When padrón peppers come into season, they signal the winding down of summer. They cook quickly, so they are perfect for those lazy nights when you’d really rather just eat than cook. While they’re frying, you can chop up some nice cheese and sausage, open a bottle of red wine or a nice hoppy beer, and rip a hunk of bread and voila: Dinner! …with randomly very spicy peppers. Did I forget to mention that part?
I had never tasted chicken confit until a birthday dinner date at a little French bistro in Northeast Portland. Needless to say, my brain melted. I immediately began lobbying for an internship in that same kitchen. That summer, I got my foot in the door, and I came away with another notebook of wonderful recipes and a new appreciation for all things deliciously bitter. This recipe, however, is all about the slow-cooked, fatty goodness that generally comes to mind when one thinks of French cuisine.
I like my sweets to have a little tang to them. This particular ice cream is so rich from the egg yolks with just a little sour kick in each bite. It is absolutely delicious with stone fruits like pluots or apricots or summer berries, and killer when drizzled with a nice balsamic reduction and honey.
German pancakes, or Dutch babies, are the traditional Christmas morning breakfast from my childhood. While these take a little while to bake, you only need about three minutes, one bowl, and one whisk to throw together. Depending on what you top them with, they can go either sweet or savory.
This was instantly a house favorite! It’s savory and filling, and the prosciutto gives it crunch and the asparagus balances the otherwise heavy nature of the risotto. From start to finish, this dish only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, and comfortably serves two. Plus, you’ll have half a bottle of Prosecco just hanging around. As Giada says in her book, this is great for a romantic, cozy night in. Kids also love risotto, and this one is light on the butter and cheese and can be as heavy as you please on the asparagus!
I love a soup that is just as good hot as it is cold. With the unpredictable Oregon springtime weather, my lately medium-low attention span, and my busy schedule, having something quick and easy that can be served a few different ways is always nice.
Isn’t it nice to have a standby recipe that you can whip together quickly and that you nearly always have all of the ingredients for, even when there is NOTHING in your kitchen? In that respect, this one goes in my mental recipe book right next to pasta marinara and grilled cheese, but has more than just a little appeal on my “I don’t want to leave the house again” whiny sort of evenings. Got an onion? Some flour? One stray piece of bacon? A somewhat bug-eaten sage plant somewhere in the yard? The tiniest bit of heavy cream left in the carton? Zero energy left for the day? This one’s for you!
I am a big fan of eating without cooking. The week gets busy, and it’s nice to have a giant batch of something that I can just eat straight out of the fridge or throw into a container to take out the door. Chicken salads are a summer favorite, especially when they are heavy on crunchy fresh vegetables and nuts, with some fresh and dried fruit to add a little sweetness.
Katsudon is basically a delicious pile of rice, breaded and fried pork, onion, and sauce all stuck together with egg. It’s downright amazing. Thank you Portugal for bringing frying to Japan!