Back a couple of years ago Chef Brian gave his family and friends a cookbook for Christmas.
I never could nail the waffle recipe, and the list of panini suggestions have proved useful time and time again, but it was always one recipe, “panzanella bread salad” that stood out the most.
With all of my curiosity, I never actually made the meal. Luckily, Chef was smart enough to include a panzanella salad in one of our Fat Dude dishes, which has really opened up my eyes to the awesomeness of big-ass croutons.
Here’s Week 23, Meal 3: Grilled branzino over spring panzanella with lemon-tarragon vinaigrette. Continue reading Week 23, Meal 3: Big-ass-crouton salad
Fava beans are a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diets, not only because they’re protein-packed, but because they’re freakin’ delicious, too.
They’re a pain to get to, but the result is a bean that’s not as texturally gross as the lima, with a pleasant taste almost like zucchini squash.
Quick-cooked in olive oil with onions, these beans were a hearty meal on their own, but topped with a slab of pink salmon and a sour, herbaceous salad – this just might be you’re new fava-rite fish dish.
Here’s Week 23, Meal 1: Grilled salmon over fava beans, spring onion and basil topped with parsley and radish salad in lemon vinaigrette. Continue reading Week 23, Meal 1: You’re new fava-rite fish dish
Wifey Nadia is always giving me grief for writing essentially the same intro for Fat Dude posts.
I usually say something like “OMG, blah blah blah … I’ve never tried this food and liked it before, but Chef Brian’s amazing … whatever, whatever … make this dish.”
She’s right about the setup — though I mostly write that way because Chef Brian is amazing and tends to make delicious things from foods I’ve stayed away from or never had — but Week 22, Meal 3: Open-faced grilled chicken sandwich with fresh mozzarella and a tomato and olive relish was one dish where the tables were turned.
“Olives and anchovies, yucky,” she repeated over and over. Then she had a bite of this fancy half-sandwich and in an instant she was converted.
Surprise! Continue reading Week 22, Meal 3: Caper-olive-anchovy surprise
I’m always asking Chef Brian for simpler recipes.
Part of it is because I’m lazy, and part of it is because I’m not the quickest cook. So any recipe that allows me to come home, put in a little bit of work and enjoy the spoils of a better-than-drive-thru dinner is the kind of meal I’m really in to.
Week 22, Meal 2: Marinated and grilled lamb chops over green beans, fennel, and tomato fits that bill. The salad is fast and flavorful and the lamb chops, as simple as the marinade ingredients are, bursts with a sweet and salty succulence unlike any lamb we’ve cooked so far on the blog. Continue reading Week 22, Meal 2: Cop these lamb chops!
Grilled shrimp is a favorite meal at my house — Wifey Nadia is most fond of my “summer picnic” with grilled shrimp and asparagus, plus lemon wedges and French bread — but for too long my go-to marinade for shrimp has always been a simple one: parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Week 22, Meal 1: Marinated and grilled shrimp tossed in an Italian summer salsa over sliced heirloom tomatoes took me out of my parsley-and-garlic-smothered comfort zone and into some sideways seafood universe where the sauce is based in tomato.
Not my usual marinade, but one that proved to be a great departure from the same-ol’ scrimp(t). Continue reading Week 22, Meal 1: Italian summer salsa ‘n’ shrimp
I don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg — I just know they both taste great together, especially with a little mound of crispy prosciutto piled on top.
For our finale to No-noodles Italian week, Chef Brian uses his powers of telepathy to read my mind and craft the perfect menu out of everything good in this world.
Here’s Week 18, Meal 3: Baked chicken milanese with arugula, cherry tomatoes, poached egg and crispy prosciutto. Continue reading Week 18, Meal 3: The chicken and the egg
I’m married to a Jordanian/Russian who is mostly in touch with her Middle Eastern roots, so it’s safe to say I know my way around some pita bread by this point.
And while I’m usually smothering it in hummus, then cramming as much grilled meat into the bread as possible, Chef Brian has me going Greek with Week 16, Meal 2: Turkey gyro with feta cheese and tzatziki sauce. Continue reading Week 16, Meal 3: Turkey gyro, the diet hero
If there’s one thing I can trust Chef Brian with wholeheartedly, it’s putting together a badass marinade for some chicken.
He set the bar high with a garlicky, herbaceous marinade for Week 1: Chicken and apples, and then he managed to blow my taste buds away with the spice mix on for the tandoori chicken tacos we did for Fusion Taco Week.
He managed to do it again with the smoky punch of chermoula, the paprika and herb-filled marinade of Morocco. Here’s Week 13, Meal 3: Grilled chermoula-marinated chicken over stewed chickpea and tomato. Continue reading Week 13, Meal 3: Grilled chermoula-marinated chicken over stewed chickpea and tomato
Chef Brian’s dishes usually have three or four components, so I was really confused by Week 13, Meal 2: Marinated lamb kabobs with a pomegranate, pistachio, citrus and mint relish.
I saw lamb and I saw relish, but was confused at how such a seemingly simple recipe would satisfy.
One bite of the smoky, lemon-softened meat paired with the sweet-tart, crunchy relish and I was sold.
Sometimes keeping it simple yields the best results. Continue reading Week 13, Meal 2: Marinated lamb kabobs with pomegranate, pistachio, citrus and mint relish
I tried to make this meal look as beautiful as I could to show my appreciation for my wife’s family, which hails from Jordan.
I often joke that the best part of marrying her was the food. Before, I only had an appreciation for the flavors, but now I have respect for anyone who has ever made tabbouleh, because in all honesty, the wheat-based staple is a pain in the ass to prepare.
No matter though. The effort was worth the final product. Here’s Week 13, Meal 1: Parsley and black pepper-crusted ahi over tabbouleh with mint yogurt and roasted bell pepper. Continue reading Week 13, Meal 1: Parsley and black pepper-crusted ahi over tabbouleh with mint yogurt and roasted bell pepper