Halibut with Gooseberry Agrodolce and Millet

Halibut with Gooseberry Agrodolce and Millet

I learned so much from my short time in culinary school (more on that backstory later). Shockingly, very little had to do with food! Since I already worked in the industry for several years, the food stuff wasn’t as foreign to me as it was for others. There were, however, a couple concepts that I not only still use today in my career but also find completely helpful for any home cook. They are: “How to easily create dishes out of nothing”; and “How to “sell” any dish”. I’ll explain both with this Halibut with Gooseberry Agrodolce and Millet Risotto recipe.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Rotiboy (Coffee Bun)

Mexican Hot Chocolate Rotiboy (Coffee Bun)

I’ve been working as a professional chef since I was 17 and over the past 15+ years I’ve encountered a fair amount of baked goods. Whether I saw them in text books, on TV, or in the countless bakeries I’ve been to, I can confidently say I know a lot about baking. Which is why this recipe for my Mexican Hot Chocolate Rotiboy is such an interesting one for me- I had no idea what this amazing pastry was a week ago!!

I’m sure I’d seen them before. Growing up in a largely Mexican populated town I know my friends ate these. And I’m sure there was no shortage at the local bakery. And I definitely know what a concha is (mmmm). So why I’m just discovering the amazingness that is a rotiboy now beyond me. But ohhhh man, I’m so happy I did.

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Corn Gazpacho with Seared Scallops and Harissa

Corn Gazpacho with Seared Scallops, watercress, popcorn, and harissa

Scallops and corn go together like peas and carrots. And I cant think of a recipe that epitomizes early summer vibes more than this recipe for corn gazpacho with scallops and harissa.

OK so it may not feel like summer where you are (it’s been dark and rainy for at least 2 weeks here) but that’s even more reason to prep this little number! One taste of this dish and I could imagine the hot weather, BBQs, days spent in bathing suits, and the faint smell of sunscreen.

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Green Mole Chicken with Black Bean-Zucchini Salad

Green Mole Chicken with Black Bean-Zucchini Salad

You guys, there are exciting things happening in the Farmstead Table house! Without going into too much detail yet, know that the upcoming change of scenery will be well documented here! Until then, a quick and tasty meal is necessary to keep our excitement (and now detailed planning) going strong. This Green Mole Chicken with Black Bean and Zucchini Salad (with homemade tortillas, yo!) recipe was the perfect quick meal to prepare as the news came in.

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Pistachio-crusted Halibut with Pineapple Ragout and Coconut Rice

Ohhh lying on a beach in a tropical oasis, how I long for you.

I remember coming up with this pistachio-crusted halibut with pineapple recipe shortly after my wife and I returned from our honeymoon in Hawaii… since that time, we’ve had a baby (now a three-year-old), a cross country move, a graduate degree, and then some. What’s funny about the inspiration for this recipe is I don’t actually remember eating any pineapple while we were there! Man, we sure had some delicious local food, but why I didn’t eat more pineapple is beyond me. But there’s something so magical that happens between a perfectly cooked piece of halibut fish and slightly caramelized pineapple. I am instantly transported back to that tropical island every time I eat this dish.

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Honey Chipotle Chicken with Mango Salad and Feijoada

Honey Chipotle Chicken with Mango Salad and Feijoada

My family (especially the munchkin) has been all about the chicken lately. I know its typically not the most exciting protein to work with but I actually think its one of the more versatile ingredients out there. It’s the perfect blank canvas for all kinds of spices and techniques, making it a perfect protein for a busy (and opinionated) family. This Honey Chipotle Chicken with Mango Salad and Feijoada Puree (Brazilian black bean stew), inspired by Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown trip to Brazil , was a huge hit with my fam! All this dish needs now is a sandy beach and a
caipirinha

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Banana Cake with Garam Masala Buttercream and Honey Caramel

Banana Cake with Garam Masala Buttercream and Honey Caramel

We’ve all been there: we pick up the perfect bunch of bananas at the beginning of the week expecting to pack them in lunches or have as an afternoon snack only to have them sit and turn brown as the week ends. No problem ’cause we can always make banana bread , right? True…I don’t know about you but I can only eat a small amount of banana bread before I’m over it. But, slather it in frosting and caramel? Yeah, I could get on board with that. Enter: Banana Cake with Garam Masala Buttercream.

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Maple Mustard Salmon with Lentils and Wilted Greens

Maple Mustard Salmon with Lentils and Wilted Greens

My wife and I are blessed with a great group of friends and this weekend we had the pleasure of hosting a little dinner party. I spent all week planning the meal, shopping and prepping the ingredients. The day of was spent in the kitchen as well! Not that I minded, obviously- I feel most at home in my kitchen! But after was all said and done, I realized something: instead of cooking meals I’m familiar with, if given the chance I will ALWAYS push myself to create something new, different, creative etc. It’s something I love about myself but sometimes I wish I could control my creative juices just a bit. The creative energy I put into those dishes tends to cloud my enjoyment of the actual meal. Even if the meal is a huge success, sometimes I wish I could just enjoy eating. Sometimes I just need take a step back to prepare a simple roasted Maple-Mustard Salmon dish. A dish that’s so damn tasty, and so easy to fully enjoy.

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Paleo Jerk Turkey Leg with Coleslaw and Sweet Potato

Paleo Jerk Turkey Leg with Coleslaw and Sweet Potato Puree

Ok I definitely understand that, outside of Thanksgiving, turkey has a pretty bad rap. I suppose it’s arguably not that great during the holidays either. Unless its drenched in gravy, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce turkey seems to be more for show than for it’s taste. But trust me, this Paleo Jerk Turkey Leg recipe is nothing like the dried out bird you get every November. I promise, you’ll want to try this recipe.

Paleo Jerk Turkey Leg with Coleslaw and Sweet Potato Puree
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Lamb and Spring Vegetable Panzanella with Mint Zhoug

Lamb and Spring Vegetable Panzanella with Mint Zhoug

In case you didn’t know, I love bread. I love making it almost as much as I love eating it. So you better believe that when given the chance, I’m going to try and incorporate it in as many meals as I can. Which is why this Lamb and Spring Vegetable Panzanella with Mint Zhoug recipe is a carbo-perfect Spring dish.

And good news! You dont have to plan for panzanella in advance! Typically made with stale bread, the geniuses at Serious Eats broke down the science of stale vs dried/toasted bread specifically for panzanella use and came to the conclusion that popping it in the oven for a few hours is just as effective!! So no need to leave bread on the counter for 3 days before enjoying a tasty bowl of panzanella!

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