Browsing Tag


brown butter vinaigrette

Tis the season for salads that are as hearty as they are green. This brown butter vinaigrette is not just perfect for raw greens, it’s also a luscious dressing for many varieties of cooked vegetables as well. You can add fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, chives or parsley. You can play around with other acidity like fresh citrus juice, balsamic or sherry vinegar. This vinaigrette is nutty and bright, making it a perfect pairing for roasted root vegetables, chicken and even fish. The possibilities are endless. The question is, what will you make?

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 T. maple syrup
2 T. dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring butter to a simmer. The butter will get foamy and then the foam will subside and the butter solids will begin to brown. Once the butter has turned a golden brown, turn off heat. Pour into medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon and salt and pepper.
  3. Refrigerate in a glass jar until ready to use. Put jar in hot water to re-warm before serving.

component in action
-pour warm over vegetables
-drizzle over green salads
-use as a sauce for chicken, pork or fish
-add herbs like rosemary, sage, chives, parsley, mint
-play around with other acids like orange juice, lemon juice, sherry or balsamic vinegars

Lemon Vinaigrette

The summer session starts today! I know, i’s not summer yet, but on sunny days in New Mexico, it sure feels like it, so let’s just consider this a big and flavorful gearing up for a fun summer of great food. Once a week, we will dive into a chef level, core cooking recipe. The goals (like the recipes) are simple, to help you become an expert, inspired and confident in incorporating this gem into your cooking life. One recipe at a time. One week at a time.

These essential recipes are the same ones I scribbled in many a notebook throughout my time in culinary school and restaurant kitchens. When you learn how to cook professionally, you don’t start by learning how to make an entire feast. You begin by learning the bits and pieces: the vinaigrette, the stock, the brine, the dough, etc.

As you learn and gain confidence, you start putting the pieces together and soon your instincts start to kick in. This is where real cooking happens. When you are no longer bound by the chains of a recipe. Once the core recipes and techniques become familiar, they start to make sense in a new way, kind of like learning a language. Before long, stringing four core recipes together to form an entire meal is no big deal.

Keep your recipes close for pastry and baking, but keep a tasting spoon close for savory cooking. Your taste buds are king and queen of the kitchen! With that royal proclamation, let’s begin with one of the easiest and most important (yet unappreciated) recipes of all, lemon vinaigrette.

Lemon vinaigrette (aka Lemon Vin.) is versatile and variable.  It can be used in countless ways and can also morph into many different variations. In it’s most basic form, it is fresh lemon juice and olive oil (acid + fat) whisked together to create a bright dressing that brings out the best in many different foods. One of my favorite ways to use lemon vin. is tossed with a simple salad of arugula, apple and Parmesan cheese. It can be spooned over roasted vegetables, drizzled over fish, spiced up and the lemon juice can even be swapped out for different citrus juice or vinegar.

Here is my go-to way to make it:

1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 t. of dijon vinegar
1 t. honey
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

1.) Whisk or blend all ingredients together.

Component in Action
-use a dip for raw veggies
-instead of just lemon juice, try a mix of lemon, orange and lime
-add a bit of sliced garlic clove
-add finely chopped fresh herbs (like thyme, rosemary or dill)
-add dried spices like ground turmeric or smoked paprika

Thai Lime Dressing

First, a disclaimer: I’m six months pregnant. My first pregnancy all I craved was frozen yogurt, which was strange enough only because I have never liked frozen yogurt before. This time around, my cravings are far reaching and more culturally well rounded (good job pregnancy cravings!) that have me constantly pining for sushi, coconut milk curry, ramen, pho, sweet and sour eggplant, I could go on. For a long time.

It all started on one of the many nights I was too tired to make dinner in my first trimester. I ordered Thai takeout and discovered the delights of green papaya salad. Ever since that night I have been hooked, a new craving carved into my brain that pops up pretty much any time I am hungry, which these days is almost all the time. I couldn’t believe all the flavor and texture notes it hits perfectly–the heat, the brightness, the briny punch, the hint of sweetness, the crunch.

The salad itself is an incredible mix of green (unripe) papaya, chilis, sometimes peanuts, and a plethora of variations based on who makes it (and believe me, I have tried every variation I can get my hands on). But the star of the show is the dressing, which can be made in many ways. Here is the version I am making at home, and has now become a regular go-to anytime the Thai craving hits. This little dressing can transform even the most unassuming veggie’s or greens into an exotic and satisfying treat.

1/4 c. fresh lime juice
3 T. honey
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. fish sauce
1 clove of garlic (thinly sliced) OR 1 t. chili garlic sauce
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1.) whisk or blend all ingredients together.

Component in Action

  • drizzle over roasted or grilled vegetables, fish, or meat
  • toss with salad greens
  • use as a dip for raw veggies or spring rolls
  • use as a dressing for rice noodle salad