Cooking Club: Week 37

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Hey hey! Kind of a funny week, anyone else? The weather has been gloomy which makes everything feel blah so I’m going to blame it on that. The roasted zucchini pasta is a favorite from the blog - so simple and creamy. We’re repeating Samin’s roasted chicken before when get into summer and no one wants their oven on for an hour and a half, and margaritas! Not being one for measuring, you can imagine I am not a particular cocktail maker. Margaritas for two are a common bev around here, so thought we’d try a strawberry version this week. Grapefruit or watermelon juices get swapped in at times and we’re having some friends over for my birthday on Monday, so I’m going to make a pitcher to share.

I did an Instagram live last week and there was a request to do a little video about grilling vegetables. If anyone else has a request, send it my way. I know watching someone cook really simplifies it, so happy to cover anything ya’ll would like to see.

Have a happy Mother’s Day! Whether you are one or are celebrating one or are missing one or have been hurt by one - thinking of you. Have a great weekend!

News:

- In case you missed it last week, we released a little food photography guide, which you can view here.

- We updated the Sauces & Dressings page, and renamed it as the Condiment Index, with a few new non-dressing & sauce requests, including the quick pickled onions, spicy maple pepitas, and the green tahini sauce.

- Comments, questions or suggestions? Submit your feedback here.


groceries

I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.

Your List i

curry roasted cauli kale salads roasted zucchini pasta bake Samin’s roasted chicken and vegetables (member favorite) strawberry basil margaritas

Produce

Pantry

Meat + Dairy


recipe 01: curry roasted cauliflower kale salads

serves 4

Per one of our Facebook group conversations, I’m trying to par some of these meals down. So here, you are only cooking one thing (which the leftovers are wonderful of!), the dressing isn’t a project, you just squeeze it all on the greens and rub it in, and the other nuts and coconut just get toasted in the oven, together if you want! (Preheat to 300’ and toast for about 7-9 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet until lightly toasted. Keep your eye on them! Coconut burns quickly.).

This also hits all the vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free boxes so Hugh reported that it tasted “dietetic”, but you can add protein as you wish - chicken or shrimp would likely make the most sense.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: If you are going to make both the zucchini pasta and this salad this week, roast both of the vegetables in advance while the oven is going. Sure it’s 5 minutes more prep, but just do both and save the veg until you’re ready to prep the rest of the dish.

Use it Twice: Part of the reason I love kale is that the leftovers save so well, so pack leftovers for lunch.

Kid Friendly: We use a fairly sweet curry powder (most market ones are unless noted as ‘hot’) so my kids like this cauliflower. We used leftover chicken to fill out this salad, and my kids eat the cauli and chicken a la carte.

Carnivore Addition: If you make the roasted chicken this week, toss in some of the leftovers. Grilled shrimp works too.


Ingredients
 

1 large head of cauliflower (about 1.5lbs.), broken into florets
1 small yellow onion, peeled + cut in thick slices
1 Tbsp. avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. ghee or butter, warmed to a liquid
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. coriander
1/2-1 tsp. sea salt

1 large bundle of kale or baby kale, stemmed + chopped, about 5 cups chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup toasted cashews, chopped plus more for garnish
2/3 cup coconut flakes, toasted, plus more for garnish

juice of one lime
1/2 tsp. maple or honey
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated in
Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

Note:

If you need to toast your cashew pieces and coconut flakes. Preheat the oven to 300’. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and start watching them after 6 minutes as both burn easily.

Preheat the oven to 425’. 

Break the cauli into small florets and collect it on a rimmed baking sheet along with the onion slices. In a small bowl, combine the warm ghee/butter, curry powder, coriander and salt. Drizzle it over the vegetables and toss to coat. Spread them in an even layer and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until browned on the edges. 

While the cauli roasts, stem and chop your kale, and put it in a big mixing bowl. Squeeze in the lime juice, drizzle the maple, oil, garlic and a few pinches of salt and pepper and rub everything into the kale to dress. You may need a touch more acid to taste, apple cider or red wine vinegar are great. Add the raisins, cashews, coconut flakes and toss to mix. Add shredded chicken if you wish. Cauli is heavy, so plate your greens first, then add a pile of cauliflower on top. Garnish with more coconut and cashews if you wish. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    352
  • fat i
    25 g
  • carbs i
    31 g
  • protein
    8 g

recipe 02: roasted zucchini pasta bake

serves 4

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Roast and cool the zucchini in advance. If you are making the curried cauliflower as well, do both sheets in one sitting. It is mostly hands-off time and the vegetables will save until you’re ready for the next dish.

Use it Twice: Leftovers reheat well and it’s a great dish to deliver to someone and they can just bake it off.

Kid Friendly: It’s like an easy mac n’ cheese with a vegetable in it!

Carnivore Addition: Add some cooked sausage and stir it in when you add the zucchini.

Gluten Free: This works well with gluten free shells.



 Ingredients

2 lbs. zucchini (about 4 medium)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more for pasta water
1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 lb. large pasta shells

8 ounces/ 1 cup crème fraiche
zest of two small lemons
1/2 lb. grated goat cheddar, divided
fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400'. 

Cut the squash into 1/2" coins. If there is a thicker end or seedy part of the squash, scoop the seeds out with a spoon, halve and slice those parts. Pile the zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, dried herbs, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Toss to coat and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast in the upper third of the oven for about 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until you get a few browned edges. Don’t overcook them, they’re going back in the oven later. Remove to cool completely.

While the squash bakes, cook the pasta in well salted water until al dente, or following package instructions. Drain, reserving a splash of pasta water and return to the pot. Let it cool to the touch, and then add the creme fraiche, lemon zest, half of the grated cheddar, a handful of chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and the fresh grated nutmeg. Stir everything to mix well. Add the zucchini and give it one more stir. 

Butter a baking dish and transfer the pasta mixture into it. Sprinkle the remaining goat cheddar, parmesan and another few generous pinches of parsley over the top. Pop the dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to set before serving. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    676
  • fat i
    41 g
  • carbs i
    52 g
  • protein
    28 g

recipe 03: Samin’s buttermilk roast chicken w/ vegetables

serves 6

A member favorite! If you have not roasted a whole chicken, now is the time. You will be so proud of yourself! I hope you have watched the four-part series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix. It stars cookbook author Samin Nosrat in a completely relatable and interesting take on the four most important pillars of making good food. Her book is definitely one of my top five cookbooks ever, and the series will leave you even more charmed. 

Samin made this on the show and I figured I needed to give it a try. I buy the whole, organic, brined chicken from Trader Joes (sometimes this is not available, and the non-brined is fine too). I made this twice last week and the TJ’s chicken was better than Whole Foods, should that matter to you. 

I tucked some vegetables around the bottom so we could make a bit more of a meal out of things. Serve it with toasted bread and dressed greens, to round things out if you’d like. 

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Tips of The Week

make ahead: The chicken needs to marinate overnight, so you should start there. The vegetables can be chopped in advance.

use it twice: Any of the leftover chicken can be shredded and added to all sorts of things - salads, soups, sandwiches. You can use it to add more protein to both the subsequent recipes.

kid friendly: Cut the chicken and vegetables into small pieces. There is always ketchup!

vegitarian option: Welp, there is no alternative for a whole roasted chicken :) So, I would suggest a tray bake of roasted vegetables with maybe the avocado sauce from the archived Salmon Taco recipe or the Muhummara sauce from our Bowl + Spoon cookbook if you have it.


 Ingredients

1 3 1/2 - 4 lb. whole chicken, ideally brined
kosher or sea salt
2 cups buttermilk
Fresh rosemary or thyme
1.5 lbs total, any mix of: potatoes, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

Instructions

The day before:

If you make stock, remove the wing tips and save them for that. Season the whole chicken generously with salt, and let it sit for 30 minutes. 

Stir 2 Tbsp. kosher salt or 4 tsp. fine sea salt into the buttermilk to dissolve. You don’t *need* it, but if you have thyme or rosemary on hand, rough it up between your palms to make it fragrant and throw some of that in the buttermilk too because why not? Place the chicken in a gallon-size plastic bag and pour the buttermilk mixture over it. If the chicken won’t fit in the bag, double up with two produce bags.

Seal the bag, squish the buttermilk around, place the chicken on a rimmed plate and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Rotate the bag around within that period if you remember.

Day of Cooking:

Pull the chicken from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook it. Preheat the oven to 425’ with a rack in the middle. 

Cut the vegetables into quarters or halves, depending on size, about 2” chunks. Toss the vegetables in the oil, seasoning and a pinch of salt.

Put a 12” cast iron skillet, or oven proof skillet over the stove on low. Remove the chicken from the bag and scrape off as much buttermilk as you can without being obsessive. Tie the legs together with butchers twine. 

Put the bird in the warm skillet, it should sizzle right away, with the breast facing upwards. Distribute the vegetables around the chicken. Slide the pan all the way in the oven with the legs pointing backwards and the breast pointing towards the center.

After about 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 400’ and continue cooking another 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan 90’ halfway through so the chicken browns evenly. Test for doneness either with a thermometer (180’) or by piercing it with a knife between the leg and thigh to see if the juices run clear. Cover it with a foil tent if it starts to look too brown.

Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving. Here is a video about carving up a whole chicken if needed.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    764
  • fat i
    49 g
  • carbs i
    18 g
  • protein
    61 g

recipe 04: strawberry basil margarita

Makes 2

It’s high time we had a cocktail as a treat right?! So, this is not a frozen blended margarita, but we are blending the bits because the pulp of the berries makes the margarita thick and frothy and I don’t mind some flecks of herbs in my drink. If you like a smoother, thinner texture, strain the mixture after blending.

This works great as a batch recipe if you are having people over, because you pour it over ice so nothing gets diluted while you wait. These are on the strong side, so add a splash of soda water if you want to calm it down. 

We don’t generally put Cointreau in our margaritas, but if you’re into that, add a splash! 

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: You can make this a few hours in advance and keep it stored in the fridge.


Ingredients

3 basil leaves
1/2 lb. strawberries, stemmed
1/3 cup tequila (silver or reposado)
Juice of two limes
2 Tbsp. agave nectar


Instructions

Rough up the basil in your palms to release the aromatics. Combine the berries, basil, tequila, lime juice and agave in a blender. Whiz it all up to combine. Taste for sweetness, as this will vary by berry ripeness. Fill your glasses with ice, ideally crushed, and pour the margarita on top. If this feels strong to you, add a splash of soda water to spritz it up. 

Garnish with a lime or strawberry slice and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    202
  • fat i
    1 g
  • carbs i
    32 g
  • protein
    2 g