A staple for breakfast and lunch in many Asian countries, congee is rice and water (or broth) cooked down into a thick porridge. Everyone does it slightly different. It can be cooked using different grains of rice, different kinds and amounts of liquid, and different cooking times. Every choice can affect the final flavor and consistency. After much trial and error, I've arrived at the ideal recipe for a congee that's silky and comforting instead of sludgy or overly heavy.
In recognition of the transition from summer to fall, this dish takes a summertime staple—bratwurst—and turns it into a filling with rice for stuffed cabbage rolls. The rolls are then bathed in a bacon-and-beer-infused tomato sauce and baked until tender.
Okay, tag this one for cold weather. Beyond rich, this bread pudding from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer Purcell (co-authored with Sandy Gluck) is total diet-busting comfort food. It's like filching the cheese toasts off 20 bowls of French onion soup and soaking them in heavy cream.
An easy stovetop fig jam joins nutty manchego cheese as the filling for simple, but elegant, chicken breasts. Finished in a port wine pan sauce with garlic, a touch of grainy mustard and heavy cream, the results are luxurious.
A fair question: who doesn't like jalapeno poppers? With that in mind, this dynamite chicken recipe -- part of a week-long celebration of chicken breasts -- offers a drool-worthy alternative to the average, grilled bird. The chicken is filled with a luxe cream cheese and sour cream mix that's specked with canned, roasted jalapenos, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Then, it's wrapped in bacon and grilled over indirect heat.
Oh, Tomato Tart, how you haunt my dreams! (Divine and wicked, from Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell's The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.) Couldn't you have been less flaky, less creamy, less juicy-tomatoey? Or couldn't you at least have been more arduous or taken longer to put together? Then I wouldn't have blinked and devoured half a sheet of buttery puff pastry awash in milky ricotta and goat cheese.
A simple yet flavorful mixture of chorizo, jalapeño, and onion serves as the filling for these pounded chicken breasts, which cook in an ultra-creamy, beer-based cheese sauce.
Sweet, silky, and absolutely delicious, this breading-free version of eggplant parm made in Italy is well worth trying, especially in late summer when eggplant (and tomatoes!) are at their best.
You can't get much simpler than fish en papillote: a fillet with a few choice veggies or flavorings wrapped in parchment (or sometimes foil) and baked. Et voila: luscious, flavorful fish, and a lovely presentation, to boot. In The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell offer an clever, edible alternative to wrapping in parchment: tender lettuce leaves swaddle a fillet of bass licked with a bright, herbaceous compound butter.
These plump chicken breasts are stuffed with an andouille-spiked rice and vegetable mixture, then topped with a creamy Creole shrimp sauce.
This easy dish of cod cooked in foil packets with squash and fresh herbs is one of the easiest recipes to scale: it works the same whether you make it for one, two, three, four or fourteen people.
This Hungarian-inspired dish centers around a lemony mushroom filling stuffed into boneless chicken breasts. Once the meat is seared in a Dutch oven, the same pot is used to make a rich, creamy paprika sauce.
This Cuban shrimp soup is ramped up with citrusy, mojo-inspired flavors. A base of sautéed onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and ample garlic gives way to an oregano- and cumin-spiked broth. Then, thin angel-hair noodles cook right in the broth, as do shell-on shrimp, which are peeled after they're poached, allowing the shells to add extra flavor in the process.
Quick-cooking skirt steak is topped with a charred corn salsa mixed with sweet summer peaches for a weeknight meal that's ready in just 15 minutes.
This vegetable soup from Jody Williams' cookbook, Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, is impeccable—clean, light, and nourishing. Topped with a spoonful of heady pistou, it's the epitome of the harmony that can happen with a thoughtful collision of fresh ingredients.
This take on eggplant Parmesan uses zucchini in place of the eggplant. Rather than bake the breaded, pan-fried disks as one big layered mass in a baking dish, this version features little individual stacks of alternating layers of pepperoni, a tomato sauce, fresh basil, and a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. The result is something both homey and company-worthy at once.
A gryo-spiced beef-and-lamb mixture is formed into little patties, grilled, and topped with tzatziki and pickled peperoncini for one tasty sandwich.
Pork belly has been enjoying its 15 minutes of fame for the last, what, 7 years or so? And no wonder: pork fat tastes good, and as every bacon-lover knows, pork belly is wonderfully fatty. This recipe, from Tom Mylan's The Meat Hook Meat Book, couldn't be easier, and lands you with luscious, wobbly, sweet-and-savory hunks of pork that are as good as any in Chinatown.
Ethiopian berbere spice adds a fiery kick to perfectly grilled lamb chops, and a subtle heat to a refreshing lentil salad with cucumber and mint.
This recipe, from Tom Mylan's The Meat Hook Meat Book, is actually from Chef Jean Adamson of Vinegar Hill House, the Brooklyn restaurant known for their stellar pork chop. Brooklyn blood runs thick, friends in high places, and all that. However it made it's way to us, thank goodness it did. Insanely flavorful and juicy from a 12-hour brining, the chop is Flinstonian in proportions and, I think it's fair to say, generally epic.