Veggie ragout with creamy cheese polenta

ragout

This Veggie Ragout & creamy polenta makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder.

By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar.

Make a double batch and freeze half to keep for another day. It will always make you happy when you are scrambling to figure out dinner and you remember you have a delicious homemade meal in the freezer waiting for you.

As for leftovers – I ALWAYS eat any extra polenta with my eggs in the morning. YUM!

The Polenta can be made with vegetable stock and no cheese to make this a yummy vegan dish as well.

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don’t like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable – Go for it! You know what you like!

Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!

ragout
Veggie Ragout & Cheese Polenta
Print Recipe
This Veggie Ragout makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder. By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar. As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don't like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable - Go for it! You know what you like! Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
ragout
Veggie Ragout & Cheese Polenta
Print Recipe
This Veggie Ragout makes me feel SO warm and cozy as the weather gets colder. By building flavors and adding ingredients in layers, you will find that this Ragout will give you both depth of flavor and a bright surprise at the end with the addition of some vinegar. As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  If you don't like an ingredient or want to swap for another vegetable - Go for it! You know what you like! Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Ragout
  1. Chop all your vegetables to the same size and set aside Keep onion & garlic separate from other veggies
  2. Heat a pan to with olive oil using low heat. Add onion, garlic with salt & pepper. Cook until soft.
  3. Add all other veggies (except spinach & parsley)
  4. Season with paprika, gr. coriander, salt & pepper & cook for about 3-5 min. until the veggies begin to soften.
  5. Add red wine to deglaze the pan and cook down for another 3-5 min.
  6. Add canned tomato and crush tomato with spoon or hands (I like to use my hands :)) Let cook for another 3-5 min.
  7. Add bay leaf & chick peas and re-season with spices and salt & pepper to taste.
  8. Cook down at a simmer (uncovered) for about 20min. You want the vegetables to be soft, but not mushy. The ragout sauce should be a bit thick & have a deep flavor, similar to that of a stew.
  9. Finish with chopped spinach & parsley
Cheese Polenta
  1. Add 3 cups of milk & 2 cups of water & stick of butter to a medium sauce pan and warm.
  2. Once liquid is warm, season with salt to taste & add polenta
  3. Allow to cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, while stirring occasionally. As the polenta thickens and cooks you will need to stir more often.
  4. As the polenta cooks, it will likely need more liquid before it is completely cooked through. Add more milk as necessary throughout the cooking process.
  5. Taste the polenta as you go and it will begin to soften. Once cooked, add cheese. *The cheese will thicken the polenta more, so if you need to add a bit of milk to it to thin it out a bit, go right ahead!
  6. Re-season with salt & black pepper and enjoy Your final polenta should be smooth and creamy.
Recipe Notes

Items that can be prepared ahead:

  • chop vegetables
  • polenta

*Essentially, this is a great meal to make a few days ahead and the flavors will just get better as it sits.

To make this dish vegan - use vegetable stock instead of milk & leave out the butter. If you like coconut flavor, you can finish the polenta with some coconut butter (not oil).

Share this Recipe

Lemon Chicken

  • Using the BRAISING method, this is the perfect one pot meal.

It requires minimal prep and cooks without needing much attention. That means it’s great for a week night or a busy day with your kids. It’s also a meal that can be adjusted to be made in a Crockpot or Instapot.

I used to make this recipe for family meal when I worked for David Burke in his UES restaurants. It was always a hit and a welcomed variation from the mundane, slapped together meals we were used to scarfing down as busy cooks.

This recipe was nicknamed “Long Island Chicken” because it’s a riff off of  the Lemon Chicken my grandma used to make me as a kid. I don’t have many childhood dishes, but this is definitely one of them.

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  You know what you like!

Check out some of our other One Pot Meals too!

Lemon Chicken
Print Recipe
Using the method BRAISING, it's this is the perfect one pot meal. This dish requires minimal prep and cooks without needing much attention, which means it's great for a week night or a busy day with your kids. It's also a meal that can be adjusted to be made in a Crockpot or Instapot. 
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Lemon Chicken
Print Recipe
Using the method BRAISING, it's this is the perfect one pot meal. This dish requires minimal prep and cooks without needing much attention, which means it's great for a week night or a busy day with your kids. It's also a meal that can be adjusted to be made in a Crockpot or Instapot. 
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
45 minutes 45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Coat chicken in Paprika, salt & pepper
  2. Sear off in a hot pan to brown (Remember that you need high heat to sear. You can turn it down once the chicken goes in the pan. Spices will brown quickly, but don't worry about burning.)
  3. Removed seared chicken & set aside.
  4. Add onion, garlic, pepper, thyme & cook until lightly browned. Feel free to add a little oil if you need to.
  5. Add lemons, juice and halves pieces. Throw it all in there! 🙂
  6. Add chicken back into pot & add stock until ¾ of the way up the chicken
  7. Add butter & simmer on low until chicken is cooked through
  8. Finish with Kale and chopped parsley at the very end and cook 3-4 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Items that can be prepped ahead:

  • Cut veggies and herbs
  • half and juice lemons

Pro Tip: When storing prepped veggies, store them based on the stage that they are added in the recipe. If you are adding a bunch of veggies together in 1 step, they can be stored together.

  • store onion/garlic/peppers/thyme together
  • halve and squeeze you lemons into a container and save for cook time. Then you just need to dump and move on.

 

Share this Recipe
 

Orange Coriander Marinade

turkey brine

This marinade recipe is a Connected Chef Classic and one of the very first recipes I started teaching clients when I began. It’s FILLED with flavor, good with any lean meat or veggies and is SO fast and easy. (as with all marinades!)

Toasting the spices are ultimately optional, but if you do so it will add more flavor.

With that said, when we need to feed our kids, toasted spices can wait! 🙂

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  You know what you like!

turkey brine
Orange Coriander Marinade Recipe
Print Recipe
This marinade recipe is a Connected Chef Classic and one of the very first recipes I started teaching clients when I began. It's FILLED with flavor, good with any lean meat or veggies and is SO fast and easy. (as with all marinades!) The measurements are not exact because we want you to make it your own. Keep in mind a marinade should be EXTRA strong in flavor because not all of it will make it to the final dish.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
turkey brine
Orange Coriander Marinade Recipe
Print Recipe
This marinade recipe is a Connected Chef Classic and one of the very first recipes I started teaching clients when I began. It's FILLED with flavor, good with any lean meat or veggies and is SO fast and easy. (as with all marinades!) The measurements are not exact because we want you to make it your own. Keep in mind a marinade should be EXTRA strong in flavor because not all of it will make it to the final dish.
Prep Time
10 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Chop onion and garlic
  2. Toast coriander & black peppercorns in a dry saute pan on high heat until you can smell the aromatics of the spice This step can be done in bulk and ahead of time!
  3. Crush the spices, just to crack them open. How? coffee grinder, ziplock bag and pot, or a mortar & pestle
  4. Combine all ingredients in a container and taste.
  5. Adjust for additional amounts of ingredients if you desire.
Recipe Notes

Toasting the spices are ultimately optional, but if you do so it will add more flavor.

With that said, when we need to feed our kids, toasted spices can wait! 🙂

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  You know what you like!

Keep in mind a marinade should be EXTRA strong in flavor because not all of it will make it to the final dish.

 

Share this Recipe

5 Spice Braised Pork Tacos

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

Everyone’s familiar with Mexican flavors in tacos, but these 5 spice tacos use braised pork and Asian seasonings to knock it out of the park!

I can eat tacos for days, but 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love.

I like to serve these 5 spice tacos with a big bowl of crunchy slaw on the side. You can swap in vegetables with whatever you have on hand.

Want a an even healthier version? Try swapping out tortillas for cabbage leaves! You get similar flavor and crunch with none of the carbs. (Even my kids love tacos in cabbage leaves!)

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Ingredients
Shredded Pork
Rice
Servings:
Instructions
Shredded Pork
  1. Preheat the oven to 300*F. Pat the pork butt dry with a paper towel, then rub all over with the 5 spice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or saute pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat 4-5 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the pan and sear until dark golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and carrot to the pan. Char and slightly cook the vegetables, about 3-5 minutes, then remove vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  4. Deglaze the pan with bottle of beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the pork back to the pan, and add in enough water to cover the pork by about 3/4, then add the charred vegetables. Cover the pan and set in the oven.
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid. (I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.)
  8. Shred pork and strain braising liquid, discarding the vegetables. Then, add pork back to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat gently if it has cooled completely, but make sure the liquid does not boil while you are reheating.
Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies, except Napa cabbage, in equal amounts
  2. Pick stems from cilantro & mint leaves and add to salad
  3. Season with salt & pepper & add lime juice to your liking
  4. Pick Napa Cabbage leaves for taco shells. You can cut out the core of the leaf for easier folding
Rice
  1. Saute garlic, ginger & onion in olive oil (Use a heavy amount of olive oil)
  2. Add rice and toast. If you need to add more oil at this point to coat the rice, do not be afraid to do so.
  3. Once the rice is a golden brown color, add 4 cups water and stir
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  5. Stir occasionally until rice is tender
Recipe Notes

If your rice is undercooked and all your water is absorbed, it is ok to add a little more water in the middle of the cooking process!

Share this Recipe

Thai Marinated Chicken with Coconut Rice & Thai-Inspired Slaw

The marinade for this Thai chicken allows you to get a little creative in the kitchen, and the accompanying slaw is the same!

Use the proportions of the marinade ingredients below according to how much chicken you should make, and think about the final flavor of the dish; since this is both a marinade as well as the sauce the chicken cooks in, you have some room to wiggle a little with amounts and measurements.

Try to remember the balance of acidity (lime juice), salt (soy sauce) and sweetness (honey), with just enough fresh cilantro to open up the flavor and zingy ginger and garlic to add bite.  As with all Connected Chef recipes, we encourage you to use all your senses as you cook!

The coconut rice that goes with the Thai marinated chicken and slaw is also easier than it looks, especially when you think about the process of rice cooking. Cooking the rice in coconut milk gives it a creamy flavor that’s hard to beat, and it rounds out the entire dish nicely.

Toss the slaw together using whatever crispy, fresh vegetables you have on hand. Each of the different textures of the different vegetables will work well together, especially when you tie them together with a garlicky vinegar dressing.

This Thai marinated chicken and sides is one of my favorite recipes to teach in my classes, since it covers so many different aspects of the kitchen and requires you to use each of your senses throughout the entire process. It’s a great recipe to get kids cooking along with you!

Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
Print Recipe
This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
Print Recipe
This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
Coconut Rice
Thai Slaw
Servings: people
Instructions
Thai Marinade
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk: Start with soy sauce as the base, and then add each ingredient one at a time, tasting as you go.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade and set aside for at least 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  3. When chicken is ready to be cooked, sear in batches with marinade & season with salt & pepper
Coconut Rice
  1. Fine chop garlic, onion, ginger & sauté in pan with a heavy amount of oil.
  2. Add rice & toast (make sure there is enough oil to coat the rice)
  3. Once rice is toasted brown, add coconut milk & water
  4. Season heavily with salt & some pepper
  5. Once boiling, stir & bring down heat
  6. Stir occasionally until cooked through.
  7. **Be sure to be tasting rice as it cooks and adjusting seasoning. You can always add a bit of water if you need more liquid throughout the cooking process.
Thai Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies (cut into thin strips).
  2. Pick herbs from stem & tear into slaw
  3. Dress with some lime juice, salt & pepper to taste.
Share this Recipe

Corn Salsa

I love this corn salsa, especially in the summertime! It’s a really bright and fun flavor, with great texture from the sweet corn kernels. It’s a perfect side for grilled foods and tastes even better the day after it’ made.

If you’re not a big fan or cilantro, feel free to change it up for a different herb! I’ve had success using mint, basil, even tarragon instead.

If you can’t get your hands on fresh corn, frozen (thawed) or canned corn kernels will work as a substitute.

This corn salsa is a great side to bring to a potluck party. We often will serve it with Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa

Corn Salsa
Print Recipe
Corn Salsa
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Grill corn & cut off the cob.
  2. If you’d like to roast the peppers: place the whole pepper over a direct flame until the outside is completely charred. Place in a covered bowl or plastic bag for 5 min to sweat. Peel off charred skin and discard. Julienne or slice peppers.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
  4. Season with Salt & Pepper
Recipe Notes

***This salsa is great served with steak, chicken, ribs….anything!

It's even better the day after it's made, so it's a perfect a make-ahead option for a cookout with friends. We'll also serve this corn salsa on the side with tacos.

If you can't get your hands on fresh corn, frozen (thawed) or canned corn kernels will work as a substitute.

Share this Recipe

Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

These chili braised pork tacos are one of my family’s all-time favorite recipes, and one that I’ll often make in my cooking classes as well!

Chili braised pork tacos are practically foolproof and very popular – making this the perfect party meal, make-ahead dinner option, or simple Sunday dish. The chili-braised pork tastes better the longer it sits, too, so make a big batch and freeze some for later if you get the chance.

The base of this dish, the pork shoulder, follows along the guidelines I’ve laid out in the braising section. Remember that the perfect braise builds a flavor that works along with the rest of the ingredients it’s paired with; turn a cheap cut of meat into the star attraction with just a few simple tricks!

Chili-braised pork tacos and salsa are great on their own, but if you’re looking for a different side, I really recommend this simple corn salsa.

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa
Print Recipe
Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
Chili Braised Pork Tacos & Salsa
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Chili Braised Pork
Pico de Gallo
Spice Rub
Servings:
Instructions
Chili Braised Pork
  1. Coat pork in spice rub & salt, pepper. (You will have left over rub. Keep it in a jar for another dish/time!)
  2. Sear pork in a dutch oven or saute pan until dark, golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork and add all veggies. Cook until charred and slightly cooked
  4. Deglaze with bottle of beer
  5. Put pork back into dutch oven & add enough water until pork is ¾ covered. (If you don’t have a dutch oven & have seared your pork & veggies in a sauté pan, place everything in an oven safe pot & cover.)
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid.
  8. I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.
  9. Shred pork and strain braising liquid. Then, add pork to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat everything slightly if it has cooled completely. (Don't boil when reheating, you will toughen the meat)
Pico de Gallo
  1. Dice tomato, avocado, onion jalapeno & cilantro
  2. Mix with lime juice & season generously with salt/pepper
Recipe Notes

There are no quantities for the PICO DE GALLO. That is because you can make it to your own liking.

I typically like my Pico de gallo heavy on the lime and cilantro, but it's a personal choice.

TASTE AS YOU GO and remember you can always add more of an ingredient!

Share this Recipe

Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies

Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies
Print Recipe
This will be your go to dinner recipe. MINIMAL prep & so delicious. You can also use whatever veggies you like, the mentioned are just ideas.
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies
Print Recipe
This will be your go to dinner recipe. MINIMAL prep & so delicious. You can also use whatever veggies you like, the mentioned are just ideas.
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1-2 heads garlic cut lengthwise
  • 1 Onion cut in 4
  • 1/4 bunch Thyme
  • 1/4 bottle White wine
  • Turnips no quantity is mentioned because you can put as many or as little as can fit in your pan
  • Sweet Potatoes no quantity is mentioned because you can put as many or as little as can fit in your pan
  • Carrots no quantity is mentioned because you can put as many or as little as can fit in your pan
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450
  2. Dry skin of chicken with a paper towel & season liberally with salt & pepper
  3. Stuff chicken with chopped onion, garlic, thyme & 1 lemon
  4. Chop veggies (cut them large; be sure they are around the same size)
  5. Season veggies liberally with salt & pepper and add to a roasting pan
  6. Place chicken on roasting pan & pour a small amount of white wine (or beer) at the bottom of the pan (approx. ½-1 cup, just eyeball it)
  7. Cook chicken in the oven until the flesh is firm & skin is brown. (approx. 40min) If the skin is browning too fast, you can cover the chicken with some foil to stop the browning, while it continues to cook.
Recipe Notes

Remember: Your meat must rest before cutting.  Let the chicken sit on your countertop for at least 15min before cutting into it!

How do you know when your chicken is done? The juices should run clear. Take your knife and cut the chicken between the thigh and breast.  You won’t be cutting through meat, but mostly breaking the skin between the dark and light meat of the bird.  If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.  If the juice is still pink, keep it in the oven for another 10-15min.

Share this Recipe