Mollie Stone's REAL FOOD Spring 2024

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Anytime is the right time to dish up this savory and sweet feast e Beauty of Brunch Art of the Sandwich Family Dinners Reinvented Authentic Flavors of Mexico chef spotlight: Sam Way complimentary Spring 2024 Sign up for exclusive contests, chef tips, weekly specials, and more! WHAT’S NEW

Those who love to cook make more than food in the kitchen. They make the most of every moment together—sharing stories, creating delicious flavors and simply enjoying the company of close friends. For more than 80 years, Le Creuset has been a part of these special times, and a colorful companion to all who savor food—and life—to the fullest. To learn more about Le Creuset’s classic French quality, and the joys of cooking with premium enameled cast iron, visit

The Essence of Place, Expertly Crafted


Jerry Lohr and his team helped pioneer the now world-class winegrowing regions of Monterey and Paso Robles. In 1998, Arroyo Vista Chardonnay and Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon debuted as the first two wines of the J. Lohr Vineyard Series. Today, with a fresh look, they eloquently speak to our long experience in our home appellations.

| © 2021 J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
J . OL H R VINEYARDS & WINES • ofFamilyWinegrowin g •


2 real food
“Food feeds our souls. It is the single great uni er across all cultures.”

30 An Authentic Taste of Mexico

Enjoy the world-famous avors of Mexican cuisine from your own “cocina.”


4 Ingredient

The art of artichokes: A guide to prepping, cooking, and eating the versatile vegetable.

6 Four of a Kind

Sweet, juicy strawberries add a delicious pop of nutrition to recipes.

17 Tips and Tools

Add air and nesse to your culinary repertoire with these egg gadgets.

20 The Beauty of Brunch

Bring the best of both worlds together with this savory and sweet feast.

52 From TikTok to Table

Chef Sam Way dishes on his culinary journey and his new cookbook “Sam’s Eats.”

18 Healthy Habits

A probiotic path can lead to digestive harmony.

38 Around the Table

Bring the family together with these approachable dishes.

44 Art of the Sandwich

A ention to detail can make your meal between slices of bread a masterpiece.

56 Pairings


Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin, page 28


Terry Brennan


Lara Miklasevics


Tammy Galvin


Alesha Taylor


Mary Subialka


Emma Enebak

Macy Harder


Ted Rossiter


Olivia Curti


Deidra Anderson


Sydney Kell


Tausha Martinson-Bright



Fruity Fizz: Juice peps up sparkling wine for brunchtime cocktails.

Real Food magazine is published quarterly by Greenspring Media, LLC, 9401 James Ave. S., Suite 152, Bloomington, MN 55431, 612.371.5800, Fax 612.371.5801. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Real Food is exclusively operated and owned by Greenspring Media, LLC. Printed in the USA.


The pages between the covers of this magazine (except for any inserted material) are printed on paper made from wood fiber that was procured from forests that are sustainably managed to remain healthy, productive and biologically diverse.

3 spring 2024


A guide to prepping, cooking, and eating the versatile vegetable

AWhat’s Inside?

Before diving into any artichoke recipe, it’s helpful to understand the basic anatomy of the vegetable. The meaty core, or the “heart,” is topped by a fuzzy center known as the “choke” and protected by layers of inner and outer petals. The base of the petals and the heart are completely edible, while the choke should be discarded. Baby artichokes, on the other hand, are smaller and entirely edible.

how to prepare and eat

When it comes to intricate vegetables like artichokes, the prep work is o en just as important as the cooking. Here’s how to properly prepare an artichoke, according to the CAAB.

t rst glance, it’s clear that the artichoke is more than your average veggie. In fact, despite being classi ed as a vegetable, it is actually the immature ower bud of thistle plants. Each plant can produce multiple buds, with the largest at the top and smaller buds below. While handling their thorny outer petals and layered interior might seem like a daunting task, the bene ts of eating artichokes are worth the e ort—they are rich in ber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. One medium-size artichoke is a good source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium, the California Artichoke Advisory Board (CAAB) notes on its website. Artichokes can aid in digestion, heart and liver health, and improving cholesterol levels.

They are available year-round, but spring is when domestic artichokes are most abundant. Artichokes are a versatile ingredient that can be boiled, baked, microwaved, steamed, or grilled. From dips to casseroles and beyond, the ways to bring artichokes to your table are almost endless.

1. Wash under cold running water. A soft kitchen brush can be used to lightly clean the exterior.


2. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut about 1 inch o the top of the artichoke and ¼ inch o the stem. The stem is a continuation of the heart, so don’t cut it completely o unless you need the artichoke to sit flat on a plate.

3. With scissors or kitchen shears, remove all thorns from the tips of petals. This step can be optional, as the thorns tend to soften when cooked.

4. If you’d like, spread open the petals slightly to allow seasonings to fall in between.

Casanova’s Appassionata Dip


Ditch the knives and forks and start the evening with finger food—an artichoke with a delicious dip.

½ cup sour cream ½ cup mayonnaise

1 ½ tablespoons chopped chives

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish ½ teaspoon salt Chopped chives, to garnish

1. Wash and trim stem so artichoke stands upright.

2. Cut o the top quarter of artichoke; if desired, snip tips o remaining petals with kitchen scissors.

3. Stand prepared artichoke in deep saucepan or pot with 3 inches of boiling water. Oil, lemon juice, and seasoning may be added to cooking water, if desired.

4. Cover and boil gently, checking water level occasionally, for 25 to 40 minutes depending upon size or until a petal near the center pulls out easily.

5. In a bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, horseradish, and salt; chill.

6. Garnish with additional chives. Serve with steamed artichoke(s).

to boil

1. Stand prepared artichoke in deep saucepan or pot with 3 inches boiling water. (If desired, oil, lemon juice, and seasonings can be added to cooking water.)

2. Cover and boil gently 25 to 40 minutes, depending on size, or until petal near the center pulls out easily.

3. Stand artichoke upside down on a rack to drain.

to microwave

1. Set 2 medium-size prepared artichokes upside down in a small glass bowl with ½ cup water, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon oil. Cover with plastic wrap.

2. Cook on high 7 to 10 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing the bottom of the artichoke with a toothpick. It should feel like a baked potato. If you feel a hard spot, cook for another minute and test again.

Or, test by pulling a petal out. If it comes o easily, the artichoke is done. If not, cook for another minute and test again. Let stand covered 5 minutes after cooking.


Prepared and cooked artichokes are delicious when eaten on their own. But don’t bite out of the side like an apple—instead, follow these steps from the CAAB.

1. Pull o outer petals one at a time.

2. Dip the base of the petal into sauce or melted butter; pull through teeth to remove the soft, pulpy portion of the petal. Continue until all petals have been removed.

3. Spoon out the fuzzy center at base and discard. The bottom, or heart, of the artichoke is entirely edible. Cut into small pieces and dip into sauce.

5 spring 2024

four of a kind

Berry Delicious

Include a pop of nutrition in your diet with sweet, juicy strawberries

It’s the perfect time of year to pick up some sweet, juicy strawberries. About 88% of domestic strawberries are grown in California, and while we enjoy them throughout the year since they are harvested in different regions up and down the coast, peak strawberry season in the Golden State begins in early spring and runs to fall so these delicate fruits are most abundant and at their best.

Since strawberries are fully ripe at the time they are picked, they won’t continue to ripen after harvesting. Soon after they’re picked, the berries are taken to a cooler to be prepped for shipping, then refrigerated trucks take them across the country and they arrive in stores within three to four days.

If you resolved to eat healthier, adding more fruits to your diet is a perfect choice. Strawberries are naturally fat-free, a good source of dietary fiber, folic acid, and antioxidants that might help reduce the chances of heart disease and some cancers. Second only to blueberries in antioxidant levels, they also have more vitamin C than other berries. A 1-cup serving—about eight whole berries— has only 50 calories and fulfills the recommended value of vitamin C for an entire day.

selection and storage

■ Choose strawberries with a bright red color, tips that aren’t too seedy, and ones that still have their green caps (known as calyxes) attached.

■ Refrigerate strawberries as soon as possible in the original clamshell or layer the berries in a container lined with a paper towel.

■ Keep berries dry and refrigerated since moisture can hasten their decay. Wash them just prior to use—rinse under cool running water. Under ideal conditions, strawberries will last 2 to 5 days.

Fresh strawberries are most flavorful at room temperature, so if you have the time, let them warm up a bit after removing from the fridge. Enjoy them on their own, in salads, atop cereal or yogurt, swirled in ice cream, or blended into a smoothie. You can also easily freeze whole or sliced strawberries and have them on hand to bake into muffins, pies, cakes, and other delicious desserts. Speaking of dessert, you probably enjoy a sweet treat several times a week, so including strawberries can help add some health benefits. In the recipes here, which are courtesy of the California Strawberry Commission, try sweet ideas plus a savory twist, too.


did you know?

Strawberries have grown wild in Europe and the Americas for centuries, but the garden strawberry, which is the plant of choice for most commercial growers, was first bred during the mid-1700s by crossing a North American strawberry and a Chilean strawberry.

do small strawberries taste better than larger ones?

Flavor is influenced by growing conditions like weather, stage of ripeness when harvested, and variety, according to the California Strawberry Commission. Size is not a factor in determining flavor.

6 real food

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

These are the quintessential strawberry dessert—so easy to make, and perfect for all occasions, even just a weeknight. Combining chocolate, the crunch of nuts, and the sweet juiciness of strawberries is fun to make and delicious. ✁

Strawberry Shrimp Lettuce Cups

These lettuce cups are the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and refreshing. Paired with peanut sauce, these can be enjoyed as a meal or as an appetizer.

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

This decadent but lightened up little sweet treat can be made ahead of time and with just 10 minutes of hands-on time and 8 ingredients. Perfect for a party and definitely a crowd-pleaser!

Cut these out and use the recipes on the reverse side to make creative dishes with strawberries.

Strawberry Snickerdoodle Skillet Cookie

This classic snickerdoodle cookie is filled with cinnamon and fresh strawberries. Just make the dough, put it in a skillet, and bake! Serve it warm and top with your favorite vanilla ice cream.

7 spring 2024

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Bites


6 graham crackers pulsed in a food processor or crushed to make crumbs

3 tablespoons melted butter

12 strawberries, divided

1 (8-ounce) package light cream cheese at room temperature

1 cup 2% Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt)

2 eggs

½ cup granulated sweetener (such as monk fruit or cane sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with paper or silicone cups.

2. In a blender, pulse together the graham crackers and melted butter. Scoop about 1½ tablespoons of the mixture into prepared muffin tin cups and press down. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. For the filling, beat together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and sweetener. Once smooth, finely dice 6 of the strawberries and fold them into the batter.

4. Scoop the batter onto the graham cracker base and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch.

5. Let cool completely (you can even put them in the freezer to speed up the process). Slice the remaining strawberries and top each cheesecake bite with a strawberry slice. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Strawberry Snickerdoodle Skillet Cookie



1 cup butter, softened

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups chopped strawberries

1. Heat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a skillet with butter or cooking spray.

2. Once the butter is softened, beat it in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add in the sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

3. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix on a low setting until ingredients are combined.

4. Use the spatula to transfer the dough into the skillet, spreading it out evenly. Add the strawberries, pressing them into the dough with your hands.

5. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the cookie is lightly golden brown.

6. Let the cookie cool; then serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries



2 pounds California strawberries

⅓ cup each semisweet, milk, and white chocolate chips

Finely chopped toasted almonds or pistachios (optional)

1. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper. Rinse strawberries and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Melt chocolate according to package directions. If using the microwave, heat slowly in 20-second increments, stirring between.

3. Holding strawberry by stem end, dip into chocolate to cover about three-fourths of berry; dip into nuts, if desired, and lay on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strawberries, chocolate, and nuts. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

4. After first coating of chocolate is set, if you wish, dip into contrasting chocolate, leaving part of the first coating exposed. Repeat with third chocolate, if you wish, allowing each layer to set between dips.

to drizzle strawberries with chocolate

Microwave chocolate in small plastic bag until melted; squeeze into one corner of bag. Lay strawberries close together on baking sheet. Cut a small hole in corner of bag, and move back and forth over strawberries, squeezing bag gently. Or, drizzle contrasting chocolate over strawberries that have been dipped. Refrigerate until set.

Strawberry Shrimp Lettuce Cups



for the peanut sauce

¼ cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons water or to desired consistency

1 cup cooked quinoa

36 large shrimp thawed, deveined, and tails removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped strawberries

1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup chopped cucumber

12 leaves Bibb, Butter, or Romaine lettuce Black pepper, to taste Chopped green onion, to garnish (optional)

1. Make peanut sauce by whisking together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add water until sauce reaches your desired consistency.

2. Toss shrimp in olive oil. Heat a pan to medium-high and cook shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes each side, until pink and opaque. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix cooked quinoa with chopped strawberries, tomatoes, and cucumber.

4. Place individual lettuce leaves on a plate. Top with a small amount of strawberry-quinoa mixture and 3 shrimp per cup. Drizzle with peanut sauce, black pepper, and chopped green onion.

8 real food


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A Fresh Taste of Spring

Providing the freshest produce possible is something we take great pride in. We have our own produce warehouse to keep the time from field to store as short as possible. The produce is delivered to us daily, and it is then in the stores that same day. Our produce buyers are always sourcing quality items, and our organic selection is mostly local. Plus, we guarantee every product we sell to make sure you are always satisfied. It’s an exciting time of year in the produce department. Director of Produce, Brian Carter, and his team are “springing into action” with a delicious selection of strawberries and blueberries (page 11), and since it’s also artichoke season, we help you out with tips for preparing these unique vegetables (page 4).

Take a fresh springtime approach to easy weekend brunch. Patricia Jordan, Director of Deli, Bakery, and Cheese, shares how a cheese board is the perfect brunch protein. And, set the tone for any gettogether with our wow-worthy spreads. Hospitality and Catering Sales Manager, Mary Laplaca, highlights options plus our ready-toheat-and-eat meals and entrees that are perfect for any day (page 12). And for a roundup of brunch recipe ideas, turn to our feature on page 20 so you are well prepared with an easy—and flexible— egg strata, a showy soufflé, a delicious take on a savory waffle, a blueberry coffeecake, and more.

The changing of the seasons is an opportunity to try different recipes, foods, ingredients, and products in new ways. In her column, Tamira Franz, Director of Health and Wellness, shares exciting products and ways to use them (page 14).

When you’re looking for a main course, reach for our Mollie’s Famous Tri-Tip, which is tender, deliciously marinated grill-ready beef. Michael Tomasello, Director of Meat, Poultry, and Seafood, shares what makes our tri-tip so famous and something grilling enthusiasts will want to keep in mind (page 10).

In this issue we help you make the most of approachable everyday meals to bring the family together around the table (page 38), and transform everyday sandwiches into restaurant-worthy meals (page 44). Plus, dish up an authentic taste of Mexico and enjoy the world-famous avors of the cuisine from your own “cocina” (page 30).

Greet spring with a delicious glass of wine. John Bacho, Director of Wine, Beer, and Spirits, highlights a selection of must-try rosés that are perfect for the season (page 16).

Thank you for choosing Mollie Stone’s. We appreciate your business and hope you enjoy this issue with our compliments.


Mollie’s Famous Tri-Tip

Tender and deliciously marinated grill-ready beef


What makes our tri-tip so famous?

We start with a USDA Choice Grade tri-tip and add the marinade, which is our own recipe packed with bold Burgundy flavor. Then we tumble the marinated meat. Tumbling ensures there is consistent marinade flavor throughout the meat, and it also adds tenderness. The result is a delicious flavor profile created with today’s outdoor grilling lifestyle and chef enthusiast in mind.

How to cook our Mollie’s Famous Tri-Tip grill

n Prepare grill for direct and indirect medium-high heat.

n Sear the tri-tip 5 to 7 minutes per side over direct heat until nicely brown and meat starts to caramelize.

n Move the tri-tip over the indirect heat area and grill another 10 to 15 minutes per side.

n For medium-rare, internal temperature of the tri-tip should be 130°F.

n Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thin against the grain.

oven roasting

n Preheat the oven to 450°F.

n Place the tri-tip in a shallow roasting pan and put in the preheated oven.

n Turn down the temperature to 350°F and let the tri-tip cook for 12 to 14 minutes per pound.

n After 30 minutes, check the internal temperature.

n For medium-rare, internal temperature of the tri-tip should be 130°F.

10 real food
meat, poultry, and seafood

Spring Berries

Sweet, fresh strawberries and blueberries bring a bright spot to the table

We are “springing into action” in our Produce Departments with our favorite spring berries! Berries may be synonymous with warm summer weather, but with all of their nutrition and flavor, you won’t want to sleep on these bright baskets in the spring. There are no two berries that are more classic than the strawberry and blueberry.



As the most popularly consumed berries in the world, strawberries not only taste great, but also can be an important part of a healthy diet. Eating just one serving of strawberries may help improve heart health and could even help lower blood pressure. These bright red berries with their iconic green leafy caps are also rich in vitamin C and, although they are commonly eaten fresh, strawberries can be incorporated into everything from a sweet topping to a salad, pie, or fruit tart, and may even be preserved in many ways.

how to pick the perfect strawberries

When selecting your strawberries, some things to keep an eye out for are look, feel, and smell.

Look: Make sure to look for berries that are free of any blemishes and are a nice bright red color for optimal ripeness.

Feel: Check that the fruit is not too firm but also not too soft; there also should not be any extra dampness on the bottom of the container.

Smell: If you are looking for the sweetest strawberries, the smaller, more fragrant ones will often have more flavor. However, the larger less-sweet berries will make for the ideal addition to your next dessert recipe.

Blueberries may be linked to backyard barbecues in the summer, but it’s really blueberry season all year long! Although the harvest for blueberries takes place in warmer weather, it’s always summer somewhere on Earth. From April to late September, our blueberries will come from our North American growers, but from October to March, we get imports from South America to keep these berries in our Produce Departments through every season.

If their sweet flavor and easy snacking appearance isn’t enough, this fruit is also known as the king of antioxidants! Of the more common vegetables and fruits, blueberries top the list and are believed to have one of the highest levels of antioxidants. Add these little super fruits to your next bowl of cereal, atop Greek yogurt, or simply enjoy them on their own.

how to pick the perfect blueberries

The look, feel, and smell rule also works for fresh blueberries.

Look: Color is key with ripe and ready-to-eat blueberries. Look for a deep blue-black color and avoid reddish blueberries as they are not ripe. However, reddish blueberries can be great for cooked recipes like glazes and muffins.

Feel: The berries should also feel firm and plump. Avoid them if you see stains on the bottom of the container as the blueberries may be bruised. Smell: Make sure to smell them and seek a sweet aroma.


Brunch Season

Take a fresh springtime approach to easy weekend brunch

director of deli, bakery, and cheese

Cheese is the perfect brunch protein. I love cheese anytime, but I believe it truly delivers a scrumptious experience for brunch. A cheese board that is appropriate for this special time of day is a delight—and paired with some bubbly, your favorite Mimosa, an Aperol Spritz, or a special cold brew tea or coffee makes it a celebration!

For my morning cheese boards, I usually don’t include traditional salami and other charcuterie but rather a few lovely slices of French ham or smoked salmon and scallions.

Choose fresh cheese—a chèvre and maybe a ricotta with honey to drizzle. Also include one hard cheese like

a buttery, nutty Gouda and maybe a breakfast cheese, such as one from Marin French. If you are adventurous, you can get out a raclette grill or cast iron skillet and melt a few slices of a hard cheese. A melted and gooey cheese bite with a touch of honey is a decadent treat.

Walnuts and other favored nuts are a must. Be sure to include honey, date syrup, some lovely preserves, dried and fresh fruits—the best of the season, of course. Serve this with our wonderful rustic breads, toasted to perfection. Try to have freshly baked muffins or other morning bread to serve warm at the table and sliced crostini for people to make their own breakfast bruschetta.

A Sunday brunch is a wonderful way to embrace this special day. It sends a message to our senses to slow down and take as much time as you need to enjoy the moment. No phones, no devices—just you, your loved ones, and a magical repast.

For dessert, a lovely hike is in order. I always love to be outside for this glorious season. After all, how many spring seasons do we get in a lifetime? Something to think about.

Happy spring to each of you—may it be filled with delicious food experiences!

12 real food deli, bakery, and cheese

For All the Reasons You Gather

Set the tone for any get-together with wow-worthy spreads

When I go to a gathering, whether that may be an office brunch or cocktail party, one thing always rings true—food and drinks have the ability to set the tone for an event. When you have quality and elevated food present, you are setting the groundwork for equally exceptional conversations and connections. This could be in the form of a shared experience such as a flavor combination that guests have never encountered before, or a conversation started between two strangers over a classic appetizer.

As the Hospitality and Catering Sales Manager at Mollie Stone’s, I want to help you think outside the box with a wow-worthy spread that you can create using our chef-prepared masterpieces. Let us also help take the stress out of planning your next event by having these delicious offerings delivered directly to you just in time for your guests to arrive and enjoy.

we want to be your go-to for all the reasons you gather!

n Corporate Breakfast, Lunches, and Happy Hours

n Baby Showers

n Engagement Parties

n School Fundraisers

everyday delicious

n Birthday Parties

n Cocktail Parties

n Or any other event when you would like to elevate the experience

Some of the other ways we are proud to be a part of your everyday are with our ready-to-heat-andeat meals and entrees. Some of our customer favorites are the Mollie’s Famous Grilled Tri-Tip, Grilled Salmon with Lemon Aioli, Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Rice, and Chicken Parmesan, to name a few.

We have also thought about all the small details that help make an event an experience. In addition to our vast variety of food items, our catering website offers beverages, floral, and balloons—it’s truly a one-stop-shop for your next event.

here is what our customers have to say:

“I always love your catering. You make fresh food and it tastes good. Your customer service is wonderful as well. I attempted to order, wasn't timely, and couldn't do so. The next day someone called, said they would place the order. It needed to be filled at a different store and they drove it to the store I needed to pick it up at. That is just wonderful!” –Tiffany N.

“Delivery time was great, presentation— lovely as always, food was really fresh, tasty. Thank you and your team! Never disappoints!” –Stephanie U.

“Loved every part of your service. The food was delicious and the customer service was spectacular. Especially your chef who brought me my order and talked me through what I needed to do. Thank you!” –Elias W.

“All aspects were excellent! Rave reviews for presentation. The boxes used for delivery provided superior protection ensuring everything arrived as pretty as a picture. Customer service was super responsive and provided all the answers!” –Erika K.


Refresh and Renew

Add zest to foods and enhance well-being while refreshing the cupboard tamira franz, director of health and wellness mollie stone’s markets

The changing of the seasons is an opportunity to try different recipes, food options, and upcycle traditional ingredients and products in new ways. At Mollie Stone’s, we offer fresh, seasonal, and exciting new products to make a difference in people’s lives.

We constantly search for exciting new products and trends. Whether lifestyle or dietary related, we cull through hundreds of items and choose the highest quality to stock our shelves. And if there is something you are looking for, please contact us at

Here are several “changing with the season” ingredients and items to add to your basket or cart on your next trip to Mollie Stone’s, along with ideas to use the products and easy recipes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from the fermentation of apple cider. Chances are you have heard about the benefits of vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, for health and medicinal uses. While there are many claims about the tart golden-hued liquid— from warding o colds by gargling to curbing appetite by ingesting a tablespoon before a meal—the fact is, apple cider vinegar will zest up your next meal or snack. Here are some ideas to use it:

■ Substitute in recipes calling for red or white vinegar.

■ If you love popcorn and want a low-calorie substitute for butter, fill a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar, finely spray popcorn, and top with a little salt or pepper.

■ Drizzle a teaspoon on top of your fresh salad or mix it with your favorite salad dressing. It also pairs nicely with bean or potato salads.

■ Use instead of lemon to give beverages a zing!

■ For a refreshing beverage, try Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar drinks.

Used in Asia for thousands of years as a culinary and medicinal spice, turmeric is referred to as the “spice of life.” It is a member of the ginger family and found available fresh as a root in the produce department, as an herbal supplement in the vitamin department, or as a ground spice in the grocery aisle. Due to increasing awareness and consumer appeal, turmeric is finding its way into well-known tea and beverage brands. In addition to reaching for the newest juice or box of tea enhanced with turmeric, try experimenting with the fresh root or ground spice as suggested below. Just be careful to use sparingly as you become accustomed to the flavor since it can easily overpower the recipe with its pungency.

■ Try fresh turmeric as a beverage tonic—remove the peel and grate a small amount.

■ Make an omelet by adding freshly grated turmeric to the pan before cooking eggs.

■ Use turmeric root or powder in pureed soups such as split pea, butternut, or cauliflower.

■ Blend the fresh root or a pinch of powder into a smoothie.

■ Use the powder to make golden lattes.

Did you know? Navitas sources organic turmeric powder specifically from a source with high curcumin, the revered compound in turmeric that gives it its anti-inflammatory properties. Pair with a pinch of black pepper to enjoy the maximum nutrition benefits of turmeric powder.

14 real food PHOTO X grocery


Hibiscus is a beautiful plant renowned for its large showy flowers and used worldwide as a non-ca einated beverage or tea. The beverage is known for its red color, tart flavor, and vitamin C content that is five times higher than oranges. Organic with no added sugar, Ruby sparkling hibiscus beverages are big on flavor and benefits.


Changing with the Seasons

Take cues from the season. That’s the mantra of Neka Pasquale M.S. LAC, founder of Urban Remedy.

Spring is the time when the body comes out of the dormant yin stage of winter. It goes into the yang stage of new beginnings, represented by sprouting, growing, and movement. It is the time between winter and summer when seeds sprout, owers bloom, and the dry hills turn green again.

Honey is a good source of antioxidants and known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has a long medicinal history from the ancient Greeks to modern home remedies where a spoonful has been used to soothe a sore throat or act as an alternative to cough syrup. Honey is a versatile ingredient that livens up a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory.

■ Satisfy your snack cravings with this recipe adapted from the National Honey Board: Whisk together vinegar, water, honey, and salt until the salt and honey are dissolved. Add sliced cucumbers and refrigerate for 15 minutes, then strain the cucumbers. Add the cucumbers and everything spice mix (we love our local bay area Morton & Bassett Everything Spice Mix). Serve alongside sandwiches or by themselves as a refreshing crunchy treat.

■ For an added boost, try Beekeeper Naturals B. Soothed throat lozenges made with honey, vitamin D, and zinc. Each lozenge is formulated with liquid propolis and honey that soothe dry, scratchy throats and help support the immune system.

In our hectic lives, the liver and body become overloaded. From the poor food we eat, the unhealthy lifestyle we might lead, and the environmental toxins we might come in contact with, we can feel tired, sluggish, and out of sorts. By cleansing the liver, we rejuvenate our body and mind and may slow down the aging process.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, the free flow of liver and gallbladder energy is the number one disease preventative. It is the best way to guarantee health and harmony. Take advantage of spring’s manifestation in your body. For your liver, decide to do some emotional spring cleaning.

Eating smaller portions greatly reduces the stress put on the liver. Also, incorporate foods that cool and cleanse the liver such as organic fresh greens, apple, cherry, grapefruit, lemon, sprouts, wheat and barley grasses, beets and their greens, kale, parsley, onions, turmeric, mint, apple cider vinegar, quinoa, oats, sunflower seeds, green tea, seaweed, dandelion root, chamomile flowers, asparagus, and all green vegetables. (Juicing green vegetables is highly recommended.)

Urban Remedy Deep Cleaning and Glow juice, all our greens juices, Matcha Mint Tea Latte, and our seasonal salads are all excellent choices.

Find a large selection of your favorite Urban Remedy products at Mollie Stone’s Markets!


wine, beer, and spirits

Think Pink

Greet spring with our delicious selection of must-try rosés by john bacho, director of wine, beer, and spirits

Spring is a season of transformation and change, from darkness to light, from cold to warmth, and from gray to bursts of color. It is also when we move from winter red wines to lighter wines such as rosés. There is nothing that says “Hello, spring” quite like a vibrant rosé, and here are my must-trys.

whispering angel côtes de provence rosé

Chateau d’Esclans is a magical property in the heart of Provence, northeast of St. Tropez that overlooks La Vallee d’Esclans with the Mediterranean coast in the distance. The founder acquired the chateau in 2006 and had a vision to create the greatest rosés in the world, igniting the “Rosé Renaissance.”

Whispering Angel is today’s worldwide reference for Provence rosé. Made from Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle (Vermentino) it is medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a supple, creamy palate. A rosé you could drink from midday to midnight.

martin ray rosé of pinot noir

Martin Ray was a California winemaking pioneer, dedicated to crafting single varietal, regionspecific wine from 1943 through 1972 in Saratoga, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Mentored by Paul Masson, he developed what is now one of the most historical properties in California, Mount Eden. Courtney Benham purchased the brand, and since 1990, has been committed to the production of artisanal wines worthy of the name. This is 100% Pinot Noir from Sonoma and Monterey appellations. Crisp and fruity, with wild strawberry, cantaloupe, zest lemon, and kumquat. Fresh throughout, with white nectarine and honeysuckle, a linear midpalate, and lasting, vibrant salinity on the finish.

maison st. aix provence rosé

This is made in the Provence region of France, east of the historic city of Aix-en-Provence. Situated in a 140-year-old domaine, the vineyards are one of the highest in the region at 1,400 feet above sea level. The wine is aged in a stainless-steel tank, resulting in a beautiful rosé that is delicious year-round. This is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 20% Cinsault with notes of strawberry, watermelon, peach, and subtle floral hints. Nice minerality and a long precise finish.

diora le belle fete rosé of pinot noir

Named for the golden hills of Santa Lucia Mountain Range that frames the family-owned San Bernabe Vineyard in Monterey, Diora wines are inspired from “d’Or,” French for “golden” and bestowed on beautiful, sun-filled regions. This is a blend of Pinot Noir, Grenache, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Malbec with aromas of fresh, ripe strawberries and notes of red grapefruit and honeydew melon that are inviting and alluring. The aromas are carried through on the palate and complemented by hints of mandarin and watermelon with a vibrant acidity.

goldeneye brut rosé

This is made up of 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay, and crafted in the methode champenoise tradition 24 months on the lees. This tantalizing brut rosé beckons with enticing aromas of stone fruit, ripe raspberry, white gardenia, and lemon curd. On the palate it is creamy with refreshing acidity and an e ervescent mousse that frames lush layers of summer strawberry, juicy white peach, and fresh baked brioche with a hint of candied lemon peel lingering on the long, shimmering finish.

opolo rosé central coast

scharffenberger brut rosé

This is made in the classic southern Rhône style from grapes grown exclusively for rosé production, creating a Provençal-style wine that is perfect for spring and summer. This comes from the Quinn Estate vineyards along with select vineyards on the warmer east side of Paso Robles. Made of Grenache, Syrah, and Viognier, a round, luscious texture floods the mouth with light watermelon, tangelo, lime zest, and strawberry lemonade flavors. Quenching acidity and cool minerality converge on a clean, refreshing finish.

Schar enberger Cellars began in 1981 in the heart of Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. Under the pioneering leadership of its founder, John Schar enberger, the winery embarked on a mission to craft unparalleled California sparkling wine, poised to rival the best in the world. This is 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, with lovely aromas of strawberry with dried peach and some cotton candy, and full-bodied, layered with freshness and creaminess. Juicy yet graceful and quietly complex, it is a pleasure to pour with or without food.

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Whether you’re an aspiring home cook or a seasoned chef, these five egg tools can add flair and finesse to your culinary repertoire

Easy Separation

Bid farewell to awkward and messy shell-cracking maneuvers with an egg separator. This nifty tool ensures a clean separation of yolk and white, perfect for recipes that require precision—such as meringues or hollandaise sauce. Look for a separator with a firm grip and easy cleaning features to streamline your kitchen routine.

Pierce for an Easy Peel

Meet the unsung hero of flawless boiled eggs—the egg piercer. This tiny tool prevents cracked shells during boiling by creating a small hole in the eggshell. You simply place the wide end of a raw egg on top of the device and gently press down to pierce the eggshell. This gadget ensures a smooth peel every time, perfect for deviled eggs or egg salad.

Poached Goodness

Perfectly poached eggs are no longer reserved for brunch outings. Invest in an egg poacher for a foolproof method of achieving velvety, runny yolks and tender whites. Look for silicone poaching cups for easy cleaning and a nonstick cooking experience.

Slice and Dice

Transform your ordinary boiled eggs into visually appealing slices with an egg slicer. Ideal for salads, sandwiches, or garnishes, this tool delivers uniform cuts for a professional touch. Choose a sturdy design with stainless-steel wires for durability and ease of use.

It’s Electric

Take the guesswork out of boiling eggs and elevate your egg game with an electric (or rapid) egg cooker. This compact gadget takes the hassle out of achieving the perfect boil, o ering di erent settings for soft, medium, or hard-boiled eggs. Enjoy consistently cooked eggs without the fuss.

17 spring 2024 tips and tools

Gut Check

A probiotic path can lead to digestive harmony and well-being, while nurturing your gut and revitalizing your overall health

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healthy habits

In the dynamic landscape of wellness, the spotlight is increasingly turning to gut health. Believe it or not, the symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms residing in our digestive system and the foods we consume is essential to our overall well-being.

The human gut is a bustling ecosystem teeming with trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome—an intricate community of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Help your gut function at its best by incorporating probiotics into your diet.

Probiotics, often referred to as the “good bacteria,” are live microorganisms chock-full of health benefits. They play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of our gut microbiota, supporting digestion, bolstering our immune system, and might even influence mental well-being. Mayo Clinic states your gut houses up to 1,000 different species of bacterium, and nourishing these bacteria can help keep your gut in check.

The good news is that incorporating probiotics into your daily routine is both accessible and delicious. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are just a few examples of probiotic-rich foods. Or try kombucha, a powerhouse of probiotics. Bursting with beneficial bacteria and yeast, this effervescent elixir supports digestion and boosts immunity, making it a deliciously overlooked secret to a thriving gut.

what’s all the fizz about?

Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, is an increasingly sought-after source of probiotics. Its origin traces back to ancient China, where it was revered for its health-promoting properties. Today, kombucha has become a staple for consumers, grocery shoppers, and health enthusiasts alike.

At the heart of kombucha’s allure is the fermentation process. Beneficial bacteria and yeast mingle with sweetened tea, creating a lively dance of fermentation that results in a tangy and slightly effervescent drink. What makes kombucha truly special is its rich probiotic content, which can include strains like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and more.

Consuming kombucha is like delivering a microbial army to your gut, fortifying its defenses and promoting a thriving microbiome. When taken regularly, it may help alleviate digestive issues, enhance nutrient absorption, and even contribute to a more robust immune response. It is recommended not to consume more than 16 ounces of kombucha per day, though, which is about the amount in a bottle of store-bought kombucha.

bubbly benefits

The benefits of kombucha extend beyond probiotics. This ancient elixir is also a treasure trove of antioxidants, organic acids, and enzymes. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which is implicated in various diseases, while organic acids provide additional digestive support. Its detoxifying properties support liver function, while glucosamines enhance joint health. The beverage’s probiotic content may aid in mental clarity and mood regulation.

For those stepping into the world of kombucha, an array of flavors awaits, each boasting its unique blend of taste and wellness benefits. From the zing of ginger to the refreshing notes of fruit-infused varieties, there’s a flavor profile for every palate.

As you navigate the grocery aisles in search of gut-nourishing options, consider adding kombucha to your cart. Embrace this centuries-old elixir, sip on its effervescence, and unlock the power of gut health—one delicious bottle at a time. Cheers to a healthier, happier gut!

Kombucha Smoothie MAKES 1 SERVING

This simple smoothie is loaded with vitamins and minerals— plus, the kombucha adds an extra probiotic punch.

1 cup ginger kombucha

1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced

½ cup frozen pineapple chunks

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Ice cubes (optional)

In a blender, combine the ginger kombucha, banana, pineapple chunks, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and honey. Blend until the mixture reaches a smooth, creamy consistency. Adjust the sweetness with more honey, if needed. Add ice cubes if you prefer an extra-chilled drink.

spring 2024
20 real food
by robin asbell photos by terry brennan food styling by lara miklasevics
The combination of breakfast and lunch foods come together to make a delicious meal with something for eve one

Sometimes, two great things combine to make something even better. Think sushi burritos, cookies and ice cream—and brunch. When breakfast seems too early, blend in some lunch fare, start later, and serve until 2 p.m. so everyone can make it.

The portmanteau word “brunch” was first seen in print in 1895 when Guy Beringer wrote about the virtues of a midday meal for revelers who preferred to stay out late drinking, and it was probably a slang term before that. His ideal brunch included alcoholic drinks, and we still see the Mimosa and Bloody Mary as part of the menu. Brunch was also quickly adopted by churchgoers looking for a post-service meal, and by anyone who wanted to sleep in on the weekend.

Since the timing straddles breakfast and lunch, the meal combines your favorite breakfast foods with an eye toward making a midday meal of it by also including lunch items. Of course there are eggs, lots of eggs, but now that you’ve had a cup of coffee, you can make a more ambitious family-sized soufflé. Feeling playful? Make Tater Tot Waffles for a delicious, fun serving of potatoes, or Hasselback New Potatoes in Cast Iron. The Breakfast Strata is a crowd-pleaser, and the Berry and Brie Puff Pastry Squares and Blueberry Ricotta Coffeecake deliver for the sweet tooth. Welcome your friends and family to a spread of breakfast-y treats, with a sweet and tangy Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin that anchors the meal squarely in the daytime. Don’t forget to have a side of fruit—or even a veggie. It is brunch, after all.

Berry and Brie Pu Pastry Squares MAKES 4 SERVINGS

These upside-down pu pastries have been popular with TikTok and Instagram bakers, taking the world by storm. By placing the fillings for your pastry on the pan first, then topping them with pastry, you allow the fillings to cook and brown while the pastry pu s, unimpeded by the weight of the fillings. In this version, you will top the berries with creamy brie cheese and let it melt for a sweet and savory sensation that can’t be beat.

1 sheet pu pastry, thawed Flour, for rolling 1 large egg, plus 1 teaspoon water 8 teaspoons honey, divided 8 small blackberries, divided 16 raspberries, divided 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, divided 2 ounces brie, rind removed, thinly sliced, divided

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Have a pastry brush and a fork on hand.

2. Lightly flour the counter and unfold the pu pastry, place on the flour, and sprinkle the top with a bit more flour. Roll the pastry just to smooth the fold marks, making a 10-inch square. Cut into 4 squares.

3. Whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon of water in a medium bowl, and get a pastry brush.

4. On the prepared pan, place 2 teaspoons honey on each quadrant of the pan. Top with 2 blackberries, 4 raspberries, and a pinch of minced rosemary.

5. Place the pu squares on top of the fillings and lightly press the sides to fit around the fillings. Use a fork to press the borders of each piece of pastry, then brush with the egg mixture.

6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the pu pastry is golden brown. Let the pastries cool on a rack for 2 minutes before using a metal spatula to lift them up and flip onto a serving plate. Top with slivers of brie while hot and return to the oven for 1 minute to melt. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 350, Fat: 20g (Sat: 10g), Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 320mg, Carb: 35g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 14g, Protein: 8g

Brunch Fruit

No brunch is complete without cut-up fruit for a light, juicy bite in between savory proteins and sweet co eecake. You can keep it simple with a bowl of pineapple cubes or melon wedges. Go with what’s best in the season, and spring is when the berries are bursting with just-picked flavor. Always toss the cut fruit, especially apples, pears, or bananas, with orange or lemon juice to prevent browning.

For a fruit salad, a simple mix of lemon juice and honey helps sweeten any fruit that is a little tart, as well as keeping the fruit from browning. Just stir 1 or 2 tablespoons of each in a cup and pour over the fruit, then toss gently. For a heartier salad, stir in yogurt, mayo, or sour cream sweetened with honey. Fresh herbs like mint, tarragon, or parsley add sparkle. For more heft, sprinkle in chopped walnuts.

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Blueberry Ricotta Coffeecake


This tender cake has a velvety, moist interior thanks to creamy ricotta cheese. Juicy blueberries dapple the cake with bursts of purple, and the crunchy streusel topping is irresistible.

for the streusel

½ cup flour

½ cup whole almonds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted for the cake

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest

3 large eggs

1 cup ricotta cheese

½ cup canola oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup blueberries

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan.

2. Make the Streusel: In a food processor, combine the flour, almonds, cinnamon, brown sugar, and melted butter. Pulse until the almonds are coarsely chopped and the mixture is crumbly. Transfer to a medium bowl, squeeze to form large crumbles, and refrigerate. (Alternatively, chop the almonds by hand, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix well.)

3. For the cake: In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and reserve.

4. In a mixer, combine sugar and lemon zest and use the batter

paddle to mix for 1 minute to distribute the lemony flavor. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the ricotta, oil, and the lemon juice. Add the flour mixture to the mixer gradually, with the mixer on low. Beat just until mixed, fold in the berries, then spread in the prepared pan. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the batter.

5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out with no wet batter attached. Cool on a rack. This keeps for 1 week, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

Nutrition (per serving when

12 pieces): Calories: 400, Fat: 19g (Sat: 4.5g), Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 260mg, Carb: 51g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 33g, Protein: 7g

23 spring 2024

Eggs in Many Forms

The strata, egg bake, quiche, frittata, and sou é are all made with eggs—but what is the di erence?

Strata usually contains bread, and can be a thrifty way to use up stale bread since it is soaked in an egg and milk custard before baking with assorted breakfast foods.

Egg bake or egg casserole is almost the same as a strata, but may or may not include bread in it.

Quiche is made in a pastry crust, can contain a variety of vegetables, meats, or cheeses, and usually the eggs are beaten with a generous amount of half-andhalf or cream.

Frittata, which is similar to a Spanish tortilla, is more like a crustless quiche that is baked in a pie pan or prepared in a skillet over low heat, then either flipped in the pan or finished under the broiler.

Sou é is the show-o of the egg dishes, employing lofty beaten egg whites to carry a rich béchamel high above the baking dish.

Flexible Breakfast Strata MAKES 8 TO 12 SERVINGS

The easiest and tastiest way to feed a crowd at brunch is the strata. Call it an egg bake or a casserole, it’s a pan full of breakfast foods, all bound with savory eggs and cheese to make a sliceable meal. This one is a template, so you can use the vegetables your family prefers, or even make it vegan or gluten-free.

4 cups cubed bread or 12 ounces thawed hash browns (or gluten-free bread or hash browns)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 pound sausage, or 6 ounces cooked and crumbled bacon (can use plantbased sausage)

3 cups chopped vegetables, such as broccoli and peppers

12 large eggs, or 36 ounces Just Egg or make a plantbased egg substitute (see Cook’s Notes)

¾ cup milk, or nondairy milk (see Cook’s Notes)

1 teaspoon salt

milk (or nondairy milk) salt, and dried herb. Whisk well.

4. Distribute the sausage mixture over the bread or potatoes, then pour the egg mixture over that, using your spatula to lift the ingredients in the pan so eggs can flow around them. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

1 teaspoon dried thyme or sage

1½ cups shredded cheese, or vegan cheese

1. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or a 3 or 4 quart casserole. Sprinkle the bread or hash browns in the pan and reserve.

6. Heat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the casserole is firm when pressed with a fingertip. Cool slightly on a rack and slice while still warm.

Cook’s Notes:

■ To make a plant-based egg substitute for 12 eggs, whisk 3 cups garbanzo (chickpea) flour with 3 cups water and 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric.

2. In a large sauté pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat for a few seconds, then add the onion. Sauté until it starts to sizzle, then add the crumbled or chopped sausage. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, until cooked. Add the vegetables and cook until they are softened. (To use bacon, cook separately and add when the vegetables are done.)

3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs (or egg substitute) with the

■ Leave out the milk if using the make-your-own plant-based garbanzo flour egg substitute option. (Include the milk if using the Just Egg.)

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 270, Fat: 18g (Sat: 7g), Cholesterol: 205mg, Sodium: 640mg, Carb: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 17g

Nutrition (with vegan/nondairy per serving): Calories: 250, Fat: 6g (Sat: 1.5g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 540mg, Carb: 37g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 12g

25 spring 2024

Tater Tot Wa es


What could be more fun than Tater Tots? Crispy Tater Tot wa es! Use your wa e iron to turn tots into golden brown rounds, with all the indentations and crevices of a wa e to add crunch. Top with savory cheese or go sweet and savory with a drizzle of maple syrup.

1 (28-ounce) package mini Tater Tots, thawed ½ cup shredded Parmesan or cheddar (optional) Oil, for wa e iron

1. Thaw the Tater Tots overnight in the refrigerator or 2 hours at room temperature. Have a plate ready for the finished wa es, and if desired, preheat the oven to 200°F to hold the finished wa es.

the plate. Brush the top plate and close the wa e iron, leaning on it to really compress and flatten the Tater Tots.

4. Cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. If using cheese, sprinkle the top of the wa e with 2 tablespoons of cheese and close the iron, cook for about 1 minute until melted and golden, and the iron releases when opened. Serve immediately.

2. Set the wa e iron on darkest setting—if yours has settings.

3. Turn on the wa e iron and brush the bottom plate with oil. Quickly arrange about 2½ cups of the tots very close to each other on

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 400, Fat: 25g (Sat: 6g), Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 1070mg, Carb: 32g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 8g

Spinach and Gruyere Soufflé


The lofty, airy soufflé is often seen as the domain of chefs and kitchen magicians. But, it’s really not as hard as it seems, thanks to the electric mixer. Beaten egg whites hold bubbles of air, and when baked, they expand, creating a fluffy, show-stopper of a dish. Just make sure that everyone is seated and ready to eat when you take it out of the oven, because it will fall pretty quickly, but it will still be a delicious, eggy dish.

¾ cup Gruyere cheese, finely shredded

1 bag frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed

2½ cups milk

¼ large onion

1 large bay leaf

2 whole cloves

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

6 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 large eggs

1. Butter a 6-cup soufflé dish and sprinkle with Gruyere to cover the sides. Chill for at least 10 minutes.

2. Wring out thawed spinach and wrap in a clean kitchen towel to dry thoroughly, then put on a cutting board and mince.

3. Heat milk with onion, bay leaf, and cloves and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then remove seasonings. Heat oven to 425°F.

4. Make the bechamel: Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan and beat in the flour with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cook, whisking, over low heat for about 3 minutes, then take off the flame for 1 minute. Bring the milk to a boil and whisk 2 tablespoons of the hot milk into the roux, return to the heat,

then whisk in the remaining milk. Cook, whisking, until smooth and bubbling. Let cool, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

5. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl for beating, and beating each yolk into the bechamel. Stir in spinach.

6. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold a dollop of whites into the bechamel mixture, then fold in the rest of the whites thoroughly.

7. Scrape the egg mixture into the prepared dish. Run your finger

around the edge to make an indentation. Place on a sheet pan and bake the soufflé for 10 minutes, then lower heat to 375°F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When the soufflé is puffed and golden brown, serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 340, Fat: 25g (Sat: 14g), Cholesterol: 230mg, Sodium: 360mg, Carb: 13g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 17g

27 spring 2024

Brunch Veggies

Breakfast isn’t known for veggie sides, but lunch is. Keep brunch light and colorful with more veggies, whether in salads or sides. A big bowl of green salad, topped with spring berries, asparagus, scallions, or whatever strikes you will tuck beautifully alongside a slice of egg bake and Parmesan potatoes. Cooked veggies, like roasted asparagus, broccolini, or sautéed mushrooms will please most everyone.

Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin


1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon salt

1½ pounds pork tenderloin (1 large) trimmed

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ cup white wine

¼ cup minced chives

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and reserve.

2. In a cup, mix the Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt, then brush with the Dijon mixture.

3. Heat the canola oil in a large sauté pan. Place the tenderloin in the hot pan (fold the thin “tail” under to make a more even thickness). Sear on both sides, turning with tongs, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the baking sheet.

Pork tenderloins are so easy to cook and present well, too.

This one is glazed with a tangy-sweet Dijon and maple sauce, which complements the mild pork perfectly. Any leftovers can be sliced for sandwiches or cubed to toss in a salad.

Bring to a boil and cook until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reserve.

5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 160°F.

6. Brush the hot tenderloin with the thickened pan sauce, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

4. Add the white wine to the sauté pan, stirring to deglaze the browned bits.

Cook's Note: If you would like a little more sauce than a glaze, you can easily double the ingredients.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 150, Fat: 4g (Sat: 1g), Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 470mg, Carb: 5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 18g

Nutrition (per serving, with sauce doubled): Calories: 180, Fat: 4g (Sat: 1g), Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 700mg, Carb: 10g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 18g

Hasselback Parsley-Parmesan Potatoes


Hasselback potatoes originated in a restaurant in Stockholm, but now “hasselbacking” has moved from just potatoes to other vegetables and meats. The technique of slicing almost all the way through a piece of food so that you can fill the gaps with seasonings creates more flavor and texture. These little potatoes, sliced and basted with garlic and herb oil, are tender throughout and topped with savory Parmesan for a special take on potatoes your guests will love.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ pounds new potatoes

½ cup parsley, chopped

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Get a 12-inch pan and foil to cover it.

2. In a small pot, warm the olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper.

3. Fit the potatoes snugly in the pan, then take each one out and do the cuts as follows: Place each potato on the cutting board and place two chopsticks on either side of the potato, to use as a knife-stop. Carefully grip the chopsticks and use a sharp paring knife to slice down, but not through, at 1⁄4-inch intervals. Use a pastry

brush to baste in between the slices of each potato, opening the slices as much as possible without breaking. Place the potato back in the pan and continue until all are done. Reserve a couple of tablespoons of the seasoned oil.

4. When all the potatoes are seasoned and in the pan, cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. The potatoes should be tender in the center of a thick slice when pierced with a knife.

5. Uncover, baste again with the reserved oil, and sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan. Return to the oven for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve hot.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 190, Fat: 11g (Sat: 2.5g), Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 520mg, Carb: 1g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 5g

29 spring 2024


Enjoy the world-famous flavors of Mexican cuisine from your own “cocina”

There are few flavors as uniquely delicious as those of authentic Mexican cuisine. Bold spices, sweet, acidic veggies, and tangy salsas and sauces create a harmonious convergence that nearly every foodie can appreciate. Yet, the vibrant traditions of Mexican cooking are often misunderstood, as seen through the eyes of Mexican chef and restaurant owner Adriana Cavita. Through her years as a chef, Cavita has been witness to many misconceptions surrounding her home country’s cuisine, whether it be that all Mexican dishes are spicy, or that everything is wrapped in a tortilla. Paying homage to her roots, much of Cavita’s career has been centered around showcasing the full complexity and diversity of Mexico’s world-famous flavors and sharing them with others. Her eponymous restaurant in London has even recently been awarded a Michelin star for its authentic representation of these flavors.

But it is just as important to Cavita that people have the chance to experience authentic Mexican meals at home. In her 2023 cookbook “Cocina Mexicana,” Cavita gives readers this chance. With fresh, vibrant recipes, simple tips and tricks, and an exploration of traditional ingredients, the book offers a crash course in Mexican home cooking—a pursuit that Cavita considers to be an art form. And once you’ve tried your hand at a few of the selected recipes here—from Chicken Stew (which is super easy with rotisserie chicken from the deli) to Northern-Style Stuffed Peppers—you’re likely to agree. –emma enebak

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Chicken Stew



This recipe is typically served each year on Sept. 16 as part of the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, but it is also enjoyed as a daily meal. Some people use canned chilies, however I prefer to use dried chilies for their smoky flavor. –adriana cavita

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 white onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2¾ pounds tomatoes, blended and strained

2 tablespoons salt

¼ cup chipotle paste

6 whole allspice berries

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 fresh bay leaves

1¾ pounds cooked and shredded chicken breast

1 cup chicken stock or water

To Serve Tostadas

Fresh cheese

Sour cream

Finely chopped iceberg lettuce

Any of your favorite spicy salsas and sauces

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over mediumhigh heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes or until they start to take on some color.

2. Add the strained tomatoes, salt, chipotle paste, allspice berries, black pepper, and bay leaves. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, then lower the heat and add the shredded chicken and stock or water.

3. Cook for another 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

4. Serve the stewed chicken on top of tostadas with fresh cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and one or two spicy salsas and sauces.

Cook’s Notes:

n To make your own chipotle paste, blend a 7-ounce can of chipotles in adobo in a food processor or blender. Just be careful when adding it to the stew if you don´t like too much spice.

n You can also use the chicken stew as the filling for quesadillas.

Nutrition (per serving without toppings):

Calories: 230, Fat: 10g (Sat: 1.5g), Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 2220mg, Carb: 10g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 25g

31 spring 2024

Grilled Meat Tacos

Tacos De Asada


This is the perfect dish for celebrating birthdays or special occasions, especially if the meal can be cooked and enjoyed outdoors, cooking on a hot grill in the garden with friends and family while drinking beers. These tacos can be cooked on a hot charcoal grill—which is my favorite method—or in a large pan in the kitchen. Traditionally, the grilled meat is served with guacamole, beans, one or two spicy sauces (fresh or cooked), sometimes slices of radish or cucumber, and tortillas, of course. There is no specific cut of meat for these tacos, so choose your favorite kind. –a.c.

1 pound rib-eye, skirt, or flank steak

1 pound rump steak

2 ¼ pounds scallions

Sea salt, to taste

For the Marinade

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cloves

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ tablespoon Mexican dried oregano

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons salt

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

To Serve

Warm tortillas

Avocado Salsa (see recipe on page 36)

Oaxaca-style Beans (see recipe at right)

Any of your favorite rice dishes

Any of your favorite spicy salsas and sauces

1. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix together.

2. Place the meat in a large tray and pour over the marinade, making sure all the meat is well coated. Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight. Take the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

3. When you are ready to cook, light the grill. Cook the scallions for about 10 minutes, until they soften and start to take on some color. Cook the meat on the hot grill to medium-rare for about 4 minutes on each side, or cook to your liking. Alternatively, you can cook the meat in a hot pan over a high heat for the same timing.

4. Once the meat is ready, leave it to rest for about 2 to 3 minutes, then slice, season with salt, and serve immediately with warm tortillas, avocado salsa, beans, rice, and your favorite spicy salsas and sauces.

Cook’s Notes:

n For the best results, ensure the meat is at room temperature before you start cooking it on the hot grill. You can also check if the meat is cooked using a meat thermometer: for rare, around 125°F; for medium-rare, around 130°F; for medium-well, around 160°F; and for well done, around 165°F.

n You can also cook other vegetables you would like at the same time as the scallions— corn, broccoli, and asparagus all work well.

Nutrition (per serving meat and marinade only): Calories: 240, Fat: 7g (Sat: 3g), Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 2420mg, Carb: 17g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 28g



2 cups pinto beans, rinsed and soaked in water overnight

1 white onion, cut in half

½ garlic bulb

1½ teaspoons hoja santa powder (see Cook’s Note)

1½ teaspoons avocado leaf powder (see Cook’s Note)

½ cup olive oil

1. Place the soaked beans in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, and some salt and cover with water. Cook for 1 to 2 hours or until they are cooked and soft.

2. Remove and discard the onion and garlic, then transfer the cooked beans to a food processor and blend with the hoja santa and avocado powders or other seasonings of choice until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer to make it even smoother.

3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the blended beans and cook for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Cook’s Note: The hoja santa and avocado leaf powders may be substituted with fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro or dry oregano and finely chopped parsley.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 580, Fat: 28g (Sat: 4g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 300mg, Carb: 61g, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 20g

32 real food

Northern-Style Stuffed Peppers

Chiles Relleno Norteño


This is one of the most representative dishes from the northern regions in Mexico. Poblano chilies are stuffed with ground beef or pork, baked, and served with a delicious sauce. –a.c.

4 poblano chilies (or a similar variety— Anaheim or even bell peppers work)

2 cups shredded cheese

½ cup chopped fresh parsley, to serve

For the Filling

Scant ½ cup vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 pound ground beef or pork

Pinch of ground cumin

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the Tomato Sauce 8–9 tomatoes, quartered ¼ onion, cut into 3 pieces 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste 3½ tablespoons vegetable oil

1. First, make the filling. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add the garlic, and after another minute, add the potatoes and carrots. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the minced meat and cook while moving it constantly to break up the meat and ensure that it cooks evenly. Lower the heat to avoid burning the meat, then add the cumin, salt, pepper, and parsley and cook for another 15 minutes until the meat has browned. Continue to cook until the meat juices have reduced by half. Set aside until needed.

2. Char the chilies over a direct flame or with a blowtorch until the skins have blackened all over. When the chilies are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Make a slit in each chile lengthways, just long enough to be able to stuff them. Carefully clean the insides, keeping

the shape of the chilies as well as possible. Stuff the chilies with the filling mixture and seal them closed with a toothpick. Place the stuffed chilies on a baking sheet lined with nonstick parchment paper.

3. To make the sauce, blend the tomatoes, onion, and salt together in a food processor or blender and then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat, then add the tomato mixture. Let it boil for about 5 minutes, then add 2 cups water and bring back to a boil. Taste and add more salt if needed. Keep simmering on a low heat.

4. Heat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the stuffed chilies with the cheese and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the chilies have warmed through and the cheese has melted.

5. Spoon the warm tomato sauce into a deep serving plate and nestle the stuffed chilies in the sauce. Scatter chopped parsley over the before serving.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 900, Fat: 74g (Sat: 23g), Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 2800mg, Carb: 32g, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 12g, Protein: 35g

34 real food

Chicken En Adobo

Pollo En Adobo


This is a very common dish served at birthday celebrations and is usually accompanied with nopales (cactus) that has also been cooked on the grill. I really enjoy cooking this type of recipe as the chicken carries lots of flavor. It is sometimes nice to prepare it on the weekend for a family gathering. –a.c.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ white onion, cut into chunks

3 garlic cloves, cut in half

6 tomatoes, quartered

8 guajillo chilies, seeds and veins removed

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ tablespoons salt

1½ cups chicken stock or water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

6 chicken thighs, with or without bones

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring continuously. Once they start to take on some color, add the tomatoes, chilies, and spices, still stirring continuously. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, then add the stock or water and cook for another 15 minutes. Lower the temperature slightly if needed and stir every 2 to 3 minutes. Allow to cool.

2. Place the cooled sauce in a food processor or blender with the vinegar and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer for an even smoother adobo.

3. Marinate the chicken thighs in the blended adobo and leave in the fridge overnight. Take the meat out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.

4. Cook the chicken on a hot grill, but you can also cook it in an oven preheated to 400°F for about 40 to 50 minutes. Serve the chicken with rice, tortillas, your favorite sauce, and a salad.

Cook’s Note: You may not need all of the adobo for marinating. You can keep the rest in a clean jar in the fridge for 4 to 5 days or freeze for future use.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 360, Fat: 19g (Sat: 4.5g), Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 2240mg, Carb: 21g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 30g

Mexican Salsa

Salsa Mexicana


A common salsa used all over Mexico enjoyed as a snack with ortotopos (crunchy fried tortillas). –A.C.

4 tomatoes, seeds removed and flesh finely diced

½ small onion, finely diced

1 or 2 fresh jalapeños

2 green Thai chilies, or any fresh green chile you can find, finely diced

½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon salt

Juice of 1½ limes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days.

Cook’s Note: This makes a very good dip and can also be used as the base for guacamole— just add the smashed flesh of 2 avocados and some more lime juice and salt to taste.

Nutrition (each per 6 servings): Calories: 70, Fat: 4.5g (Sat: 0g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1170mg, Carb: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 1g

Avocado Salsa



This is one of the creamiest and tastiest salsas. It is so versatile and speedy to prepare, making it a perfect companion for most dishes. –A.C.

5 avocados, pitted and peeled Bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

5 jalapeños, stems removed and cut into 3 pieces

½ cup lime juice

1 tablespoon salt

½ cup olive oil

1. Put all the ingredients in a blender with ½ cup water and mix to a smooth texture. Alternatively, use a handheld stick/immersion blender. Taste and add more salt if needed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days.

Cook’s Note: You can also pass the salsa through a fine-mesh strainer for an even smoother finish.

Nutrition (each per 6 servings): Calories: 350, Fat: 35g (Sat: 5g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1170mg, Carb: 12g, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 2g

36 real food

White Rice

Arroz Blanco


¼ cup vegetable oil

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and dried as well as possible

¼ onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup peeled and cubed potatoes

½ cup peeled and cubed carrots

½ cup peas

1 tablespoon salt

1. Place the oil and rice in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously to prevent the rice from sticking, for about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and stir through.

2. Once the rice starts to make some noise—when the rice starts to “sing”—add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add 2 cups water and the peas and salt. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 320, Fat: 15g (Sat: 2g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1780mg, Carb: 44g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 5g

Green Rice

Arroz Verde


¼ cup vegetable oil

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and dried as well as possible

½ cup fresh parsley

½ cup fresh cilantro

¼ onion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves

1½ cups chicken or vegetable stock or water

1 cup peas (optional)

1 tablespoon salt

1. Place the oil and rice in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring continuously to prevent the rice from sticking, for about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, blend the herbs, onion, and garlic in a food processor. Measure out 2 cups of this mixture, adding some of the stock or water to make up the difference if needed.

3. Once the rice starts to make some noise— when the rice starts to “sing”—add the herb mixture, remaining stock or water, peas, if using, and salt. Bring to a boil, taste, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 300, Fat: 15g (Sat: 2g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1790mg, Carb: 38g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0g, Protein: 5g

37 spring 2024


Make the most of approachable everyday meals to bring the family together


Food is one of the most important things that brings people together. But it’s not just special occasions and big holiday dinners that “count,” it’s the everyday meal that can have a lasting impact. When we share a meal, we’re not just eating; we’re also creating memories, building relationships, and celebrating life, notes chef and author Theo A. Michaels in the introduction to his latest book, “Theo’s Family Kitchen: 75 Recipes for Fast, Feel Good Food at Home.” That’s why he says he is so passionate about the book and sharing the recipes, as well as providing a blueprint for learning some basic cooking skills. The father of three young children, who hosted live online cook-alongs for kids during the pandemic lockdown, includes tips for such things as making rice, eggs, potatoes, tomato sauce, and more in the first section of the book, and tasty and reliable recipes throughout, such as those highlighted here. Try the Sausage Meat and Fennel Seed Pasta, Easy Egg-Fried Rice, GiftWrapped Dinner Parcels, or the Red Lentil Tarka Dhal with Honey Roasted Cauliflower, which are from the Weeknight Heroes chapter, to easily jazz up evening mealtime. And re-create a homemade twist on a takeout favorite with the Chicken Gyros and fries from the Family Fakeaways chapter. Michaels hopes the recipes from his book will become a part of your family’s weekly routine as you gather around the table with your loved ones, make some noise, have a heated debate, and enjoy the meals together, creating your own memories and traditions.

Easy Egg-Fried Rice


This ridiculously easy recipe is one I hesitated to include in my book as it is so simple! However, it is also one of my go-to dishes when we need to feed the family quickly—and I mean in minutes! It’s also brilliant for using up any leftovers such as cooked vegetables and cooked meat: In short, it’s a dish I think everyone should have in their repertoire, so here it is. Oh, but there is one rule—you do need to use cold, cooked rice, either leftovers or store-bought cooked pouches of it. –theo a. michaels

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 red onions, thickly sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, chopped

1 red chile, sliced

3 scallions, cut into 1-inch slices

14 ounces shrimp or any leftover vegetables or meat (optional)

1 cup frozen baby sweet peas (no need to defrost)

½ teaspoon Chinese five spice

6 ⅔ cups cooked rice (or 3 9-ounce pouches of cooked rice)

3 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

A handful of cilantro leaves, chopped, for serving

THEO’S TOP TIPS FOR RICE: Boiling In Water Method

Fill a large saucepan or pot with water, salt generously and bring to a boil. Add your rice (ensuring there is at least 3 times the volume of water to rice), reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover with a lid. Cook until the rice is al dente (soft on the outside with a little chew left on the inside); cooking times vary between 12 to 20 minutes depending on the rice. Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat, drain the rice in a strainer, then drop the rice back into the empty pan and cover with the lid until you are ready to use. (If you are making for the Easy Egg-Fried Rice make a day ahead or refrigerate until cool.)

1. Heat a splash of oil in a skillet over high heat and sauté the onions for 1 minute (don’t move them around in the pan—you want the onion charred but not cooked through). After 1 minute, add the garlic, ginger, chile, and scallions and cook for a further 30 seconds.

2. At this stage you can add any leftover vegetables, shrimp or meat— keep stir-frying until everything is cooked or warmed through. Stir in the peas, Chinese five spice, and the cooked rice. Continue stir-frying for another minute until the rice is piping hot. And I mean piping...

3. Push the contents of the pan to one side, drizzle a little more oil into the empty space you have created, and pour in the beaten eggs. Stir the eggs until fully cooked—do not be tempted to mix the eggs into the rice until they are fully cooked (that’s important; it will make everything mushy if you do!).

4. Once the eggs are cooked and everything is mixed together, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and a good pinch of salt and stir everything together. Spoon onto serving plates and add a sprinkle of chopped cilantro to serve.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 640, Fat: 18g (Sat: 3g), Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 1360mg, Carb: 90g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 14g, Protein: 25g

39 spring 2024

Gift-Wrapped Dinner Parcels


I used to make hundreds of these while working in the south of France and they never fail to impress! Ridiculously easy, these are great to make with kids. The bit I love is including ready-made gnocchi (in place of baby potatoes) so you literally have a meal for one ready to go. You can prep all the ingredients in advance but only assemble when you are ready to cook. Feel free to swap the fish for sliced chicken breast and leave the parcels in the oven for an extra 10 minutes. –t.m

12 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, sliced (reserve the oil)

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 fennel bulb, finely sliced 18 ounces ready-made gnocchi

1 small zucchini, halved lengthways and cut into wedges

1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

2 vine tomatoes, thinly sliced Leaves from a few sprigs of basil

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Cut baking parchment into 4 sheets, each about 18 inches square, and gather kitchen twine.

2. Prepare all the ingredients and lay the sheets of baking parchment out on a flat surface, ready for assembly.

Pinch of hot red pepper flakes

4 (5½-ounce) skinless, boneless cod loins or fillets

1 cup white wine, divided 4 tablespoons butter, divided Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season 4 lemon wedges Rustic bread, to serve

3. Imagine there is a small saucer placed in the center of each piece of baking parchment—this is the area to fill with ingredients. Drizzle a little of the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in this space, then divide the red onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, fennel, gnocchi, zucchini, and carrots among the 4 sheets. Finish with the tomato slices and top each one with a few torn basil leaves. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and season generously with salt and pepper. Perch a cod fillet on top of each pile of assembled ingredients. Add a splash of white wine (about 3 tablespoons) and 1 tablespoon of butter to each stack. Season with more salt and pepper and lay a small single basil leaf on top of the fish.

4. Now to tie it up: Bring the corners of the paper together, squeezing the excess to create a tight parcel around the ingredients. Try to ensure there are no gaps and secure the neck with the string (tying it like a shoelace).

5. Place the parcels on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked (you should see it bubbling inside through the parchment), place each parcel in a serving bowl with a slice of charred or toasted rustic bread and a wedge of lemon. Carefully untie the parcels and dinner is served!

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 490, Fat: 22g (Sat: 13g), Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 510mg, Carb: 38g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 26g

40 real food

Red Lentil Tarka Dhal with Honey Roasted Cauliflower MAKES 4 SERVINGS

This delicious bowl of goodness has just enough spice to tantalize your taste buds. The roasted cauliflower has a nice crunch to it so adds a bit of “bite” to the smooth and creamy lentil dhal it is nestled on. I use red split lentils as they can be cooked from dried in 10 minutes without any soaking time. –t.m

For the Roasted Cauliflower

1 large cauliflower, broken into small florets (tender leaves cut in half)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

Pinch of chili powder or hot smoked paprika

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons honey

For the Tarka Dhal

1¼ cups red split lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

3½ tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, grated

1. Heat the oven to 465°F.

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

½ tablespoon ground cumin

½ tablespoon cumin seeds

½ tablespoon garam masala

½ tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon salt

6 baby plum tomatoes, halved

1 green Thai chili pepper, chopped (see Editor’s Note)

For Serving

2 tablespoons toasted peanuts, crushed

Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped

1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

4 lime wedges

2. Place the cauliflower florets and leaves in a large mixing bowl, pour in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle over the curry powder, mustard seeds, chili powder, and salt. Toss to coat the florets in the oil and spices. Place them and their leaves on a large baking sheet, drizzle with the honey, and pop into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they start to crisp and brown.

3. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the dhal. Give the lentils a quick rinse, then put them in a saucepan with double their volume of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, skimming off any impurities as they cook. Once cooked they should have some texture but no crunch—if they are still too watery, spoon some of the liquid off. Leave to rest while you make the tarka.

4. To make the tarka, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a separate skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion for a few minutes until it softens. Stir in the garlic and ginger, quickly followed by all the spices and the salt. The butter will start to foam, at which point stir in the tomatoes and green chile. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

5. Finally, stir a third of the tarka into the cooked lentils, then divide into serving bowls. Spoon the remaining tarka over the top of the bowls. Pile the roasted cauliflower in the center, scatter over some peanuts and chopped cilantro. Serve with Greek yogurt for spooning and lime wedges for squeezing.

Editor’s Note: If you can’t find Thai chili peppers, you can use a jalapeño, serrano, or habanero pepper.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 620, Fat: 27g (Sat: 9g), Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 670mg, Carb: 71g, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 18g, Protein: 28g

41 spring 2024

Chicken Gyros


A proper gyro can be made with chicken, pork, or lamb; this one has chicken thighs wrapped in a soft pillowy Greek-style pita bread and is served with tzatziki, plus tomato and cucumber. –t.m.

6 chicken thighs, skin-on and deboned

8 soft Greek-style pita breads

For the Marinade

½ cup plain Greek-style yogurt

Juice and grated zest of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon dried oregano

For the Tzatziki

1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

Leaves from 6 mint sprigs, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cucumber, grated, juice squeezed out

For Serving

2 vine tomatoes, diced

½ cucumber, diced

1 red onion, finely diced

Handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Lemon wedges, for squeezing

Great Fries dusted with dried oregano (recipe below, optional)

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Score the chicken thighs through the skin with three cuts made into the flesh, then add them to the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

2. For the tzatziki, simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste, adding more mint or salt as needed. Cover and chill until needed. For the garnish, prepare the tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and parsley, place in separate bowls, and set aside.

3. Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it to bring to room temperature.

4. Heat the grill/broiler to as hot as possible.

5. Wipe away any excess marinade from the chicken thighs and place them skin side up under the grill/broiler. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and charred in places, checking it frequently. Once they look done, turn them over and cook the other side for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a dish to rest while you get everything else together.

6. When you are ready to serve, thinly slice the chicken widthways, pop into a warm dish, and pour over any collected juices.

7. Splash the pita breads with a little water and toast under the grill/ broiler for a minute just to warm them through.

8. Swipe a spoonful of tzatziki across the warmed pita bread, top with slices of chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, chopped parsley, a good squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Roll the gyro as tightly as you can and take a humungous bite! Serve with some hot oregano-dusted fries on the side if you fancy them, or you can even stu them inside the pita bread, too.


• The best potatoes for fries are floury varieties; anything you would use to bake will make great chips, such as Yukon Gold.

• You need to cook fries in an oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable, sunflower, or canola oil. Do not use olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, as it has a low smoke point.

Great Fries


Twice-cook your fries! Trust me, the results are well worth the extra steps. –t.m.

2¼ pounds white potatoes, unpeeled and cut into batons about ½ inch thick

2 cups vegetable oil

Salt, to taste

Dried oregano, for dusting (optional)

1. Add the vegetable oil to a large heavy-based skillet set over a medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the potato batons and fry for 10 minutes, until cooked through and golden, moving them around to avoid sticking together. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel, then turn the heat up to high until the oil is shimmering (about 356°F).

2. Reintroduce the fries to the pan (in batches if you have to) and cook for a couple more minutes until they are extra crisp and warmed through; transfer to a clean paper towel, season with salt and dust with oregano, if desired, and serve.

Nutrition (gyro per serving): Calories: 840, Fat: 37g (Sat: 8g),

Cholesterol: 145mg, Sodium: 1090mg, Carb: 82g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 45g

Nutrition (fries per serving): Calories: 1050, Fat: 99g (Sat: 14g),

Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 310mg, Carb: 45g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 5g

42 real food

Sausage Meat and Fennel Seed Pasta

A classic weeknight hero with a twist—the fennel seeds elevate this easy pasta dish, complementing the sausage meat with a subtle flavor that I personally find rather addictive! –t.m.

1 chicken bouillon cube

12 ounces dried ribbon pasta, such as pappardelle or tagliatelle

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

Light olive oil, for frying

6 pork sausages (about 18 ounces)

⅔ cup white wine or water

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 vine tomatoes, diced

Pinch of hot red pepper flakes

Leaves from a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Finely grated Parmesan, to serve

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, crumble in the chicken bouillon cube, and add the pasta. Cook for 8 minutes or a few minutes short of the package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving about a generous ¾ cup of the cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet over a medium heat, shaking the pan as you do. After 1 minute, pour the seeds into a bowl and lightly crush with the back of a spoon (or the end of a rolling pin or in a mortar with a pestle; they only need be broken, not powdered).

3. In the same pan, add a splash of oil and squeeze out the sausage meat from their skins into little bite-size pieces; fry over a high heat for 4 minutes until a deep golden caramel color. Pour in the white wine and

scrape the pan and cook until the wine is reduced to just a drizzle. Add another little splash of olive oil, followed by the garlic, tomatoes, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes (you can at this stage press down on the tomatoes with the back of a fork to help them break down). Pour in the reserved cooking liquid and simmer over a high heat until reduced by half, giving the pan a shake every now and then.

4. Fold the pasta into the pan and cook for another minute, then remove from the heat.

5. Serve in pasta bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, a few turns of freshly grated black pepper, some grated Parmesan, and a scattering of chopped parsley. If you have any toasted fennel seeds left over, you can sprinkle them on top, too.


(per serving):

Calories: 640, Fat: 24g (Sat: 8g), Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 770mg, Carb: 70g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 26g


43 spring 2024


of the Sandwich

Attention to detail and quality ingredients can make your meal between slices of bread a masterpiece

Why is it that sandwiches often seem better at a restaurant than those you make at home? Apart from having someone prepare it for you, it can be the attention to detail, such as sauces beyond mayo, additional and different toppings, delicious bread, and special cooking techniques used to make them. Some ideas might fall under the simple but “why didn’t I think of that?” category and others are a little more involved. In this roundup of sandwich recipes from a cool chicken salad to a warm Italian beef and delicious delights in between, we serve up ideas to elevate your everyday sandwiches into an art form. – m ary s ubialka

44 real food


The multilevel Dagwood sandwich gets its name from cartoon character Dagwood Bumstead in the 1950s comic strip “Blondie.” He would often whip up very tall sandwiches using many different meats, cheeses, breads, and toppings.


Tasty spreads beyond mayonnaise and toppings are key components in stepping up your sandwiches. Here are ideas to keep in mind:

Aioli: This seasoned mayonnaise spread and dip features seasonings such as roasted garlic, lemon and herbs, or a kick of Sriracha.

Fruit: A thin slice of apple adds a fresh crunch to a sandwich. Also try cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon.

Giardiniera: Pickled vegetables including sport peppers, carrots, celery, red bell peppers, olives, and banana peppers make a great topping for your favorite sandwiches plus hot dogs and sausages.

Herbs: Fresh basil, oregano, or rosemary can add a punch of flavor to sandwiches. If you don’t have fresh, try a sprinkle of the dried herbs.

Muffuletta Olive Salad: This topping is the key component in making a Muffuletta sandwich. You can buy this briny Greek olive and veggie salad ready-made and add to the classic New Orleans sandwich that features layers of cheese, ham, salami, mustard, and mayo topped with the signature olive salad sandwich or jazz up any sandwich.

Spreads: Try smearing on some hummus, pesto, or garlic and herb cheese spread for a flavor punch.

Veggies: Lettuce, tomato, and onion are common sandwich toppers, but also add avocado, cucumber, thinly sliced radishes, and sprouts for more fresh and healthy bites.

45 spring 2024

Monte Cristo


We all love a comforting ham and cheese sandwich, but this takes it to the next level! This delicious sandwich combines sweet and savory, with ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese sandwiched with a touch of Dijon, battered, and cooked until crispy. Serve it with a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of raspberry jam. It’s perfect for brunch, a quick lunch, or dinner the whole family will enjoy. –L.A.

For the Batter

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs

¾ cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil , for frying

For the Sandwiches

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

8 slices white bread, challah, or brioche

8 slices ham

8 slices turkey

8 slices Swiss cheese

Powdered sugar, for sprinkling, as needed Raspberry or blackberry jam, for serving

1. Lay 2 slices of bread side by side. Spread with a very thin layer of Dijon mustard. Top with turkey, Swiss cheese, ham, and a second bread slice.

2. Secure with toothpicks on two opposite corners, from the top, at an angle, to help keep the sandwich together while battering.

3. Make Batter: Add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to a mixing bowl and stir together. Whisk in eggs and milk until smooth.

4. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat.

5. Use tongs to dip each sandwich into the batter, flipping to coat on both sides. Lift up and allow excess batter to drip off and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

6. Once oil in pan is hot, add 1 sandwich at a time, cooking for about 3 minutes (reduce heat if it starts to brown too much on the bottom) until golden and crisp. Flip and cook on the other side until golden. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

7. Cut into halves or quarters before serving and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with a side of raspberry jam.

Cook’s Notes:

n Gruyere, Gouda, or Emmental cheese would all be delicious options.

n To baked the Monte Cristo: Batter and place on a lined and greased baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes until golden, then flip and repeat on the other side.

n To Make Ahead: The batter can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 581, Fat: 27g (Sat: 12g), Cholesterol: 174mg, Sodium: 1386mg, Carb: 44g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Protein: 39g


The Monte Cristo is a take on the French sandwiches Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame. What is the difference between the two? Both are very similar ham and cheese sandwiches with a bechamel sauce, but a Croque Madame is topped with a fried egg. The French word “croque” is based on the verb “croquer,” which means to bite or to crunch. The names Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame translate to “mister” and “mistress” crunch. A Croque Mademoiselle is a vegetarian version, which replaces the egg and ham with cucumber or zucchini and herbs.

47 spring 2024

Crispy Chicken Sandwiches with Napa Cabbage and Spicy Aioli


Tender lightly fried chicken, fresh slaw, and spicy mayo team up to produce a winning sandwich. Pair with California Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot.

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper

1 tablespoon brown mustard

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage

¼ cup grated carrot

1 egg

¼ cup whole milk

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large boneless, skinless half chicken breasts (about 1¼ pounds), pounded to a thickness of ¼ inch

8 slices soft rustic sandwich bread

1. Mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, jalapeño, mustard, and cayenne in a large bowl. Mix in the cabbage and carrot. Set aside.

2. Mix the egg and milk in a shallow medium bowl.

3. In another shallow medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.

4. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavybottomed skillet until hot but not smoking.

5. While the oil is heating, coat the chicken pieces with the egg mixture and then coat them on both sides with seasoned flour.

6. Cook the chicken in the hot skillet for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and cut each piece in half to make a total of 4 pieces.

7. Place 1 piece of chicken on a slice of bread. Top with the some of the cabbage and another slice of bread. Repeat with the remaining chicken, cabbage, and bread to create 4 sandwiches.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 600, Fat: 19g (Sat: 19g), Cholesterol: 125mg, Sodium: 940mg, Carb: 68g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 38g

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We have an 18th-century noble to thank for popularizing this beloved food item. As the story goes, in 1762, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was playing cards when he asked for a serving of roast beef to be placed between two slices of bread so he could eat with his hands and didn’t have to interrupt his game to eat. He is probably not the first to do this as various forms of this food item have existed for thousands of years, but what we call the sandwich is credited to him and the world has been relishing this delight ever since.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwich

Savor shredded slow-cooked Italian beef served on a hoagie roll and topped with zesty giardiniera.

1 boneless beef chuck arm roast (arm, shoulder, or blade), about 2½ pounds

1 packet Italian dressing mix

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ¼ cup banana peppers, plus more for topping

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 cup low sodium beef broth

4 hoagie rolls

Giardiniera, for garnish

1. Press dressing mix and Italian seasoning evenly onto all surfaces of beef chuck arm roast. Place ¼ cup banana peppers and garlic in a 4½-5½ quart slow cooker and top with roast and beef broth. Cover and cook on high 6 hours or low for 8 hours or until pot roast is fork tender.

2. Remove roast and shred with two forks into a medium sized bowl. Cut rolls lengthwise and fill with beef. Top with giardiniera and extra banana peppers, if desired.

Cook's Note: Before filling rolls with beef, dip them into the leftover broth from cooking for a more authentic flavor.

Nutrition (per 3-ounce serving):

Calories: 512, Fat: 25g (Sat: 9.3g), Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 685mg, Carb: 37g, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0g, Protein: 30g

49 spring 2024

Chicken Salad with Pecans and Grapes


This recipe is super easy and works great with rotisserie chicken from the deli counter.

2 cups chicken breast meat, cooked and chopped

1½ cups halved California grapes

¼ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

½ cup green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup celery, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve on bread, toast, or a toasted roll.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 187, Fat: 9g (Sat: 1g), Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 401mg, Carb: 13g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 15g


Eat like royalty—the Coronation

Chicken Sandwich was served at the coronation luncheon for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Makes 2 Servings.

To Make: Mix 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mango chutney, 1½ teaspoons curry powder, and 1 tablespoon diced dried apricots or golden raisins with 9 ounces cooked, shredded chicken. Season with pepper to taste and stir. Butter 2 slices of bread. Add some baby spinach and then divide the chicken mixture between the slices. Top with the other 2 bread slices and cut in half or quarters to serve. Pinkies up!


Grilled Three Cheese Sandwiches with Mustard Aioli SERVES 4 | RECIPE COURTESY CALIFORNIA WINE INSTITUTE

Crisp, creamy, and peppery, these sandwiches make a spectacular simple supper or decadent late-night snack. Pair with California Zinfandel or Sauvignon Blanc.

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Fontina cheese

½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Jack cheese

½ cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese

8 rustic-style sandwich bread slices

Unsalted butter, softened, for cooking

1 cup (1 ounce) watercress, with stems

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon brown, stone ground, or Dijon mustard

1. Toss to mix the Fontina, Jack, and Gruyere cheeses in a medium bowl.

2. Use your fingers to pinch 2 small holes, 2 inches apart, in each slice of bread (to allow a little cheese to ooze out and make the bread extra crispy). Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice.

3. Arrange 4 of the slices, butter-side down, in a large skillet.

4. Cover each slice evenly with a quarter of the cheese mixture.

5. Cover the cheese with a quarter of the watercress. Top the watercress with the remaining slices of bread, butter-side up.

6. Place the skillet over medium-low heat and cook the sandwiches for 8 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn the sandwiches and brown the other side.

7. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board, turning them so that the watercress is on top of the cheese.

8. Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard to make the aioli. Remove the top slices of bread and spread the unbrowned sides with the desired amount of aioli. Replace the bread, brown-side up, on the sandwich. Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 670, Fat: 38g (Sat: 19g), Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 1090mg, Carb: 57g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 25g

spring 2024

From TikTok to Table TikTok TikTok

Viral TikTok chef Sam Way chats with us about social media, his culinary journey, and his new cookbook “Sam’s Eats”

Imagine it is 2020, and the COVID-19 lockdown has just ensued. Doors are shut, blinds are drawn, and nearly everyone seems to be passing their days on a new social video platform called TikTok. Somewhere amid these mindless scrolls of dance trends, workout recommendations, and viral challenges, there emerges a flurry of creators busy in the kitchen, mesmerizing users with their step-by-step homecooked recipes. The foodie scene had officially taken up residence on TikTok, and the culinary industry would be forever changed.

Sam Way is one of these early creators. The U.K.-based chef was amid a major career path change when he created his TikTok account, @samseats, in 2020 and began posting recipes in hopes of getting hired by a restaurant or food startup. He never anticipated garnering millions of views within his first few months, acquiring brand deals, and becoming one the earliest foodie influencers to grace the generation-defining platform. Way’s mesmerizing, fast-cut videos and his impressive, from-scratch recipes have come to define the TikTok food scene and influence new waves of food creators across the platform. Way no longer needed to search for work in the restaurant industry—rather unintentionally, his career as a chef had been fully launched.

Way now posts for an audience of 10 million followers, who naturally have been asking for more content that extends beyond the confines of TikTok. In 2023, Way answered these wishes with his first cookbook, which shares a name with the TikTok account that started it all. “Sam’s Eats” is a multifaceted cookbook, introducing readers to recipes that span various mealtimes, course styles, occasions, experience levels, and cultures. But above all, the book uplifts the sacred art of home cooking and encourages home cooks— both beginner and advanced—to find solace in the kitchen. We caught up with Way about his unexpected rise to social media fame, his new cookbook, and his best tips for beginners in the kitchen. (Interview edited for clarity and length.)

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Tell me a bit about your background in cooking. Does this love/talent for cooking run in your family? What are some of your earliest memories in the kitchen?

I grew up in a family of good home cooks. I was never really having takeaway meals, my mom and my dad always made sure to have really nice, hearty home-cooked meals for us. So, I think naturally I was always surrounded by that kind of cooking, and I was curious to jump in and try it as well. When I was younger, obviously being at school during the week you’re not really going to be cooking. But then came the weekend and traditions like, in the U.K. we have the Sunday roast, which is huge. So being around the Sunday roast, getting involved in certain steps of the cooking or baking, I feel like it just came about out of curiosity and then just getting in there. I think baking is one of the things that I remember doing first, even though it’s not my forte now. But I would say it’s the first thing I actually tried in the kitchen.

Can you explain the Sunday roast a bit more? What does that tradition entail?

So, Sunday roast is probably like when you have Thanksgiving, you know you have your turkey and your sides. [In the U.K.] we have the Sunday roast, which is similar. You usually have roast beef and then you have all the trimmings or sides, like roast potatoes. There are so many variations. But basically, it’s just an excuse to have a load of good food and cook a masterpiece every Sunday.

You have 10 million followers on TikTok. How did you come to amass such a community on the platform? Was it a steady climb or did your account blow up overnight?

I actually started my TikTok and other social media accounts as a portfolio. I didn’t intend on becoming a content creator. I actually wanted to work in a kitchen or at a food or drink startup. I didn’t have any qualifications. This was during lockdown, and everyone was losing their jobs in hospitality, so I was

thinking ‘How am I going to actually stand out?’ I decided to build an online portfolio to show what I cook. So, I didn’t really expect this to happen. Within a few weeks of me posting videos, I was getting tens of thousands of views. And from there it just started building and kept going up and up and up. It hit a point where my videos were starting to get millions of views. It was a good time [to start] because everyone was at home, on their phones, and wanting to make the most of that moment of engaging with the food community.

Did your life sort of change overnight?

I don’t really feel any different now. I’m very much the same. But it definitely opened up new opportunities. I mean, I was in a job I didn’t really like before this. And I was desperate to get into something that just brought me happiness, ultimately. And that was cooking. So ever since I was approached by my first brand [via TikTok] I started to think, ‘OK, I might be able to make this work as an actual job.’

Are there any other creators on the platform that inspired your content style, or did you just start from scratch? I think naturally, you see other styles and stuff on TikTok. If you’ve seen my videos, they’re very fast and they’re

snappy, and I think the reason I got into that style or that niche is because I was wanting to do dishes that were completely all out. And at that time, you could only do one-minute videos on the platform. Now, you can do like 10-minute TikToks, but at that time it was only one minute. And I wanted to do huge meals, so I had to cram it all in. So, it really just kind of fell into place. And, actually, I did a lot of music growing up, and that was always a big part of my childhood and teenagerhood. So, having the rhythmic side to it was quite fun as well, and that just made it a bit more engaging for me to do. I kind of saw it as a slightly different approach from the classic, top-over cooking videos, which were very popular at the time. Now, I feel like that’s less so and more people are doing faster, engaging videos.

As you mentioned, your TikTok videos are extremely fast-paced. How long does each one take you to edit?

When I first started, each one probably took me about 12 hours because I would have to take four hours’ worth of footage and get it into one minute. It’s quite a tricky process. But now, it probably varies. It can take anywhere from five hours to edit a video or still 10 hours. It’s a sliding scale, but it’s much longer than people might think it takes.

53 spring 2024
“Cooking for me is fun, it brings a lot of enjoyment, and it’s a slight form of mindfulness. It's quite a nice thing for people to realize.”

How do you feel social media, specifically TikTok, is influencing the culinary industry and the next generation of chefs?

I think it’s really allowing everyone to become a cook. I feel like you used to be limited to TV and cookbooks. But anyone can go on social media now, and anyone can post a cooking video. And it doesn’t have to be perfect. You can have someone who’s maybe not a great cook, but they’re doing stuff that’s really engaging and really accessible. And then you might have the complete other end, where you’ve got Michelin-star chefs showing how to prepare fine dining. I think it just creates opportunities for everyone. I also think anyone can see a cooking video and be inspired by it. You’re not limited

to a certain type of cookbook, kind of like the old-school way. I think social media has its own place for recipes now.

Speaking of that, let’s talk about your cookbook, “Sam’s Eats.” What first inspired you to translate your online presence into a cookbook?

I think a cookbook for me was the natural next step. I had this online presence and I wanted to do something that kind of solidified my real-world presence. I think being online completely is a world of its own and I wanted to branch out a bit. I also wanted to challenge myself. I didn’t manage to get through high school because I got an injury from sport. And so, for me, not being able to do that meant that I wanted to find something

else I could challenge myself with and complete successfully. So, the cookbook for me, it was like, ‘OK, I’m gonna give this a go. If I can do it, then I can give myself a pat on the back.’ And also, people had been requesting a cookbook, so it was a combination of wanting to challenge myself and wanting to deliver on those requests.

What do you hope readers take away from this book?

The main thing that I wrote it for was every level of home cooking. I want people to read the book, to make some recipes from the book, and feel like it’s not actually that daunting, cooking. It’s not hard. You can do as little as you want, as much as you want. And also, I think, to find enjoyment in it. That’s the big thing about my story. Cooking for me is fun, it brings a lot of enjoyment, and it’s a slight form of mindfulness. It’s quite a nice thing for people to realize. I think when people realize that, they want to get really into it. It’s an all-inclusive book that hopefully just inspires everyone of all skill levels to get in the kitchen and just enjoy it.

What did your experimentation process look like with these recipes? How did you test them, and how did you know when they were really ready?

So, I tend to find recipes, basically through what people request, or what’s popular at the time. With that, if it’s something quite traditional, I might stick to the tradition and research the recipe, test it a few different ways, and then kind of do it in my own way with my own twist. If it is something that’s not as traditional, I will just think of the foods I like and then go off on a tangent and try different variations, and just be creative in that sense. That’s the really nice thing about doing what I do, I can experiment. Some recipes take two or three times to test, some recipes I don’t need to test at all. It varies. I’ve had some recipes where I’ve had to bake a piece of bread about five, six times because I couldn’t get it right. Again, it’s a sliding scale.

Favorite recipe in the book?

My favorite recipe in the book is definitely the chicken gyros. I have spent a lot of time in Greece, so for me it was kind of a comfort, and a home comfort, I could say because I make it so much here. It starts with marinated chicken on skewers. You grill it until it’s nice and charred on the outside, and really juicy on the inside, and

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you have some homemade pitas, tzatziki, fries, and toppings. The recipe in the book shows you how to do all of that from scratch. You can pick parts that you want to do yourself, but there is also the option to do everything yourself.

Which recipe do you feel is the most approachable for beginners? In other words, if they’re going to start anywhere, where should they start?

Yeah, I’ve got a few recipes in there. Actually, there’s a chapter called ‘weeknight meals.’ That’s the chapter for when you get back from work or school, you’re tired, and you don’t want to cook much. But you can still cook a delicious meal that’s really tasty and doesn’t take much time or effort. There’s some pasta dishes for example, like a nice sausage pasta dish [Creamy Sausage & Mushroom Pasta] and a tomato-based pasta [Roasted Cherry Tomato Cavatappi; see recipe at right], which is actually quite good because you basically chuck everything into a pan and roast it for half an hour. And then you just blend that all up and you’ve got the most amazing sauce. It’s basically a one-pot pasta dish. It’s really through those techniques that you might not think about, like roasting, charring, all those kinds of things, that you can do something very simple, but make it taste really good.

You mention in the book’s introduction your love for traveling. How has this

influenced your cooking, as well the recipes readers will find in your book?

Yeah, I have included a lot of different countries in my book. I think you can’t just limit yourself to one country, there’s so much flavor around the world. I’ve taken inspiration from Mexico, India, Vietnam, and all the European countries. I think a big one for me is Mexican cuisine. That’s one of my go-to’s because you can visit a few simple techniques, like I said, the charring, making sauces, all that kind of stuff, that can make things taste really nice. But, I wouldn’t say that there’s a single overriding country represented in my book. It kind of just gives readers a taste of where I’ve traveled, the people I know, all those things that have inspired me to cook dishes from around the world.

Of all the places you’ve traveled, where had the best food?

I recently went to India and that was awesome. It was really nice to see so many amazing avors. It’s very di erent to British Indian cuisine, which is kind of its own thing here [in the U.K.]. So, actually having proper, authentic Indian cuisine was really refreshing. But it’s up there with French, Italian, Mexican, and Greek.

What are some tips you have for those who are new to the kitchen?

I would say just get stuck in it. Don’t be afraid to mess something up. Don’t be afraid to make something that doesn’t

Roasted Cherry Tomato Cavatappi


This is a wonderful recipe to have up your sleeve. With a mixture of sweet and sour flavors from the tomatoes, lemon, and garlic, it is a delicious and fuss-free weeknight meal. The key to a silky smooth tomato sauce is to make sure that the butter is cold when you add it to the blender. –sam way

18 ounces cherry tomatoes

1 red onion, quartered

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon Sea salt, to taste

1 small bulb of garlic

14 ounces dried cavatappi pasta

2 tablespoons cold butter

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Grated Parmesan, to serve

1. Heat the oven to 400°F.

2. Place the tomatoes, onion, lemon zest, and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a roasting pan, season with sea salt, and mix it all together.

3. Cut the top o the bulb of garlic (not the root end), rub with the teaspoon of olive oil, then wrap tightly in foil. Place the garlic in the corner of the roasting pan

4. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly charred and blistered, and the garlic has softened.

5. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted, boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, saving some of the cooking water, and place it back in the pan.

6. Tip the tomatoes and onion into a blender. Remove the bulb of garlic from the foil, and squeeze the cloves into the blender as well. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water and blitz on high until smooth. Add the cold butter and continue to blitz until it has melted and emulsified. The sauce should now be thick and glossy. Test it for seasoning and add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

7. Tip the tomato sauce into the pan of cooked pasta, mix it all together, and serve with a good grating of Parmesan on top.

taste good. Because you only learn to know which flavors work and how to do things when they don’t work. Yes, you can have training, but you don’t need training to be able to cook well at home. I think just give it a go. Don’t be afraid to fail, and nine times out of 10, it will at least end up tasting really good.

55 spring 2024

Fruity Fizz

Pep up juice with sparkling wine to make delicious brunchtime cocktails

Want to step up the festive factor at brunch? Include Mimosas! This popular orange juice and sparkling wine drink that is named after the tropical flowering shrub was created in 1925 at the Ritz Hotel in Paris—some fun facts to sip on while enjoying a glass. Classic Mimosas are an easy brunchtime favorite since they pair well with the savory egg dishes and meats at the table as well as the meal’s sweeter side including waffles, pancakes, French toast, beignets, coffeecake, and doughnuts.

There are also variations on the theme: If this drink is made with mandarin juice, it becomes a Puccini, which is named after the Madame Butterfly composer, made popular in Venice and other areas of northern Italy. And peach puree and Prosecco, Italy’s signature sparkler, makes a Bellini. It’s said the first Bellini was created in 1948 at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, which was a hot spot for celebrities of the day such as Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, and Humphrey Bogart. Here’s looking at you!



½ ounce Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

1¾ ounces orange juice

Brut Champagne or sparkling wine, to top

Pour orange liqueur and orange juice into a flute or wine glass and top with Champagne or other sparkling wine. Stir gently.

Variation: To make a Bellini, pour 2 ounces (¼ cup) fresh peach puree into a chilled flute, add 4 ounces Prosecco, and stir gently.

Note: If you want to make your own peach puree, frozen peaches will work anytime of year. Defrost 1½ pounds sliced and peeled peaches, either at room temperature 3 to 4 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Blend the defrosted peaches until completely smooth in a blender or food processor. (Makes 2 cups puree, which will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days.)

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