Seriously Delish — Off the Shelf
Jessica Merchant has worked her vibrant magic and captured the charm and humor of her blog, How Sweet Eats, in her new cookbook, Seriously Delish. The book delivers on the promise of the title, and within the bright pages you’ll find 150 recipes that you’ll want to make again and again.
The book is broken down into sections based on course, starting with Breakfast, then moving on to Snack Time, Vegetable-like Things and more. The dishes are fun and filling, with delightful twists here and there, infused with Merchant’s signature pizzazz. She layers flavors together in interesting and delicious ways, and the photographs are enough to make your stomach rumble. The Grilled Gouda, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese with a Potato Soup Dipper is going to jump onto your list of favorite winter comfort foods. The Wedge Salad with Pomegranates, Chives and Toasted Almonds is a perfect (and perfectly beautiful) salad for holiday season entertaining, with its bright little fruit jewels and Merchant’s homemade Parmesan Ranch Dressing. The selection of tacos, taquitos and enchiladas is also perfect if you’re expecting a crowd this holiday season. The recipes yield a lot of flavor and a lot of servings, perfect for when you’re entertaining. And the desserts! They’re everything you’d expect from the How Sweet Eats creator, from the Fleur de Sel Caramel Bourbon Brownie Milk Shakes to the Mocha Coconut Tiramisu and the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Lover’s Brownies. Pick any dish in the book; you can’t go wrong.
When it comes to arranging a holiday menu, Merchant has tried-and-true advice for you: “Don't stray too much from traditional meals. I find that most people want the nostalgic tastes of the holiday — and those can be taken away by changing every dish. I find that incorporating one or two different dishes each year and keeping the majority of traditional favorites is a way to keep everyone happy.” And her rule for staying sane and enjoying the holiday feast, even if she has to do most of the cooking is easy: “Prep ahead! It may sound cliche, but it's the key to enjoying yourself on the holiday. Order a fresh turkey a few weeks before, make your shopping list and shop as early as you can, grabbing the freshest produce the day before. Set the table a week ahead of time and prep as many dishes or chop as much produce as you can. Elicit the help of others so you can enjoy the day too!”
Give the Slow Cooker Short Rib Breakfast Hash a try at home (recipe below) and see for yourself how seriously delish Merchant’s recipes are. You can order your copy of Seriously Delish here.
Gah. Hello, beautiful.
OK, OK. Short ribs may be anything but beautiful. This breakfast, though? Off the hook. It’s another one of those recipes that was inspired by brunch at a local restaurant and oh, man: Short ribs for breakfast are worth the hype.
It’s sort of crazy because I’ve always only desired them in tacos. On a whim I ordered the breakfast hash one morning and was completely sold. Within seconds. This is quite possibly one of the richest, most decadent savory breakfasts I’ve ever had. The poached eggs combined with the pulled short ribs — I don’t even have words. I really don’t.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano or your choice)
For the ribs, season the ribs with the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add the oil. Add the ribs to the skillet and sear until golden on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the ribs from the skillet and add them to a 7-quart slow cooker. Add the stock and cook the ribs on low for 8 hours, turning once or twice if you can. Once the ribs are finished, remove from the slow cooker and place them on a plate. Allow them to cool to the touch, then shred the beef and discard the bones and fat.
For the hash, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until it’s crispy and the fat has rendered, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and allow it to drain on a paper towel. Add the onions and peppers to the same skillet and toss to coat. Cook, stirring, until the onions begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover the skillet and cook until the potatoes are tender and slightly crispy, 10 minutes, tossing once or twice while cooking. Once the potatoes are tender, add the bacon and beef to the skillet and toss to mix. Turn the heat down to low and cover.
Cook the eggs to your liking and sprinkle them with the crushed red pepper flakes. To serve the hash, spoon the beef and potatoes onto a plate and add an egg on top. Garnish with a bit of chopped herbs.
Excerpted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Recipes and photographs from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant. Copyright 2014.