Cauliflower Steaks with Herby Caper Sauce

We. Love. Cauliflower. Can you tell by the crazy number of recipes we have posted using it?! It is a hearty and versatile versatile vegetable that combines well with just about any flavor combination. Lately we have used it in our Semi-Homemade Cauliflower Bowls, and as the base for a sauce in our Cauliflower Mac & Cheese. For this version we have cut the cauliflower into thick steaks and serve it with a lemony, herby caper sauce. They could easily be a main course for a vegetarian meal or can be served as a robust side dish. We love this simple sauce drizzled over the top to give the cauliflower a salty, citrusy punch of flavor. 

Cauliflower Steaks with Herby Caper Sauce 
Makes: 4 side dish servings; 2 main course servings 
Prep Time: 40 minutes    Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower 
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbs olive oil 
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced 
  • 2/3 cup packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 
  • salt and pepper to taste  

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Remove the leaves from the head of cauliflower and carefully remove the excess stem that is not connected to the cauliflower florets. You want to leave some of the stem so that the “steaks” remain intact when you slice the cauliflower. Slice the cauliflower into 4 thick slices and lay on a baking sheet. 
  3. Drizzle the 2 tbs of olive oil over the cauliflower and toss well to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper and put into the oven. Bake the cauliflower for 20 minutes; remove from the oven, carefully flip it with and spatula, and bake another 15-20 minutes. The cauliflower should be dark golden brown on the outsides. 
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, Dijon mustard, and garlic together in a small bowl. Add the parsley, capers, and red pepper flakes, whisking well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. 
  5. When the cauliflower has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and use a spatula to transfer it to a serving dish. Serve with a generous pour of the caper sauce and serve immediately. 

Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese & Pesto

Our good friend Lea has been snapping pics of her homemade potatoes and we immediately reached out for the recipe. Normally recipes from her are hard to come by because of lot of her cooking has been taught in person, without recipe, from her amazing, Italian mama. Luckily for us, this time, she was willing to share. We made a few modifications and hope that these bad boys do her justice. Thank you Lea! 

These potatoes are cooked twice – boiled and baked. We love the bake at the end because it gives the outside of the potatoes a nice, crispy texture. The pesto and goat cheese makes the whole dish decadent and delicious. This is a great side dish to serve with just about any protein and perfect for Memorial Day Weekend. We chose to pair the potatoes with a steak during one of our fancy Steak Saturday dinners that we have been enjoying during quarantine. 

Smashed Potatoes with Pesto & Goat Cheese 
Makes: 4-6 side dishes 
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb baby potatoes 
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 6 oz goat cheese 
  • salt and pepper for seasoning 

Directions for the Oven: 

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the potatoes in cold water covered by 2 -3 inches of water. Set the heat on high and bring to boil. Boil for 20 minutes. 
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, mix the pesto and goat cheese together in a bowl. 
  4. Drain and rinse the potatoes. Using a glass or other type of round ramekin, place the potatoes on a sprayed baking sheet and use the glass to “smash” the potatoes flat. This doesn’t need to be perfect. Some potatoes may break all the way through and others will remain intact. 
  5. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and add a hearty dollop of the pesto/goat cheese mixture on top of each potato. Place the potatoes in the oven for another 30 minutes until the are crispy and the cheese mixture is fully melted. 
  6. Take the potatoes out of the oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve warm!

Sticky Miso Green Beans

We have implemented a “Steak Saturday” tradition during quarantine. We like to fancy it up a bit on the weekends and celebrate our Tuck & Tate “move in” quarantine anniversary each Saturday – we are approaching week 8 together! We try to mix up our side dishes and this week experimented with Miso Green Beans. We love the unctuousness of this side dish. The miso and soy sauce give the green beans a rich, salty delicious flavor and when cooked down, make the green beans sticky and finger licking good. We have perfected the reverse sear method for cooking our steak. For details, see our Instagram highlight here!

Sticky Miso Green Beans
Makes: 4 large side servings 
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total: 20 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 24 oz fresh green beans (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs miso paste
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes 

Directions: 

  1. Trim the ends of the green beans so the stems are removed. 
  2. In a pan set to medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. 
  3. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the miso paste and green beans. Saute the green beans until the miso paste is melted and fully incorporated. Around 7 minutes. 
  4. Add the soy sauce and chili flakes (if you like spice!) and saute for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Mediterranean Bulgar Salad

This bulgar salad is one of our go-to side dishes. For those unfamiliar with bulgar, bulgar is a grain that is made from cracked wheat. It tastes like a hybrid between quinoa and rice, with a little bit more of a crunch and texture to it. It is also cooked similarly to quinoa and rice, by boiling it in water. There are many different ways to prepare bulgar. For this recipe, we serve the bulgar cold and load it with veggies and serve it as a side dish, like a salad. You can easily add a protein or additional vegetables to this dish to bulk it up a bit and serve it as a main course. It will store great as leftovers for weekday lunches as well!

Mediterranean Bulgar Salad
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 cup bulgar
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup parsley, diced

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add the bulgur, lower to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered in the pot for another 10-15 minutes.
  3. Prepare your vegetables. Chop the cucumber, tomato and red onion into bite sized pieces. This does not need to be perfect!
  4. Combine the bulgar, vegetables, feta and parsley in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until the dressing is fully incorporated.

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Whether you’ve always been a big Cinco de Mayo celebrator in the past, this year we feel like we need to celebrate all the things while in quarantine. It helps us break up the monotony of daily life at the house and helps remind us there is a real world beyond isolation that is worth celebrating! One of our favorite Mexican dishes is elote- or grilled street corn. It takes just a few ingredients to create the rich, smokey, salty and sweet combination that you get when you eat this dish. It’s a favorite of ours all summer long!

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 limes, separated
  • 1/2 cup + manchego cheese, grated or queso fresco, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scallions and cilantro, sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Use the 2 tbs olive oil to coat each of the four ears of corn. Season them well with salt and pepper and grill them for about 15 minutes, rotating as each of the sides starts to char. A little bit of char is great, too much tends to taste bad so keep an eye on the corn on the grill!
  2. While the corn is grilling, make the spicy sauce. Whisk together the mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne, and the juice of one lime onto a large plate. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Have the shredded manchego or crumbled queso fresco on a second large plate.
  3. When the corn has finished grilling, immediately remove it from the grill and roll each of the four ears in in the sauce plate and then press into the cheese plate. We try to coat the ears of corn with the sauce on all sides but only have the cheese on one side of the corn. Press any extra cheese onto the tops of the corn.
  4. Place the corn back on the grill in indirect heat for just a few minutes to let the cheese melt. Serve immediately with chopped scallions and a slice of the second lime for garnish.

Asparagus with Lemon and Leeks

This is the perfect spring side dish to just about everything from fish to grilled chicken and even steak. We find that giving vegetable side dishes the same amount of TLC that we would an entree makes a complete difference with our dinner experience. Instead of the standard “protein, carb, veg” day after day, recipes like this asparagus brighten things up and make us way more excited to eat our vegetables. This asparagus has just a handful of ingredients but really amps up the flavors of spring compared to a standard roasted asparagus. As the weather gets warmer feel free to cook the asparagus on the grill for an extra smokey flavor; it will contrast nicely with the fresh punch of lemon.

Asparagus with Lemon & Leeks
Makes: 6 servings
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs aparagus, stems cut off
  • 2 tbs olive oil, separated
  • 2 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put the asparagus onto a cookie sheet in an even layer. Drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the asparagus are crispy but cooked through.
  3. While the asparagus are cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the other 1 tbs olive oil, the leeks, and the garlic to the pan. Sauce for 4-5 minutes, or until the leeks are starting to brown and caramelize.
  4. Add the white wine and the lemon zest and juice to the pan. Slice the lemon and throw that in the pan as well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to cook off the wine. Season the mix with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the asparagus from the oven and toss in the pan with the leeks and lemons. Serve immediately.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sweet & Spicy Tahini Butter

One of the cookbooks we turn to again and again is Nadine Levy Redzepi’s Downtime. Her hearty recipes are simple in ingredients but really extraordinary in flavors. The recipe we have made the most is her dry roasted ribs with sweet potatoes. Unlike traditional bbq ribs that are drowning in sauce, her ribs are roasted slow in the oven with just a bit of salt and pepper. She serves them with roasted sweet potatoes for the ultimate simple dinner. This go round of making the ribs, we decided to up our sweet potato game by pairing them with tahini butter.

If you are unfamiliar with tahini, it is essentially a peanut butter made from sesame seeds instead of peanuts. You most commonly find it in hummus. It is rich, creamy, and lends itself well to everything from sweet, to spicy and savory flavors. We have combined it with a bit of each of those notes for this tahini butter. The tahini butter holds up well in the fridge and can be drizzled on everything from grilled chicken to salads.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sweet & Spicy Tahini Butter

Makes: 4 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup (4 tbs) butter, room temperature
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp+ cayenne pepper
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Prick each of the sweet potatoes with and fork and lay them onto 4 individual pieces of foil. Spray each piece of foil and the sweet potato generously with cooking spray. Wrap each sweet potato completely in the foil and put in the oven for 1 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are the oven, make the sauce. Use a whisk or a hand mixer to beat the butter until it is smooth. Add the tahini, mixing well to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice, garlic, honey, and cayenne. Mix well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When the sweet potatoes have finished in the oven, remove them and let them rest in their foil for about 5 minutes. Use a pairing knife to cut away a segment of the top skin from each potato. Use a spoon to fluff the inside of the potato and to create a little well for the tahini butter.
  5. Serve a generous dollop of tahini butter on each potato. Top with Everything Bagel Seasoning and serve immediately.

Fried Rice: Quarantine Edition

Cooking in self imposed quarantine has provided a fun opportunity to get back to the basics of cooking. This recipe reminds us of our days in college – using up what we had in the fridge and freezer to create something out of nothing. Fried rice is the pinnacle of quarantine food. You could make a thousand variations of this recipe with what you have on hand and consider it a thoughtful meal. No rice? Use any similar substitute including quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur, cous cous, or cauliflower rice. For the vegetables you can use literally anything you have on hand that would go well with stir fry. Frozen vegetable mixes are perfect for this but expand the criteria to shaved brussels sprouts, frozen edamame, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower…. the sky is the limit. For the photo below we used a pre-made vegetable stir fry packet that we found in the produce section of the grocery store and supplemented with a packet of frozen veggies. Add it all together in a pan with a few scrambled eggs, soy sauce, garlic, and sriracha and you have yourself a pretty darn tasty meal!

Fried Rice: Quarantine Edition
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw brown or white rice*
  • 4 cups vegetables- this can be prepared stir fry mix, frozen vegetables, anything!
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbs sesame oil (sub vegetable oil if you don’t have sesame)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs ginger, minced (optional)
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs hot sauce (sriracha or sambal)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped scallions or cilantro, for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add the brown rice and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. If the vegetables you are using are frozen, add the vegetables to the top of the pot. Cover and turn off the heat. Let the vegetables sit covered for 5 minutes to thaw.
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbs sesame oil and crack the eggs into the pan. Use a spatula to scramble the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggs from the pan onto a plate when they are near done- they will be back in the pan to finish cooking in a few steps.
  3. Put the saute pan back on the heat. Add the remaining sesame oil, garlic, and ginger to the pan if you have them on hand. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic starts crisping and is fragrant. If you are using fresh vegetables that can be stir fried (leafy greens like kale, shredded brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli etc), add them to the pan. Stir everything well to coat. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan to help steam and saute the vegetables for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the brown rice and any frozen vegetables if you thawed them into the saute pan. Add the soy sauce, hot sauce, and eggs to the pan as well. Stir everything to combine and cook another 3 minutes so that all of the flavors can blend. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with cilantro or green onions if you have them on hand.

* If you have brown rice that is already cooked, use 3 cups. If you have frozen brown rice cook according to package directions and add in at Step 4.


Chipotle Lime Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This is a recipe that Tuck’s mom has modified over and over again in the last few years because they are so versatile. This version of stuffed potatoes is a great side dish for grilled steak and adobo chicken. If you prefer vegetarian, one can of black beans or sliced avocado can easily be added to the recipe to bulk it up and make it an entrée. We love the sweet and spicy combination of the filling and make these year round. In the summer we prefer to use fresh corn and throw it on the grill to give it a nice char, but in the winter and spring Trader Joe’s saves the day with their roasted frozen corn.

Chipotle Lime Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted corn (we used the frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 packed cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large chipotle in adobo, minced + 1 tbs juices from the can
  • 2 tbs honey
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup + queso fresco
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. If the potatoes have sides that are flatter, cut the potato accordingly so the flat side will be the bottom when they go in the oven. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the sweet potato. The potatoes should be fork-tender.
  3. When there are about 15 minutes left on the timer for the potatoes, start the filling. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn, kale, and water to the pan. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the corn is thawed (if it was frozen) and the kale is wilted. Add the chipotle and juice, honey, lime juice and zest, and the garlic to the pan. Saute another 3-4 minutes so the flavors combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust the taste of the filling as desired with more honey or chipotles. Remove the filling from the heat until the potatoes are finished in the oven.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Use a fork to gently to create a little well in the center of the potatoes for the filling. Divide the filling amongst each of the potatoes and top with queso fresco. Bake in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot out of the oven with cilantro for garnish, if desired.

Herby Roasted Potatoes

This is a simple recipe to up your side dish game. When we get overwhelmed in the kitchen, the first thing that falls by the wayside are the side dishes. We love this recipe because once the potatoes are in the oven, you can forget about them for 40 minutes and focus your attention on the rest of your meal. This might seem like a crazy long time in the oven, but in that time the outside of the potatoes get really crispy, the inside become creamy, and the fresh herbs fry up for an amazing aroma when you pull them out of the oven. Serve this with our Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri or our Lemon Chicken with Olives and Artichokes for a knock out dinner menu.

Herby Roasted Potatoes
Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs baby potatoes
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs- rosemary, dill, thyme, sage, or all of the above
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and lay on a cookie sheet. Add the herbs to the cookie sheet. Drizzle with the oil and use your hands to coat everything very well. Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes on a center rack. After the first 20 minutes, use a spatula to detach any potatoes that are stuck to the cookie sheet. Give everything a good stir and put back in the oven for another 20 minutes.
  4. When the potatoes have finished cooking, break up the crispy herbs with your spatula and serve immediately.