Spicy Shrimp Ceviche w/ Cucumbers and Burnt Peanuts // www.acozykitchen.com

A large part of me (the sweaty part) despises summer, but this year I’m like super into it. I’ve been inspired to make all sorts of stuff. Also, I’ve embraced wavy hairs.

This shrimp ceviche might be my most favorite thing EVER. It’s inspired by the ceviche I always order at one of my favorite LA restaurants, Corazon y Miel. The chef there loooves Peruvian food, you can just tell. I believe he’s from somewhere in Central America and while people like to consider it a Mexican restaurant (and sure there are Mexican influences), it isn’t completely true. It seems like he takes some of his favorite Latin American flavors and sort of does a mishmash of them, creating his own unique takes on traditional dishes.

Spicy Shrimp Ceviche w/ Cucumbers and Burnt Peanuts // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Fancy-Ass Frozen Daquiris // www.acozykitchen.com

This drink is dedicated to all the peeps out there who wish they were on a beach in their bathing suit, sipping on a drink with an umbrella in it.

Doesn’t it seem like everyone and their mom is on vacation right now? I’m definitely not on vacation but that’s ok because I’m already planning next summer’s vacay. I found this little teeny apartment on the Amalfi coast where I plan on living out my obsession with The Talented Mr. Ripley. I plan on wearing little white sneakers with my bathing suits and drinking nothing but rose and eating grilled branzini all day–it’s going to be magical.

Fancy-Ass Frozen Daquiris // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Corn Chorizo Hash / www.acozykitchen.com

This week is going alright so far. I FINALLY scored some sour cherries (recipes coming soon!), I’ve been doing a ton of recipe testing for book stuff and last night I watched this woman from Real Housewives of New York throw her fake leg on the table. So all in all, I say it’s going pretty well!

Last week I had the great pleasure of making and eating this Corn and Chorizo Hash (with an egg on top, of course) for a very, very late lunch. There’s super spicy chorizo, fresh summer corn and potatoes cut into a small dice, which cuts down on the cook time, which also helps when you’re so hungry you feel like you might pass out. An egg on top was an absolute must because it’s the only way a hash story should end and because seriously what could be better than a drippy egg? A vacation, that’s what.

For the full recipe so you can recreate a delicious breakfast for lunch or dinner situation, go to PBS Food.

Tomorrow I’ll be back with a recipe that SCREAMS a good vacay moment.

Corn Chorizo Hash / www.acozykitchen.com

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Moroccan Carrot Noodle Salad with Golden Raisins, Harissa and Goat Cheese

I feel like I’ve been on a bout of straight indulgence. In the last week’s there’s been a hash I ate all by myself for dinner, soft serve dripping with honey, my favorite burger in LA and don’t get me started on last week’s pimento cheese situation, which also transitioned into pimento cheese chilaquiles.

I need a reset button in form of some carrots. And probably a spin class because I mean, it’s been a little reckless over here. Straight reckless livin’.

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Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com

This my “towanda!” sandwich. If you’re unfamiliar with what “towanda” is, I forgive you. It just means I might be older than you and/or you don’t memorize scenes from movies that were made in the 90s. Regardless of what the reasoning is, you should watch this scene from Fried Green Tomatoes.

Kathy Bates is having a rough go and these two cute girls take her spot and instead of saying sorry like normal humans, they make fun of her. Instead of finding another spot, she does what all of us wish we could do: she smashes her car into theirs…over and over again. Right now that’s my dream in life. Since I can’t do that because I’ll likely go to jail? (that’s assault, brotha (another 90s movies reference, I’m sorry), I’m eating awesome sandwiches like these!

Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Classic Pimento Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com

I was born in the south and my family has lived there their whole lives but I don’t really consider myself southern, though I’m definitely southern-ish. I have a strong attraction to southern states, people and food. It was really no surprise that I went back to the south for college, North Carolina to be exact.

My first friend (and best friend ’til this day) at college was a svelte costume design major named Tre. We went everywhere together, including the cafeteria. Rumor had it that our school was just one grade above prison food, which as you know re: Orange is The New black is BAD. Naturally since we were in the south, they had pimento cheese at the salad bar. And everyday Tre would eat pimento cheese on white bread. EVERY SINGLE DAY. (I opted for cereal.) I honestly never touched the pimento cheese because if you think it looks a little scary now in my pictures, imagine how it looked at the ‘one grade above prison salad bar’. Rough.

Classic Pimento Cheese // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Grilled Pineapple Margarita // www.acozykitchen.com

I’m still recovering from one of the worst weeks ever (last week). I took the weekend to recover and spent it by drinking copious amounts of sparkling rose, having Chinese food with friends, getting my hair blow dried, watching The World Cup and seeing Boyhood (a must-see!). I feel a million times better. Alcohol and good food has a way to ease my pains.

I’m back in the kitchen this week to share some new stuff and even hopefully finally prepare for Ice Cream Week (ahh!). I’m starting with this recipe I made for PBS Food, Grilled Pineapple Margaritas. I’m not sure if there’s anything better than the flavor combination of smokey and sweet—it’s all up in this drink! Someone suggested that this could be made with rum instead of tequila and I say go for it. I have terrible/fun college memories with tequila so I’m not married to the idea of it being made with juuust this spirit. I say go rum!

Coincidentally I have another pineapple recipe that I’m making today and it involves the entire pineapple. The whole dang thing and I’m super excited.

BRB!

Grilled Pineapple Margarita // www.acozykitchen.com

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Sweet Corn Creme Brûlée // www.acozykitchen.com

I love sweet corn ice cream. Have you had it before? It’s sweet…and corn-y tasting. I’m at a bit of loss for descriptor words, forgive me. But you know what I mean! Almost like sweet creamed corn but with the texture of ice cream.

This is very similar, except that the texture is like a really good creme brûlée. When I worked my first restaurant job, we had a really bad creme brûlée on the menu; I didn’t care because my job was to dust the tops with sugar and burn the sugar with a blow torch. I was totally content with my small little job! I found it fun and satisfying.

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If you make this recipe, try and find the most beautiful corn you can find. I found this super fragrant and sweet bi-colored corn at the market and was impressed with how flavorful it was. It’s necessary for the step of infusing the cream with corn and the chopped up chunks of cob.

The cream and corn hang out together for 30 minutes or so. I recommend giving it a taste and letting it steep some more if you think it needs it.

And then it’s pretty much just like normal creme brûlée. Cream is heated and tempered with egg yolks so no scrambled eggs occur. There’s a division of the custard and then it’s all baked in a water bath for 30 minutes or so.

SweetCornCremeBrulee_5 [click to continue…]

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Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad // www.acozykitchen.com

I’m a bit on a grilling kick. I don’t own an outside grill so instead I use my big griddle that has a side that is like a grill pan. It’s almost like reversible sheets. Or reversible shirts, which were popular for a very short while in the 90s. I think they should come back because seriously, how useful! I also had a shirt that would change different colors if you breathed on it. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to work like mood ring but it failed completely.

Anyway, grilling…fruit. The two surprisingly go hand and hand, AND grilling cheese is an even better idea. The requirement is that the correct cheese be used. A lot of cheese can easily be coated in breading and fried but not many cheeses can be grilled. If you’ve never cooked with haloumi, I can assure you that it’s really really good and super easy to grill. It won’t get all melty and crazy, it’s really hard to mess up AND it’s delicious and salty. I love to pair it with something sweet and something smokey.


Grilled Peach and Haloumi Salad // www.acozykitchen.com
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Watermelon Radish Chicken Milanese // www.acozykitchen.com

I spent the long holiday doing all sorts of exciting things like making sweet corn custard and binge-watching Cesar Milan, which has made me realize that perhaps I’m not what he calls “pack leader.” It’s a devastating realization, actually. I’m guessing it feels similarly when your kid tells you to “shut up, mom” in front of other people. I’m not sure what to do with my beast of a child but this week I’ve vowed to be “calm and assertive”—not my best attributes.

In other news, there’s this perfect summer lunch or dinner. And a giveaway! First, let’s talk about the recipe.

Chicken Milanese might be one of my favorite quick meals EVER! The chicken is pounded to be super thin and then dipped in light, panko bread crumbs. The chicken is pan-fried in a pretty small amount of oil, resulting in delicious, crispness. The salad that usually accompanies chicken milanese is pretty normal; usually some sort of lettuce. Instead of going the ol’ normal route, which I’ll admit is also delicious, I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Chicken Milanese with Radish Salad // www.acozykitchen.com

Watermelon radishes are maybe the most beautiful radish in existence. If the season’s change, or if you can’t find watermelon radishes, feel free to swap them out with another type of radish. Watermelon radishes are mild in flavor–just a little bit spicy, so they’re perfect to eat all on their own. I mixed in a bit of flat-leaf parsley and fresh tarragon for added flavor (I love tarragon and chicken together!). The whole salad is tossed in a easy combo of lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Super simple.

It’s no secret that I adore Le Creuset products so it was no surprise that I loved this 3 quart sauté pan. The pan is light yet sturdy and conducts and spreads heat evenly resulting in chicken that’s perfectly cooked.

Chicken Milanese with Radish Salad // www.acozykitchen.com

Today we’re giving away this 3 quart sauté pan to one winner. All you have to do:

1. Leave a comment below telling me your favorite flavor of Ice Cream (I need inspiration for the upcoming Ice Cream Week that I keep promising)!

One winner will be chosen on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014. Giveaway is open to U.S. readers only.

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Steph who said:

“My local ice cream shop made a flavor they called Mango Unchained. It was amazing- sweet from the mangos and spicy from cayenne pepper.”

Chicken Milanese with Radish Salad // www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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