Eater Twin Cities: The Best Recipes to Cook This Week…

Mar 7, 2021 | eat/drink

A pile of rice beneath these pork ribs is obligatory / James Park

Pork ribs with black bean sauce, fluffy pizza babka, and the six-layer lemon cake we all need. All of us.

We’ve been there. We are there. But help is here. 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.

March 5, 2021

Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce, Bill/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 PersonClaire 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, My 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, 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, 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.

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

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.

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.

Tortillas with all the fixings

 Gabe Hiatt


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, 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

Blueberry spelt muffins

 Lesley Suter


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, 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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