welcome to modern feast

modern feast
subscribe to your week of feasts
* indicates required field

Tuesday, March 1

dijon cider vinagrette

makes 1/2 cup (enough for salad for 4)

1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
garlic salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together just before serving.

Sunday, October 31

pork chops with apple mustard sauce

I made this sauce as a way to dress up boring pork chops, but it would be just as good with chicken. If you don't have coarse ground mustard, just use twice as much dijon. Make the full recipe of sauce, even if it's just two of you, as you'll want to cover everything on your plate in it!

serves 4

4 boneless pork chops
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/4 cups apple cider
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp coarse ground mustard
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. When foam from butter subsides, add pork chops. Brown on both sides, about 1-2 min each side. Remove from pan (chops won't be cooked through yet). Reduce heat to medium, add onions to pan and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook onions for about 3-4 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add wine, cider, and mustards, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5-7 minutes or until reduced by half. Then, reduce heat so sauce is barely simmering and add pork chops and any accumulated juices to pan. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until chops are cooked through. Remove chops, remove pan from heat, and stir in 2 tbsp butter. Serve chops with sauce spooned over top.

Tuesday, July 20

crispy chicken with arugula salad

Topping the fried chicken with a lemony arugula salad may seem odd, but the salad functions kind of like a sauce, adding a second layer of flavors to the chicken. You can also make this with pork chops. You want to pound the thick part of the chicken breast until it's the same thickness as the thinner end, so the chicken cooks evenly.

serves 2

2 boneless skinles chicken breasts, thick end pounded to thinness of thinner end
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
1 tbsp montreal steak seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups arugula, washed and dried
handful grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat canola or vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Toss breadcrumbs with steak seasoning and red pepper and spread onto a plate. Press each chicken breast into the breadcrumb mixture on both sides to coat. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts to pan. Fry for approximately 5 minutes or until first side is golden brown (you may need to adjust heat so that coating does not burn, depending on your stove). Turn and cook another 4 minutes on second side, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on paper towels. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While chicken fries, toss arugula, tomatoes, parmesan, lemon juice, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on plates and top with 1/2 of salad each. Serve immediately.

sweet and spicy slow-cooker beef

I recently made a chuck roast in the slow cooker intending to toss it with bbq sauce and have it for sandwiches. The meat ended up so flavorful and delicious that we ate it by itself on slices of bread! You can use any cut of stewing beef you like, whatever happens to be on sale. If you don't have a slow cooker, you can just as easily make it in a large stock pot covered tightly with aluminum foil in a 300 degree oven.

serves 4

1 boneless beef roast (approx 2 - 2 1/2 lbs)
1 1/2 cups root beer (not diet!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp montreal steak seasoning

Add all ingredients to slow cooker set on "high". Let cook for 4 - 4 1/2 hours, or until beef falls apart when you try to pick it up. Remove beef from slow cooker and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then shred with 2 forks and mix with 1/4 cup leftover juices.

Thursday, July 1

watermelon salad with feta and mint

A refreshing and easy summer salad.

serves 4

12 oz mixed salad greens, washed and dried
2 cups seeded watermelon, diced
3 oz crumbled feta cheese
8 fresh mint leaves, rolled and sliced in chiffonade
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Whisk lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper together and set aside. Place salad greens on 4 plates and top with 1/4 each of watermelon cubes and feta. Divide mint evenly among plates and drizzle with dressing.

lemon icebox pie

This recipe makes it to my site as one of the few desserts I've ever successfully made. The real recipe includes making your own graham cracker crust, but I was not about to tempt fate. For an even simpler pie, just decorate the top with blueberries, blackberries, or sliced strawberries and forget the sauce. Be sure to allow the pie 6 hours to freeze.

makes one 9-inch pie

1 9-inch frozen graham cracker pie crust

2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 1/4 cups strained lemon juice (from the 2 zested lemons below plus an additional 4–6)
Zest of 2 lemons
8 large egg yolks

2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Thaw pie crust according to package directions. Whisk the condensed milk with the lemon juice and set aside. Whisk the zest with the egg yolks in a medium bowl until pale, 30 to 60 seconds, and then whisk in the lemon juice-condensed milk mixture. Place the pie crust (in pan) on a rimmed baking sheet, pour the filling into the crust, and carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Bake until the center jiggles slightly, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour on a cooling rack. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap (be careful not to let the plastic wrap touch the top of the pie) and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For sauce, place strawberries in food processor and pulse until finely chopped (but not pureed). Place strawberries, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and a thick syrup has formed around strawberries, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until serving.

Serve slices of lemon pie with strawberry sauce spooned on top.

Sunday, June 13

shrimp in wonton cups

This appetizer works equally well with shredded chicken breast or crab meat, so use whatever you have on hand. You can make both the shrimp mixture and the wonton cups the day before (keep shrimp in the fridge but cups in tupperware on the countertop) and just assemble right before you need them.

makes 2 dozen pieces

1 package refrigerated fresh wonton wrappers
1 lb pre-cooked shrimp, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced (both white and green parts)
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced small
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp canola oil (plus extra for brushing wontons)
1 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. Brush the wonton wrappers with canola oil, and place each wrapper into a section of muffin tin. Gently press each wrapper into the tin and arrange so that it forms a cup shape. The wrapper will overlap itself and stick up out of the cup. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove from the tin and allow wrappers to cool.

While wontons bake, mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl, tossing to combine well. Immediately before serving, fill cups with shrimp mixture.