesar salad turned delicious sandwich. To really take it to the next level, the ciabatta bread is treated and toasted as garlic bread before all the fixings get layered inside. Garlic and parsley compound butter is generously spread over the bread and toasted under the broiler until crispy and fragrant. Don’t be afraid of colour on the bread…believe in the char! It adds a deeper flavour that goes really well with the smooth avocado and creamy Caesar dressing spread.

This is a great recipe for the grill too. Prepare the components ahead of time, then grill the chicken and the bread and let everyone assemble their own sandwich. If you’ve had it once, I feel like you will be making this again.

Chicken_Caesar_Salad_Sandwich-3

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
For the Caesar dressing spread:
1 clove garlic
2 anchovy fillets
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

For the garlic compound butter:
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 tsp salt

1lb (454g) boneless skinless chicken breast
Olive oil
Salt and fresh pepper

1 loaf Ciabatta

4 to 6 romaine heart leaves
1 avocado, sliced
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Shaved or grated parmesan

Chicken_Caesar_Salad_Sandwich-5

Directions:
For the Caesar dressing spread:
1. Place the garlic, anchovy fillets, egg yolk, parmesan, lemon juice, Dijon and Worcestershire into a blender or food processor.
2. Blend until smooth and combined.
3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the blender/processor is going to emulsify the oil into the spread.
4. Season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.

For the garlic butter:
1. Combine the softened butter with the garlic, chopped parsley and salt. Set aside.

For the grilled chicken:
1. Slice the chicken into 2 or 3 thin fillets per breast by slicing into it as if you were to butterfly the breast and then just continue to cut through so you have 2 thinner fillets. If the chicken breast is thick enough you can get 3 out of it!
2. Pound each fillet with a mallet until about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Season the fillets on both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
4. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
5. Oil the grill and sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

For the garlic Ciabatta bread:
1. Heat the broiler on to high and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
2. Cut the ciabatta open and spread the garlic butter on both halves. Use it all!!
3. Place the buttered ciabatta onto a sheet pan and broil on high for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly charred.

Assembly:
1. Spread the Caesar dressing over the garlic bread.
2. Layer the romaine on the bottom half of the sandwich.
3. Place the grilled chicken on top of the romaine and then top with the sliced avocado, hard boiled eggs, and tons of shaved or grated parmesan. TONS!
4. Top the sandwich with the other half of the garlic bread and cut into 4 servings.

Skillet Chicken Thighs with Mustard Pan Sauce

Sometimes you want some easy luxury that can take you out of your weekday rotation of fried rice and chicken salad. This is that kind of recipe. It’s rich and impressive enough to make for a dinner party, but I have no problem tackling it during a weekday. I feel like almost every French-style dish gives you the best of both worlds like that.

Skillet chicken thighs

What makes this dish shine is searing the chicken thighs in the pan to crisp up the skin and create the base for the sauce. They’re finished in the oven on a sheet pan so you can make the sauce while they roast. The tangy, creamy sauce comes together with lots of white wine, grainy mustard and capers — no cream added!

The crispy chicken thighs and mustard sauce is delicious on its own or you can also pair it with a frisée salad, potatoes or even serve it over spaghetti.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
6-8 pieces skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, sliced or minced
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 1/2 cup crisp white wine, like pinot grigio
1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp drained capers
Salt and lots of fresh black pepper
Chopped parsley, garnish

Skillet Chicken Thighs

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and fresh black pepper.
3. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
4. Sear the chicken, skin side down first for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. The chicken will release itself from the pan easily when it’s ready to be flipped and taken out of the pan!
5. Transfer the chicken thighs to a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 18-22 minutes until the internal temperature reads 165˚F. Roasting time will depend on the thickness of the chicken thighs so check the temperature.
6. Immediately after removing the chicken from the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the shallots and thyme.
7. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until they begin to soften.
8. Add the flour and grainy mustard and cook for another minute until the rawness of the flour is cooked out.
9. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release all of the browned bits from the chicken.
10. Turn the heat up to medium-high and reduce the wine by at least half.
11. Add the chicken stock and capers to the pan and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sauce has reduced and has thickened.
12. Taste and season with salt, if needed, and lots of fresh black pepper.
13. Plate by spooning some of the pan sauce onto each serving dish, placing the chicken in the sauce, and then drizzling a little bit of sauce over the chicken. Garnish with lots of chopped parsley.

Spring Vegetable Panzanella Salad

What’s better than a light, fresh spring salad? A light, fresh spring salad with a ton of toasted bread soaked in dressing, obviously. The panzanella salad originates in Italy and is said to date back to the 16th century. I know nothing of history. But what I do know is that I love a good crouton salad.

This salad is composed of fresh spring veggies that you can find in farmers’ markets this time of year, and really showcases the vegetables. Be sure to buy local and organic when possible, but if you can’t, just be sure to find the best quality veggies near you. It really makes a world of a difference.

Spring_Panzanella-4

This salad is dressed really lightly with dill-mustard vinaigrette, which brightens and accents the asparagus, favas, grilled scallions and radishes perfectly. I’ve used pumpernickel bread in the recipe to add a deeper flavour to the salad, and pea shoots for a subtle earthy sweetness. You can always substitute those out for whatever bread and tender greens you can find — this dish is super refreshing and versatile.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 side servings or 2 large servings

888_spring-panzanella-ingredients

Ingredients:

For the croutons:
5 thick slices pumpernickel bread, about 1” thick
Olive oil
Salt

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

For the grilled scallions:
5-6 scallions
Olive oil
Salt

1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 cup shelled fava beans, fresh is preferred
4 radishes, sliced thinly
1 cup pea shoots

888_spring-panzanella-salad-new

 

Directions:

For the croutons:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with tin foil for easy clean up.
2. Cut the pumpernickel slices into 1” thick cubes.
3. Place them in a large bowl and drizzle with a very, very generous amount of olive oil. You want it to completely cover the bread.
4. Transfer the bread onto a baking sheet and spread out in one layer.
5. Season with a bit of salt and bake for 12 minutes, tossing the croutons halfway through.

For the dressing:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dill, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and fresh cracked pepper until combined.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Set aside.

For the grilled scallions:
1. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-low heat.
2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the scallions and season with a bit of salt.
3. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely charred and softened.
4. Cut the scallions into 1” long pieces.

For the asparagus:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a bowl.
2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, drop in the asparagus.
3. Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. They should still have some crunch to them.
4. Allow them to cool in the ice bath for 1 minute and then place onto a paper towel. Dab away any extra water. This will prevent the asparagus from getting waterlogged.
5. Cut the asparagus into 1” long pieces.

Spring_Panzanella-7

Dressing the salad:
1. In a large bowl, toss the croutons with 2 Tbsp of dressing and allow them to soak it up while dressing the remaining components.
2. In a separate bowl, toss the scallions, asparagus, fava beans, radish slices and pea shoots with 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp of dressing. Don’t drown the delicate veggies.
3. Transfer the veggies into the bowl with the croutons and toss gently to combine.
4. Plate and enjoy with extra dressing on the side.

888_spring-panzanella-salad-new2

Notes and Shortcuts:
– Use whatever vegetables are fresh and in season — get creative!
– The veggies and croutons can be made and prepped ahead of time, then dressed before serving. This is super helpful when you have guests coming or if you would like to take this salad as a work lunch.
– Change it up: grill the asparagus and change out the scallions for thinly sliced red onions. And if you can find ramps, it’s your lucky day. Definitely use them.
– Substitute the pea shoots for pea tendrils, micro greens or even sorrel — whatever you can find!

 

Chicken and Italian Sausage Cacciatore

Braising chicken is underrated. Everyone always wants to roast, fry, or grill, but braising gives the chicken time to absorb the utmost flavour and become extremely tender while staying moist.

Chicken cacciatore, a hunter-style one-pan braised dish that’s usually a humble mixture of chicken, herbs and peppers, gets turned up a few notches in this recipe.

Chicken_Sausage_Cacciatore_Danielle_Oron-4

This version of chicken cacciatore is made with the addition of sausage, peppers, garlic, potatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, olives and lots of red wine. It’s warming and luxurious, perfect for any winter table. I serve it with a chunk of crusty bread to soak up all of that delicious gravy, but it can also be served over rice or pasta. The garnish of lemon zest at the end brightens up the dish just enough.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Chicken_Sausage_Cacciatore_Danielle_Oron-1

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 mild Italian sausages
4 chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks attached)
Salt and black pepper
1 large red onion, cut into ½” thick slices
1 large or 2 small green peppers, cut into ½” thick strips
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups dry red wine (like a Chianti or even a Rioja or Malbec)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup strained tomato puree
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh black pepper
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
1 cup pitted green olives (I use Castelveltrano olives)
2 sprigs rosemary
6 bay leaves
Lemon zest
Crusty country loaf of bread

Chicken_Sausage_Cacciatore_Danielle_Oron-2

Directions:
1. In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium. Sear the sausages for 3-4 minutes per side.
2. While the sausages are searing, season the chicken legs well with lots of salt and pepper.
3. Once the sausages are browned on all sides, remove them from the pan and place the chicken into the pan, skin side down first.
4. Sear the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove them from the pan.
5. Add onions and peppers to the pan, and sauté until softened and they’ve picked up a bit of colour, about 6 minutes stirring often.
6. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add flour and cook for 1 minute.
7. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom to lift all of the flavour bits into the sauce.
8. Reduce the wine by half until there is about 1 cup left.
Stir in stock, strained tomatoes, salt and pepper.
9. Add in potatoes, olives, chicken legs and sausages to the pan. Be sure the chicken and sausages are in one layer. It’s fine if the potatoes are all underneath.
10. Add rosemary sprigs and bay leaves to the pan.
11. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover with the lid. Simmer on low for 1 hour, undisturbed.
12. Uncover and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes until the gravy is thick.
13. Before serving, zest a lemon over top. Enjoy with a crusty loaf of fresh bread!

Chicken_Sausage_Cacciatore_Danielle_Oron-5

Feta and Spinach Latkes with Tzatziki for Hanukkah

Why make the same old latkes when you can mix it up a bit this Hanukkah? I’ve seen tons of recipes that use sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, zucchini but I love good and honest potato latkes. This year I stuck with potatoes and added a little Greek flavours to the mix.

Instead of a classic box grater, I tried using a mandolin with a shredding attachment to get those long strands of potato. If you have a spiralizer, give that a try too for fun, swirly latkes. Then mix it with lots of crumbled feta and spinach to give it that Spanakopita taste. Tzatziki made with sour cream is the perfect accompaniment, to these crispy treats.

Tip: Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the latkes mix before placing them in the pan. It will make for crispier latkes that stay together when cooked. Enjoy and have a happy Hanukkah!

Feta Spinach Latkes

Serves: 15 latkes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 kirby cucumber, shredded or chopped very finely
salt
1 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
800 g Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and shredded on a mandoline or box grater
½ yellow onion, grated and water squeezed out
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 255g package frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out well
1 ½ Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 large egg
canola oil for frying
Maldon or other flaky salt to finish

Feta Spinach Latkes 1

Directions:

Tzatziki
1. Place shredded cucumbers in a strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
2. Allow the cucumbers to release some of their water for 5 minutes.
3. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the cucumbers and combine them with the rest of the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl.
4. Set in the fridge until ready to serve.

Latkes
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚F. Place a cooling rack onto a baking sheet. This will be to keep the latkes warm while frying them up in batches.
2. Combine the shredded potatoes, grated onion, feta cheese, spinach, flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
3. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and combine with the potato mixture.
4. Heat a large skillet with 1/3” of oil over medium-low heat.
5. Fry the latkes by measuring out a ¼ cup of mix and squeezing out all the liquid and placing them in the hot oil. Flatten out a bit like a pancake.
6. Fry for 2 ½ – 3 minutes per side in batches making sure not to crowd the pan. Add more oil if needed between batches, just be sure to make sure the temperature of the oil comes back up before frying more latkes.
7. Remove the latkes from the oil and transfer to the cooling rack. Sprinkle with Maldon or flaky sea salt and keep warm in the pre-heated oven until ready to serve.
8. Serve with the tzatziki sauce on the side.

 

Oreo Chocolate Salami

This chocolate salami is by far the easiest and most delicious no-bake dessert you’ll ever make. Despite its name, this popular sweet doesn’t contain any meat, but is named as such for its resemblance to salami. Traditionally, this tasty treat is packed with tea biscuits, tons of butter, eggs and some sort of port or alcohol, but this recipe needed a modern face-lift.

Oreo_Chocolate_Salami-7

My version eliminates the eggs and alcohol, swaps out some of that butter for sweetened condensed milk, and packs in Oreos and pretzels for lots of good crunch. After chilling out for a bit, it’s rolled in icing sugar so that it really gets that cured meat appearance.

Oreo_Chocolate_Salami-5

Truffle-like with tons of crunchy cookies and pretzels, it’s actually easy enough to make with the kiddies. Make it a topic of conversation by wrapping it neatly in parchment and tying the ends with butcher twine. Go that extra mile by making a pretty handwritten label for it. It would be a wonderful hostess gift!

Oreo_Chocolate_Salami-4

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Makes: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:
200 g good quality dark chocolate (85% cocoa)
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 heaping cup roughly chopped Oreos (about 10)
½ cup roughly chopped salted pretzels
¼ cup roughly chopped tea biscuits or graham crackers
Icing sugar

Directions:
1. Melt the chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water. Mix often to be sure the chocolate is melting evenly. It may start look like it’s separating, but that’s OK. Season with a pinch of salt and mix.

Oreo_Chocolate_Salami-1

2. As soon as the chocolate is melted, combine with the Oreos, pretzels and tea biscuits.

Oreo_Chocolate_Salami-2

3. Transfer the mixture to a long piece of plastic wrap and form it into a salami-shaped log. Wrap super tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 3 hours to set.

Oreo_Chocolate_Salami-3

4. Unwrap and dust with icing sugar or roll in sifted icing sugar. Keep wrapped in the fridge until ready to serve. This will keep, if wrapped well, for up to 5 days.

Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese Crostini

So you’re having some friends over for fancy cocktails and tasty snacks. You’re looking for a good recipe that looks sophisticated, but is quick and easy to make.

Caramelizing onions takes time and patience. Do not let anyone tell you differently. When onions are caramelized to their deepest, they’re super sweet and jam-like, absolutely perfect paired with a savoury, pungent blue cheese. In this recipe, I used Stilton blue cheese because I find the slight acidity cuts the sweetness of the onions nicely. It’s a semi-hard cheese and will hold up to thin slicing. I finished the crostini with a drizzle of balsamic reduction for added punch and acidity, but that’s optional.

Caramelized_Onion_Blue_Cheese_Crostinis-5

Something to note about the crostini: buy a fresh, crusty baguette and slice it right before you’re going to crisp it up, and cut it diagonally to create more surface area for the toppings to sit on. Slice the baguette ¾” to 1” thick and toast the slices on only one side to ensure there will be a great crunch as well as a soft interior.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 10 min
Serving Size: 15 crostini

Caramelized_Onion_Blue_Cheese_Crostinis-3

Ingredients:

For the caramelized onions:
6 medium to large yellow onions, sliced ¼” thick
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ Tbsp olive oil
2 big pinches salt
1 tbsp dry red wine or balsamic vinegar
Fresh black pepper

For the crostini:
1 fresh baguette, cut ¾” thick on the bias
Olive oil
Maldon Salt
Fresh black pepper

75 g – 100 g Stilton blue cheese
Balsamic vinegar reduction, optional

Caramelized_Onion_Blue_Cheese_Crostinis-4

Directions:

For the caramelized onions:
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a sauté pan with lid over medium-low to low heat.
2. Add the onions to the pan and cover with lid.
3. Cook the onions for 25 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. They will soften and slowly start to brown.
4. Remove lid, season with 2 pinches of salt and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes, stirring often until onions turn a very deep caramel colour.
5. At this point, deglaze the pan with red wine and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
6. Turn the heat off and season with fresh black pepper.

For the crostini:
1. Pre-heat the oven broiler on high and place the oven rack in the top third of the oven
2. Place the baguette slices onto a sheet tray and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with a good amount of Maldon or another flaky salt, and fresh black pepper.
3. Place under broiler and toast for 1 ½ – 2 minutes until just golden brown around the edges. Keep an eye on them so they do not over toast!
4. Slice blue cheese into thin pieces. You can then break up the slices into smaller pieces that will lie nicely on top of the onions.
5. Arrange the toasted baguette on a serving dish, top with 1 Tbsp caramelized onions, a piece of blue cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction.

Caramelized_Onion_Blue_Cheese_Crostinis-11

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Soba Noodle Bowl With Garlic Shrimp and Miso Dressing

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become absolutely obsessed with composed bowls. They could be rice bowls, noodle bowls, salad bowls or soup bowls — it doesn’t matter! You can’t get tired of them because each bite has a different taste and texture. Also, they’re so gorgeous; each element is dressed and cared for individually, then arranged in a beautiful way on the serving plate. It’s like having five dishes at the same time.

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-4

This noodle bowl is light and refreshing. You’ve got components that are steamed, marinated, fresh and sautéed, all on one plate. This is a great dish to eat at room temperature but you can eat it warm as well. It’s super easy to make and take for a work lunch. The dressing is tangy and great for salads too. A great way to kick off spring!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-6

Ingredients:

For the sprouts:
2 1/2 cups soy bean sprouts
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch or 2 of gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes), optional

For the dressing:
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp white miso paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1Tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil

For the soft boiled eggs:
4 eggs

For the noodles:
300 g (10.5 oz) package soba noodles
Salt for boiling water

For the garlic shrimp:
3/4 lb (340 g) shell-on shrimp (head removed)
Salt for seasoning
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced

For the bowls:
12-15 steamed asparagus spears
2 radishes, julienned
1 avocado, sliced
Black sesame seeds, to garnish
Maldon sea salt, garnish

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-2

Directions:

For the sprouts:
1. Place the sprouts in a large bowl and season with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and gochugaru (optional).
2. Toss and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes.

For the dressing:
1. Combine the white miso, rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, grated ginger, lime juice, mirin and salt in a bowl and whisk.
2. While whisking, drizzle in the sesame oil and then the grapeseed oil until the dressing has emulsified.
3. Set the dressing aside in the fridge.

For the soft boiled eggs:
1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
2. With a push-pin, make a small hole on the large end of each of the eggs. This will prevent them from cracking open.
3. Slowly lower the eggs into the boiling water and boil for exactly 6 minutes.
4. Immediately transfer the eggs into the ice bath and leave them in there for 4 minutes.
5. Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.

For the noodles:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Drop in the noodles and boil for about 4 minutes until the noodles are completely cooked through.
3. Drain the noodles into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
4. Once the noodles are cool, transfer them to a large bowl and toss with 1/3 of the miso dressing. Set aside.

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-1

For the garlic shrimp:
1. To devein the shrimp with their shell on, use kitchen scissors to cut along the back and remove the vein with a small pairing knife.
2. Season the shrimp with a generous amount of salt on both sides.
3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Once the butter has melted into the olive oil, add the shrimp in one layer. Do not over crowd the skillet! Do this in batches if needed.
5. Sear the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until just cooked through. Remove them onto a plate.
6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic into the residual oil/butter.
7. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant.
8. Remove from the pan onto the shrimp.

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-3

For plating the bowls:
1. Place the noodles into each serving bowl.
2. Beautifully arrange the steamed asparagus, radish, avocado, marinated sprouts, garlic shrimp and soft boiled egg around and on top of the noodles.
3. Drizzle some dressing over the avocado, asparagus and egg.
4. Garnish with black sesame seeds and Maldon sea salt and enjoy!

Fresh_Soba_Noodle_Bowl_w_Garlic_Shrimp-5

Notes, Substitutions, and Shortcuts:
– Gochugaru is used in making kimchi. It’s a bright red Korean pepper flake. This is optional for the sprouts.
– Alternative to whisking the dressing together, you can throw all the ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth.
– You do not have to use shell-on shrimp. I like the flavour it adds while the shrimp cooks.
– Lots of this can be made ahead of time including the sprouts, eggs, and noodles.

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Greek Waffle Nachos with Spiced Lamb

This downright comforting dish combines crispy waffle fries tossed in oregano and lemon juice, piled high with gyro spiced lamb, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese. It’s a Greek food lover’s dream made at home.

If you don’t have a spit to cook real gyro at home (and I’m assuming most of us don’t), a skillet works fine here. The ground lamb is browned with tons of spices and garlic to really give you all the flavours that come from gyro, but with none of the hassle. My only tip is to serve this hot and with lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon over top of the lamb and fries. It gives this dish a nice brightness. Enjoy!

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-4

Ingredients:

For the tzatziki:
½ English cucumber
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 Tbsp chopped dill
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 pinches of salt

For the gyro spiced lamb:
1 lb (454 g) ground fatty lamb
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

For the waffle fries:
1 package (22 oz or 623 g) frozen waffle fries, baked or fried as per package instructions
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt

Diced tomatoes
Sliced red onions
Crumbled feta cheese
Torn kalamata olives
Chopped dill
Lemon wedges

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-3

Directions:

For the tzatziki:
1. Peel and cut the cucumber in half, length wise.
2. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds of the cucumber and discard. Then grate the cucumber on the large hole of a box grater.
3. Place the grated cucumber in clean tea towel and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Allow the cucumber to sit and release its water.
4. After 10 minutes, pull the corners of the tea towel together and wring out as much of the water as possible.
5. Place the cucumber in a bowl and combine with the yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice and two pinches of salt.
6. Set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-1

For the gyro spiced lamb:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, start to brown the ground lamb while breaking it up. It will begin to release its fat.
2. After 1-2 minutes, mix in the garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.
3. Continue to brown the lamb for another 7-8 minutes until cooked through.
4. Drain off most of the excess fat from the lamb.

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-2

For the waffle fries and plating:
1. As soon as the waffle fries come out of the oven or fryer, toss with lemon juice, oregano and salt in a large bowl.
2. Transfer the fries onto the serving dish. I used a skillet because I thought it was cool.
3. Top the fries with dollops of tzatziki. Pile the lamb on top and garnish with as much or as little diced tomatoes, sliced onions, crumbled feta, torn kalamata olives and chopped dill as desired.
4. Serve immediately with lemon wedges! Enjoy!

Gryo_Spiced_Lamb_Waffos-7

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Chicken Curry Fried Rice Ready in Under 20

Chicken_Curry_Fried_Rice

My dad is one of those cooks who looks at an empty fridge, claps his hands and can make a meal from almost nothing. With habitual ease, he pulls from the fridge first, then moves to the cupboard, back to the fridge and then to the spice cabinet. The result is always a delicious meal bursting with bold flavours — my dad isn’t one for delicate tastes.

Chicken curry is his ol’ time classic. He rarely repeats any dish he makes, but his curry is one that we always asked for. I’ve taken the basic gist of my dad’s chicken curry and made it my own by turning it into a fried rice dish. Fried rice is something you throw together on a Sunday night when you want to clean out your fridge. I make a version of it almost every week. Also, it’s super easy to shovel into your mouth while sitting in front of the TV watching True Detective intensely.

This chicken curry fried rice is simple and very flavourful. I use coconut milk to get a really nice creamy texture. If you don’t want to buy a whole can — if you won’t end up using it for anything else — feel free to substitute the coconut milk with some whipping cream (35 percent). This recipe calls for lots of curry powder so make sure it’s a kind that you like! Curry powders are all different. Try to find a nice bright yellow one that is mild on the hot scale. Switch out the string beans for cauliflower or even potatoes! Whatever you got in the fridge will work!

Chicken_Curry_Fried_Rice-1

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 18 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 red onion, diced finely
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1lb (454g) boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 1/2” strips
4 to 5 tablespoons mild yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
200g green string beans, cut into 1” pieces
3 large eggs
3 cups cooked basmati rice
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
fresh black pepper, to taste

chopped cilantro
plain yogurt
Sriracha, optional

Chicken_Curry_Fried_Rice-2

Directions:

1. Heat the sesame and canola oil over medium heat in a large wok or skillet.
2. Add the diced red onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the onions are translucent and have softened.
3. Stir in the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for a minute or so until fragrant.
4. Add in the strips of chicken along with the curry powder and salt. Toss to combine.
5. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the chicken has cooked through make sure to toss every few minutes so the chicken cooks evenly.
6. Stir in the green beans and cook for about a minute.
7. Push the chicken and green beans to the outside of the wok to create a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the center of that well and scramble using a wood spoon.
8. Scramble for about 2 minutes until the eggs have cooked through. Try not to incorporate any of the chicken or green beans.
9. Once the eggs have been cooked, add the rice and coconut milk and mix everything all together. Be sure to thoroughly mix leaving no rice white! The rice should be a beautiful deep yellow.
10. Stir in the peas and continue cooking for a minute or two.
11. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and season with fresh black pepper.
12. Turn the heat off and spoon a good heap of fried rice into each serving dish.
13. Top with chopped cilantro, a good dollop of cooling yogurt and a drizzle of Sriracha. Enjoy!

Chicken_Curry_Fried_Rice-3

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Steak Salad with Onions and Cilantro Chimichurri

It’s finally grilling season! And what better way to flex your (grilling) guns than with a steak salad. Flank steak is a cheaper cut of meat that grills really well. It’s flavourful and when grilled and sliced right, perfect for a salad.

I’ve come up with this twist on a basic balsamic dressing, adding cilantro chimichurri and piquillo peppers. Spanish piquillo peppers are actually sweet, not spicy. You can find them roasted, either jarred or canned. Chopping and adding them to the vinaigrette gives the dressing a slight sweet and peppery flavour. If you can’t find them, you can substitute with roasted red peppers which are very similar.

This is a staple salad in my household. It’s super easy to prep ahead of time and you can grill the onions and steak just before serving it. Every BBQ needs a salad — and this is the perfect one!

grilled-flank-steak-salad-with-chimchurri-sauce

Grilled Flank Steak and Onion Salad with Cilantro Chimichurri and Piquillo Pepper Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serving Size: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Grilled_Steak_Salad-recipe-with-onions-and-chimichurri-dressing

Ingredients:

2 large red onions, 1/2” thick rounds
olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper

1 1/2 lb (680g) flank steak (skirt or hanger are good too)
olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper

4 to 5 cups spinach leaves
3 to 4 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

For the Piquillo Pepper Balsamic Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons finely chopped piquillo peppers (or roasted red pepper)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

For the Cilantro Chimichurri:
4 cloves garlic, minced finely
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grilled_Steak_Salad--recipe-with-onion-chimichurri

Directions:

For the piquillo pepper balsamic vinaigrette:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chopped piquillo peppers, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify the dressing.
3. Set aside.

For the cilantro chimichurri:
1. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Set aside.

Grill the onions:
1. Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium direct heat.
2. Drizzle the onions with olive oil and generously season them with salt and fresh black pepper on both sides.
3. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side until nicely charred.

Grill the steak:
1. Heat the grill (or grill pan) on medium-high direct heat.
2. Drizzle the steak with olive oil and generously season with salt and fresh black pepper on both sides.
3. Grill the steak for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or 4 1/2 to 5 minutes for medium. ONLY FLIP THE STEAK ONCE!
4. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Assemble:
1. Toss the spinach and baby arugula with some of the dressing. The quantity for the vinaigrette above makes more than you should dress the salad with! Plate the dressed greens onto a platter.
2. Arrange the grilled onions on top of the greens and scatter the chopped hazelnuts over top.
3. Slice the steak, against the grain, into 1/3” thin strips. The thinner the better. Just be sure you are cutting against the grain of the steak or else it will be too tough to chew.
4. Place the sliced steak over the salad and drizzle with the chimichurri.
5. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette and chimichurri on the side. Enjoy!

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Bangers and Green Mash with Onion Gravy

Saint Paddy’s day; when everything is green and made with Guinness. I don’t recommend the green beer, but I will happily take a green bagel though. Bangers and Mash is actually a British dish in origin, but when you make the gravy with beer and switch out that basic, boring mash for colcannon, you’ve got yourself some delicious Irish pub fair. Colcannon is normally made with kale, but I’ve decided that Swiss chard would also be excellent and I’ve even added some sautéed leeks to the mash. Now that lowly potato seems a bit more posh. Eat well, drink safely and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 4 servings

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-8

Ingredients:

Green Mash (Colcannon):
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, white and light green part sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-1

Bangers and Onion Gravy:
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 links pork sausages (can be doubled for larger servings)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Guinness
3 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon whipping cream
Maldon salt, garnish

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-10

Directions:

For the Green Mash:
Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the leeks to the pan and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
Blanch the Swiss chard 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Immediately remove the leaves with tongs or spider skimmer and shock in the ice bath for 1 minute.
Remove the leaves and squeeze out as much water as possible.
Roughly chop the chard, set aside.
Bring the pot of salted water back to a boil and drop in the potatoes.
Boil until fork tender, about 16-18 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and push them through a ricer into a large bowl. Alternatively, you can mash them by hand.
Stir in the leeks, chard, butter and whipping cream, and salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Don’t over mix! Taste and add more butter, cream or salt accordingly.

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-2

For the Bangers and Onion Gravy:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Sear the sausages on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Turn the heat off and transfer the sausages to a baking sheet.
4. Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
5. In the meantime, make the gravy by adding the butter to the residual sausage oils in the skillet. Turn the heat to medium-low.
6. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sprinkle the sugar over top.
7. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and browned, about 12 minutes.
8. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.
9. Turn the heat up to medium-high and deglaze the pan with the Guinness, making sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet as it bubbles.
10. Stir in the beef stock and allow the gravy to reduce by at least half until it is thick and flavourful.
11. Turn the heat off, stir in the salt, pepper and cream. Add the sausages into the gravy.

To serve, place the green mash on each dish, top with a sausage (or two), onions and lots of gravy. To make it fancy, sprinkle with Maldon salt and fresh black pepper

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-5

Notes & Substitutions:
– Feel free to double the amount of sausages – there’s enough gravy for it!
– Use good quality pork sausages (fennel spiced sausages are great)! Just don’t go for the hot Italian sausages or chorizo. Doesn’t work here.
– If Guinness is too bitter for you, you can add more sugar to the onions in the gravy or just use a lighter amber beer like Brooklyn Lager.

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Chinese Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles with Kung Pao Chili Oil

Chinese New Year is upon us! Time for firecrackers, dancing dragons, cornstarch and red everything! Being a connoisseur of Chinese Christmas takeout, not to mention an avid customer at late-night Chinese food joints, I will be celebrating the year of the goat with tons of greasy eats! If crispy beef, chow mein, Kung pao, and beef and broccoli made a baby, it would be this recipe. Not traditional in any sense, but definitely great for celebrating. Happy Chinese New Year!

CrispyBeefNoodles-4

Yields: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 ½ hours

Ingredients for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon grated garlic
2-3 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1 red hot long pepper, sliced thinly
1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
½ teaspoon sesame seeds

CrispyBeefNoodles-7

Ingredients for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

1 package (425 grams) flat, fresh rice noodles or dried wonton noodles
¾ – 1 pound Sirloin cut thinly into ¼”-thick strips
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup canola oil for frying
Salt for seasoning

½ pound broccolini, stems removed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoon grated garlic
3 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
3 Tablespoons dark soy sauce (regular soy if fine too)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts

CrispyBeefNoodles-3

Directions for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

  1. Heat the canola and sesame oil over high heat for 2 minutes in a small sauce pan.
  2. Turn the heat off and immediately add the Sichuan peppercorns. They will sizzle at first. Let steep for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the Sichuan peppercorns from the oil and discard. If you like that strange mouth-numbing sensation from those peppercorns, just leave them in! (Personal preference is to remove them.)
  4. Add the grated ginger, garlic, and chili flakes to the oil.
  5. Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Fry for 2 minutes once you see that it has started to sizzle. Don’t let the garlic burn!
  6. Turn the heat off and let steep for 15 minutes.
  7. Combine the chopped peanuts, red hot long pepper, Chinese 5-Spice, and sesame seeds in small Mason jar (or bowl) and pour the chili oil over top.

Directions for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just cooked through.
  2. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a wok, or large frying pan, over high heat.
  5. When the oil is hot. Dredge the pieces of beef in the cornstarch, shake off any excess and fry for 4-5 minutes until the outer edges are golden brown and crispy. Note: do this in batches! Don’t crowd the beef in the oil or else it won’t fry properly and will become gummy. Add more oil to the wok as needed between batches and make sure to dredge the beef in the cornstarch just before placing it in the oil.
  6. Remove the beef to drain on a paper towel lined cooling rack or plate. Season with salt.
  7. Drain out any excess oil left in the wok after frying.
  8. Return the wok to the stove and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  9. Add the broccolini to the hot wok with ¼ cup of water. Toss frequently
  10. Once the broccolini has cooked through, with a slight crunch, and the water has evaporated, remove it from the wok.
  11. Immediately add the sesame oil to the hot wok. Add in the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.
  12. Add the Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to the wok.
  13. Once the sauce is bubbling, add the noodles, broccolini and sprouts. Toss until everything is warmed through and the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt.
  14. Plate the noodles and broccolini, top with the crispy beef, and drizzle Kung Pao oil over top. Enjoy!

CrispyBeefNoodles-6

Notes, Substitutions and Shortcuts:

  • If you can find “Milanese” sliced beef, which is extremely thin, use that! It’s perfect.
  • Substitute Chinese Egg Noodles if you cannot find rice noodles or wonton noodles at your grocery store.
  • You can get store-bought garlic chili oil and add chopped peanuts and fresh red hot long pepper slices to it instead of making the Kung Pao Chili oil.
  • Kung Pao Chili Oil will last for 2 weeks in an air-tight container like a mason jar. The longer it sits, the spicier it gets!
  • A good substitution for Shaoxing wine is a medium-dry Sherry.
  • Dark soy sauce will be thicker and more flavourful than regular soy sauce. But if you do not want to buy a whole bottle of dark soy for 3 Tablespoons, you can just use whatever soy sauce you have on hand.
  • This dish comes together very quickly. Make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start frying that beef!

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.