I've gone on record as saying that mussels are the easiest choose-your-own-adventure one-pot meal around, and I intend to prove it to you. This version uses my standard steamed mussel technique and combines it with the classic flavors of a French bouillabaisse. Fennel, saffron, and tomatoes are cooked together with a little pastis and orange zest to form an aromatic, briny broth for dipping bread into.
Mussels are the easiest choose-your-own-adventure one-pot meal around, and I intend to prove it to you. This version uses my standard steamed mussel technique and combines it with flavors from Central Thailand to create a dish whose basic process is pretty much identical to the French version, but whose end results are entirely different.
Marcus Samuelsson is downright obliged to love salmon, having grown up on the coast of Sweden. And he has a thing for the flavors of Southeast Asia, choosing the foods of that region to be his desert-island pick, so to speak. In this dish from his new cookbook. Marcus Off Duty, he combines both cuisines into one weird and weirdly wonderful bowl.
On the one hand, this is a cream of broccoli soup—because it's creamy and has broccoli. Yet it has no cream, and the broccoli flavor is deeper, thanks to roasting instead of blanching. A splash of buttermilk adds brightness, while a garnish of spiced roasted pepitas plays off the roasted broccoli flavor.
If you're of the 'judge a chef by his soup' mindset, this vibrant bowlful from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, should earn him some high points. Bright as the autumn sun and perfect for a cold day, the warm earthiness of the parsnips and vaguely floral sunchokes fills your mouth at first slurp.
This bowl of seafood ramen takes Halloween food to a whole new level, capturing the spirit of the holiday while being legitimately good enough to eat any other day of the year. Darkened with squid ink—not food coloring—and loaded with seared squid, plump mussels, and salmon roe, even Dracula would lay off the blood for a day just to get some of this.
This basic vegetable stock from Sean Brock's cookbook, Heritage, is enticingly aromatic and deeply flavorful. The fennel, in particular, perfumes the broth and gives it distinctive character. The recipe makes slightly less than the 2 quarts indicated.
This easy black eyed pea stew starts with andouille sausage and pork belly cooked until browned and crisped, then gets flavored with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine: onions, celery, and green bell peppers, along with some leeks and garlic for extra flavor. Tender braised kale transform this into a full-on meal, while a shot of apple cider vinegar brightens up all the flavors.
To be frank, I'm not 100% certain where this dish of tender chicken and white beans bound in a creamy, fresh green-chili sauce topped with shredded cheese comes from. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the recipe actually originated on the back of a wrapper from a can chopped green chiles. But our version is better than that. Much, much better. Tender, creamy, spicy, and bright, this is the stuff even a dyed-in-the-wool chile con carne traditionalist will dip their finger into when they think nobody is watching.
Far less popular than creamy New England clam chowder, Rhode Island's dairy-free version deserves a lot more attention. The rich broth is brightened with white wine and loaded with the flavor of clams, chunks of tender potato, and bits of smoky bacon. It may be my new go-to chowder.
Borrowing from the Mexican pantry, this easy, warming soup is made with roasted butternut squash, flavored with ancho chilies, and garnished with Mexican crema, cilantro, and pepitas. If butternut squash soup and chili had a lovechild, this might be it.
Making real-deal ramen is a lengthy project that requires planning in advance. But there are days when you just want a delicious bowl of it, without the fuss. This easy Korean-style kimchi ramen is for those times. It's loaded with flavor, but takes less than an hour to throw together, thanks to several umami-rich ingredients and a cool baking-soda trick that turns angel-hair pasta into ramen-like noodles.
Cauliflower gets a flavor-packed, smoky jolt from bacon in this creamy, comforting soup. It's simple to make and reheats beautifully.
An easy lentil soup is packed with flavor thanks to a dual-use mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest that gets added both before and after cooking.
Rich chicken tortilla soup, made from slow-simmered chicken thighs, joins quintessential toppings—avocado, red onion, sour cream, cilantro, cheese, tortillas, limes and hot sauce—in this simple, sustaining slow-cooker meal. The broth gets both depth and brightness from chili powder, smoky chipotles, fire-roasted tomatoes, cumin, and a couple of secret ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder and apple cider vinegar.
White chicken stock, in which neither the chicken nor the aromatics are roasted first, may be the most versatile of all stocks. It's also incredibly easy to make, leading to a deeply flavorful stock, with a method and ingredients that are as easy and accessible as possible. Requiring such a minimal investment of time and effort, this stock will upgrade any dish or sauce you make compared to the store-bought variety.
In her new cookbook, A Boat a Whale & a Walrus, chef Renee Erickson gives us this simple, impeccable gem of a recipe that I will make every and all summer forever. It involves nothing more than a ripe summer melon blended with lime juice and zest, a few mint leaves, a bit of yogurt and olive oil, salt and an inspired pinch of cayenne pepper.
This pot of noodles with Thai coconut curry and fresh shrimp can be made ahead and taken to work. Just add boiling water, seal it up for three minutes, add the contents of the fresh herb packet, and you've got a hot lunch ready.
This pot of noodles with miso, sesame, and a ton of fresh vegetables can be made ahead and taken to work. Just add boiling water, seal it up for three minutes, add the contents of the fresh scallion packet, and you've got a hot lunch ready.
This pot of noodles with kimchi, mushrooms, and beef can be made ahead and taken to work. Just add boiling water, seal it up for three minutes, add the contents of the fresh herb packet, and you've got a hot lunch ready.