Quinoa Salad with Sardines and Kale, plus 4 other tasty, easy-to-make recipes.
Will Cockrell 1 / 6
Imagine being able to cut your grocery shopping time in half and still eat like a king. You can—and it’s easier than you think.
You see, complicated meals don’t necessarily taste any better than simple ones. And even though buying the same 12 ingredients and pantry staples every time you shop may sound boring, what you cook with them doesn’t need to taste that way.
Take it from two of the best chefs in America, Quinn Hatfield and Daniel Humm, who are leading the way in the kind of fresh, simple cooking that will transform your kitchen repertoire. “To eat well, you need to cook for yourself,” Humm says. “The more complicated you make it, the less likely you’ll do it.”
He and Hatfield are just like the rest of us: short on time but all too aware of how important it is to be able to fuel up quickly after a workout, as well as take it slow and make something great for a date. And repetition is key: “The way I stock my own fridge is highly repetitive,” Hatfield says. “But men love go-to dishes we know how to make well.”
Here, our megachefs’ five powerful yet simple dishes that’ll keep you covered for years to come.
■ Hatfield owns one of L.A.’s best new lunch spots, Sycamore Kitchen, and has just opened a new restaurant, Odys + Penelope, a churrasco-style place where fire reigns supreme and meat is taken to the next level. Hatfield, a longtime athlete, still competes in track cycling.
■ Humm, the executive chef and co-owner of NYC's Eleven Madison Park and NoMad (the former has three Michelin stars, the latter, one), is a former pro bike racer and endurance-sport junkie who runs when he’s not stuck in the kitchen.
Most chefs agree that the trickiest thing about cooking a whole chicken is getting the breast just right without overcooking the legs and wings. To solve that problem, Hatfield likes to cook his whole chickens in a small pot. “I have one that the bird fits sort of snug in,” he explains. “The breast ends up way up at the top of this pot, so there’s enough heat on it for it to get a nice rendering on the skin. And then the juice goes to the bottom, where it gets a little steamier, and that helps cook the legs.”
1 whole chicken Olive oil 2 large sweet potatoes (about 16 oz) 4 oz butter Kosher salt, to taste 1 oz grated Gruyère 2 handful ripped kale Red-wine vinegar and pepper, to taste A few avocado slices
1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Pat chicken dry and rub with olive oil. Add 12 oz water to a high-sided pot the bird will fit snugly in; tuck the wings underneath to raise the breast.
2) Place pot on a burner until water boils, then put in oven for about 90 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reads 165°. Remove from oven; let rest for 15 minutes.
3) Peel sweet potatoes and slice to about 1/16 inch. (A mandoline is especially useful for this.)
4) Melt butter in a large sauté pan, then add a third of the potato slices. Season with salt, add another third, season, and add the last third and season.
5) Place pan in oven and cook 15 minutes. Remove and use a spatula to flip the gratin over in sections. (Don’t worry if it falls apart a bit.) Return to oven for 5 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
6) Sprinkle Gruyère on top and return to oven for a minute to melt it.
7) Place gratin on plates. Remove breasts from chicken, slice, and place on top of gratin.
8) Toss kale with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and avocado for a salad.
■ When the chicken is finished cooking, Hatfield pulls the breasts off for this dish, then, after it cools, he pulls the rest of the meat off the bone and uses it for a chicken salad with mayo, scallion, avocado, diced-up hard-boiled egg, and apple.
Roasted Tri-Tip Steak With Herb Sauce & Scallion Quinoa
Nothing beats the grill for cooking steak, but you can just as easily roast a tri-tip, Hatfield says. “I use a little roasting pan with a rack. I pat the tri-tip dry, rub it with a little olive oil or a rub, salt and pepper, then put it in the oven. Roasting will still give it great color.” ￼ Serves: 2
1 bunch Italian parsley (about 1 oz), big stems removed, roughly chopped 10 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp red-wine vinegar 2 large eggs, hard-boiled and grated Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 2 cups cooked quinoa 2 oz butter, separated 2 oz whites of scallion, thinly sliced (about 6 scallions’ worth) 1 tri-tip steak
1) Preheat oven to 425°F.
2) To make sauce, mix parsley, oil, vinegar, eggs, salt, and pepper.
3) Cook quinoa per package instructions.
4) Place 1 oz butter in a sauté pan over low heat; add scallions and cook gently. When totally cooked, add quinoa and a splash of water. Mix and warm through. Season with salt and pepper.
5) Rub steak with a little olive oil, then season well with salt and pepper.
6) Put steak in a pan with a rack and cook in oven for about an hour, or until the center reads 130° on a meat thermometer. (Cooking time will depend on preference and the size of the cut.)
7) Remove from oven; let cool, uncovered, for 15 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and let rest for another 15 minutes.
8) Scoop quinoa into the center of two plates. Slice the steak 1⁄4-inch thick and lay over quinoa. Drizzle sauce on top and around.
“I don’t eat that much meat,” Humm says, explaining the appeal of this hearty-but-veggie-centric salad. “I focus a lot on vegetables, which I think are more interesting and exciting—fresh ingredients, healthy foods.”
Kosher salt 1⁄2 cup quinoa 2 scallions, thinly sliced Olive oil Lemon and zest 1 egg 1⁄2 bunch kale, thinly sliced 1⁄2 avocado, halved and pitted Sea salt 16 oil-packed sardine fillets 2 Italian parsley sprigs
1) Bring 3 quarts water to a simmer and season to taste with 3 tbsp kosher salt. Add quinoa and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain quinoa and rinse with cold water.
2) In a bowl, mix quinoa with scallions. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 1⁄2 tsp lemon juice, and 1 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt; stir.
3) Bring 2 quarts water to simmer and season to taste with 1 1⁄2 tbsp kosher salt. Gently lower egg into water; simmer 10 minutes. Drain egg; cover with ice water. When cold, peel and slice in half.
4) Place kale in a bowl and massage with hands till slightly wilted. Season with 1 tsp lemon juice, zest of 1⁄2 lemon (using a microplane), and 1⁄4 tsp kosher salt.
5) Scoop out flesh of avocado half and cut into 2 wedges. Carefully season each wedge with olive oil and sea salt.
6) Divide sardine fillets and avocado wedges on two plates. Spoon quinoa salad onto plates. Add kale salad, near quinoa. Place an egg half on each plate. Top with parsley.
■ For a salad like this, Humm says, you can combine any number of foods on your shopping list—swap the sardines for steak, for example, or add apple slices—to create a meal that's perfect for when you get home after a long day. You want something that can be easily thrown together but is also filling and full of flavor.
“Sometimes the simplest things are best, and this is a prime example,” says Humm of this breakfast dish. “The freshness of the avocado is really nice against the richness of the egg.” Humm especially likes this dish after training—it’s loaded with protein and good fats. To fry the perfect egg, always use a nonstick pan; start on high heat, and use enough oil to have a thin layer on the entire bottom of the pan. As soon as you crack the egg into the pan, turn the heat down to low and let it cook until the white is set.
2 1⁄2-inch thick slices dark rye bread Butter, to taste 1 avocado, halved and pitted 1 tbsp olive oil 3⁄4 tsp kosher salt 1 1⁄2 tsp lemon juice 2 eggs Sea salt to finish Cracked black pepper, to taste 8–10 shaves of Gruyère
1) Spread each slice of bread lightly with butter, then toast.
2) Halve avocado and discard pit; scoop out flesh and place in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Mash it all together with a fork to make a chunky spread. Divide the mashed avocado between the pieces of toast.
3) Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Fry eggs, sunny-side up. Season the eggs with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
4) Just before eggs are finished cooking, use a vegetable peeler to peel several slices of Gruyère onto them; be sure to allow some of the cheese to melt onto the pan and crisp.
5) When the eggs are cooked and the cheese has melted, carefully transfer an egg onto each toast.
Hatfield’s favorite way to use up leftover steak is to put it in a simple sandwich. For this one, he slices it all thin—the steak, cheese, avocado, and kale—and finishes it off in the oven. "Tri-tip also eats great cold," he says, "whether on a sandwich or a salad."
1⁄2 lb cooked tri-tip steak, cold, thinly sliced with a serrated knife 2 tsp mayonnaise 2 slices dark rye bread Gruyère, thinly sliced, to taste 1 avocado, thinly sliced 2 handfuls kale, thinly sliced 2 tsp whole-grain mustard
Cautiously reheat sliced steak in microwave, using short 15–30-second pulses to avoid heating, "which would completely ruin it," says Hatfield. Spread mayonnaise on each side of bread. Pile the sliced beef on it and add Gruyère, avocado, kale, and mustard. Place open-faced on a pan in a warm oven till cheese is melted.