Category Archives: favorites

The Best Dressing Ever? Ever.

I tend to get a little obsessed with certain things. I can remember being younger and taping a song I loved off the radio (most likely, something by En Vogue, Richard Marx, or PM Dawn…yeah, yeah. It was the ’90s.) and playing it over and over until I’d start to get sick of it, then not be able to listen to it at all, then putting it away for a couple months, and then digging it out, listening to it and thinking “Why in the world did I ever stop listening to this??”, and repeating the cycle. Also – for those of you who remember trying to perfectly tape a song off the radio, props to you as it took serious skillz to capture the beginning and end of the song at just the right times before the DJ came back on and ruined it. This mp3 generation has no idea how much fun they’re missing out on.

Anyway, I did the same thing with books (David Sedaris and Chuck Klosterman? Check.). Same thing with Netflix – I realize that I should probably have more shame in admitting I binge-watched all 4 seasons of Breaking Bad in a week and a half just to catch up to the second half of season 5 and be able to watch the final episode in real time. But…I don’t. That show was awesome.

And, of course, food. I went through a meatball phase, a black olive phase, an artichoke phase, and I’m pretty sure I’ll always be in an avocado and feta phase.

But this dressing. This. Dressing.  It’s incredible. I want to put it on everything. I want to eat it with a spoon straight out of the jar. It’s creamy without being fattening, unbelievably flavorful, actually healthy, has the perfect texture, is a little tangy and packs a bit of heat, too. It’s fantastic. It’s a game-changer. If this is a phase, it’s one I never want to end.

THE BEST DRESSING EVER (adapted almost exactly from the gorgeous “It’s All Good”)
– 1/4 c. lime juice (2-3 limes – use a citrus reamer to get the most juice as possible)
– 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
– 1 tsp. honey
– 5 scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
– 1/2 smaller jalapeno, seeded and diced
– 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
– 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
– 1/3 C. EVOO

1. Prep everything. Don’t skip the jalapeno – I hate spicy things but this amount of heat is perfect, perfect, perfect. Just make sure you wash your hands really well after cutting it!

2. Combine everything in a food processor (in order of ingredients listed) or a blender until well combined.


3. Store in a mason jar – this will keep for a week, or 2 days if you love it as much as we do.  Meet my latest obsession.  <3


My Dad’s “Better than Any Other You’ll Ever Have” French Onion Soup

For years I tried – and failed – to find a french onion soup that rivaled my Dad’s. It’s not just that he makes it and it’s so comforting it makes me feel like home, but it’s just hands-down delicious: perfect balance of onions and broth, flavor and cheese. There is nobody – no restaurant, no chef, no person – who makes this better than he does. It’s been FREEZING with this polar vortex lately – this is a perfect time to try one of the best soups you’ll ever have.

As a side note – I can’t stand soggy bread, so I just dump some shredded swiss in this and it melts on contact, but this soup does look so pretty with that little island of bread and melted cheese!

FRENCH ONION SOUP (serves at least 6)
— By the way. This is not exactly a recipe you’d file under “healthy”.  Enjoy.
– 1 stick butter (yup, I said it)
– 2-3 red onions and 2-3 vidalia onions, sliced into thinner half moons
– 3 cans beef broth
– 2 cans beef consomme
– 3 bay leaves
– 1/4 C. red wine
– 1.5 C. shredded swiss cheese
– rounds of toasted baguettes 

1. In the largest pan you have, melt the butter over medium heat. 


2. Slice the onions into thin half moons, then add to the melted butter. You don’t want to sweat them, you just want them to soften a little. So no salt needed.

3. When onions are softened but still have some bite to them (that’s the master at work, right there!), open up the cans of beef broth and beef consomme and add to the pan.


 4. Add the bay leaves, then the red wine.

5. Bring the whole mix up to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Simmah.

6. Shred the swiss, cut and toast the french baguette rounds in the oven.  Turn the oven to broil.

7. Scoop some of the soup into an oven-proof bowl. If you don’t like the soggy (but pretty) island of bread and cheese, you can just mix the cheese right into the bowl. If you do, though, place a round of bread on top of the soup, then top with shredded cheese. 

8. My Dad swears the key to melting, not burning, the cheese is to leave the oven door open. I’m taking his word for it.


 



9. When cheese is melted, let cool a bit (it’ll be super hot) and enjoy!!!  You’ll never go back to restaurant french onion soup again.


Mom <3
If you get the bay leaf, it’s good luck!

Latkes!

Brad and I had a dreidel party this weekend, which was hilarious and a total blast.  For the “festive Jewish food” that Brad had promised, I made mini latkes with a toppings buffet.  This was my first shot at making latkes, so I took it as a good sign when Brad took his first bite and said that not only had I “made a Jewish man proud”, but also that this was his favorite thing that I’d made all year.  What the what!!!  These were adorable, and delicious, and a big crowd-pleaser. They also keep really well for reheating, so if you want to make them ahead of time, just pop them in the oven for 15 minutes or so before your guests arrive to re-crisp them.

POTATO LATKES (makes approx. 35 mini latkes – adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
– 2 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled
– 1 large vidalia onion, peeled 
– 1/2 c. flour
– 2 eggs, lightly beaten
– 2 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
– Vegetable oil
– cheese cloth, for wringing out the potato and onion shreds

1. Using a grater or a Food Processor, shred the potatoes and the onions, trying for the longest strands possible of each.


2. Working in smaller batches (I had about 3), add the potato shreds to a medium size piece of cheesecloth. Put a small bowl underneath the cheesecloth to catch the liquid. Wring out the shreds into the bowl to extract as much liquid as possible. Let the liquid stand in the bowl – don’t throw it out! It’s about to do something completely bizarre that will help bind your latkes, and also keep them from turning grey. Add the potato shreds to a larger mixing bowl.

3. Add the onion shreds to the cheesecloth, then wring out the liquid and discard it.  Add the onion shreds to the bowl with the potato shreds.


4. In a different mixing bowl, combine the lightly beaten eggs, flour, salt & pepper.


Just the starch, ma’am

5. Pick up the bowl that contains the potato liquid, and tip it to discard the liquid that runs out.  The mixture should have settled into two layers – a liquid and a solid.  The solid at the bottom of the bowl is the potato starch – this is the secret to latkes!  Scrape that starch into the potato and onion shreds, and stir to combine.

Potato liquid and starch, separated





















6. Add the flour/egg/salt & pepper mixture to the potato/onion/starch mixture, and stir to combine.  I dug into it with my hands, because it was easier to mix that way. Either way, though.


7. In a large skillet, or ideally, a Le Creuset pan, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium high heat until hot. 

8. Add approx. 1 teaspoon of latke mixture to the oil, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon so they cook evenly. I found that I was able to add about 6 latkes at a time to the pan, working in a clockwise motion, so that by the time I added the last latke, the first one was ready to be flipped – and so on.























9. When latkes are browned on both sides (they crisp up pretty quickly), place on a layer of paper towels to drain.


10. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve, then arrange with little ramekins of sour cream, fresh chopped chives, smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and applesauce.

These were.  AMAZING.