Monday, February 5, 2018

Blue Apron's Mexican Spice Blend

Equal parts:
Smoked Paprika
Ground Cumin
Garlic Powder
Ancho Chile Powder
Dried Mexican Oregano

Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto

Ready in 30 minutes

  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup carrot or diced red bell pepper
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces), cut into quarters
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans or great northern beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup plain or herbed multigrain croutons for garnish (optional)

  • 1Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot (or bell pepper) and chicken; cook, turning the chicken and stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in broth and marjoram; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • 2With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a clean cutting board to cool. Add spinach and beans to the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  • 3Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, Parmesan and basil in a food processor (a mini processor works well). Process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water and scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • 4Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Stir the chicken and pesto into the pot. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with croutons, if desired.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling into each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.

Shiitake Mushroom Burgers with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 2

10 oz. ground beef
2 potato buns
2 cloves garlic
1 scallion
1/2 lb sweet potato
2 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp sweet white miso paste
1/4 oz dried shiitake mushrooms

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. In a bowl, combine the mushrooms and 1 cup of hot water; let stand for at least 10 minutes. Halve the buns. Halve the sweet potato lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice, separating the white bottom and green top. In a bowl, combine the miso paste and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the sweet potato on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast 16 to 18 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven, leaving the oven on, and transfer to a plate. Set aside in a warm place. Carefully discard the foil.

3. While the sweet potato roasts, thoroughly drain the mushrooms (discarding the water) and transfer to a cutting board; finely chop. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the ground beefgarlichoisin sauce and white bottom of the scallion; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into two ½-inch-thick patties. Transfer to a plate.

4. While the sweet potato continues to roast, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the patties and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

5. Place the buns, cut sides up, on the sheet pan used to roast the sweet potato. Toast in the oven 3 to 4 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and transfer to a clean, dry work surface.

6. Spread a layer of the miso mayonnaise onto the cut sides of the toasted buns. Top the bun bottoms with the cooked patties. Complete the burgers with the bun tops. Divide the burgers and roasted sweet potato between 2 dishes. Garnish the sweet potato with the green top of the scallion.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tacos Al Pastor


  • For the Pork:
  • 2 whole ancho chilies, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 whole pasilla or guajillo chilies, seeds and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon achiote powder or paste
  • 1 chipotle chili packed in adobo sauce, plus 2 teaspoons sauce from can
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 whole cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 pounds boneless blade-end loin or sirloin pork roast
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) sliced bacon
  • To Finish and Serve:
  • 1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • 32 to 48 corn tortillas, heated and kept warm
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely minced fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 cup basic salsa verde or your favorite salsa
  • 3 to 4 limes, cut into 8 wedges each for serving


  1. 1.
    Place chilies in a large saucepan over medium high heat and cook, turning chilies occasionally, until puffed, pliable, lightly browned in spots, and very aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock (it should boil immediately), then pour contents of pan into a small bowl. Cover loosely and set aside.
  2. 2.
    Wipe out saucepan, add oil, and return to medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Add cumin, oregano, and achiote and cook, stirring frequently, untila aromatic but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add chipotle chilies and sauce and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds longer. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar and remove from heat.
  3. 3.
    Scrape contents of saucepan into a blender along with garlic and chilies with their soaking liquid. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides as necessary. Set sauce aside to cool slightly.
  4. 4.
    Using a very sharp chef's knife or slicing knife, slice the meat as thin as possible. If necessary, place meat in freezer for 15 minutes to firm it up. Split the sides of a heavy duty zipper-lock bag. Place one slice of meat inside bag and pound with the bottom of a heavy 8-inch skillet or a meat pounder until less than 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining meat.
  5. 5.
    Add marinade to bowl and toss with hands until every piece of meat is evenly coated in marinade.
  6. 6.
    Line the bottom of a disposable aluminum loaf pan with bacon. Add a layer of thin-sliced marinated meat. Continue layering in bacon and meat until all the meat is used up. (It may pile above the pan a little bit. This is ok.) Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 36.
  7. 7.
    To cook indoors: preheat the oven to 275°F. Uncover aluminum loaf pan and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and cook until meat is completely tender (It will drip lots of fat), about 4 hours. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  8. 8.
    To cook outdoors: light half a chimney of charcoal and allow to preheat until coals are mostly covered in gray ash. Spread out under one half of coal grate, and place cooking grate on top. Alternatively, set one set of burners on a gas grill to low and leave the remaining burners off. Unwrap aluminum loaf pan and place directly over cooler side of grill, placing a drip pan underneath if desired. Cover grill and cook until loaf registers 180 to 190°F in the center, about 4 hours, adding more coals to grill or adjusting burners as necessary to maintain an air temperature of around 275°F for the duration of cooking. Remove from grill, allow to cool slightly, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  9. 9.
    To Serve: Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove cooked meat from aluminum tray, scraping off any fat or jellied juices from its sides. Use a spoon to collect fat and juices from tray, reserving each separately. Using a sharp chef's knife or slicing knife, slice meat as thinly as possible to create fine shavings of meat and fat. Transfer to a bowl.
  10. 10.
    If fat from meat is solid, heat gently in the microwave or in the oven until melted. Transfer pineapple pieces to a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Brush with fat. Transfer to oven and roast until completely tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  11. 11.
    About 10 minutes before pineapple is done roasting, transfer meat and 1 tablespoon of fat to a large cast iron or non-stick skillet. Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat crisps and deeply browns in spots. Add any reserved juices and toss to combine, allowing it to cook until reduced to a moist glaze. Transfer meat to a warmed serving bowl.
  12. 12.
    Chop roasted pineapple into large chunks. Serve meat and pineapple immediately with warmed tortillas, onions, cilantro, salsa, and lime wedges. Meat will be very moist and should be packed into double-stacked tortillas for serving.

Vegetable Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

  • 4 large portabella mushrooms, wiped with a damp paper towel and stalk trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 4 – 6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • large handful of spinach
  • pinch of dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese (I use the mozzarella made with 2% milk)
  1. Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub each mushroom with a bit of olive oil and set them on the sheet, stalk side up.
  2. In a 12 inch sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil then the onions. Sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, then add the zucchini and continue to cook as the zucchini begins to soften. Next add the red pepper and tomatoes. Cook for another few minutes. When the onions have become translucent and soft, add the garlic. Cook for one minute and add the spinach.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Once the spinach wilts, remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, up to and including the Parmesan. Stir to combine.
  5. Divide the mixture in four; I spread the mixture out evenly in the pan and using my spoon, just slice through like a pie to divide equally. Stuff each mushroom with a quarter of the mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. Now, top each with about 1 tablespoon of the mozzarella and continue baking for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is just beginning to get golden on top.

Grilled Zucchini with Buttermilk and Basil Dressing

5 tbsp buttermilk
6 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup coarsely grated parmesan
salt and pepper
4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, halved and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices