Weeknight Favorite Archive

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

chicken gyro salad

chicken gyro salad

Last week, because we are edgy, rebellious and pretty much the dictionary definition of renegades, we broke the law. We decided we’d had enough of having an outdoor space and no fire-breathing apparatus to exercise our American-given right to burn food on in the summer months and brought home the tiniest, safest and most docile grill ever manufactured, basically the fluffy kitten of the barbecue landscape. As I figure we’re going to be asked to remove it any moment now, all of my previous summer goals have be redirected to the following: enjoying every second of it while it lasts. We are going to grill everything. I am halfway to fulfilling my fantasy of setting all my food on fire.

prepping the chicken

We started with chicken, however, because in real life I am not exactly Francis Mallmann (I’m sorry to disappoint). We had a small crowd for dinner last Thursday (in advance of this guy’s guitar recital) and because we are officially at a point when I find cooking anything extra, no matter how wiped out I am, still more appealing than finding a restaurant that can accommodate 6 grown-ups, a 6-year old and a 10.5 month old fireball. I bet the restaurants thank us, too.

removing the seeds from the "seedless" cucumbers

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

roasted carrots with avocado and yogurt

spiced roasted carrots with avocado and yogurt

Me and this salad go way back. In 2007 — you know, back in the days when I imagine that all of our conversations might have gone “What should we do today?” “Oh, I don’t know, anything we want.” — I had this salad at the then new-ish Spotted Pig in the West Village and attempted to recreate it. It didn’t go well and because I was as mature then as I am now, I had a tantrum and didn’t get back to it until 2009, at which point I made a roasted carrot dish with a bit of cumin and topped it with avocado slices that had been tossed with some lemon and everyone was happy. However, in 2011, Jean-Georges Vongerichten published a book of his homecooking favorites including this salad, which is also on the menu at ABC Kitchen and in 2012, April Bloomfield included the recipe in her first cookbook and I’ve thought it might be nice to circle back to these more complexly spiced and textured versions.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto

crispy tortellini with peas and prosciutto

Several years ago, a harebrained idea to make a wedding cake for friends led to me sharing a picture of the cake layers stacked up in my freezer, ready for their big debut. You’d think people would comment on the cake, right? Nope. More like: “You have an empty freezer. You have an empty freezer. How?” “I didn’t know it was possible to empty a freezer.” And I was all “People have full freezers? We just use it for vodka and ice cube trays.” Oh Deb of 2008. Come see your circa-2016 freezer and witness the havoc 8 years and 2 kids have wreaked on it.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

shaved asparagus frittata

shaved asparagus frittata

As a person who at least two to three nights a week doesn’t understand why we plan menus and grocery lists when we could just be eating an egg on toast, scrambled, crispy, poached or soft-cooked and smashed, I, too, would expect this site to have more frittata recipes than it does. (It has one. Sorry.) But I don’t make them much at all because they always feel like a lot of work for something that’s essentially a baked omelet with none of the 2-minute butter-drenched speed of a French one. (We’re also on an omelet kick.)

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

sheet pan chicken tikka

sheet pan chicken tikka

In the game of weeknight cooking — which I feel, at best, is rigged and not in our favor especially if you (or you and your partner) are out working all day — our allies are as follows:

  1. Children, should you have them, happy to eat dinner at 8/9 p.m. on a weekday. (Let me know where to find them.)
  2. Prepping and planning meals over the weekend so everything is mostly ready to go when you get home from work. (Requires a desire to spend any part of the weekend prepping meals, which I, regrettably, do not.)
  3. Mastering the slow-cooker, so your dinner is ready when you get home.
  4. Mastering the pressure-cooker, so long cooking times can be reduced to smidgens.
  5. Contentment with quick simple meals (scrambled egg toasts, frozen tortellini, sandwiches) and/or a deep arsenal of great recipes that come together quickly.
  6. Meal delivery services, which take the recipe-selection, shopping and prep work out of cooking, making it go faster.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

potato pizza, even better

potato pizza (pizza con potate)

I have been holding out way too long on giving one of the great Roman pizzas, pizza con potate e rosmarino (which, like most things, sounds much sexier in Italian than the thudful translation of “potato pizza with rosemary”) the adoration-driven revisit it deserves on this site. I first talked about potato pizza here in 2008, but I never felt that the recipe did it justice. Jim Lahey, who had recently blown up everything we knew about making bread with his brilliant no-knead boule, was preparing to open a pizza place and had shared his potato pizza recipe with Martha Stewart, but I’d had trouble with it — the proportions seemed off (not enough potato, a persnickety dough), it was low on details I needed (like how big it was supposed to be), and it had pesky steps (like soaking the potatoes in several changes of ice water, so not fun if one lacks one of those fancy fridges with icemakers). But it wasn’t until went to Rome in 2013 that I realized exactly how far off it was from the ideal. (Don’t worry, Lahey is going to come rescue us in a bit.)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

eggs in purgatory, puttanesca-style

eggs in purgatory, puttanesca-style

If the theme of late here is simple, cozy meals we can assemble even when we’re not, perhaps, having the most well-rested, worry-free weeks ever, we are unquestionably overdue for a conversation about eggs in purgatory, aka Italian-style huevos rancheros/shakshuka. Plus, what could be more appropriately uplifting during Holy Week than a dish that celebrates hell, or the imminent threat of it? What, you say, one that also celebrates the oldest profession? Oh honey, we’re in.

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