Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Whole Roasted Trout

30 Jun

whole trout whole trout2

So I love eating fish but my repertoire for cooking it is admittedly short. There’s the miso baked salmon, there’s make-shift shrimp scampi (quickly cooked on a cast iron and tossed in lemon, butter & garlic) and… we’ll that’s pretty much it. But now we have one more to add to the books. The lady selling fish at the farmer’s market convinced me to buy a whole trout. It has its head on but was already totally cleaned and filleted inside (I’m sure you could also ask the fish store people to do this for you or maybe another time will attempt myself and report back).

This “recipe” is mostly just following the fish-lady’s instructions plus cooking times borrowed from this Saveur recipe.

Preheat 450. Take whole trout. Unfold (as pictured). Add salt, pepper, lemon slices and whatever herbs you like/have on hand in the cavity. [I am currently attempted to grow (read: keep alive) tarragon, basil and sage on my fire escape, so used some of all three.] Fold back together. Take two pieces of kitchen twine, wrap around fish and tie- spacing 2 inches apart. Take a tablespoon of olive oil, rub and both sides of the fish. Place on foil or parchment paper on baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. [Saveur says until golden brown – mine got a little- but not too too golden.] Cut strings, unfold and enjoy!

Thinking this could work well on a grill too…



Sweet Cheeks Farm Salad

24 Apr

tiffani farm salad

This month I am honored to present this Special Guest blog post from Ruth. Ruth and her boyfriend Chris are food people of the highest order. And I was very lucky that Ruth brought me a sample of this salad when we went climbing last week. Delicious- thanks Ruth!

From Ruth:

Here’s something unexpected: one of the best things on the menu at Sweet Cheeks, possibly Boston’s best BBQ joint, is a salad.  I say this not as one of those crunchy-granola types, but as someone who owns three rib racks and a home smoker.  It’s hearty, comforting, and just a little bit weird (grapes?!).  Plus, unlike a brisket, it comes together in less than half an hour.

The recipe can be modified pretty easily.  I made it once with Israeli couscous instead of farro (and it was great, but also a bit lighter and less filling), and I bet it would work well with wheat berries, too (Tessa’s rec; she’s a champ).  The classic version uses candied hazelnuts, but I sub in walnuts, because (a) I’m lazy to candy my own hazelnuts and (b) I wanted to keep in something crunchy, but like my salads a little less sweet.  If you’re not a nut person, some teeny tiny croutons would also do the job.

Recipe modified from Tiffani Faison (who I just might have a bit of a culinary crush on).

For the salad:

Makes 4ish dinner-sized servings

  • 1.5 cups cooked farro

  • 1.5 cup seedless red grapes, halved

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, leaves and/or shavings (keep the leaves that fall off the Brussels you quarter, and then either peel or shave the rest)

  • 5 cups baby arugula

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

  • ½ cup candied hazelnuts or walnuts

  • Honey-shallot dressing (recipe follows)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss the halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re charred but not burnt.

While the Brussels are roasting, toss farro, grapes, raw Brussels sprouts, and cheese together in a large bowl.  Wait for the roasted Brussels to cool to room temperature (you don’t want them to melt the cheese) and add to the bowl.  Toss everything with ¼ cup of the dressing.  Add the baby arugula, toss, and add salt, pepper, olive oil and/or additional dressing to taste.  Serve at room temperature.

For the dressing:

Makes about 2 cups (which is much more than you need)

  • 1 large shallot, chopped

  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (I used a teaspoon because I’m a little weird about mustard)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1 cup canola oil

In a blender, combine chopped shallot, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, Dijon and salt.  Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Add oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated.  (We used an immersion blender for this part, and added the oil in parts–maybe ¼ cup at a time–to ensure that it emulsified smoothly)

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

21 Mar

brussel salad

Not to brag but this salad was pretty hot on the Thanksgiving potluck circuit. Though that also speaks to the great lengths of procrastination in posting it here. It’s a snacko backo original recipe and infinitely adaptable. The other day I added some shredded radicchio, carrot, and avocado and it was a big pile of rainbow deliciousness. Ruth was telling me that she throws roast chicken in there. The key to the base of this salad is shredding your Brussels. For this task I employ a mandolin. It’s a bit tedious as you have to do it sprout by sprout. Would be better – and faster – if I had a shredding disk for my food processor. But alas, I don’t. The salad feels light, crunchy, healthy and a nice change of pace from all the spinach/kale etc.  The dressing is adapted from The Butcher and the Baker dressing, posted elsewhere on snacko.

Other things to mention: Fuck it. I don’t care if there’s snow. I’m officially declaring it cold brew season. I want to reiterate on that – french press is the best method for that.


Shredded Brussel Salad

2 pounds shredded brussel sprouts

1 apple, cut in matchsticks (can douse w. lemon if doing an hour ahead)

dried cranberries

freshly shredded pecorino

red onion- thinly sliced. soak in cold water for 20-30 mins (do while prepping the rest, this just takes out a bit of the bite)


¾ cup olive oil

1 ½ tsp grain mustard (if you don’t have grain- can use all dijon)

1 ½ tsp dijon

1 ½  tablespoon soy sauce

5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (can scale down depending on your taste- i like mine pretty vinegar-y)

optional: can add a bit of honey or minced garlic.

Pile all salad ingredients in a bowl. Put all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake. Mix dressing with salad by eye (you might not need all). Salt and pepper to taste.

Endive & Citrus Salad

17 Feb

Endive citrus saladThis winter salad is super refreshing and has a touch of creaminess from the avocado/goat cheese. It makes for a really nice treat from or alongside heavier winter fare. Citrus is in season and you could also use orange, blood orange, pomelo or any combination thereof. The great thing is the juice from your citrus becomes the dressing base. Can add honey at the end depending on your taste and how tart your citrus is. And man, endive, what an underutilized and classy veg (1).

It’s a snacko backo original recipe so measurements are loose and feel free to play around with ingredients and proportions (2). This is enough for 2 small bowls (or one big bowl) of salad. Scale up or down depending.

1 ½ endive, sliced

1 avocado, diced

1 grapefruit. Quarter grapefruit, peel it, then removed the fruit from the pith and membrane of each slice. (Is this completely necessary? Maybe not. But just do it. It’s easy and the whole thing mixes together better if you do. Be sure to do this over a bowl so all the juice ends up in your salad.)(3)

Goat cheese (the first time I made I used this awesome Adirondack honey lavender goat cheese. Loved the touch of sweetness. When I couldn’t find any next time I made the salad, I subbed regular goat cheese mixed with a touch of honey).

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a small glug of olive oil, salt & pepper and an optional drizzle of honey.


Best to serve immediately. When you mix up, it looses this ordered look and becomes a creamy and delicious mess. So, if having a dinner party, I might wait until serving to mix. If you wanted to do ahead, I’d prep everything then throw in the endive last minute so it stays nice and crunchy.


  1. my mother actually would actually use endive all the time. it was salad standard fair. her dressing would be lemon/olive oil/salt & pepper and pinch of sugar. So good.
  2. Ibid. Maybe recipe not so original. For other inspiration source see: this.
  3. special thanks to CD for his work on his grapefruit/orange peeling for this photo. And the delicious pulled pork that accompanied it. recipe coming soon…?  Also, CD & Rachel initiated this 2016 once-a-month post challenge. 2 for 2, bitches.

Sesame Noodles

1 Feb

sesame noodle2

So I was challenged to make a new years resolution: add one post a month to snacko backo in 2016. I didn’t quite agree, but here we are anyway. Made on Jan 31 and posted Feb 1- let’s say this one falls right under the wire. I had a craving for Sesame noodles last night- and I’m going to go ahead and say these are better than the take out version. I think these would be really great for a dinner party type/pot luck situation because they come together in like 5 mins and taste a bit outside the box. Plus good warm or cold. Perhaps could make w. beef and broccoli or easier ginger pork, with dumplings, scallion pancakes and maybe a wonton/egg drop or miso soup. Original NY Times recipe serves with some slices of cucumber- so I think Vietnamese cucumber salad (gah, realizing that recipe never made it to the blog- will add) would be especially nice. But – after a trip to the overwhelmingly inspiring Russo’s in watertown (with obscure produce I hadn’t seen since my co-op days)- I ended up with some baby bok choy and chinese spinach.

For the baby bok choy, I gave a quick sear in a cast iron with some olive oil. Once just cooked, I took out, and tossed in a bowl with a dash of sesame oil and soy sauce. I treated the spinach similarly. But after seared and wilted, instead of sesame/soy, I added equal parts miso and butter (maybe a tsp or so of each) to the cast iron. Stirred to coat. Inspired by an old Japanese turnip with miso butter recipe, it adds a nice sweet coating.

Perhaps I should add- the skill level for this noodle recipe is naught. The only effort is buying the ingredients- after that- i think it would be pretty difficult to fuck it up.

Closely adapted from a Sam Sifton NY Times recipe
1 pound Chinese egg noodles (1/8-inch-thick), frozen or (preferably) fresh, available in Asian markets *

2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus a splash

3 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar

2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste*

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste, or to taste*

Half a cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch by 2-inch sticks

¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts

*Ingredient notes

– I used fresh lo-mein noodles from H-Mart (Asian grocer). Also I found that to get the dressing to noodle ratio coating right- I only ended up using ¾ of my cooked noodles with the amount of dressing made below.

– yes, there is a difference between tahini and sesame paste. Sesame paste is made from toasted sesame seeds so is darker and richer in flavor. I’d say if you have tahini already on hand- use it and add a dash more sesame oil to compensate. I got sesame paste from H-Mart, since was already there.

– I used siracha for chili paste


Bring medium pot of water to boil. Add noodles. Cook until barely tender. About 5 mins (timing maybe less if fresh noodles)- they should retain a bit of chewiness.

Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, toss with a splash of sesame oil.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons sesame oil, the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame paste, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, garlic and chili-garlic paste.

Add in pasta a bit at a time, stir to coat. As noted above, add enough noodles for desired coating – for me it was ¾ pound noodles.

Chop peanuts and add to serve.



%d bloggers like this: