April 17-23

New recipes inspired by Game of Thrones posted every day until the premiere!

Get Your Meal Prep On

Simple bento boxes that look fancy and taste delicious.

Easy Dinner Night

Try this fifteen minute spaghetti carbonara.

One Pan Meals

Keep breakfast on the simple side.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Mini bites filled with Gruyère cheese.

May 8, 2016

Classic Soubise on Crispy Chicken | Mother Sauces


Soubise becomes a derivative from the mother béchamel sauce, simply by adding white onion and pulsing until creamy. With a texture between that of a puree and a smooth sauce, soubise has a refined sweetness that pairs well with almost any type of meat. I served mine over crispy chicken thighs on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and blanched broccoli.


Béchamel sauce is traditionally made by creating a white roux and whisking in milk or cream until smooth. While a roux is not required for this recipe, it will certainly add depth and thickness to the soubise. The addition of the onions is what makes the béchamel into a soubise, and I added a pinch of cayenne pepper and a sprinkle of parsley for some added flavor.


Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet then add the chicken thighs skin-side down. Don't flip the chicken, but when the skin is nice and browned, transfer the chicken, uncooked side down, onto a foil lined baking sheet. Pour the remaining butter in the skillet over the chicken, then pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes.


While the chicken is cooking, add two tablespoons of butter into a clean skillet, then toss in the sliced onions.


The key to a pearly white soubise is sautéing the onions until softened, but not caramelized. A low, steady heat for about fifteen minutes should do the trick, all while stirring frequently so the onions don't start to brown.


When the onions have become transluscent, pour in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer until the heavy cream has thickened. 


Carefully transfer the onions to a food processor or blender and pulse until a smooth sauce has formed, about five minutes. For an extra creamy sauce, strain the sauce through a fine sieve (this is totally optional!).


While the onions are blending, add the remaining butter into a cleaned skillet and melt until frothy. This step is to create a white roux, but feel free to skip the roux if you are looking to make a simpler sauce.




Melt the butter and quickly whisk in the flour. When a smooth roux has formed, after about thirty seconds of mixing, pour in the blended onions and stir into the roux until the sauce has thickened. Simmer until the soubise has reduced in volume by about half. If the sauce gets too thick, stir in an additional tablespoon or two of heavy cream.


About this time the chicken will be ready. It should reach an internal temperature, along the bone, of 170°F. The skin will be nice and bubbly crisp, and the meat should be practically falling off the bone.


I served my chicken on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and blanched broccoli. I cheated a little bit and added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper on top of the soubise, just for an extra kick.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 5 cups sauce

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 1 ½ large white onions, sliced
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • parsley, for garnish
  • cayenne pepper, optional
  • salt & white pepper, to taste

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Sear the chicken thighs, skin down, until the skin is browned and crispy – about three minutes. Do not flip the chicken. Place the chicken, uncooked side down, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  2. While the chicken bakes, melt two tablespoons of butter in a clean pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté until softened, about fifteen minutes, but take care not to caramelize the onions. Stir until the volume of onions has reduced by half.
  3. Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer for about five minutes. Transfer the onions and cream to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. For a refined sauce, carefully strain through a sieve (optional).
  4. As the onions and heavy cream are blending, clean the pan then add the remaining butter along with the flour. Stir into a roux, then add the creamy onion mixture. Let the sauce simmer until the chicken is ready, about five more minutes. The chicken will be ready when the internal temperature reaches 170°F. 
  5. Serve chicken right away along with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper as desired. Generously pour the soubise over the top of the crispy chicken and potatoes.


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May 1, 2016

Healthy Chicken Wraps | Meal Prep Sundays


If you are one of those people who really hates to cook or if you are trying to save some money instead of eating out for lunch every day of the week, then meal prepping for every week might just be the answer to your woes. This week, I prepped three different wraps: barbecue chicken, chipotle ranch, and hummus and cucumber with chicken. Most of these ingredients I already had in my kitchen, so I only needed to buy fresh wraps and veggies. Get creative with your ingredients (meal prepping is also a great way to clean out the fridge)!


I grilled up two large chicken breasts, then sliced them thin. I wanted to spread the chicken out between the wraps so there was just enough to get some protein, but then also pack the wrap with filling vegetables. This week's challenge was brown bag meals, so I actually packed each of my meals in a brown bag for lunch! I made a garlic orzo salad too, which was a perfect side dish.

Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap


Monday's Lunch: Chipotle ranch chicken wrap with garlic orzo salad, an apple, and two Oreos.


BBQ Chicken with Parmesan Cheese


Tuesday's Lunch: Chicken marinated in BBQ sauce, two mandarin oranges, and garlic orzo salad.

Hummus & Veggies Chicken Wrap


Wednesday's Lunch: Chicken with hummus, cucumbers, red onion and lettuce, hummus with carrots, and two Oreos.


Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 8-10 minutes

Makes 3 wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 3 tortillas
  • 2 slices pepperjack cheese
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups spinach (or lettuce blend)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cups cucumber, julienned
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 8-10 pepperoni (optional)
  • 4 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle ranch dressing
  • 3 tablespoons hummus
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Here's How:

  1. Grill the chicken breast until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the grill and let cool. Slice into strips.
  2. Marinate the chicken slices you want for a barbecue wrap in the barbecue sauce as the chicken cools.
  3. Using your favorite tortillas, place 4-5 slices of chicken in each wrap along with cheese, one cup of lettuce, and hummus or chipotle ranch dressing. Add pepperoni, onions, cucumber and tomatoes as desired in each wrap.
  4. Roll the tortillas into a burrito by tucking in the edges, then rolling the tortilla into itself. Wrap the tortilla tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Chill until ready to serve. 
  5. Wraps will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Pack into brown bags alongside healthy treats and orzo salad. Enjoy!


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Apr 25, 2016

Baked Avocado Eggs with Tomato Herb Hollandaise


I have a slight obsession with Eggs Benedict. I’ve eaten it weekly for the past few years and have come to believe that even the classics could do with some improving. 


I made a tomato and herb hollandaise sauce and baked the eggs inside of an avocado - this breakfast is perfect for any warm spring or summer morning and is packed with healthy fats and protein to keep you moving.


Seriously, this has become my go-to breakfast. Eggs Benedict may never be the same again now that I've tried THIS. The hollandaise sauce incorporates tomato, shallots and a variety of herbs and spices for maximum deliciousness.


Avocados make for the perfect egg vessel once the pit has been removed. You may need to widen the hole so the yolk and a majority of the whites can fit inside the avocado. I used a turkey baster to suck up any of the overflow of the egg whites onto the pan. 


Bake the avocados while you work on the hollandaise sauce - if timed perfectly, both will be done at the exact same time.


The most important part to making the hollandaise sauce is making sure the tomato has lost a majority of its moisture before adding the shallots, otherwise the shallots might burn.


When the tomatoes and shallots have somewhat melded together, remove the pan from the heat so the mixture won't burn.


With the tomatoes removed from the heat, quickly whisk in the butter and egg yolks along with the herbs and spices. The sauce should be thick, but still smooth enough to be drizzled across the tops of the baked avocados.


Remove the avocados from the oven when the center has reached your desired wobbliness. I like my eggs pretty runny, so I baked mine closer to 25-30 minutes. If you like a soft egg, bake for 30-35 minutes and a hard egg bake for 35-40 minutes.


Garnish the avocados with any remaining diced tomatoes, shallots and fresh parsley.


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocados
  • 2 eggs + 4 egg yolks
  • 5 T butter, cold
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1/4 C white wine
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 2 T tarragon
  • 2 T parsley 
  • 1 T red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt & pepper

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed in the center. Use a spoon to widen the divots where the seed was if they don’t seem big enough to hold an egg.
  2. Brush the top of the avocado with lemon juice. Crack an egg into each avocado half and season with salt and pepper. Use a baster to remove any excess egg that might fall off the top then pop the avocado halves into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes for runny eggs, 30-40 minutes for soft yolks, 40-45 for solid yolks.
  3. As the eggs bake, place a tablespoon of butter into a skillet over medium heat with the chopped tomatoes and shallots. Sauté until the moisture of the tomatoes is gone. 
  4. Pour the white wine and white vinegar into the skillet. Bring to a simmer until the volume has reduced by half. Remove from the heat. 
  5. Add the remaining cold butter, one tablespoon at time, then add the egg yolks as the butter melts. Whisk constantly so the sauce doesn’t separate. Stir in the lemon juice and herbs.
  6. Spoon the hollandaise sauce over the tops of the baked avocados. Garnish with diced tomato, sliced shallots and fresh parsley.

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Apr 24, 2016

Game of Thrones Recipes


The excitement for the premiere of Game of Thrones sixth season is palpable in the Starving Chef's household. Over the past several days leading up to the premiere, my kitchen has transformed into Westeros. From King's Landing to the Dreadfort, to Pentos and beyond, every meal was inspired to look and taste like it came straight out of the books (or show). Mild, past season spoilers may be in the post ahead - you've been warned!

Baratheon Boar Ribs


"Eat the bastard. Don’t care if you choke on him. Promise me, Ned." The boar that killed Robert Baratheon in the very first book was also served up at his funeral feast as revenge for the King. Served alongside root vegetables from the cellar of Winterfell, buttered bread and plenty of wine - these braised ribs were certainly fit for a King.

Hot Pie's Direwolf Bread


The Inn at the Crossroads is a location frequented by many characters throughout the books and television series. It seems that at least once per season a pair of characters winds up there (sometimes crossing paths with other characters) and is served by Hot Pie, who you might remember from the beginning of the series who stayed behind at the Inn to work for the Keep after baking the best bread the Keep had ever tasted - this is that recipe.

House Bolton Stuffed Squash


Despite my hatred for Ramsay Bolton, I'd still like to think that the rest of his family is not quite as demented. Sure they may like to flay men alive, but they might still have some highbrow tastes in food. Inspired by the Bolton's stay in Winterfell, these squash are stuffed with healthy fats and proteins to keep your men moving despite the impending cold approaching.

King's Landing Pigeon Pie


Pigeon Pie is another popular dish that shows up many times throughout the books and show, in almost every town and kingdom of Westeros, you are sure to find some variation of the poultry packed pies. My recipe was inspired by the pie served at Joffery's wedding.

Tyrion's Leg of Lamb


Lamb is commonly eaten throughout the books during many important feasts. It is requested by noblemen and peasants alike, and was even served at the infamous Red Wedding. Tyrion's lamb is inspired by the flavors of King's Landing and stuffed with pine nuts, spinach and goat cheese.

Sansa's Lemon Cakes


Sansa's favorite dessert has always been lemon cakes. She grew up dreaming of living in King's Landing, where the cakes are a frequent delicacy. Usually seen served to the women in the gardens, these tangy treats are also popular at weddings, including Sansa's.

Pentoshi Mushrooms with Garlic Orzo


We leave Westeros to journey to Pentos, where the Targaryens took up temporary residence before Daenerys joined up with the Dothraki khalasar. Tyrion Lannister also spends time in the free city before traveling to meet Dany herself in Meereen. The flavors of this dish were inspired by the geography of Pentos, between the sea and the flatlands.

Sandor Clegane's Roasted Hen


Also known as the Hound, Sandor Clegane is a well-known and deservedly-feared head of the King's Guard during Joffery's reign. While he certainly is no knight, he's not entirely without compassion, though it's not necessarily shown. When stopping with Arya on their way to the Eryie, the Hound kills a man over a roasted chicken.

The Red Woman's Trifle


Speculation abounds about Melisandre's arrival at the Wall, just as Jon Snow lays dead in the snow. The Red priestess might just be the one who brings him back. In the meantime, we can distract ourselves with trifle until we can finally learn the secrets of the Red Woman. This red velvet and cheesecake trifle can be topped with spicy cinnamon for an extra burst of heat.



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Apr 23, 2016

Sansa's Lemon Cakes | Game of Thrones Recipes


Lemon cakes are a popular dish eaten by the upperclass folk of Westeros, being especially popular in King's Landing. 


Sansa herself frequently enjoys them during her time there and is offered them by her handmaiden, Shae, alongside pigeon pie, right after her wedding.


The batter itself is very sweet and can be baked into a large cake or cupcakes. Made with tangy ingredients such as lemon and buttermilk, I can certainly see why this dessert is Sansa's favorite.


Whip together the wet ingredients with the sugar until light and frothy, then add the lemon zest.


Slowly add in the flour until a thick batter forms. Take care not to over beat the cupcake batter, otherwise you'll risk removing all the air from the batter. Gently fold in the flour until just incorporated. If desired, use flood coloring to color a few tablespoons of batter to make designs in the bottoms of the cupcakes, for a little surprise on the bottom of each. I made little purple flowers with green stems.


Pour the batter in 1/3 cup amounts into a buttered and floured cupcake tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean - about 25-35 minutes. The cupcakes should be golden brown and just starting to crack across the top.


While the cupcakes cool, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, heavy cream, and powdered sugar until a thick glaze forms. Drizzle or pipe the glaze across the tops of each cupcake.


Top each cupcake with a thin, fresh slice of lemon. Serve to your lady in the gardens by the sea, just take care not to wear too much purple to the wedding...


Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes

Makes about one dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (for glaze)
  • pinch salt

Here's How:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, and the juice of one lemon (about 3 tablespoons) until light and frothy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined. The batter should be thick, but still fairly fluffy.
  3. Butter and flour dust your desired baking tin. Bake for 25-35 minutes if using cupcake tins or 35-45 minutes if using a cake tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the tops and sides of the cake is browned and slightly pulling away from the edges of the pan.
  4. Cool the cake completely. When the cake is cooled, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, heavy cream and powdered sugar until a thick glaze forms. Spread or drizzle the glaze across the tops of the cakes. Serve room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!
I'll be posting new Game of Thrones themed recipes all week, so be sure to check back every day for a brand new recipe! 



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