Slow-roasted Spiced Baby Back Ribs
One of my all-time favorite field trips for “Cooking Live” was to Memphis to cover the huge annual barbecue cook-off there. It is an astonishing event that attracts more than 200 teams from all around the country, from funky little crews of like-minded friends to heavily financed corporate outfits. Everyone competes not just for the best ribs but also for the best booth. Some of the so-called booths are two stories high and extremely elaborate.
Although most of the teams… more »
Orzo and Basmati Pilaf with Spring Vegetable Ragout
Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta from Italy. Basmati is a fragrant Indian long-grain rice with a wonderful nutty taste. The two of them combine to make a great side dish, but you can top it with anything and turn it into a main dish. Here we’ve chosen asparagus, mushrooms, and either lima beans or fava beans. By the way, some of the American versions of basmati would work well here too. Texmati is one that’s pretty widely available.
Makes 4… more »
Mexican Chicken Salad
This is my favorite kind of salad because it has so many ingredients—and each with a different texture, from the creamy avocado to the crispy homemade tortilla chips. I have cheated here by using leftover or rotisserie chicken. It would work just as well with leftover pork, shrimp, or beef. And if you really want to speed up the recipe, here’s another cheat: Swap store-bought tortilla chips for the homemade kind.
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
Hands-on Time 15 minutes… more »
Soon after I started making spaetzle as a side dish at home on a regular basis, it occurred to me that you could dress up and sauce this German pasta much as you would any other fresh pasta—an inspiration that automatically promoted spaetzle from a side dish to an entrée. This recipe takes advantage of ingredients available in the spring—asparagus, peas, and fresh herbs—but I want to encourage you to take the basic spaetzle recipe and run with it. Toss… more »
Vegetarian Chili Pie with Monterey Jack Cheese and Corn Bread Crust
Vegetable chili, like any stewed dish, is even better the day after you make it, when all the flavorings have had a chance to sink in. Of course, it’s also fine if you eat it the same day you make it. But whenever you make it, make a double batch and freeze the second half for another meal. Top it with the cheese and the cornmeal batter right before you pop it into the oven.
Serves 6 to 8
For… more »
Eggplant Rollatini with Four Cheeses
This recipe improves on the traditional eggplant rollatini by calling for roasted, not fried, eggplant. Consequently, it is easier to prepare (no baby-sitting the slices in the pan) and easier on your waistline (roasting requires far less oil than frying).
You’re welcome to stuff the eggplant with cheeses other than the ones I list; just make sure whichever ones you choose melt easily. Likewise, if you don’t feel like making quick tomato sauce, you can use your favorite store-bought brand.… more »
Butternut Squash Soup with Gruyère Pesto
The generic recipe for winter squash soup or puree typically begins by calling for a scary amount of the squash “peeled, seeded, and cubed,” and then steamed or boiled. Have you ever tried to peel, let alone cut, even one of these hard winter squashes? There may be no easier way to cut yourself in the kitchen. And why bother boiling or steaming a vegetable, which makes it watery, when you can roast it and concentrate the flavor?
My favorite… more »
Cauliflower Soup with Caraway and Rye Croutons
What I love about vegetable soups like this one is that they boast the soul satisfying consistency of cream without actually containing any. Cooked and pureed, most vegetables are amazingly creamy all by themselves. (OK, some of them need to be pureed with potato to create the desired effect, but you get my point.) I love cream, but it is heavy and although it delivers nice mouth feel, it dulls the flavor of whatever you are eating. When you put… more »
Spanish-style White Bean, Kale, and Chorizo Soup
In the early nineties, I went on a weeklong press trip to Spain. Other than learning everything there is to know about olive oil—the stated purpose of our trip—all we did for a week was eat ourselves silly and drink many bottles of beautiful Spanish wine. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with Spanish cuisine. Based on impeccably fresh ingredients, it is gutsy, flavorful, and simple. Here is a soup to warm the last weeks of winter.
1/2 pound dried… more »
Gingery Chicken Broth with Wonton Ravioli
This soup combines two of my favorite recipes—Eileen Yin Fei Lo’s gingery Chinese chicken broth and Jacques Pépin’s chicken breast stuffing—with one of my favorite techniques, wonton as ravioli. Eileen introduced me to Chinese-style chicken broth when she appeared on my show to make recipes from her book The Chinese Way. In the comfort category, it is right up there with the Jewish version. In the healing category, how can you miss with not one but two major restoratives: old-fashioned chicken… more »
I was born and bred in New York, but my roots are in New England, so you might say that chowder is in my blood. My family has always made New England-style chowder by starting with whole cod or haddock on the bone, because the bones are the key to big, big flavor. On a weeknight in the twenty-first century, however, I know most of us just don’t have the time. So here’s a simpler version. (OK, this recipe requires… more »
Southern Manhattan Corn Chowder with Fried Pickles
Everyone knows that corn and tomatoes go together like love and marriage. Adding pickles to the mix is my own little twist. Originally, I wanted to create a Manhattan Corn Chowder on the model of a Manhattan Clam Chowder. But when I thought of Manhattan, I thought of delis. When I thought of delis, I thought of pickles. And when I thought of pickles, I thought of the American south, where they slice, bread, and fry the sour little suckers… more »
Smoky Salmon Chowder with Lemon Pepper Crackers
This hot and hearty chowder is a great dish for a winter weeknight. Made with milk, not cream, it’s healthier and lighter than a classic chowder but seems plenty substantial as you are enjoying it. (The downside is that it is a bit more likely to look a little curdled when the lemon juice is added than it would have if made with cream.) The crackers provide the chowder with a tangy counter-point. I had never made crackers before, but they… more »
Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Salsa Mayonnaise
Once upon a time Gourmet…
magazine ran a recipe for an appetizer of black-eyed pea cakes with jerk pork. I loved it as it was, but it occurred to me that we could conjure up a great vegetarian entrée by losing the pork, making the cakes bigger, and then topping the cakes with a tasty sauce. The use of canned black-eyed peas (they mash up better than the dried and cooked kind) and prepared mayonnaise makes the preparation of this more »
Mini Meat Loaves
One evening I was making individual free-form meat loaves on Cooking Live…
when a viewer called in and said she used a similar recipe but always mixed up a double batch and then froze half in muffin tins. On evenings when there was nothing else in the fridge, she‘d just pop some of those muffin meat loaves into the oven and—voilà—there was dinner. Admittedly, meat loaf is not the most complicated dish on this earth, but it is more work more »
Sara’s New Book
|In my newest book, I share more than 200 new family-tested, family-pleasing recipes. Whether you’re new to the kitchen or just looking for a way to spice up your recipe repertoire, my carefully tested quick and easy recipes will help you get dinner on the table every night of the week.