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Paella in a pan. Ellen Fort/Eater

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Everything Eater Editors Have Cooked in 2021

All the recipes, from simple dinners to baking projects, that we’ve loved so far this year

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To sort through the noise of TikTok tortilla wraps and feta pastas, Eater has compiled a handful of the recipes — from blogs, magazines, publications, and cookbooks — that put the pep back in our pans this week, and which we hope will do the same for you. These are the dishes that Eater editors from across the country actually made recently, and we’re passing along any first-hand tips, hacks, or dietary substitutions that, hey, worked for us. Here, then, are this week’s must-try recipes from Eater’s very-much-average but highly enthusiastic home cooks.

July 30, 2021

Vietnamese Tomato Salad

Anthony Ha and Sadie Mae Burns, Bon Appétit

It’s that time of the year where all I really want to be eating is summer tomatoes. BLTs. Steak salads that prominently feature tomatoes. Sungold pasta. And most recently, this Vietnamese tomato salad from Bon Appétit. This tomato salad gives you the chance to show off a variety of heirloom tomatoes with a punchy, fish sauce-spiked vinaigrette and lots of crunchies. It paired nicely with grilled Vietnamese chicken thighs and a quick cold soba noodle salad. It’s also a testament to the fact that those canned French fried onions really can liven up a dish. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Roasted King Trumpet Mushrooms

Garrett McCord, Epicurious

I recently lucked upon a huge box of mixed wild mushrooms, which included a bunch of beautiful king trumpet mushrooms. I wanted to prep a bunch of easy things to eat for the week, and was looking for recipes that would really let the mushrooms shine. Of the ones I Googled, I liked the simplicity of this recipe from Epicurious. I opted to not slice the mushrooms and doused ’em in olive oil and loads of pepper (no salt, it’s a cooking habit of mine). Since I kept them whole, I roasted them for far longer than called for, taking them out every 12 minutes to rotate and flip the mushrooms. After they were done roasting, I drizzled some lemon juice, forwent the cheese, and it was so delicious. The mushrooms were so perfectly tender and succulent and paired well with the spicy garlicky beans I prepared, too. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor


Cookie and Kate

My tomato plants runneth over these days, and my weekly CSA box had zucchini and eggplant, so it felt right to use them all together in ratatouille. I don’t have the patience to make Instagram-perfect slices of everything, so I chose this recipe, which also has you roast the eggplant separately from the rest of the vegetables to allow for different cooking times and get a firmer texture. I was a little heavy-handed with the basil and olive oil because why not? And the ratatouille that resulted was an excellent showcase of late summer flavors. — Erin Russell, Eater Austin associate editor

Club Sandwich Pasta Salad

Bill Clark, A Piece of Cake

I’ve always been a huge pasta salad fan — sometimes you just need a bowl of cold cooked pasta with textural, salty, meaty, fatty components. So imagine my happiness when Bill Clark of Meme’s Diner fame (RIP) wrote a recipe transforming one of my favorite sandwiches — the chicken club — into pasta salad for his newsletter. This is a remarkably simple recipe with a huge return. I had a Costco rotisserie chicken on hand ($5, the best deal ever) which cut down the cooking time. As for the bacon, make sure it’s very crispy, and I would double it for next time. For the pepper-Parm dressing, I opted to make my own mayonnaise rather than thin out the store-bought stuff with milk (homemade mayonnaise is runnier), and I threw in some crushed garlic because why not? The dressing alone is just perfect: fatty and acidic, rich but light all at the same time. As soon as everything is mixed in, you can just sit on the couch, stick a fork in your mixing bowl (I definitely didn’t bother with plates), and enjoy this deconstructed sandwich in pasta salad format. — Pelin Keskin, Eater video producer

Pound Cake Parfaits With Strawberries

Giada De Laurentiis, Giadzy

I am not a baker by any means, but when I saw ricotta and lemon zest as the main ingredients for Giada De Laurentiis’s pound cake recipe, I knew it would be perfect for a small summer dinner party — one of the first I’ve hosted since the pandemic began. The spongy and zesty poundcake paired so well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream that soaked down the cake. I also loved utilizing seasonal strawberries from my local farmer’s market to top it off. Serving it in stemless wine glasses as Giada recommends also added a showy visual element to this great summer treat. — Terri Ciccone, Eater audience development manager

Grilled Cactus Corn Salad

Emily Han, The Kitchn

I was having a serious salad craving last week and picked up the basics for a corn and nopales salad. I’ve made this once before but decided to try grilling the nopales this time around because they tend to get slimy like okra. This was doubly good because I could cook outside instead of heating up my humid house and I liked the addition of the avocado. I threw everything on the grill, including precut nopales that I picked up at my neighborhood store. The whole thing took about 30 minutes to pull together. I topped it off with some nasturtiums from my garden for some color. This salad is great because it’s good fresh and also great the next day cold from the fridge. — Brenna Houck, Eater cities manager

July 23, 2021

Spicy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

Barbara Lynch, Stir: Mixing it Up in the Italian Tradition

It’s been raining a lot, so I’ve been in the mood for soup. I finally got around to making one of my all-time favorite Boston dishes, the spicy tomato soup with grilled cheese from one of Barbara Lynch’s restaurants, Sportello. (It’s in her cookbook, Stir.) The grilled cheese is super skinny, super crispy, and covered in a toasted caraway seed-infused butter. I also added crispy basil and the resulting basil oil to the soup because why not? It was awesome. The grilled cheese method — which involves freezing the bread, toasting caraway seeds, baking, and more — was a little bit more finicky than what I’d want to do for a usual weeknight grilled cheese, but totally worth the extra effort now and then. — Rachel Blumenthal, Eater Boston editor

Maple and Miso Sheet-Pan Salmon With Green Beans

Colu Henry, NYT Cooking

I love salmon (PNW all the way, baby!), but for some reason, I rarely make it (or any seafood) at home — I’m always too scared of overcooking an expensive protein. But a sale on sockeye this past week led me to search for a foolproof salmon recipe, which led me to this truly foolproof sheet pan version from NYT Cooking. All of the required ingredients were already in my pantry, it comes together just as quickly as advertised (as a bumbling cook, this is rare for me), and the miso-maple marinade encased the fish nicely and ensured it didn’t dry out in the oven. Salmon cooking just got 80 percent less scary. — Erin DeJesus, editor

A pan of paella with peas and shellfish Lesley Suter

Paella on the Grill

Lan Lam, Cooks Illustrated

My sister and I rarely are able to get together without our parents also crashing the party, but last weekend we swore ourselves to secrecy and had a clandestine gathering of our families around her backyard pool with zero parental supervision. On the menu was paella — a dish we’ve made together before, but our parents are weird about shellfish so we’re always forced to leave it out. Not this time! We cooked two paellas side-by-side on the grill with this easy but mind-bendingly good Cooks Illustrated recipe. We bolster ours with a stock we make with a smoked turkey every Thanksgiving and freeze, which honestly does make a huge difference. Leftovers were even better the next day, stir-fried till crispy and topped with an egg — with mimosas. Mom and Dad don’t have to know. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Gochujang-Glazed Eggplant With Fried Scallions

Eric Kim, NYT Cooking

On the constant hunt for vegetable-based side dishes and inspired by the contents of our weekly CSA box, my partner Daniel and I were led to this gochujang eggplant last weekend. The recipe itself, from NYT Cooking, is not particularly complex, but in this case that doesn’t mean it’s boring or not worth the prep time. It’s basically eggplants (cut in big, easy wedges), gochujang (we use Mother-in-Law’s garlic variety), and scallions, sliced thinly and fried. Cutting the scallions is the most painstaking part, but worth it once they’re fried up to crunchy matchstick perfection — and know that they shrivel down when cooked, so prep more than you think you’ll need. You can save time by frying the green and white parts together (though the recipe says to do them separately), and use the scallion frying oil for the eggplant. Serve it hot, then watch the entire impossibly delicious dish disappear. — Ellie Krupnick, Eater director of editorial ops

Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos

Gina Homolka, Cooking Light

Elotes (well, esquites technically, since I tend to serve it as a salad) is one of my go-to side dishes when I’m cooking Mexican food in the summer, so this recipe that cuts out the middleman and puts the corn directly on the tacos was pretty appealing to me. The corn mixture works terrific as a topping, and the steak has an impressive amount of personality to it, given that cumin is really its only seasoning. This is a low-stress taco dinner that’s perfect for casual summer. And if you decide to add a little guacamole to the situation like I did, no one here will label you “extra.” — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

July 16, 2021

Easy watermelon margarita

Erin Lives Whole

For proof that “too much of a good thing” is, indeed, a thing, see: watermelon. Even a humble-sized melon, dissected into its edible parts, yields more than a family of four can put down in a weekend, let alone store. Fear of this surplus has, for years, kept me from buying melons at all, and has severely limited my and my children’s consumption of its sweet, pink flesh. But not this year! No, I finally discovered a key fact that will forever change the way I consume watermelon: You can freeze it! Not only are cubes of frozen watermelon amazing on their own, but blended with some lime juice and tequila they become the instant frozen watermelon margarita that happy hour dreams are made of. Cocktails like this require less a recipe and more a general idea of ingredients and your own alcohol tolerance, but this one from Erin Lives Whole (a blog I stumbled upon) served as a good framework. I added a little anejo tequila floater to up the sting, made virgin versions for the kids, and now have a stash of frozen watermelon in my freezer for whenever the mood strikes. Like now. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Japanese-style mapo tofu

Harumi Kurihara, NHK World-Japan

I continue to search for ways to incorporate Impossible meat into my diet (my husband and I aim for two meatless dinners each week), and my latest experiment was probably my most successful: substituting the vegetarian crumbles for the small amount of pork or beef normally found in mapo tofu. I started making Japanese-style mapo tofu at home after seeing chef Harumi Kurihara prepare it once on the NHK channel; it’s simple to cook, and a bit subtler than the fiery Chinese version (though I’ve been known to add a bit of chile bean paste to the linked recipe). The Impossible meat has just the right texture to fill in as a sub here, and it may become a permanent swap for this recipe in the future. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Chicken Mole and Salsa Borracha

Bricia Lopez, Oaxaca

I ordered an irresistible mole trio from Los Angeles’s Oaxacan legend Guelaguetza months ago; this week, armed with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and a surplus of dried chiles and fresh peppers, we decided to put them in play — for tacos on a Tuesday. Using the recipe on the container of mole coloradito, I simmered pureed tomatoes with an earthy, sticky mole paste the color of igneous rock, stirred until well-blended, and then added chicken broth, some seasoning to taste, pepper seeds (we like things spicy), and chocolate (the recipe calls for Oaxacan chocolate, or brown sugar as a substitute — I melted the little Nespresso dark chocolates we had in the pantry). While that was happening, my partner whipped together a trio of salsas (it was a very trio-centric night), the most unique of which was the salsa borracha from Guelaguetza’s beautiful Oaxaca cookbook, written by Bricia Lopez. He blistered some peppers and tomatillos in our broiler and blended them down with dried mulato chiles (we didn’t have the moritas the recipe calls for, but close enough), garlic, apple cider vinegar, mezcal, bay leaves, and salt. The result is a salsa I could drink, or, at least, as I did the next day, turn into a salad dressing to go with my leftover chicken mole. — Nicole Adlman, Eater cities manager

Broccoli Caesar salad

Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit

After a full vacation of what felt like way more than my fill of meat and beer, I returned home craving salad. Fortunately, waiting for me in my garden was a true bumper crop of broccoli. I’m talking big, supermarket-sized heads. Naturally, that meant making some sort of broccoli salad. This broccoli Caesar did the trick, using up a good portion of my extremely high-yield broccoli with other items we had around the house and in the yard. I didn’t have napa or savoy cabbage, but a plain old head of green cabbage suited this recipe just fine. I made my dressing with an egg yolk, as suggested, and it turned out extremely lemony and fresh, with a flavor that got even better by lunchtime the next day. — Brenna Houck, Eater cities manager

Sesame, date, and banana cake

Yotam Ottolenghi, NYT Cooking

In my experience, birthdays are for doing self-indulgent stuff you’ve been putting off, like baking a cake that seems perfectly suited to you. (I was told it’s not weird to make your own birthday cake ... by my partner who thus didn’t have to bake a birthday cake.) I enjoy literally any treat in the realm of banana: banana pudding, banana cocktails, maduros, even banana-flavored Runts (I enjoy isoamyl acetate so much even nail polish remover smells good to me). Yotam Ottolenghi checked all the boxes with this banana cake recipe, which also features other favorites of mine: dates, tahini, and cream cheese. After reading the comments, I pulled the cake out a touch early, baking it under foil for only 20 minutes, but otherwise followed the recipe. As Ottolenghi promised, the cake was soft and light, even as the cream cheese, tahini, and mascarpone enhanced the creaminess of the banana, and the nuggets of date boosted the sweetness. Don’t skimp on the caramelized banana slices and drizzles of date syrup on top. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater associate editor

July 9, 2021

Crab and Shrimp Etouffee

Spicy Southern Kitchen

I have a habit of over-ordering Maryland crabs at whatever social gathering of the summer features them. It’s fine — I’ll pay for them, I’ll pick them clean the next day (most likely while singing along obnoxiously to some sort of show tunes album), and I’ll find something delicious to do with all of that meat afterwards. The last two times this has happened, that something has been this lovely crab and shrimp etouffee. Sure, it involves springing for shrimp right after you just bought a bunch of crabs, but you really need both to bring substance to this recipe. I recommend halving it, which makes just over four savory portions of this dish. It takes a little time, but it can be done on the stovetop and is not as elaborate as, say, throwing together a hearty bowl of gumbo in the middle of summer. And the complexity of flavors you get in less than an hour of hands-on cooking is worth the effort. Now, if only I could be the kind of crab chef who doesn’t end up with more than the occasional stray piece of shell in the dish, I could even serve it for company. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Salted PB&J Ice Cream Pie

Sohla El-Waylly, Bon Appétit

It’s hot. This is obvious. Ice cream is good when it’s hot. This is also obvious. What’s less obvious is that nut butter blended with some eggs, sugar, and whipped cream makes a decent dupe for ice cream, or that swirling in some jelly and setting the mixture in the freezer in a salty-sweet Ritz cracker shell improves it even further. Though there are several steps of whipping, whisking, and folding various mixtures together in Sohla El-Waylly’s ice cream-esque recipe, the textures and flavors come together seamlessly (even if extracting the pie from the plate is a bit of a challenge). It’s a new addition to my summer dessert lineup. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, associate editor

Grilled Chorizo Soup with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Chris Schlesinger, The Thrill of the Grill

One of my favorite Boston-area restaurants, East Coast Grill, closed a few years back; it served killer barbecue and seafood dishes, and it hosted a semi-annual event called Hell Night, when everything was super spicy and getting a reservation required old-school Ticketmaster phone-dialing skills. Fortunately founder Chris Schlesinger has written several excellent cookbooks (along with food writer John Willoughby), including The Thrill of the Grill. Many of the recipes require or work best with outdoor grilling, hence the name, but there are also a fair amount of options suitable for other cooking methods, or at least an indoor grill pan. A cool day and scattered thunderstorms made me think of soup, so I settled on the Portuguese-inspired grilled chorizo soup with kale and sweet potatoes. My shoddy knife skills got a workout on this one, chopping up four giant onions, but it was well worth the effort for a mega portion of soup we’re still working through a few days later. It’s a little bit spicy and a little bit smoky, and it perfectly straddles the line between hearty and light. Throw some bread on the side if you’re hungry. — Rachel Blumenthal, Eater Boston editor

Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes, and Sausage

Smitten Kitchen

It’s CSA season, which means every week is a fun experiment/mad scramble to use every vegetable we get before the next batch comes in. Every year when my spouse and I get fava beans, we make this Smitten Kitchen recipe. The favas turn what would have been a pretty simple and heavy meat sauce into a summery treat, and even though I cooked it in the middle of a heat wave, it comes together so quickly I didn’t have time to be bothered by the stove. I used fresh fettuccine, and served it with a romaine and shaved fennel salad — using up even more vegetables. — Jaya Saxena, Eater staff writer

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Sam Sifton, NYT Cooking

I wanted to make something easy, and this oven-roasted chicken shawarma fit the bill. My H-E-B was weirdly out of chicken thighs and garlic so I opted to use thinner chicken tenders and my handy jar of minced garlic instead (both worked well). I marinated everything overnight, adding a bit more lemon juice than called for. After placing the mixed chicken and onions on the sheet pan, I drizzled them with leftover marinade and added halved lemons. After the chicken/onions/lemons roasted, I took out the chicken and cut it into smaller bits. Then I sliced up cucumbers and dragged ‘em through the leftover marinade on the sheet pan, which added a little spice. I mixed everything together with the juice from the roasted lemons and chopped parsley, and it was so good: spicy with a nice acidic level. Pro-tip: I’ve been using the chicken to build my own little tacos with corn tortillas. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor

July 2, 2021

Impossible Street Tacos

J. Michael Melton, Impossible Foods

I’ve started to dip my toes into using Impossible “meat” for vegetarian meals at home. I think I’m generally more of a fan of it when it’s more of a background component than the main event, so recipes like stuffed peppers and, most recently, tacos, are appealing options. I used the recipe above, but only followed the meat preparations — instead of street tacos, I fashioned this into a taco salad featuring lettuce, a touch of cheese, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, sauteed corn (fresh from my weekend visit to New Jersey), shallots, and salsa (with a splash of vinegar and oil for dressing). The boldly seasoned meat folded well into all of the fresh, summery ingredients. It also worked just fine tucked into traditional crispy taco shells, topped with more cheese and lettuce, for lunch the next day. —Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Simple Butter Roasted Salmon

Alison Roman, YouTube

I’m always looking for a new way to dress up salmon, and when Alison Roman mentioned hers reminded her of her bagel order (stacked with red onions, dill, and capers), I was in. Frying all of the ingredients in butter first brought out their aromas, and adding all of that fat to the salmon made it moist, almost melt-in-your-mouth. As a lemon lover, I also appreciated Roman’s use of entire lemon slices in this recipe, rinds and all. —Terri Ciccone, Eater audience development manager

Kale Pesto

Nancy Silverton, The Mozza Cookbook

My partner and I had a strong month of actually cooking through our farmers market hauls within the window of a week, and then Los Angeles fully reopened and long weekends happened and suddenly, a full week-plus after our initial Friday market jaunt, our fridge was full of slowly wrinkling loose-leaf and cruciferous vegetables. Enter: kale pesto. Using our NutriBullet and mashing the classic pesto recipe in The Mozza Cookbook together with an utterly millennial video tutorial by Instagrammer/recipe developer Carolina Gelen, we turned our bounty of dino kale and basil into a nutty, garlicky pesto that clung to our Rummo mezzi rigatoni perfectly. The pesto was smooth but not textureless and spread on the ridged rigatoni as if it was born to be a liquid blanket. The next day I had it on smashed avocado toast with thinly sliced shallot, sauteed broccoli (also part of the market overflow), an oozy sunny side up egg, and lots of flaky salt and black pepper. — Nicole Adlman, Eater cities manager

A white-rimmed orange bowl piled with arugula, tofu, broccoli, soba noodles, and peanut sauce sits on a wooden cutting board.

Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles With Green Beans

Aaron Hutcherson, the Washington Post

I’m a sucker for a dish that involves peanut sauce of any kind, which made this Aaron Hutcherson recipe a no-brainer for me to try this week. I wasn’t disappointed, and not only because of its copious use of peanut butter. This is a recipe that, as Hutcherson writes, is “extremely riffable” — if you don’t have soba, you can use another kind of noodle; if you don’t have the chile-garlic sauce called for, you can use Sriracha, which is what I did. It’s also a great way to use up whatever vegetables you have kicking around. While I didn’t have green beans, I did have snap peas, broccoli, arugula, and scallions, as well as some tofu, all of which worked perfectly here. Regardless of what you use, you end up with a very quick and satisfying dinner, along with a peanut sauce whose uses can extend far beyond this recipe — honestly, left to my own devices, I’d probably drink it. — Rebecca Flint Marx, Eater senior editor

Dark Chocolate Tahini Swirl Bundt Cake

Soom Foods

This cake recipe from Soom Foods uses the brand’s new dark chocolate sea salt sweet tahini spread. (Disclosure: My husband is Soom’s chief growth officer.) We made this on a Friday, and it was perfect to devour throughout the weekend: light and not too sweet, evoking a snacking cake, but much larger than your typical loaf, so it will really last you all weekend. Using cream cheese as the base, as the recipe calls for, is key (i.e. don’t skimp with Greek yogurt or sour cream), and you can add more chocolate tahini if you want to (don’t worry, it won’t come out too salty). We finished it off with powdered sugar, but for an even more decadent experience, a chocolate glaze would be next-level. — Ellie Krupnick, Eater director of editorial operations

June 17, 2021

Brioche Bread

June Xie, Delish

Ever taste something so absurdly delicious, you could just settle into it for a long nap? For me, it’s this brioche. I consider myself a pretty adept home cook, but bread making had always been uncharted territory until the sudden craving for buttery, pillowy goodness smacked me square in the face one Saturday morning. I had all the ingredients on hand already, so I dove headfirst into this brioche recipe by the folks at Delish. Absolutely foolproof, the recipe is incredibly thorough and even includes a step-by-step video. At first I was a bit intimidated, but with a little time and patience I knocked out two beautiful, scrumptious loaves of the fluffy stuff that disappeared before the weekend was over. Follow the instructions carefully and watch the video as you go, and you’ll be floating in buttery bliss before you know it. — Stefania Orrù, Eater coordinating producer

Via Carota’s Insalata Verde

Samin Nosrat, NYT Cooking

I’ve long wanted to make this salad, as, 1) I, like most New Yorkers, love Via Carota, the iconic Italian restaurant in the West Village, 2) Leafy green salads are my “cooking” specialty, 3) I live for a good Dijon-based vinaigrette. So it was a sign from the universe when my CSA box arrived last week filled with lettuces of all kinds, prompting me to tackle this salad. The recipe is a little deceiving on two fronts: The dressing is far easier than you’d imagine, for something so heralded, while the greens aspect is actually kind of a pain, as Samin Nosrat’s translation of the salad instructs you to painstakingly soak all five of the greens. (I’m sure it helped them maintain their crunch and brightness, but it was annoying.) Otherwise, this salad is a winner, with a dressing that you could literally ingest “spoonfuls of,” as Via Carota co-owner Jody Williams suggests. — Ellie Krupnick, director of editorial operations

Chicken With Rajas

Cooks Country

I’ve been eating leftovers of this dish all week and still am not tired of it, which to me is always an endorsement of a recipe. Though there’s some labor involved here (charring and peeling the poblanos, for example), using prepared crema lets this delicious sauce come together quite easily. This is one of the best taco recipes I’ve made this year, and that’s saying a lot given I’ve challenged myself to make about a taco recipe a week through 2021. The chicken and peppers mixture would work just as well served over rice or folded into a quesadilla. I’d even enjoy it without the chicken. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities manager

Italian Sausage and Kale Casserole

Michelle Tam, Nom Nom Paleo

I don’t like sweets for breakfast so I’m always looking for a recipe that can serve double duty as morning leftovers. This tasty casserole is billed as a dinner dish, with mushrooms, marinara, and other ingredients that incorporate pizza-like flavors. But the Italian sausage and eggs make it feel breakfast-y too, and it’s loaded with veggies — the kale cooks down nicely and softens thanks to the sauce and fat from the sausage. Ignore the paleo designation — I bet this would be delicious with some feta or other cheese tossed in. It also seems like it would keep well if you wanted to freeze individual servings for breakfast later, but I ate all mine over the course of two days. — Brittanie Shey, Eater Houston/Dallas associate editor

Coconut-Braised Collard Greens

Von Diaz/Julia Moskin, NYT Cooking

I’d like to coin a new cognitive condition: recipe amnesia. This is when a person buys ingredients with specific recipes in mind at the store, but can’t remember what the hell they wanted to make when they get it all home. Widespread acceptance of this term among medical authorities would give me a quick way to explain how I ended up with a bunch of collard greens the other day. Thankfully my dilemma was solved by this recipe for coconut-braised collards. As commenters suggested, I sauteed some garlic at the beginning and let the collards cook an extra 20 minutes, then topped my bowl with packaged fried onions and some leftover chile oil for a resourceful, meatless meal. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater associate editor

June 11, 2021

A close-up photo of rigatoni noodles in red sauce.
Rigatoni alla vodka
Matthew Kang

Penne alla Vodka


I was thinking of my recent meal at Carbone in Las Vegas and was desperate to replicate it for less than $32 a plate. I used DOP San Marzano tomatoes, sliced a small mountain of garlic, and followed this recipe almost exactly as written, but subbed rigatoni for the penne. My only prescription would be to allow a bit more time for the sauce, maybe 10 minutes, so it can fully thicken toward the end (the recipe doesn’t specify a time, just says stir until smooth) — I had to keep stirring mine in the Dutch oven to get the sauce thick enough to adhere to the pasta. But otherwise, this is a terrific weeknight pasta you can make in literally under 20 minutes, and you’re almost guaranteed to have the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. — Matthew Kang, Eater LA editor

Strawberry Shortcake Cobbler

Alison Roman, A Newsletter

It was kismet. My parents were coming into town for a night and I wanted to impress; I had a bucket of fresh strawberries on my counter that were edging closer to mush every minute; and my inbox threw me Alison Roman’s latest recipe for what she calls a Strawberry Shortcake Cobbler. The name is confusing, to which Roman explains it’s sort of smack in between a shortcake and a cobbler, which is an ambiguity I’m happy to explore. I’m also very down to clown when it comes to ambitious baking projects, but this one was awesomely easy. The shortbread-biscuity discs came together with nothing more than a bowl, my fingers, and something round to cut with, and the rest was just tossing fruit with some sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. I didn’t have quite enough strawberries in the end so I filled out the required five cups with some pitted fresh cherries and this was very much not a problem. This recipe is so basic, in fact, that I can’t say it rises significantly above any other baked fruit dessert I’ve had 1,000 times before, but the recipe itself was easy, clearly written, and my family cleaned the whole pie tin in one night, with scoops of vanilla on the side. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Chicken Gyro Salad

Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen

My husband and I are generally pretty high on having a “big salad” for dinner, Elaine Benes-style, even more so when the summer months bring hotter temperatures and better tomatoes. I probably have about 47 spins on a Greek salad in my dinner repertoire, but that still didn’t keep us from giving Smitten Kitchen’s “gyro salad” a whirl when I saw it show up in her social media feed. Our minor adaptations: skipping the pita bread (we didn’t have any), and adding in some feta that I needed to use up. The straightforward marinade for the chicken provides a nice dose of flavor, and while I thought I would find myself wanting a vinaigrette in addition to the tzatziki, the latter provided more than enough of a dressing for the salad. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities manager

Roasted Fish With Spice Butter and Tomatoes

Melissa Clark, NYT Cooking

I just moved, and about three-fourths of my kitchen has yet to be unpacked. As a result, my home-cooking regimen has been somewhat haphazard, determined almost solely by whatever kitchen tools I’ve been able to excavate from the small mountain range of cardboard boxes still residing in my apartment. To wit: I have been able to find one sheet tray, but not two, which made Melissa Clark’s Roasted Fish With Spice Butter and Tomatoes an easy choice this past week. Being confined to a single sheet tray is only the first of this recipe’s many virtues. There’s also its use of cherry tomatoes, which are now abundant at my local farmers market; the fact that you can use any spice blend you want, which gave me an excuse to shake the hell out of a jar of Old Bay; its insistence that you use 6 tablespoons of butter, which creates gorgeous, oozing pools of caramelized tomato butter when baked; its relatively quick prep and cooking time; and, above all, its versatility. You get to pick whichever fish, spice blend, and fresh herbs you want to use; this is very much a “you do you” recipe, and will stay on rotation even after I finally find my second sheet tray. — Rebecca Flint Marx, Eater senior editor

Charred Corn Salad

Kate Merker and Kristina Kurek, Country Living

When tasked with bringing a dish to a burger cookout, I scoured the internet for “easy summer sides” until I stumbled upon Country Living’s charred corn salad. It hit all my requirements — I had most of the ingredients, and it gave me an excuse to go to the local farmers market for the six ears of corn I didn’t have on hand. (I love a good farmers market.) The magic to this side dish is the char. I used a grill pan to sear the corn, and a warning, there will be loud popping noises as the heat hits the particularly juicy kernels. The only real hard part of this recipe is cutting the corn from the cob; even with the inverted bowl hack, I’m still finding kernels under the kitchen cabinets. But the salad was delicious, with a kick of heat from the red chili and a cooling effect from the cilantro. — Erin Perkins, Eater Charleston editor

Spicy Shrimp and Chickpea Salad

Yasmin Fahr, NYT Cooking

This recipe legit took 15 minutes, tops, to make. First you start with the chickpea salad, which is tangy, full of citrus, and has a slight kick of heat. Bonus: The portion is huge, so I had plenty for the week to add to my “sad desk lunch” salads. Next you saute a lot of garlic and red pepper flakes and toss in shrimp to cook until pink on each side. For such an easy recipe, this was a showstopper. Add it to your summer menus! — Stephen Pelletteri, Eater executive producer

June 4, 2021

Macaroni Salad with Lemon and Herbs

Alexa Weibel, NYT Cooking

I’ve never made a macaroni salad in my life. I’ve barely even eaten it — 99.9% of my life has been spent in California, and those kinds of mayo-tossed, barbecue-adjacent salads just aren’t as prevalent here as in other parts of the country. (We prefer our mayo slathered on elote or squiggled over wacky sushi rolls.) But it was Memorial Day, and this light, herby version spoke to me as I scrolled across it in my NYT Cooking app. It was a helluva lot of chopping — next time I’ll use a food processor and just whiz all the herbs and pickley bits together. But in the end this was everything I’d hoped it would be: creamy and rich but mostly bright, fresh, and lemony. Plus, I now have a giant jar of bread-and-butter pickles in my fridge, a treat I’m thankful for every day, come lunchtime. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Aubergine and Ricotta Dumplings in Tomato Sauce

Yottam Ottolenghi, The Guardian

Like many Ottolenghi creations, this eggplant dumpling recipe is what we call in my house patchke, which is Yiddish for overly fussy and painstaking. Simply put, it requires a lot of steps and dishes. But, also like many Ottolenghi creations, it’s very much worth it, especially since it makes a great main dish — hearty, tasty, and vegetarian to boot — for a dinner party. (Thank you, vaccines.) It’s perfect for a six-person meal; serve it to four people and you’ll have substantial leftovers, which reheat excellently. My partner recommends using high-quality San Marzano canned tomatoes, and we skip the olives. But otherwise, follow this recipe to a tee and you’ll be rewarded with what’s essentially eggplant parm in cheesy meatball form. And who doesn’t love cheesy meatballs? — Ellie Krupnick, Eater director of editorial operations

Carrot Salad with Oranges, Cashews, and Charred Chile Dressing

Gregory Gourdet, Everyone’s Table

Gregory Gourdet’s new cookbook, Everyone’s Table, includes a number of dishes that I really adored during his time at Portland’s Departure restaurant — a stone fruit, corn, and berry salad buried in herbs, for instance — but this cashew carrot salad was new to me. Still, I knew the peak-season carrots would be tasty enough to shine, and God, did they. The sweetness of the roasted carrots is tempered by shallots and garlic, and by charring the hell out of some Fresnos, the dressing had an earthy, lingering spice that worked well with the whole bunch. I always forget to use cashews in salads, and that’s a personal failing; they often add some lovely crunch and creamy sweetness. It was an absolutely gorgeous salad to behold, and it sort of overshadowed the low-country boil I had made alongside it. I can’t wait to cook my way through the rest of the book. — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

Strip Steak au Poivre

Molly Baz, Bon Appétit

Toward the end of the holiday weekend, my wife asked for a date night. Instead of finding a table at a restaurant, I opted to make this steak au poivre at home, thinking of our fantastic meal at La Bourse et la Vie in Paris back in 2019. Molly Baz’s version, based on the recipe in her new cookbook, is really easy to follow. My only adjustment came at the end after I tasted the sauce. The au poivre just didn’t pop enough on the palate, so my cheat was using a half teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon to boost the umami, and it did the trick. The sauce was rounded, beefy, and absolutely delicious when spooned gently over the grass-fed New York strips. — Matthew Kang, Eater LA editor

Tuna Tataki

Just One Cookbook

Find yourself a neighbor who will... offer you tuna that his boss caught in Bermuda? We were lucky to find ourselves on the receiving end of such generosity this week, so I was eager to make a recipe that would show off the quality of the fresh fish. Just One Cookbook, my go-to for most Japanese recipes I make at home, delivers with this tataki recipe. It’s ridiculously simple and lets good fish shine with just a little bit of a savory enhancement. Paired with rice, quick-pickled cucumbers, and teriyaki bok choy, it all added up to a terrific weeknight dinner. I even had time to make our neighbor a batch of last week’s almond rhubarb picnic bars as a thank you. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes

Alison Roman, NYT Cooking

I don’t typically seek out a recipe for something as straightforward as pancakes, but I wanted to whip up a special stack for my sister’s birthday this week, so I decided what the heck, I’ll look for a sort-of fancy pancake recipe. Whenever I need recipe suggestions I consult my coworkers, which this time led me to Alison Roman’s buttermilk pancakes. Buttermilk aside, everything on the ingredient list is a kitchen staple, and truthfully, you’ll want to keep your fridge stocked with buttermilk after trying these. They come together so easily and are incredibly fluffy. Definitely keep your pancakes warm in the oven while you make the subsequent batches, like the recipe notes; I also always warm up the maple syrup for good measure. I topped the cakes with this caramelized banana recipe for my sister’s birthday and studded them with chocolate chips the following day (after keeping the batter in an airtight container in the fridge). Winners all around. — Patty Diez, Eater project manager

May 28, 2021

Trail mix cookies on a white plate.

Trail-Mix Cookies

Sohla El-Waylly, Bon Appétit

This kitchen sink-style recipe takes any mix of nuts and dried fruit in your pantry (in my case, walnuts, pistachios, dates, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds), then combines it all with some old-fashioned oats, sugar, and butter, and throws in just enough flour and egg to (surprisingly) hold it all together — even if you only leave the dough to chill in the fridge for the bare minimum of two hours. As with the outdoorsy snack for which they’re named, these cookies are best with enough chocolate chips (and butterscotch chips, in my case) to disqualify them as healthy. I made mine big and chewy and riddled with flaky sea salt, and you should too. — Nicholas Mancall-Bitel, Eater associate editor

Korean Pork and Rice Cakes With Bok Choy

Blue Apron

I’ve dabbled in meal kits over the past few years, scheduling them to arrive when I’m in a particularly deep cooking rut, and usually find them to be hit or miss. But one recipe has made my on-again, off-again relationship with Blue Apron entirely worth it, and it’s this one for Korean rice cakes with ground pork, which has now entered my permanent rotation (and has made Korean rice cakes a must-buy during trips to H Mart). The baseline for a good, actually quick dinner is all here, but over the years, it’s morphed a bit in my kitchen. I skip the creme fraiche entirely, and instead of the meal kit’s “soy glaze” and black bean sauce, I hit the dish with oyster sauce when adding the cooked cakes to the rest of the stir fry. Usually gochujang is scrapped for a drizzle of chile oil right at the end. But it’s truly a fast, great, last-minute solution to the endless “what’s for dinner” question. — Erin DeJesus, Eater lead editor

Grilled Striped Bass With Charred Kale and Yellow Squash

Jeff Schwarz and Greg Kessler, NYT Cooking

My boyfriend and I recently moved one block closer to Venice’s Friday farmers market, a negligible change that has nonetheless propelled us to now go every week. Last week, we picked up our usual array of greens, herbs, and squash, and supplemented it with a visit to a new Santa Monica fish market and outdoor restaurant: Crudo e Nudo. We asked for the chef’s recommendation for the best fish to buy that day and were steered toward the striped bass. Cue a Google recipe rabbit hole, which led us to blend — philosophically — multiple methods that night, the main guide being this New York Times take on grilled striped bass with grilled veggies. My boyfriend kicked up its oregano-heavy chimichurri sauce-marinade with finely chopped fresh sage, parsley, and thyme, which later became a gremolata that we spooned over the fish before we ate. We tossed the squash and other veggies lightly in olive oil and salt before grilling, then brushed on a blended dressing we call the nectar of the gods: an unholy amount garlic, basil, olive oil, and lemon (which you can loosen with water as needed). — Nicole Adlman, Eater cities manager

Easiest Chicken Adobo

Claire Saffitz, Bon Appétit Basically

It was a challenge to find a chicken adobo recipe that was good enough to please my wife’s family. Their mantra is always bone-in chicken with more vinegar than soy sauce. The first few times I made this recipe, they recoiled at the addition of jalapeno, so I took that out, and I still find it hard to get the texture of the broth right. Simmer it too long and it’s more of a sauce; add too much water and it’s too thin. The best version of chicken adobo, which this recipe can help you achieve with a little practice, is somewhere happily in between: a sort of brothy sauce that gently coats the chicken as you place it over a pile of steaming-hot white rice. I’m still sort of self-conscious about how I make chicken adobo, but if my wife and her family like it, that’s all the approval I need. — Matthew Kang, Eater LA editor

Vegan Ranch

Betsy Carter, Tasty

Welp, it’s officially salad season, which means that for the remainder of the summer my work-from-home lunches move from something hot and soupy to something cold and crunchy. I’m also a relatively recent convert to the idea that what you put in the salad is way less important than what you put on it. A nuanced dressing can take whatever pile of fridge produce you have and turn it into something that you actually look forward to eating each day. The particular allure of ranch is the opposite of newsworthy, but as I’ve been cutting down on most forms of dairy lately, I needed to travel beyond the Hidden Valley. A quick google led me to this well-reviewed vegan ranch dip that I thinned out a bit to make it more dressing-y. I also threw in a little nutritional yeast because, well, umami. The result is incredibly satisfying on my pile of little gems and cukes; later I put a few fried-chicken tenders from the freezer on top and felt like I was at a TGI Fridays (which was sort of what I was going for). You can add a little salsa to go “Southwestern,” or keep it thick as a dip for your carrot sticks and pizza crust. It’s ranch! — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Almond Rhubarb Picnic Bars

Smitten Kitchen

Give me your ramps, your morels, your fiddleheads, and eventually your rhubarb. I’m one of those farmers market nerds who gets particularly excited around the arrival of just about any spring seasonal ingredient, and rhubarb is no exception; once late May rolls around in northern Virginia, I know this recipe’s time will come soon. That moment arrived last weekend! I’m not much of a dessert person (or dessert baker), but these are an exception I always make time for — they’re tart enough to keep my attention, and the almond filling provides a rich contrast with the star ingredient. These are reasonably easy to make, though I’ve never been able to get my design to turn out as beautiful as the Smitten Kitchen photo. (I also seem to end up using up a lot less rhubarb than she does.) Take them to a picnic as the recipe title suggests, or a friend’s barbecue, or just eat them chilled right out of the refrigerator (they make a great breakfast) as we tend to do. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

May 21, 2021

Croque Madame

Cook’s Country

I can tell myself that this is just a fancy ham and cheese, but let’s be real. This is the kind of dish I’m going to be excited to order for brunch but less excited to make at home. (I have to make a sauce and prep several components and pre- and post-toast the bread and get a fried egg timed just right? Sounds like a lot.) While I won’t pretend that this is one of the least labor-intensive recipes I’ve tackled, I actually found it to be reasonably manageable, with the instructions precise enough to ensure things turned out well. Given it was made as part of one of the first Mother’s Day celebrations I’ve had with my mom in years, it was definitely worth the effort. We paired this with sticky buns, fruit, and a frisee salad, and… it was just too much food. Just stick with the sandwich — and a French 75 to go with it. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Gambas al Ajillo

Anya von Bremzen, Food & Wine

I knew last Friday when I bought jumbo shrimp at the farmers market that they were destined to be gambas. Gambas al ajillo — a traditional Spanish dish that can be hastily put together on the chance you have sherry, shrimp, and lots of garlic at home — is one of my favorite no-think dinners for its ease, versatility, and bread-dipping potential. But the next day I realized I also had chorizo in the fridge and good sweet corn from the grocery store, which inspired thoughts of making gambas by way of the bayou (a stretch, but stay with me) for dinner that night. I seared our chorizo link in a cast iron until it was browned and plumped and then added a container ship-size amount of minced garlic to saute in its oil for a few minutes. Afterwards, using this Food & Wine recipe as rough guidance, I threw in the corn (already tender from a quick boil), shrimp, sherry, and two semi-seeded slivers of chile de arbol to cook in the chorizo-garlic pool. The result? Something not-quite-seafood-boil, not-quite-gambas, but fully the Saturday night dinner I needed after a long week. — Nicole Adlman, Eater cities manager

Sheet-Pan Chicken with Artichokes and Herbs

Kay Chun, NYT Cooking

I am not generally the kind of person who likes to follow recipes, but I can be drawn in by the simplicity of a one sheet-pan meal. This dish in particular was minimal effort for maximum reward, and it even impressed my date — which was really the point. I substituted chicken breast for thighs because it was what I had in my fridge already, and I turned the broiler on toward the end of the cook time to get a bit more color on everything. You finish it off with lemon juice, olives, and red pepper flakes. I am definitely going to make this again but will need to wait for summer to be over, because I refuse to turn on my oven when it’s more than 80 degrees outside. — Stephen Pelletteri, Eater executive producer

Tehina Shakes

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, the Splendid Table

The weather is heating up here in New England, and I’ve been craving milkshakes nonstop. That, along with dreaming of a day when travel is safer, got me thinking about the mint Goldie Falafel tehina shakes I fell in love with on a work trip to Philly a couple of years back. They’re super easy to make, and they yield a fair amount of extra mint syrup that I’ve been putting in my iced tea every day. (Note: A little bit goes a long way.) A couple bonus lessons learned: 1. I’m a dairy fiend and have never really ventured into the world of alternative milks, but I bought the almond milk called for in the recipe (which is vegan), and now I keep my fridge stocked with almond milk at all times. It expires much more slowly than dairy milk, and I’ve been using it in oatmeal, where I don’t miss the dairy at all. I’m looking forward to trying it in other scenarios. 2. Making little shaved chocolate curls with a vegetable peeler is very easy and weirdly soothing — and it makes any dessert look extra fancy and like you sort of know what you’re doing even if you don’t. — Rachel Blumenthal, Eater Boston editor

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Melissa Clark, NYT Cooking

I was crossing through the farmers market last weekend, determined not to blow my grocery budget on ramps and fiddlehead ferns, when I fell prey to a bright red pile of rhubarb. I did a quick search of my bookmarked recipes and unearthed this upside-down rhubarb cake from Melissa Clark, which seemed like a good way to celebrate the transition to full-on summer weather in New York. The recipe stretched my supply of bowls and counter space, but the process was straightforward. A lot of rhubarb juice inevitably leaked from the springform pan during baking (I didn’t have foil to double-wrap the pan), but I collected it and poured it back on top when the cake was finished. The rhubarb turned out perfectly tender and juicy, while the cake remained springy thanks to cake flour. I don’t think I’ll make another rhubarb dessert this season, but I’ll keep this one in mind for next year. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater associate editor

May 15, 2021

Asparagus and Brie Puff Pastry with Thyme Honey

Tieghan Gerard, Half-Baked Harvest

My oldest sister sent me this Half-Baked Harvest recipe three times ahead of Mother’s Day — when another sister and I would be making brunch for our family. I was happy to oblige since I could tell from photos that this is just the kind of recipe that would appear involved and a “wow” to my beloved family, but be incredibly easy for me to put together. As ever, this HBH recipe was straightforward and quick, and I followed it word-for-word with two exceptions: I skipped the red pepper flakes since my mom and abuela are anti-spice; and didn’t care to melt the honey, butter, and thyme in a saucepan for the pastry glaze — opting instead for a bowl in the microwave. Sure enough, my family immediately raved about the buttery, flaky pastry and its gooey brie and roasted asparagus filling. I’d suggest going for thin sprigs and overdoing it on the egg wash; it’s also a must that these be served right out of the oven. I’ve already been asked to make these again for Father’s Day brunch. — Patty Diez, Eater project manager

Salted Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Danielle Oron, NYT Cooking

Cookies really have become my go-to baking project this year. Last week’s were this salted tahini chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I chose partially for myself, and partially to give away to two friends (sharing is caring and baking is caring). I ended up using much more tahini than the recipe called for because I wanted to finish off the jar I had. I like to think that it caused the cookie to be more cake-like, which I was into. At the last minute, I decided to throw in peanut butter chips as a pantry-clearing move. The resulting combination of tahini, peanut butter, and chocolate plus the slight flaky salt was on-point. I liked that the recipe required an overnight chill, which gave me reason to prep the dough ahead of time. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor

Cured Egg Yolks atop Cacio e Pepe

Christopher Kostow, Bon Appétit and Gimme Some Oven

The inspiration for this combo began on a Friday night after making tequila sours. Not wanting to waste the fancy farmers market egg yolks I had leftover after making the beverage, I decided to try out this surprisingly easy Bon Appétit recipe for cured egg yolks. After four days, the semi-firm, salty yolks were cured and dried. (Instead of drying them out in the oven, I actually wrapped mine in a cheese cloth and hung them from a cabinet for a few days like in this video.) I decided the best thing to add them to would be Gimme Some Oven’s cacio e pepe recipe. For the pasta, I ended up using perciatelli noodles, which seemed larger than our local grocery store’s bucatini and therefore more effective for holding onto all of that cheesy sauce and grated cured egg yolk. In the end, the yolk added an additional layer of soft texture (think finely grated gruyere) and loads of umami. — Terri Ciccone, Eater audience development manager

Gif of a cured egg yolk behind grated atop a plate of pasta. Terri Ciccone


Claire Saffitz, Vice Munchies

As for many, baking got me through the pandemic. I learned how to make all kinds of pastries, breads, and desserts, and upped my game on a few baking techniques I already had in my back pocket. At some point, I realized that I had all the skills to tackle a multilayered, over-the-top baking project — nay, extravaganza: the very special-occasion croquembouche. For Mother’s Day, my brother suggested that we try baking something together to present to our mom, a gift that she would appreciate because it meant we had worked together. Claire Saffitz’s croquembouche, which she explains in great detail in not one but two very helpful videos, was the move. I made the puffs and creme patisserie in advance, but on assembly day, it was all me and Shane. Not burning yourself with the caramel is a feat, as is the assembly, but I had the baking skills and Shane had the organizational skills to actually pull it off. I dipped while Shane constructed the ’bouche, and in the end, we were both stunned by how structurally sound and extremely delicious it was. (Our mom was also very impressed.)

The croquembouche is an exciting presentation dessert, worth your time if you’re looking for some pizzazz at a post-pandemic gathering or an edible gift for a loved one. Saffitz’s recipe explains everything in great detail, which makes it feel less intimidating, but if you have someone who can do the whole thing with you, it’ll be twice as good. — Dayna Evans, Eater Philly editor

Littleneck Clams in the Style of Escargot

Mary-Frances Heck, Food & Wine

I moved to a new apartment in March, but I’m still unearthing moving box gems like three-year-old food magazines. I flipped through a 2019 Food & Wine pile and found a fortuitous recipe for littleneck clams cooked in the style of escargot — fortuitous because it was Monday and my boyfriend and I had clams from the Friday farmers market in our fridge. The recipe encourages using an old Italian trick to literally purge the clams of sand that might be trapped within them, which involves giving them an ice bath as you prep the buttery, shalloty, parsley-flecked mixture that goes into the clam shells once they open in the oven. We didn’t have an escargot dish, so just used our old faithful Han Solo Le Creuset roasting pan (it works fine). Once the clams opened in our screaming-hot oven, we stuffed in little orbs of the escargot-ish mixture: butter, dry white wine (we used sauvignon blanc we had on hand), minced garlic, and shallots (we subbed in shallot-shaped yellow onions from the farmers market), salt, pepper, flat-leaf parsley. You broil that for a few minutes and get plump, lightly browned clams and slightly caramelized butter-broth that you could drink out a flute glass, but probably shouldn’t. — Nicole Adlman, cities manager

Asparagus, goat cheese, and lemon pasta

Smitten Kitchen

I love when recipes can be boiled down to one simple, convenient premise. The premise of this recipe is: Turn a log of goat cheese into a pasta sauce — which is exactly what I wanted to do because I thought it would liven up the pasta and peas I was planning to make for my baby and then eat for lunch over the next couple days. Because I was making this to share with my baby and wasn’t willing to pick up any groceries specifically for it, I ended up making several tweaks: I used frozen peas instead of fresh asparagus; I didn’t use any salt; I used Banza (pasta made from chickpea flour); and to be extra sure the goat cheese didn’t get at all clumpy, I blitzed it through my food processor with olive oil before warming it up in the pot. My 11-month-old loved this dinner; I really enjoyed it the next day as a cold pasta salad, too. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurant editor

Paella in a pan. Ellen Fort/Eater

May 7, 2021

Paella Mixta

Joanne Weir,

Listen up world, it’s going to be a Hot Paella Summer! Now that I have procured not one but THREE paella pans from World Market, plus a boatload of Calasparra rice, the world of paella stretches on before me. Last weekend was my first go, and it was a success. Because I’m extra, I brought that big paella energy by making three different pans of beautiful rice for friends and family. One was seafood (calamari tubes and tentacles, bay scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams), one was vegetarian (cauliflower, peas, asparagus, red peppers), and the last and most popular was paella mixta (shrimp, chicken, Spanish chorizo). I used a recipe from a cookbook that came out last year, East Bay Cooks by Carolyn Jung, which featured a paella from La Marcha, a Spanish restaurant in Berkeley, and cooked it on the grill. That recipe is not available online, but chef and author Joanne Weir has a great method for this and other paellas on her website; highly recommend. Cooking the paella on the grill gave it a great wood-fired flavor, but of course it’s possible to do in the oven or on the stovetop, too. Make sure to squeeze generously with lemon and dollop with aioli when it’s done. — Ellen Fort, Eater SF interim editor

Pickled Ramps

Claire Saffitz, Bon Appétit

Can you call yourself a food writer if you DON’T pay too much for ramps at some point at the farmers market each spring? I couldn’t resist the siren song of the seasonal alliums, and my go-to method for preserving them is pickling. This brine from Bon App is a little sweet, but nicely balanced. Since I could not afford the full 8 ounces of ramps that the recipe calls for, I threw in some watermelon radishes, which also took well to the mixture (though they unsurprisingly turned it pink). Ever since making this, I’ve been enjoying the ramps and radishes as everything from a taco topping to — thanks to a suggestion from a coworker — a martini garnish. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Chicken Katsu

Kay Chun, NYT Cooking

I can’t believe I’m about to write the following sentence: I had friends over to dinner the other night. It was my first time hosting since the pandemic began, and it brought me immense joy to see our fully vaccinated party of four crowded around my little table — especially since there was chicken katsu in the middle. The NYT recipe was pretty easy throughout, exactly the sort of bulletproof recipe I needed to ease back into socializing. I served it with leftover coconut rice, sliced cabbage, roasted broccoli, and enough wine to remind everyone how to interact with other human beings. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater associate editor

Farro With Blistered Tomatoes, Pesto and Spinach

Yasmin Fahr, NYT Cooking

The nightly routine of protein + vegetable + carb can get really old. Yasmin Fahr’s Farro With Blistered Tomatoes, Pesto and Spinach checked two boxes, then: It uses farro, which for me was a nice change of pace (a girl can only eat so much rice and pasta), and it combines the vegetables and the grains in one dish, breaking the tired formula of meat and two sides. The recipe comes together quickly, as the tomatoes and onions roast in the oven while the farro cooks for about the same amount of time on the stove, and then everything is combined into one pot and mixed together. The snappy farro with the creamy pesto, bursting tomatoes, and soft chunks of mozzarella was truly a delight. Plus, it’s packed with greens — the spinach and parsley melt right into the hot farro — so I felt like I was getting some extra nutrients, too. I’ll be making this again as a side dish for Mother’s Day, or so I was informed by my mother, who saw the enticing pictures on Instagram. — Terri Ciccone, Eater audience development manager

Jaya Saxena

Neapolitan Pie

Bill Clark, A Piece of Cake

I finally hosted my first friends over for dinner since before the pandemic started, and as promised, my partner and I went a step more elaborate than we would for a regular dinner. There were cocktails and a lasagna that required homemade bechamel sauce, but the star was former Meme’s Diner co-owner Bill Clark’s Neapolitan Pie from his Substack “A Piece of Cake.” Like so much of Clark’s/Meme’s food, it’s an exercise in sophisticated nostalgia. The three-colored box of ice cream becomes a chocolate cookie crust layered with chocolate ganache, vanilla custard, and a strawberry meringue that requires some tricky mixing over a double boiler but is absolutely worth it for the creamy marshmallow texture punctuated by tangy freeze-dried strawberries. It was a hit, the perfect thing to share with old friends to celebrate that we could hug again. — Jaya Saxena, Eater staff writer

Rustic Buckwheat Apple Ginger Cake

Melissa Clark, Dinner in French

If “rustic” is code for “simple,” this nervous baker is ready to tackle more flour-and-butter-fueled projects. In this recipe from Melissa Clark’s latest book, the New York Times columnist describes how the idea came from Dorie Greenspan, who “sort of got it from a fashionable Parisian friend.” I was about to flip the page but am glad I gave it a try. There’s no daunting laundry list of ingredients for this dessert that’s ready in about an hour. You’re encouraged to use a mix of apples. The buckwheat component makes it seem almost healthy and gives it an earthy note. My favorite part (besides how easy it was to bake) were the nubs of candied ginger in the cake. It was like finding a treat hidden inside a dessert. — Bao Ong, Eater New York editor

April 30, 2021

Neapolitan Cookies

Sarah Kieffer, 100 Cookies/The Vanilla Bean Blog

I felt the need last week to make a slightly more involved cookie than the usual sugar or chocolate chip, so I turned to Sarah Kieffer’s 100 Cookies (my new go-to bake book) for inspiration. The Neapolitan cookie looked fun and pretty; plus, I’m a fan of trying to use up ingredients that I have at home already: My dad sent a package of freeze-dried strawberries a while back, and I always seem to have arguably too much cacao powder in my pantry. My less-than-stellar food processor left larger chunks of strawberries, a happy accident that left deliciously gummy pieces and added a nice texture to the cookies. I added more food dye than the recipe called for, too, because I wanted a brighter cookie. I had fun figuring out how to mold the three colored doughs together. The final cookies were tasty and a good challenge — I liked attempting to take a huge bite of all three flavors at the same time — and were a hit with friends and my vaccination volunteering teams. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor

Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken with Fried Basil

Sue Li, NYT Cooking

They say the path to hell is paved with good intentions to make recipes you’ve seen online — and by they, I’m not so subtly referring to my unnecessarily judgmental bookmarked recipes folder. To end my purgatory, I made Sue Li’s delightfully nuanced, anise-and-cinnamon-fragrant Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken with Fried Basil. The marinating and frying processes drew primarily on pantry staples (soy sauce, salt, sugar, tapioca flour, and Chinese five-spice powder), and they were so simple that even my frying-wary sister coaxed shatteringly crisp, golden nuggets and glassy shards of basil from the oil, which we paired with simple offerings of rice and lemon-spiked asparagus. While the pictures may not do it justice, referring to this clip from Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ playing in reverse is an accurate depiction of what it feels like to make this recipe. — Jesse Sparks, Eater cities editor


Rick Martinez, Bon Appétit

“Every family has their own version of picadillo,” reads the headnote on this Bon Appetit recipe. Sure enough, my household has made this picadillo — with several tweaks — a weeknight staple. I’ll be honest: I rarely cook, so it’s my partner, Daniel, doing the work here. His adaptations: Start with the onion, not the beef, and add oregano, basil, and thyme — “my herb trifecta,” in his words — to the spice mix, along with paprika for color. Double the amount of garlic (“always double garlic”), and simmer a guajillo chile and bay leaf in with the mix. Last but not least, he swaps in Beyond Meat for the beef, which tastes just as good and suits both our dietary restrictions. Hey, every family has their version. — Ellie Krupnick, Eater director of editorial operations

Ellen Fort

Smoked Brisket

Danielle Bennett, Traeger Grills

Last weekend was particularly nice, so naturally I spontaneously purchased an enormous brisket from Black Hawk Farms, a Kentucky-based farm selling American Wagyu, at the farmers market. It had been a while since I fed a group of friends, so it felt right: We’ve all been vaccinated, and the weather demanded outdoor activities, such as throwing slabs of meat onto grills. I followed the direction and recipe of Danielle “Diva Q” Bennett, a chef ambassador for Traeger Grills; she has a great video on how to properly trim a brisket, which is invaluable. I followed this recipe, more or less, with the addition of Diva Q’s suggestion to spritz the brisket with apple juice every hour (you can steal the juice from your kids’ stash, like I did; it does not have to be fresh-pressed). After hours and hours of gentle smoking on the Traeger, and a cozy aluminum foil wrapping for the last couple hours of cooking, the meat came out glistening and jiggly, just like the barbecue gods intended. My friends approved, and a small chunk of leftover brisket became nachos over the weekend. — Ellen Fort, Eater San Francisco interim editor

Conveyor Belt Chicken

Samin Nosrat, Salt Fat Acid Heat

Chicken thighs are one of those ingredients everyone insists is “foolproof,” but it wasn’t until I tried Samin Nosrat’s Conveyor Belt Chicken from Salt Fat Acid Heat that it actually felt that way. The recipe is so named because “a friend told her that it’s so good you’ll want a conveyor belt to get that chicken into your mouth as quickly as possible” and is less a recipe than an endlessly adaptable technique. The boned thighs are cooked low, pressed down by a cast iron pan or heavy can of tomatoes (whatever you use, wrap it in foil first), resulting in the perfectly crispy skin and juicy meat you’re going for. We topped them with an easy herb salsa (blitz whatever fresh herbs you have with shallots and olive oil) and served them with some roasted sweet potatoes we needed to cook. I can’t exaggerate how easy this was. — Jaya Saxena, Eater staff writer

Roasted Chicken Matzo Ball Soup

Jake Cohen, Jew-Ish (excerpted by the Pioneer Woman)

I’m thrilled to report that my husband and I are slated to get our second vaccine dose within a week of each other, but I (like most of us) have heard varying reports about the next-day crummies. I decided to plan ahead and make a pot of my ol’ faithful cure-all, matzo ball soup, to stock in the freezer in case either of us need it. Seeing as I currently have no actual Jewish mothers present who would be insulted if I didn’t use their generations-old recipe (note: I’m 90 percent certain it’s the one from the box of the matzo meal), I decided to switch things up and try a version from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Jew-Ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch, by the glorious and hilarious Jake Cohen. His recipe doesn’t stray too far from my tried-and-true, but it does roast the vegetables before making the stock, which resulted in a richer, darker elixir that I fully expect to take care of anything Pfizer or Moderna throws at us. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

April 23, 2021

Missy Frederick

Sourdough English Muffins

King Arthur Baking

Given that I’ve managed to keep my trusty sourdough starter, Carby, alive since January of 2020, I’m often on the lookout for recipes on how to creatively use up sourdough discard (though, pro tip: a perfectly acceptable place to put your discard is in the trash). These English muffins seemed like an appealing way to downsize Carby; I’ve never tried to make even traditional English muffins before, so this would double as a new cooking adventure. Turns out they’re pretty easy — I did get an assist on the dough by using my bread machine to mix it (a wooden spoon or a mixer are fine alternatives), but I found the process pretty straightforward, especially if you have a ring-style cutter for the individual muffins. Mine turned out terrific — cute, well textured, and including the requisite nooks and crannies (the sourdough flavor wasn’t terribly pronounced, but those with the patience to let their dough rest overnight might detect more tang). They’ve been a convenient breakfast item this past week and will certainly be doubling as hamburger buns in the future, courtesy of the several I decided to freeze. — Missy Fredrick, Eater cities director

Prakas’ Rib-Eye

Kris Yenbamroong, Food & Wine

To celebrate my mom, my husband, and me all getting our second vaccine shot, we treated ourselves to this simple but excellent rib-eye dish from the LA Thai restaurant Night + Market. Our local market, Shuang Hur, had almost everything we needed, including the best bunches of purple basil, but it didn’t carry the Golden Mountain Thai seasoning the recipe calls for. Luckily, the internet came through with an approximated home version. The dish comes together quickly, but the flavor is Big Time Stuff. The rib-eye soaks in tons of umami from the oyster sauce, soy, tomatoes, and Thai seasoning. Finishing it off with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano seems almost counterintuitive — I’m not used to putting cheese on my expensive steak — but let me just tell you how not sorry I was. — Joy Summers, Eater Twin Cities editor

Green Rice with Tomatoes, Eggs, and Almonds

David Tamarkin, Epicurious

The first time I saw good-looking tomatoes this spring, I knew it was time to revisit this tried-and-true rice recipe. If, like me, you’re drawn to all sauces green — chimichurri, chermoula, zhoug, chutney — this green rice with tomatoes and almonds might just become your next weekday go-to, too. Herbs are easily swappable depending on what’s available, and it pairs well with the addition of just about any protein: chicken thighs, tofu, even a grilled cheese like haloumi or paneer (this week I made it with giant Louisiana shrimp). I was reminded to always, always make extra green sauce when I caught my spouse draining the last of it from the food processor for one final taste. — Clair Lorell, Eater New Orleans editor

Overnight Chia Pudding

Solid Starts

The only new recipe I’ve made this week is actually a recipe from a baby-food website — but, like, a really really good baby-food website. I’ve been following Solid Starts on Instagram and using their food database religiously as I’ve been navigating the process of introducing table food to my baby. The Solid Starts premise (and, more broadly, the baby-led weaning premise): Not only are babies totally capable of handling appropriately prepared finger foods, but by exposing them to a wide variety of food and empowering them to feed themselves, picky eating can be avoided. I don’t know if I really believe anything can prevent picky eating, but it’s worth it to me to try. So. Chia pudding. Soft, scoopable, and packed with nutrients, the Solid Starts recipe uses unsweetened coconut milk and has mashed banana for flavor. I left it in the fridge overnight and really enjoyed having it for breakfast the next day. My baby? She wasn’t super into it at first (or at second, when I mixed it into her beloved Greek yogurt the next day), but I’m hopeful that when we try again in a week or two she’ll be more enthusiastic. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurants editor

A hand holds one of seven sprinkle-covered mochi squares Kevin J. Miyazaki

Butter Mochi

Sheldon Simeon, Cook Real Hawaiʻi

My sister’s birthday was — checks watch — two months ago, and I thought it was about time to help her celebrate with something festive and chocolaty. She was recently telling me about all the mochi she’s been impulsively buying through Instagram ads, so I decided to bake her Sheldon Simeon’s birthday cake mochi from Cook Real Hawaiʻi, which Eater featured last month. Since I’m the sort of baker who remembers to order mochiko (sweet rice flour) from but forgets he doesn’t have a 9-by-13 baking dish, I had to improvise a bit, splitting the batter into a quarter sheet pan and a loaf pan. The mochi cake emerged from both pans satisfyingly chewy, almost like fudge in flavor, perfectly sweet, and a touch crunchy from the icing (to which I added toasted peanuts in place of Pop Rocks) — though the squatter pieces that came out of the sheet pan had a better ratio of flavors and textures than the loaf pan’s taller pieces, which were a bit of a chore to chew. — Nick Mancall Bitel, Eater associate editor

Zoe’s Devil’s Food Cake

Zoe François, Zoe Bakes

Minneapolis-based pastry chef and cookbook author Zoë François’s Instagram feed has been my zen reprieve during the pandemic. When everything seemed chaotic and the news was at its ugliest, her informative stories made complex pastry techniques seem so attainable. Plus, my girl loves a dramatic blowtorch flourish. Even for me, someone who has Pinterest-failed her way through most baking challenges, François makes the complex seem achievable. Inside her new Zoë Bakes Cakes cookbook is the single best chocolate cake recipe I have ever attempted. It’s incredibly rich chocolate without being so overboard that you need a cup of coffee just to look at it. I can almost hear François’s calm, steadying voice walking me through all the processes while early Aretha Franklin wails in the background. I swear, the crumb even does that sproingy thing that Mary Berry would approve of. This wasn’t even a special occasion cake, just another blursday in an endless series as Minnesota subjects us to seventh winter. (Prince was right; it snows in April here.) This will be, from here on out, our chocolate cake for every cake occasion, including I’m-Bored-It’s-Thursday. — JS

April 16, 2021

Farro Salad with Leeks, Chickpeas, and Currants

Melissa Clark, NYT Cooking

Long before the pandemic I was a devoted fan of the “big fridge salad” — something bulky and bright that can sit in a container all week and get scooped into bowls for a quick laptop lunch. Mine have historically been a recipe-less jumble of something grainy with something hearty and green, some tangy cheese, some kinda bean, and some vinaigrette. A few weeks ago, though, I was looking for a way to use up a few leeks (I never know what to do with leeks) and stumbled upon this gem from the one and only Melissa Clark. I’ve since made it thrice; it’s that good. The leeks get roasted (who knew?) with a bunch of olive oil that eventually becomes the dressing for a mix of farro, chickpeas, celery leaves, and dried fruit. The recipe calls for currants but I’ve subbed dried apricots and dried cherries to excellent results. I like to undercook the farro a bit for extra texture, and adding some walnuts couldn’t hurt either. One recipe makes enough for my husband and I to feast off for five days without getting sick of it, the ultimate fridge-salad test. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Blueberry Crumb Cake

Maida Heatter, Happiness Is Baking: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Muffins, Brownies, Cookies: Favorite Desserts from the Queen of Cake

Every Saturday night, my mother-in-law comes over to babysit my kids. It’s a privilege I never take for granted, especially given these strange times, so I try to return the favor by making sure there are sweets in the house to satisfy her impressive appetite. My go-to for inspiration is often Maida Heatter, an iconic source for deceptively simple but delicious sweets. This week, since I had a quart of blueberries about to turn, we made her blueberry crumb cake. It is dead simple as a parent-kid activity, uses pantry staples, and is a perfect dessert or breakfast cake to have with your coffee. I find it superior to other blueberry crumb cakes because the cake itself is not very sweet and only uses half a stick of butter, but the crumb coating is excessively rich and buttery. Plus it has an intense blueberry-to-cake ratio. We followed the recipe exactly as written and I wouldn’t change a thing. — Amanda Kludt, editor in chief

Lamb Chops with Red Lentils

Nik Sharma, Sunset

While making this dish, I was completely in awe of Nik Sharma’s mind. I make dal all the time, and I love lamb, and yet the idea of putting chile-spiced lamb chops over lentils flavored with both cumin and thyme never occurred to me. It takes some flavorful kitchen standards and elevates them just so, resulting in a dish that comes together in under an hour but is fit for a dinner party. Or just a Wednesday night when you’re feeling a little celebratory. — Jaya Saxena, staff writer

Thumbprint cookies with chocolate at the center. Stefania Orrù

Chocolate Thumbprints

Martha Stewart

My deep desire for freshly baked cookies often comes at inopportune times, like in the middle of the workday. Thankfully, working from home allows me to sneak in a quick bake during lunch and type away while whatever I’ve haphazardly shoved in the oven does its thing. Enter Queen Martha’s chocolate thumbprints: A buttery, not-too-sweet cookie with some kind of chocolate element really covers all the bases for me, and this is perhaps the easiest batch of cookies I’ve ever made. This dough comes together in a stand mixer with relative ease in just a few minutes. I skipped the double boiler for the chocolate filling in favor of microwaving in short bursts to get everything melted just right. My own personal riff? Flaky Maldon salt sprinkled right over the filled cookies. Sprinkle it over everything you eat. Sprinkle it directly on your tongue. Flaky salt forever. — Stefania Orrù, coordinating producer

Simple Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit

I don’t have any particular dietary restrictions, but I am fond of healthyish versions of classic dishes. Case in point: this Bon Appétit quiche that swaps in sweet potato for crust, subs Greek yogurt for cream, and stars an entire (small) bunch of kale. Sauteed sweet potato makes a flavorful shell for the eggy, oniony center, but it was tricky to press into a consistent crust and didn’t crisp as much as I expected. Despite baking the quiche for 75 minutes (toward the top of the recommended range) and the fact that it appeared set, I found the center remained pretty loose once I cut in. That said, my partner and I ate it all with no regrets. It’s excellent for dinner with a hunk of sourdough, breakfast with coffee, or an afternoon snack straight from the fridge. I would make it again, if only to see if I can’t iron out the kinks. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, associate editor

Whole Roasted Gochujang Cauliflower with Smashed Roasted Butter Beans

Hetty McKinnon, To Asia, With Love

I’ve been cooking out of Hetty McKinnon’s new cookbook To Asia, With Love ever since it arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. Every recipe I’ve tried has been a keeper, most recently the whole-roasted gochujang cauliflower with smashed roasted butter beans. As someone who loves cauliflower and eats gochujang straight from the jar, I appreciated the opportunity to put these two things together, particularly in the manner McKinnon does here: She creates a sauce from the gochujang, yogurt, and a bit of olive oil, and both massages it into the roasting cauliflower and serves it as an accompaniment to the finished dish. Have you ever massaged a roasting head of cauliflower? If not, it is oddly relaxing, and I recommend that you do so. While my butter beans didn’t roast properly and had the consistency of drywall, the flavor — enhanced with cumin, coriander, and ginger — still won the day, and I’m looking forward to cooking this one again. — Rebecca Flint Marx, senior editor

April 9, 2021

Kuku Sabzi

Samin Nosrat, NYT Cooking

A while back I bought a bulk pack of dried barberries, and this week I noticed I was nearing the end of my supply. I decided to use them up with Samin Nosrat’s recipe for kuku sabzi (herb-packed Persian frittata), which the New York Times reposted for Nowruz in March. I started in the afternoon, knowing all the washing, chopping, and drying of herbs would take some time. The recipe also proved a bit logistically challenging toward the end, when you have to tip oil out of the skillet from beneath the kuku, flip the kuku onto a platter, add the reserved oil back to the pan, and slide the kuku back in. Several times during this process I found myself thinking, There must be an easier way to do this. But the end result was delicious. The exterior was nicely crispy, and the interior was a vibrant green from a triple threat of cilantro, parsley, and dill. While it was a bit of a heavy lift for a lone cook (without a salad spinner, decent platter, or flipping assistant), it was an excellent project for a weekend afternoon. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater editorial associate

Air Fryer Cracklin’ Chicken

Nom Nom Paleo

When I periodically find myself in “healthier” eating mode, I most often end up craving protein, so it’s good for me to have plenty on hand to avoid cases of extreme hangriness. For the past couple of Sundays, I’ve been preparing batches of these crispy chicken thighs to have throughout the week. It’s a very basic recipe, with the maybe-not-minor caveat that I have to debone the thighs myself, as I can’t really find boneless chicken thighs with skin around Northern Virginia (that said, once you get handy with a pair of kitchen shears, this is quick work). I season them on the skin side with kosher salt and on the meat side with a homemade batch of Nom Nom Paleo author Michelle Tam’s Magic Mushroom Powder (for those less inclined to make their own condiments, it’s for sale in some Whole Foods, and places like Trader Joe’s have similar seasoning mixes). But I expect any seasoning of your choice would work — just avoid seasoning the skin side with anything that might burn.

I used to cook these thighs on the stove, but I’ve found that the air fryer makes the process even easier, less messy, and completely hands-off once they’re ready to cook. (Make sure not to crowd the basket; my small air fryer attachment can only handle three thighs at a time.) Once prepared, you can use them as the base for quick meals, but I usually end up reheating one in the air fryer for four minutes and then pairing it with a bit of fruit for 3 p.m. Snack Hour — for me, the hangriest of hours. Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

An uncovered pot of chicken and rice sits on a stove top, a dish towel next to it
Spiced coconut chicken rice
Hillary Dixler Canavan

Spiced Coconut Chicken Rice

Bon Appétit

On the advice of my coworker Milly, I made sure to get some basmati rice and coconut milk in my grocery delivery so I could make Shayma Owaise Saadat’s spiced coconut rice recipe from Bon App. This is still a pandemic, though, so of course by the time I got it together to actually cook this, I didn’t have shallots or fresh garlic. No problem. Even with garlic powder subbed in and cayenne skipped so I could be sure my baby would eat it too, this one-pot dinner sang. While I played fast and loose with the aromatics, I do recommend following the specific process the recipe calls for: Use the kitchen towel method, and don’t peek as the rice cooks to ensure what you end up with is soft but not mushy. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, restaurant editor

Buckwheat Banana Bread

Roxana Jullapat, Mother Grains

As a fan of Roxana Jullapat’s Los Angeles bakery Friends & Family, I was thrilled to hear about her new cookbook, Mother Grains. Its arrival in my home happily coincided with the onset of what I refer to as the Great Purge, which is the month or so leading up to a move that I dedicate to using up as many of the ingredients in my kitchen as humanly possible. Jullapat’s banana buckwheat bread recipe gave me a perfect opportunity to dispatch not only four rotten bananas that had been living in my freezer, but also the better part of a bag of buckwheat flour that had been hiding in my pantry for the last year or so. Yes, I know that some now consider banana bread to be a relic of Pandemic Spring, but whatever; banana bread is obviously eternal, in part because of recipes such as this one. In addition to being very simple — add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients, stir, and pour into a loaf pan — it’s got a tender crumb, just enough sweetness, and that buckwheat tang. Adding buckwheat to a pastry is like that scene in Working Girl where Melanie Griffith puts on Sigourney Weaver’s glasses: It makes it a little more serious, a little more unexpected. It complicates things, and if there’s one thing I love in life, it’s banana bread that contains multitudes. — Rebecca Flint Marx, senior editor

April 2, 2021

Two steak tacos with flour tortillas, sitting on a white plate. Missy Frederick

8-Inch Flour Tortillas

Cooks Country

I got a tortilla press for Christmas, and have been slowly trying to improve my comfort level with making tortillas at home. My first attempt at corn ones was a pretty mixed bag, and I’m happy to say I had a bit more success with this recipe from Cook’s Country for a flour variety. Though I had to play around with the recommended amount of water and add more than the recipe called for to get the consistency I wanted, this recipe is really pretty easy, and created tortillas that were thin and flecked with char when I browned them in a cast iron grill (the recipe does not require a tortilla press, but I am not great at rolling things out thinly so it’s a nice cheat for me). The tortillas were a nice complement to another recipe from the same family of websites: these herby steak tacos. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Maeun Dwaeji Galbijjim (Slow Cooker Pork Ribs)

Hyosun, Korean Bapsang

I have been neglecting a tub of doenjang — Korean fermented soybean paste — in my fridge for months, so on a random weekend day I decided to go all-out and make a Korean feast. The star of the meal was certainly Korean Bapsang’s maeun dwaeji galbijjim, a braised pork rib dish with lots of sweetness, notes of sesame, and a hit of that good-good gochugaru. It was also remarkably easy: Outside of soaking the ribs beforehand to draw out excess blood, you basically just dump a ton of ingredients in a slow cooker (or an Instant Pot, if you’re impatient) and walk away. The drizzle of sesame oil at the end really brings the whole dish together in a lovely way. I am a freak for spice, so I did double the amount of gochugaru in this dish; however, it’s really not necessary. The liquid in this braise is the real showstopper, poured over white rice or eaten by the spoonful. My final meal also included a bowl of japchae using a recipe from my one true love, Maangchi, some Instant Pot dakjuk (rice porridge), and a few jars of Choi’s Kimchi, my all-time favorite grocery store kimchi (which just happens to be made here in Portland). — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater Portland editor

Cheddar-Walnut Gougères

Dorie Greenspan, NYT Cooking

Around this time a year ago, I was gifted a KitchenAid stand mixer — a thoughtful but slightly unnecessary gift, given that I rarely bake anything that calls for one. That trend’s continued; the only thing I regularly make using it is this great cheddar and walnut gougeres recipe by Dorie Greenspan, which my colleague Monica recommended. I love how the bite of sharp cheddar plays with the custardy, airy interior; texturally, they’re perfect. And as the recipe promises, the gougeres freeze beautifully, meaning I always have a plastic storage container of gougeres ready to bake whenever I need a fancier-than-pizza-rolls snack, or if I decide one morning that a warm, luxurious breakfast is in order. — Erin DeJesus, lead editor

a cake with orange slices on top
Orange-cardamom olive oil cake
Monica Burton

Llubav’s Green Spaghetti

Julia Turshen, Simply Julia

I’ve been following Julia Turshen’s career for as long as I can remember. I have all of her cookbooks, because I’ve learned I can count on her to give me delicious, actually cookable recipes every single time. Her newest book, Simply Julia, which James Park reviewed in our spring 2021 cookbook preview, has helped me get out of a slump — I’ve been cooking from it all week. Llubav’s Green Spaghetti is the first recipe in the book, and it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner because — drumroll — you don’t have to chop any vegetables for the green sauce, which makes cleanup super easy. All you have to do is throw the baby spinach, basil leaves, and fresh kale into a blender, sit back, and let the vibrant aroma fill your kitchen with the speed of a Boy Smells candle. One thing I learned after making this dish twice: Don’t be afraid to go big on the kale leaves. Turshen’s recipe calls for six large leaves of kale, but mine were smallish, so the green sauce came out looking like soup. Luckily, I had enough kale, so I just added more leaves until I got a saucy consistency. — Esra Erol, Eater social media manager

Roast Chicken with Apricots and Olives

Susan Spungen, NYT Cooking

I have a real penchant for recipes that involve salty and sweet and bitter, and this recipe checks all three of those boxes, with the bonus of caramelized bits from the broiler. Marinating is the key here: let it go as long as possible to make sure all those flavors snuggle up nice and close. I love Castelvetrano olives, and as the recipe promises, they’re buttery and mellow. So mellow that I might even swap them out for a brinier olive that stands up to the sweetness of the apricots a little more. That said, this recipe is quite easy to prepare, and is lovely over a bed of pearled couscous to soak up that sauce. — Ellen Fort, Eater San Francisco interim editor

Orange-Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

Carolina Gelen, Food 52

For a few weeks now, my CSA oranges have been piling up, and I desperately needed a way to use at least a few of them. Cake seemed the obvious answer, and this Food52 recipe appeared to be particularly orange-heavy, calling for at least three (I used both blood and navel). The recipe makes efficient use of them, requiring orange juice, orange zest, and slicing and caramelizing oranges for a visibly orange upside-down topping. Slicing those oranges thin is key. That step, along with arranging them on the bottom of the pan, was the most difficult part of the whole thing, which is to say it’s a very easy cake to make. But there’s big payoff in the flavors, and next time I’ll have a better handle on how to artfully arrange the fruit so the cake also looks more impressive than it actually is. — Monica Burton, Eater editor

March 26, 2021

a bowl of ice cream with golden syrup.
Pineapple syrup on vanilla ice cream
Nick Mancall-Bitel

Fresh Pineapple Syrup

Stella Parks, Serious Eats

This pineapple syrup, made from discarded pineapple core and pips, has been like a bright, Swiss army knife of flavor all week. I’ve used it to add some pizzazz to drinks, topped my morning oatmeal with it, poured some over chunks of cornbread with buttermilk, and, of course, doused ice cream (Ample Hills’ PB Wins the Cup). The recipe, developed by Stella Parks, was a breeze (I let the mixture mingle overnight to extract maximum flavor). It felt especially rewarding since it uses pineapple scraps and required very little effort beyond chopping up the fruit, a task that usually feels so wasteful. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater editorial associate

Ande Ki Kari (Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Julie Sahni, NYT Cooking

Julie Sahni is my rock when it comes to North Indian cooking, especially since my grandma is very cagey and unspecific when I ask her for her recipes. Egg curry is also a godsend of a meal, with all the flavor and heft of a meat-based curry but with hard boiled eggs as the star instead, bathed in an oniony, tomato-based sauce. If you can get your hands on Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking, use the recipe there, though Clark adapted the recipe for the New York Times. If you go by her recipe, omit the coconut oil, use red chili powder instead of red pepper flakes, and use at least twice as much ghee. After all, why mess with a classic? — Jaya Saxena, Eater staff writer

A white bowl holds beans, rice, and salsa.
Stewed beans with salsa fresca over rice
Missy Frederick

Mexican Stewed Beans With Salsa Fresca

Diane Unger, Milk Street

Beans are my go-to option for meatless meals, and I was oddly mesmerized by this recipe while watching an episode of “Milk Street” on a lazy Sunday. It’s admittedly a lot of steps — you probably are less inclined to soak beans overnight, build a sofrito, simmer beans for more than an hour, and make a separate accompanying salsa on a random Tuesday. But it proved to be a fun Sunday project, and the resulting bean dish is bright, creamy, and full of contrast courtesy of the tomato-based topping. It also makes a ton; we had stewed beans as a side for mushroom tacos, a Main Event rice-and-beans Meatless Monday meal, an egg accompaniment for breakfast, plus two quarts of leftovers for the freezer. — Missy Frederick, Eater cities director

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Dawn Perry, Bon Appétit

I’ve been eating a lot of pasta in this here pandemic, and I’m always on the lookout for fun, easy ways to keep that going. I found this particular 2015 Bon App number in a giant listicle of recipes they recommend making your kids for lunch (nearly all of which I can already tell are way more effort than I will be putting in when it’s my baby’s turn to eat from a lunch box). But for an easy weeknight meal? A perfect time to boil broccoli and blitz it up with basil to make a bright, springy dinner. This is not a recipe that will change your life, but it is a recipe that will turn a large amount of fresh broccoli into a nice pasta sauce. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurant editor

Instant Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

Lindsay Ostrom, Pinch of Yum

My boyfriend was missing Chicago — his native city — on its most celebratory day: St. Patrick’s Day. I decided to give him a taste of home via a not-at-all-Irish but very-Chicago classic: the Italian beef sandwich. The recipe calls for beef chuck, garlic, onion, beef broth, and Italian seasoning to be thrown right into the pressure cooker, but I tweaked it a bit by sauteing the garlic and onions using the machine’s saute function before adding everything else. I also subbed jarred pepperoncini for the Giardiniera, and added an extra cup of beef broth than the recipe called for to ensure there was plenty of rich jus to dunk these babies in after the rolls were toasted, cheese melted, and the sandwiches were stuffed with as much tender, juicy meat as they could hold. A bonus I didn’t anticipate: the leftovers made for excellent next-day work-from-home lunches. — Terri Ciccone, Eater audience development manager

Soft Dinner Rolls

Sally McKenney, Sally’s Baking Addiction

Despite being soft and pillowy and delightfully golden brown on the outside, homemade yeast rolls are an intimidating prospect. The dough, enriched with milk, egg, and butter, seems at first a little too complicated for someone (like myself) who has barely mastered the classic no-knead loaf. But this recipe breaks down each of the steps in a way that’s really easy for a total novice to understand. It also only requires three hours of rise time thanks to instant yeast, which means that you can just up and decide to have buttery yeast rolls in the middle of the afternoon. Eat fresh from the oven and slathered with butter alongside a steak dinner and repurpose the leftovers as slider buns. — Amy McCarthy, Eater Dallas and Eater Houston editor

March 19, 2021

Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Orecchiette With Sausage and Chicory

Michael White/Food & Wine

I am such a sucker for bitter vegetables, likely because I am a touch bitter and I like surrounding myself with other bitter things. Here in Oregon, things like dandelion greens and radicchio are in their prime, so I’ve been making a ton of chicory salads, braises, and roasts, usually just on a whim, recipeless. However, I’m currently in a chicory war with a friend, which means we’re trying to out-cook each other with more and more elaborate chicory recipes. I went for this Food & Wine oldie-but-goodie, which tempers the bitterness of chicory with sausage and pecorino. I decided to add dandelion greens for a little contrast, but otherwise, I didn’t adjust much. I just love the way the chicken stock turns silken when it reduces with the cheese; that’s a pretty simple pasta sauce on its own for a midweek dinner. — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, editor, Eater Portland

Lemony Salmon With Fennel and Orange Salad

Adeena Sussman/

Adeena Sussman’s lemony salmon has been swimming through my memory ever since I had it during a Sunday-night dinner at my cousin’s apartment, months before “house hangs,” as we call them, became an anomaly. As Sussman says elsewhere in her wonderful book Sababa, lemon adds a lot; in this recipe, it’s more of a co-star than a supporting player, thickly coating the fish and turning roasty-colored in the oven. Instead of salmon, I used red snapper, which has a sweet flavor that the paprika brings out even more. And I added just a little yuzu kosho to the preserved lemon paste, imparting a bit of spice to the picture. I ignored the fennel and orange salad completely in favor of Smitten Kitchen’s crisped chickpeas with herbs and garlic yogurt, a minty, earthy counterpart. — Emma Alpern, Eater senior copy editor

Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock’s Shrimp Grits


Last Friday night I had promised my partner a seafood dinner in honor of our Discord group’s 10,000th bad movie screening of the pandemic: Waterworld. Of course, the idea of making seafood on a Friday night after a long day of work was extremely optimistic on my part. Fortunately, we happened to have all the ingredients (including a few nearing their expiration date) we needed for shrimp and grits, something I’ve never made before. I was enticed by this particular recipe’s Edna Lewis endorsement, and it turned out to be really simple and very creamy. The recipe calls for blending the shrimp into a paste and mixing it in, something I only learned after I started cooking. Because I wanted to preserve some whole shrimp, I ended up only pureeing half the buttery shrimp in my food processor and left a few more whole to dress the top of the bowl. In the end, we never even watched Waterworld, but dinner was better anyway. — Brenna Houck, cities manager

chopsticks hold a bitten-into dumpling.
The inside of a breakfast dumpling
Alyssa Nassner

Breakfast Dumplings

Lori Yates/Foxes Love Lemons

I have an excess of frozen meat accumulating in my freezer, particularly ground breakfast sausage, so I’ve been trying to find fun ways to use up the surplus. I love sausage dumplings, and had a batch of readymade wrappers on hand from the Asian market up the street, so breakfast dumplings it was! Egg, sausage, and hash brown breakfast dumplings, to be exact. Was this something I made up? Are there recipes for this kind of thing? Yes, it turns out, there are, and this one by Foxes Love Lemons was the ideal template. I decided to pre-cook the individual components prior to assembly, undercooking the sausage just a bit to allow it to finish cooking inside the dumpling. I also opted for thicker wrappers because they’re easier to pleat and hold up better to pan-frying. Pro-tip: Keep your wrappers and assembled dumplings covered with damp paper towels while you work so that they don’t dry out! I pan-fried them for about five minutes and then dropped a few tablespoons of water into the pan and covered it for a quick steam. They turned out way better than I expected, and I would 10/10 recommend everyone go on a breakfast-for-dinner dumpling journey of their own. — Alyssa Nassner, art director, Vox Media Editorial Networks

Vegan Coconut-Ginger Black Beans

Ali Slagle/NYT Cooking

A couple weeks ago, I did something I hadn’t done in several years: clipped a recipe out of a newspaper, the kind with pages you can turn with your hands. The newspaper in question was the Sunday New York Times, and the recipe was Ali Slagle’s vegan coconut-ginger black beans. Slagle had already earned my trust and admiration with her one-pot beans and rice recipe, so I decided to follow her into yet another can of black beans. It helped that I had every single one of the ingredients at home already (a rare occurrence) and that I was in the mood for something vegan after having spent the previous days eating almost nothing but cake. This is a very easy recipe, and also adaptable — though it calls for two cans of beans and a can of coconut milk, I had only one can of beans, so I just halved the coconut milk and all of the other ingredients, and it turned out fine. The most strenuous thing about the recipe — and by “strenuous” I mean mildly time-consuming — was peeling and microplaning fresh ginger, because I am a ginger freak and thus always use at least twice the amount called for. The result, which I served over rice, was highly satisfying, and I’ll definitely be making it again. — Rebecca Marx, Eater senior editor

Bouchon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thomas Keller/Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

I made actual cookies for the first time in my life last weekend. Although I cook a lot, I rarely bake. But whether because of lockdown, a nascent fascination with breadmaking, a reduction in alcohol intake necessitating a greater need for sugar, or because I have a 2-year-old daughter, cookies have been on my kitchen to-do list for months. I first tried a variation on this recipe at the Quality Chop House (yes, those guys) shop about four years ago, when chef-butcher-baker-candlestick-maker Rich Bowman told me he’d adapted the recipe to include demerara sugar, which lent the cookie a very pleasing grainy crunch. I followed Bowman’s advice and substituted molasses for malt and upped the amount of dark brown muscovado sugar in the mix. To freestyle yet further, and to give myself a purer cookie result, I added chocolate chips to just half of the mixture. My first foray into baking cookies — I have to be blunt — was an unqualified success. The result was crisp edged; chewy, toffee-like in the centers; buttery, biscuity; not too sweet: quite what I’ve always wanted from a cookie. The pinch of salt helped. So too did the ability to eschew precision, give in to uncertainty, and to adapt to improve. — Adam Coghlan, editor, Eater London

March 12, 2021

a slice of purple cheesecake. James Park

Easy Air-Fryer Durian Basque Cheesecake

What to Cook Today

Basque cheesecake, known for its nearly burnt top from baking at high temperatures, has that perfect balance of creamy texture, cheesy tang, and caramel-like, dulce de leche-like flavors that I love. I never thought I could pull it off myself, but then came the air fryer. For those who think that an air fryer is just for reheating soggy fries, think again. This easy-to-follow, versatile recipe makes the most incredible, foolproof Basque cheesecake — I even subbed ube for the durian here and it came out perfect. (Or if you just want to enjoy a classic basque cheesecake, you don’t have to add any additional flavors.) There are just three extremely straightforward steps: blend all the ingredients, cook the batter in the oven-safe cheesecake pan, and chill in the fridge, preferably overnight. That’s it. Because of the air fryer’s consistent temperature control, the cake’s top always comes out deliciously deep, creme brulee brown. After chilling in the fridge for hours, the center is still ooey, gooey, slightly melty, resulting in the most satisfying cheesecake bite. No dessert has ever brought me this level of satisfaction and achievement; you deserve to feel the same. — James Park, Eater social media manager

Red Lentil Soup, Barrett Prendergast

Barrett and the Boys

To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of lentil soup. I’d only ever cooked it with green lentils, which I find a bit too, well, lentily — full of grainy, bitter health pebbles reduced to mush. But then this version popped up in my feed, from the effortlessly chic LA businesswoman/chef/influencer/mom Barrett Prendergast, and I decided to give it a try. It’s magnificent. The secret is the concentrated mixture of crushed plum tomatoes, onions, and carrots that you saute for a while to make a sort of sofrito that gives the soup loads of sweetness and depth. Then you add tiny red lentils (so much better!) and stock — in my case, this amazing fermented-vegetable stock I get from the farmers market — and finish with parmesan. The resulting soup is the kind of rich, satisfying but also light and bright thing you want to eat for lunch all week, which I’ve been doing. And I’ll probably make a pot for next week, too. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Hetty McKinnon, Bon Appétit

Tofu is such a great protein: It’s cheap, lasts a long time in the fridge, has a luscious texture, and did I mention it’s cheap? This Bon App recipe by Hetty McKinnon caught my eye when she started sharing other folks cooking it to her Instagram Stories. Her idea to use tahini when building a sesame sauce is genius. The final result has a delicious oomph, even if it’s not as crispy as the recipe promises — I’ve never really understood how this works when you plop lightly fried tofu into a sauce? — but I do think the cornstarch coating gives the sauce something to stick to so it doesn’t feel needlessly time-consuming and messy to do that step. (Sidebar: I love when recipes include step-by-step videos like this one does!) — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurants editor

Meat Loaf

Ina Garten/Food Network

My grocery store put the fancy grass-fed ground beef on sale, so I bought some without much idea what to do with it. Unfortunately, bringing it home didn’t give me any more ideas, which felt embarrassing because ground beef is so versatile. But then I remembered: meatloaf. I used Ina Garten’s recipe, which hits the sweet spot between being traditional but not too much work; it has you toss the sauteed onions with worcestershire and tomato paste before folding them into the ground beef, which I thought worked especially well. Meatloaf is not a beautiful dish, and it looked especially unbeautiful mounded on a sheet pan coming out of my oven glazed with a thick layer of ketchup. But it was delicious, and no matter how many meals we ate the leftovers with, we were always excited to have it again. — Meghan McCarron, Eater special correspondent

Overhead picture of a bowl of jjigae.
Kimchii jjigae
Bao Ong

Kimchi Jjigae

Sohui Kim, Bon Appétit

I, like many others, am still working from home, which means I’m still on the lookout for quick, no-fuss recipes I can whip up on a Sunday night and reheat for lunch throughout the week. Chef Sohui Kim’s kimchi jjigae recipe had gotten lost in my rotation of go-to dishes this winter, so last week I was ready to revive the fiery Korean stew. Many of the ingredients are among my pantry staples — an onion, gochujang, that jar of kimchi sitting in the back of my fridge — so cooking this on a weeknight is perfectly manageable. Just be sure to add the tofu at the end so it doesn’t get too soggy, and gently reheat for lunch all week long. — Bao Ong, Eater New York editor

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Bea Vo, Leite’s Culinaria

I first stumbled upon Bea Vo’s vegan chocolate cake several years ago, when I was doing some recipe testing for Leite’s Culinaria. I feel like successful vegan baked goods always make people do the I-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan thing, but this really is one of those cakes, richer and more tender and moist than the majority of non-vegan chocolate cakes I’ve had the pleasure of eating. It is my go-to cake for birthdays, as well as any occasion that demands a chocolate cake; in addition to being exceptionally good, it is exceptionally easy, a two-bowl dump-and-stir that does not require a stand mixer. I made it last weekend for a couple of eight-year-olds who were demanding a “superhero” cake, which basically meant covering it in a ton of rainbow-colored buttercream and sprinkles. It was kind of a psychedelic mess, but beneath it all, the cake stood tall, trustworthy as ever. — Rebecca Marx, Eater senior editor

March 5, 2021

Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

The Woks of Life

I desperately miss going out for dim sum, but this plate of delicious pork ribs with black bean sauce brought back the feeling of sitting around a big dim sum table with friends. The ribs simmer for a full 40 minutes, which leaves you with falling-off-the-bone meat, and the cooking liquid becomes a delicious, creamy pork broth and base for the savory black bean sauce. Other hearty vegetables, such as onions and bell peppers, round out the dish, and I added radish and potatoes, which went well with the sauce. Serve it with rice to soak up every drop. — James Park, Eater social media manager

Pizza Babka

Bill Clark, A Piece of Cake

You may have read on Eater that everyone and their mother (or maybe just a selection of his thousands of subscribers) were making pizza babka last month after reading Bill Clark’s recipe in his lovely newsletter A Piece of Cake. It’s a wildly tempting proposition — a chewy, rich, decadent babka but with cheese and pepperoni instead of chocolate or cinnamon. But the first time I made it, I completely failed (as did others in my group texts). When Clark suggested it would take around 30 minutes for the first dough rise, I followed his direction way too literally, even though my ball of oregano-studded dough had barely changed shape. Any experienced baker knows the rising time varies depending on your yeast, your climate, etc., and a recipe’s timing is just a suggestion. My first pizza babka was a dense, oily mess. The second time around, I left the dough out all afternoon and then put it in the fridge to rise overnight. For the second rise, I gave it over an hour, following the shape of the bread instead of my timer. I also skipped making my own dipping sauce the second time, using an opened jar of marinara, because making your own pizza babka is impressive enough. I love the end result, maybe because I had to earn it, and plan on gifting more loaves over the next few months. — Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief

a salad topped with chickpeas.
Up any lunch bowl with chewy roasted chickpeas
Esra Erol

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

Emma Christensen, The Kitchn

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I use all my energy to prepare elaborate plates in the morning. Unfortunately, by lunchtime, I have no desire to be in the kitchen again. To combat this self-inflicted cooking fatigue, I’ve been pushing myself to make bowls of things: salad, grains, and grains over greens. And to keep that from getting boring, I’ve been having fun making the toppings from scratch. Crispy roasted chickpeas are my favorite new trick because they add a satisfying crunch to all of the above and, because the Kitchn’s recipe yields a heaping serving, I can eat them later as a snack with a glass of wine. While the chickpeas are crunchier fresh out of the oven (I recommend tossing them with za’atar), that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better. As they cool down, they become chewy and nutty, exactly what you want out of a snack. — Esra Erol, Eater senior social media manager

Homemade Labneh (with Everything)

Rivka, Food52

Currently stuck in a very boring dining routine, I’ve been trying to think of low-lift ways to elevate my meal options. Enter labneh, an all-occasions spread that makes for a seriously luxurious snack. To make it, you mix a cup or two of Greek yogurt with a pinch of salt and some lemon juice — I used the proportions outlined in this Food52 recipe — and place it in a cheesecloth-lined strainer in the fridge. After about 24 hours, you’ll end up with a rich, creamy spread that can serve as a pretty universal canvas — dress it up with za’atar (I like the sumac-heavy Spicewalla blend), some fancy olive oil, and crudites, or just sprinkle on a little Everything but the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s after slathering it on toast. No one here will judge you for eating it straight out of the container, either. — Amy McCarthy, Eater Dallas + Houston editor

Spiced Coconut Chicken Rice

Shayma Owaise Saadat, Bon Appétit

This recipe has two important selling points: It promises to be a one-pot meal and it includes a lot of ingredients you probably already have on hand. Less mess and less grocery shopping? Yes please. After adding most of the ingredients into the pot, including the rice, it looks like a big curry. But then you layer a kitchen towel between the pot and the lid and tie the ends with a rubber band. I was tempted to crack it open and take a peek as I watched the steam rise (my boyfriend also looked a little worried), but we resisted, and our patience and trust were rewarded with perfectly fluffy basmati rice, tender chicken, and an overall very pretty meal thanks to the turmeric and bright green kale mixed in at the end. — Milly McGuinness, Eater director of audience development

A slice of layered lemon cake.
Do not skip the meringue on this lemon cake.
Adam Moussa

Preserved Lemon Meringue Cake

Claire Saffitz, Food52

When the craving for a lemony dessert hits me, it hits hard. That’s how I ended up assembling the layers of this stunner from Dessert Person, Claire Saffitz’s book that seemingly everyone I know is baking from at the moment. The cake batter contains lemon zest, lemon juice, and preserved lemon rind blended into yogurt. There’s lemon curd between the layers and a touch of lemon juice in the Italian meringue. It’s a lemon quintuple-threat. I skimped a little when layering the curd, worrying it would drip out the sides — a mistake since it was being covered up with the meringue anyway. Do not skip the meringue, even if — like me — you worry it’ll make the whole cake too sweet; it provides necessary balance. I initially planned to scale down the recipe, since it only needed to feed four (the recipe says it serves 10), but overcame that impulse. The joy of bringing a decadent cake with slices for days into the world is its own reward in this dire winter. Well, that and enjoying a daily slice of six-layer cake for the better part of a week. — Adam Moussa, Eater lead social media manager

February 26, 2021

Buttered Popcorn Cookies

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

“It follows basic snack math, which is that two forms of junk food together always exceed the greatness of them separately,” writes Deb Perelman in her masterwork, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. She is, of course, correct. Popcorn cookies are excellent. The simple brown sugar-vanilla cookie dough provides just enough structure and sweetness to support the starring popcorn, which reminded me of the end of a box of movie-theater popcorn after it’s been sitting for two hours, a somewhat-crunchy middle-ground texture I actually kind of love. (I do not know what the “correct” texture for such a cookie is.) While the recipe was fairly easy overall, good for late-night baking, dispersing the sticky, relatively scant batter throughout a bowl full of light popped corn was somewhat difficult — but even my slapdash efforts turned out pretty well. Following the snack-math logic, after a couple days I dipped the leftover cookies in chocolate (“Just like M&Ms in movie theater popcorn!” I shouted to an empty kitchen as the mania took hold). I feel like Deb would approve. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater travel editorial associate

Romanesco Con Le Sarde

Ben Mims, Los Angeles Times

I truly didn’t think I could tire of cooking vegetables, but at some point in the Cook, Rinse, Repeat blur of the last few months, it happened. I got tired of cabbage. Tired of broccoli. Tired of lettuce, and I still refuse to make salad dressing more than once a month! Please, do not ask! But this recipe for romanesco, baked super hot and dressed with a sweet and tangy sauce (plus lots of buttery bread crumbs), brought me to my senses, reminding me that really, vegetables will never be boring. In the sauce, raisins plump up and soak in the flavor of tomato paste, shallots turn dark and caramelized, and sardines bring a balancing brininess. I went through all my romanesco making this dish, and I still want more. So until I make my next trip to the grocery store, I’m swapping in all the broccoli that I’d been neglecting. — Elazar Sontag, Eater staff writer

a hand reaches in and plucks a piece of romanesco from a plate.
Romanesco con le sarde
Elazar Sontag

Soy and Scallion Tofu Bowl

Chris Morocco, Bon Appétit

To make up for the fact that bacon cheeseburgers are my favorite food, I try to eat vegan breakfasts and lunches during the week. I ran across this Bon Appétit soy and scallion tofu bowl in the latest issue of the magazine, and the writer claimed tofu could take on the texture of meat without much work. My usual tofu routine is to press it dry under stacks of paper towels and cookbooks, toss it in oil, and then bake it — too many steps for a quick lunch. This BA version is way easier. You don’t even need to use a box grater as the recipe suggests; just crumble the block up in your hands after you squeeze it dry. I left the butter out of the dish to keep it vegan, and it didn’t seem to miss it much. I added some Trader Joe’s umami mushroom powder, because we add that to everything in our house these days. I paired the tofu crumbles with rice and sauteed kale doused in apple cider vinegar and squeezed Sriracha over the whole thing. It’s about 10 minutes of work for four servings of lunch for the week. — Erin Perkins, Eater Charleston editor

Crispy Roast Lemon Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

Tara Tuckwiller, Taste Cooking

Forgive the obnoxious #CaliforniaProblem and potential for pandemic cliche, but I have too many lemons. The yard behind my house came with two fairly mature lemon trees, and once a year I look up and instantly begin sweating: They’re coming. It’s just about now that I realize I need to find a way to use up these falling projectiles before they start rotting and attracting critters. This week, I was dealing with the double whammy of having just returned home after some time away to a mostly empty fridge. So I googled a list of the things I had on hand: lemons, rosemary (via a small, sickly bush), chicken thighs (bless you freezer stash). Taste Cooking had my answer. As the description promises, the potatoes do get all crispy and caramely, and the chicken is, well, also crispy and very, very lemony. This is one of those handy one-pan easy weeknight meals that I know I’ll now be making again, even when I don’t have lemons literally falling from the sky. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Shrimp Etouffee

Vallery Lomas, New York Times

I’m not sure what possessed me to buy shrimp at the market the other day, but when I found myself with two pounds of shrimp, I decided to tackle this version of etoufee from Vallery Lomas. It’s an uncomplicated recipe that also came together quickly, though with all the bell pepper and celery chopping, not to mention the garlic mincing, this took me more like 45 to 50 minutes. Some advice: Definitely make your own Creole seasoning with the provided recipe instead of buying from the store, and don’t panic when you’re at the end of step two and it looks like a bundled mess of veggies and tomato paste. Everything comes together beautifully in step 3. I set aside a small amount of the sauce before adding the shrimp for my sister who is watching her cholesterol. I can also be weird about second-day seafood (please reheat not in the microwave), but I had this the following day in the late morning with scrambled eggs and it was even better. I called it eggtoufee. — Patty Diez, Eater project manager

February 19, 2021

Robert Redford Cookies

Sister Pie

I love a cookie with a lot of stuff in it — the more textural intrigue, the better. Robert Redford is also pretty cool, even if I’ll never fully forgive him for the choices he made in The Way We Were. So Sister Pie’s Robert Redford cookies began calling to me as soon as I got a copy of Sister Pie cookbook, and I answered. Made with both whole-wheat and regular flour, rolled oats, pretzels, chocolate chunks, and walnuts, they’re basically an entire bulk section stuffed into cookie form. As such, they offer much textural reward — so long as you commit to them. By that I mean that you need to refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours after mixing it, which is something that snuck up on me the first time I attempted to make them. This time around, I planned ahead, and ended up with cookies that were as strapping and appealingly craggy as their namesake. They’re really good, in other words, a bit of cinematic sunshine to light up a gray February day. — Rebecca Marx, Eater senior editor

Honeydew Salad with Ginger Dressing and Peanuts

Anna Stockwell, Bon Appétit

I made this recipe for the first time in the summer of 2019; it went along with some hot dogs and nicely charred chicken and was the perfect side to my summer grilled meats. But while this salad might scream summer, it will definitely not do you wrong if, like me, you’re in the middle of freezing winter and nonstop snowstorms. It hits differently, yes, but just as well. (I also think that summer is the absolute worst time for eating ice cream.) This recipe comes together in 10 minutes and one bowl, and I ended up making it three days in a row for lunch, each time reveling in the crunchy, creamy, salty, and sweet components of this not-at-all fussy salad. There’s an endless amount of room for creativity and/or not having one or two of the ingredients, too. I’ve made it without mint leaves, with toasted sesame oil instead of fish sauce, with no ginger in sight, and with regular white vinegar. Each time it’s refreshing and excellent. — Patty Diez, Eater project manager

Seafood Chowder

Erica Walker, Fav Family Recipes

Knowing we had a huge winter storm bearing down on us in Texas, I decided to make a Valentine’s-worthy dinner Sunday night with plenty of leftovers to get us through the next few days. Gulf seafood is currently at its winter peak, and my Florida-born husband loves fish, so chowder it was. I looked for the simplest recipe I could find, which is how I landed on this one, and ended up adding oysters and crab meat, subbing salmon for cod, and throwing in a cup of frozen corn. I served it with some garlicky Texas toast, a dash of Louisiana hot sauce, and a sprinkle of melted cheese, plus some cava, because Valentine’s Day. The end result felt celebratory, and definitely helped keep us warm during the 24-hour power outage that followed thanks to Winter Storm Uri. — Brittanie Shey, associate editor, Eater Dallas and Eater Houston

Noodles in a bowl with peanuts and herbs
Turkey with glass noodles
Joy Summers

Turkey with Glass Noodles

Brandon Jew, Bon Appétit

I discovered this recipe as a way to use up leftover turkey in the November issue of Bon Appétit, but it was also the perfect opportunity to use my new favorite condiment, Minneapolis restaurant Hai Hai’s coconut oil chili crisp. The combination of those crunchy shallots in fiery oil, plus the floral buzz from Sichuan peppercorns, tangy black vinegar, herbs, and roasty nuts make for a dressing that you could pour over any kind of noodle, bolstered with a little mild meat or tofu, for a quick weeknight dinner. A major bonus is that if I back off the heat just a bit, my kids will actually slurp these right up. Considering I’m averaging about six meals prepared every day, any dish that the entire family will eat is a major life accomplishment. — Joy Summers, editor, Eater Twin Cities

Ragù alla Bolognese #2

Roads & Kingdoms

Last week, with the approaching double whammy of Valentine’s Day and a strong winter storm aimed at Texas, I decided to make a big batch of hearty ragù using the second recipe from the essential treatise on the subject from Roads & Kingdoms. Made from meat, meat, and more meat, the ragù provided essential calories and warmth as my boyfriend and I hunkered down to spend the next week snowed in. It’s not overly difficult to make but yields decadent results — you really just brown the meat and let everything hang out for three hours. (The trickiest part is getting all the meat off the short ribs, but even if there is some gristle, no harm no foul.) I’d still say the cost of ingredients alone makes this a dish for a special occasion — like Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or the total failure of state government. (Tip: It’s even better the second day). — Erin Russell, associate editor, Eater Austin

Zucchini Bread

Smitten Kitchen

Zucchini bread is a rare bird in my diet, so I was surprised when I found myself craving some the other day, in the middle of February. I had never made it before, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Luckily, I found an able guide in Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. Her recipe is stuffed with a heap of grated zucchini, the top is generously dusted with sugar, and she leaves the loaf exposed for a day after baking to make it extra crackly. My bread didn’t dome quite as much as the master’s, but the top did maintain its texture through the days it took me to carve away at it. It became breakfast, a lunch side with tomato soup, a fancy tea time snack, and dessert. — Nick Mancall-Bitel, Eater editorial associate

February 12, 2021

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

Dawn Perry, Bon Appétit

My husband and I have been making this recipe, known in my apartment simply as “chickpea chicken,” at a pretty regular cadence for years. While it does provide a great template for how to turn canned beans and chicken thighs into a complete dinner, I never futz with it much beyond occasionally adding lemon slices to the pan while it roasts or using more onion or garlic if I feel like it. The chickpeas make particularly excellent leftovers; this time I warmed them up in the microwave (it’s fine!!) and put a steamed egg and some sauteed broccoli on top. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurant editor



After a recent shopping trip to H-Mart, where I stocked up on the essentials (dumplings, all sorts of frozen and dry noodles, rice cakes), I decided to finally try my hand at making tteokbokki, spicy rice cakes, guided by the go-to Korean cooking expert Maangchi (aka Emily Kim). The recipe is a relatively easy one. Because I didn’t have kelp or dried anchovies for the stock, I used almost an entire tube’s worth of anchovy paste and two large sheets of nori. I let the stock boil far longer than the requested 15 minutes, until the nori sheets broke down and the stock reduced a bunch. I strictly followed the rest of the recipe, resulting in a really wonderfully spicy and chewy rice cake dish. I paired it with bulgogi made using already-sliced beef from 99 Ranch and the Omsom spicy bulgogi starter pack for a nice balance. — Nadia Chaudhury, editor, Eater Austin

Citrus Sorbet

The Superiority Burger Cookbook

Brooks Headley knows that making sorbet is weird. In The Superiority Burger Cookbook — which I picked up for $3 (?) in a Chicago Urban Outfitters (????) in 2017 — he says the process of watering down and sweetening fruit to make it taste more like itself than itself alone is “kind of a trip.” After nearly four years of leafing through its pages and two months of owning a long-yearned-for ice cream machine, I finally made a citrus sorbet — swapping the grapefruit for the wintry Tarocco orange, its heart streaked with red like a sunset. I blended equal parts sugar and water to make a syrup, with dextrose added for lusciousness; juiced the oranges; mixed their offering with the syrup, going fruitier than the the suggested 1:1 ratio because the oranges were sweet. After I added a touch of salt, it was ready to spin in the ice cream machine or put in the freezer, to be taken out every hour to blitz with an electric whisk or immersion blender. But what took this sorbet into trip territory was candying the peels and blitzing them into the juice and syrup mix, which added a bittersweet complexity that made the sorbet taste more whole. More like itself. Like Brooks says, making sorbet is weird. — James Hansen, associate editor, Eater London

Two loaves of bread sit on a cooling rack positioned on a wooden tabletop.
Josey Baker’s Adventure bread
Elazar Sontag

Adventure Bread

Josey Baker Bread

“Adventure Bread” is the creation of San Francisco superstar baker Josey Baker, who co-owns the Mill, a wildly popular all-day cafe. If you’re willing to wait in line for upward of 20 minutes, you can be the very satisfied owner of a thick slice of Baker’s bread, smeared with nut butter and jam. But in my humble opinion, this seed-packed hippy food is the most delicious loaf to come out of his ovens, and it can be made at home, thanks to a recipe from Baker’s cookbook, brought to the internet by David Lebovitz. When it’s still a pre-baked mixture of rolled oats, seeds, and nuts, it’s hard to imagine this gloopy “dough” will resemble anything like bread once it’s pressed into a loaf pan and baked. But it does, and the recipe offers an extremely easy path to bread for those of us not blessed with the baking gene. While its distinct savoriness makes for an excellent turkey sandwich, its nuttiness, and its slight sweetness from a bit of maple syrup, also make it a fine base for a thick spreading of nut butter and good jam. Really, you can’t go wrong. — Elazar Sontag, Eater staff writer

Perfect Boiled Egg

J. Kenji López-Alt, NYT Cooking

The internet is bursting at the seams with hacks, tips, and a million one-weird-tricks for getting perfect boiled eggs. But unless chicken eggs radically change at some point, I don’t think I’ll ever try another method beyond J. Kenji López-Alt’s Perfect Boiled Egg method. Actually, the eggs are not boiled, but steamed — I make a dozen at a time in a steamer basket.

About five minutes in the pot yields slightly firm whites and soft-centered yolks. There’s no ice bath to plunge them into after; the eggs are just left to cool at room temperature and peeled at whichever temperature your fingertips can stand.

The soft-cooked eggs sit in my fridge through the week, reheated in boiled water from the kettle in the minutes it takes to make my coffee and ready to be peeled and smashed over toast or dropped into a bowl of cold noodles. It is no exaggeration to say that becoming a person who batch-boils their eggs changed my life. — Adam Moussa, lead social media manager

Homemade Vegetarian Chili

Cookie and Kate

I made this chili in a real hurry after scanning about 15 recipes, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. For years, my go-to vegetarian chili recipe was one from (now-defunct) Everyday Food magazine, part of the Martha Stewart universe. It came together fast, but it tasted like it, which is why I gave it up a couple years ago, once I attained the more sophisticated palate of a 30-something. This one is equally approachable, but it has a greater depth of textures and flavors and lots of room for customization. I skipped the celery, for instance, and added more spice in the form of ground cayenne and a finishing touch of Crystal hot sauce. I also took some liberties with the bean selection, using two cans of pintos and one can of black beans. The final step — where you blend part of the soup and add some vinegar and lime juice, or both, like I did — is key. — Emma Alpern, senior copy editor

February 5, 2021

Beef and Aubergine Fatteh


As someone who onc frequently hosted dinner parties, it saddens me to think I have no idea when it might ever be safe to have another one. That hasn’t, however, stopped me from making party food, even if it’s just for my husband and me. One such recent craving involved me making me Nigella Lawson’s beef and aubergine fatteh, or as Nigella very aptly describes it “a form of Middle Eastern nachos.” Baked, crunchy pita triangles are topped with garlicky yogurt, sauteed ground beef and tiny chunks of aubergine (that’s eggplant to you) cooked with generous spoonfuls of ground coriander and cumin, and sprinklings of pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts, and mint leaves. There are so many textures and flavors with each bite that you’ll be hard-pressed to stop even when you’re full. My only suggestion is to toast the pita closer to when you’re about to eat so the dish retains more heat as you dig in. — Tanay Warerkar, Eater NY reporter

Liège waffles

Smitten Kitchen

A year ago, I’d have laughed at a 24-hour waffle recipe. But this week, 40 weeks pregnant in the middle of an epic NYC snowstorm, I’m in search of projects that take the most time. And these waffles — crunchy and caramelized on the outside, almost gooey, definitely stretchy on the inside — were 100 percent worth the investment. It’s also, truth be told, the easiest brioche dough I’ve ever made. I ate six, each topped with more whipped cream than the one before, and they were so delicious that I was happy to spend the 25th hour cleaning my destroyed waffle maker. —Britt Aboutaleb, VP of development

World’s Best Green Cabbage

Scott Hocker, Taste Cooking

Do you have a whole head of cabbage? Do you have an onion? Maybe also a carrot and definitely an oven? Great news: you have the makings of a dish with one of the greatest effort-to-pleasure ratios I know of. For his column in Taste, Scott Hocker adapted a Molly Stevens recipe which he calls, correctly, the world’s best braised cabbage. A cabbage cut into eighths is scattered with sliced onion, a roughly chopped carrot, and water or stock if you have it. After two hours in a low oven, it falls apart into a sweet, caramel-y, hearty side dish for anything from a pork chop to beans, or a meal on its own with the help of maybe some bread and an egg. It’s my go-to cabbage recipe, and it keeps beautifully in the fridge to fuel lunches and dinners throughout the week. — Meghan McCarron, special correspondent

two bowls of salsa beside a plate of flour tortillas.
Tortillas with all the fixings
Gabe Hiatt

Northern Mexico-Style Flour Tortillas

Christian Reynoso, Serious Eats

I had pretty much given up on the hope that I could ever make restaurant-grade flour tortillas at home — believing that short of buying a BE&SCO machine, the rounds found throughout the country’s best Tex-Mex restaurants were simply not attainable on my own stove. Previous attempts always left me with stiff dough that didn’t puff, or that always tasted underdone even if I burned them in spots. This week, though, I tried a Serious Eats recipe for Northern Mexico-style flour tortillas from Christian Reynoso that shook up my whole outlook. Lard, I already knew, was a key ingredient. But using hot whole milk instead of water upped the fat content and, according to Reynoso, contains additional proteins and sugars that help the tortillas brown. Because kneading still remains largely a mystery to me, I also appreciated that this recipe calls for paddling the living daylights out of the tortilla dough in a stand mixer. I think it’s the first time I pushed my KitchenAid to full throttle. Subtle rolling cues — roll from the middle to the lip, rotate 45 degrees frequently — helped me form more even circles than I was used to. The finished product was rich and soft and folded as easily as a blanket. — Gabe Hiatt, Eater DC editor

One-Pot Beans and Rice

Ali Slagle, NYT Cooking

My boyfriend introduced me to Ali Slagle’s beans and rice in the first months of the pandemic, when all we wanted to do was eat our feelings, quickly and affordably. Its virtues are as numerous as its list of ingredients is brief. Oil, an onion, a can of beans, long-grain rice, and some vegetable stock all get dumped into a Dutch oven or lidded saucepan and hang out there for 20 minutes, and what emerges is a miracle of comfort and economy. It’s a deceptively plain dish, one whose impressive flavor and intense degree of satisfaction sneak up on you; its secret, I think, lies in the fact that you cook it with the bean liquid, which does happy things to the rice. I usually dress it up with Cholula, and sometimes a soft-boiled egg or avocado if I’m feeling festive. And more often than not I start eating it straight from the pot because who needs niceties anymore, anyway. — Rebecca Marx, senior editor

Black Pepper Tofu and Asparagus

Sara Jampel, Bon Appétit

Tofu has wiggled its way into a lot of my cooking the last several months, ever since I made this Yotam Ottolenghi favorite and felt ready to tackle other tofu dishes. Still, months later, this is the dish I go back to regularly. It comes together easily in about 30 minutes and does well with any number of riffs and modifications I throw at it. (More often than not, I’m swapping the asparagus for other veggies like brussels sprouts, eggplant, or green beans; really anything will do here.) As I write this I’m thinking I’ll swap in some beef or chicken soon. However you prep it, it’s excellent for a quick dinner over rice or with some more veggies. Oh and haphazardly chopping the peppercorns with a chef’s knife or wrapping them in a paper towel and smashing the hell out of them with canned beans works very fine if you don’t have a spice mill or mortar and pestle. — Patty Diez, project manager

January 29, 2021

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

Roxana Jullapat, Bon Appétit

I probably haven’t had a muffin in two years, which seems excessive for something so basic, but I’m just not usually a person who counts pastries as breakfast. I sugar crash by 10 a.m. if I don’t get a little more nutritive bulk. But flipping through this month’s Bon Appétit, I spied the blueberry spelt muffins from LA pastry chef Roxana Jullapat and felt a tug; it seemed approachable, nutritious (it’s form her forthcoming cookbook dedicated to whole-grain baking), and gave me a chance to use up the random bag of spelt flour I purchased on a whim a while back. The muffins were all of that, and glorious — tender, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, moist, crumby, and chock full of blueberries. My kids loved picking off bits of the streusel topping then gobbling the muffins whole. The first time I made them, I mixed up most of the batter the night before and popped ’em in the oven on a Sunday morning and they turned out perfect. A few days later I made a second batch with a few vegan swaps and again, divine. They kept me way more satisfied than the morning usual pastry — but then again, I scarfed three. — Lesley Suter, Eater travel editor

Crisp Gnocchi With Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter

Ali Slagle, NYT Cooking

Ali Slagle’s crisp gnocchi with Brussels sprouts and brown butter from NYT Cooking has all the hallmarks of a perfect weeknight recipe: one pan, an ingredient list focusing mostly on pantry and fridge staples, but not something I would have thought of myself. I must disclose, however, that like a total commenter, I made some modifications. I used broccoli as well as Brussels sprouts because a) I didn’t have enough sprouts but b) did have too much broccoli in my fridge. I cut the butter from six tablespoons to four because I was trying to still have some of my precious Kerrygold left over, and I delayed adding the lemon zest so its flavor didn’t get too muted by sizzling away in the skillet. When I make this again — because I will be making this again — I’ll also add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving. But no matter! Recipes that work well as templates for personalized futzing are the ones I’m most likely to incorporate into my regular cooking rhythm, and this one definitely does. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurant editor

Malo’s Beef and Pickle Tacos

Joy the Baker

When I was a baby Angeleno (read: a new transplant from New York), I discovered a Mexican restaurant in Silver Lake that had the most curious taco. It was drippy beef nestled in a fried corn tortilla, finished with shaggy cheddar strands, dill pickles, and hot sauce. It was gringo. It was great. I came back many times to chase a trio of these beef and pickle pockets with beer — because this was the Before Times (before I developed the gluten-intolerance endemic to Los Angeles). The restaurant closed in 2018, but one day, I found the recipe on a food blog: Joy the Baker’s adaptation of Malo’s beef and pickle tacos. So I started to make what is ostensibly cheeseburger tacos at home. The recipe is simple, straightforward, and fast, the beef mixture made more robust with chopped potato. It fell out of my cooking circuit a couple years ago, but recently, to answer a craving somewhere between burger and taco, I made them again, this time with turkey meat (and no potato) for a leaner iteration. I seasoned the meat with way more spices than the recipe calls for (use your taco night intuition), and topped it with spicy pickle chips and sharp cheddar. Slightly different than the Malo classic, but equally good. — Nicole Adlman, Eater cities manager

A stack of blueberry muffins on a plate
Blueberry spelt muffins
Lesley Suter

Chicken and Pea Traybake


Nigella’s simple, incredibly gratifying sheet-pan recipe (trendy!) involves dumping a lot (seriously, a lot) of frozen peas on a half sheet pan along with chopped leeks, dill, garlic, and a big splash of dry vermouth, with chicken thighs roasted on top. The recipe calls for seasoning the chicken simply with salt and olive oil, but with half a carton of buttermilk hanging around in the back of my fridge, I opted for marinating the chicken thighs overnight a la Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. The end result was a sheet of bronzed chicken with a heap of soft-but-not-mushy peas and leeks infused with the rendered chicken fat. It’s excellent for dinner with some potatoes, and arguably better as lunch for a few days stretched out with rice. — Adam Moussa, lead social media manager

Chicken and Dumpling Soup


A recent chilly Austin day seemed like the perfect excuse to make something warm and soothing from the gorgeous Jubilee cookbook that I had gotten for myself as a just-cause present. The chicken and dumplings soup was an all-day project, which I anticipated: there’s properly chilling the ingredients, kneading and chilling the dumpling dough (which was fun), and simmering the chicken for a while. I’d recommend using a big Dutch oven and adding that optional cup of white wine the recipe suggests. Rather than using the entire frying chicken, I opted for boneless chicken thighs cut up into smaller pieces. I’m not sure I cut the dumpling dough correctly, but my weirdly sized and shaped dumplings worked for us. Also, as I tend to like my food on the spicier side, I also added more black pepper than the recipe calls for and did not regret it, plus a touch more whipping cream (I wanted to use up the entire little carton). The result was beautiful: creamy, spiced just right, with supremely juicy chicken thighs. I slurped down the broth. — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor

Peanut Butter Blackberry Bars

Dawn Perry, NYT Cooking

This recipe has the highest deliciousness-to-ease ratio of maybe any dessert I’ve ever made. It takes no time, requires one bowl, and uses ingredients you already have in your kitchen (assuming you keep frozen fruit in the freezer). They have the consistency of a gooey blondie, but... peanut butter. And for those of us deprived of fresh fruit right now, they bring some much-needed summery sweetness to a winter kitchen. — Amanda Kludt, Eater editor-in-chief


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