sweet potato meringue tart

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Again, straying away from the classics! We love the idea of replacing the traditional sweet potato casserole with this yummy dessert. It provides nearly all the same flavors, but is certainly a departure from the norm. We bet your guests will be oohing and aahing!

Sweet Potato Meringue Tart

Makes: 8-10 servings
Total Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:
for the crust-

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

for the filling-

  • 4 (8oz) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup heavy cream

for the meringue-

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
To make the tart dough – add flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few
seconds, until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Add egg and vanilla and pulse until the dough no longer looks dry and starts to stick together. Be careful not to pulse too much, the dough should still be crumbly.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Flatten slightly with your hands to form a disc. Then wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. At this point the dough can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to one month.

After at least one hour, take the dough out of the fridge and let sit on the counter for 5
minutes. Then roll out on a lightly floured surface to an 11-inch circle. Gently transfer to a 9-inch tart pan and press in firmly. Use a knife to trim away the excess then cover with plastic and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Freezing the dough will help with shrinkage while baking.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cover the crust with parchment or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake for 20 minutes then remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Turn oven down to 325°F.

Place the sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Transfer cooled sweet potato to a clean food processor bowl and puree until smooth. Add
brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and bourbon and pulse until blended. Add cream and blend until incorporated.

Pour filling into the crust and bake for 45-50 minutes, until set and the top looks dry. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Preheat the broiler.

In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil then cook over high heat without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 240°. This should take about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with salt until soft peaks form. Slowly drizzle in the hot syrup and beat at high speed until the egg whites are stiff, glossy and warm to the touch. Add in vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Mound the meringue over the pie, swirling decoratively. Broil the pie for about 30 seconds until the meringue is lightly browned. Cut into slices and serve.

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garlicky green beans

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Whether you’re looking for a simple side to complement everything at the table or maybe you’re in a crunch for a last minute recipe to contribute — this is the recipe for you. Fast, simple and quite delicious this veggie side dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser! The homemade crunchy onions are certainly our favorite part, but if you’re in a serious time crunch we won’t tell if you buy them instead!

Garlicky Green Beans with Crispy Onions

Makes: 6 servings
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  •  2 tablespoons panko
  •  ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Parmesan

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, toss the onions with flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Shake onions in your hand to discard excess flour.

Heat ½-inch of oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet until very hot. You can drop a splash of water in to test, if it’s hot enough the water will hiss.

Add onions a handful at a time and fry until a light golden brown. Remove with a large slotted spoon, shaking off a bit of oil and spread on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining onions. Set aside until needed.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Melt butter with garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add green beans and broth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover with lid to steam, cook until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and cover again until melted.

Top with onions and serve immediately.

Time to set the table!

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The food filled day we’ve all been waiting for is almost here and you better believe we’re brainstorming our menu, planning our centerpieces and daydreaming about the mouth-watering dishes to come! This week we’re sharing some classic (and not so classic) recipes, as well as some tips to make hosting (or attending!) Thanksgiving dinner a breeze!

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healthier spinach chicken alfredo

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It’s not surprising that quick one-pot pasta meals are our go-to when it comes to quick weeknight meals. They’re versatile, quick, and can take the addition of just about any produce you have on hand. We love that this version of alfredo features a lightened up sauce, includes some greens and is oh, so tasty!

Healthier Spinach Chicken Alfredo
Makes: 4-6 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 lb. farfalle pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, sliced
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup green peas
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a
colander.

While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add flour and whisk to combine to form a roux. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, it should turn a golden brown. Add milk a little bit at a time, whisking constantly to get rid of any lumps. After the milk has all been incorporated, cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened. About 6 minutes.

Add cream cheese and whisk until melted. Then add parmesan and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Add spinach and peas, stirring until the spinach has wilted. Add chicken and stir to combine.

Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Add drained pasta and stir until noodles are evenly coated. Serve immediately.

grilled jalapeño lime skirt steak tacos

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Perfect for both an easy weeknight meal or a fun weekend get together, these tacos are sure to please for any occasion. The steak provides a kick of flavor from the jalapeño lime marinade and the toppings are customizable to your pleasing. Side suggestion? Definitely go with some grilled street corn. Yum!

Grilled Jalapeno Lime Skirt Steak Tacos

Makes: 8 tacos
Total Time: 30 minutes (+ marinating time)

Ingredients
1 medium jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat

for serving
corn tortillas
tomatillo salsa (homemade or store-bought)
avocado
fresh limes
cilantro
queso fresco

Directions
Combine jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, salt, pepper and cumin in a large resealable bag. Add steak and toss to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature or place in the refrigerator overnight, tossing in the bag occasionally.

If chilled, let steak sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade, and discard marinade. Grill steak 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare, or to your desired doneness. Remove from grill and let rest 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.

Warm tortillas on the grill over low heat. Divide steak among tortillas, then top with salsa, avocado, cilantro, queso fresco and any other toppings you may want! Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

spiced chicken kebabs with zucchini and couscous

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Similar to tandoori-style chicken, these kebabs are out of this world, especially in the spice blend department! We recommend serving with couscous and grilled zucchini, but feel free to mix it up with whatever summer produce you have on hand. For more flavorful chicken, try using thighs instead of breasts.

Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Zucchini and Couscous

Makes: 4-6 servings
Total Time: 1 hour (+4-8 hours marinating time)

Ingredients
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes

for serving
cooked couscous
grilled zucchini
cilantro
fresh tomatoes
squeeze of lime juice

Directions
Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, oil, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, coriander, cayenne and garlic in a medium bowl. Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag and pour marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 4-8 hours.

After marinating, remove chicken from bag and add to skewers.

Heat grill to medium-high heat and allow to get hot. Once the grill is hot, add skewers and cook until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at 160°-165°F. Transfer skewers to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with couscous, grilled zucchini, fresh tomatoes, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

blackberry & arugula salad with grilled halloumi

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Did someone say grilled cheese!? Yes please! But this is a different kind of grilled cheese, dare we say a *better* grilled cheese? Halloumi is a firm, salty, smooth and somewhat rubbery cheese that is perfect for grilling as it won’t melt or fall through the grill grates! Pair it with this fruit filled salad and you have a light, yet delectable summer dish!

Blackberry and Arugula Salad with Grilled Halloumi

Makes: 3-4 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
8 ounces halloumi cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 heaping cups arugula or mixed greens
8 ounces blackberries
2/3 cup pomegranate arils
1/3 cup raw pepitas

simple vinaigrette dressing
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ½ teaspoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat grill to medium heat. Brush the cheese with olive oil and place onto grill for 2 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear. Remove from heat and slice into ½ inch pieces.

Toss arugula, blackberries, pomegranate arils and pepitas.

In a small bowl, combine shallots, garlic, brown sugar, Dijon, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix to combine then slowly stream in olive oil while whisking. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Dress salad, top with halloumi and serve!

Better Summer Grilling

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We just can’t imagine summer without grilling. The two words practically go hand-in-hand. Not only does firing up the grill beat the heat of cooking indoors, but it provides some flavors that you just can’t get inside. This week we will provide tips and recipes to set you up for a summer of better grilling.

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