Pies-N-Thighs Fried Chicken Biscuits

Chicken Biscuit | Rookery

We usually stay in on Valentine’s, but this year we had an even more legitimate reason to do so…House of Cards. Was Netflix doing the world a favor by letting us all spend February 14th binging on new episodes? I like to think so.

And, a few days before, I’d found the recipe for Pies-N-Thighs’ Chicken Biscuits, one of Jesse’s all time favorite foods. (Pies-N-Thighs, for those who don’t know, is a restaurant in Williamsburg that serves an array of amazing fried-chicken-and-biscuit combinations…and pie, of course).

It’s like the stars had aligned to make our Valentine’s day as blissfully decadent as possible. And what better way to show my love than by giving my husband a coronary delicious dinner.

As a very appreciative Jesse put it, “this recipe gets to your heart in more ways than one.” Continue reading

Spanakopita (Spinach) Quiche

Spinach Quiche | Rookery

If you’re stumped for what to cook for dinner, might I suggest the lowly quiche? It’s easy, you can make it ahead of time, it’s great left over, and if you add enough veggies you can sort of forget about the hidden doses of milk and cheese.

I had always dismissed quiches as kind of stodgy, but in the past few weeks I’ve been on a quiche honeymoon. I’ve made four of them – four! February will do weird things to people.

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Red Wine Vinegar-Braised Chicken Thighs

Rookery | Vinegar-Braised Chicken Thighs

I made the mistake the other night of having a dinner party and serving something I’d never made before. You’re not supposed to do that! But I was desperate.

It was one of those dinner parties where each guest very kindly tells you ahead of time about his or her dietary restrictions – vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, allergic to eggs. And then they add that you really don’t have to do anything to accommodate them, they’ll just nibble on lettuce so please don’t worry. I think they actually mean it but I would feel sort of bad taking them up on the offer.

Fortunately I had pulled this recipe out of an Oprah Magazine I’d found at the airport (What? Where do you get your recipes?) so I decided to give it a go.

Rookery | Vinegar-Braised Chicken Thighs

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Shakshuka: Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta

Shakshuka | Rookery

There’s a special place in recipe heaven reserved for this dish.

First of all, you can make it in one pot. Second, there’s a good chance you already have most of the ingredients you need, save for the feta and the serrano pepper, and the pepper costs two cents (literally – they are sold by weight). Third, it’s fun to say. Shakshuka!

Don’t worry about which country “invented” shakshuka or you will step directly into a cultural sh*tstorm. (Google “Who invented shakshuka” and you’ll see that tempers run high.) Just know that it is enjoyed in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa and it is truly delicious.

Shakshuka | Rookery

It’s the perfect meal to make later in the week when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a few days. It’s also the kind of recipe that would be very easy to sneak additional veggies into, if you were so inclined. Just don’t do anything that makes it too complicated — its history is already complicated enough.  Continue reading

Green Sushi Salad

Sushi Salad | Rookery

I often find myself craving sushi. It’s an expensive craving to have, mostly because once I get to the restaurant I cannot stop eating it. My friends and I even coined a term for the feeling you get when you leave the restaurant and only then realize how full you are: Rice Expansion Disorder (RED).

There’s also the environmental aspect. Some of my favorites, like ahi tuna, are on the Seafood Watch “avoid” list. Ugh.

Sushi Salad | Rookery

That’s why I’m such a big fan of this sushi salad. Because what I’m really craving when I want sushi is UMAMI. I want the salty savoriness, combined with rice and a little bit of wasabi. And this is a great, vegetarian – vegan, in fact! – healthy and non-expensive way to get it. Continue reading

Homesick Texan Carnitas

Homesick Texan Carnitas | Rookery

Pork + salt + water = carnita. I just recently learned this equation. As a lover of Mexican food, I always assumed that such tender, flavorful tacos required hours simmering in some exotic spice concoction that I would never fully be able to master. I pictured chiles, a mortar and pestle, you know.

But while browsing smitten kitchen I saw Deb’s take take on carnitas, which led me to Homesick Texan, which led me to Diana Kennedy, which led me down this rabbit hole of incredibly easy carnitas recipes and now my life is irrevocably changed.

Homesick Texan Carnitas | Rookery

Jesse’s life has changed too. Now every time I say, “what do you want for dinner?” his answer is “could you make those carnitas again?”

We’ve decided to limit it to once a month. Continue reading

Pizza with Lemon and Brussels Sprouts

Rookery | Brussel Sprout Lemon Pizza

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t seem like brussels sprouts would be that great on a pizza. They are kind of dense and earthy while pizza should be lighter and zestier. However, when you just use the leaves and not the cabbage-y core, you have a sturdy green that holds up well in the oven and practically soaks up the flavor of the lemon slices. This pizza is really good.

Rookery | Brussel Sprout Lemon Pizza

I found out about it when I hosted a potluck pizza party. Rather than have people bring a random array of salads and potato dishes (aren’t potlucks the worst?), we asked them to bring toppings for their favorite pizza, and we’d supply the dough. When my friend arrived with a sack of brussels sprouts and a lemon I thought maybe she’d misunderstood the invitation. How wrong I was! Continue reading