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Valentines Dinner for 2 - Cocoa-Rubbed Filet Mignon and Fondue Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

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Valentines Dinner for 2 - Cocoa-Rubbed Filet Mignon and Fondue Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Special breakfast. Box of chocolates. Cute card. Lavish surf and turf dinner. This was every Valentine’s Day in my mama’s house. Although it was my parents’ home, holidays belonged exclusively to Mama Chin. My mom decorated (and still does) for every holiday. Coordinating festive table linens, appropriate lighting, and music when applicable. No holiday complete without a special meal, and she’s get creative with things from her homey Minnesotan Betty Crocker mental stash or Food Network magazine. Before Pinterest, food influencers, and mommy bloggers alike, there were just really crafty moms doin’ their thing.


So while Valentines Day is a holiday where people think of their significant other, I’ll always think of my mom, who managed (and still manages) to make every holiday even more special than the previous. Food is a gift, an act of kindness, and a love note all in one, and my hope is that I can make holidays special with food as my mom did with me.


If you’ve made it past the first two paragraphs without needing a Kleenex like I did, congrats. You’ve moved on to recipe talk. This recipe is an amped up, gourmand’s version of fondue and chocolates. Cocoa-chili-rubbed filet mignons that are toasty and tender, fondue cheese scalloped sweet potatoes that are moist and savory. If you can look past the simplicity that is classic “steak and potatoes” you’ll see the beauty in this meal, and you’ll find yourself wishing you’d reserved the two servings for you and you alone.

Happy Valentines Day!

 

Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

for the steaks

  • 2 4-6 oz petit filet mignon steaks

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp european-style butter

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

for the potatoes

  • 2 tbsp european-style butter

  • 1 c heavy whipping cream

  • 1 c chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 c shredded gruyere cheese

  • 1 c shredded parmesan cheese

  • ¼ c all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • ½ tsp brown or dijon mustard

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • Salt, to taste

(optional) for the baby broccoli

  • 6 heads and stems baby broccoli (broccolini)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Steaks

  1. Pat the steaks dry and rub them with the salt, chili powder, and cocoa powder on all sides. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Take the steaks out about 15 minutes before they’re ready to cook so they get closer to room temperature.

  3. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high and in it, melt the butter.

  4. Once the butter is melted and on the verge of sizzling, place the steaks down into the skillet and cook for 4 minutes, constantly basting with the pan butter.

  5. Flip the steaks to the other side and baste again, adding pepper to your crust and salt as desired.

  6. After steaks have cooked for about 4 minutes each side (or more if you’d like them more well-done than medium-rare), remove them from heat and on to a cutting board to rest.

  7. Serve after about 7-10 minutes of resting.

Potatoes

  1. Peel and thinly slice the sweet potatoes so that they’re just thick enough to not be see-through.

  2. Preheat oven to 375

  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter on medium high heat

  4. Add the heavy cream and broth, then incorporate the garlic, nutmeg, mustard, and black pepper. Bring to a rolling boil.

  5. Once boiling, whisk in the flour and turn the heat down to low, whisking until you have a thick, gravy-like consistency.

  6. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and incorporate the shredded cheese into the sauce. Taste the sauce to make sure it’s just salty enough to off-set the sweetness of your potatoes

  7. Grease a small baking dish with neutral oil with butter, and layer potatoes and cheese sauce on top of each other until the potatoes are covered.

  8. For softer potatoes: Bake at 375 for 30 minutes then broil at 475 for 5 minutes

  9. For ‘al dente’ potatoes: Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes then broil at 475 for 5 minutes

  10. Your potatoes should have a nice bubbly-brown crust on them. Serve hot!

Broccolini

  1. Heat neutral oil in a grill pan or skillet on high heat for 2 minutes

  2. Char the slice lemons in the pan for 2 minutes on each side, until you see grill/char marks

  3. Carefully add a little more oil to the pan and the broccolini, and char for 3 minutes on each side.

  4. Salt to taste. Serve immediately with the charred lemons.

 

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Red Curry Ramen Soup

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Red Curry Ramen Soup

Toward the end of 2018 when it was getting reaaaaalllyyy chilly up here in NYC, I going out for ramen twice a week, and when it was getting hard to keep my pants button I wanted to swear it off. Being the kitchen solutioneer that I am, I decided to riff on ramen with something Thai insipired, with less salt, and NO MEAT?!? I’m just as surprised at myself as you are, but trust me when I say this bowl will have you satisfied. 

Serves: 1 | Time: 20 minutes  

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c coconut milk 
  • 2 c vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 oz dry ramen noodles  
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 c scallions  
  • 1/2 c sweet corn
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated garilc
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • sriracha, to taste 
  • black pepper (optional) 
  • red chili flakes (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional) 
  • fresh lime (optional) 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1.  Bring the the coconut milk and broth to a simmer in a large pot on medium low.
  2. Add everything but the optional ingredients and the ramen noodles to the pot, stir and cover.
  3. Once everything comes to a really aromatic boil, add your ramen noodles and cook as directed (usually 3 minutes). 
  4. Serve soup immediately with pepper, chili, flakes, sesame, lime, and scallions as a garnish. 
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Savory Oxtail Stew

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Savory Oxtail Stew

All my favorite recipes start with a sale. With oxtails going for as much as $7 a pound now, seeing them at my local grocer for $5 a pound, I couldn’t shy away. Being Jamaican, you grow up eating sweet and savory brown stew oxtail, sucking on the bones and hoping more meat might magically appear in your mouth, or in the gravy. I recently texted my grandmother asking for her best oxtail recipe, to which she coyly replied, “I don’t have a written recipe just cook it and add my little touches here and there”. That’s fine, grandma, because I’ll be watching and learning come Christmas.

I had (and still have) a few pounds of perfect pre-sliced oxtails in my freezer calling my name, so I got to work! If you couldn’t tell already, I’ve been on a miso kick. I started with a really familiar white miso paste and now I’m using savory red miso paste in almost everything. It’s the star of this stew, and lends it such a hearty flavor. My grandma would probably faint if she saw the contents of this recipe, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, right? 🤗 Bon appetit!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2-2lbs sliced oxtails

  • 1 whole medium yellow onion, quartered

  • 3 celery stocks, sliced

  • 4 large carrots, sliced

  • 2 c water

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tbsp red miso paste

  • 1 tbsp dry red wine

  • 1 tbsp garlic paste

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp white pepper

  • coarse sea salt

  • fresh thyme sprigs

FOR THE RICE:

  • 1 c of your favorite white rice

  • 1 c coconut milk

  • 1 c water

  • 1 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Spread the oxtails out on a sheet pan and liberally sprinkle all sides with sea salt. Make sure they’re at about room-temperature.

  2. In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil on high.

  3. Place the oxtails down in the hot oil, browning them for 5 minutes on each side (lots of sizzles and pops here!)

  4. After browning, remove them from the pot, turn the heat down to medium, and set aside.

  5. Add the carrot, celery, and onion to the pot, and allow them to saute in the residual liquid from the browned meat, for about 5 minutes.

  6. Stir in the garlic paste, red miso, tomato paste, and white pepper, until you’ve got a fragrant, pastey, melange going

  7. Add 2 cups of water to the vegetables to help deglaze the pan and build your broth.

  8. Turn the heat down to low, carefully add the oxtails back into the pot, then the thyme,  soy sauce, and red wine.

  9. Give it a good stir, cover, and simmer for an hour.

  10. After an hour has passed, ladel about a cup of the broth into a bowl and whisk together with flour, until very thick. Stir this back into the pot to thicken the broth.

  11. Cover and continue to simmer for another hour.

  12. Rice can be made ahead of time if you’d like it to be ready sooner. Bring well-rinsed rice, salt, water, and coconut milk to a boil in a medium-sized pot.

  13. Once the rice has boiled, bring the heat down to low and cover

  14. After about 10 minutes, uncover the rice and fluff it well with a fork.

  15. After about 2.5-3 hours of simmering, your oxtails should separate from the bone on their own or easily with a fork! Serve over rice immediately.

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Hot Honey Miso Garlic Butter Chicken Wings

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Hot Honey Miso Garlic Butter Chicken Wings

If we looked at a Venn Diagram of people who love chicken wings vs. people who make chicken wings at home for themselves, there wouldn’t be a lot of overlap. I’m here to fix that with a fool-proof recipe packed with rich, umami flavor that will help restore belief in your chicken-making abilities.

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Egunsi Peanut Butter Chicken Stew with Squash

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Egunsi Peanut Butter Chicken Stew with Squash

Peanut Butter Chicken Stew - Tati Chin

When Yemisi sent me a few beautiful, colorful jars of her soups and sauces, I knew it was time to get to work. Egunsi Foods, her baby, brings West African flavors into our American kitchens with the twist of a cap. Everything is fresh, flavorful, colorful, and bright. And did I mention she’s in Harlem too? Egunsi can be found at Whole Foods Harlem and online direct to your door!

Groundnut, or peanut butter stew, is a traditional West African stew, and using the groundnut soup from Egunsi, I got to make my own twist. It’s earthy, creamy, and savory all at once. Get the recipe and warm yourself up this fall...scroll down for the deets.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs dark meat chicken, skin-on and bone-in

  • 4 c plain cooked white rice

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 c collard greens, shredded

  • 2 zucchini squash, sliced and quartered

  • 1 c full-fat coconut milk

  • 1 jar Egunsi peanut butter soup

  • 2 plum tomatoes, in chunks

  • 1/2 medium white onion, sliced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • Garnish with: cilantro, crushed red pepper, crushed coriander, salt flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil to high heat for about 2 minutes

  2. Brown the chicken for 3 minutes on each side, then add the apple cider vinegar to de-glaze the pan

  3. Turn the burner down to medium-low and add the peanut butter soup, coconut milk, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, bay leaf, salt and pepper, coriander, garlic, and lime juice to the pot. I know that was a lot

  4. Cover and simmer for one hour.

  5. Un-cover the pot and add the zucchini and collard greens we are doing this towards the end so they don’t get mushy

  6. Cover the pot again and simmer for another hour.

  7. Serve the stew over rice and garnish how you’d like!

Peanut Butter Chicken Stew - Tati Chin
Peanut Butter Chicken Stew - Tati Chin
Peanut Butter Chicken Stew - Tati Chin

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Steak n Eggs

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Steak n Eggs

 

Steak n Eggs from tatichin.com

Steak n eggs is my favorite thing to order at brunch, especially when made with my favorite cuts, skirt or hanger steak. It’s super indulgent and they almost never give you a big enough piece of meat so you’re left wanting more. When you make it at home you save some change, and you can put your own spin on it. For me, that spin is lots of garlicky, herby butter. If you haven’t made my five ingredient whipped herb butter yet, try it now!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 lb hanger steak

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 c whipped herb butter

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • salt + pepper

  • bread for toasting

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. On a clean cutting board, liberally sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, covering both sides of the meat

  2. Melt half of the butter in a cast iron skillet on high heat, until it starts to bubble

  3. In a separate small non-stick skillet, heat the oil of your choice on medium high and sprinkle the pan with salt

  4. Throw the steak into the screaming hot cast iron skillet and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side, basting in butter repeatedly

  5. Simultaneously, fry the eggs in the hot oil, only flipping them once when the outsides start to crackle

  6. Once the steak has developed a nice crust, remove it from heat and place it on a clean cutting board. Allow the meat to rest while you finish the eggs.

  7. Toast the bread and smother in the remainder of the butter.

  8. Slice the steak and serve with your fried eggs and toast, and possibly more butter if desired...enjoy!

Steak n Eggs from tatichin.com
Steak n Eggs from tatichin.com
Steak n Eggs from tatichin.com
Steak n Eggs from tatichin.com
Steak n Eggs from tatichin.com

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Avocado Toast The Best Way I Know How

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Avocado Toast The Best Way I Know How

This ain't no middle of the mall avocado toast. It's salty, creamy, savory, flavorful, multi-dimensional, and perfect. It's avocado toast the best way I know how, and now I'm ready to share it with the world.

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Whole Foods Grocery Shopping Guide: WFM 101

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Whole Foods Grocery Shopping Guide: WFM 101

A lot of you readers have asked me for a guide on shopping at Whole Foods, so consider this a crash course. Welcome to WFM 101, kids! Between farmers markets, local grocery chains, and big grocers like Whole Foods Market, it’s hard to know where to shop for what.

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Spanish-Inspired Shakshuka

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Spanish-Inspired Shakshuka

When I visited a small shop in Pamplona that had virtually every regional produce in a can or jar, I knew exactly what I was going to do with these beautifully-roasted sweet piquillo peppers. 

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