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.
'Cook the Book' on Serious Eats
There are those of you who might be wondering why you need yet another burger recipe, and there are those who just can't get enough. This burger from Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food is for both of you: it delivers classic flavor all juiced up and a little weird, in a wonderful way. Oliver takes the traditional components and gets kinda nutty with them, adding slight twists that really do make this a worth-a-try-even-if-you're-sick-of-burgers burger.
Okay, so I was going to try to avoid using the word 'mushroomy' to describe this soup and subsequent pasta bake from the new Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food. But it's what they are, and frankly, that's a very good thing for them to be.
This breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or midnight snack) taco from Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's new book, Tacolicious, is a spot-on version of the Texan tradition, with strips of roasted poblano peppers, good-sized bites of bacon, and tiny cubes of potatoes cooked with onion in that bacon fat, all scrambled with eggs and just the right amount of cheese.
This taco, featured in Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's new cookbook of recipes from their San Francisco restaurants, Tacolicious, only goes to show how versatile and inspiring a waiting tortilla can be. Sure, you could fill it with braised pork or charred chicken, but it can be equally good piled with well-seasoned veggies.
Crispy bits of slow-cooked pork, ready to cradle in a warm tortilla—carnitas is rightfully one of the best-loved taco fillings out there. In Tacolicious, Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave go a fairly traditional route for their carnitas: Fatty pork shoulder gets marinated overnight, then slow-cooked stovetop in the marinade and lard, after which it's pan-fried until delectably crisp.
When I make salsa at home, it's usually super simple: fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro and lime, and a spoon to eat it with. This version, from Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's restaurants-cum-cookbook, Tacolicious, isn't much more complicated, but is much more interesting. It's the salsa that welcomes you on arrival to the Tacolicious restaurants, and will be the standard in my kitchen from now on.
Meat can really hog the spotlight when it comes to grilling. But sometimes, a beautifully grilled vegetable comes along and steals the show. This is what happened here for me, with this eggplant from The Big-Flavor Grill by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.
If you've never had New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp, you're forgiven for thinking you're about to see a recipe for shrimp swamped in smoky-sweet BBQ sauce. Instead, get ready for a spicy, vinegary, garlicky, wow-that's-a-lot-of-butter sauce, and have a crusty piece of bread on hand to soak up every last drop when the shrimp are gone.
Asian flavors seem to bring out the best in pork. So if you're working with a gorgeous rack of grilled baby back ribs, dousing them in gingery, orangey, soy sauce is a pretty great way to go, like in this recipe from The Big-Flavor Grill, by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.
So, tell me, how do you feel about steak, prepped and grilled in less than 20 minutes, with a deeply flavored, seared crust and juicy, pink middle? Pretty good? Hmm, coincidence, me too. That's why I'm so darn happy to have found this fairly foolproof recipe from Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby's The Big-Flavor Grill.
Has finding uses for leftover fried chicken ever really been much of a problem? Eat it cold while standing in front of the open refrigerator as you ponder the effort it would take to make a sandwich with it, right? But if you are able to make it past that very satisfying immobility, you should try this recipe from Lee Brian Schrager's Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides. For his chicken salad, Georgia chef Hugh Acheson mixes chilled, diced fried chicken with mayonnaise, shallots, celery and refreshing herbs, then spikes it with crushed red pepper and hot sauce.
Charles Phan serves Southern fried chicken with an Asian twist at his New Orleans-themed whiskey bar in San Fran. He shares the turmeric and coriander-spiked recipe in Lee Brian Schrager's Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides,. But the real star of this recipe is the phenomenal, tangy sriracha butter that tops the meal.
Wylie Dufresne, celebrated mad-scientist chef of NYC's WD-50, has a thing for Popeyes fried chicken. So for Lee Brian Schrager's cookbook, Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides, Dufresne was given a mission: recreate their golden tenders and buttery, soft biscuits. Unsurprisingly, he rose to the challenge.
Wylie Dufresne's shortening-based biscuits, created as an homage to Popeyes', boast a delicate, pillowy interior surrounded by a gently crisp crust. Serve them alongside these Popeyes-style chicken tenders.
This recipe for Hattie B's Hot Chicken, from Lee Brian Schrager's Fried & True: More than 50 Recipes for America's Best Fried Chicken and Sides, packs the heat and is quite possibly my favorite recipe in the book. Burnished a deep, hell-fire red with a finishing coat of cayenne-amplified oil, the bird is emphatically crunchy with juicy and flavorful meat.
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.
This corn soup, from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer Purcell (co-authored with Sandy Gluck), is laced with a bit of chipotle powder for a smoky, toasty edge, which is enhanced by roasting the corn kernels with poblano and red bell peppers. A simple and sweet broth is made by simply simmering the cobs in water for a short spell, and the soup is finished with heavy cream, because why not. It looks rich, but it feels surprisingly light and goes down all too easily.
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.