We are well into the time of year when holiday cooking and baking is on everyone's radar. Last year around this time I became so caught up in planning our holiday menus that I started to lose inspiration for simple, everyday fall cooking, and I've vowed not to let that happen this season. The good thing about this warmly-spiced, nutritious grain salad is that it fills both roles: everyday side (or main) dish as well as truly beautiful contender for the holiday table.
When we were young(er) and broke(r), I didn't know what to do about meat. I'm a meat eater and, nursing a newborn, I was always hungry. Fine. That's just an excuse. I'm just a big eater, lactating or not. I didn't want to subsist on rice and beans, and tofu wasn't all that cheap. The meat I craved was grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone free, and preferably from a nearby farm. The good stuff does not come cheap! Our $10 weekly vegetable co-op bag formed the base of our menu, and I learned to use meat sparingly.
My wife isn't the biggest fan of turkey... which is a polite way of saying that she hates it! "She's just never had a good turkey," you might say. Au contraire mon ami, she's had 'em done all the right ways from all the right people. Yet still, as far as she's concerned, turkeys can pack its bags and jettison on a private plane co-piloted by Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Off to Never Neverland!
For others who may be turkey disinclined, some options...
When I was in my 20s I decided to live alone, finally, after sharing homes and apartments with an ever-changing stream of roommates. That first year in my solo apartment was the genesis of my desire to learn how to cook well. I knew how to follow a recipe, but I realized there's so much more to becoming a cook at ease in the kitchen. I remember staring at a pile of brown and wilted vegetables in my fridge and thinking how recipes are nothing more than the gleaming tip of the iceberg, shiny and alluring, but not signaling the many demands they make on a cook: how to shop, how to plan, how to make the most of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry every single day.
There were a few recipes that got me through those early days of starting to acquire the 95% of kitchen knowledge that isn't found in recipes. No matter how empty my fridge, I always had eggs, lentils, and spices, and maybe you do too. If so, this is the simplest weeknight meal — homey and comforting.
I first discovered Wiener Schnitzel as a little girl eating "around the world" at Disney's Epcot Center, and those two words still make me giggle. Funny name aside, it's a classic dish that's easy to prepare.
If there's one thing cooler climates encourage us to do, it's to take things slow. It's an attitude adjustment we all experience, regardless of our location. Fortunately, a slow cooker is a tool versatile enough to be an answer for us all. Here are eight recipes covering a wide range of regions and flavors. Why not simmer down with one of them this weekend?
Talk about easy! This "poached" salmon recipe isn't necessarily about long cooking but it definitely highlights a slow cooker's other abilities — like putting something into the pot and walking away. What you get is a moist, flavorful salmon without the usual worries of dry, overcooked fish.
Boeuf Bourguignon is so much more than just another beef stew. This classic French dish, made so popular by a certain Ms. Julia Child, is the kind of stew that can earn marriage proposals. The aroma alone — that deeply savory aroma of onions, slow-cooked beef, and red wine — is enough to make your eyes roll skyward and your knees go weak. Make Boeuf Bourguignon once and you'll wonder why anyone ever bothers making anything else.
Autumn is all about the warming, stick-to-your-ribs dishes that sound so good as the weather cools down, but comfort food doesn't have to mean heavy and cheesy. For the fall pumpkin-carving party I hosted for our latest Gatherings From The Kitchn, I wanted to serve a meal that was fresh and healthy as well as warm and comforting, so I planned a buffet centered around an Indian-themed baked sweet potato bar.
The main topping was rich and flavorful lamb korma, a creamy curry made with lean lamb leg and a little coconut milk that was surprisingly light — yet tasted totally decadent. Even better? This is a recipe that tastes best after a day or two in the fridge, making it a great make-ahead dinner party option.