Alex brings the entire experience of dining at a steakhouse into her home on her day off. It starts with a 2-inch porterhouse steak grilled to a crispy golden brown and topped with oozy maitre d butter. Alex twists the classic Caesar Salad by grilling the romaine and topping it with crumbled blue cheese. For a side dish, she stuffs white mushroom caps with a blend of onions, garlic, and sour cream. Recipes: Porterhouse with Oozing Maitre d butter, Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese, Stuffed White Mushroom Caps.
Alex digs back into her roots and brings to life some of her favorite comfort dishes from her childhood. Alex starts with lasagna filled with creamy mozzarella and salty parmesan, then topped with a meaty Bolognese sauce. Alex serves it with the perfect partner -- wilted escarole with a pinch of chili flakes. For dessert, a dark rum pudding sprinkled with roasted almonds.
Professional Chef Alex takes vegetarian dishes and makes them so fantastic that you won't miss the meat or fish. Alex starts with an eggplant parmesan that has layers of crispy baked eggplant, homemade tomato sauce, and bubbly cheese. Alex serves it up with a squash caponata - a magical combination of squash, capers, golden raisins, and red wine vinegar. You won't believe the taste. Finally, a grilled Portobello mushrooms drenched in tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Every once and awhile on Alex's day off, she gets the urge to indulge her sweet tooth. To start, Alex makes chocolate cupcakes with a layer of the decadent chocolate frosting just dropped on top. Plus, a chewy macaroon flavored with a little bit of tangy lemon. Every dessert party needs some fireworks, so Alex serves up a classic bananas foster -- it's dramatic and delicious. With a twist on coffee, Alex adds a frozen coffee granita to the menu to cut through all of the sweetness.
These French Bistro dishes are inspired by Alex's years spent in Paris working as a chef. It starts with a Croque Madam - a creamy béchamel sauce gets drizzled over melted parmesan and ham. Then the sandwich gets topped with a fried egg. To cut through that heavy sandwich dream, Alex makes a wilted spinach salad topped with bacon and a tangy vinaigrette. Then she poaches shrimp in a secret cauldron of bay leaves, lemon, peppercorns, and Tabasco. The shrimp come out poached with a hint of all those flavors. To top it off - the French 75 - a classic bistro cocktail and the kick you'll need for this Bistro inspired meal.
Alex is making a special birthday dinner for a really good friend. She wants to food to be simple, but filled with flavor. So, she's taking something she eats all the time at home and dresses it up in an evening gown so that it can come to the party too. For her, that's a chicken. A tangy marinated chicken marsala, coasted in breadcrumbs and butter, then baked crispy in the oven. To go with the chicken, a beet pasta tossed with a bright vinaigrette and colorful scallions. So tasty and beautiful. For dessert, Alex bakes a bright lemon cake and coats it in gloppy chocolate frosting.
Alex is making a budget friendly meal but that doesn't mean she's taking the fun, delicious, tasty, and fabulous out of the equation. Alex starts by giving a skirt steak a smear of garlic and steak sauce, searing it, then slathering it with a tangy pickled feta topping. If the perfect companion to this steak is a potato, why not have two potato dishes? The first is a skillet potato cake with layers of bubbling potato made right on the stove. The second is an oven-dried sweet potato mashed with layers of cream and molasses. For dessert, some apples paired with a potpourri of spices, baked in the oven, and topped with rum raising ice cream.
Brunch is Alex's favorite meal of the week and a great time to have fun with food in the kitchen. Alex starts with some simple popovers, topping them with creamy homemade ricotta. Next, a goopy fried egg paired with some old school ground pork patties. Shaped like mini hamburgers, these spicy pork patties are mixed with chili flakes and fennel seeds, then fried in a skillet. For a refreshing brunch drink, she mixes a grapefruit and vodka cocktail.
Today is all about really good pub food, some pure fun food. When Alex walks into a pub, the first thing she orders is a juicy burger. Alex's version of a burger involves her secret blend of ground beef mixed with caramelized vegetables and topped with melt-y cheese. To go with that burger, a charred tomato soup topped with a crouton and way too much melted cheese bubbling over the edges. For sides, some tangy red cabbage coleslaw and golden fried zucchini spears.
For Alex, the perfect day off involves dinner and a movie with one of her close buddies. The evening starts with chicken soaked in a tangy buttermilk marinade, then fried to a golden brown. To go with the fried chicken, a fresh side of juicy homemade pickles. Next, skillet corn bread baked in a cast iron skillet and paired with a little caramelized onion jam. She tops it all off with a fizzy chocolate egg cream.
Today, Alex is all about the little bites: hors d'oeuvres. She starts with pork spare ribs just glazed with a gooey soy and vinegar sauce that create the kind of finger licking you just need a million napkins for. Next, Chinese noodles mixed with a tangy dressing and topped with vibrant scallions. Alex calls this next dish her "oceanic french fry" -- fried squid and topped with a tangy lemon sauce. Plus, tender spears of asparagus blanched and tossed with sesame oil and sesame seeds. It's nutty, earthy, crunchy, and fresh.
Alex tackles the great American pastime - making a serious sandwich. Ingredients are key for this turkey sandwich. It calls for roasted turkey breast, bacon, creamy dressing, and crisp iceberg lettuce. French fries get all the fame, but Alex thinks onion rings are really the overlooked side-kick to a sandwich. These beer battered onion rings come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. She finishes off the meal with another sandwich - an almond cookie ice cream sandwich!
Alex celebrates an early Thanksgiving with some of her close friends. Alex grew up with some serious family traditions and this sugar cranberry pie is one of them. It's made with a flaky homemade crust and tangy cranberry filling, then topped with a sprinkle of sugar. The centerpiece, a golden turkey, is paired with a sourdough bread and spicy sausage stuffing. Plus, a stovetop green bean casserole that is topped with fried shallots. It's a Thanksgiving filled with family traditions and some new additions.