Smoked Salmon Toast

Smoked Salmon Toast

I spent this past holiday season in one of my favorite cities- Portland, Oregon! Among the perks of having a boyfriend from the beautiful Pacific Northwest is the abundance of delicious, fresh-caught salmon. With its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a nutrient powerhouse. This past trip, we hit the jackpot when my boyfriend’s wonderful parents sent us packing with an armful of smoked salmon! Toast, or a simple open-face presentation, is one of my favorite ways to showcase quality ingredients. I consider this fresh, wild salmon far too much of a delicacy to overdress in a salad and sully the rich flavors. Inspired by the salmon toast served at GTA, Gjelina’s takeaway locale, I set to work creating a recipe of my own liking. One of the major healthy twists to this recipe involved substituting greek yogurt as the base instead of using a cream cheese or crème fraîche. After loading up my sourdough slices with generous hunks of smoked salmon, I set to work layering with my favorite toppings- capers, red onion, dill, and hard-boiled eggs. In my opinion, a breakfast-based smoked salmon dish is utterly incomplete without a side of cornichons– those tiny, delicious, tart pickles! Prep Time: 10 mins Serves: 4 Ingredients 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, 4 slices 1/2 lb, smoked salmon 1/4 red onion, finely sliced 4 tbsp, greek yogurt 2 tbsp, chopped fresh dill 1 tbsp, capers 2 eggs, hard-boiled 1 tbsp, lemon juice 2 tsp, olive oil 1/2 cup, cornichons Preparation Toast the slices of bread in the oven at 375F until golden-brown. Evenly spread 1 tablespoon of greek yogurt over each...
Cooking in Chiang Mai

Cooking in Chiang Mai

I could consider this post either a year overdue or the perfect way to reminisce on my Christmas in Chiang Mai last year! Chiang Mai is a major cultural hub, nestled in the hills of Northern Thailand. The city is brimming with history, art, Buddhist sanctuaries, yoga studios, and most importantly, phenomenal food! My days here were spent exploring the city by foot, stumbling upon beautiful temples, bazaars, markets, and some of the best street food of my life! Taking a cooking class was one of the highlights during my time in Chiang Mai. Baan Thai Cookery School is located just past the Thapae gate of the Old City. The Old City is the most gorgeous area of Chiang Mai, overflowing with ancient Buddhist Wats and surrounded by the original walls and moat erected at the end of the thirteenth century. The course began with a tour of a local outdoor market as we stocked up on the fresh ingredients for our menu. The market was brimming with gorgeous greens, fresh fish, and the most wonderful variety of eggplants I’d ever seen. Thai eggplant, typically used in Southeast Asian curries or served raw in green papaya salad, are small, round, and can come in purple, green, yellow, or white varieties. Thai cooking is made most unique by its spices and herbs. Thai ginger (Galangal), Spur chili (Prik Chee Fah), Kaffir lime, lemongrass, and sweet basil are among the most distinct Thai flavors. At Baan Thai, we were given the choice among three different appetizers, soups, stir-fries, curries, and desserts to prepare. I selected Spring Rolls as my appetizer, Tom Kha with Seafood, Pad Thai, Green Curry with Chicken, and...
Brussels Sprouts with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

A recent visit to the upscale vegan restaurant, Crossroads, inspired me to get more creative with my Brussels sprouts just in time for the holidays. The maple dijon vinaigrette is the perfect dressing, as its sweetness pairs with the bite of the dijon mustard to perfectly balance the bitterness of the sprouts. Apart from the incredible vinaigrette at Crossroads, most of the Brussels sprouts in the dish were on the smaller side. It allowed for more crunchiness and flavor in each bite. I found smaller Brussels sprouts on the stalk at Whole Foods and was delighted to discover that they did in fact caramelize much better than the larger variety! Prep Time: 40 mins Serves: 4 Ingredients 2 lbs, Brussels sprouts, halved 4 tbsp, olive oil 1 tbsp, maple syrup 1 tbsp, cider vinegar 1 tsp, dijon mustard 1 tbsp, whole grain mustard 1 clove, garlic, minced 1/4 cup, pine nuts, toasted Sea salt and pepper to taste Preparation Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the Brussels sprouts with half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the sprouts on a large baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, flipping once in between. To prepare the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustards, maple syrup, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toast the pine nuts in the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly golden-brown. Toss the roasted Brussels sprouts with the maple dijon vinaigrette and the toasted pine nuts before...
Heirloom Roasted Carrots with Dill and Greek Yogurt

Heirloom Roasted Carrots with Dill and Greek Yogurt

It finally feels like fall in LA! As the first wave of chilly weather rolled in, I rushed to the farmers market to make the ultimate dish of the season- roasted carrots.   Turns out heirloom carrots not only have distinctly different flavors, they also have quite the variance in nutrients. I love the slighly less sweet, peppery taste of the purple variety.   This yogurt, dill sauce is what really makes the recipe come together. The bright flavor of dill pairs perfectly with the tart, creaminess of greek yogurt.   Prep Time: 35 mins Serves: 3-4 Ingredients 3 bunches, heirloom carrots 3 tbsp, olive oil 1 cup, greek yogurt 1 clove, garlic, minced 1 tbsp, dill, chopped 1/2 tsp, lemon zest 1 tsp, lemon juice Sea salt and pepper to taste Preparation Peel carrots and remove excess green tops. Preheat oven to 425F.  Toss the carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper before spreading over a large baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender and lightly browned. To prepare the dill sauce, combine the greek yogurt, garlic, fresh dill, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve carrots with a side of the dill...
Strawberry and Goat Cheese Toast

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Toast

The tangy taste of goat cheese makes it a terrific complement to fruit and honey. Ripe strawberries are one of the best fruit pairings. Drake Family Farms sets up shop every Sunday morning at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. They produce fantastic artisan goat cheeses, and sell a wide variety of flavors. Be sure to try a sample next time you’re at the market! Let me just take a second to rave about this bread. This walnut raisin loaf from the farmer’s market is slightly sweet and nutty, and the absolute perfect texture to pair with strawberries and cheese. Prep Time: 15 mins Serves: 6-10 Ingredients 6 slices, Walnut Raisin Bread, halved 1/2 pound, Strawberries (~8-10) 3/4 cup, Goat Cheese Honey Preparation Preheat oven to 350F. Toast the slices of bread for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the goat cheese on each slice. Return to the oven and toast for another 3 minutes. Remove the goat cheese-coated toast from the oven and top with strawberry slices. Drizzle with honey to...
Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Aioli

Sweet Potato Fries with Lemon Aioli

Sweet, salty, and simply delicious! These sweet potato fries with a side of lemon aioli are just about one of the tastiest complements you can add to a meal.     As you will tell from this post, I’m newly obsessed with a photo editing app, Over, which lets me layer on artsy fonts to my images. This app plus my new iPhone have opened up a whole new window to my food photography experimentation!       You’ve been warned- this lemon aioli is seriously addicting. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and will be gone even faster than that. I suggest making a big batch.     Prep Time: 35 mins Serves: 3-4 Ingredients 2 large Sweet Potatoes, sliced 3 tbsp, Olive Oil 1/4 tsp, Cayenne Pepper 1/4 tsp, Paprika Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste Lemon Aioli Ingredients 1/2 cup, Mayonaisse 2 tbsp, Lemon Juice 1 tsp, Dijon Mustard 1 tsp, finely grated Lemon Zest 1 clove Garlic, minced Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste Preparation Preheat oven to 425F. Drizzle olive oil on a large baking sheet before evenly spacing the sliced potatoes on the sheet. Coat the potatoes with the remaining olive oil and season with the cayenne pepper, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes before flipping. Bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and slightly crispy. To prepare the lemon aioli, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and zest, Dijon mustard, and garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and combine well. Serve the sweet potatoes with a small side of lemon...