WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: For financiers with complex almond flavor and contrasting textures, we started by spraying a mini-muffin tin with baking spray with flour. The flour in the spray helped the sides of the cakes rise along with the center, preventing doming. We then stirred together almond flour, sugar, all-purpose flour, and egg whites. We opted for granulated sugar, which doesn’t totally dissolve in the egg whites, to ensure a pleasantly coarse texture. Once these ingredients were whisked together, it was just a matter of stirring in nutty browned butter and baking the cakes.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: When developing our cream of tomato soup recipe, we found that good-quality, straight-from-the-can diced tomatoes were good, but not quite good enough. We got a more robust tomato flavor for our tomato soup recipe by using a technique known for intensifying flavor: caramelization. We roasted whole canned tomatoes, first sprinkling them with brown sugar to induce caramelization. The ultimate difference in flavor was extraordinary, and because the rest of the soup could be prepared while the tomatoes roasted, we were able to keep stovetop time down to 20 minutes. 2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes (not packed in puree), drained, 3 cups juice reserved, tomatoes seeded
1½ tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large shallots, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste Pinch ground allspice
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1¾ cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons brandy or dry sherry cayenne pepper
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees; line jelly-roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with foil.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: To make risotto that features truly vibrant corn flavor, we started by blending 3 cups of fresh corn kernels with a little water and the pulpy “milk” we scraped from the cobs to yield a supersweet, bright-tasting puree that infused the rice with corn flavor. Adding the puree near the end of cooking preserved its freshness. The puree also contributed extra liquid as well as naturally occurring cornstarch: The liquid loosened up the risotto to an appropriately fluid consistency (called “all’onda” in Italian), and the cornstarch gelled and acted like a sauce, making the dish especially creamy. Instead of adding the traditional white wine, which overwhelmed the corn’s flavor, we stirred in crème fraîche. The cultured dairy added much subtler acidity, and its flavor and richness underscored the risotto’s creamy, luxurious profile.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: We developed our free-form tart recipe as a quick alternative to pie. For the flakiest pastry, we turned to a French technique in pastry making called fraisage, in which the dough is smeared with the heel of your hand, spreading the butter pieces into long, thin streaks between skeletal layers of flour and water. The dough is then lifted up and back over the fruit (the center of the tart remains exposed) and loosely pleated to allow for shrinkage. The bright summer fruit needed only the simple addition of sugar, 3 to 5 tablespoons depending on the type of fruit. DOUGH
¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (3 3/4 ounces), plus additional for work surface
¼ teaspoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 – 3 tablespoons water (ice cold)
2 medium peaches, nectarines, apricots, or plums
½ cup berries (about 1/4 dry pint)
2 – 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ tablespoon granulated sugar for sprinkling
NOTE: The amount of water that the dough will require depends on the ambient humidity; in a dry environment, it may need more water, in a humid environment, less.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: We started with a simple stir-together dough of bread flour, salt, yeast, and warm water; the warm water jump-started yeast activity so that the crumb was open and light. Instead of kneading the dough, we let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. During this rest, the dough’s gluten strengthened enough for the crust to support the toppings but still have a tender crumb. Baking the pie in a generously oiled cast-iron skillet “fried” the outside of the crust. We also moved the skillet to the stove for the last few minutes of cooking to crisp up the underside of the crust.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Butter basting, a technique that involves repeatedly spooning sizzling butter over food as it cooks, is great for mild, lean, flaky fish such as cod, haddock, or snapper. The butter helps cook the top of the fillet as the skillet heats the bottom, allowing you to flip the fish only once and early in the cooking process—before the flesh has become too fragile—so it stays intact. Throughout the process, the nutty, aromatic butter, which we enhanced with thyme sprigs and crushed garlic cloves, bathed the mild fish in savory flavor. We alternated basting with direct- heat cooking on the burner, taking the temperature of the fish so we knew exactly when the fillets were done.
2 (6 ounces) skinless cod fillets, about 1 inch thick
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: To make a smooth guacamole without relying on the coarse surface of a molcajete, a three-legged Mexican mortar made of volcanic rock, we minced the onion and chile by hand with kosher salt; the coarse crystals broke down the aromatics, releasing their juices and flavors and transforming them into a paste that was easy to combine with the avocado and other ingredients. (The salt will also help the aromatics break down in a regular mortar and pestle.) A bit of lime zest added further brightness without acidity. We used a whisk to mix and mash the avocado into the paste, creating a creamy but still chunky dip. Chopped tomato and cilantro added fruity flavor and freshness.
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 1/2–2 tablespoons juice
3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 plum tomato, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Place onion, serrano, 1 teaspoon salt, and lime zest on cutting board and chop until very finely minced.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Vietnam’s bò lúc la ̆ c, or shaking beef, combines savory stir-fried beef and a peppery, crisp watercress salad. We used sirloin steak tips (aka flap meat) for their beefy flavor and pleasant chewy texture. We first marinated the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, and molasses and then reserved the marinade to make the glaze. We coated the meat with oil (to prevent splattering) and then cooked it in two batches to give it ample room in the skillet. True to the dish’s name, we shook and
stirred the beef to develop good browning and to deglaze the skillet, which prevented the fond from burning.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple-Red Onion Salsa
SERVES 4 TO 6
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: To produce pork tenderloin with a rich crust and a tender, juicy interior, we used a half-grill fire and seared the roast on the hotter side of the grill. This allowed the exterior to develop flavorful browning before the interior was cooked through. Then we moved the meat to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking gently. Seasoning the meat with a mixture of salt, cumin, and chipotle chile powder added smoky, savory flavor, and a touch of sugar encouraged browning. To add bright flavor and make the most of the fire, we grilled pineapple and red onion and, while the cooked pork rested, combined them with cilantro, a serrano chile, lime juice, and a bit of reserved spice mixture to make a quick salsa.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: For a tender cake with a fine, plush texture, we started by using bleached cake flour. Its altered starch is more absorbent than the starch in unbleached flour, so it can accommodate more liquid, sugar, and fat (we use butter for flavor and vegetable oil for moistness) without collapsing under the extra weight. We combined the ingredients using the reverse-creaming method: First we mixed the dry ingredients—flour, sugar, leavener, and salt—with the fat, and then we beat in the eggs and liquid ingredients. Only a small amount of air was incorporated during mixing, resulting in a superfine texture. For a frosting that would hold its shape even in warm weather, we whipped up a modified American buttercream.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Smashed burgers share the same thin, verging- on-well-done profile and all-American array of condiments as typical fast-food burgers, but their big selling point is an ultrabrown, crispy crust. We used commercial ground beef instead of grinding our own because the former is ground finer and thus exposes more myosin, a sticky meat protein that helps the patties hold together when they are smashed. Using a small saucepan to press straight down on the meat ensured that it spread and stuck uniformly to the skillet (instead of shrinking as it cooked), which helped guarantee deep browning. We made two smaller patties at a time instead of one larger one because they fit nicely inside a burger bun. Sandwiching an ultramelty slice of Kraft American cheese between the two patties helped the cheese melt thoroughly and seep into the meat almost like a rich, salty cheese sauce would.
This week on Simply Ming, Chef Tsai cooks up two versions of Okonomiyaki/Japanese Pizza. First a delicious Smoked Salmon, Crispy Fennel, Okonomiyake, and then a Vegan Okonomiyake made with rice flour, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage and seasoned with garlic and fresh ginger. To cool things down, he mixes a refreshing Cucumber-Mint Saketini for himself, and a Cucumber-Mint Spritzer for Henry.
Simply Ming @Home
Seafood Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza)
Gluten-Free Vegan Okonomiyaki
By Ming Tsai
2 ounces Sake
1 ounce vodka
3 mint leaves and 1 for garnish
2 slices and some julienne English cucumbers
Pre-chill a martini glass.
In a shaker filled with ice, add the sake, vodka and cucumber slices. Shake. Strain in chilled martini glass. Garnish with cucumber julienne.
The James Beard and Emmy-nominated public television series Simply Ming is now in its eighteenth season. Simply Ming season 18 takes cooking at home to a whole new level. Award-winning host Chef Ming Tsai opens the door to his home kitchen as he and his son, Henry Tsai, prepare delicious and easy to follow recipes. This week on Simply Ming, Chef Tsai prepares bok choy, two ways, with his son Henry as his sous chef. First is a flavorful casserole–Red Roast chicken with baby bok choy and sweet potatoes spiced up with red wine, Thai bird chilis, and star anise.
Pan Seared Salmon Steaks with Tarragon Chimichurri
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: In this recipe, we prepared salmon steaks in a way that encouraged a well-browned, crisp crust; promoted even cooking; and delivered a beautiful presentation. Deboning and then tying each steak into a round produced a structurally sound parcel that cooked evenly and resulted in two large surfaces on which to develop a well-browned crust. A light coating of cornstarch enhanced the crispness of the crust. Salmon
Salt and pepper
4 (8- to 10-ounce) salmon steaks 3/4 to 1 inch thick
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil Lemon wedges
½ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
FOR SALMON STEAKS: Dissolve 1/4 cup salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge salmon in brine and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Our version of pan bagnat, a classic Provençal sandwich that shares many of the same ingredients as salade niçoise, features a crusty baguette packed with high-quality jarred tuna, olives, capers, tomatoes, hard-cooked eggs, fresh herbs, and a mustardy vinaigrette. We used a large baguette, which offered enough surface area to accommodate the filling, and removed the inner crumb from the bottom half of the loaf to create a trough that provided more space. Processing the olives, capers, anchovies, and herbs into a coarse “salad” helped those components hold together, and applying the salad in two layers in the sandwich distributed its assertive flavors. To control the bread’s moisture absorption, we brushed the cut surfaces with olive oil, which helped waterproof it. Stirring the vinaigrette into the olive salad thickened the dressing so that it didn’t oversaturate the crumb, and we also thoroughly drained the tuna and tomato slices to remove much of their liquid.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Butter chicken (murgh makhani) should taste rich and creamy but also vibrant and complex, so we started by softening lots of onion, garlic, ginger, and chile in butter followed by aromatic spices such as garam masala, coriander, cumin, and black pepper. Instead of chopped or crushed tomatoes, we opted for a hefty portion of tomato paste and water, which lent the sauce bright acidity, punch, and deep color without making it too liquid-y. A full cup of cream gave the sauce lush, velvety body, and we finished it by whisking in a couple more tablespoons of solid butter for extra richness. To imitate the deep charring produced by a tandoor oven, we broiled chicken thighs coated in yogurt (its milk proteins and lactose brown quickly and deeply) before cutting them into chunks and stirring them into the sauce. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces and chilled, divided
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Chicken schnitzel is defined by thin, tender, juicy cutlets coated in a fine, wrinkly crust that puffs away from the meat during frying. Halving and pounding chicken breasts ¼ inch thick ensured that they were tender and delicate. Fine store-bought bread crumbs held in place by an egg wash formed a compact crust, and adding oil to the eggs made the coating slightly elastic. A large Dutch oven filled with just 2 cups of oil meant there was plenty of headspace when agitating the pot, so the oil washed over the cutlets without spilling. Bathing the cutlets in oil quickly set the crust so that the breading trapped steam, which then caused the coating to puff away from the meat.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: In the best renditions of this Greek meat and macaroni casserole, the components—tubular pasta, ground meat and tomato sauce, and a plush blanket of bechamel—are impressively stratified. We started by treating ground beef with baking soda before cooking, which altered its chemistry and made it better able to hold on to moisture. We skipped the usual browning steps to avoid toughening the meat’s exterior, which also saved time. Cinnamon, oregano, dried mint, and paprika made the flavor profile distinctly Greek. A minimal amount of red wine plus lots of tomato paste added brightness and savoriness.
Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)
Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes | Servings: 6
Dried cannellini beans that are soaked before cooking yield a full-flavored soup and creamy, silky-textured beans. To soak the beans, in a large bowl stir together 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the beans, let soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours, then drain well. Canned beans work in a pinch; see instructions below. We do as we were taught in Greece and use extra-virgin olive oil to give the soup a little body and fruity, peppery richness throughout; vigorously whisking in a few tablespoons before serving, rather than just drizzling it on, does the trick. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to two days; reheat in a saucepan over low, adding water as needed to thin the consistency.
Filipino Chicken Adobo with Coconut Broth
Start to finish: 1 hour 45 minutes | Servings: 4
A hefty dose of rice vinegar blended with soy sauce and aromatics gave this Filipino dish its characteristic bright flavor and made for a potent marinade. The coconut milk tended to burn under the broiler, so we added it toward the end. If you can’t find bird’s eye chilies (sometimes called Thai chilies), any small chili will do. Stir the coconut milk thoroughly before measuring it. Look for chicken thighs that are uniform in size; if some are smaller than others, begin to check them early and remove them as they come up to temperature.
The name of this Vietnamese dish refers to the way cooks shake the pan while the beef cooks. We, however, prefer to minimize the meat’s movement so the pieces achieve a nice dark, flavor-building sear. Sirloin tips (also called flap meat) or tri-tip are excellent cuts for this recipe—both are meaty, tender and reasonably priced (many recipes for shaking beef call for pricier beef tenderloin). If you can find baby watercress, use a 4-ounce container in place of the regular watercress; baby cress has a particularly peppery bite that pairs well with the beef. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: For a bright, flavorful fish tagine, we started by salting chunks of cod to season the flesh and help it retain moisture. We coated the fish in chermoula, a flavorful herb-spice paste of cilantro, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice, and olive oil, just before cooking to season its exterior. Softening bell pepper, onion, and carrot before adding the tomatoes and fish ensured that the vegetables would be soft and tender by the time the fish was cooked through. Preserved lemon and olives added acidity, complexity, and salty punch to the broth. To produce moist, flaky cod, we turned off the heat once the broth was bubbling at the bottom of the pot and allowed the fish to cook in the residual heat.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Our version of acquacotta, one of Italy’s traditional vegetable soups, features creamy cannellini beans, tender fennel, and faintly bitter escarole. Though acquacotta translates to “cooked water,” we used chicken broth and amped up the flavor with a soffritto, a mixture of sautéed onion, celery, and garlic. A food processor made quick work of finely chopping these ingredients as well as the canned tomatoes that flavor the broth. Aromatic parsley, oregano, and fennel fronds gave our soup its distinctive taste. Finally, we thickened the broth with a mixture of the bean canning liquid and egg yolks and ladled our finished soup over toasted bread, turning a humble vegetable soup into a hearty one-bowl meal.
Savory Kale and Two-Cheese Scones
Start to finish: 1¼ hours (40 minutes active), plus cooling
Makes 12 large scones
When standard breakfast pastries are too sugary, bake a batch of these flavorful savory scones. This recipe is our adaptation of the hearty kale and cheese scones created by of Briana Holt, of Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland, Maine. Dried currants and a small amount of sugar in the dough complement the minerally, vegetal notes of the kale and counterbalance the saltiness of the cheddar and pecorino, while a good dose of black pepper adds an undercurrent of spiciness. Either lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or Tuscan kale) or curly kale will work; you will need an average-sized bunch to obtain the amount of chopped stemmed leaves for the recipe. Don’t allow the buttermilk and butter to lose their chill before use.
Buttermilk Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berries and Honey
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Our silky-smooth, delicately textured buttermilk panna cotta is an elegant dessert that requires some waiting but hardly any work. We made it even simpler by skipping the traditional step of sprinkling gelatin over cold water to bloom it before dissolving it in hot cream. Instead, we whisked together the gelatin, sugar, and salt and then whisked in cold heavy cream. Dispersed by the sugar and salt, the gelatin granules had plenty of space to absorb water from the cream, which readied the gelatin for heating. Bringing the mixture to 150 degrees ensured that the gelatin fully dissolved and the floral notes of the vanilla bean were thoroughly infused into the cream.
Risotto with Fresh Herbs
Start to finish: 25 minutes | Servings: 4
Medium-grain Italian rice has the ideal starch content for achieving the rich, creamy consistency that is the hallmark of risotto. Arborio rice is the most common choice for risotto in the U.S., but cooks in Milan—and at Milk Street—preferred carnaroli. We found that the grains better retained their structure and resisted overcooking. With careful cooking, however, Arborio will yield delicious results. A quick six-ingredient homemade vegetable broth is the best cooking liquid for this risotto; its fresh, clean flavor won’t compete with the other ingredients.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Making an apple crumble that tastes primarily of apples starts with plenty of fruit. We tossed 4 pounds of apples with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to enhance their bright flavor. Adding just 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the filling kept the apples from tasting too sweet. We baked the apples in a covered pan before applying the topping, which allowed them to collapse into a thick layer of filling. Adding nuts to the streusel loosened its consistency so that it didn’t bake up dense, and a couple of teaspoons of water hydrated the flour so that the mixture clumped nicely.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: To make a meaty, vibrant chile verde, we started by salting chunks of fat-and-collagen-rich pork butt roast for an hour, which ensured that the meat cooked up well-seasoned and juicy. Gently braising the pork in the oven allowed the meat’s fat and collagen to thoroughly break down, making it supple. Browning the pork trimmings (chopped coarse to maximize their surface area) instead of the chunks built a savory fond without drying out the surface of the meat. Broiling the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeño, and garlic concentrated their flavors and imbued them with a touch of smokiness. Seasoning the chili with warm spices and sugar softened its acidity and heat.
Flatbread (Pizza) Dough
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (30 minutes active) | Makes two 12-inch flatbreads
This versatile dough is a breeze to make in a food processor and can used for pizzas with various toppings or Middle Eastern–style flatbreads. The Greek yogurt makes a supple dough that’s easy to work with and that bakes up with a chewy-soft crumb and subtle richness. For convenience, the dough can be made a day in advance. After dividing the dough in half and forming each piece into a round, place each portion in a quart-size zip-close bag that’s been misted with cooking spray, seal well and refrigerate overnight. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: In Brittany, France, crepes are made with buckwheat flour. Because buckwheat flour is gluten-free, the pancakes can easily turn out brittle and inflexible. Using a combination of buckwheat flour and gluten-forming all-purpose flour produced crepes that were pliable yet resilient. Increasing the salt and butter rounded out the bitter edge of the buckwheat, so the crepes were nutty, rich, and well seasoned. For a classic Breton dish, we paired the buckwheat crepes with salty ham, nutty Gruyère cheese, and a runny egg.
Start to finish: 4 hours (45 minutes active) | Servings: 4 to 6
Authentic Mexican carnitas involve slowcooking pork in lard until fall-apart tender, then increasing the heat so the meat fries and crisps. The fried pork then is broken into smaller pieces for eating. In the U.S., however, carnitas usually is made by simmering pork in liquid, then shredding the meat. The result is moist and tender, but lacks intense porkiness as well the crisping traditional to carnitas. Our method melds the two techniques.
Oven-Perfect Strip Steak with Chimichurri
Start to finish: 1 1/4 hours (15 minutes active), plus refrigeration
Servings: 4 to 6
This recipe uses the gentle, controlled heat of the oven to replicate the “reverse sear” technique Argentinians use when grilling beef. Rather than start the steak over high heat to brown, then finish over low heat, the steaks start in a cool oven, then finish with a quick sear in either a blistering-hot cast-iron skillet or on a grill. The result is steak with a deep, flavorful crust that’s evenly cooked throughout, not overdone at the surface and just-right at only the core. We call for strip steaks (also called strip loin or New York strip), but bone-in or boneless ribeyes work well, too, as long they’re 1½ to 2 inches thick. We learned to season cuts of beef with nutmeg at La Carbrera in Buenos Aires; the spice doesn’t leave a distinct flavor of its own but rather enhances the steaks’ meatiness and smoky notes.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Our version of this Japanese favorite started with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which eliminated the need to debone the meat at home. Cutting the chicken into narrow strips instead of small chunks created fewer pieces to handle. Briefly marinating the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, sake, ginger, and garlic (seasoned with a little salt and sugar) imbued the chicken with deeply savory, aromatic flavor. Dredging the chicken in cornstarch—instead of traditional potato starch—made for a less sticky coating. Shaking off the excess starch and letting the dredged pieces rest while the oil heated gave the starch time to hydrate.
Risotto for breakfast (or brunch)? Why not? I also like to make a simple risotto like this during the week as these are all ingredients I have on hand in my pantry and refrigerator. Any leftovers would be a good base for Risotto Cakes.
Serves 4 to 6
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces slab bacon, cut into lardons
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 ½ cups arborio or other Italian short grain rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup dry white wine
6 to 7 cups hot chicken stock or water
2 large eggs
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
You will need:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cornmeal Cake
Start to finish: 1¼ hours, plus cooling | Servings: 12
Briana Holt, owner of Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland, Maine, makes a rich, sturdy buttermilk cake with cornmeal for texture and flavor, as well as ricotta cheese to keep the crumb tender and moist. We adapted her winning formula and paired the cake with fresh fruit to update the classic all- American pineapple upside-down cake. To avoid a soggy layer where cake and fruit meet—a common problem with upside- down cakes—we first cook the pineapple to remove excess moisture, and we make sure the fruit is hot when the batter is poured on top so it begins to bake upon contact. To get the timing right, begin mixing the batter after placing the pan with the pineapple in the oven. This gives you 5 to 10 minutes to finish the batter; if it’s ready sooner, it can wait a few minutes.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: For a creamy, rich green gratin with a crisp, flavorful bread-crumb topping, we started with a mixture of kale and Swiss chard. Sturdy kale kept the gratin fluffy and tall; Swiss chard collapsed when cooked, but its plentiful tender stems added bulk. Steaming the greens in a Dutch oven cooked them quickly and eliminated the need for blanching or sautéing in multiple batches. To keep the gratin from being liquid-y or sogging out the crumb topping, we kept the amount of cream to 1 cup, just enough to give the dish a silky richness. For a craggy, crisp, and flavorful topping, we used rustic bread, pulsed to a coarse texture in a food processor, along with Parmesan and garlic.
Passatelli in Brodo
Start to finish: 1¼ hours (30 minutes active) | Servings: 4 to 6
In Bologna, Italy, we tasted delicious home- cooked passatelli in brodo. Made with stale bread, cheese, eggs, broth and little else, the dish exemplifies cucina povera, or peasant cooking. Passatelli are cylindrical dumplings— like fat, short spaghetti—made by extruding dough through smallish holes; the dumplings are simply poached and served in chicken broth. We found that in lieu of a traditional passatelli maker, a potato ricer with 3/16-inch perforations works well for extruding the dough. Another alternative is to use a cooling rack with a ⅜-inch wire grid (instructions are included in the recipe).
SERVES SEVEN 7-INCH ROUND OR FOUR 9-INCH SQUARE WAFFLES
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: A tiny bit of planning makes our raised waffle recipe easy to have ready in the morning. Mixing the ingredients and letting the batter stand overnight was convenient; refrigerating the batter helped control the growth of the yeast in our waffle recipe and produced waffles with superior flavor.
1¾ cups whole milk, or low-fat milk, or skim milk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1½ teaspoons instant yeast
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool milk/butter mixture until warm to touch. Meanwhile, whisk flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in large bowl to combine.
Start to finish: 1 hour 25 minutes (45 minutes active), plus marinating
Servings: 4 to 6
In our take on the butter chicken we had in Mumbai, boneless chicken thighs are briefly marinated in yogurt and spices, then broiled until lightly charred. We make a separate sauce into which the chicken then is stirred. In many recipes for butter chicken, copious amounts of butter and heavy cream supply richness, but we do as we were taught in India and use cashews pureed with a small amount of water until smooth. The nut puree adds creaminess without making the dish heavy. Serve this with steamed basmati rice for soaking up the sauce.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: Pan-searing a strip or rib-eye steaks usually leads to a smoky, grease-splattered kitchen—but it doesn’t have to. To devise a fast, mess-free method for achieving deeply seared, rosy meat, we started the steak in a “cold” (not preheated) nonstick skillet over high heat and flipped it every 2 minutes; that way, the meat’s temperature increased gradually, allowing a crust to build up on the outside without overcooking the interior. Because we were cooking in a nonstick skillet, it wasn’t necessary to lubricate the skillet with oil; plus, the well-marbled meat exuded enough fat to achieve a good sear, and adding more simply
encouraged splatter. We started cooking over high heat to burn off moisture and prevent the steak from steaming but quickly lowered the heat to medium; at this temperature, the meat kept sizzling, but there was no risk of the fat smoking. Before serving, we sliced the steak and sprinkled it with coarse sea salt so that every bite was well seasoned.
Neapolitan Meatballs with Ragù
Start to finish: 50 minutes | Servings: 6 to 8
In Naples, meatballs are generously sized, and their texture is ultra-tender from a high ratio of bread to meat. For our version, we opted to use Japanese panko breadcrumbs. Panko, which has a neutral flavor and a light and fluffy but coarse texture, greatly streamlines the meatball-making process, eliminating the need to remove the crusts from fresh bread, cut and measure, soak in water, then squeeze out excess moisture. Panko only needs to be moistened with water and it’s ready to use. Neapolitans serve their meatballs with a basic tomato sauce they refer to as “ragù.” We use pecorino liberally in this recipe: a chunk simmered in the sauce, as well as grated both in and over the meatballs.
Start to finish: 45 minutes | Servings: 4
Traditional risotto is made with starchy medium-grain Italian rice. This “risotto,” modeled on a dish we had in Tel Aviv, uses pearl couscous (which actually is a pasta) and a cooking technique similar to the classic risotto method to produce “grains” with a rich, creamy consistency. The wheaty flavor of pearl couscous (sometimes called Israeli couscous) is nicely complemented by the salty, nutty notes of Parmesan cheese and the grassiness of fresh parsley. Don’t allow the onion to brown. The assertive bittersweet flavor of caramelized onion will easily overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.
Slow-Roasted Fresh Ham
Serves 12 to 14
Unlike salty, pink cured ham, fresh ham is nothing more than a bone-in, skin-on pork roast from the pig’s hind leg. We chose a shank-end ham over a sirloin-end ham since the latter is tricky to carve. Salting the roast for 12 hours is key for moist, well-seasoned meat, and cutting a pocket in the meaty end helps the rub (bolstered with brown sugar and herbs for flavor) penetrate. Removing the skin allows the fat to render, and roasting the ham in an oven bag creates a moist cooking environment for evenly cooked meat.
8 – 10 pound ham shank-end, bone-in
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 large oven bag
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
Start to finish: 7¼ hours (40 minutes active), plus cooling | Servings: 12
This recipe recreates the light, open-crumbed focaccia we ate in Bari, Italy. To achieve that texture, the dough must be wet—so wet, in fact, it verges on a thick, yet pourable batter. Resist the temptation to add more flour than is called for. Shaping such a sticky, high-hydration dough by hand is impossible. Instead, the dough is gently poured and scraped into the oiled baking pan; gravity settles it into an even layer.
Triple-Chocolate Sticky Buns
To take sticky buns over the top, we added three types of chocolate: bittersweet and milk chocolate in the filling and cocoa powder in the sticky caramel topping. To ensure that the buns were ultratender, we used a Japanese bread-making technique called tangzhong that called for microwaving a portion of the dough’s flour and milk, turning it into agel-like paste, before adding it to the rest of the dough ingredients. The gel locked in more moisture than simply adding more liquid would, so the dough was soft without becoming overly sticky and difficult to work with, and it produced moist buns. For an easy filling with complex flavor, we microwaved butter and bittersweet chocolate to form a ganache that, once it had cooled, we spread over the rolled-out dough. We then sprinkled on milk chocolate chips: Rolled up in the dough, they delivered just the right amount of sweetness plus delightfully creamy pockets of chocolate(we ditched the cinnamon, a traditional ingredient in sticky buns, because it confused the chocolate flavor).
Ikarian Braised Pork with Honey, Orange and Rosemary
Start to finish: 3¼ hours (1 hour 10 minutes active) | Servings: 6 to 8
This savory-sweet pork braise is our version of the tigania, or skillet-cooked meat meze, that Diane Kochilas demonstrated for us on the Greek island of Ikaria. Instead of serving the dish in the Greek meze tradition—that is, as a small plate along with a host of others—we opted to make a larger batch to offer as a main course. We preferred the braise sweetened with a strong, dark honey, such as buckwheat, which holds its own in the mix of wine, herbs, citrus and fennel seed. But a lighter, milder variety worked, too; orange blossom honey is a good option. An orzo pilaf or rice is perfect for serving alongside.
Almond Boneless Chicken
Serves 4 to 6
Almond Boneless Chicken, which is a Chinese American restaurant staple in the Detroit area, consists of crispy battered chicken served on a bed of crunchy iceberg lettuce, topped with a mild brown sauce, and sprinkled with almonds and scallions. A combination of baking powder, baking soda, and beer keeps the batter light and crisp. Folding chopped toasted almonds into the batter provides more almond flavor as well as crunch. A combination of hoisin, soy sauce, and dry sherry adds complexity to the chicken broth–based sauce. INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and pepper
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups lager or pilsner beer
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
½ head iceberg lettuce (4 ½ ounces), cored and sliced thin crosswise
3 scallions, sliced thin on bias
Roman Braised Beef with Tomato and Cloves
Start to finish: 4 hours (30 minutes active) | Servings: 6
In Rome, cloves are used to flavor the pot roast-like dish known as garofolato di manzo alla Romana. Cloves, known as chiodi di garofano, give the dish its name. The earthy, subtly smoky and slightly bitter flavor of cloves complements the natural sweetness of the onion, fennel and tomatoes used to flavor this dish. The beef typically is cooked as a large roast, similar to a pot roast. We prefer cutting a chuck roast into chunks and simmering the meat as a stew.
Vietnamese Caramel Chicken
Start to finish: 40 minutes | Servings: 4 to 6
The classic Vietnamese technique of simmering meat or fish in dark, bittersweet caramel mixed with fish sauce and a few aromatics yields rich, wonderfully complex savory-sweet flavors. And the technique could hardly be simpler. Instead of a traditional clay pot, we use a 12-inch skillet to make our version of gà kho, or caramel- simmered chicken, and we cook the chicken until the sauce forms a glaze, as we were taught in Vietnam. Bruising the lemon grass releases its flavor and fragrance but since the stalk is still whole, it is easy to remove and discard before serving; the simplest way to bruise it is with the blunt side of the blade of a chef’s knife or the butt end of the handle. Serve the chicken with steamed jasmine rice.
Pearl Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas
Start to finish: 1 hour | Servings: 4 to 6
This is our version of the fragrantly spiced, stew-like maftoul with chicken and chickpeas that we tasted in Galilee. Maftoul, sometimes referred to as Palestinian couscous, resembles pearl couscous in shape and size but is made with bulgur. It is difficult to source in the U.S., but pearl couscous is a good substitute. For this dish, we first simmer bone-in chicken parts in water with aromatics, then remove and chop the meat, reserving it to add at the end. The flavorful broth that results from poaching the chicken is used to cook the couscous, so that rich, full flavor permeates the dish.
Persian Jeweled Rice (Javaher Polow)
Start to finish: 55 minutes (20 minutes active) | Servings: 4
This rice pilaf is named for the colorful dried fruits and nuts that embellish the saffron- tinted basmati rice. The bright color of raw pistachios is best here. Traditionally, jeweled rice is a labor-intensive dish; we’ve created a simplified version that’s visually stunning as well as richly, deeply flavorful. We almost always toast nuts to enhance their flavor and texture, but here raw pistachios are best, as they are more vivid in color and subtler in flavor than toasted or roasted. Don’t forget to rinse and drain the rice.
While Thanksgiving may look a little different this year, we remain very thankful to be able to share a recipe to help with your festivities, however, you and your family are celebrating! Brown Ale Turkey & Gravy from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television
How to roast the Thanksgiving turkey has turned into an annual ordeal. The debate over brining alone is enough to make one consider going vegetarian. And of course, there’s the finicky business of how to get the thigh and breast meat to cook to perfect—yet different—temperatures simultaneously. We knew we had been overthinking this for far too long.
Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Pie
Serves 8 to 10
The hallmark of Dutch apple pie is its creamy apple filling, but we didn’t rely on the traditional cream to achieve it. Instead we added melted vanilla ice cream to the apple filling for extra creaminess and a rich vanilla flavor that nicely complements apple pie. We sliced Golden Delicious apples and let them sit in the melted ice cream along with cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice until they were soft and pliable; this way, they packed easily into the pie plate and created a cohesive interior that baked evenly. Before baking, we sprinkled a mixture of melted butter, flour, brown sugar, and a good dose of salt over the top of the pie for a supremely buttery crumble topping. Letting the pie cool completely before slicing into it allowed it to firm up so that we could produce beautifully clean wedges.
Chicken Tinga (Tinga Poblana de Pollo)
Start to finish (40 minutes active)
Tinga poblana de pollo is a stewy dish of shredded chicken in a light, fresh tomato sauce that’s spicy and smoky with chipotle chilies. It’s an excellent filling for tacos or topping for tostadas. For our version of chicken tinga, based on the recipe we learned in Mexico, we poach chicken breasts, shred the meat into bite-size pieces, then add the chicken to the tomato-chipotle sauce that has been simmered separately. Mexican oregano, which has notes of citrus and earth, is more closely related to verbena than to Mediterranean oregano, which is in the mint family. Many supermarkets sell Mexican oregano; if it’s not shelved with the jarred herbs and spice, check the international aisle or where dried Mexican chilies are sold.
One-Batch Fried Chicken
Inspired by the pressure-frying machine in which Colonel Sanders created his famous fried chicken, we set out to find a faster way to fry that would get all the chicken on the table at the same time. To season the meat and keep it moist, we soaked bone-in chicken pieces in a mixture of buttermilk and salt. To season the flour dredge, we used Italian seasoning blend (a mix of dried oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage) instead of buying a long list of dried herbs. Granulated garlic, ground ginger, and celery salt added savory notes; both black and white peppers added pleasant, mild heat; and a bit of baking powder ensured a crunchy, not tough, exterior. Several tablespoons of buttermilk rubbed into the seasoned flour created a shaggy coating that, after a rest in the refrigerator, adhered nicely to the skin and fried up into a satisfying crunchy crust. For fast frying, we cooked the chicken all in one batch and covered the pot for the first half of cooking.
Start to finish: 1 hour 40 minutes, plus cooling and chilling | Servings: 12
Bête noire is a flourless chocolate cake that gets its silky, ultra smooth, almost custard-like texture from the sugar syrup in the base, as well as from gentle baking. We bring a uniquely complex flavor to our version by caramelizing sugar with black peppercorns before dissolving the caramel with orange juice and bourbon. A combination of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate yields a rounder, richer finish than just one type of chocolate, while Angostura bitters lend a spiciness and depth that balance the sweetness of the dessert. We forgo the classic ganache coating and opt to use quickly candied orange zest for a garnish that adds contrasting color and texture. Though the cake requires at least 4 hours of chilling to fully set, it’s best served at room temperature, so be sure to remove the cake from the refrigerator at least two hours before serving.
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese
Start to finish: 20 minutes | Servings: 4
Tagliatelle resembles fettuccine, but typically is made with eggs, so the noodles have a yellow hue, a richer flavor and a more delicate texture than eggless pasta. It’s not uncommon to find tagliatelle wound into small nests for packaging; other times, the noodles are in straight strands, like fettuccine. Don’t boil the pasta until al dente. Drain it when it’s just shy of al dente. It will finish cooking in the ragù.
We found inspiration for this super flavorful Greek chicken at Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama, where the menu reflects the chef’s Greek heritage and Alabama upbringing. The chicken there is tender and juicy, marinated and roasted to perfection and flavored with tons of herbs and lemon. To re-create this simple yet complex-tasting dish for the home cook, we first tested our way to the perfect marinade: a blend of olive oil, fresh and dried herbs and spices, and lemon. To make sure the marinade penetrated past the surface of the chicken, we cut ½-inch-deep slashes in each piece. To achieve the lovely browning we remembered from the chicken at Johnny’s, we roasted our chicken at a relatively hot 425 degrees and gave it a blast of heat from the broiler at the end of cooking.
Baked Salted Salmon with Dill
Start to finish: 1¾ hours (15 minutes active) | Servings: 4 to 6
To recreate the salmon we had in Norway, we use a 2-pound skin-on center-cut side of salmon and salt it for about an hour before baking in a moderate oven. When shopping, look for a salmon side about 1 inch thick at its thickest part; pieces that are thicker or thinner will require timing adjustments when baking. The salmon will be slightly underdone when removed from the oven; a tented 5- to 10- minute rest will finish the cooking and bring the internal temperature up to 120°F at the thickest part. At this temperature, the fish should be just opaque, not translucent. Don’t delay tenting the salmon with foil after removing it from the oven.
We were looking for a truly impressive version of this French bistro favorite—one with crisp, buttered bread; salty-sweet ham; a creamy white sauce; and plenty of nutty Gruyère cheese. We chose to amp up the béchamel sauce called for in traditional recipes by adding some Gruyère and Parmesan cheeses. To ensure that the sandwiches were ready to eat at the same time, we assembled all four of them on a baking sheet, layering in the cheese sauce and Black Forest ham before topping them all with more sauce and cheese. A trip under the oven’s broiler was all that was needed to meld the sandwich ingredients together, creating a bubbly-browned top in the process. For the best results, be sure to use a good-quality Gruyère here.
Deep-Dish Quiche with Mushrooms, Bacon and Gruyère
Start to finish: 1½ active), plus cooling
Servings: 8 to 10
At Le Pichet, a French brasserie in Seattle, Washington, we rekindled our love for quiche. This recipe is based on the restaurant’s formula for creating a quiche that’s tall and creamy, yet light and richly flavored. The key is crème fraîche in addition to the heavy cream, along with just the right number of eggs. Baking the quiche on a hot baking steel (or baking stone) obviates the need to prebake the crust (a hassle of most quiche recipes), as the heat from the steel helps brown the bottom crust, thereby staving off sogginess. We’re fond of buttery homemade pastry, but if you wish to take a shortcut, stack two refrigerated pie crusts on top of each other, then fold into quarters.
SERVES 4 to 6
We were inspired by a brilliant taco-shop recipe for shrimp tacos that combined the best characteristics of a taco and a quesadilla, boasting crisped corn tortillas, gooey melted cheese, and a fiesta of saucy shrimp, shredded lettuce, diced avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro. To achieve results this good without any risky, time-consuming stovetop batch cooking, we turned to the oven. We placed six tortillas on each of two oiled rimmed baking sheets and topped them with cheese and a quick-cooked shrimp filling before baking them until the tortillas crisped and the cheese melted. Topping our “tacodillas” with shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, and diced avocado just before serving allowed us to combine the vibrancy of a taco with the warmth and comfort of a quesadilla. We developed this recipe using Mission White Corn Tortillas, Restaurant Style, but any 100 percent corn tortillas will work here.
German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen)
Start to finish: 2 hours 30 minutes | Makes one 9-inch tart
Apfelkuchen, or apple cake, is a classic German sweet of which there are numerous versions. We were particularly fond of Luisa Weiss’s recipe in “Classic German Baking,” which is her adaptation of a recipe she found on a package of almond paste. Almond paste gives the cake’s crumb a custardy richness, a moist, tender texture and a pleasant—but not overpowering—almond fragrance and flavor. Tangy-sweet sliced apples are fanned on top of the batter and baked into the surface to elegant effect. You will need an apple corer to punch out the cores from the apples before halving them.
Grilled Jerk Chicken
Our bold, spicy-but-nuanced grilled jerk chicken starts with the jerk paste. We blended fiery habaneros (more readily available and less intense than the traditionally used Scotch bonnet peppers), scallions, and garlic with 10 whole thyme sprigs for a big herby punch that didn’t require time-consuming leaf-picking. Soy sauce added depth, cider vinegar contributed brightness, and warm spices (allspice, cinnamon, and ginger) provided the characteristic jerk flavor while brown sugar rounded out the spicy edge. After marinating bone-in chicken pieces in the paste, we first cooked the chicken on the cooler side of the grill, covered, which helped the marinade to stick to the chicken and not slide off over direct heat and burn. Once the chicken was cooked through, we brushed it with a little reserved marinade for a fresh burst of jerk flavor and seared it on the hotter side of the grill.
Palestinian Upside-Down Chicken and Rice (Maqlubeh)
Start to finish: 2 hours (30 minutes active), plus resting
Maqlubeh translates from the Arabic as “upside down,” which describes how this traditional multilayered rice dish is served. Though our streamlined recipe still requires a small investment in ingredients and prep, the work mostly is front-loaded and produces a one-pot dish impressive enough for a special occasion. For proper cooking, it’s important to use a pot 9½ to 11 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 inches deep. After searing and removing the chicken, we line the bottom of the pot with a parchment round to guarantee that the rice, which forms a crisp, browned bottom layer, does not stick when the pot is inverted for serving. If you prefer, you can serve directly from the pot, but we still recommend lining the bottom of the pot with parchment.
Adjaruli khachapuri is a boat-shaped bread stuffed with melted cheese hailing from the country of Georgia in the Caucasus region of central Asia. When the bread is still hot from the oven, the molten cheese is topped with an egg and butter and stirred together tableside. Diners then tear off chunks of the crust to dunk into the gooey cheese. For our version, we used a simple pizza dough since it was easy to shape, provided structure to contain the oozy cheese, and had a satisfyingly chewy texture and mild flavor. We found that a mixture of mozzarella and feta approximated the briny, salty tang and stringy texture found in traditional Georgian cheeses such as sulguni and imeruli.
Weeknight Paella (Chicken and Bean Paella)
Start to finish: 1½ hours | Servings: 4
Outside of Spain, paella is considered a luxurious dish, loaded with seafood, scented with pricy saffron and served as an event in and of itself. Its beginnings, however, are more humble. The one-pan dish was prepared by Valencian farm workers as a midday meal. This type of paella, called paella Valenciana, still is made today. For our version—adapted for a nonstick 12-inch skillet with a lid—we opted for chicken thighs, canned white beans, fresh green beans and grape or cherry tomatoes; saffron is a nice addition, but entirely optional.
Grilled Flank Steak with Basil Dressing
For a grilled flank steak with a char-kissed exterior and a perfectly cooked interior, we had to revisit the idea of the marinade. A wet marinade is the enemy of good browning. On top of that, the test kitchen has proven that marinades barely penetrate the surface of meat. But since salt and sugar (when applied far enough in advance) do dissolve and penetrate deep into the meat, we skipped the marinade and simply seasoned our steak with salt, sugar, and pepper. To cook this wedge-shaped cut to the same internal temperature from end to end, we set up our grill with a cooler side and a hotter side.
Mexican Stewed Beans with Salsa Fresca
Start to finish: 1 3/4 hours, plus overnight soak and resting | Servings: 6 to 8
In Mexico City, we learned to prepare traditional stewed beans, as well as a version enriched with pork. Sofrito—a sauté of aromatics cooked separately from the dish’s central ingredient(s)—is a key flavoring for the beans. Our sofrito consists of onion, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeños cooked down to concentrate their essences and is added only after the beans are fully cooked to preserve its fresh flavors. Instead of the pinto beans so common in Mexican cooking, we opted to use cranberry beans (also called Roman or borlotti beans). We found that the pinto beans available in the U.S. do not cook up with the same plumpness and velvety texture as the ones we tasted in Mexico; cranberry beans were a closer approximation.
Monterey Bay Cioppino
Serves 6 to 8
To create a home recipe inspired by the cioppino served up at Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery in Moss Landing, California, we started by making a tomatoey marinara base that relied on pantry staples and came together quickly. Instead of breaking out the food processor to make a traditional pesto to flavor our stew as Phil does, we simply added the pesto’s key ingredients (olive oil, basil, and garlic) to the mix. Phil’s version is brimming with a wide range of seafood, but we wanted to tighten the roster for our version, so we bypassed clams and calamari, opting instead for easy-to-find shrimp, scallops, sea bass, and mussels. Adding our seafood to the pot in stages and finishing the cooking off the heat ensured that each component was perfectly cooked. We recommend buying “dry” scallops, which don’t have chemical additives and taste better than “wet” scallops.
Pasta with Zucchini, Pancetta and Saffron
Start to finish: 40 minutes | Servings: 4
This is our version of a fantastic pasta offering from Trattoria Bertozzi in Bologna, Italy. In lieu of guanciale (cured pork jowl), we opted for easier-to-find but equally meaty pancetta, and we lightened up the dish’s richness by swapping half-and-half for the cream. The restaurant uses gramigna pasta, a tubular, curled shape from the Emilio-Romagna region. We found that more widely available cavatappi or gemelli works just as well combining with the zucchini and catching the lightly creamy sauce in its crevices. Don’t boil the pasta until al dente.
Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket. We developed this recipe with hickory chips, though other varieties of hardwood can be used. (We do not recommend mesquite chips.) Before beginning, check your propane tank to make sure that you have at least a half-tank of fuel. If you happen to run out of fuel, you can move the pork to a preheated 300-degree oven to finish cooking. Serve the pulled pork on white bread or hamburger buns with pickles and coleslaw.
Sautéed Mushrooms with Red Wine and Rosemary
Use one variety of mushroom or a combination. Stem and halve portobello mushrooms and cut each half crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Trim white or cremini mushrooms; quarter them if large or medium or halve them if small. Tear trimmed oyster mushrooms into 1- to 1½-inch pieces. Stem shiitake mushrooms; quarter large caps and halve small caps.
We developed this recipe on a three-burner gas grill with burners that run from front to back. In this recipe, we refer to the two outside burners as the primary burners and the center burner as the secondary burner. If you’re using a two-burner grill, use the side with the wood chips as the primary burner and the other side as the secondary burner. Adjust the primary burner to maintain a grill temperature between 375 and 400 degrees. Place the chicken 6 inches from the primary burner and rotate it after 25 minutes of cooking in step 4 so that it cooks evenly.
Whipped Cream Biscuits
WE TRIED TO SPEED UP the chilling of the dough by popping it in the freezer, but that didn’t give the starch in the dough enough time to get sufficiently hydrated. An hour in the refrigerator was perfect. If we chilled it for more than a few hours it needed a few minutes on the counter to soften before rolling. INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup (5 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons sour cream
In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Microwave until set, 30 to 40 seconds, stirring halfway through.
This recipe requires refrigerating the salted turkey breasts for 24 hours. If using self-basting or kosher turkey breasts, do not salt in step 7, but season with salt in step 8. We used Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt; if you use Morton Kosher Salt, reduce the salt in step 7 to 21/2 teaspoons per breast, rubbing 1 teaspoon onto each side and 1/2 teaspoon into the cavity. Covering the turkey with parchment and then foil will prevent the wine in the braising liquid from “pitting” the foil. INGREDIENTS
Turkey Legs and Gravy
3 onions, chopped
4 celery ribs, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
10 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra as needed
3 bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
10 sprigs fresh parsley
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup dry white wine
4 (1½- to 2-pound) turkey leg quarters, trimmed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
Italian Flatbread (Piadina)
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes four 10-inch flatbreads
A COMBINATION OF LARD and yogurt gave this dough a supple texture. Though it was not as flavorful, vegetable shortening worked as a substitute for lard. If the dough doesn’t ball up in the processor, gather it together and briefly knead it by hand. Roll out the rounds as evenly as possible. Let the dough rest if it resists rolling or snaps back.
Sonoran Hot Dogs
Courtesy Daniel Contreras, El Güero Canelo Restaurant
Makes 4 hot dogs
4 slices bacon
4 turkey hot dogs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped white onion
4 güero chiles or banana peppers
4 hot dog buns
1 cup cooked pinto beans, warmed up
Chopped raw white onion
Jalapeño hot sauce, or salsa of your choice
On a cutting board, roll one slice of bacon around each hot dog. Place the tip of the hot dog over one end of the bacon slice, then roll the hot dog around and around on the diagonal so that the bacon wraps around it and covers it entirely. If you get to the end of the hot dog and there is still some bacon left, roll back in the other direction until the whole strip of bacon is rolled around the hot dog. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon-wrapped hot dogs and cook, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until crisped and browned on all sides.
3 fresh Anaheim chiles
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 white onion, diced
3 pounds ripe on the vine tomatoes, washed and quartered
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste, divided, plus more to season shrimp
1 6- ounce can tomato paste
1 teaspoon crushed dried chiltepín chiles, chile de árbol, or red pepper flakes
1 pound short and small pasta, such as rigatoni or shells
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups Mexican crema
1 cup grated asadero or quesadilla cheese, can also substitute with Monterey Jack or Muenster
1 1/2 cup grated Oaxaca cheese
1/2 cup grated añejo cheese or parmesan
3 to 4 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the Anaheim chiles on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Put under the broiler for about 10 minutes, flipping a couple times in between, until charred on all sides. Immediately transfer the charred chiles to a plastic bag and seal tightly to sweat them for at least 5 minutes. Take the chiles out of the bag, let cool slightly, then peel off the skin and remove the stems and seeds.
Georgian Chicken Soup (Chikhirtma)
Start to finish: 1 hour 45 minutes (45 minutes active)
SIMMERING WHOLE SPICES and fresh herbs in the broth imparted more flavor than the usual method of seasoning and thicken- ing soups (sautéing ground spices in a roux). We liked the hint of heat from red pepper flakes, but they can be left out for a milder version. Browning the carrots and onions before making the roux developed a subtle sweetness and depth that paired well with the tangy soup. INGREDIENTS
For the broth and chicken:
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh dill
1 garlic head
2½ to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
10 cups water
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3-inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
For the soup:
1 pound carrots (about 5 medium), peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped (about 1½ cups)
3 tablespoons salted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup dry vermouth
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 large egg yolks
¼ cup lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
Ground black pepper
To make the broth, tie the stems of the cilantro and dill into bundles, then trim off the leaves, reserving ¼ cup of each for garnish. Cut off and discard the top third of the garlic head, leaving the head intact.
4 to 5 pounds goat meat, bone-in, cut into about 3-inch pieces (you may substitute lamb)
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
6 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided
3 quarts water, plus more to soak the meat
4 to 5 large dried avocado leaves
3 ounces (about 10) guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
Warm corn tortillas
2 cups finely chopped white onion
2 cups chopped cilantro leaves
2 to 3 limes, quartered
Place the meat in a large bowl and cover with cool water. Add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse well with cold water. Place the rinsed meat in a large casserole, cover with at least 3 quarts water, add 4 teaspoons salt, and stir. Set over high heat and let it come to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low, remove whatever foam may have come to the surface, cover, and cook for 2 hours.
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, fat on, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided
5 cups water
4 ounces (about 14 to 15) guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 bay leaves
8 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground back pepper
Pinch ground cumin
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 pound (about 3) fresh Anaheim chiles, seeded and chopped
4 ripe Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
Preheat a large heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork pieces, sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring as it starts to brown. Reduce heat to medium, pour in 5 cups of water, cover and cook for another hour and a half. Meanwhile, place the guajillo chiles, bay leaves, and garlic in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes until the chiles are completely rehydrated and plumped up.
Top loin roast is also known as strip roast. Use potatoes that are about 1½ inches in diameter and at least 4 inches long. The browned surfaces of the potatoes are very delicate; take care when flipping the potatoes in step 7. To make flipping easier, flip two potatoes and remove them from the pan to create space before flipping the rest. INGREDIENTS
1 (5- to 6-pound) boneless top loin roast
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons pepper, divided
5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
¼ cup vegetable oil
5 cups beef broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed and peeled
Shrimp in Chipotle Sauce (Camarones Enchipotlados)
Start to finish: 25 minutes
THE FLAVOR AND TEXTURE of fresh tomatoes were better than canned for the sauce. The shrimp spend just seconds in the pan and won’t be fully cooked; they finish later off the heat. The shrimp made wonderful tacos. To warm tortillas, wrap a stack in foil and place it in a 200ºF oven. INGREDIENTS
4 vine-ripened tomatoes (1¼ pounds), quartered
4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce and the sauce clinging to them
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1½ pounds extra-large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed and patted dry
¼ cup lime juice
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra to serve
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
Avocado, sour cream and lime wedges, to serve
In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes, the chilies and any sauce coating them, and 3/4 teaspoon salt until mostly smooth, 1 minute.
We developed this recipe to work with presliced supermarket bread that measures 4 by 6 inches and is ¾ inch thick. Be sure to use vegetable oil spray here; it contains lecithin, which ensures that the oil stays well distributed, preventing the toast from sticking. Top with maple syrup or confectioners’ sugar, if desired. INGREDIENTS
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
8 slices hearty white sandwich bread
1. Adjust 1 oven rack to lowest position and second rack 5 to 6 inches from broiler element.
Turkish Meatballs with Lime- Yogurt Sauce
Meatballs: Start to finish – 20 minutes, plus cooling; Serves 6
Lime-Yogurt Sauce Start to finish – 10 minutes; Makes 1½ cups
THESE CRISP, PATTY-SHAPED meatballs developed a flavorful crust from pan-frying. This recipe also works with a blend of lamb and beef. We heated the spic- es, shallots and garlic in oil in the microwave to draw out their flavors. We loved the meatballs stuffed into pita pockets with sliced tomato, cucumber, red onion and flat-leaf parsley. Tangy yogurt sauce spiked with lime juice and cayenne made for a bright counterpart.
Pinto Bean Soup with Masa and Queso Fresco Dumplings
Makes 6 servings
4 tablespoons canola or safflower oil, divided
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/2 pound (about 2) ripe Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, divided, or to taste
3 cups cooked pinto beans, with 1 cup of their cooking broth
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1 cup corn masa flour, preferably the masa harina mix for tamales, but masa harina for tortillas also works
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
Mexican crema, optional, for garnish
Sliced scallions, mint, cilantro and crushed dried chiltepín chiles or chiles de árbol, optional, for garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy soup pot or casserole over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until it has completely softened, the edges are golden brown, and there is a toasted and sweet aroma wafting from the pot. Add the garlic clove and and cook for another minute until the garlic is fragrant and has colored. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down to a soft, thick paste. Add the beans along with 1 cup of their broth, as well as 4 cups of the chicken or vegetable broth.
Thai Hot and Sour Soup with Shrimp and Noodles (Guay Tiew Tom Yum Goong)
Whole shrimp are traditional in this soup, but you can halve them crosswise before cooking to make them easier to eat. If galangal is unavailable, substitute fresh ginger. Makrut lime leaves add a lot to this soup. If you can’t find them, substitute three 3-inch strips each of lemon zest and lime zest. We prefer vermicelli made from 100 percent rice flour to varieties that include a secondary starch such as cornstarch.
WE LIKED THE AROMATIC sweet flavor of jasmine rice, but long-grain white or basmati works, too. A good Thai fish sauce was essential: at Milk Street we use Red Boat. Andy Ricker uses pork belly, but that can be hard to find in the U.S. Pancetta worked well as a substitute. It has the right amount of salt and fat. Plain bacon will do the job, too, but avoid smoked bacon.
2 to 3 dried morita or chipotle chiles
1 1/2 pounds about 6 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds about 12 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 white onion, cut into large pieces
2 to 3 fresh jalapeños, stemmed
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the tortilla chips:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
For the lobsters:
4 1- and-a-quarter to 1-and-a-half pound live lobsters, or you can substitute thawed lobster tails
For the toppings:
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Mexican crema, to taste
To make the salsa:
Place the morita chiles in a small bowl, cover with hot water, and let them sit and soften for at least 10 minutes. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion chunks, jalapeños, and unpeeled garlic cloves on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler and roast 12 to 15 minutes, flipping a couple times in between, until the skin of tomatoes and tomatillos has completely blistered and charred, they seem very mushy, and their juices have started to come out. The garlic cloves and chiles must also have blackened and charred. Remove from the broiler and let cool.
Tossing the beef with baking soda in step 1 helps keep it tender and juicy; adding baking soda to the skillet with the onion in step 2 helps the onion break down. You may substitute 90 percent lean ground beef in this recipe, but the cooked mixture will be a bit less tender. Serve the Sloppy Joes with pickle chips, if desired.
2 tablespoons water, divided
½ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon baking soda, divided
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
½ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon table salt, divided
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, plus extra for seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup tomato paste
⅓ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon cornstarch
4 hamburger buns
1. Combine 1 tablespoon water and ½ teaspoon baking soda in small bowl.
Chocolate, Prune and Rum Cake
Start to finish: 1 hour and 20 minutes (30 minutes active), plus cooling
CLAIRE PTAK’S chocolate, prune and whiskey cake is deliciously gooey at the center. A ratio of 3:1 chocolate to butter—as well as 8 ounces of chopped pitted prunes—got us the same results. We preferred bar chocolates with 60 to 70 percent cacao (especially the Ghirardelli and Guittard brands) to chocolate chips, which contain stabilizers that changed the cake’s texture. Ptak uses almond flour—not an uncommon ingredient in flourless chocolate cakes like this, but certainly not a common ingredient in American homes. We reworked the cake a bit to leave it out and found the results just as good.
Milanesa Torta with Matador Guacamole and Melty Cheese
Makes 4 tortas
Vegetable oil, for frying
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
A splash of milk
2 cups crushed butter crackers
8 to 10 dried chiltepín chiles, crushed (or substitute 3 to 4 chiles de árbol)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cups grated Oaxaca cheese
1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
4 bolillo or telera rolls, split in half with insides scooped out
2 cups baby arugula
1 batch Matador Guacamole
1/4 cup soy and lime mixture from the Matador Guacamole
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1/2-inch of vegetable oil and heat until very hot but not smoking, for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a breading station using three shallow dishes: place the flour in one, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk in another, and mix the cracker crumbs with salt, pepper and the crushed chiles in the third one. One by one, dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then pass through the egg mixture, and then coat well with the cracker crumbs mixture, pressing it onto the chicken as you do.
While sous vide is not the answer for most baked desserts, it most definitely is when it comes to custard. Conventional custard recipes require care and attention with temperature-sensitive steps like tempering eggs with the hot dairy to avoid curdling and arranging a water bath in the oven. The precise temperature control of sous vide cooking makes custardy desserts like crème brûlée easier to execute. We whisked the base together, portioned it into Mason jars, and circulated for one hour. It was that easy.
Chinese White Cooked Chicken with Ginger-Soy Dressing
Start to finish: 2 hours (30 minutes active)
WE TRIED THE traditional Chinese technique of plunging the cooked chicken into an ice bath after poaching — which is said to tighten the skin, but found little advantage. (The skin is fine to eat as is, or you can remove it before serving.) We also tried “flashing” the scallions and ginger with hot oil before making the dressing, but we liked the brightness of the raw aromatics better. We did prefer cutting the saltiness and potency of the dressing with some of the poaching liquid. INGREDIENTS
For the chicken and poaching broth:
3½- to 4-pound chicken, giblets discarded
1 bunch cilantro
6 scallions, trimmed and halved crosswise
4½ quarts water
2 cups dry sherry or mirin
4-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into 4 pieces and smashed 3 tablespoons kosher salt
For the dressing:
4 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable or other neutral oil
4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon white sugar
½ pound (½ small head) napa or savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (4 cups) Cooked white rice, to serve
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while making the broth. Reserving a few sprigs for garnish if desired, cut the cilantro bunch in half crosswise, separating the stems and leaves.
Campechano Tacos with Street Style Salsa
Makes 8 Tacos
2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves
1/2 white onion
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound longaniza, casings removed, chopped (or substitute Mexican chorizo)
1/2 pound pork chicharrón, crumbled or chopped into small pieces
8 corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
1 cup finely chopped white onion, for garnish
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
Place the meat, garlic, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, and a teaspoon of salt in a large casserole or pot. Cover generously with water and place over high heat. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low, remove any foam that may have risen to the top, cover, and cook for an hour and a half until the meat is completely tender and falling apart. Turn off heat and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, remove the meat with a slotted spoon and chop into small pieces.
If using King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, which is higher in protein, increase the number of egg yolks to seven. To ensure the proper dough texture, it’s important to use large eggs and to weigh the flour if possible. The longer the dough rests in step 2, the easier it will be to roll out. When rolling out the dough, don’t add too much flour; it can cause excessive snapback. Though a pasta machine is not necessary, you may use one if you like.
Miso-Gochujang Pulled Pork
Start to finish: 4 hours (1 hour active) | Servings: 6 to 8
This Asian-inflected take on barbecue pulled pork was inspired by the “Pigalicious” wrap served at Bird & Ewe in Sydney. White miso and gochujang provide deep, savory-sweet notes and lots of complex flavor to oven- braised pork butt. Miso usually is sold in the refrigerator case; gochujang, or Korean red pepper paste, does not require refrigeration until the container is opened. Both are available in well-stocked supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. The pork cooks for about three hours; use this time to prep and cook the miso-seasoned onions that are combined with the meat after shredding.
Pierna de Cerdo Adobada
Adobo Pork Butt
For the marinade:
1/2 pound ripe Roma tomatoes
1 white onion, quartered
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the meat:
1 4- to 5- pound pork butt or shoulder, bone in
3 bay leaves
To make the marinade:
Put the tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place under the broiler for about 10 minutes until charred, mushy, and soft, flipping once halfway through. Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, peel the garlic cloves. (Alternatively, you can char and toast on a preheated comal or skillet set over medium-low heat.)
Place tomatoes, peeled garlic and onion in the jar of a blender. Toast the guajillo and ancho chiles on a heated comal or skillet for about a minute, flipping a few times, until lightly browned and fragrant.
Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb with Garlic, Herb, and Bread Crumb Crust
We wanted a crisp crust and perfectly cooked interior for our boneless leg of lamb recipe. We applied a simple rub of aromatics to enhance but not overpower the flavor of the lamb. For crunch and even more flavor, we added a savory crumb crust. We skipped slow-roasting for our leg of lamb recipe, which works for beef but turns lamb to mush. Instead, we roasted the lamb at a high temperature, first searing the meat on the stove and then finishing in the oven at 375 degrees.
Tangia—which originates in Marrakech and often is slow-cooked in the community wood-fired ovens that heat bathhouses— traditionally is made with lamb. For a more approachable version, we used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which have a similar richness. In Morocco, preserved lemons lend a gentle acidity, lightening the richness. For an easier version, we get similar flavor from lemon zest and juice—as well as chopped green olives for brininess—added at the end of cooking. Serve with warmed, halved pita bread for scooping up the meat and thickened sauce.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery, divided
1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrot, divided
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks, divided
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
2 tablespoons about 4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and their sauce, chopped, or to taste
1 chile de arbol, stemmed and chopped, seeds included
1 1/2 pounds about 6 Roma tomatoes, roasted and charred, chopped
1 pound about 12 to 15 shucked oysters and their juices
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 cups shrimp or seafood broth, or substitute vegetable or chicken broth
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
Quartered limes, to serve
In a large casserole or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot add the onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until softened. Incorporate 1 cup each of the celery, carrot, and leeks (reserving half a cup of each for later use), cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables have wilted. Make room in the middle of the pot and add the garlic, chipotles in adobo, and chile de arbol, cook for a minute, then mix with the vegetables and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, the juices from the oysters, salt, and oregano and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, until it is all simmering and thickening a bit.
Brown Rice Bowl with Vegetables and Salmon
If your knife is too dull to cut through the salmon skin, try a serrated knife. It is important to keep the skin on during cooking; once the salmon is cooked, the skin will be easy to remove. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant (about 1 minute), and then remove the skillet from the heat so the seeds won’t scorch. INGREDIENTS
¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
3 scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced thin on bias
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, divided
⅓ cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1¾ teaspoons table salt, divided, plus salt for cooking rice
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and sliced on bias ¼ inch thick
1¾ cups short-grain brown rice
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced on bias ½ inch thick
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps larger than 2 inches halved
1 (1-pound) skin-on salmon fillet, about 1½ inches thick at thickest part
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce, divided
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
Oaxacan Green Mole with Chicken
Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes | Servings: 4
When we think of mole, we most often think of mahogany-colored mole negro. But as we learned in Oaxaca, there is a wide variety of moles, each with a unique character. Mole verde—or green mole— traditionally is made with pork and gets its bright, fresh flavor from a blend of fresh chilies, tomatillos and herbs. For our version, we opted for quicker-cooking but equally tasty chicken thighs, and we sought out supermarket substitutes for hard-to-find epazote and hoja santa, two herbs that are standard ingredients in Mexico (we mimicked their flavors with mint and fennel seeds). Oaxacans thicken this stew-like soup with masa, the corn dough used to make tortillas and tamales.
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided, plus more for boiling water
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup slivered red onion
5 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 garlic clove
2 ripe tomatoes, divided, 1 whole and 1 cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped white onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into half-moons of about 1/2-inch
1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed, chopped
12 corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
6 leaves of romaine lettuce, rinsed and thinly sliced
6 ounces (about 5 to 6) radishes, halved lengthwise and cut into half-moons of about 1/2-inch
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, cut into thin slices
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into slices
1 cup crumbled queso Cotija, ranchero or fresco
In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with the vegetable oil, a teaspoon of salt, and a dash of black pepper. Add the red onion, stir, and let macerate for at least 15 minutes or while you prepare the rest of the dish. Place the ancho chiles, garlic clove, and the whole tomato in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the chiles have rehydrated and the tomato is cooked and mushy. Transfer the chiles, tomato, and garlic clove, along with 1 cup of their cooking liquid, to a blender.
Kung pao chicken should be quite spicy. To adjust the heat level, use more or fewer chiles, depending on the size (we used 2-inch-long chiles) and your taste. Have your ingredients prepared and your equipment in place before you begin to cook. Use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to coarsely grind the Sichuan peppercorns. If Chinese black vinegar is unavailable, substitute sherry vinegar.
Beef, Orange and Olive Stew (Boeuf à la Gardiane)
Start to finish: 41⁄2 hours (1 hour active) | Servings: 6 to 8
This hearty stew from Camargue, in the south of France, is traditionally made with taureau, or bull meat, but beef is a common substitute. We use chuck roast, a fatty cut that becomes tender and succulent with simmering. The stew gets robust flavor from classic Provençal ingredients—red wine, olives, anchovies and garlic. Orange is traditional, too; it lends the braise a brightness that balances its depth and richness. A bold, full-bodied dry red wine such as Côtes du Rhône or syrah is ideal, as it holds its own among the other big flavors.
Paris-Brest is a showstopper dessert that consists of a large ring of pâte à choux—the same pastry used to make éclairs and cream puffs—that is filled with hazelnut praline pastry cream and then sprinkled with chopped almonds and powdered sugar. To make this elegant dessert foolproof, we started with our pâteà choux recipe, which created a tender, but strong“case” for the cream filling. For a light cream filling that was firm and sturdy, we started with a flour-thickened pastry cream (which was more stable than the normal cornstarch-thickened version), added pulverized caramel-coated hazelnuts, and then folded in whipped cream that had been enriched with gelatin. INGREDIENTS
½ cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
⅓ cup whole milk
⅓ cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons toasted, skinned, and chopped hazelnuts
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
¼ cup water
1½ cups half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
⅓ cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1. For the praline: Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; spray parchment with vegetable oil spray and set aside.
Tacos al Pastor
Start to finish: 1 hour | Servings: 4
We combine tender broiled pork, spicy chilies and the subtle smokiness of charred pineapple in this take on tacos al pastor. The dish is from Mexico but has Levantine roots, stemming from the 19th century when Lebanese immigrants arrived, bringing their tradition of vertical spits for roasting lamb shawarma. Not finding much lamb, cooks switched to pork and instead of sandwiching the meat in flatbread, they used tortillas. Subsequent generations added pineapple and dried chilies. For everyday ease, we use pork tenderloin that has been pounded, briefly marinated and broiled.
Chicken breasts are broader at one end than the other, so cut more than halfway up each breast to create two pieces of equal mass (see “For More Equal Parts, Don’t Cut Down the Middle,” below). There’s no need to take the temperature of the dark meat; it will be properly cooked by the time the white meat reaches its target temperature. If you prefer not to serve the skin, wait until step 6 to remove it; browning the skin produces flavorful compounds that add complexity to the sauce, and braising it releases gelatin, which gives the sauce a rich texture. INGREDIENTS
½ cup table salt, for brining
1½-2 pounds bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed and each cut crosswise into 2 pieces of equal mass
1½-2 pounds chicken leg quarters, separated into drumsticks and thighs, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
⅓ cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1½ tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container.
Austrian Beef Stew with Paprika and Caraway (Goulash)
Start to finish: 4 hours (30 minutes active) | Servings: 4 to 6
This simple stew derives much of its bold flavor and rich color from sweet and hot paprika, so make sure the paprika you use is fresh and fragrant. For the deepest, earthiest flavor, we recommend seeking out true Hungarian paprika; we use a combination of sweet and hot to achieve just the right degree of spice. Serve with egg noodles, spätzle or mashed potatoes. Don’t be shy about trimming the chuck roast; removing as much fat as possible before cooking prevents the stew from being extra-greasy. In our experience, the roast usually loses about 1 pound with trimming.
Pork, Fennel, and Lemon Ragu with Pappardelle
Pork butt roast is often labeled Boston butt in the supermarket. To ensure that the sauce isn’t greasy, be sure to trim the roast of all excess surface fat. You can substitute tagliatelle for the pappardelle, if desired.
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 large fennel bulb, 2 tablespoons fronds chopped, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and chopped fine, divided
4 garlic clove, minced
1½ teaspoons table salt, plus salt for cooking pasta
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup heavy cream
1 (1½-pound) boneless pork butt roast, well trimmed and cut in half across grain
1½ teaspoons grated lemon zest plus ¼ cup juice (2 lemons)
12 ounces pappardelle
2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1 cup), plus extra for serving
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Caprese Chocolate and Almond Torte
Start to finish: 1 hour 10 minutes (20 minutes active) | Servings: 10
This flourless chocolate cake from Capri, Italy (where it is called torta caprese), gets its rich, almost brownie-like texture from ground almonds and a generous amount of egg. Before grinding the nuts, we toast them to intensify their flavor and accentuate the deep, roasted notes of the chocolate. We preferred the cake made with bittersweet chocolate containing 70 to 80 percent cocoa solids. You can, of course, use a lighter, sweeter bittersweet chocolate, but the cake will have less chocolate intensity. Serve slices warm or at room temperature dolloped with unsweetened whipped cream.
Belgian Spice Cookies (Speculoos)
Makes 32 cookies
For the proper flavor, we strongly recommend using turbinado sugar (commonly sold as Sugar in the Raw). If you can’t find it, use ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 ounces) of packed light brown sugar and skip the sugar grinding in step 2. In step 3, use a rolling pin and a combination of rolling and a smearing motion to form a rectangle. If the dough spreads beyond the rectangle, trim it and use the scraps to fill in the corners; then, replace the parchment and continue to roll. Do not use cookie molds or an embossed rolling pin for the speculoos; they will not hold decorations.
Potato Gnocchi with Butter, Sage and Chives
Start to finish: 13⁄4 hours, 20 minutes for sauce | Servings: 4 to 6
Our take on classic potato gnocchi was inspired by a cooking lesson we got in Paris from chef Peter Orr at his Robert restaurant in the 11th arrondissement. It helps to have a kitchen scale to weigh out the 11⁄4 pounds of cooked potatoes needed to make the gnochhi dough. To process the cooked potatoes, a ricer or food mill works best for obtaining the smooth texture needed for light, fine gnocchi. A potato masher works, too, but the gnocchi will be slightly denser (yet still delicious). The gnocchi can be cooked, cooled completely, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to a day.
If only “enhanced” pork is available (the label will state that the pork was injected with a water-salt solution), do not brine the roast. Instead, simply season the stuffed and tied roast with salt before browning. Note that you should not trim the pork of its layer of fat. While it is possible to substitute dried rosemary for fresh, do not substitute dried thyme for fresh or the herb crust will be dry and dusty tasting. The roasting time will vary widely depending on the thickness of the meat.
Argentinian-Style Stuffed Pork Loin with Chimichurri
Start to finish: 31⁄2 hours (1 hour active) | Servings: 8 to 10
This holiday-worthy roast was inspired by Argentinian matambre arrollado, or beef that is stuffed with hard-cooked eggs, vegetables and sliced cured meats, then poached or roasted. We opted for a boneless pork loin roast because its uniform shape makes it easy to cut into a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch- thick slab ideal for filling and rolling. Herbal, garlicky and subtly spicy chimichurri is the perfect accompaniment to the sweet, mild pork; we use some inside the roast, too. You’ll need a digital instant thermometer to test the roast for doneness. For convenience, the chimichurri can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container up to a day ahead.
Pizza al Taglio with Arugula and Fresh Mozzarella
The dough for this pizza requires a 16- to 24-hour rest in the refrigerator. You’ll get the crispest texture by using high-protein King Arthur bread flour, but other bread flours will also work. For the best results, weigh your flour and water. The bread flour should weigh 14⅔ ounces, regardless of which brand of flour is used. Anchovies give the sauce depth, so don’t omit them; they won’t make the sauce taste fishy.
Pesto alla Genovese
Start to finish: 30 minutes | Makes about 1 cup
Good-quality cheese is essential for rich, full-flavored pesto. Seek out true Italian Parmesan, as well as pecorino Sardo, a sheep’s milk cheese from Sardinia. If you can’t find pecorino Sardo, don’t use pecorino romano, which is too strong; instead, opt for Manchego, a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese. Roughly chopping the basil by hand before adding it to the food processor minimizes the mechanical action needed to break down the leaves so the pesto won’t become too smooth. To store pesto, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Kibbeh, a popular dish throughout the Levant, is a spiced mixture of bulgur and ground meat. It may be layered with stuffing in a baking dish and baked or shaped into small portions, filled and fried, with the goal of getting a toasty, browned crust that brings out the nuttiness of the bulgur. In this version, we skip the stuffing and form the mixture into patties, then pan-fry them, rather than deep-fry, for ease. We use ground beef, but you could sub in 12 ounces of ground lamb. Pine nuts add their distinct, slightly resinous flavor to the mix.
These individual desserts bake up with a gooey sauce beneath a layer of rich, tender cake. We tried a few different types of whiskey here: our favorites were Jameson for its clean, bright flavor and Rittenhouse rye for its spicy depth. This recipe can easily be doubled to serve eight. Serve the pudding cakes warm, with vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream. Don’t stir the maple-whiskey syrup into the batter after dividing it among the batter-filled ramekins.
Eventide Green Salad with Nori Vinaigrette
Start to finish: 30 minutes, plus cooling and chilling | Servings: 6
This is our adaptation of a salad created by Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine. Roasted seaweed (also called nori) is pulverized to a coarse powder and added to the dressing, lending the dish deep, umami-rich flavor notes reinforced with soy sauce and mirin. Instead of using full- sized sheets of plain nori (the variety used for sushi), we opted for the convenience of an individual package of seasoned seaweed snacks that are available in most grocery stores. Quick-pickled veggies give the salad lots of texture and bright flavor, but keep in mind that they need to pickle for at least 2 hours before they’re ready to use.
Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew (Peposo alla Fornacina)
Start to finish: 4 hours (30 minutes active) | Servings: 6
The simple, generously peppered beef stew known as peposo is said to have been created by 15th century kiln (fornacina) workers in Tuscany, Italy. Chianti is the best-known wine produced in that region and is the traditional choice for peposo, but any dry, medium-bodied red wine works well. Make sure to use coarsely ground black pepper, as it has more presence and better coats the beef. This recipe makes a generous amount of stew—about 2 quarts—so serve it one night with polenta, mashed potatoes or braised beans. The stew keeps well, so it can be made up to three days ahead and reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan over low.
Last week WSKG Staff celebrated at our annual Holiday party. Each staff member brings a dish to pass. Director of Education & Engagement, Jackie Stapleton-Durham shares her Crap Dip recipe and TV Program & Traffic Manager, Stacey Mosteller shares her Sweet and Spicy Meatball recipe. Crab Dip Recipe
By Jackie Stapleton-Durham
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 – 8 oz. Cream Cheese