Tag Archives: cooking

A Daily Dinner: Portobello Quesadillas with Corn

Portobello Mushroom Quesadillas and Corn and Avocado Salad

Before I get into this week’s Daily Dinner, Ryan and I would like to share some exciting news with you all.

Last week’s Daily Dinner post, the lamb chops with tomatoes and olives, was selected as Foodista’s Food Blog of the Day for today!

This was entirely unexpected but we’re totally flattered, so if you’re visiting from Foodista, welcome! We hope you’ll stick around and read more.

Fresh Corn on the Cob

This week’s dinner was inspired by two things: the heat and tasty summer produce.

Now that the mercury has fully risen here in New York City, I find myself craving cool, fresh salads and seeking out recipes that involve very little (if any) use of the stove top. (And I definitely avoid the oven at all costs!)

Luckily, these two goals are fairly easy to accomplish, thanks to the fact that summer produce is often so good that it needs very little cooking.

Like I mentioned in our last post, we’re huge fans of FreshDirect and have been really impressed with the quality of their produce, much of which is locally-sourced.

Fresh Portobello Mushrooms

This week, our delivery included some amazing portobello mushrooms that looked like they were just pulled from the soil, the juiciest, sweetest corn I’ve ever had, and buttery ripe avocados.

These great things came together to make two of the best summer dishes you’ll ever make. Each has just three ingredients, give or take, and one of them requires absolutely no cooking. None.

The Ingredients: Portobello Mushrooms, Corn and Pepper Jack Cheese

Grilled Portobello Quesadillas
Adapted from RealSimple.com

2 large portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 8″ flour tortillas
1 c. grated pepper Jack cheese

1. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil over medium heat in skillet. Season mushrooms with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
2. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes per side; thinly slice.
3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. of oil over medium heat in skillet. Form 4 quesadillas with the tortillas, mushrooms, and cheese. Cook in the pan until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crisp, 1 to 3 minutes per side.

Corn and Avocado Salad
Adapted from RealSimple.com

3 ears of fresh corn
1 avocado, pitted and chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 green jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the corn.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the corn with the avocado, scallions, jalapeño, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.

Portobello Mushroom Quesadillas and Corn and Avocado Salad

Could those two recipes be any easier? Together, that’s my idea of a perfect summer meal.

The mushrooms were juicy and flavorful and I loved the extra kick from the pepper jack cheese. As for the salad, let’s just say that we fought over who got to eat the leftovers!

What are some of your favorite summer recipes?

– Laura

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A Daily Dinner: Lamb Chops with Tomatoes and Olives

Daily Dinner: Lamb with Tomatoes and Olives

It might seem shocking given what we write about, but believe it or not, Ryan and I eat at home most nights.

We’re completely and utterly in love with FreshDirect and the greenmarket and typically eat at least four meals a week at home.

We try to keep our weekly menus focused on seasonal ingredients and I also like to mix up proteins. For example, last week, we had bluefish, lamb (which you’ll see here), pork chops, and a meatless pasta dish.

Fresh Australian Lamb Loin Chops

We both particularly liked this dish, so I figured I’d share it here, as I hope to do with some of our future meals. Lamb is my personal favorite protein and I’m lucky that Ryan likes it as much as I do! We prefer ours quite rare (almost still “baa”-ing, even), but if you like a more well-done product, you can simply increase my recommended cooking times by a minute or two.

Before I get to the recipe, I also want to mention a funny little side dish that we ate with this meal: purslane.

Purslane from the Greenmarket

I picked it up at my office’s greenmarket, not really certain of what it was. After a little bit of Internet research, I discovered that it’s a tenacious little weed that many gardeners spend lots of money and time trying to get rid of!

Of course, it also happens to be very nutrient rich and quite tasty. I ate some raw, but for our meal, I blanched it for a few minutes and then sautéed it in some parmesan butter I had mixed up earlier in the week.

When it’s cooked, it has a slight crunch that then yields to an almost okra-like texture. Cooking it also mellows out the flavor, which is why I liked having a little extra kick from the parmesan and the butter.

If you see some at your market, I highly recommend it as a nutritious leafy green. It seems like it can be prepared quite similarly to spinach or chard or arugula or any other salad green, so I look forward to experimenting with it further. If you try it, let me know what works for you.

Lamb with Tomatoes and Olives

…And with that, I digress. Here’s the recipe for our delicious one-pot lamb, tomato and olive dish:

Lamb Chops with Tomatoes and Olives
Adapted from Real Simple

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 2″-thick lamb loin chops
1 tsp. paprika
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 shallots, quartered
2 tomatoes, quartered
1/4 c. pitted kalamata olives
1/4 c. flat-leaf parsley, torn

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Season lamb with paprika, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
3. Add shallots to the skillet, transfer to oven, and cook lamb to the desired doneness, about 6 minutes for rare.
4. Add tomatoes, olives, and parsley to the skillet, with lamb, and toss with the shallots to combine.

Simple, right?

We don’t have a particularly elaborate kitchen (in fact, it’s actually a pretty big downgrade from my previous kitchen in Dallas) but it hasn’t stopped me from making anything that I want to make. We have, oh, perhaps five pots and pans of various sizes, one roasting pan/baking sheet combo, a colander, a few bowls and utensils, and that’s about it.

Fresh Purslane and Lamb

But, I can tell you with certainty: that’s all it takes to make healthy, delicious meals at home.

– Laura

(P.S. Have you “liked” us on Facebook yet?)

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