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Every day dishes with an adventurous spin

From the judges table to her home kitchen, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons is sharing her culinary skills in her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favourite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating.

But this isn’t exactly your grandmother’s cookbook. Bringing It Home features recipes inspired by Gail’s world travels, all made with accessible ingredients and smart, simple techniques.

Gail came by the Your Morning kitchen to share two of the recipes featured in her book.


Spaghetti Pie
Serves 8 to 10


  • Unsalted butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ pound broccoli or broccoli rabe, trimmed, stems and florets chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained, tomatoes crushed by hand
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups (8 ounces) grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 ½ cups (8 ounces) grated fontina cheese
  • 1 ½ cups (3 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • Special equipment: 9 ½-inch springform pan


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a 91/2-inch springform pan. Tightly wrap the bottom of the pan with a large sheet of foil, crimping the foil against the outer edges to tightly seal.
  2. in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and 1 tablespoon water and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat into small bits, until cooked through, about 6 minutes. stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute, then add the crushed drained tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. cook, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits from the pan, until the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Add salt to the boiling water and cook the spaghetti just until very al dente, 7 to 8 minutes (look for a white spot in the center when you bite into a strand). drain the pasta (do not rinse) and reserve the pot.
  4. in the pasta pot, whisk together the milk, eggs, pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. stir in the cheddar, fontina, and 1 cup of the Parmesan. Add the sausage mixture and spaghetti; stir until well combined.
  5. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared pan. Using a spatula, smooth the top. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the edges are golden and bubbling, about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven. Turn on the broiler. sprinkle the pie with the sage and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat until the cheese is golden, 2 to 3 minutes. remove from the oven and run a knife around the inside of the pan. Let the pie rest about 10 minutes then release and remove the sides of the pan. cut the pie into slices and serve warm.


Christmas Brisket Fried Rice
Serves 4


  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 scallions, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch lengths, white and green parts separated
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (from a 3-inch knob)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound cooked brisket, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro stems, plus 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves for serving
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sriracha hot sauce for serving 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Special equipment: Large wok or 12-inch skillet
  2. Cook the rice according to package instructions. spread on a baking sheet and let cool until ready to use.
  3. In a large wok or 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until just set, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add 1 teaspoon oil and the scallion whites to the skillet. cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. stir in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  5. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, then the brisket, and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until well incorporated and beginning to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas and reserved eggs. stir well, breaking up the eggs with a wooden spoon, about 1 minute. Add the scallion greens, cilantro stems, soy sauce, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Continue stirring, until the scallions are just tender, about 1 minute more. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve warm with sriracha and lime wedges.