Tag Archives: Aida Mollenkamp

Charred Broccoli with Garlic Caper Sauce

Charred Broccoli with Garlic Caper Sauce

I’m dropping in today to share with you a very simple, quick, yet incredibly flavorful side dish you can have on the dinner table in minutes. Still made from scratch, very health-conscious, a touch spicy (the spice level is well within your control though), Matt and I scarfed the entire plate when I made this for dinner!

Charred Broccoli with Garlic Caper Sauce

Charred Broccoli with Garlic Caper Sauce

I’ve been cooking seriously for quite a while now, and sometimes I’m still amazed at how much flavor can be coaxed out of not that many ingredients in a very short amount of time. But, this is one of those dishes that proves it can be done! Fortunately for us all.

Charred Broccoli with Garlic Caper Sauce

Enjoy this one guys, it’s just soooo easy and delicious!

Charred Broccoli with Garlic Caper Sauce

{One Year Ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnuts}
{Two Years Ago: Butter Pecan Ice Cream}

Source: slightly adapted from Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
2 tsp capers, drained
¼ tsp crushed red chile flakes, or to taste
2 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 to 1 ½ lbs. broccoli, florets only (save the stems for this delicious dip!)
Kosher salt, to taste

Heat the oil and 1 tbs butter in a large frying pan over high heat. As soon as the butter is melted, add the garlic, capers and crushed red chile flakes and cook for 30 seconds, until just fragrant. Add the broccoli and a pinch of kosher salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is cooked through and starting to char on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add enough water to coat the bottom of the pan. Shake the pan around or stir to coat the broccoli. When the water has mostly evaporated off, and this will take less than 1 minute, shut off the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and swirl to melt and coat.
Serve immediately.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley Walnut Pesto #SundaySupper

Roast Leg of Lamb with Parsley Walnut Pesto 005

Happy Easter!! Today our Sunday Supper theme is Passover and/or Easter dishes – very apropos, don’t you think? It really got me thinking about how we celebrated Easter growing up, particularly the edible part.

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Where I’m from, you can always count on two dishes making an appearance on every Easter table: deviled eggs, and glazed ham. While I have come quite far in expanding my palate and recovering from picky eating, I’m still only human. I don’t like everything out there. Thanksgiving stuffing, for one. You know what else I can’t stand?

Glazed ham.
And deviled eggs.
Those are seriously two of my least favorite things in the world.

Clearly, Easter is not my holiday.

Roast leg of lamb with parsley walnut pesto 001

Until moving to New York, that is. Easter is a bit different up here. There are still deviled eggs, it seems I’ll never escape those completely, and yes, some people do a ham, but I’ve pleasantly discovered that lamb is a very popular Easter dish here. Seeing as I adore lamb in any cut or preparation, I think it’s safe to say, I’ve found my people.

Easter roast leg of lamb 026

Of course I bring you a roast leg of lamb today. This was rich, flavorful, meaty, and beautifully textured. It was also a tad underdone when I first sliced into it, thanks to my meat thermometer hitting the skids at a very inopportune moment. I ended up having to cook this beautiful meat without a clue of its internal temperature at any given time. So we kind of had some lamb tartare. While not my intention, I wasn’t too upset as I like lamb tartare. But if you don’t, then I highly recommend a working meat thermometer. And yes, that is why my pictures are rather limited. I didn’t want to show you the rare part that was, let’s face it, still bleating a little.

But, I would highly urge you to look past all the hiccups my malfunctioning meat thermometer decided to cause and give this one a go. It’s really amazing. And can we say leftover sandwiches??? Wheeeee!!!!

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{One Year Ago: Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette, Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches}

Source: Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

½ cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
¼ cup fresh marjoram leaves
4 tsp kosher salt, plus more for the lamb
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for the lamb
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs honey
3-6 tbs olive oil, plus more for the lamb
¾ cup toasted walnuts
1 (5-6 lb.) boneless leg of lamb, butterflied (get the butcher to do this for you)

Make the pesto: in the bowl of a food processor, combine the parsley, marjoram, salt, garlic cloves, pepper, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add the walnuts and process again until smooth, adding more olive oil if need be, but not too much. You want this to be a very thick pesto.
Unroll the lamb all the way. Rub the meat with olive oil, then season with salt and black pepper. Spoon half the pesto into the center of the flattened lamb and use a spoon to smooth it out, leaving about a 1-inch border. Roll the meat back up and tie it in several pieces with kitchen string.
Rub additional olive oil, salt and pepper on the outside of the lamb. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan. Let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes while you preheat your oven.
Speaking of which, preheat your oven to 450 F. Roast the lamb until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 F and roast until an instant read meat thermometer registers 125 F for medium-rare, about 135-140 F for medium. I highly recommend you do not go beyond medium. For medium-rare, this will take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. Seriously, use a functioning meat thermometer.
When the lamb is done, let it rest 10 to 15 minutes before carving. While it is resting, spoon the remaining pesto into the roasting pan and stir to combine with the meat drippings. Scoop up the pesto drippings and transfer to a gravy boat or small bowl.
To carve and serve the lamb, cut away the kitchen strings, and throw them deep into the trash if you have pets. Using a sharp knife, cut the meat against the grain into slices. Serve with the pesto pan drippings spooned over the lamb.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the fabulous Sunday Supper team!



Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

zucchini arugula lasagna

So a couple weeks ago I was menu planning, and suddenly it occurred to me that it has been, I don’t know, maybe FOREVER since the last time I made a lasagna. How terrible of me! Time for that to be rectified, stat.

arugula ricotta lasagna filling

As much of a lasagna lover that I am, I really was a bit baffled at how I could have let such a culinary sin occur in my kitchen. So, okay, time to fix the misstep. But it’s still the last vestiges of summer, and maybe a full on meaty dish isn’t appropriate or appetizing right now, and I have to admit that the traditional meat and red sauce version is what I think of most when I picture lasagna, despite all the infinite variations out there. But, no matter what my childhood lasagna first impressions were, it’s just too heavy for right now. Veggies to the rescue!

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

I chose a recipe featuring zucchini and arugula since they are both very currently seasonal. This one did feature a tomato sauce, but it wasn’t heavy or the least bit greasy. The dish turned out perfect for the weather and for our taste buds. Extremely flavorful, satisfying, with the familiar comfort of the tomato sauce but the fresh pop of zucchini. We loved it. And as always with lasagna, the leftovers just get better.

zucchini arugula lasagna

A few recipe notes: I really, really, really should have used a larger/taller baking dish. I used a pretty, kind of frouffy one, where the sides aren’t very high, accidentally forgetting that I have a pretty lasagna pan with high sides (d’oh!) and well, my lasagna runneth over. Quite a bit. Thank god I had the good foresight to place the pan on a baking sheet, but still. I’d recommend a higher-sided pan. Also, slice the zucchini very thin, to ensure it cooks through in the oven. I absolutely adored the smoky smoked mozzarella here, but you can certainly use regular mozz if you prefer.

Zucchini arugula lasagna

Zucchini Arugula Lasagna

{One year ago: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs}

Source: slightly adapted from Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

2 tbs olive oil
½ a medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp crushed chile flakes
2 (28 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper

5 oz. baby arugula, tough stems removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt

2 tbs minced fresh oregano leaves
2 tbs olive oil
2 lb. zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced thin crosswise
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 (8-9 oz.) box of no-boil lasagna noodles
12 oz. smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

First, make the TOMATO SAUCE. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and cook until softened. Add garlic and chile flakes; cook one more minute. Stir in the tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes start to simmer. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, at least 20 minutes longer.
Now make the CHEESE FILLING. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until evenly combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
For the LASAGNA: preheat the oven to 375 F and arrange a rack in the middle. Toss together the oregano, oil, and zucchini in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the lasagna: grease a high-sided 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange one-fourth of the lasagna noodles over the bottom of the pan, breaking to fit as necessary. Top with 2 cups tomato sauce and spread it evenly. Dollop one-third of the ricotta mixture over the sauce. Spread it evenly. Layer one-fourth of the zucchini over the ricotta, then top with one-fourth each of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat to make 2 more layers.
For the final layer, top the lasagna with the last of the noodles, sauce, zucchini, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil, tenting it along the center of the lasagna to avoid the cheese sticking to it. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the liquids are bubbling and the noodles are beginning to soften, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is golden brown and the noodles are completely tender, about 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.

Fattoush Salad


Happy Friday, y’all! Wow, it has been quite a week of dessert recipes here on The Texan New Yorker. Now I’m feeling somewhat obligated to close out the week with a salad, just to rebalance my nutrition karma.


Fattoush is a wonderful salad for many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s such a fun word to say aloud. Try it – fattoushhhh…. Yeah, it’s greatness. Anywho, fattoush is a Middle Eastern version of the Italian panzanella – bread salad. But the bread here is pita chips, which makes it all the more awesome.



The pita chips provide a satisfying crunch against the flavorful dressing and wholesome vegetables and salty feta. Matt and I both really enjoyed this one.


A few notes: I would highly encourage making your own pita chips, and I’ve written the recipe this way. It’s very easy, mostly hands-off, and I’ve never found a store-bought brand that even remotely rivals homemade. Secondly, there is one possible unusual ingredient in the salad dressing – pomegranate molasses. If you can find it, get it and use it, it’s delicious. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by boiling down pomegranate juice until it’s a syrup consistency; or you could just substitute balsamic vinegar. Either way, it’s delicious. Enjoy!


Source: adapted from Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

2 pita breads
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tsp ground sumac
1 tbs honey
2 tsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper
8 oz. romaine hearts, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces
1 plum tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbs roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 oz. crumbled feta

First, get going on the pita chips. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Cut each pita into 8 equal wedges. Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet. Lay the pita wedges on the baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to loosely toss the wedges so they are all evenly coated with salt, pepper and oil. Spread them back out into a single layer.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp. You know they are done when you can tap a wedge with your fingertip and feel crispness and now sponginess. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle them.
Make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl, vigorously whisk all the ingredients together. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
Make the salad: place the lettuce in a large salad serving bowl, then scatter the tomato, cucumbers, mint and parsley over top. Drizzle the vinaigrette over top, then top with the feta. Crumble the pita chips over top. Toss all together and serve.

Blood Orange-Braised Pork Shoulder


When I get a new cookbook, sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to decide what to make first because the whole darn thing looks so friggin’ amazing. When that happens, I either set it back on the shelf and realize a few weeks later that I haven’t even used it yet and feel rather foolish; or, I will just pick a recipe at random and make it no matter what.


But other times when I get a new cookbook, one or two recipes will jump out at me, and they will continue to call my name and nag at me until I make them come to life in my kitchen. When I got Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen for Christmas, of course I excitedly flipped through it, and discovered it was going to fall squarely in the latter category of new cookbooks. That is, one recipe in particular jumped out at me and consumed my thoughts and dreams until I created it in my own kitchen. That recipe, my friends, is a pork shoulder braised in blood orange juice.


So I suppose it’s quite fortuitous that I received this book around Christmastime, because blood orange season occurs shortly thereafter. It’s still blood orange season for a few more weeks, so I highly advise you to go out and make this one while you still can. There are no words to describe how utterly amazing it was! But I’ll try.


It was impossibly moist, melt-in-your-mouth tender strands of pork; it was food-gasmic, explosively flavored sauce; it was rich and warm and comforting on a cold night; it was fight-over-the-leftovers fare. In a word, it was awesome. Make it soon, you’ll love it!


Source: adapted from Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs kosher salt
1 (3 1/2 – 4 lb.) boneless pork shoulder (sometimes labeled Boston butt), tied with kitchen twine to make a uniform roast shape
2 tbs canola oil
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup whiskey
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
15 black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 yellow onions, cut into eighths
A few fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

Preheat your oven to 325 F. Arrange a rack in the middle.
Combine the brown sugar and salt in a small bowl; mix well. Rub the mixture all over the pork and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
When ready, heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until it is just beginning to smoke. Add the pork and sear on all sides, moving only to rotate, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Add the orange juice, stock, whiskey, soy sauce, and vinegar to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate any browned bits clinging to the bottom. When the liquid boils, decrease the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, thyme, onions and the pork.
Once the liquid is at a simmer, cover with aluminum foil, then with the pot’s cover, and place in the oven. Cook until the pork is fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Baste once or twice during the cooking process.
When the pork is ready, carefully remove it with tongs to a plate. Shred the meat with two forks.
Discard the solids in the meat juices with a slotted spoon and boil for a few minutes until it is to your desired thickness. Place the shredded pork back in the sauce and stir to combine and heat through again. Shut off the heat, and serve immediately, garnished with the thyme leaves.
Suggestions: serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or mashed parsnips.