Better Weeknight Dinners

shakshuka

 

Just because you worked late doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a satisfying, home-cooked dinner. So put away the cereal bowls and take-out menus: JBF staffers have some quick dinner tips that will have you sitting down to the table in a snap.

 

 

Put an Egg on It

“For Israelis, shakshuka is a breakfast mainstay. For me, it’s a reliably easy and satisfying weeknight dish. You can make a basic version with pantry items: olive oil; a medium onion, chopped; 2 or 3 crushed garlic cloves; a 28-ounce can of peeled whole tomatoes; and eggs. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt, black pepper, and your preferred ground hot pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Use the spoon to make 1 or 2 dimples in the stew. Crack an egg into each dimple.... Read more >

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Champagne Lovers' Menu

 

Planning a celebratory New Year's Eve dinner? You'll really be cooking with gas with this decadent menu composed entirely of dishes made with bubbly.

 

Champagne Jelly with Golden Raspberries and Mint

This delicate, palate-awakening hors d'oeuvre is the perfect starter for an elegant, Champers-themed meal.

 

Warm Oysters with Prosecco, Cauliflower, and Sorrel Soup

Chef Ethan Stowell makes this creamy, oyster-topped soup with Prosecco, but Champagne makes a luxurious substitute.

 ... Read more >

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Recipe: Parsnip Cake

Rosiana Tong's parsnip cake, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

Parsnip cake doesn't enjoy as high of a profile as its carrot-based cousin does, but it's equally tasty and just as much of a breeze to prepare. This version from Berwyn, Pennsylvania's Nectar uses a fat pinch of baking spices to coax out the earthy sweetness of the grated root vegetables. If you have a food processor and a fine shredder disc, we recommend using them to prep your parsnips. The disc will produce a more delicate cut than a box grater will, and your finished cake will have a more pleasing texture.

 

Get the recipe here. The Nectar team will be cooking at the Beard House on February 8.

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'Tis the Season...To Make Cookies

 

This is the time of year when bakers both amateur and professional tend to find themselves in the kitchen surrounded by pounds of butter and mountains of chocolate chips. For those of you with plans to channel your inner pastry chef over the next couple of weeks, here are some of our favorite holiday cookies.

 

Corn Flake-Candy Cane Cookies

"We take the insane amount of candy canes my mother sends to the bakery," says Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, "break them up, and fold them into a corn flake-chocolate chip-marshmallow cookie dough with a little mint extract for some serious holiday flair."

 

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

David Leite of Leite's Culinaria set off a national cookie-baking frenzy after this recipe for the ne plus ultra in chocolate... Read more >

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Recipe: Wild Mushroom, Shoyu, and Goat Cheese Truffles

Recipe for wild mushroom, shoyu, and goat cheese truffles, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

These mushroom and risotto–based truffles may look like regular old fritters, but one bite exposes their umami-rich cores of shoyu and goat cheese. (Shoyu is just the name for soy sauce in Hawaii and Japan, so if you have a bottle of soy sauce in your pantry, you're covered.) Enlist some friends to help you churn out a few batches at your holiday gathering.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Recipe: Pignoli Tart with Mascarpone Crema

Cynthia DePersio's recipe for Pignoli Tart with Mascarpone Crema, adpated by the James Beard Foundation

 

Cynthia DePersio is nuts for nuts. "I adore them, so I decided to use Italian pignoli cookies for the inspiration for this tart," she told us. The New Jersey–based pastry chef adds pulsed pine nuts to a classic French frangipane, then bakes the filling in a sandy sablé crust. "I like to pinwheel thinly sliced banana slices on top, sprinkle them with raw sugar, and brûlée," she says. We're partial to crowning our pieces with a dollop of mascarpone-boosted whipped cream.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Recipe: Lentil Soup with Chard and Lemon

James Beard's recipe for lentil soup with chard and lemon

 

With the official start of winter and its accompanying chills only about a week away, it's time to ready our defenses in the kitchen. One of our staples for the season is lentil soup, and this year our plan is to make James Beard's "rather different" version, which was inspired by the vibrant flavors of Syria. He added three quarters of a cup of lemon juice just a few minutes before the soup was finished, giving it a welcome undercurrent of acid. For extra flavor and heft, we like to throw in some diced bacon when we start cooking the lentils. James Beard favored cotechino, an Italian pork sausage that's a classic pairing for these legumes. 

 

Get the recipe here.

 

Your can also find this recipe and more of James Beard's classic dishes in... Read more >

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Recipes: Wintry European Supper

James Beard's lebkuchen

 

Chilly, gray days make us long for warm, comforting dinners, like this one featuring a rustic yet refined beef stew and a bowl of dill-flecked homemade noodles. 

 

Viennese Walnut and Horseradish Spread 

Pair this unique and simple hors d'oeuvre with a glass of Riesling or Gewürztraminer. 

 

Beef Cheek Goulash 

Any recipe that begins with rendered duck fat is guaranteed to be good. (Rest assured, you can use canola oil instead.) This rich beef stew from David Bouley takes a bit of time to prepare, but every second will be well worth it. 

 

Dill ... Read more >

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Recipe: James Beard's Salt and Pepper Spareribs

James Beard's salt and pepper spareribs

 

With so much of our energy channeled toward others during the holiday season—making lists for others, full-contact shopping for others, hosting parties for others—it's no surprise that it can feel impossible to make a simple dinner for ourselves. When we need a break from the 'tis-better-to-give-than-to-receive mantra, we turn to James Beard's recipe for salt and pepper spareribs. It's as elemental as it sounds: grab some spareribs, rain salt and pepper over them, throw them in the oven, and put your feet up.

 

Get the recipe here.

 

Your can also find this recipe and more of James Beard's classic dishes in The Essential James Beard Cookbook, a collection of dishes culled from twelve of his iconic books, including Hors d'Oeuvre and Canapés, Menus for Entertaining,... Read more >

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Recipe Roundup: Stews

 Michael Bologna's recipe for white bean and sausage stew, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

Get out your Dutch oven: it's stew season. From quick coconut shrimp to a lamb stew studded with parsnips and bacon, here are some of our favorite rib-sticking recipes.

 

White Bean and Sausage Stew [JBF]

This greens-flecked stew is simple enough to pull together on a weeknight. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

 

Green Chile and Chicken Stew [BA]

A purée of roasted tomatillos, peppers, and chiles gives this dish its piquant depth.

 

Lamb Stew with Parsnips, Bacon, and Fennel [JBF]

Ladle this... Read more >

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