Vegetarian chili from Cookie and Kate | Emma Alpern

Wonderfully spicy and chewy tteokbokki, the world’s most perfect boiled egg, and chili made for a winter’s day

It’s week trazillion-and-four of pandemic cooking, and you’ve hit a rut. Nay, a trench. Winter’s produce is less than inspiring, you’ve done all the things one can do to a bean, and while the digital cook-o-sphere is loaded with ideas, there are just too many of them. You scroll a few blogs, flip through some cookbooks, and give up. Beany Thursday strikes again.

We’ve been there. We are there. But help is here. To sort through the noise of TikTok tortilla wraps and chickpea 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.


February 12, 2021

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas, 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

Tteokbokki, Maangchi

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.
Elazar Sontag
Josey Baker’s Adventure bread

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

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, Nigella

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, 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.
Gabe Hiatt
Tortillas with all the fixings

Northern Mexico-style flour tortillas, 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, New York Times

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

Ottolenghi black pepper tofu and asparagus

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

Roxana Jullapat’s blueberry spelt muffins, 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, the New York Times

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
Lesley Suter
Blueberry spelt muffins

Chicken and pea traybake, Nigella

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, Jubilee

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, the New York Times

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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