Tim’s Beer Can Chicken


Tim’s Beer Can Chicken is not only my favorite chicken ever, it has the added bonus of making me chuckle the entire time it’s cooking. There’s no two ways about it – it just looks funny. I got my annual fix of Tim’s signature dish over July 4th while staying with him and Lolly. As a side, I picked sugar snap peas from my godmother’s garden that were so good, we ate them raw. Lolly made an Iranian yogurt sauce that was not the most obvious pairing but that was beyond perfect. Tim removed the impaled can (more giggling) and carved the chicken. The perfect meal was served. The beer had done its magic; the entire chicken was juicy and tender. I’ve always found white meat on chicken a little dry but in this case, I’m happy with any part of the bird.


Only being able to eat this during grilling season is just not enough, so I started wondering why it couldn’t be done in an oven. A couple of seconds on Google showed me that I was far from the first person to have this idea. While there are most definite advantages to the grilled version, it was still absolutely delicious and now I can make it all year round! Below are the recipes for both versions as well as the recipe for Lolly’s amazing yogurt sauce.



To Brine or Not to Brine? 

If you want the most succulent bird possible (i.e as good as Tim’s), then it is definitely worth it but if you are pressed for time, it is not absolutely necessary.




1/2 cup of table salt

1/2 cup of sugar



1. Dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 quarts of cold water in a stockpot or dutch oven.

2. Immerse the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you want a particularly succulent bird, allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator.


Beer Can Chicken


1 whole chicken

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup all purpose rub (if you don’t like spicy, try the fowl rub instead)

1 can of beer for grill method (2 cans of beer for oven method), any beer will do


Method on the grill:

1. Heat the grill. If gas, heat to high and if using coals, until they glow orange and begin to ash.

2. Wash the chicken inside and out and remove any giblets.

3. Pat dry with paper towels (inside and out).

4. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken.

5. Pat the chicken all over with the rub and set aside.

6. Open the can of beer and pour out at least a third of the liquid.

7. Holding both of the chicken legs apart, gently lower the chicken onto the can until it is able sit upright on its own.

8. When the grill has reached 325 °F,  add the chicken and cook covered until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F in the thigh. Test after 1 hour and 15 minutes but it may take up to 1 hour and a half.

9. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing the beer can and carving.


Method in the oven:

1. Heat the oven to 350 °F.

2. Wash the chicken inside and out and remove any giblets.

3. Pat dry with paper towels (inside and out).

4. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken.

5. Pat the chicken all over with the rub and set aside.

6. Open the can of beer and pour at least a third of the liquid into a baking tray that is at least 2 inches deep.

7. Holding both of the chicken legs apart, gently lower the chicken onto the can until it is able sit upright on its own.

8. Open the second can of beer and pour half into the baking tray.

9. Place the chicken in the baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

10. Pour the remaining beer over the chicken allowing it to drizzle into the pan and roast for a further 45 minutes (the chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 °F in the thigh).

11. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing the beer can and carving.


Iranian Yogurt with Fresh Mint, Raisins and Walnuts


2 cups of plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup of golden raisins (soaked for 1 hour in hot water)

2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts



1. Put the yogurt in a bowl.

2. Add the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

3. Mix well with a fork until creamy.

4. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix again.


Bitchin’ BBQ chicken


I’ve always been a little ashamed of how much I enjoy July 4th. As a Brit, shouldn’t I have been hanging my head in shame? But no, I look forward to it every year nearly as much as I do Thanksgiving. Both events are spent in the same place, with the same family which goes a long way to explaining why I love it so much. And this year, for the very first time, I’m officially a US citizen so I get to hold my head high and enjoy the traditions with no embarrassment at all.


Every holiday spent on Cape Cod has countless wonderful traditions and July 4th is no exception with a parade of decorated golf carts, a garden party with my godmother’s famous Tex Mex dip and the grand finale of a fire works display that feels like its custom made for us.


You can’t think of July 4th without thinking of barbecuing so for this year’s festivities, I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious BBQ Chicken!


Bitchin’ BBQ Chicken

Serves 6-8


3 lbs chicken drumsticks and thighs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 jar Bitchin’ BBQ Sauce



1. Heat the grill. If gas, heat to high and if using coals, until they glow orange and begin to ash. (Or turn on broiler if using the oven -the timing will be the same for both the broiler and the grill).

2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and grill/broil 5 minutes. Turn, baste with bbq sauce and grill/baste another 5 minutes.

3. Baste the chicken generously once more and grill/broil for another 5 minutes until fully cooked through. Once fully cooked, transfer to a serving platter and give another generous coating of Bitchin’ BBQ Sauce.

4. Serve warm alongside Pickled Corn Relish and all your other favorite bbq sides.


Jerk Chicken Skewers


This dish is an easy crowd pleaser. The jerk sauce is a wonderful alternative to a rub and the hot sauce gives a burst of heat and flavor (not for the faint of heart). You can serve as a main course by adding a side of rice or as an easy bbq appetizer!


Jerk Chicken Skewers

Serves 4


1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup Baron’s International Kitchen’s Jerk Sauce

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 large yellow onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces

10 wooden skewers

1 bottle Caribbean Hot Sauce, for dipping (optional, if you don’t like spicy food skip it)



1) Heat the grill. If gas, heat to high and if using coals, until they glow orange and begin to ash.
2) In a large bowl, marinate chicken and and vegetables. Cover and set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
3) Meanwhile soak skewers in water.
4) Drain the chicken and vegetables, discarding the excess marinade.
5) Start threading the skewers, alternating between chicken, onion and bell peppers.
6) Arrange skewers on the grill. Grill about 3 minutes per side until chicken is fully cooked.
7) Serve immediately with a bowl of Caribbean Hot Sauce as a dipping sauce.

Building Your Perfect Burger


Burgers, like eggs, are highly personal – everyone likes them in a different way. The key to the perfect burger is having all the right building blocks.


Aurora and I had such a fun day grilling in her backyard – it felt like a party for two on one of those perfect sunny New York days when it’s hard to believe that work now includes a bbq! We had just taken on Victoria Amory and her amazing condiments and what better way to try them all out but on the perfect burger?


Aurora likes her burger medium and with all the trimmings: cheese, mustard with mustard seeds, a generous helping of ketchup, pickles for crunch and the smallest bit of mayonnaise. I like mine rare with cheese, ketchup and a little mayo on the bun. I still remember the best burgers that I ever had were made by Mrs. Bean in Cape Cod. I discovered years later that the reason that I would run to the beach club on burger days was that she seared the buns in butter before topping the burgers.


However you like them, make sure you have the best meat you can find and keep the burger itself simple – I like to use 80% lean ground chuck and just a little salt and pepper.


All American Cheeseburger 

Serves 4 people


1 lb ground beef (100% lean ground chuck)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices of cheddar cheese

4 burger buns

Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles



1) Heat the grill. If gas, heat to high and if using coals, until they glow orange and begin to ash.

2) Divide the meat into 4 plump patties and season with salt and pepper.

3) Grill burgers for 3 minutes on one side or until nicely charred.

4) Flip the burgers and grill for a further 3 minutes.

5) Add a slice of cheese to each burger, close the lid and cook for a further 1 minute for medium rare.

6) Remove burgers to a platter and add buns to the grill flat side down until slightly browned.

7) Go forth and create your burger adding all of your favorite toppings!


Italian Meatballs


I’m a self confessed hypocrite when it comes to culinary authenticity. I can be silently appalled that an entire nation believes Italians eat Spaghetti with meatballs while I happily chow down on General Tso’s chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala or Fajitas. The lines of authenticity have recently got so blurry for me that I will add cream and even Brussels sprouts to my sauce and still call it Carbonara – an abomination to purists.


So when I found myself yesterday with only a few leftover meatballs, I thought “why not?” and added a handful of pasta to my sauce to make the meal more substantial. Had I just stumbled on the origins of Spaghetti and meatballs? A similar decision made long ago by an Italian American with too many mouths to feed and not enough meatballs to feed them? Clearly authenticity stifles creativity in the kitchen and if we were all purists, some of the great dishes of the new world would never have been created.


Having said that, when researching recipes for meatballs from Swedish to Turkish, and everywhere in between, I unsurprisingly found myself returning to the pages of my ever favorite The Classic Italian Cook Book. I used a mixture of beef, pork and veal but feel free to substitute.


Italian Meatballs “Polpettine”

Serves 4


1/3 cup of milk

1 slice of good white bread with the crusts cut off (I use Italian Round Bread)

1/3 lb ground pork

1/3 lb ground beef

1/3 lb ground veal

1 tablespoon finely minced onion

1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley

1 pinch of nutmeg

3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon Olive oil

1 jar of tomato sauce (We use Jar Goods Classic Red)



1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

2. Soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes and then mash together with a fork until it’s all blended.

3. In a mixing bowl, add the meat, onion, parsley, nutmeg, Parmesan and the bread mixture.

4. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

5. Mix everything together well with your hands and begin to roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.

6. Line them up on a baking sheet and then bake them for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

7. In a large frying pan, heat the Classic Red and when the sauce starts to bubble, add the meatballs.

8. Serve however you like them: with spaghetti, on a baguette, as mini meatball sliders or with toothpicks as an appetizer!



Skirt Steak Tacos


This last Saturday we had a sneak peak of Spring and it seemed like the whole of New York had come out from hibernation. Sidewalk cafés were packed and the streets and parks were filled with the buzz of hope that the long winter was over.


But as quickly as the sun came, it was gone again and replaced by freezing temperatures. My thoughts once again returned to my blissful holiday in Mexico and I was reminded that I had promised a few people the steak taco recipe that the twin chefs in Tulum kindly shared with me.


As chefs often do, they were very approximate with the method so I’ve played around with the recipe and my friend Andrew has been a willing taster of a few versions. I couldn’t quite believe the simplicity of their version of just frying up some steak and onions with a little salt and pepper. Ben and I had become slightly obsessed with the sauce that came with steak tacos and were shocked when they explained it was purely mayonnaise mixed with chili sauce. Mayonnaise with tacos? Seems odd, I know, but I’m a total convert from the sour cream based sauces.


Instead of flank steak, I substituted skirt steak which I think is the most underappreciated cut of meat. It’s reasonably priced and always tender which makes it my go-to for a quick meal. I have also been wanting to try Gustus Vitae’s Taste of the Southwest and it ended up being the perfect addition to this recipe adding just the right amount of smokiness and heat.


Skirt Steak Tacos
Serves 2 


1 lb of skirt steak
2 teaspoons of Taste of the Southwest rub
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion (halved and thinly sliced)
1 lime, halved
6 small corn tortillas

Cilantro leaves
1 radish, sliced paper thin (I use a potato peeler)


2 Haas avocados

1 lime, juiced

1 small jalapeño (finely diced)

1/3 cup cilantro (coarsely chopped)

Favorite hot sauce, to taste

Salt to taste


Chipotle Mayo:

1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise


1. Cover the skirt steak with plastic wrap and gently pound with the flat side of a meat mallet until it’s a 1/4″ thick.
2. Discard plastic wrap and season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
3. In a small bowl, mix the Taste of Southwest rub with a teaspoon of olive oil until you have a paste and then rub the paste all over one side of the steak.
4. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil and fry the onions in a pan until soft and golden on a low heat (about 8-10 minutes).
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the steak, uncoated side down (you may need to cut in half or thirds to make it fit).
6. Cook for 3 minutes on each side (for rare) and then transfer to a cutting board, squeeze the juice of half a lime on top and tent with some tin foil. Let rest for at least 3 minutes.
7. When ready to serve, slice in ¼ “ thick slices.
8. Heat the tortillas in a dry pan on a low heat and keep warm in a low oven.


1. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a large bowl.
2. Add lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce.
3. Mash everything together and season to taste.


Chipotle Mayonnaise:

1. In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers) with the mayonnaise.

2. Set to the side and serve alongside tacos.


To Assemble:
1. Add a spoonful of guacamole to the center of each tortilla.
2. Next, layer a spoonful of fried onions on top.
3. Top with a few slices of skirt steak.
4. Garnish with some cilantro leaves, radish, a squeeze of lime and a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise.


Sautéed Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce


I use mustard a lot in my cooking so I was very excited to receive a sample from Seattle based Mustard and Co. I love that they had discovered us through another producer that we work with in the Pacific Northwest, Bunches & Bunches, Ltd. and that our network of producers is expanding across the country. It makes me want to get on a plane tomorrow and visit all 50 states to find all the culinary gems that I’ve yet to discover!


But back to that mustard. The minute it arrived and I had my first taste, I knew it would be perfect with my favorite chicken and cream recipe adapted from Nigel Slater. The flavors were so much bolder and more vibrant than mustard I normally keep on hand. I made the chicken for my friend Leigh this week and paired with spinach and butternut squash to soak up all the yummy mustard sauce. The result was something decidedly different- my same favorite flavors but a bolder taste.



Sautéed Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
4 large chicken thighs

Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh tarragon leaves (about 30)
1/2 cup of dry white wine

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1 tablespoon of mustard
Lemon juice, to taste



1. In a large skillet, melt the butter and the oil together on medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. When the butter starts to foam, add the chicken thighs (skin side down).
3. Let sit until the skin turns golden brown (about 6-8 minutes).
4. Flip the chicken, lower the heat and add half of the tarragon leaves.
5. Cover and cook for another 10 -15 minutes on low until the chicken is fully cooked. To test, prick a thigh with a skewer and make sure the juices run clear.
6. Remove the thighs to a warm plate and discard most of the fat, but don’t discard the tarragon leaves.
7. Return the pan with the tarragon leaves and browned chicken bits to medium-high heat and add the wine. Allow the wine to bubble while scraping up all the bits left in the pan, incorporating the browned bits as you would for a gravy.
8. Add the remaining tarragon, cream and mustard, stirring to mix.
9. Return the chicken to the pan and let the sauce bubble until it has reduced by half (this will happen very quickly).
10. Just before serving add a good squeeze of lemon and season to taste. Serve warm (I paired with roasted butternut squash and sautéed spinach).

Classic Osso Buco


I’m not sure if the old adage about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach is true for all but it’s always worked for me. By that I mean that the way to MY heart is definitely through MY stomach. To me there is nothing more attractive than someone who will cook me a delicious meal on a cold February night.


If you’re trying to win someone’s heart, I recommend this Osso Buco served the classic way with Risotto alla Milanese. The meat falls off the bone and the whole dish is filled with flavor. Most of it can be cooked ahead of time so there’s very little fussing in the kitchen.


My favorite part, which might seem over indulgent to many, is digging out all the marrow from the bone and eating it with the risotto.


Classic Osso Buco

Adapted from Marcella Hazan

Serves 2 people


1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 veal shanks (about 2” thick, tied around the middle with trussing string)
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup of canned diced Italian tomatoes (including the juice)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of parsley, plus additional for garnish



1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a dutch oven and sauté the onion, carrot and celery until soft (approx. 8 mins) and remove from heat.
3. Heat the oil in a separate skillet.
4. When the oil is hot, dredge the veal in flour and immediately add to the skillet. Using tongs, turn after a few minutes to make sure all sides are well browned. Cook about 2 minutes per side.
5. When browned, place the shanks on top of the sautéed vegetables in the dutch oven.
6. Discard the fat left in the skillet and return to the heat.
7. Add the white wine and begin to boil briskly.
8. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any of the veal stuck to the pan.
9. Add the stock and canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.
10. Pour this sauce over the veal shanks. The liquid should reach the top of the veal. If it doesn’t, add some more stock.
11. Add the bay leaves, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. I like to be generous when seasoning.
12. Bring the contents of the dutch oven to a simmer.
13. Cover tightly and place in the oven for 2 hours.
14. Check every 30 minutes, basting the veal when necessary with its surrounding sauce.
15. If the sauce is too thin at the end, remove the veal and place on an oven safe platter. Return veal to the oven on low, covering with foil while you finish the sauce on the stovetop.
16. To thicken: bring the sauce to a rapid boil on top of the stove until it reduces. Sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when tested.
17. To finish: remove trussing string and pour the sauce over the veal. Serve hot with Risotto alla Milanese. (You can also garnish with parsley as desired).



Tacolicious Tulum


Going on holiday with a best friend pretty much guarantees a good time. Ben and I have been going on holiday together now for 14 years and we both agree that this might be our best one yet. Tulum is my idea of the perfect beach holiday with not a high rise building in site. Our basic but charming room with a simple hammock on the balcony had unadulterated views of the Caribbean that we were photographing every few minutes as the light seemed to become ever more beautiful.



Tulum has also become quite a foodie destination mainly because of the much written about Hartwood Restaurant. The food is undeniably delicious and all cooked in a wood burning oven with a menu that changes daily. The rustic open air setting feels like a well styled movie set and the lines to get in feel more like New York than a Mexican beach town. The difference being that the hour and a half wait for The Hartwood was spent chatting to Matt, a clown doctor and his wife Stephanie, a dancer, over a pitcher of margaritas. 


Hartwood Restaurant

The bar at the Hartwood Restaurant (pictured above)


But the real discovery of the trip were the new chefs at our hotel; Mauro and Federico Cappi, twins born 5 minutes apart in Uruguay and taught to cook by their grandmother as children. Their food was both simple and delicious. We became slightly obsessed with their tacos; particularly their flank steak tacos for which they kindly shared their recipe. I alternated between their steak, shrimp and octopus tacos for almost every lunch. 



I’m afraid I’ve been sworn to secrecy by the friend who recommended the hotel so you’ll have to email me directly and I can give hints as to where we stayed. It was hard to leave paradise and return to the Polar Vortex but I’m excited to try these at home and share the recipe with you all. 

Rigatoni with Ham, Peas and Cream Sauce


I pretty much lived off this at university so I can make it in my sleep. The sauce is ready even before the pasta which means it takes under 15 minutes to make (half that if using fresh pasta)! It’s so comforting and easy to make that I always want it on cold nights when I can eat it in front of the TV after a long day. Minimum effort but maximum pleasure!


Rigatoni with Ham, Peas and Cream Sauce

Serves 4 people



1 lb of rigatoni

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup frozen peas

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1 cup light cream

3 thick slices of ham (cubed)

1/3 cup gorgonzola (optional)

Grated Parmesan cheese for serving



1. In a large pot, bring plenty of salted water to the boil and add pasta.

2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan on a low heat, add oil and frozen peas.

3. When the peas are melted, add the cream cheese and light cream.

4. At this stage, you can also add the gorgonzola if you like it (I do!) Mix in the ham.

5. When everything is melted and warmed through turn off the heat until the pasta is ready.

6. Before draining the pasta, scoop out a cup of the salty water to use with the sauce if it’s too thick.

7. Drain pasta and add to the frying pan with the sauce. Turn heat back to medium and mix well. If the sauce is too dry, add some of the water from the pasta.

8. Serve warm with grated Parmesan cheese.