This is a spin on the classic Eton mess, which is a popular dessert where I’m from. A mixture of cream, meringue, and fruit, it’s painless to prepare. Berries are my choice of fruit, but feel free to change this up to your own whims and taste.
Unlike most kids, I grew up loving broccoli. My aunt would steam it and melt some salted butter on it. My mother would even mash it with tons of butter. We don’t see Broccolini often in Ireland, and when I discovered it in the States, I fell in love with the vegetable all over again. I like to think of Broccolini as the slender, elegant alternative to the thick stalks you usually find. Dress it in cheese, and you have broccoli that is runway ready!
How to win friends and influence people: cook this steak. Seriously, invite people you want to impress over and feed them this, and they will be saluting you by the meal’s end. The best part of this recipe is that the marinade, which is what truly makes it, is made up of ingredients that you’re likely to have in your kitchen already. The sharpness of soy, vinegar, port, and chili permeate the meat, so each bite is packed with flavor. Believe me, this recipe is fail-safe.
The county I come from in Ireland, Tipperary, brews the best hard apple cider in the world. It’s called Bulmers Irish Cider in Ireland and is exported to the United States as Magners. In this recipe, any apple cider will do if you can’t find the best, and the nonalcoholic version works well, too. The vinegar and jelly enhance the apple flavor.
I have carried this recipe around with me for years, and I find myself making it three to four times a month. Cider is in my roots—it is one of the best products in County Tipperary, where I am from. The chicken just soaks up the cider vinegar, and to me, this dish is the perfect blend of tart, savory sour. PS: I’m a thigh man! Not only are thighs less expensive than chicken breasts, due to their fat content they are much harder to overcook.
This dish comes together as quickly as it takes to boil the water for the pasta. It was inspired by a trip to Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I came upon a fantastic marinated artichoke bar there, and the thought just struck me how tasty marinated artichokes might be in a pasta. And believe me, they are—you don’t even need a protein in this dish because the effect is so meaty. This dish works well with either canned or jarred artichoke hearts.
What I love most about this soup is its simplicity. The simple flavors of chicken and beans are easy comfort. And this soup is light on labor, so much so that I’ll be frank: It’s less about cooking and more about heating up good ingredients. Convenience is always key when you are pressed for time. This one is great as a quick lunch or snack when you are in a pinch.
This is a lovely, simple, clean-tasting assembly of Asian ingredients – and something I could very likely eat every night. Because of its simple freshness and the lightness of the mint, this salad can make you feel downright saintly while you are eating it. I like to change it up sometimes by substituting grilled steak for the chicken and rice noodles for the cabbage. Try it!
In California, we always have access to great avocados. And when life gives you an abundance of avocados, you make avocado toast, of course! There are several varieties of avocado, and any of them would work for this recipe. However, I prefer using the Hass variety—the small type with the dark, bumpy skin—as they have more natural fat and are less watery than the larger, smooth-skinned sort. Hass avocados add a wonderfully smooth, creamy texture. The lemon and chili act as the perfect eye-openers.
This recipe is so easy you can cook it in the dark with one hand. Literally. I know because I did exactly that when I made this recipe for a charity dinner. It was a “Dining in the Dark” event…and I had a broken arm from a motorcycle accident. Thankfully, I had a sous-chef to prep the onion, garlic, tomatoes, and basil. But I was able to do the rest with one arm.