3 Recipes To Get Off Seamless & Into The Kitchen

Courtesy of Lemon & Salt.
Many of us can rattle off the hottest places to eat and drink, and know the names of the industry’s most important chefs better than most of our relatives’. But, put us in the kitchen and ask us to cook something, and we’re as lost as a girl without Google Maps. Now, thanks to Ashton Keefe, a classically trained chef, culinary instructor, and food stylist, there’s a cookbook just for us.

Lemon & Salt: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Culinary Revelry
 is all about getting out of restaurants (and away from a reliance on Seamless) and into the kitchen. The book contains 50 fun, approachable, and crowd-pleasing recipes — Date Night Carbonara, Roasted Mustard and Herb Salmon with Pea Smash, and Homemade Pretzels — along with tips and kitchen essentials for culinary good times. (Three of our favorite recipes from the book are reprinted below.)

Keefe says it’s all about realizing that delicious food doesn’t take much more than lemon and salt, and a dose of confidence. "You will mess up, and that’s okay," she says. "It’s important to recognize it’s about who you are with — whether you're cooking for two, for 20, or just yourself while you sit in front of the TV. You are making memories." 
Courtesy of Lemon & Salt.

Ashton Keefe’s Tips for Kitchen Revelry:


You can cook, stop saying you can’t. 

If you can recognize something on a menu and you have hands to hold a knife, you got this. Trust me.

Make it as complicated (or uncomplicated) as you want.
There are shortcuts to make your life easier (chicken and biscuits!) and classic techniques to step up your game (chocolate mousse, anyone?) — chefs at home use both, daily. No judgment.

You won’t break the bank with ingredients. 
Essentials: lemons, fine sea salt, Maldon salt, extra virgin olive oil, low-sodium chicken stock, dry white wine, quality dried pasta, canned crushed tomatoes, fresh herbs, and eggs.

You don’t need a big, fancy kitchen or specialty equipment.
Essentials: large cast iron skillet, wooden spoon, whisk, sheet tray, and large mixing bowl.

Go easy on yourself, it’s supposed to be fun.

It’s the thought, experience, and people you share a meal with that make it memorable.

P.S. Cooking is significantly more fun (and easier) when wine is involved. Just saying.
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Roasted Mustard & Herb Salmon With Pea Smash
Serves 8
"This is the dinner you make when company spontaneously shows up. And, since salmon is everyone’s favorite (and go-to) fish, this is a perfect, pantry-driven weeknight meal. I call this 'kitchen sink' fish. It tastes better than it sounds — I promise. It simply means use whatever herbs and mustards you have on hand. Frozen peas should be a freezer staple for everyone. Don’t tell, but they’re easier (and taste the same) as the shucked ones come spring. This tastes great with a nice white wine. Now that’s an impromptu Tuesday party."
Courtesy of Lemon & Salt.
Ingredients

For the salmon:

1 shallot, minced
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup chopped dill
4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fine sea salt, divided
2 lbs salmon, skin on

For the pea smash:
1/2 cup heavy cream, chicken broth or water
1 10-oz bag of frozen peas, thawed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Fine sea salt, to taste

Instructions
1. Remove salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Combine shallot, parsley, chives, dill, scallions, lemon juice and zest, mustards, and olive oil. Stir to combine and season with 1 teaspoon of salt.

3. On a parchment-lined sheet tray, place whole fish skin side down. Season with remaining teaspoon of salt and slather the spread on the top of the fish. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish is firm and falls apart when touched, but not dry in the center.

4. For pea smash, bring your choice of liquid to a simmer, add peas, and cook until the liquid is just evaporated. With a fork, smash peas to desired texture, add butter, and season with salt. Serve under salmon. Make the smash skinnier or more indulgent by choosing between heavy cream, milk, chicken broth, or water as your liquid. This recipe also works with frozen corn and edamame.

One-Pan Chicken
Serves 4

"I love this recipe. To me, the aroma of roast chicken symbolizes home, family and love. What’s even better is that ingredients can be substituted for shallots, lemon, and garlic. Or, make it a party and invite all the ingredients — and your friends."
Courtesy of Lemon & Salt.
Ingredients
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 (2-3 lb) chicken, broken into 4 pieces (2 legs and 2 breasts)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
1 zucchini, diced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Pat chicken dry using a paper towel and season with salt. Sear chicken skin side down until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan. Remove the pan from heat.

2. Add garlic, peas, corn zucchini, and lemon to the pan. Place chicken skin side up over mixture and add butter and wine. Place pan in the oven and cook for additional 20 to 25 minutes until the juices run clear and chicken’s internal temperature is 165° F.
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One Pan Brownies

Makes one 6x6 tray of brownies

"This recipe is fabulous because it only involves one pan and one spoon. Stove-to-oven-to-mouth in less than 30 minutes. Now, take that to the game."
Courtesy of Lemon & Salt.
Ingredients
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole raw walnuts

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Over low heat, slowly warm a metal brownie pan or small cast iron skillet (do not use a glass pan for this) to melt butter and chocolate, stirring until just melted.

2. Remove pan from the burner and add vanilla, salt, and one egg at a time. As the batter thickens, add sugar and flour, stirring until just combined. Wipe sides of the tray or skillet (for clean edges) and stud the surface with walnuts.

3. Place brownies in the oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until the brownie is set, but slightly gooey. A knife inserted in the center of the pan should have moist crumbs upon removal. Cool completely and serve.
Recipes reprinted from Lemon and Salt: A Modern Girl's Guide to Culinary Revelry, by Ashton Keefe
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