Mardi Gras at Home

Mardi Gras at Home

Mardi Gras celebrations around the country have been cancelled or scaled back this year because of coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate safely at home. Since I’m married to a New Orleans boy, we will keep the good times rolling by bringing Mardi Gras and quintessential New Orleans treats to our home. From King Cake to beads and balconies, we will have it all here.

In lieu of Mardi Gras floats this year in New Orleans, many people are decorating their homes instead. My in-laws have been sending us the coolest pictures from the homes in Uptown and it has been great to see the spirit of the city living on even though one of their main events has been cancelled.

For our celebration at home, I’m focusing mostly on the food. I’ll be making red beans and rice and I ordered a King Cake for dessert. One of my husband’s favorite meals is red beans and rice and since he was born and raised in New Orleans, I had to do a ton of research to get the recipe right. The consistency was tricky to achieve, but after a few tries, I finally got it and I am so proud. To add a fun little twist, I served our red beans and rice in miniature bread bowls.

Red Beans and Rice served in mini bread bowls.

Brit’s Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients:

2 ham hocks 

10 cups water

2 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. Crystal Hot Sauce

1 tsp. Worcestershire

1 lb. red beans (soaked overnight and drained)

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onions

2 cloves minced garlic

3 tbsp. olive oil

¼ lb. hot sausage, sliced

¼ smoked sausage, sliced

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. pepper

To Make:

  • Place ham hocks, water, garlic, salt, Crystal hot sauce, Worcestershire and beans in a large Dutch oven and cook uncovered on low heat. 
  • In a separate pan, sauté celery, onion and garlic in olive oil.
  • In another pan, cook sausage.
  • Add sautéed vegetables and cooked sausage to the red bean mixture.
  • Add bay leaves, salt and pepper to the mixture. Cook over a medium-low flame for four hours. 
  • Remove ham hocks and bay leaves.
  • Serve over white rice.

Haydel’s Traditional King Cake from New Orleans.

I don’t think it’s possible to have a Mardi Gras party without a King Cake. Our absolute favorite is from Haydel’s Bakery, but if you’re not in New Orleans and ran out of time to get a cake shipped, Whole Foods actually makes a pretty good King Cake.

While I didn’t bring the house float trend to Austin, I did build a balloon arch inside! This arch was so easy to assemble and I think it turned out really well. Call me crazy, but I’m still throwing beads off of my stairs and pretending I’m on Bourbon.

How will you be celebrating Mardi Gras this year? However you do, I hope you are all safe, happy and healthy and as they say in New Orleans, Laissez les bon temps rouler!

XO,

Brit

Super Bowl LV: Healthy Eating at Home

Super Bowl LV: Healthy Eating at Home

Tom Brady, the Chiefs and The Weeknd…could I ask for a better Super Bowl lineup? I have had a crush on Tom Brady since middle school and the Chiefs are my favorite team in the NFL so I will be cheering for both teams this Sunday and eagerly anticipating The Weeknd’s performance. Since we’ll be celebrating from home, I’m making my favorite chili, guacamole and buffalo chicken wings for me and my husband to snack on for the big game.

Since I went to two years of high school in Kansas and my parents lived there for more than a decade, I consider myself a Chief’s fan and I love game day at Arrowhead!

To start off our Super Bowl celebrations, I will be whipping up a big bowl of my favorite guacamole. I stumbled upon this creation one day when I was out of red onion and tomato so instead I used white onion and no tomato and it ended up being the best guacamole I’ve ever made.

Because of the cooler weather, I think Chili is perfect to cook for Super Bowl Sunday. For whatever reason, I prefer to use pinto beans for my chili so it’s a little bit different, but I love it. You can warm up some tortillas or biscuits for dipping and top the chili with sour cream, cheese and green onions. We also love buffalo chicken wings in our household. I get the pre-marinated buffalo chicken wings from Central Market and cook them at 450 degrees and 20 minutes on each side. I know this sounds a little aggressive, but they get so crispy and delicious.

And of course chicken wings! I buy mine pre-marinated and cook them on a wire rack and baking sheet at 450 degrees for 20 minutes on each side.

I love how all of these foods are great for snacking on throughout the day and they are exactly unhealthy. What are you cooking this weekend for the Super Bowl and who are you cheering for?

XO,

Brit

Chicken Night at Home

Chicken Night at Home

Chicken Night has become a staple in the McAshan household during quarantine. I originally got the idea from our country club in Houston–every Thursday night, the club had “Chicken Night” where they would have a buffet of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, fried okra and gravy. When we moved to Austin at the beginning of quarantine, I decided to make a *somewhat* healthier version of Chicken Night at home.

I make two versions of chicken for our Chicken Nights–Honey Chipotle Chicken and Honey Garlic Chicken. I serve both our favorite salad from HEB. When I make the Honey Chipotle Chicken, I serve it with Mac and cheese and when I make the Honey Garlic Chicken, I serve it with Basmati rice.

Although these aren’t the healthiest meals ever, they are comfort foods that my husband enjoys and having a staple each week for dinner makes my meal planning a lot easier.

Since I know I’ll be making a version of Chicken Night each week, I always have Panko, HEB Basmati Rice, Annie’s Mac and Cheese, honey, San Marcos Chipotle Peppers, Crystal Hot Sauce, ketchup, liquid aminos, corn starch, chicken tenders and HEB Cracked Pepper Caesar salad stocked in my house.

The chicken recipes are pretty much the same other than the flour mixtures and sauces. To prep my tenders, I set up an assembly line starting with the pounded tenders, buttered sheet pan and three bowls for dipping the chicken in–starting with the flour mixture, the lightly beaten eggs and finally the panko.

Voila!

Happy cooking friends, I hope you enjoy Chicken Night as much as we do!

XO,

Brit

Miami Travel Guide

Miami Travel Guide

Known for its stunning Art Deco architecture, sunny beaches and impossibly fun vibe, it was an easy choice for us to make Miami our first trip of the year. After spending a long weekend with my husband and pup in the beachside haven and scouring the city from South Beach to Little Havana, I’m sharing my travel guide for Miami with all of you.

I hadn’t been to Miami in more than a decade and the lure of 80 degree weather in January was just too enticing to pass up on. Because of recent COVID outbreaks around the country, we were a bit hesitant to actually go on our trip, but we were able to get flights on Southwest for next to nothing and got a great deal on our hotel room.

When looking for a hotel in Miami, it’s important to know which part of town you want to be in. If you’re interested in South Beach, I’d recommend the Faena or the Miami Beach Edition. When we booked our original trip, we found a deal on the Betsy Hotel and jumped on it. Although the Betsy photographs well and has a wonderful staff, I would not recommend staying here. The building is dated and the crowd that hangs out around the hotel is rough to put it lightly. We were very uncomfortable the one night we did stay there because the room smelled, we could hear noise from the street outside all night and the room just did not feel clean. The Betsy claims to have beach access, but it is not done through the hotel, it is done through a third party and you have beach access with a lot of other people.

After one night at the Betsy, we quickly switched over to the Four Seasons Miami which is located in the heart of Brickell, the city’s financial center. Although we had to give up the beach, we were so thrilled with our move. The Four Seasons Miami offers impeccable service, a stunning pool, an outdoor area that worked so well for our dog and clean and comfortable rooms (although a bit dated.) If you’re looking for a Four Seasons property on the beach, I’d highly recommend the Four Seasons Surfside. Unfortunately, this gorgeous hotel was a bit out of our price range and further away from most of the things we wanted to do so we decided to stay at the Four Seasons Miami. Another bay-side gem is the Biltmore Coral Gables. When we would go to Miami when I was younger, I would always tell my parents that if I lived in Miami, I would live in Coral Gables and I stand by that today.

If you’re looking to party, South Beach and Miami Beach will be perfect for you. From buzzy clubs and restaurants to partying on the beach, you’ll be happiest here. Brickell also offers a pretty cool night life scene with great restaurants and hotspots like Komodo. Keep in mind that Miami is currently observing an 11 p.m. curfew, but clubs are still open.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe, Bal Harbour/Surfside and Coral Gables/Coconut Grove will be the place for you. Bal Harbour and Surfside offer beach access, luxury shopping, fine dining and several celeb sightings while Coral Gables and Coconut Grove are a bit more laid back and not on the beach.

For fabulous shopping, museums and excellent dining, look no further than the Miami Design District. From public art installations to the famed Institute of Contemporary Art, you will leave this creative neighborhood feeling inspired and ready to take on the rest of Miami. If you’re looking for a bit of history or you have a cigar lover in your group, Little Havana should be on your list. Walking through this neighborhood just minutes from downtown, you feel as if you have been transported to 1965.

We LOVED the food scene in Miami, so much so that I actually ranked our meals from the trip and wrote a full review on them. We originally had reservations at Makoto, but had to cancel them because it would have taken us too long to get up there. If you’re staying in the Bal Harbour/Surfside area, definitely make reservations there one night.

Casa Tua, Mandolin and La Mar are not to be missed if you’re in Miami and if you’re looking for a classic Cuban sandwich while in town, look no further than Sanguich de Miami in the heart of Little Havana.

Houston Hobby Airport at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, January 24th.

COVID Travel Update

As most of you know, my husband and I have felt comfortable traveling to a few places during the pandemic. Everywhere we went, we felt safe because of small crowds, extra precautions people and places were observing and especially because all of our flights were not full. Well those days are over.

All four of the Southwest flights we were on for this trip were completely packed. Miami was packed. Although everyone wore face masks, I did not feel safe in many situations during this trip. Although I am very thankful we were able to go on this trip, had we known about the massive crowds we would encounter on the trip, we would have definitely reconsidered. I wish airlines would do their part and go back to keeping middle seats reserved for flights, it’s not responsible to have that many people in a confined space during a pandemic.

Miami Restaurant Rankings by Brit

Miami Restaurant Rankings by Brit

When we were planning our trip to Miami, I had high expectations for the weather and beaches, but wasn’t thinking much about the food. After living in Houston for six years, I became quite spoiled by the *highly* underrated food scene and am usually disappointed by the food in other cities when I travel now. But I was not disappointed by the Miami food scene at all, in fact, I was quite blown away.

To share my culinary adventures with all of you, I’m ranking the seven restaurants we ate at during our trip. We barely scratched the surface when it comes to Miami dining so this is in no way a ranking of all Miami restaurants, only the ones we ate at during our three-and-a-half-day stay.

  1. Casa Tua

Our best meal in Miami was at Casa Tua. The vibe was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced and the food was excellent. We ordered a fish carpaccio, octopus (the best dish we had on our entire trip), the Mushroom Fettuccine (which they are apparently known for), the Red Snapper and finished off our meal with the Italian Casa Tua Doughnuts.

The Red Snapper with the Mushroom Fettuccine

No matter where you are seated for dinner at Casa Tua, you will have the most enjoyable time. Each dining area is unique and oozes sophisticated European charm. COVID guidelines were well respected here and we will definitely be back.

2. Mandolin

A very close second for our dining experience in Miami is Mandolin. This mediterranean bistro is a true gem and should not be missed when visiting Miami. Set in the lush gardens behind Miami’s famed design district, the striking blues and whites that make up this restaurant make you feel like you’ve been transported to Greece.

For lunch, we ordered the Cheese Saganaki, the Ali Nazak, Greek Salad, the octopus and French Fries with Greek Yogurt. We ate every bite and wish we could have tried more, but we were so full. In addition to the lovely setting and insanely good food, the service was excellent and the restaurant felt clean and respectful of COVID guidelines.

3. La Mar

We also loved La Mar. This hip Peruvian restaurant is located in the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. The food was outstanding and we had the sweetest waiter. We ordered the Roll Anticuchero, the octopus, the Arroz con Mariscos and the whole fish which was de-boned, cut up and fried into small bites.

I will say that there were a couple of things that led to La Mar not being my top restaurant of the trip. First of all, I did not feel safe in regards to COVID. This place was packed and restaurant workers were constantly asking patrons to put their masks on, which was unnerving. I do think the restaurant could restrict the number of reservations they take or limit the number of people who are just standing around to alleviate this issue. Secondly, the restaurant terrace is overlooking the bay, which is lovely, but people were smoking on the pathway right beneath the tables which was awful. Third, because the restaurant sits at the base of the hotel, many people use the two entrances on the restaurant’s terrace to get into the hotel so that means random people are walking by your table all night.

4. Edge at The Four Seasons

We ate at the Edge at the Four Seasons twice during our stay. Once for breakfast and once for lunch and we really enjoyed both meals. I noticed the adherence to COVID guidelines the most here compared to any of the other restaurants we ate at. The tables were well spaced and very clean, patrons and workers were required to wear masks (when not at their table) and the food was great.

For breakfast we had coffees, the baker’s basket–a butter croissant, a chocolate croissant and a croissant filled with cream cheese and jam, and the Honey Nut Granola Parfait. For lunch one day we shared a burger and fries by the pool and it was amazing.

5. Sanguich de Miami

Of course we had to go to Little Havana when we were in Miami! After a little cigar shopping, we popped into Sanguich de Miami for Cuban Sandwiches. This sandwich shop is really a hidden gem in Little Havana. All of the sandwiches are made on fresh Cuban bread and are made with high-quality meats.

Cuban Sandwich

Sanguich de Miami was also really good about COVID guidelines and the restaurant felt very clean and safe. There is usually a line so if you’re looking to save time or avoid the crowds, you can order ahead online seamlessly.

6. Mignonette

Mignonette… I’m still replaying this experience in my head because I had high hopes for it, but I don’t find myself wanting to go back. The food we had was good, but there were a few things that threw the experience off for me.

Located in the up-and-coming Edgewater neighborhood, Mignonette is housed in what was once a gas station. They did a fabulous job transforming this place, but upon entering, I smelled something very muggy and musty and that’s not great when you’re about to eat seafood. We also sat at the front of the restaurant which has a large window so all of the oncoming headlights were a bit much for me. Another thing that detracted from the experience was that the waiter originally helping us left unexpectedly during dinner and we were not helped again for quite some time by another staff member. I also ordered sparkling water several times that never came. All of this is to say that our dinner at Mignonette was good, but I don’t think we will be back.

7. LT Steak & Seafood

LT Steak & Seafood, the main restaurant at the Betsy Hotel on South Beach was our least favorite of the trip. Since we stayed at the Betsy our first night in Miami, we had lunch there when we arrived–a burger and the Spicy Crispy Rock Shrimp roll– and then breakfast the next morning where we had oatmeal and the Betsy Breakfast. Although the service could not have been better, the food left quite a bit to be desired. With so many other options in the area, I regret having had two meals here.

Snow Day in Austin

Snow Day in Austin

Snow has come to Austin! When I checked the weather the other day and saw snow on the report for this weekend, I thought it might be a light dusting, but we have had actual snowfall all day. It is beautiful and we have had the best day as a family playing in it (Charlie for the first time ever!)

Growing up in Utah, I loved skiing, but a whole winter of snow and cold temperatures was never really my thing. Now that I know I’ll be back in 65 degree temperatures by Thursday, one day of snow actually seems pretty nice. To stay warm, I broke out all of my winter clothes that I normally pack for trips to Montana and Utah, and my husband has been cooking his bolognese all day.

Grey Pom Hat, Sunglasses, Black Jacket, Black Scarf, Black Leggings, Smartwool Socks, Sorel Boots, Grey Gloves

One thing I’ve learned about surviving cold weather is that it’s more important to be warm than cute… something I wish I would have grasped in middle school. A few years ago I finally broke down and bought the Sorel boots with rubber soles and fur tops. I always thought they were the most atrocious boots, but they have saved my life and mood in the cold! I used to try to wear my Ugg boots everywhere, but once they are wet, you get SO cold!! These boots may not be the cutest, but they keep you warm and dry all day. Underneath my boots, I always wear Smartwool socks, they are the best and wool is a great insulator.

No matter the season, you’ll find me in my Lululemon Align leggings. They work for a yoga class in the summer and for skiing in winter, and especially well for lounging around the house all day. I’m so sad that my Burberry jacket isn’t made anymore because it is one of my all time favorite pieces. It works for several climates because of the liner that is easily removable and it is water-resistant with a stylish hood.

To accessorize my winter look, I threw on my favorite Zara scarf, fluffy hat, Gucci dupe sunglasses and cozy cashmere gloves. I will say that cashmere gloves are not the most practical option in the snow and they are dry clean only, but they are SO soft and feel like blankets on my hands so I love wearing them.

Our first snow day as a family of three!

Of course on a day like this, you have to cook something that will warm your soul so my husband made his bolognese. Several years ago when we were in Napa after hitting a few vineyards on a freezing day, we had lunch in Yountville at Bottega and we had the best bolognese we’ve ever had. After that lunch, Will studied the bolognese and the ingredients they used and obsessively watched Frank Prisinzano cooking videos to create the perfect bolognese.

Will says that contrary to public opinion, bolognese is a meat-based sauce, not a tomato-based sauce. Much like Frankie P, Will does not consider this a recipe, but rather a method so it’s not like the other step-by-step recipes I’ve shared with you all before.

Will whipping up his delicious bolognese!

Will’s Bolognese Method

Ingredients:

¼ lb. Pork

¼ lb. Ground Beef

¼ lb. Lamb

4 Carrots

4 Stalks of Celery

1 Yellow Onion

A few pinches of salt

Pepper to taste

Olive Oil

Whole Milk

White Wine 

Chicken Broth

1 can Tomato Paste

1 Bay Leaf

Parmesan Cheese

To Make: 

  • Heat olive oil in a deep pan and add salt and pepper. Add all three meats to the olive oil and sauté until brown. 
  • Roughly chop vegetables and add them to a food processor. Pulse until blended. Add vegetable mixture to the browned beef.
  • Add white wine to the beef and vegetables and cook until there is no moisture. 
  • Add tomato paste and combine.
  • Add milk and broth to the mixture and turn heat to low. 
  • Add bay leaf and let mixture simmer for at least 30 minutes but could be several hours if you want.
  • Serve over pasta of your choice and top with freshly grated parmesan.
  • Enjoy!!
Voila! Will’s perfect Bolognese!

I hope you all love this bolognese “method” as much as we do and that you are all staying warm tonight! Happy Sunday friends, I hope you have a great week ahead of you!

XO,

Brit

Golden Turmeric Curry

Golden Turmeric Curry

Feeling under the weather after the holidays? We have been too. The non-stop drinking, over-eating and little-to-no sleep left me feeling pretty bad when we got home from our Christmas and New Years celebrations. This week I’ve been focusing on cooking foods that are not only healthy but that will also help kick this cold I’ve gotten and what could be better to do that than turmeric?

Known for its golden hue, turmeric is an antioxidant, a natural anti-inflammatory and is believed to negate the progression of cancers and brain diseases. To receive the benefits of this super spice, I decided to make a turmeric-infused curry tonight. In addition to the turmeric, I threw in a ton of veggies and other spices that will hopefully have me feeling back to normal by morning.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders (pounded and diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 4 tbsp. yellow curry paste
  • 1 can of coconut milk (13.5 oz.)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Basmati rice for serving

To Make:

  • Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for five minutes. Stir and make sure the onions do not burn.
  • Add the diced chicken to the onions and cook for another five minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander and cook for one minute.
  • Add the curry paste, coconut milk and carrots to the mixture and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another five minutes.
  • Add the spinach and stir until wilted and remove from heat.
  • Serve the curry over basmati rice and top with cilantro.
  • Enjoy!
  • Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for five minutes. Stir and make sure the onions do not burn.
  • Add the diced chicken to the onions and cook for another five minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander and cook for one minute.
  • Add the curry paste, coconut milk and carrots to the mixture and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another five minutes.
  • Add the spinach and stir until wilted and remove from heat.
  • Serve the curry over basmati rice and top with cilantro.
  • Enjoy!

In addition to it being healthy and delicious, I love making curry because I only have to use ONE pan! It makes the cooking a breeze and the clean-up even easier! I hope you love this golden curry and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it. Happy cooking!

XO,

Brit

COVID-Friendly Holiday Presents on a Budget

COVID-Friendly Holiday Presents on a Budget

2020 has been a tough year for all of us. Record unemployment numbers and a volatile stock market have made finances hard for everyone. With the holidays coming up, you might be wondering how you will be able to show others around you that you care about them without breaking the bank.

Miniature Tate’s Chocolate Chip cookies are the perfect gift for your co-workers and neighbors this year. Not only are they delicious, but when bought in bulk, they come out to be $1 per bag on Amazon. In addition to being budget-friendly, these individually packaged goodies are also COVID-friendly. While baking is a lovely thing to do for your friends, I wouldn’t recommend it this year. Whether it’s a possible exposure to COVID or Salmonella in the eggs you use, you just don’t want to risk spreading illness through baking. So save yourself the hours of work in the kitchen and buy pre-packaged goodies this year.

Photo courtesy of Tate’s.

Whether you’re on a budget or not, these crispy cookies make a wonderful treat that I know your acquaintances will enjoy. I love them because they are already packaged in adorable green bags so all you need to add is a red ribbon and a hand-written note to share your appreciation for the recipient and you’re all set!

Last year I gave mini Tate’s cookies to my co-workers as well as my husband’s and they were a hit so I figured I’d do the same thing this year. It took me about 20 minutes to cut the ribbons and tie the bows on each bag and in total, I spent less than $30 to create 24 gifts.

For a full video on how I assemble these treats, check out my instagram page. I hope you love this budget and COVID-friendly idea and let me know what your friends think about it!

XO,

Brit

Date Night at Home

Date Night at Home

If you would have asked me a year ago what my favorite thing to do was, I would have instantly answered, “going out to dinner!” I love trying new restaurants and cuisines, but lately, I prefer cooking at home. I’m not sure whether its because of COVID or our new puppy, but I love being at home so our date nights have transitioned from going to our favorite restaurants to cooking at home as a family.

Tonight our menu was inspired by The Defined Dish’s Pan-Roasted Blackened Cajun Chicken. Alex warned us in her stories last night that getting boneless chicken breasts with the skin on might be a challenge, but the butchers at Central Market were happy to help me this morning, they were even excited to know what I was making!

When you’re at your local grocery store or meat market, just ask the butcher for boneless chicken breasts with skin. It’s not really common, but if you ask nicely, they’ll be happy to help.

When I saw Alex posting about this meal last night, I just knew we had to make it. Last year, my husband and I spent some time in the French countryside and ever since, I have such a new appreciation for chicken. The recipe Alex shared was inspired by the Cajun Chicken entree at Le Bilbouquet…one of my all time favorite restaurants. I’ve never had this dish in the restaurant, but I definitely will next time I go!

I paired our dinner tonight with a medium-bodied French red wine. I think the seasoning on the chicken paired so well with this wine!

For our date night, we started off with a little cheese board when Will got home from work. I kept it pretty simple, but used my favorite ingredients. Central Market makes my FAVORITE crackers, the rosemary crostini crackers…they are a game changer so I started out with those, selected a basil pesto goat cheese and a blue cheese, peppered salami and holiday grapes to round out my board. I like to drizzle local honey over my blue cheese because I think it gives it a really nice balance.

A little cheese board for our appetizer

For our salad, I made a version of a childhood favorite. I diced an apple, crumbled some goat cheese, added a dash of salt and pepper and mixed it with butter lettuce and a spring mix. I drizzled Garlic Expressions over it.

For our main entree, I served the pan-roasted chicken with oven frites and my mixed salad.

Pan-Roasted Blackened Cajun Chicken with Oven Frites

by Alex Snodgrass – The Defined Dish

Pan Roasted Blackened Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 lbs boneless, skin-on chicken breasts about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon avacado oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine substitute chicken broth plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or whole 30 use ghee
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Oven Frites

  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes or 2 large potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS 

Pan-Roasted Blackened Cajun Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • in a small bowl, combine the salt,pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, rosemary, and oregano. Set aside.
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry and season the skin side with half the spice mixture.
  • in a medium oven-safe skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Carefully lay out the chicken breasts into the hot skillet skin side down. Cook without moving until the skin is deep golden brown and very crisp, about 6 minutes. While cooking season the second side of the chicken with the remaining spice mixture. Carefully flip the chicken breasts and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until cooked through, or when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breasts registers 150 degrees, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside, reserving the pan juices in the skillet.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the wine, chicken broth, and arrowroot and whisk until the arrowroot dissolves. Set aside.
  • Pour off all but about 1 teaspoon of the fat from the skillet and place the pan over high heat. Add the garlic along with the wine mixture, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook, stirring until the sauce is reduces by two -thirds, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add butter and the lemon and allow the butter to just melt. Stir to combine. Taste the pan sauce and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Slice the chicken breasts and serve on individual plates. Spoon plenty of pan sauce over the slice chicken and serve with the oven frites.

Oven Frites

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scrub the potatoes well, then cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide fries.
  • Place the fries in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
  • Spread the fries across the prepared baking sheet in a single layer (you may need two baking sheets to ensure they are in a single layer and have plenty of room to crisp up).
  • Bake in the oven until potatoes are golden brown all over and crisp, about 30 minutes (and no, you do not need to toss during the cooking time at all).

This dinner was amazing!! My husband and I both loved it and were pretty impressed with just how good it was. The chicken was full of flavor and moist, the oven frites were excellent ( I roasted mine for about 45 minutes because I like them extra crispy) and we loved the salad!

What are y’all doing for your date nights this week?! Leave me a comment and let me know!!

XO,

Brit

Date Night Inspo: Crab Crakes and Sauvignon Blanc

Date Night Inspo: Crab Crakes and Sauvignon Blanc

Happy Friday, Loves! I don’t know about y’all, but lately date night at home seems more fun to me than going out to dinner. I can pick any wine I want and eat whatever I want all in the comfort of my home…with my hubby and pup too! Tonight, I am making the Defined Dish Cajun Crab Cakes and Remoulade for dinner with asparagus and a big glass of my current favorite white wine, Honig Sauvignon Blanc.

Because they are light and filling at the same time, crab cakes are one of my favorite meals for a hot summer night. These delicious crab cakes not only pack a big punch of flavor, but they are also Whole30 and Paleo-compliant, like most of the amazing recipes Alex creates.

Cajun Crab Cakes and Remoulade recipe excerpted from The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes © 2019 by Alex Snodgrass. 

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE REMOULADE

¼ cup homemade mayo

1 tablespoon creole or dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 green onion (White and green parts), finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce

1 teaspoon dill relish, no sugar added

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

FOR THE CRAB CAKES

16 ounces fresh lump crab meat

½ red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

2 green onions (White and green parts), thinly sliced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

4 celery stalks, ends trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced (2 cups)

3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Crab Cakes:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, bell pepper, green onions, mayo, cassava flour, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper, cayenne pepper and thyme. Use a fork to mix until just combined.
  • Using 1/2 cup measuring cup, scoop out crab mixture and, using your hands, form into patties. Set on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes so that they firm up.
  • Pour the almond flour on a plate. Very lightly dredge each chilled crab cake in the flour and tap off any excess flour. You don’t want them caked in flour or they’ll taste dry, just lightly dusted. Return the coated crab cakes to the baking sheet.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When very hot, but not smoking, carefully arrange the crab cakes in the bottom of the skillet, taking care not to crowd the pan. You will most likely have to do this in batches. Sear the patties until golden brown and slightly crispy, about 3-4 minutes on the first side. Using a sturdy spatula, carefully flip, and continue to cook on the other side for 3 more minutes. Transfer the cooked crab cakes to a wire rack to keep them from getting soggy before serving. Repeat with the remaining crab cakes.
  • Serve with hot remoulade and enjoy.

To Make the Remoulade:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, parsley, green onion, garlic, capers, hot sauce, relish. apple cider vinegar, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

What are you cooking up this weekend?! Leave me a comment and let me know!

XO,

Brit