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Food Network stars also juggle work and family. This one made a cookbook for us all

Molly Yeh's kimchi cheddar Jucy Lucy. Yeh says the burger, where the cheese is <em>inside </em>the meat, originated in Minnesota, where she lives with her family.
Chantell & Brett Quernemoen
Molly Yeh's kimchi cheddar Jucy Lucy. Yeh says the burger, where the cheese is inside the meat, originated in Minnesota, where she lives with her family.

Updated October 16, 2022 at 6:36 AM ET

Food Network star Molly Yeh's new cookbook, Home is Where the Eggs Are: Farmhouse Food for the People You Love, is full of meals that she makes for her family all the time.

But the idea for it came about not because she loves these recipes. It's because her relationship to cooking — and food in general — changed when she became a parent.

"I suddenly had this growing family, [and] I realized that sitting down for mealtime is about so much more than just stuffing calories in my face. It's about creating memories and nourishing these little growing bodies," she tells NPR's All Things Considered.

She had one problem — time, especially because she was juggling being a parent with her schedule of hosting the Food Network show Girl Meets Farm and developing recipes for this book.

"I had a lot fewer hands and fewer arms to use for for cooking, because I wanted to play with my kids, but I also needed to cook. So these recipes are approachable, and they're fuss-free."

That's by design.

She wanted to bring together recipes that anyone could make, with an eye toward meals that are meant to be eaten with others, like gatherings and spending time with loved ones.

Her move from New York City to Minnesota influenced that approach.

"There really is this feeling of community that the Midwest has given me. There's such an amazing emphasis on family here and carrying on family traditions. They show you how special food can be," says Yeh, who now lives on a farm with her husband — a fifth-generation farmer — and their two kids.

As for new cooks, she suggests starting with one recipe — just one.

And take your time with it.

"Make it again and then again and then get comfortable with that and then learn the techniques in that recipe," she advises. "And then expand as you see fit."


The following recipes are from Home is Where the Eggs Are by Molly Yeh. They have been excerpted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Kimchi Cheddar Jucy Lucies

MAKES 4 BURGERS

1½ pounds (680 grams) ground beef, 80% lean

1 tablespoon (15 grams) sambal oelek or sriracha, plus more if desired

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) shredded sharp cheddar

Neutral oil, for grilling

4 brioche or potato buns

Mayonnaise, ideally Kewpie

Ketchup

1 cup (200 grams) chopped cabbage kimchi

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, sambal oelek or sriracha (more if you're feeling spicy), scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few good turns of pepper. Use your hands to combine, being careful not to overmix. Divide into 4 parts, roll into balls, and create a large divot in the center of each. Divide the cheese evenly among the divots. Pull the meat over the cheese to seal the cheese inside, then press into roughly 4-inch patties. If you're forming these in advance, place them on a parchment-lined plate or quarter sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to cook.

2. Season both sides of the patties with salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron pan or grill over medium-high heat and lightly oil it. Grill the burgers to desired doneness, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.

3. Drizzle the cut surfaces of the burns with oil and grill until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Drizzle mayo and ketchup (and more hot sauce, if desired) on each half of the burns and stack up the burgers with a pile of kimchi. Get the napkins ready.

Molly Yeh says her feta and za'atar omelet roll-ups are like "a really fresh, flavorful breakfast burrito" that can be prepared in a variety of ways.
/ Chantell & Brett Quernemoen
/
Chantell & Brett Quernemoen
Molly Yeh says her feta and za'atar omelet roll-ups are like "a really fresh, flavorful breakfast burrito" that can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Feta and Za'atar Omelet Roll-Ups

SERVES 1, EASILY MANIPULATED

Extra virgin olive oil

Couple of good pinches of za'atar

1 large egg, beaten

Small handful (about 2 tablespoons) crumbled feta

One 8-inch flour tortilla

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Couple of small dollops plain Greek yogurt

Pile of chopped salad (recipe follows)

Hot sauce, optional

Directions

Heat a medium (8- or 9-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Sprinkle in the za'atar, swirl it around, and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Add the egg and swirl it around into one round thin layer. Cook until mostly set, sprinkle on the feta, and top with the tortilla, pressing it with your hand or a spatula so that it sticks to the egg. When the tortilla starts to feel warm and the egg releases easily from the pan, slide the spatula under, flip, and cook for another minute or so, until the tortilla is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate. Top with the yogurt, a strip of salad across the equator, and a few shakes of hot sauce, if desired. Roll it up, cut in half, and enjoy!

Salad

1 Persian cucumber, diced

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

¼ medium red onion, diced

Good squeeze of lemon juice

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful of finely chopped cilantro, flat- leaf parsley, dill, or mint, or a mix, optional

Directions

Combine the cucumber, tomato, and onion in a bowl, toss with lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add herbs as desired. This will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Molly's other favorite variation: Sub shredded mozzarella for the feta, skip the salad and yogurt, and go straight for the ketchup.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.
Tinbete Ermyas