Want to savor your meals–and enjoy your life? Check out the vibrant new book, Relish: An adventure in food, style, and everyday fun by Daphne Oz, cohost of ABC’s The Chew. In the book you’ll find recipes for breakfast and brunch, soups, salads and sandwiches, cocktails as well as dinner–and of course, dessert! You’ll also find tips from Daphne and other experts to help you throw a stress-free party, look and feel your best, stay fit and work smarter.
I asked Daphne a couple of questions about the book. Here’s what she had to say.
EZ: What made you sit down to write Relish?
DO: I wanted a book like this for myself! I wasn’t looking for a major life overhaul; I just wanted usable tips for small things I could be doing a bit better that would yield big results. Most of us are already doing a lot of things right, but just need a nudge in the right direction, or a couple of smart and helpful insights we can easily use in our own lives to improve our health, our style, our relationships and our careers without driving ourselves crazy in the process. I took a year and a half organizing all the expert knowledge I picked up on set at The Chew, growing up around the Oz family dinner table, through my own successes and failures, and by asking everyday people how they maximize happiness in their own lives. The book is all about creating a lifestyle that is beautiful, fulfilling, fun, and–above all–delicious!
EZ: What’s the number one lesson you want readers to take away from the book?
DO: Don’t be afraid to try, jump in, get your hands dirty, and not be perfect right from the outset. Everything worth doing is worth doing well, and doing anything well takes time and effort…and more than a few fails. Anyone who makes success look easy is just having fun and enjoying the journey as much as the destination! That’s my goal.
Here are two of Daphne’s favorite recipes from Relish:
Chile Jam Chicken with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches
This is not your average chicken dinner. Chile jam adds spice and sweetness, and the accompaniments of caramelized sweet potatoes and peaches take it out of this world. Let the chicken thighs continue to crisp in a cast-iron pan as the jam glaze reduces around them, and it will naturally create a crisp sticky-crunchy coating that is to die for!
4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Fresh-cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chile jam (some of my favorites: Hell Fire Pepper Jelly from Jenkins Jellies or INNA Jam’s Plenty Spicy Jalapeño for heat seekers)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches (recipe follows)
1. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and arrange the chicken thighs inside (cast iron works really well to get a nice crispy crust). Brown the chicken on one side, giving the chicken time to unstick itself from the pan surface and form a good, crispy coating, about 10 minutes (you can give it some help with your tongs or spatula if needed). Flip the chicken thighs and brown for 6 to 10 minutes, or until you can insert a knife to the bone and no red liquid emerges.
2. Lower heat to medium-low and spoon a quarter of the chile jam over each thigh. Melt the jam over the chicken and on all sides, using tongs to flip and swirl the thighs in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the jam to form a glaze. Remove the thighs to a serving plate and spoon the glaze on top. Scrape up any bits sticking to the bottom of the pan—these will be the crispiest and the first to go!
3. Just before serving, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the chicken to brighten its flavors and heighten the sweetness and spice. Serve with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches (see recipe below).
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes and Peaches
This is one of those recipes that sort of just popped into my head as a possibility and then became a luscious reality once I got into the kitchen and started experimenting. The peaches caramelize and burst with juice in every bite, while the sweet potato gives this side dish some hearty, vitamin-packed substance. And if you’ve never tried a roasted onion before, well, my friend, you are in for a treat—as they roast, they turn subtly sweet and tender, adding tons of flavor without overpowering the dish.
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature (if it is cold, the coconut oil will solidify on contact)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium peaches, pitted and sliced into 4 wedges each
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and quartered
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut oil, syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Put the potato and peaches in 2 separate bowls. Pour three quarters of the syrup mixture over the sweet potato and one-quarter over the peaches and toss. Spread the potato in an even layer in a large baking dish and roast for 10 minutes. Toss the potato and roast for 5 minutes more. Add the onion and roast for 15 minutes. Toss the potato and onion, add the peaches in an even layer, and roast 10 minutes, or until the potato and onion are fork tender and the peaches have caramelized.
From Relish by Daphne Oz. Copyright (c) 2013 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Full disclosure: The publisher sent me a complimentary copy of Relish.