Cook With: Equal Part Intention and Invention.

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Here is a shot of my home stove in action.

Nothing fancy. Nothing wildly professional, apart from a lot of well-used le creuset and useful tools hanging above the stove. Yes, I do have a kitchen buddha.

It’s a happy symbol and my little reminder to cook with equal parts intention and invention, everyday.

This year, I aim to cook with intention, invention and an authentic curiosity about building up a food culture. I am seeking participation, co-creation, inspiration, and lots of joyful moments shared cooking. I have set out to hone my chef skills in a way that’s accessible to home cooks. To cook with many people from all walks of life. To learn about the trials and triumphs of preparing food for others.

All this so that I may share with you something that might inspire you!
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Here is my favorite budding chef – my little nephew Theo loves to cook, and dons an adult size apron almost daily to do so. His natural zeal for the creative and scientific parts of cooking inspire ME to love what I do even more. Theo helped me prepare this salad, which was borne with equal part intention and invention on Christmas eve day.

The intention? A fresh, crunchy, bright side dish to the Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast that is my favorite family tradition to date. Read a fun story about the many variations and lore here (we do 7 even though not everyone does!) Either way, to make 7 dishes with fish without making the meal too heavy and too traditional, I have to improvise.

The invention? A ceviche style salad that can be made without any fish, for a sturdy, wintery take on a raw kale salad. Delicious with anything.

The recipe? A framework, actually. Much of what I cook is with what I have on hand. I consider what will balance out a meal, and adjust ingredient amounts on the spot. Use your intuition to make this salad suit you. This is a great new year’s day recipe!

KALE, PARSLEY AND ORANGE SEVICHE
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 bunch kale, destemmed and finely chopped
1/2 bunch curly parsley, tough stems removed, finely chopped
1/2 large turnip (or 2 small), small diced
2 oranges (or 5 clementines), supremed* and diced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup maple orange vinaigrette (recipe below)
OR just use 2 T. maple + 1/3 cup orange juice

NOTES:
*Supreme means to segment a citrus fruit by removing the outer membrane – learn how to do it here.
*Add 1/2 lb. sushi grade wild tuna cut into small diced pieces for a true ceviche. Soak the tuna in the lemon juice and salt for 20 minutes prior to mixing with other ingredients. Proceed with recipe as follows.

PREPARATION:

1. Combine all vegetables with the segmented, diced oranges. Add the lemon juice (or fish and lemon juice), olive oil, maple orange vinaigrette, and salt and pepper.
2. Using clean hands, massage the salad by squeezing handfuls, repeating about 25 times. Taste and adjust seasonings accord to what you want: add apple cider vinegar or more lemon for a zestier salad; add coconut sugar or more maple for a sweet/salty salad; add more onion for a more pungent salad.
Keeps in the fridge for up to five days.

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Maple Orange Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar (adjust to taste)
3 T maple syrup
½ teaspoon orange zest
juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 t. salt
pepper to taste

Preparations:

1. In a bowl combine ingredients and whisk to combine well.
2. Keep refrigerated and shake or whisk again before dressing your salad.

 

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