cilantro

Salads, Vegetables

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Spicy Cucumber Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

Has anyone been to Momofuku? Visiting a David Chang restaurant has been on my short list for many moons. And a few weeks ago serendipity intervened. I was in DC for work and as the cab pulled up to my hotel, I spied a telltale electric pink 'milk' sign belonging to Momofuku CCDC just across the way. Cue the heart eyes emoji. But my luck didn't stop there. By some small miracle I had no plans for lunch or dinner that night. I made a quick calculation as to whether this good fortune outweighed the impropriety of going to the same restaurant twice in one day. It totally did and so I went. Don't judge. 

Among the many ridiculously delicious things I ate between my two outings (pork buns, shrimp buns, spicy noodles), it's the cucumber salad that's been occupying my daydreams. It's the kind of salad you want to eat a bucket of - crunchy, refreshing, salty, and spicy. I more or less did eat a bucket since the cucumbers were such a perfect foil to the rest of the rich, heavy fare we ordered. Although I had the good sense at the time to ask our server how it was made I did not have the good sense to write it down. Of what she shared all I recall is 1) it's finished with togarashi and 2) the dressing contains pureed scallions. Curiously though you use only the light and dark green parts. This stayed with me since it's the opposite of what I've been conditioned to do with scallions. 

I did a bit of Googling but the internet failed to turn up a recipe so below is my best attempt. Is it spot on? Of course not. I'm no David Chang. But it was pretty darn good and should hold me over until Momofuku sets up shop in Boston.

Cukes | www.hungryinlove.com
Spicy Cucumber Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Spicy Cucumber Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Cucumbers | www.hungryinlove.com
Spicy Cucumber Salad | www.hungryinlove.com
Spicy Cucumber Salad | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

  • 4-6 mini seedless cucumbers (these require no peeling and have less water than the big honkers)
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped (light and dark green parts only, toss the white bulb)
  • Handful cilantro leaves (about 1 cup, loosely packed)
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled + roughly chopped
  • 5 Tbs. neutral oil (canola, peanut, or safflower)
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • Togarashi spice
  • Kosher salt

Prep

  • Chop cucumbers into small chunks (split in half and then slice crosswise into 1 inch pieces).
  • Line a colander with paper towels. Place cukes in colander and sprinkle generously with salt.
  • Let the cucumbers sit at room temperature (or in fridge)  for about 30 minutes. This will infuse flavor and also sweat out some water.
  • While you're waiting make your dressing. Place scallions, ginger, cilantro, oil, rice vinegar, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Puree until smooth and taste for seasoning.
  • Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to brown. Let cool and then roughly chop.
  • When ready to dress and serve, pat cucumbers dry with a fresh paper towel.
  • Toss cukes, dressing, almonds, and serrano chile in a bowl. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with togarashi and a few more almonds.

Eggs

Baked Eggs with Chèvre + Cilantro Chutney

Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! Hopefully your shopping is done and the day ahead involves wrapping and baking and cocktails. I feel a bit guilty that I've been enjoying a lot of all three lately while Tripp (like a champ!) has been working  the front lines of retail slinging cheese for 12 hours a day. For those still hustling and bustling remember to give the good people behind the counter a thank you and a smile today - they're making Christmas happen!

Speaking of cheese, here's a simple holiday morning breakfast that takes only ten minutes and lets you get real liberal with the chèvre. I first made these eggs baked with my most favorite green hot sauce. They were divine as everything that hot sauce touches tends to be. Over those eggs I wondered, why are spicy eggs always Southwestern spicy? Why not Indian spicy? What if we swap out the hot sauce for that sour, tangy, spicy green chutney they give you at Indian restaurants with the samosas? I was inspired but still a bit gun-shy. I'd always wanted to recreate that chutney at home but never had the confidence to try. That changed when I found this article over at Food52. The author not only says that making your own chutney is easy, she encourages you to just wing it. My kind of pep talk! I did and it worked. Tripp usually says everything I make is good but this is the first time he lobbied that I bottle and sell. I don't know about that but family and friends take note, you might be getting a sneak peek at next year's homemade Christmas gift.

Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs with Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com
Baked Eggs With Chevre + Cilantro Chutney | www.hungryinlove.com

Cilantro Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (packed) cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 of a serrano pepper
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 5 tsp water

Prep

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth
  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, add more water 1 tsp at a time until you reach desired consistency
  • Store refrigerated and covered for up to one week

 

Baked Eggs with Chèvre (Fresh Goat Cheese)

Ingredients

  • Pat of butter
  • Eggs (as many as your appetite or guest count demands)
  • Fresh chèvre
  • Salt + pepper
  • Toast for serving

Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In an ovenproof skillet or pan, melt butter over low heat
  • Crack eggs into pan and scatter liberally with fresh goat cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Bake eggs until whites are just set, about 8 minutes (if you like your yolks firmer, bake for 10-12 minutes; watch closely though so eggs don't cook all the way through)
  • Remove from oven and serve immediately with toast and cilantro chutney

 

 

Soups

Poblano Soup with Shredded Chicken + Lime

Poblano Soup with Shredded Chicken + Lime | www.hungryinlove.com
Potluck at Midnight Farm Cookbook | www.hungryinlove.com
Green Vegetables | www.hungryinlove.com

After college I did a summer internship at Cape Cod Life magazine. It was a pretty sweet gig. I got to zip around the Cape interviewing B&B proprietors, give my two cents on the annual 'best of' issue, and even sit in my own little office with a window. 

But the best perk of all were the cookbooks. My stint coincided with the magazine moving to new offices across town. Like any move, there was years worth of clutter to contend with. Except this wasn't you're ordinary junk. The magazine received a steady stream of books from authors and publishers all clamoring for a few favorable words in print. These hopefuls accumulated in little stacks all around the office. Everywhere you turned, books, books, books. When moving week rolled around we were green-lighted to 'take what you like'. That day just about made up for the internship being unpaid. Among the bounty I took home was a cookbook called Potluck at Midnight Farm. The recipes are nice but the real draw is that it's a book about fabulous parties in even more fabulous settings on Martha's Vineyard. Farms, beaches, bluffs! The author is friends with Carly Simon so as an added bonus there are pictures of Carly being gorgeous scattered throughout. It's almost like you're friends with her too!

This soup is not in that cookbook, but its inspiration is. The 'arroz verde' (pg. 68) is loaded with poblanos, cilantro, scallions, zuchinni and other green goodness. The combo felt appropriate for a summertime soup.

Poblano Soup Prep | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted + Peeled Poblanos | www.hungryinlove.com
Poblano Soup Prep | www.hungryinlove.com
Poblano Soup with Shredded Chicken + Lime | www.hungryinlove.com

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped (separate white and light green parts from the dark green tops; reserve latter for garnish)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1.5 lbs. poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced (see here for instructions on roasting and peeling peppers)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. lime zest
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced into thin strips
  • 4 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. chopped dill
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • Diced avocado + radish (for garnish)

Prep

  • In a large dutch oven or saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat
  • Saute scallions (white and light green parts) and celery for 2 minutes
  • Add zucchini, garlic, and poblanos and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently; season vegetables with 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Add chicken stock, lime zest, chickpeas, and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer; cook uncovered for 30 minutes
  • When ready to serve add chicken, romaine, cilantro, dill, lime juice, and dark green parts of your scallions; cook for 2-3 minutes until chicken is warmed and lettuce has wilted
  • Serve garnished with diced avocado and radishes

Snacks

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole | www.hungryinlove.com

This weekend Tripp and I mapped out our grand calendar of upcoming summer adventures (Carolina! Maine! France!). Besides making me totally giddy, the activity put a rumble in my belly for summery fare, picnics, and parties. With a few weeks left of New England spring, testing summer recipes inside on rainy days is a substitute for the real thing I won’t turn down. Hence, guacamole.

Ah yes, guacamole: friend-maker, woe-mender, harbinger of good times. If I were someone who believed in magic, these powers might seem reasonable. But I’m a notorious skipper of horoscope sections so an alternative explanation is in order. Perhaps it’s nothing beyond the singular alchemy that is avocado + lime + salt.

I’ve long been a fan of fruit-laced guacamole (hello, mango). But last summer was the first time I enjoyed a grape-studded rendition. Plump and bright, grapes are a splendid counter to creamy, rich avocado. Throw roasted grapes into the equation and whoa, you’ve just made a dish with an ingredient ‘two-ways’ at home. I have to admit I was pretty proud of that.

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Green Grapes | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Green Grapes | www.hungryinlove.com
Grapes: two ways!

Grapes: two ways!

Avocados | www.hungryinlove.com
Guacamole Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Green Grape Guacamole | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 cups

  • 2 cups whole grapes (visually I think green grapes are best here but red are a fine substitute)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil + salt
  • 3 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup quartered grapes
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely diced (if you don't like heat, use only one or omit altogether)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • Juice of three limes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Prep

Roast Grapes

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Toss 2 cups whole grapes with olive oil, season with salt, and spread on a baking sheet
  • Roast for 15 minutes; grapes will release juices and start to caramelize
  • Transfer grapes to a plate to cool
  • Roughly chop

Assemble Guacamole

  • Place avocado, roasted grapes, quartered fresh grapes, onion, chile, cilanto, lime and salt in a mixing bowl
  • Use a fork to combine until all ingredients are evenly dispersed but avocado chunks remain
  • Taste for seasoning; add more lime and salt as needed
  • Serve with tortilla chips or crudite
  • The flavors will be doubly awesome if you allow guac to sit inthe  fridge (covered) for a couple hours

Salads

Napa Cabbage Salad + Peanut Dressing

Napa Cabbage Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing | www.hungryinlove.com

Well, we did it. Cut the cord. Cable television is no longer taking up residence at Chez Nichols. Good riddance Guy Fieri, Sister Wives, and Dance Moms. So shameful, yet so addictive. This isn't the first time we've abstained from cable. It's been an on-again, off-again saga. Regrettably we've always come crawling back for the one fix Netflix and Apple TV can't deliver: live sports. With the Patriots playoff game only days away, I'm reminded why relapse is an ever-present threat.

Now, I know we're not alone in this camp. As I've learned it's actually quite a trendy move. So trendy in fact that some big wigs have figured out how to capitalize on our situation. Apparently ESPN is leading the charge to unbundle a sports package that you can buy a la carte. I think we're about to enter a new era, my friends.

But in the meantime I've been looking for ways to fill the time House Hunters marathons used to occupy. This salad on repeat is one of them. I think this is our third go round in two weeks. I have to say it's far more satisfying than even the most tempting reality TV.

Peanut Dressing or Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Close Up | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Salad Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Napa Cabbage Salad + Peanut Dressing | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Napa Cabbage Salad

  • 1/2 head napa cabbage (also known as Chinese cabbage, napa is much more delicate than regular green cabbage and thus better suited for salads like this)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 Thai chiles, finely diced (if you don't like heat, leave these out)
  • 3 green onions, finely diced
  • 1 package ramen noodles, crushed and lightly toasted in a dry skillet (discard the seasoning packets)
  • 2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds

Peanut Dressing

  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. siracha
  • 1/2 sesame oil

 

Prep

  • To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Cut the cabbage into thin strips: lay the half cabbage head on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise, leaving the root end in tact. Then cut the remaining halves in half again lengthwise. Now cut all three sections crosswise into half inch strips until you reach the root end.
  • To prep the ramen noodles, crush lightly while still in packaging. Open package and discard seasoning packet. In a dry skillet over medium heat toast noodles until lightly browned, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Toss cabbage, cilantro, bean sprouts, green onions, chiles, ramen noodles, and sesame seeds with peanut dressing and serve. Tofu, chopped nuts, shredded chicken, or grilled salmon would all be top notch adds.
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