Chicken Udon with Rabe and Shiitake Mushrooms

I figured, why not chicken noodle soup? Except I only had udon noodles on hand, so I went for a more Japanese rendition of the dish, and I can’t lie, the ginger helped settle my stomach too!

Wine Braised Duck Legs with Pommes d’Anna

This dish is one of the most delicious things I have made in ages, and I am really proud of how the flavors came together. I had some purple potatoes in the fridge and decided they would make a gorgeous pommes d’Anna. I collected the duck fat from searing the duck and used it instead of butter in the potatoes. AMAZING!

Escargots à la Provençale

Escargots à la Provençale Daria Souvorova 3 hours 20 minutes serves: 2 We have been celebrating a lot here at Chez Nous Dinners of late! Over the past few weeks, we had our Catalan Dinner celebration, we celebrated Nico’s (my partner’s) 31st birthday with a Moroccan Feast, and the two of us threw ourselves a…

Escalivada of Roast Vegetables

When I first started reading about Catalan food, this is the dish that I kept seeing at the top of every “you must try this” dish. This easy and rustic dish is very satisfying. It works beautifully on its own, or as a pairing to a series of other dishes, or perhaps a platter of roast meats. I chose some of my favorite vegetables to roast, but, you can change up the vegetables by season. Perhaps some asparagus and summer squash in the warmer months. Or leeks in the winter? The best part, you can make this ahead and serve it chilled! This is an amazing quality for a dinner where you are preparing several dishes.

Calçots in Romesco Sauce

I am proud to say that last weekend we hosted our own traditional Calçotada!  Calçots are similar to green onions and leeks and are in season in the Catalan region for a short time during the winter.  From January to April, Catalans feast and celebrate these mild green onions by grilling them up on a fire and serving them with a delicious Romesco sauce made of fire roasted peppers, tomatoes, almonds, and toasted bread. Roast your calçots on an open flame if possible, that gives them a great flavor. A charcoal grill is a great alternative, and if it is -100 degrees outside, broiling them works great too!

Mussels in Escabeche

I was really excited to cook some mussels and decided that they would fit perfectly in the first course. I wanted something light and flavorful, that would give the guests an opportunity to make a bit of a mess and dip some bread into the delicious broth. The broth can be cooked in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve. The broth gives beauty to this fairly expensive and easy to cook dish. Slowly roasted veggies are extenuated with fish stock, paprika, and a mixture of white wine and vinegar. It is really amazing. I will keep the Escabeche on hand in my freezer for future mussel cravings! Serve it with some crusty bread like Baguette or Ciabatta!

Squid Rice with Shrimp and Aioli

I have been particularly interested in squid ink. I love the idea of it and have wanted to use it for a very long time, I figured this would be my opportunity. Here, we combine squid ink and calamari to create a wonderful tinny, “oceany” flavor. The black rice is enlivened with coral shrimp or prawns (I didn’t have prawns on hand but believe it would be a more delicious flavor/presentation) and a garlicky aioli. Find my Aioli recipe here.

Herbed Roast Leg of Lamb

Today, I want to share with you my recipe for Roast Leg of Lamb. I love this recipe! It seemed like a perfect dish for our Domestic Union celebration, but with 50 guests, boy did we need a lot of it! This is one of the oldest recipes in my repertoire. I have made a version of this lamb for Thanksgiving and any other holiday when someone would buy me a lamb leg since I was in high school. It was inspired by my father. When we had a bit of money for meat in Belarus in the summer, we would take our lamb into the woods, start a fire and stab it all over and shove garlic in before baking it. My dad would walk around in the woods and find an evergreen tree with little berries, I think it was juniper. We would place that with the meat over the fire and allow it to roast. I wanted to incorporate the garlic and smoked herb flavor and add in some freshness by adding lemon juice and zest. Please do not overcook the lamb!