This bowl of Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe from Colman Andrews' The Country Cooking of Italy is a lovely example of that beautiful minimalism. The pasta and rabe cook in the same pot, coming together in a sizzling pan of anchovies and olive oil. The rest is merely a matter of tossing, plating and choosing whether to serve with toasty breadcrumbs or salty-crumbly ricotta salata.
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This Hot Sauce adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila takes a blend of chiles (dealer's choice), chars 'em up, and blends them with two sour elements—white vinegar and lime juice—and a touch of sugar for a sauce with a nice balance of heat, pucker, and sweet. But of course, your sauce is ultimately contingent on the chiles you pick, so give 'em a little taste before you take the hot sauce plunge.
This Gluten-Free Roasted Tomato Pizza forgoes tomato sauce in favor of slowly roasted grape tomatoes. They top the par-baked crust alongside caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, and fresh mozzarella for a pie that tastes fresh and very light, almost more flatbread than pizza.
Chicken breasts are one of those go-to dinner making essentials that most folks have stocked in the fridge or freezer for those nights that raise the question, "What's for dinner?" This Sesame Chicken from Lorraine Wallace's Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken takes a classic weeknight dinner dish and gives it a welcome twist.
It is officially potato salad season. And while we're all for the all-American mayo dressed version, sometimes we like to mix up our picnics and barbecues with something a little different. Adapted from Michael Natkin's Herbivoracious this Potato and Green Bean Salad with Arugula Pesto is gorgeous and green, with snappy green beans and tender new potatoes tossed in a peppery pesto.
In Texas, the ubiquitous chicken fried steak is often plated with fries and a buttermilk ranch dressed salad on the same plate, making the ranch the dip of choice for the fries. Robb Walsh, author of Texas Eats, speculates that the popularity of ranch as a dip comes from Texas's cowboy culture, where those gruff dudes used the creamy-tangy dressing to compliment everything from fries to onion rings and even chicken fried steak. And now we know that we have Texas to thank for those little tubs of ranch meant for pizza crust dippage.
Perhaps the most unusual curry in S.H. Fernando Jr.'s guide to Sri Lankan cuisine, Rice & Curry, is made of an ingredient more often found in a bowl of mixed nuts than in a steamy pot of coconut milk and chiles. Cashew Nut Curry is a wonderfully rich vegetarian curry, with soft, fatty cashews floating in creamy coconut milk spiced with curry leaves, lemongrass, coriander, and just enough chile heat.
They don't call Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything The Basics, The Minimalist for nothing. His recipes are simple, straightforward, and often pared down to their bare essential ingredients. Plus, he's not one to add in labor intensive steps. Take this Rice Pudding in the Oven—it's a solid dessert that requires nothing more than tossing rice, milk, and sugar into a gratin dish, and baking for roughly two hours. Sure, you have to stir the pot every now and again, but really, it's nearly effortless. And the pudding? Well, it's a beautiful batch of rice pudding: mild, milky, and entirely comforting.
These Toasts with Ramp Butter and Fried Quail Eggs from April Bloomfield's A Girl and Her Pig are yet another way to enjoy everyone's favorite fleeting spring vegetable. The butter in this recipe incorporates both the cooked bulb of the ramp and its tender, raw greens into a rich butter dressed up with capers, anchovies, lemon, and chiles.
Zakary Pelaccio, author of Eat with Your Hands has upped the club sandwich ante by adding butter poached lobster and turning that middle slice of bread into a riff on that classic Chinese restaurant app, shrimp toast, only here it's lobster toast. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, there's also slices of crispy bacon and the mayo on this club is a Sambal Aïoli.
With flecks of thyme and a touch of tangy sour cream, this farro mushroom hash would be great on its own, but finishing it off with perfectly poached eggs puts it over the top. It's a winner.
Tofu and pork are good friends, especially in Korean cuisine. Tofu with Kimchi and Pork Belly, or dubu kimchi, is an amazing match up of mild tofu, fatty pork belly, and spicy-sour kimchi. Doctored up with a few chiles—powdered and fresh—and a drizzle of sesame oil, this is Korean drinking food at its finest. But you don't have to be knocking back the soju to enjoy Andrea Nguyen's Tofu with Kimchi and Pork Belly from Asian Tofu. It makes for a great anytime meal, quick to assemble, easy to love, and full of a very satisfying array of textures and big tastes.
Instead of relying on cheese for richness, Lahey has created a purée of long cooked, sweet onions and walnuts. It's bitter and sweet, deeply creamy, and bakes up beautifully under handfuls of sliced shiitakes and rosemary. The pizza is topped off with a drizzle of olive oil, which is more than enough for this pie, but if you must, a sprinkling of Parmesan wouldn't hurt.
While we're pretty certain that there isn't a more dated vegetable out there than canned hearts of palm, there's something about this salad that feels quite contemporary. Peppery watercress, mild hearts of palm, and buttery Bibb are dressed with a vinaigrette that is packed with capers, bits of pickle, and finely chopped egg white to make for a salad that's not only tasty but quite nice to look at as well.
This Crispy Fish and Green Mango Salad from Bangkok Street Food is a dish that you'll most likely never seen on the menu of your local Thai joint. And it's quite a shame since this intriguing combo of crisp-smoky fried fish served with salty-spicy green mango salad is pretty outrageous. The layers of texture and flavor are all over the place in the best possible way, with the sour dressing working its way into the crunchy little fish cake and the mango salad tying it all together with crunchy veggies and punchy heat.
Think of this Penne with Popped Tomatoes and Bacon from Suvir Saran's Masala Farm as the rustic farmer cousin of bucatini all'amatriciana. It's got the tomatoes, onions, and bacon, but it's also loaded up with fresh herbs that pack a punch. Instead of a smooth, long simmered tomato sauce, this one is made by cooking down cherry tomatoes until they literally pop, making for a hearty chunky sauce with all shapes and sizes of tomatoes and generous cubes of bacon.
If you're one of those fine folks who just can't get enough liver, we have just the recipe for your. In this recipe for Rigatoni with Chicken Livers, Cipollini Onions, and Sage from Marc Vetri's Rustic Italian Food, a lush ragu is made with minced chicken livers, sweet melted onions, and leaves of sage. Loosened with butter and a splash of starchy pasta cooking water, the ragu coats the rigatoni in a way that's rich and wholly satisfying.
This recipe has two components that are new to most home cooks: stirring in cubes of chilled butter just before serving for added creaminess and finishing the dish with freshly grated allspice to give it a burst of warmth and a hint of spice. They're simple touches but ones that go a long way, making homemade taste just a bit closer to restaurant-calibre cooking.
Bi-Rite Market's Curried Coconut Sweet Potato Mash does a wonderful job of balancing sweet, spicy, and savory with the Indian-inspired combo of curry, cayenne, coconut milk, and a healthy dose of butter. It's warm with heat and spice but never sugary or desserty, even with a sprinkling of toasted coconut just before serving.
The gratin has the ability to elevate even the most humble of vegetables, even the oft overlooked turnip. This Turnip Gratin from Edward Behr's The Art of Eating Cookbook smothers sweet, thinly sliced turnips in a very special béchamel. Instead of the standard that's always rich but often a little bland, this version calls for a slow cooked béchamel that's infused with onion, clove, bay leaf, and ham.