Malibu Beach Recovery Diet Recipes: Easy Family Gatherings
Tricks to help you prepare a delicious meal while leaving time to actually sit down at the table
When the time comes to bring my family around the table, the last thing I want is those mad dashes to toss and turn pots and pans in the kitchen. I want everything to be done and ready so I can spend quality time at the table, enjoying conversation and leaving for minimal amounts of time to get things ready.
So, when selecting recipes for your family or friends gatherings, just keep a few ideas in mind and you will make your life all the more easier with spectacular results.
- If you are serving a salad for appetizer, it is perfectly all right to compose your salad early on. Just make sure you drop your dressing at the bottom of the dish and then pile your salad components on top of that. Bring the salad to the table for a quick toss and pass around.
- If your food is crispy, it needs to be served at the time it is done. Select chicken in a sauce, rather than breaded chicken. Chose a meat that can rest, instead of fish that needs shorter cooking times. Better yet, select a gratin, something that goes from the oven to the table and that will be enhanced by sitting in a little longer in the oven if your timing is less than impeccable.
- The covers you use to keep your food warm is important as well. Never cover with plastic or foil a dish that is perfectly cooked when it comes out of the oven. The tight lid will prevent evaporation of steam, leaving droplets of water over your dish, and recycling steam and heat which will continue to cook your dish. It is better to place the dish in a 200 degree oven, or a toaster oven set on “warm”.
- Try to find recipes where the cooking time does not matter. Stews, curries, chilies, tajines are dishes that already cook for lengthy periods of time and can very well wait until you are ready for them. Chop ahead any decorative toppings that you will need so that it is easy to transfer the dish from the pan or pot to a serving dish and sprinkle with the last minute topping.
- For desserts, much of the time, you will have a cake, a pie or a custard that comes out of the refrigerator. If you are serving fruits in a salad, take them out of the refrigerator before your meal to allow the blending of flavors. The whipping cream or sauce can be served straight out of the refrigerator. The contrast in temperatures will make your dish even more interesting and complex.
When you compile recipes from a magazine or make notes from a book, make sure you identify those that would be good candidates for these types of gathering. Planning ahead and insuring a good variety of different meals will bring those friends running back to your table, especially if you spare them the sight of your slaving efforts to make food come out of the kitchen… they do not want to cause you that kind of pain.
By orchestrating a very easygoing party – which takes talent and preparation – you will give your gatherings a welcoming atmosphere where nurturing and appreciation are the main topics of conversation.
- 4endive leaves
- 1/3 bunchspinach
- 1 headromaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/4 small headred cabbage, chopped
- 1Bosc pear, cubed
- 1/2yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2orange bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1/2carrot, grated
- 5cherry tomatoes, halved
- 7walnut halves, crushed – can also use almonds
- Other ingredients as inspiration allows
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine olive oil, vinegar and Dijon mustard in a glass jar with a lid. Cover jar with lid and shake vigorously until dressing is well mixed. Pour dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl.
- Mix all salad ingredients together over dressing.
- When ready to serve, toss salad gently.
Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma
Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 to 6 servings
- 2 lemons, juiced
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- A pinch ground cinnamon
- Red-pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Prepare a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red-pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken, and toss well to coat. Cover, and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.
- Put the chicken in the oven, and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice into bits. (To make the chicken even more crisp, set a large pan over high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then the sliced chicken, and sauté until everything curls tight in the heat.) Scatter the parsley over the top and serve with tomatoes, cucumbers, pita, white sauce, hot sauce, olives, fried eggplant, feta, rice — really anything you desire.
- 3/4 cup medium grain rice or 3/4 cup long grain rice
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (heaping)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1⁄4 cup agave or 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
- Bring rice, water and salt to a boil over med-high heat. Simmer covered until water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes).
- Stir in milk and sugar and cook uncovered over medium heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently–especially towards the end of cooking.
- The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency.
- DO NOT OVERCOOK or the pudding will be solid instead of creamy once cooled.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Turn into a bowl or cups.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon on the top if you like.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid a skin from forming.
- Let it cool. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.