Tag Archives: garlic

Garlicky Soy Honey Green Beans


One of the most popular requests I receive is for inspired side vegetable dishes.  Something easy, something delicious, something that (hopefully) everyone at the dinner table will eat.


Green beans are one of those vegetables that pretty much everyone likes.  You hear complaints about broccoli or eggplant or spinach, but green beans are quite well-loved, or at least pretty inoffensive.


This recipe takes this ho-hum vegetable and with a new preparation technique and just a handful of ingredients, transforms it into something altogether different than what you’ve likely encountered before.  It’s inspired by green beans I’ve eaten at Chinese restaurants.


Plus it doesn’t involve the oven or even steaming (a bonus for these summer months).  Sauté the green beans until they’ve blacked a bit, then add soy, honey and garlic and you’ve got yourself some mean beans.


And with this post, I’m going to say so long for a few months.  As I type, our London house is being packed up and on July 4th we fly back to the States (oh, the irony!).  We’ll be vagabonds for the summer traveling through California and the midwest, until we settle in Boston at the end of August, hopefully timing our arrival with that of our household goods from London.  I’ll be back with more recipes probably in September, once my Boston kitchen is up and running.  Enjoy the summer and happy cooking (and eating).  xo

1 year ago:  Salmon Salad with Dill and Capers

Garlicky Soy Honey Green Beans (serves 4 as a side dish)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 ounces (340 grams) green beans, trimmed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon honey

In a medium sauté pan heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat.  When the butter is melted, add the green beans and salt.  Cook, stirring the beans occasionally, until most are well-browned, shrunken and tender, 8-10 minutes.  (The butter in the pan will have turned dark brown.  If beans aren’t browned at 8 minutes, turn up heat a bit.)  While the beans are cooking combine the soy sauce and water in a small bowl.

Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the garlic is softened and fragrant, about 15 seconds.  Carefully add the soy and water mixture then the honey.  Cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces to a glaze that coats the beans, about 1 minute.

Transfer the beans to a serving dish, scraping the pan with the spatula to get all of the garlicky sauce, and serve.

Adapted from finecooking.com



Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Chimichurri with Steak


If you’ve never tried chimichurri before, you must stop and make it now!  Sorry to be bossy, but it packs mucho flavor and livens up whatever it’s drizzled over.  Try it on roasted vegetables, grilled meat or fish, scrambled eggs, even over noodles for a cold pasta salad.  But if I had to chose, it’s at its best when paired with a nice steak.


So what exactly is this chimi stuff?  It’s an Argentinian condiment (think their version of ketchup) made with lots of parsley and garlic, red wine vinegar and olive oil, plus some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.


If you have several red wine vinegars on hand (which I realize most people don’t, including myself at the moment) use your best one.  I first made chimichurri when I was the lucky recipient of a bottle of specialty red wine vinegar from Zingerman’s.  I was trying to figure out how best show off its tang and subtle sweetness and I discovered chimichurri.


As I mentioned earlier, chimichurri is at it’s best when paired with a nice steak.  I’m currently loving boneless ribeyes from our local butcher – but any steak will do – rubbed with some olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.  No marinade required.  Just grill them up, slap them on your plate, drizzle with some chimichurri and you have summertime grilling perfection.


Chimichurri with Steak (makes about 1/2 cup chimichurri, enough for 4 steaks with leftover sauce)

Note: Unused chimichurri can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days at which point the olive oil will start solidifying.  However, if desperate you can heat it with very low heat (I use the microwave) until the oil melts.  But I’m sure your chimichurri will be long gone before you reach that point.

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 cloves)

1 bay leaf

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil

1/2 cup (30 grams) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

4 steaks

Stir the red wine vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaf, salt, chili flakes and pepper together in a small-medium bowl (it has to be large enough for you to be able to whisk in the olive oil).  Drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking continuously.  Stir in the parsley.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Rub the steaks with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  If using a grill, grill until your desired doneness (I prefer medium-rare).  If you don’t have a grill, no worries.  Just heat a large, heavy saute pan over high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil.  Place steaks in the pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side until it reaches desired doneness.  Be sure to turn the stove fan on, as it may get hot and smoky.  Serve each steak drizzled with a tablespoon or two of chimichurri.

Adapted from Epicurious



Filed under Main dishes

Slow-Roasted Chicken in Sweet-Soy Braising Sauce


“I love that I’m the girl that shares recipes now!”

That’s the subject of an email I received back in November 2008 from my dear friend Maureen.  Maureen and I go way back.  Prior to this the only recipe I’d probably ever received and/or discussed with her was for mojitos that she learned to make in Cuba.  But back in 2008 Maureen was settling into domestic bliss with her fiancé Rob and dabbling in the cooking arena.


She always appreciated good food – organic, local – and especially loved her breakfast.

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Sadly Maureen was taken from us last week way too soon after a long struggle with breast cancer.  “Mama Sunflower” had a light and a spark that most of us only dream of having.  Everyone remembered Maureen!  So many were touched by her and are struggling to understand her loss and grieving in their own ways.


So I’m going to honor Maureen in the way I know best: with food.  This was the first (and only) recipe that Maureen sent me, in that email titled “I love that I’m the girl that shares recipes now!”.  I made it today and felt closer to her.  It’s a simple chicken dish, slowly cooked with a sweet-spicy sauce – much like Maureen’s vibrant personality.  Her heart was filled with so much love, usually so patient and tolerant, but she also had a side-dish of sass.

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Make this comforting dish and be that girl (or boy) that shares their recipes and food with their loved ones.  Because I do believe that food is a way of showing love.  And as Maureen and her family always remind us, love is the answer!!


Slow-Roasted Chicken in Sweet-Soy Braising Sauce (serves 4-6)

Note:  I prefer to buy my chickens from our local butcher as they taste so much better than the mass-produced chickens from the supermarket.  As an added bonus, your butcher will probably butterfly the chicken for you (as mine does!).  If you are butterflying the chicken yourself, check out this tutorial.  There are also lots of videos on Youtube.  Basically you just remove the spine and flatten it, so that as much of the chicken as possible is in the braising sauce.  Another sidenote: I”m seriously dreaming of pouring the sweet-soy sauce over some chicken wings and baking them for seriously delicious sticky wings!!  Let me know if you try that.

4 lb (about 2 kg) whole chicken, butterflied

1 onion, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 red peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup (75 ml) soy sauce

1/3 cup (70 grams) brown sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup (60 ml) cider vinegar

1/4 cup (60 ml) dry sherry

10 garlic cloves, minced (I recommend using a food processor or mini-prep for mincing…definitely speeds things up)

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1-3 tablespoons siracha, or other hot sauce, to taste (I used 1 tablespoon and it wasn’t too spicy for my spice-averse kids)

Rice, grain or small pasta – for serving

Preheat the oven to 400º F (200º C).  Spread chicken as flat as possible in a shallow pan.  I use a deep-dish pizza pan but a large sheet pan would work well too.  A 9″ x 13” (23cm x 33cm) baking pan is an option, but a shallower pan works better.  Scatter onions and red peppers around the chicken.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients (soy sauce through siracha).  Pour sauce over the chicken and vegetables, tossing vegetables to coat.  Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven to 325º F (160º C) and roast for about another hour, basting chicken with sauce every 10-15 minutes.  You can tell that the chicken is fully cooked when either (1) a thermometer inserted into the middle of a breast registers 165º F (75º C) or (2)the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Remove pan from the oven.  Using a spatula, carefully transfer chicken to a serving platter (you can carve it into individual pieces or present it whole).  Using a slotted spoon, place vegetables around chicken. Skim as much fat as you can off the top of the sauce or use a fat separator (as I do in the pics above).  Pour sauce from roasting pan into a 12″ skillet over medium heat and cook until reduced slightly, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve chicken with rice, grain (bulgur is our favorite) or a small pasta (couscous is nice).  Spoon sauce over chicken, vegetables and rice.

Adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper


Filed under Main dishes, Uncategorized