Panzanella.

Panz1

While these photos alone should be enough to send you flying towards the farmers’ market (it’s bread! tomatoes! buffalo mozzarella!), I’l give you a quick roundup of reasons why you should have already stopped reading and headed out to score ingredients to make a summer panzanella. Here it is: Bread salad. Bread. Salad. You thought salad was vegetables and produce? SYCHE. Salad can also be fat and loaded with bread and deliciously creamy, smoky mozzarella.

Since we’re in the middle of the summer tomato deluge, chances are you need a good recipe that perfectly showcases tomato’s sweetness and bite but goes a couple steps further than simply slice and eating the tomato on bread. (Not that I’d judge you…guess what I’m having for lunch…) Cue garlic, fresh herbs, buttery toasted bread, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Yup. Recipe, here

Panz2

Also, tomato murder is fun.

Panz4

Greek Yogurt Guacamole.

Guac1

Guacamole is the best. Anyone disagree? The only downside is that, unfortunately, you can’t eat it by the cupful. Or you could, but that would be bad if your goal was to keep calories down. (Let’s be real though, who wants to do that? Bakelist is not the blog for that…) But with the help of Greek yogurt, you can eat it by the cupful. Or at least if you happen to eat a cup of it, you’re also getting protein… so it’s healthy. Go forth, and put it on everything. Recipe, here.

Guac2

Cod with Tomato Olive Compote.

What’s better than a delicious recipe that fills you up and leaves you feeling healthy and happy? One that looks super fancy and  like you slaved in a Mediterranean olive orchard, tomato field, on a Atlantic fishing boat, and over a hot stove for hours when really all you did was bake something for 15 minutes and sauté a handful of ingredients for just as long. Part one in a continual series of dishes that look awesome, taste great, and didn’t really require that much effort. Recipe, here

Med2

 

Smoked Sable Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Salad2

The inspiration for this salad comes from, like most good things, the backyard setting of a whiskey- and jazz-soaked wine bar. This particular one being located in New Orleans, so you can be certain that the food, if anything, pairs well with all manner of drink. But truthfully, who needs anything else when your salad is layered with crisp, sweet apples, spicy and creamy dressing, and flakes of perfectly smoked, moist sable?

Salad1

Not me. Set me up with a bowl of this stuff, or four, and leave me be.

Salad3

In terms of food delay, I’m quite sorry. You see, I first had this salad back in February and while I’ve been thinking about recreating it for quite some time, it took me a couple weeks to make it to one of the most wonderful places on Earth, the smoked fish heaven known as Russ & Daughters. To be clear, it’s taken this long not because Russ & Daughters with competing cases of bakery and smoked fish lining the most wonderful store possible is far away, but because once I got started down this smoked fish path, there was going to be no stopping the smoked fish creations. Just the other day I had smoked salmon and potato croquettes with horseradish dipping sauce which begged to be recreated. Imagine, the smoked fish tartines, smoked fish pizzas, smoked fish tacos…

So, this salad has opened the Pandora’s box of smoked fish creations, and I do hope that you love the stuff as much as I do. Because now the floodgates are open. I may very well be one of the first people to go bankrupt because of smoked sable. And don’t forget about the whitefish, lox, tuna…

Continue reading “Smoked Sable Salad with Horseradish Dressing”

Polenta al Forno with Spinach and Ricotta.

Polenta1

Even though it’s getting close to the end of winter, the end of the cold, of the short days, longs coats, and snow-covered ground, I’m nowhere near done with winter comfort food. Seasonally appropriate meals? Not to be found here.

Polenta2

Long into summer you’ll find soups and more than likely there’ll be something cheesy and starchy thrown up on the site in June. Maybe even with a poached egg and bacon. Who knows. This blog knows no rules when it comes to limiting your comfort to the cooler months of the year. Blame it on my California upbringing, where if you were waiting for 40 degree weather to break out the mac ‘n’ cheese and mash potatoes, they’d rarely, if ever, make an appearance on the dinner table. And so, check back here around May, when it’s heading up to warm, sunny, and clear blue skies.

You’ll find something along the lines of this polenta and spinach bake. Because even though a three-cheese spinach filling in a creamy polenta bake is exactly what you need in February, there’s no need to limit the polenta love to just one season. Not only would that be disrespectful to all those hard-working polenta mills, but it would complete disregard the wants and needs of my stomach. Sad and empty, missing all the satisfaction of a scoop of hot, baked polenta puffed up the with the help of ricotta, cheddar, and parmesan. Let’s be honest, no one should have to go without polenta. Especially when the possibilities are an endless variety of baked, soft, grilled, topped with all sort of sauces and stews. Just think of the options. More than a year’s worth of recipes.

Continue reading “Polenta al Forno with Spinach and Ricotta.”

Quinoa Beet Salad with Pistachios and Orange.

BeetOa3

Keen-wah? Kean wa? It’s “quinoa,” and if you haven’t yet, it’s time to get with the little berry masquerading as a whole grain. Sometimes, even the most pastry-happy (re: Bakelist) need to take a couple steps back. Because pretty much, if you reach day four of coffee cake lunch, it’s time to get eat some colorful produce and a couple servings of a superfood. Afterall 2013 is the year of the quinoa, according to the United Nations of all authorities. While I’d have cast a vote or two for the year of pie, what can you do? Can’t always get my way in terms of global affairs.

So keep (healthy) cooking interesting and stay on trend at least in the beginning of this year, a little tip: aim for as many different colors and textures as possible to keep the nutritious fun. As may colors as possible, in one dish. On one spoon.

Wait, you mean you don’t cook recipes based on how many different colors you can get into one dish? Maybe you should. You’ll end up with tupperwares full of magenta colored salad spiked with little green pistachios. Automatically fun to eat.

BeetOa2 (quinoa with baby cactus)

For things like “grain” salads—again quinoa, catching me on that kooky berry business—I’m more of a taste and adjust as you go kind of dresser, as opposed to perfectly measuring out each ingredient. Below are my best approximations, but feel free to edit and change as you see fit. I ended up with an exceptionally smoky, orange-spiked dressing that played very nicely with the sweet beets, salty pistachios, and creamy goat cheese. But if you’re not feeling the smoked sea salt or maybe want a more sour citrus, choose a pink sea salt and some lime zest. It’ll change the salad but as you’ll be able to see, it stays within the colors-to-the-max theme.

Eat the rainbow?

Continue reading “Quinoa Beet Salad with Pistachios and Orange.”

Zucchini Parmigiana Sub.

ZuchPzrm1
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s superman, it’s…a sandwich. An olive oil fried zucchini parmigiana sub sandwich to be exact. And while it’s unlikely that anyone will believe me and that I’m risking be cast out into the streets, or at least out of the sub shop for my ludicrous ideology, I’m going to say  type it. This zucchini parmigiana sub sandwich, with fried zucchini rounds, arrabiata sauce, and grated parmesan cheese on a crusty baguette is better than any meatball sub. With absolute certainty, even if you love that meatball sub. Well, where can I find such a sandwich, you ask? The recipe is over here. And yes, you can make extra.

ZuchPzrm2