For a minute there here in lower Michigan we had a drop in temps so immediate that I thought for sure I was late for winter. Burrr! (I hate being cold, mind you.) However, the temps bounced back and we are enjoying 80-degree days and warm September nights. It's a lovely thing, to squeeze out a few more weeks of summer. This week's "What's for Dinner?" post feeds my summer eats daydreams of enjoying fresh seafood by the seaside somewhere, but also brings me back to reality as an easy weeknight meal solution, especially for all the busy families getting into the rhythm of a new school year. Fried fish on a weeknight, you wonder...well, yeah! Think of it like fish sticks but made fresh, from scratch, not pulled from a bag in the freezer. Kids and adults alike will love it, and it only takes about 20 minutes. My tartar-sauce-inspired dill and caper potato salad, rounds out the meal and brightens up your plate (also, good for lunch leftovers!) So, skip the bagged freezer meals or take-out orders and make this delicious plate of food instead. And, enjoy summer while it lasts! Cheers!
I absolutely love poblanos. And, I am super excited to announce that this summer I have my first crop of poblanos growing in my garden. Which is what inspired this post, in fact! [Although so far I only have 2 and they are small so I wasn't able to actually use them to make this post. But alas, they are there and growing. #Winning!]
Anyway, I kinda go ga-ga for poblanos and my most fave thing to do is stuff them with big, bold ingredients. This also happens to be a great way to keep dinner interesting, which is the whole point of this blog! So, this week I pair up end-of-summer zucchini with spicy-sweet sausage and melty cheddar cheese. I mean, it's like a taco, sorta! Flavors here are on point, but also quite flexible, so use your favorite sausage (sweet, spicy, chicken, pork, chorizo, etc...) or make a meatless meal instead by subbing vegan sausage or more veggies! If kids are at your table, tone down the spice with sweet chicken sausage instead and let the spice-loving adults add their own hot sauce. The idea is to bring everyone to the table with an excitement to share dinner together, and this plate will bring people runnin'!
What's For Dinner: White Bean Veggies Burgers with Blue Cheese Slaw and Home-Fried Sweet Potato Chips
It's been awhile since I created a new veggie burger recipe. I was inspired by two recent events. First, ordering one at a restaurant while on vacation that was good in description, but I felt could have been a little better on actual flavor delivery, and second, having a client request veggie burgers for a recent event. I decided to take the inspiration from the restaurant version and create a veggie-burger my client (and I) would be excited about. Voila! Here you have it! The important things for me with a veggie burger are as follows - good flavor, good texture, not too dry and definitely not crumbly. And while I love that veggie burgers tend to be on the healthy side, I still like to feel like I'm eating something somewhat indulgent, like a real burger would be - hence my blue cheese slaw and chips on the side. Trust me, I've had my fair share of bad veggie burgers, but this one hits the mark. I love it! I hope you do, too!
I am OBSESSED with summer fruits and vegetables right now. Just obsessed. I feel like I can't consume enough leafy greens, sweet summer corn, juicy peaches and tangy blueberries. While I have always leaned a little vegetarian, I have never craved summer produce quite like I am right now and I have to be honest, it's really quite fun. The best part is that you can't really over-indulge on things like kale and tomatoes or carrots and squash. You can literally eat as much as you want! How great is that?! It's only natural that this addiction of mine would manifest it's way onto my blog here, which is why this week's "What's for Dinner" post highlights all these current obsessions. While this meal is vegetarian, meat-lovers will get their fill from the heartiness of the fritters, and kids won't even realize that they are eating good-for-you vegetables, so it really is a meal to please all palates. I hope you enjoy this plate of food as much as I did!
This week's post feels a little like cheating. There is very little cooking that goes into this flatbread meal, but what I lack in recipe detail I hopefully make up for with inspiration. Flatbreads are a great way to combine everyone's love for pizza with your favorite summertime ingredients, which is what I did here in two very contrasting combinations. The first is a popular favorite - tomatoes, basil and ricotta. Hard to go wrong with those flavors, am I right? The second is a little more out-of-the-ordinary - bbq sauce, goat cheese, cherries and arugula - but the pairing of sweet and savory is what makes it extra-ordinary! (Hahaha - see what I did there?) Anyway, feel free to use these ideas as guides, keeping in mind the most important part of dinner this week - enjoying fresh food you love without fussing too much in the kitchen. And have fun with it, 'cuz it's summer and we just can't take mealtime too seriously. Enjoy!
We are dead in the middle of summer this week, and I am loving every minute of it. Not only the long days of sun and warmth, but the bounty of the season is just so inspiring. Fresh summer foods practically beg to be eaten in there most natural form, without any fuss or todo. Which is great for weeknight cooking. It's also why I have been craving so many salads lately. Fresh salads with seasonal ingredients that make a complete meal and leave me feeling healthfully satiated.
This week's meal was inspired by a dish I served at a recent event where I served brisket with blueberry-feta "slaw". Brisket is a labor of love, so I skipped that and focused on making the slaw a full meal. To help "beef" it up a bit, I married it with another summer favorite - panzanella, or bread salad. So many favorite ingredients all in one bowl - kale, blueberries, goat cheese (in place of feta) and toasted bread...yum! To really take it over the top I decided that since I'd be turning on the oven to toast the bread, I could toss some shrimp in there at the same time. And, voila! My shrimp panzanella with goat cheese and blueberries was born. It's an interesting combination, I'll give you that, but the beauty of eating fresh foods straight from the season is that they tend to pair so well together! Enjoy!
I love classic combinations prepared in simple ways, so you can easily enjoy your favorite flavors without a ton of fuss. I mean, when it comes to weeknight meals, isn't that the key, really? Here I combine fresh, summer ingredients with quick-cooking chicken cutlets to give you a meal that's efficiently wholesome. Frankly, it's a meal you can feel good about; even with the indulgence of prosciutto! And isn't that the key to life, really? Wholesome goodness balanced with a little indulgence, all on one plate. Enjoy!
This week, I pair together an oldie-but-goodie recipe with a brand new one, both of which have been instant favorites in my life. It's no secret that every so often during the summer I need some grilled steak and my favorite way to prepare it is with an easy herb, garlic and olive oil rub. Corn on the cob is another summer must-have but this adjustment to the trendy favorite street corn eliminates the need to chomp down on the cob. It feels un-American to admit that as much as I love corn on the cob, I prefer to shave the kernels off the cob to eat it. Don't judge me! I know some of you agree with me! Well, in this recipe you can enjoy your corn and the delicious sauce without all the mess. I myself find this lively combination to be a perfect summer dinner duo, but if you want to round out the meal even further, the creamy polenta recipe I posted a few months back would be a great addition.
I'm a huge fan of meatballs as a weeknight meal solution. I make them for my clients year round, in fact, changing up the flavorings to reflect the season and to meet their various nutritional needs, when necessary. Meatballs are so incredibly easy and they are a total blank canvas, so you can start with a base of anything from ground beef, pork, turkey or lamb then mix any number of ingredients from onions, garlic, fresh or dried herbs, and even some cheese, as I do here. Add an egg and some breadcrumbs and there you have it! Meatballs may initially sound heavy and wintery, but with all the fresh ingredients in this meal, especially the summer squash couscous, this plate of food is light and fresh tasting. Pairing it with a lemony-mint yogurt sauce takes it over the top. I hope you enjoy!
It goes without saying that this weeks meal is inspired by the 4th of July (hot dogs!) and eating outside (picnic'ing to watch the fireworks!). Make this meal in advance (yes, even the dogs) and take it with you to enjoy on a blanket or a boat or on one of those low-rise beach chairs that you wiggle down into the sand. Wherever you happen to be this weekend, you won't have to be in your kitchen! Happy 4th of July and Bon Appetite!
Hi! I'm Emily, and this is the official blog of Guest Chef, my personal chef and catering business serving Metro Detroit. As much as I love to cook for people, I also love inspiring others to cook great food for themselves and their friends and family. Which is why I share recipes, tips and inspiration here. Follow along and let's cook something great together!