tips & tricks: sunchokes
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my food obsession really started to bloom around the time that top chef started airing on bravo. i would tune in no matter what and the show became a big part of my education. they would use terms or ingredients i had never heard of and i would look it up or find it in the store to try at home. 

i used to watch the show in awe. how could people chop so perfectly, cook so quickly, use so many ingredients? now as i'm watching i'm rooting on my local favorites, screaming at the television when they are doing something terrible with an ingredient and i'm on the edge of my seat when i see anyone doing anything unsafe with a knife. you get the picture, i'm into it. 

but for a long time, one ingredient from top chef was evading me. in season one, the winner served a dish with a sunchoke puree. since that moment (10ish years ago) i have been searching high and low for this ingredient and i had never found it. until a couple weeks ago. 

it goes by many other names (jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, earth apple) so keep a look out for it. this root vegetable will not disappoint. the best way i could describe it is if a potato and an artichoke had a tasty baby that looked a whole lot like ginger, but with a tan. you can cook them as you would a potato. they are tasty roasted, mashed, pureed and even as chips. here are a few recipes to get you acclimated with your new favorite root veggie. 

roasted sunchoke & onions
serves: 4
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
total time: 1 hour
ingredients: 1.5 lbs sunchoke, diced into .5 inch pieces. 1 large brown onion, diced into .5 inch pieces. 2 tbs olive oil. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp pepper.
start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees f. on a rimmed baking sheet, combine the onions and sunchoke. 

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drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well until everything is evenly coated. roast for 45 minutes to an hour until everything is turning golden brown and the sunchokes are tender. halfway through, giving everything a good stir with a wooden spoon so everything cooks evenly. 

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when the sunchokes are tender, remove from the oven. serve as a side dish or as desired. 

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sunchoke chips
serves: about 2 cups
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 12-15 minutes
total time: 20 minutes
ingredients: 1.5 lbs sunchokes. 3 tbs avocado oil. 1 tsp salt. parchment paper or silicon baking mat.
start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees f. using your mandolin slice the sunchokes very thin. one eighth an inch or smaller. in a bowl, drizzle the sunchokes with avocado oil and salt. toss till everything is well coated. 

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line your baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat and spread the sunchokes out evenly. bake until crispy and lightly golden brown. 12-15 minutes. start checking on them at 12 minutes so they don't go over. 

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when they are nice and crispy, remove them from the oven. allow them to cool and enjoy. 

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garlic & herb sunchoke puree
serves: about 4
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 30 minutes
total time: 40 minutes
ingredients: 1.5 lbs sunchokes. 1 garlic clove, smashed. 2 tbs garlic herb butter. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 pepper.
tart by pealing and chopping your sunchokes. a rough chop is fine. 

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combine your sunchokes, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium pot. fill the pot with water just till you cover the sunchokes. 

place the pot on the stove on medium high heat. bring the liquid to a boil, should take about 7-10 minutes. once you reach a boil, reduce the liquid to a simmer. simmer the sunchokes till tender, about 20 minutes. 

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add in the garlic herb butter. 

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drain all the liquid and pour the sunchokes into a food processor. 

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blend the sunchokes until smooth. serve hot.

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xo, a

roasted sunchoke & onions
serves: 4
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
total time: 1 hour
ingredients: 1.5 lbs sunchoke, diced into .5 inch pieces. 1 large brown onion, diced into .5 inch pieces. 2 tbs olive oil. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp pepper.
start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees f. on a rimmed baking sheet, combine the onions and sunchoke. drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well until everything is evenly coated. roast for 45 minutes to an hour until everything is turning golden brown and the sunchokes are tender. halfway through, giving everything a good stir with a wooden spoon so everything cooks evenly. when the sunchokes are tender, remove from the oven. serve as a side dish or as desired. 

sunchoke chips
serves: about 2 cups
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 12-15 minutes
total time: 20 minutes
ingredients: 1.5 lbs sunchokes. 3 tbs avocado oil. 1 tsp salt. parchment paper or silicon baking mat.
start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees f. using your mandolin slice the sunchokes very thin. one eighth an inch or smaller. in a bowl, drizzle the sunchokes with avocado oil and salt. toss till everything is well coated. line your baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat and spread the sunchokes out evenly. bake until crispy and lightly golden brown. 12-15 minutes. start checking on them at 12 minutes so they don't go over. when they are nice and crispy, remove them from the oven. allow them to cool and enjoy. 

garlic & herb sunchoke puree serves: about 4 prep time: 10 minutes cook time: 30 minutes total time: 40 minutes ingredients: 1.5 lbs sunchokes. 1 garlic clove, smashed. 2 tbs garlic herb butter. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 pepper. start by pealing and chopping your sunchokes. a rough chop is fine. combine your sunchokes, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium pot. fill the pot with water just till you cover the sunchokes. place the pot on the stove on medium high heat. bring the liquid to a boil, should take about 7-10 minutes. once you reach a boil, reduce the liquid to a simmer. simmer the sunchokes till tender, about 20 minutes. drain all the liquid and pour the sunchokes into a food processor. add in the garlic herb butter. blend the sunchokes until smooth. serve hot. 

sweet citrus grilled chicken

this morning on my way home from yoga, i stopped at the store for a few ingredients for some cake recipes i am testing later this week. i walked out of the store with three of the four ingredients i went in for (of course i forgot the almond milk), bobby pins, a giant bag of blood oranges and a giant bag of pink zebra lemons. you know, just in case they run out before i get back in there again. 

the woman had to ask me what most of my items were (not uncommon). what i'm rambling on about is that i think i have a citrus addiction. i just can't get enough citrus in all it's many shapes, sizes and colors. lately, my favorite use is for meat marinades. this chicken marinade is quick to whip up and packs a lot of flavor. grilling the chicken is quick, easy, healthy and it adds even more delicious flavor. i'm usually in some sort of a hurry so i usually eat it over some sort of bed of greens with a dressing, but you could serve it over rice, roasted vegetable or mashed potatoes. whatever your little heart desires. 

sweet citrus grilled chicken
serves: 4
prep time: 5 minutes
inactive time: 1-24 hours
cook time: 20 minutes
total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
ingredients: 1.5 lbs chicken breast tenders (they cook more quickly and evenly, otherwise use thinly pounded chicken breasts). 1 tbs citrus zest. 1 cup citrus juice (depending on your preference, but i used orange juice, lime juice and blood orange juice). 5 garlic cloves, smashed. .5 cup olive oil. 3 green onions, chopped. 2 tbs brown sugar. 1 tbs whole grain mustard. 1 tbs salt. 1 tsp pepper. optional: .5 cup white wine for marinade reduction. 4 cups mixed greens (i used half radicchio, half arugula) for serving. 

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start by prepping your chicken. pat your chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. set it aside. 

then in a medium bowl, combine the citrus zest, juice, sugar, olive oil, garlic, green onion, mustard and the rest of the salt and pepper. 

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whisk the marinade together. 

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drizzle the marinade over the chicken, cover and set aside. let the chicken marinade for at least an hour, up to overnight. when you are ready to grill, warm your grill to a medium high (or cook it over a medium spot if you have a coal grill). 

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place the chicken on the hot grill and allow it to cook until grill marks develop on each side, flipping once. about 4 minutes a side (longer if you are not using tenders). 

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once your chicken is done grilling, remove it from the heat and cover it with foil. allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes. 

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if you are making the optional marinade reduction, while the chicken is cooking, pour the marinade into a saucepan. bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat. allow the marinade to boil for a minute or two until it is very bubbly and thickening (you want to make sure you cook out any bad chicken bits as well). pour in the white wine and allow the liquid to come back to a boil allowing the alcohol to cook off. about 2 minutes. turn off the heat and allow the sauce to just stay warm. 

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serve over your mixed greens, drizzled with the marinade reduction. 

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xo, a
sweet citrus grilled chicken
serves: 4
prep time: 5 minutes
inactive time: 1-24 hours
cook time: 20 minutes
total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
ingredients: 1.5 lbs chicken breast tenders (they cook more quickly and evenly, otherwise use thinly pounded chicken breasts). 1 tbs citrus zest. 1 cup citrus juice (depending on your preference, but i used orange juice, lime juice and blood orange juice). 5 garlic cloves, smashed. .5 cup olive oil. 3 green onions, chopped. 2 tbs brown sugar. 1 tbs whole grain mustard. 1 tbs salt. 1 tsp pepper. optional: .5 cup white wine for marinade reduction. 4 cups mixed greens (i used half radicchio, half arugula) for serving.
start by prepping your chicken. pat your chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. set it aside. then in a medium bowl, combine the citrus zest, juice, sugar, olive oil, garlic, green onion, mustard and the rest of the salt and pepper. whisk the marinade together. drizzle the marinade over the chicken, cover and set aside. let the chicken marinade for at least an hour, up to overnight. when you are ready to grill, warm your grill to a medium high (or cook it over a medium spot if you have a coal grill). place the chicken on the hot grill and allow it to cook until grill marks develop on each side, flipping once. about 4 minutes a side (longer if you are not using tenders). if you are making the optional marinade reduction, while the chicken is cooking, pour the marinade into a saucepan. bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat. allow the marinade to boil for a minute or two until it is very bubbly and thickening (you want to make sure you cook out any bad chicken bits as well). pour in the white wine and allow the liquid to come back to a boil allowing the alcohol to cook off. about 2 minutes. turn off the heat and allow the sauce to just stay warm. once your chicken is done grilling, remove it from the heat and cover it with foil. allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes. serve over your mixed greens, drizzled with the marinade reduction.