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ChimiChicken

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Chimichurri is my latest obsession. The herbaceous sauce originates from Argentina, where they serve it with grilled meat., but I’ve been putting it on everything and it is GOOD! I’ve always been a pesto person (my spinach pistachio pesto is LIFE!), but because we try to keep my house nut free, I prefer to have a green sauce on hand that doesn’t make me worry. Of course pesto without nuts is not pesto (no matter that your local market labels it as such!), so I moved on to the next best thing.

Now while chimichurri is delicious on it’s own – a perfect dipping sauce for london broil or grilled chicken – I’ve been mixing it into mayo for a lipsmacking aioli that’s delicious on burgers, or as a dressing for a fresh chicken salad – so so good!

One thing I hadn’t done was actually cooked with it (since it’s traditionally served raw), but when I had a container left over at the end of the week, I decided to throw it over some chicken with some tomatoes and the results were absolutely delicious. This one is a winner!

Related Recipes:

pulled pesto chicken burger with fire roasted tomato jam
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
spice crusted chicken

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Lemony Orzo Soup with Meatballs

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Hello, hello my fellow winter bunnies. It’s officially cold out, even the snow has made an appearance this week. I find winter pretty depressing tbh, and if it was up to me, I’d stay indoors snuggling under my covers until Spring!

The only thing that really gets me through winter is my down coat, fingerless gloves (so I can answer my DM’S!), some uplifting music, and hearty soups. That last one is mandatory.

I’ve never been that much of a soup person because it’s just ANOTHER thing to make for dinner, but I’ve found that my kids really love a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter night, and if you play your culinary cards right – it doesn’t have to be that extra thing at dinner, it can actually BE dinner.

To turn your soup into a one pot meal, follow these basic guidelines:

1. include a protein: chicken, shredded beef, meatballs, smoked turkey, tofu
3. include grains: pasta (orzo, couscous, ramen), farro, barley, quinoa, rice
2. include vegetables: endless options!

If you’re feeling  like you need a little somethin somethin on the side, make a salad or serve with fresh baguettes or pita for dipping!

Hoping this hearty soup keeps you warm all winter long!

Other hearty winter soups:

crockpot mushroom barley stoup
spinach matzo ball minestrone soup
smoky split pea soup with thyme dumplings
cream of chicken soup in bread bowls

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Bourbon Peach Meatballs

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Is it just me or is time just getting away from us this year? Everything seems to be moving so fast – the somber days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are already behind us, and it’s party time!

Succos is one of my favorite holidays. I love the smell of autumn in the air, the sound of ruffling leaves as we sit outside to eat and the cool breeze that blows through our little hut as we gather to celebrate. What I don’t love, is the exorbitant amount of food that seems neverending as we roll from one meal to the next for eight days straight! No matter how much one loves cooking, we all get sick of prepping, and even eating, that much!

So…. here are some tips to help us all manage and get through the cookfest:

1. This seems pretty obvious but DON’T. COOK. SO. MUCH.! Let go of the stereotypical meal of fish with dips and salads + meat and/or chicken with several sides + dessert. Instead, lighten things up with a composed meal that consists of a small plated appetizer – fish, if you’re traditional, or something vegan, if you’re not. Then move onto the main course – a large salad, festive roast or chicken with one starchy side, one vegetable and something kid friendly. For dessert – spruce up some Duncan Hines brownies with some tahini, oreos, frozen cookie dough or whatever you wish and serve with ice cream.
2. Plan themed menus! This keeps things exciting instead of boring and repetitive. I love to do a Mexican, Israeli, or Asian meal over Succos. Check out this post for some ideas!
3. Reinvent leftovers! Instead of throwing out that leftover chicken soup, why not make chicken pot pie? Or repurpose your leftover roast into a Shepherd’s pie. If you think outside the box and try to repurpose your leftovers, you can make a whole new meal without having to cook much at all.
4. Cook once, use twice! When prepping for the first days of the Chag, prepare a double portion of things like pulled beef, grilled chicken or hummus and use them a bunch of different ways.


Here are some suggestions:

Pulled beef: scroll to the bottom of this post for my super easy pulled beef recipe. It freezes great so make a double portion and freeze for later – pull and freeze in the sauce.
Serving suggestions: pulled beef sliders, nachos, tacos, bourekas, Shepherd’s pie, serve over hummus or mashed potatoes.

Grilled chicken: prepare a large portion and wrap smaller portions and freeze.
Serving suggestions: chicken salad, chicken wraps, fried rice, lo mein, ramen bowls, summer rolls, eggrolls.
Recipes:
grilled chicken wedge salad with carrot ginger dressing
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
grilled chicken salad with jalapeno honey mustard
grilled chicken shawarma salad
sheet pan chicken fajitas 5 ways
farro grain bowl
sesame linguini with grilled chicken
Asian chicken salad
curried chicken lettuce wraps

Hummus: make a large portion of hummus and repurpose with different toppings.
Serving suggestions: hummus bassar (you can also use baharat, taco seasoning, shawarma spice…), humshuka – hummus with shakshuka on top, hummus with shawarma chicken, hummus with falafel, hummus with chickpeas, hummus with beets, hummus with roasted eggplant and pomegranate seeds, hummus with olives…

Grains or Pasta: make a large batch of pasta or grains of choice like quinoa.
Serving suggestions: pasta salad, pasta bolognese, lo mein, baked ziti or quinoa salad, quinoa patties, quinoa chili, quinoa stuffing.


I hope these ideas helped you manage the cooking frenzy ahead! Wishing you a Chag Sameach!

Related Recipes:

bourbon apricot BBQ chicken
drunken hasselback salami
bourbon honey cake balls
turkey meatballs with red wine cranberry marinara
2 ingredient lazy meatballs

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Grilled Chicken Wedge Salad
with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Grilled chicken salad is my dish of choice for summer. There always seems to be some leftover chicken in the fridge and I love the challenge of coming up with new ways to eat it – depending on what I have on hand. I typically go with Middle Eastern-inspired recipes when I use pargiot, or dark meat cutlets, and I go Asian or Indian with chicken breasts.

The iceberg salad with carrot ginger dressing is my favorite starter at Asian restaurants – it’s just so light and fresh and really the perfect way to start a meal of heavy Chinese food. I’m always picking out the big chunks of iceberg that are wedged into each other, so I decided to make a salad that is all about the wedge!

Traditional wedge salad is smothered in bacon and blue cheese dressing – and aside from the fact that it’s not kosher, I’m not even tempted, because, well….blue cheese. I prefer not to eat food that tastes like stinky socks, you know? But this right here? This is I can get behind. With creamy avocado, peppery radishes and crisp cucumber, you don’t even miss croutons and the dish will leave you feeling light and refreshed – just how I love my summer salads.

Related Recipes:

Asian lettuce wraps
grilled chicken fattoush with za’atar ranch
grilled chicken salad with jalapeno honey mustard dressing
grilled chicken shawarma salad

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Kalbi Korean BBQ Ribs

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Before we get started on this summer-must-have recipe, I have a small favor to ask of y’all! Saveur is hosting their yearly blog awards and it would mean so much to me if you would nominate me for “best food culture blog“. It’s super easy to do and takes less than 2 minutes – you can nominate busyinbrooklyn as many times as you’d like until tomorrow evening. Thank you so much for your continued love and support!

I don’t grill – meat – enough. Maybe it’s because my husband is vegetarian. Or because kosher cuts are so darn expensive, and my kids don’t really care either way. I’m the only one who’s really going to appreciate it, so I can’t justify the splurge that often. Of course burgers, hot dogs, pargiot and veggies make a regular appearance on the grill, but steak – not so much.

I’m far from a vegetarian but I’m also not that enthusiastic about animal protein. It feels so heavy and hard to digest, so we’re down to having it just once a week (OK twice if you count those days when I just want to crash and feed my kids hot dogs – the no nitrate, reduced fat, better for you version because even though I’m tired, I’m not about to feed my kids complete and total junk!). Don’t tell my husband but I have to admit that I feel better when I don’t eat that much meat, but it’s summer, and the grill is calling for some sizzling steak!

I used to get this dish at Sushi Mestuyan in Queens – a kosher Japanese steak house that was, when it first opened, a pretty good restaurant. It was around for years, opened up a few other branches, and gradually declined into obscurity. I don’t think it’s around anymore, but I dream about their Metsuyan Kalbi, because it had the most tender pieces of grilled meat in a rich Korean BBQ sauce that I can practically still taste. They served it in a cast iron skillet with a side of coconut rice and it was enough to make a vegetarian want to splurge. I forgot about that dish until I made these ribs, and the sweet and spicy umami-rich marinade just brought me back to their dining room with the giant fish tank along the wall. When food can transport you like that – you know you’ve got yourself a winning recipe! Also when your anti-animal-protein husband breaks his diet for a piece (or two, or three) you can bet you’ve nailed it.

What makes the marinade truly shine is my (not so new) favorite kosher ingredient – gochujang! Tzipporah Rothkopf, a Korean convert to Judaism decided to bring some of her native condiments to the kosher market and I thank G-d every day that she decided to become Jewish! Her kosher-certified brand, KOKO Kosher Korean features authentic Korean condiments like gochujang (fermented red chili paste), gochugaru (chili powder),  kimchi (fermented cabbage), doenjang (fermented soybean paste aka miso), and ganjang (fermented soy sauce). What makes these products so unique is that the fermentation process deepens the flavors, creating umami-rich savory notes that are so complex and delicious. I can’t get enough of her gochujang – it’s sticky, sweet, salty and spicy all at once – I can eat it with a spoon!

Related Recipes:

Asian grilled marinated chicken
mongolian beef
grilled radicchio with black sesame dressing

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Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Reunited (with my camera) and it feels SO good! I haven’t picked up my equipment to photograph food since I shot my cookbook months ago and I thought I might be a little rusty but by George I think I’ve still got it!

Shooting food today reminded me just how much I love what I do and I’ve missed it! Recipe development, food photography and food styling give me SO much joy, and I am legit the luckiest girl in the world to get to do it for a living. As a food blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of social media – keeping up with the ever changing algorithms, apps and platforms – you almost forget why you got into it in the first place and coming back after a long break is just so good for the blogger soul.

It’s funny because when my book went to print in March, I took a sigh of relief that my schedule would finally ease up and I’d be able to take a breather, but the exact opposite happened. I had a book launch to plan, interviews, book signings and demos that followed in quick succession. It’s all been a roller coaster ride and I’ve been wanting so badly to come up for some air – until I finally did this week, and you know what I realized? I don’t even know how to relax. So I went back to what I know and that’s food. And my camera. And even though you could look at it as work – it was exactly what I needed. I had no deadline. It wasn’t for a book, or a magazine, or even the blog. It was for me.

The food: cuz lets face it, it’s always about the food! Lemon Sumac Grilled Pargiot to be precise. I’m a total pargiot convert. I can’t go back to dry grilled chicken breasts, they’re just so, blah! But pargiot? – so. darn. tasty. And they never dry out! This lemon sumac version is so light and fresh for summer, with a hint of sweetness from the silan. The perfect marriage.

The chicken is a great topping for the summery fattoush – a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and fried bread (in this case pita chips). I paired it with a lip-smacking za’atar ranch because that’s just how I roll. This is your new summer salad, and you can thank me later.

Related Recipes:

farro grain bowl
grilled chicken shawarma salad
grilled marinated chicken

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Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

You could call it killing three birds with one stone, but I’d rather call it multi-purposing. This blog post means so much to be because it’s covers three of my favorite things:

1. My 7th Blogoversary!!!
2. Shabbos
3. Purim

Since I’m in all out cookbook mode these days, I didn’t have much time to plan separate blog posts, and so I rolled them all into one special post.

First up, is definitely my Blogoversary. OK, I’m a little late to be honest, since I started my blog on January 19th, 2011, but is it ever really too late for sprinkles? (I’ve been celebrating the BIB blogoversary with a funfetti theme for the past few years!). I can’t believe that I have been blogging for seven. whole. years. of. my. life.!! So much has happened in that span of time, it would be impossible to name, but it has all culminated into my upcoming cookbook – truly a dream come true. We are just about three months away from the cookbook release, and I can’t help but notice that this is all happening in my seventh year, as the Sages say, “Kol Sheviyin Chavivin”, all sevenths are cherished.

Speaking of 7ths, this post also comes to you in honor of the most special day of the week, the time when I get to unplug from all of life’s distractions, connect with my family and refresh my soul…..Shabbos – the seventh day of the week.

When Sina Mizrachi of Gather A Table approached me about her virtual Shabbos potluck, I knew I wanted in. You see, Sina sees things through a different lens than most of us. Her blog posts are a glimpse into her soul – one that is pure, innocent and full of light. Her photos reflect that and they draw you in so that you want a seat at her table. Sina’s work has inspired me for years, and her recent Shabbos series speaks for itself. I know how much work goes into every recipe and table setting and I am truly humbled by the beauty and depth in each picture, each paragraph and each dish.

For me, one of the most exciting parts about Shabbos is the special treat I prepare for my kids each week. Shabbos might mean a lot to me on a spiritual level (and lets face it – a very physical one as well: getting to catch up on some much needed sleep!), but when it comes to kids, it can be frustrating for them. They don’t understand why they can’t play on the X Box, or watch their favorite show. They have to wear dress clothes instead of comfortable ones and the list goes on. That’s not to say that kids don’t appreciate having Shabbos guests, getting more attention from their parents (lets be honest, being forced to put our phones away means that we are definitely a lot more present than during the week!) and enjoying special treats – but sometimes they need a reminder, on their level, of what makes Shabbos special.

I remember someone once telling me that they have a special selection of “Shabbos games” that their kids are only allowed to play on Shabbos. A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of “Shabbos Cereal”, where the kids get to enjoy sugary cereal (like Fruity Pebbles) only on Shabbos, while the rest of the week they have moderately sweetened cereal (like Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies). I loved that and incorporated into our routine years ago. These ideas of special Shabbos games and Shabbos cereal send a message to kids that Shabbos is different from the rest of the week. To further enhance that feeling, I always prepare (or purchase, when I don’t have time!) a special Shabbos treat for the kids to be enjoyed after the meal – either as a dessert, or as part of a “Shabbos party”. Sometimes, they help me make it, and other times I save it as a surprise. It really builds the momentum and I love to see the excitement on their face and joy in their eyes as they get to enjoy their  weekly treat. These funfetti Rice Kripie bites are JUST the thing and I’m so happy to bring them with me to the virtual Shabbos potluck!

Here are the other dishes that bloggers brought along to the virtual Shabbos potluck:

Bread:
Between Carpools – which egg wash produces the shiniest challah.
Cookinginheelss –  how to hack a challah.

Appetizer:
Spiceandzestroasted eggplant salad.
The Katamon Kitchensalatim.
The Sugar BoxRed Snapper with charred potatoes, tomatoes and lemon.

Main:
Gather A Table – Iraqi slow cooked chicken and rice.
Peas Love n CarrotsMorrocan braised lamb.
Kitchen Testedroasted vegetable platter.

Dessert:
Jamie Gellercinnamon buns
Your Favorite Blogger ;) : funfetti Rice Krispie Bites

Last, but certainly not least – Purim. I can’t believe it’s upon us in just over two weeks, and I love sharing fun recipes that you can give out as food gifts, or serve at your Purim meal. These funfetti Rice Krispies bites are so fun and festive, and they’ll be making their way into my daughter’s shalach manos. Can you guess what she’s dressing up as? Busy In Brooklyn! (with my signature bangs and glasses + my chef jacket or apron!).

Related Posts: (great for Shabbos and Purim too!)

6th Blogoversary} Funfetti Raspberry Palmiers
5th Blogoversary} Funfetti Pecan Turtles
4th Blogoversary} Funfetti Cake
3rd Blogoversary} La Brochette Blogoversary Dinner
2nd Blogoversary} BBQ Brisket
1st Blogoversary} Mulled Wine

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Poke Bowls

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Move over sushi salad, poke bowls are in the house! The Hawaiian raw fish dish has become a popular food trend and poke’ bars are popping over all over the place! I recently had a delicious make-your-own-bowl at Bravo Kosher Pizza in New York City and I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since.

There’s nothing not to love about this light, fresh, quick and easy bowl of goodness, unless of course you don’t like raw fish! In that case, go ahead and use some mock crab (kani), or add some flaked cooked salmon. The possibilities are endless, so make it your own.

Related Recipes:

sushi burrito
sushi salad
tuna sashimi with herbed crema
kani salad

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Skirt Steak Tacos

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Cookbook. Cookbook. Cookbook. That’s all I can think about these days. In the morning, afternoon and evening, even in my sleep. I was literally typing up recipes in my dream the other night…yes! It’s really happening!

Here are the stats as of 11/9/17, 10:41 AM:}

132/145 recipes tested
13/145 recipes to retest
11/145 recipes photographed
59/145 recipes written
0/145 headnotes written
0/3 intro chapters written

Would you look at those numbers? When I think about all the work I have ahead of me, I get so overwhelmed and stressed. But then I look back at the 132 crazy, amazing, unique, delicious and doable recipes that I’ve created for this book and I have to be proud. Yes, there is so, so much to do. But it will happen. And it will be glorious when it does.

Meanwhile, we’ve mostly been eating the recipes I’ve been testing (my 11 year old wanted to know why the dinners have become so weird in the house, with several courses, sometimes mismatched foods that don’t go together!), so I’ve been pretty quiet on social media these days. I did take the time to celebrate persimmon season with these awesome skirt steak tacos, and I’m so happy to share the recipe with you here!

Related Recipes:

refried bean tacos
Old Bay fish tacos
coconut crusted fish tacos with plantain tortillas
fish tacos with broccoli slaw

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Tempeh Rice Bowl

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

It feels like FOREVER since I’ve blogged last and I have so much to tell you!!  If you’ve been following me on social media, you probably watched or heard about the LIVE I did with my husband a few days ago. I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner, but my inspiring husband has steadily lost 90 over the past few years and has been keeping it off and inspiring so many with his weight loss journey.

Most of us had a hard time NOT piling on the pounds over the holidays. With three consecutive days of feasting – twice, there was meal after meal of multiple courses, and even eating healthy, one would probably consume a lot more calories than on an average day. I wasn’t surprised, when after the Chag, I suddenly sold a bunch of copies of my Whole30 ebook. We all wanted to shed that holiday weight, so I decided to go live on Instagram with my husband, so he could share all the wisdom and experience he has amassed over the past few years.

In general, my husband is very much an “all or nothing” person. If he decides to take something on, he goes all the way. He reads every diet book, researches everything about the human body and learns what vitamins, minerals, grains etc. he can take to optimize his health and weight loss. Needless to say, with 15,000 viewers, the live went viral. I received literally thousands of messages and everywhere I went, everyone was talking about it! We decided that sharing his wisdom in written form would be the best idea, so he is currently working on an ebook that we will be selling in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited!

One of things that my family has committed to over the past few months is Meatless Mondays. I really think it’s important, after all the heavy Shabbat food, to lighten things up and give our bodies a break from all the animal protein after the weekend. As an adventurous cook who never experimented with vegan food before, I’ve really been loving the challenge of Meatless Mondays. My kids have also been so open to trying new things and these refried bean tacos have become one of their absolute favorite dinners!

The truth is, we’re a bean-loving family so vegetarian chili and bean tacos are easy for me, but one thing I’ve really never liked is tofu. No matter how it’s prepared, no matter the promises of a crispy result, I just can’t get past the mushy marshmallow-like texture of tofu. Tempeh, on the other hand, is made from pressed soybeans and it has a really firm texture. I tried it for the first time during the summer, and I found that if prepared properly, I really enjoyed it. My husband, too, has taken to it, and this is one of our favorite preparations. If I’m honest, my kids haven’t yet jumped on the tempeh train, but we’re working on it!

Regardless if you’re ready for tempeh or tofu, or whether or not you tuned in to watch the story of my husband’s weight loss journey, I hope this post inspires you to eat healthy post Chag!

Other vegetarian dinners:

vegetarian chili
refried bean tacos
stuffed sweet potatoes
falafel burgers
cajun quinoa burgers

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