Alex Guarnaschelli may be a Food Network star, but when she’s cooking at home, she prefers to see where the meal takes her. “There is no blueprint or set of rules to follow when it comes to cooking — sure, there’s a recipe, but it is more of a suggestion. You can and should improvise (with ingredients — not with technique),” says Guarnaschelli, co-author of the new book Cook It Up with her daughter, Ava. Try one of their three new tasty recipes tonight!

Miso-Glazed Salmon Bowl

(serves 2)

3⁄4 cup jasmine rice

1 lime

1 ⁄2 cup mirin

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. sesame seeds

1 small English cucumber, cut into rounds

2 tbsp. white miso paste

1 tbsp. soy sauce

3 tbsp. canola oil

2 (4 oz.) portions of skin-on salmon, bones removed


1. Heat oven to 375°F. Bring 1 1 ⁄2 cups water to a boil in an oven-safe pan. Stir in rice, pinch of salt; return to boil. Cover; cook in oven 14 min. Remove and mix in 5 or 6 grates of lime zest. Cover; set aside.

2. In a bowl, mix next 4 ingredients; cover and chill 30 minutes.

3. Juice lime in a bowl. Whisk in miso, soy sauce and 1 tbsp. oil. Place salmon, skin side up, on a parchmentlined baking sheet; spoon marinade over. Cover; chill 30 minutes.

4. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium. Add fish, skin side down. Cook on stove 3 minutes, then roast at 350°F 8 minutes.

5. Bring pan with marinade to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Pour over fish. Divide rice, cucumber and salmon between bowls and serve.

PER SERVING: 607 calories, 27 grams protein, 61 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 27 grams sugar, 32 grams fat.

Cast-Iron Paprika Chicken

(serves 2)

2 (6 oz.) boneless, skin-on chicken breasts

1 ⁄2 tsp. paprika (any kind)

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, grated

1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

8 oz. white button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1 ⁄2 cup white wine Zest and juice of 1 lemon


1. Season chicken with salt and use a small fine-mesh strainer to dust with paprika.

2. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium until it smokes. Remove from heat and add chicken, leaving space between breasts. Return to heat; cook 7 minutes. Flip; cook to 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes. Move to a plate.

3. Discard all but a little grease from pan. Add garlic, onion, mushrooms and salt. Cook over medium 3 to 5 minuntes. Add wine and reduce until almost all liquid cooks down. Stir in a splash of water and lemon zest and juice. Turn heat to medium-low.

4. Place breasts in sauce. Spoon it over meat, warming. Serve chicken with sauce.

PER SERVING: 554 calories, 54 grams protein, 15 grams carbs, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 27 grams fat.

Swordfish With Lemon-Caper Sauce

(serves 4)

1⁄2 stick unsalted butter, sliced

3 shallots, cut into 1 ⁄4″-thick rounds

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp. brined capers, drained

1 cup white wine Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 (6 oz.) swordfish fillets


1. In a large oven-safe sauté pan, melt 1 tbsp. butter over medium low. Add shallots, bay leaves, capers and a pinch of pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes. Add wine and reduce until about 2 tbsp. remain, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in remaining butter in small increments. Season with salt and lemon zest and juice. Transfer to a bowl; discard bay leaves.

2. Heat oven to 350°F. Heat pan over medium-high and add oil. Season swordfish with salt. When oil begins to smoke lightly, remove pan from heat and add swordfish, leaving space between fillets. Return to heat; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Flip fillets. Place pan in oven and cook 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Remove pan from oven and spoon sauce over swordfish. Serve.

PER SERVING: 484 calories, 44 grams protein, 4 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 27 grams fat.