Cashew Crusted Citrus Cod

I found your next dinner party entree! This cod takes 20 minutes from start to finish and is an absolute stunner when plated. Not to mention, it’s extremely light and healthy; Perfect for that first dinner party of the new year when everyone’s still on their diet kick. Just keep in mind that not everyone loves fish (my husband hates it), so know your guests (or don’t be afraid to ask) before picking it as the star of your show.

When buying fish, I prefer to always buy wild-caught. I once watched a documentary on farm-raised fish and just cannot, will not ever go back. Also, your fresh fish should never actually smell fishy (if it does, it’s not fresh), but more so smell like the ocean. Scales should be shiny, gills red, and eyes clear of cloudiness. The typical serving of fish per person is 8 ounces (1/2 pound), however I always buy extra. Since fish is so light, people tend to go back for seconds.

*I prepared an 8 oz. piece of fish for myself (remember, my husband hates fish), but will double the recipe below for a typical serving of 2.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. wild caught cod
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 blood orange, halved
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • pink himalayan sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  1. Preheat your oven to 400º and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Lay your fish scale side down (I had the skin removed from my filet, however you can still tell which side is the “skin” side.)
  3. Drizzle the melted butter over the filet. Juice half of the lemon and half of the blood orange, pour juice over fish. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Gently press the cashew crumbs onto the entire exterior of the fish filet. Place 3 thinly slices rounds of lemon and 3 slices of blood orange on top of the filet. Finish by sprinkling the fresh parsley on top.

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  1. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

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Oven Roasted Prime Rib

Sorry all vegans and vegetarians, but this is the meal I wait all year long for. Almost as far back as I can remember, my mom has been hosting Christmas dinner. Along with the perfect charcuterie board and some bacon wrapped shrimp to start the evening, she followed with the big boy; A prime rib the size of a linebackers thigh. To this day, I sneak in the kitchen while the rib is resting and pick at the perfectly seasoned & crisp outer  crust.

As I learned from my mom, roasting a prime rib is fairly easy. The key is to have a good meat thermometer and to take it out a little early, since it will continue to cook while it’s resting under an aluminum foil tent. Remove your rib from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 120°, let it rest under a tent for about 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 130°. If this is “under-cooked” for some of your guests, serve some piping hot aus jus on the side – pouring this over your meat will cook it a little more!

Helpful hints:

  1. Put your order in to your butcher a week in advance (at least!) A lot of people are cooking prime ribs this time of year, so you want to make sure you have one ready for you. Order it cut & tied (cut off the bone, but tied back on) with the fat left on. The bone and the fat – that’s where you get all that juicy flavor. Rule of thumb is one rib per 2 people, so if you’re feeding 6 people order a “three rib Prime Rib, cut & tied, with the fat on.”
  2. Take your rib out of the refrigerator an hour (at least, depending on the size of meat) before cooking so it reaches room temperature.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Prime Rib (mine was 3 rib, about 12 lbs.)
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • kosher salt
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • fresh rosemary

Homemade Horseradish Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons roasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish (I use Gold’s)
  • salt & pepper

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Preheat your oven to 450° and place your prime rib, fat side up, in a deep roasting pan or baking dish. Coat the entire outside of your rib in softened butter and roasted garlic. Generously season with kosher salt, black pepper, and 3 fresh sprigs rosemary.

With your oven rack on the lower third of your oven, put your prime rib in and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce your temperature to 350° and continue to cook for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 120°.

 

Remove the prime rib from the oven and immediately cover under a tent of aluminum foil. Let rest for about 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 130° (perfectly medium-rare on the ends and rare directly in the middle.)

Cut the ties, remove from the bone, and slice into generous slabs of beautiful meat for your oh so happy dinner guests. Serve with homemade horseradish sauce and piping hot aus jus.

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Cast Iron Chicken Wrapped in Fig Jam, Brie & Prosciutto

It’s like charcuterie for dinner, which automatically means I’m diving face first into it. Along with a bottle of Malbec. After a long work week, I typically don’t mind cooking a nice dinner on Friday nights (I know, weird.) I look at it this way, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, I get to “sleep in”…so there’s no true pressure to have dinner ready by a certain time in order for the rest of our night time schedule to take place accordingly. Plus, wine. Ah, wine. Ah, Friday night…how I love you both so much. You’re tied for second place, along with my husband.

This probably sounds a little bit more intimidating than it really is. It’s honestly very easy and took under an hour, including both prep & cook time. I served it over a salad consisting of arugula, watercress, shallots and a homemade dressing of garlic, lemon, & olive oil. You don’t need anything too overpowering, since this is a pretty decadent dish in itself.

And just to put it out there, you don’t need a cast iron pan to cook this meal. Simply pre-cook the chicken in a nonstick pan and then transfer to a baking dish/sheet.

Happy Friday, Everyone! Cheers to the weekend…

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • avocado oil (higher smoke point than olive oil, which makes it perfect for cast iron cooking)
  • garlic
  • dried thyme
  • dried sage
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • finely chopped parsley
  • fig jam
  • brie
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto

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Preheat your oven to 350° and turn your cast iron pan onto high heat. Pound out your chicken breasts to about 1/2″ thick and then slice in half, so you have 4 thin, long strips. Liberally season your chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a small amount of thyme and sage. Reduce the heat to medium and drizzle your cast iron pan with avocado oil and lay your chicken breasts down. Cast iron cooking may create smoke, but it doesn’t necessarily mean your food is burning, just keep peaking at it. Cook each side for about 5 minutes. these chicken strips should be thin, so you do not want to over cook them.

After 10 minutes have passed (5 minutes per side), remove from heat so they can cool.

Cut eight thin slices of brie, two for each piece of chicken. As shown above, lay down two pieces of prosciutto for each one piece of chicken. On top of your prosciutto, lay down your brie and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Spread a thin layer of fig jam on one side of your chicken and lay this side down on your brie. Wrap your prosciutto around the chicken and place back in your cast iron pan, brie side up. Continue for each piece of chicken.

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Place your cast iron pan in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, when brie has melted and prosciutto has started to crisp.

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Plate your chicken on top of a bed of salad or however your heart desires! Delicious served with a side of oven roasted potatoes, too!

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Breaded Pork Chops with Apple Kraut

These babies are a winner. Up until recently I would only eat pork chops if they were coated in Shake n’ Bake, but you could also Shake n’ Bake my hand and I would most likely eat it. It wasn’t until I began getting more creative with my pork chop recipes that I actually started appreciating them. Pork is super versatile, which makes them pretty full proof. I can’t wait to experiment with them more often and share the recipes with all of you!

Another great thing about these pork chops? They’re a reasonably healthy option for your weeknight dinner. Stick with the whole wheat bread crumbs, rather than regular or Shake n’ Bake (I’ve also made homemade Ezekiel bread crumbs that came out amazingI’ll share soon!) The Apple Kraut does have 1 tablespoon of both butter and brown sugar in it, but this recipe also yields 4 large pork chops. So if you portion control, that should only be a 1/4 tablespoon of butter & brown sugar per person. Lastly, fermented foods are great for your gut. They’re full of probiotics that help your digestive system, as well as enzymes that make it easier to break down and absorb nutrients.

I apologize for the lack of photos, but if you head over to my Instagram I made I step-by-step highlights video 🙂

What You’ll Need:
*printable recipe here

Pork Chops:

  • 4 boneless pork chops

Bread Crumb Mixture:

  • 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Mustard Coating:

  • 1/2 cup hot & sweet mustard (I use Black Bear)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, & garlic powder, a dash of each

Apple Kraut:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 16 oz. sauerkraut
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, & smoked paprika, about 2 teaspoons of each
  • 1/2 cup white wine

 

Begin by preheating your oven to 350º and lining a baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil (easy clean-up can I get an hallelujah!?)

Place your pork chops one at a time between two piece of parchment paper. Pound until each chop is about 1″ thick.

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These are our favorite whole wheat bread crumbs. They also have the best macros we could find!

In a shallow dish, add 1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs, seasonings & parsley.

In a separate shallow dish, add 1/2 hot & sweet mustard, honey, egg, and seasonings. Whisk together until combined.

One at a time, completely coat each pork chop in the mustard, followed by the bread crumbs. Once coated evenly, transfer to your baking sheet.

Bake pork chops for 30 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165º.

While your pork chops are in the oven, prepare your Apple Kraut. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a nonstick frying pan. once melted, add your chopped onions and cook on medium-low heat until translucent. Add your sauerkraut, apples, brown sugar, and seasonings. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it begins to simmer. Slowly pour in your white wine. Continue to let simmer until the wine completely reduces (about 7 minutes).

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Plate your pork chops and cover with a “healthy spoonful” of Apple Kraut. Serve with additional hot & sweet mustard on the side.

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Orange Sweet Potato Hummus

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1 small sweet potato – washed, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1 orange

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Begin by steaming your garbanzo beans and sweet potatoes. If using a Beaba Babycook, fill your water reservoir up to level 3.

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Once steamed, add the beans and sweet potatoes to a blender. Reserve the water that you steamed them in to gradually add while blending. Add orange juice and blend until desired consistency.

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Freeze or keep sealed in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Turkey n’ Gravy

 

It’s finally here. The day foodies have been training for all year long. Put on your stretchy pants, tuck your napkin into your shirt and wear them with pride.

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming to say the least. I’ll never forget the morning of my very first Friendsgiving. I woke up feeling spunky and confident in my cooking abilities. I poured my cup of coffee, opened the blinds, and became excited. I went to the fridge, pulled out my fifteen pound turkey and dropped it on the counter. I just sort of looked at it. Shit. I literally had no f*cking idea what I was doing. I am literally nervous typing this because that’s how panicked I was. Queue the phone call to mom. I like to think that everyone has this moment and if they say they have not, they are lying. To spare you the fine details, everything turned out “alright” for a first timer and I’m pretty sure I only set off the smoke alarms once. Okay, fine. Twice.

Let’s get started.

To brine, or not to brine? Everybody has their own way of prepping the bird before the big day. I’ve brined and I have not brined and I honestly think you will be quite alright if you skip this step. A well seasoned compound butter and some veggies stuffed inside will deliver an abundance of flavor.

Three things I would highly recommend:

  1. Sliding butter on the breasts beneath the skin of the turkey. I didn’t take pictures of me doing this because my husband wasn’t home and I don’t have a third hand growing out of my ass. Google it 🙂
  2. Before putting the turkey in the oven, get a large piece of foil and fold it in half so it’s thicker. Place it over the entire breast of the turkey. This will ensure both even cooking and keeping those breasts nice n’ juicy.
  3. Place your turkey in a roasted pan that has a rack. Keeping your turkey elevated will prevent a soggy tush.

This recipe is based upon a 16 pound turkey. You want to cook your turkey roughly 15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature (of the breast) reads 165°F.

I’m also just going to go ahead and put this out there. Your turkey needs to be thawed and because it’s huge, this can take a few days. I would put it in the Fridge on Monday.

What You’ll Need:

  • 16 pound turkey, thawed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lemon
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Bay Leaves
  • Thyme
  • Fresh Garlic
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock

Compound Butter:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • zest of 1 lemon

Gravy:

  • 1/2 cup butter, divided into 8 slabs
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Total of 4 cups chicken stock or pan drippings
    • I usually end up with about 2-3 cups drippings and will add chicken stock to reach the total of 4 cups.

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  1. Remove your turkey from the fridge about an hour before roasting so that it reaches room temperature. Preheat your oven to 450°.
  2. Chop your carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Set aside along with the lemon, sage, thyme, and bay leaves.

  3. Put together your compound butter by adding all ingredients into a separate bowl and mixing together. Set aside.
  4. In my opinion, this is the easiest way to prep your turkey: Place the turkey in a clean kitchen sink and cut the packaging off of it. From the birds cavity, remove the bag of gizzards and neck. Rinse out the cavity and and then pat dry the skin with paper towels. Transfer the bird to a rack, inside the roasting pan.
  5. Coat the inside of the turkey cavity with some of the compound butter. Stuff the bird with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, lemon, thyme, sage, and 2 bay leaves.
  6. Carefully slide your hand between the breast meat and skin creating a pocket. Place some of the compound butter underneath the skin.

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  7. Spread the remaining compound butter across the entire skin of the turkey. Pour 4 cups of chicken stock into the bottom of the pan. Cover turkey breasts with foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes at 450°. After 45 minutes, reduce your temperature to 350° for 2 hours. After 2 hours remove the piece of foil from the breasts. Continue cooking for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the breasts reads 165°.
  8. Remove the turkey from the oven and carefully transfer to another dish (something with sides as the turkey will release juices) and tent with a large piece of foil. Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

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Gravy:

While your turkey is resting, prepare your gravy.

  1. Immediately (and carefully) pour your drippings into a gravy separator and place in the refrigerator until the fat starts rise to the top and solidify (about 15 minutes.)
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add fresh ground pepper.
  3. Slowly add in the flour while constantly whisking until the flour is well incorporated into the butter (a few minutes.)
  4. Slowly pour in the turkey drippings and/or chicken stock, constantly whisking.
  5. Cook the gravy for 7-10 minutes allowing it to thicken. Transfer to gravy boat and serve immediately.

I hope you all have a magical Thanksgiving; Full of love, laughter, and graciousness. I am endlessly thankful for my family and friends, our health, and the food I am able to provide on our table. I am both grateful and blessed to this year, have our daughter join us around our table. I am humbled by the outpour of love and support I have received on this new journey and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart. My wish for you this Thanksgiving is to be grateful for all that you have and to give to those who need it most. To count your blessings and to hold your family tight. To let go of the things that divide us and to come together based upon the things that make each of us so wonderful. To love abundantly without any boundaries.

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