Seared Salmon with Lentil Pilaf and Mint Yogurt Sauce

Seared Salmon with Lentil Pilaf and Mint Yogurt Sauce

Since returning from our house scouting trip to Maine I became increasingly aware of how much stuff we have. As excited as I am for this next adventure, I am equally dreading the act of packing our house. But it’s happening, hafta do it, so might as well start. And since the kitchen is my domain, I decided to start there. And what better way to use up leftover items than throw it into a dinner. Thus this Seared Salmon with Lentil Pilaf and Mint Yogurt Sauce came to be.

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Japanese Ceviche with Baked Lotus Root Chips

Japanese Ceviche with Baked Lotus Root Chips

Ceviche has to be one of my favorite go-to meals during the warmer Spring and Summer months. Because it is a 100% “raw” preparation meal, I not only get more time to enjoy the outdoors but I dont have to turn on the stove/oven when the temps are already uncomfortably warm in the house. AND with its unlimited options of flavors and ingredients, it’s an easy meal to make everyone in your household happy. Take this Japanese ceviche: I bet it will be a go to in your house as well.

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Green Tea Poached Fish with Carrot-Ginger Sauce

Green Tea Poached Fish with Carrot-Ginger Sauce

I remember first discovering how versatile, complex, and exciting food could truly be. I was amazed when I first tried a dish similar to this Green Tea Poached Fish with Carrot-Ginger Sauce. Poaching a protein in anything other than stock was so foreign to me at the time and yet, when I learned about this interesting technique, it was a major light bulb-kind-of-moment. Well, duh! Of course you should poach delicate fish in an herbal tea! I always knew I wanted to be a chef, but that dish certainly set the stage for my culinary career.

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Strawberry Basil Welsh Cake

Strawberry Basil Welsh Cake

This Strawberry Basil Welsh Cake recipe may seem simple. But these simple pastries hold so many personal childhood memories that it was on the “duh, of course I should make them” baking list this past weekend.

I was lucky enough to have grandparents who lived in a beautiful house minutes away from the lake in Tahoe, California. We would spend every winter on sleds and in kid-made igloos. And every summer was spent running around the deck, tossing horseshoes, and eating all kinds of yummy treats with my sisters and cousins. And one of the most iconic treats from that era (aside from the fudge) were these welsh cakes. Well, not this strawberry basil version but the original cakes my grandmother grew up eating. I’m sure that particular recipe is over 120 years old.

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Poached Chicken with Honey-Mustard Chicken Skin

Poached Chicken with Honey-Mustard Chicken Skin

This dish is all about the chicken skin. It’s a highly sought after snack in my house. I’ve heard the skin can be a major point of contention in others. Family wars have been fought over Thanksgiving turkey skin (not proven but sounds legit, right?). And let’s be honest, no matter what your dietary preferences are, there isn’t anything quite like crunching into a salty piece of chicken skin. Which is why this Poached Chicken with Honey-Mustard Chicken Skin dish needed to exist.

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Smoked Chicken with Lemon-Sweet Potato Risotto

Smoked Chicken with Lemon-Sweet Potato Risotto

I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not sure where the inspiration for this smoked chicken with preserved lemon-sweet potato risotto and artichoke came from! I’m not one of those chefs who’s obsessed with smoking things. And unless thrown into a salad, I could leave canned artichokes alone. But for some reason, these ingredients came together so harmoniously I just had to share!

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Pork with Gingered Rhubarb, Watercress, Fennel, and Yogurt

Pork with Gingered Rhubarb Compote, Watercress-Fennel Salad, and Yogurt

Recipe creativity aside, my favorite part of building a dish is the design. I am not artistic at all. Like not one bit. I still struggle with pastry design if its anything beyond a minimalist-clean line design. I even drew a person the other day and my (almost) 3 year old looked at it with her head tilted to the side (for a good 10 seconds) and said: “Mama, what is that?” So yeah, no artistic bone in my body. At least in the literal sense. I am, however, very good at plate design. One example is the Seared Pork with Gingered Rhubarb Compote, Watercress, Fennel, and Yogurt recipe I created this week. I honestly surprised myself at how great this dish looked considering how little effort went it.

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Chicken Saag with Tomato Raita and Lemon Rice

Chicken Saag with Tomato Raita and Lemon Rice

I really started falling in love with Indian curries about 6 years ago. I wasn’t exposed to it growing up so when my boss asked me to create more Indian-inspired dishes I was slightly paralyzed with ignorance. But once I educated myself about the cuisine, I was amazed at how complex and beautiful Indian food was. Since then, I’ve proudly become moderately confident (can anyone truly be confident with a cuisine like this one?) about my skills when it comes to preparing Indian food. And this Chicken Saag with Tomato Raita and Lemon Rice is proof of that.

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