We all have one. You know, a recipe that you're probably a little ashamed of, either because it is unglamorous or unhealthy (or both). Candied Apple Dip is one of those recipes I wish I didn't know existed. Because, quite simply, it is absolutely delicious, even if it is just plain wrong.
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.
Ice cream is the perfect dessert for busy hosts and there are so many ways to fancy up a simple scoop. Here's a tasty, seasonal idea that would work for an autumn dinner party, or even as a Thanksgiving dessert: serve scoops of pumpkin ice cream in no-bake gingersnap cups!
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.
One of the best ways to guarantee perfectly cooked beans — ones that emerge creamy and tender instead of crunchy or mushy — is cooking them ever-so gently over low, steady heat. Hmm... low and steady heat, you say? Sounds to me like a job for the slow cooker.
I love my slow cooker. No one cooks for me, and it feels great to walk into the house after a long day and smell dinner. My slow cooker is like a mother to me. There she is, at the end of the day, waiting in the kitchen with something delicious, warm and comforting.
Much like a tortured teenager doesn't always treat her mother as well as she should, I'm not gentle with my slow cooker, and I’ve broken the liner twice.
Side dishes are accompaniments that should complement a main dish, make it better, and accentuate its positives. Plunking down an afterthought on the table next to the pièce de résistance is like telling your date to a black tie affair that it’s ok to wear underwear. Some sides are quick and easy like this spicy kale. Others turn a usual suspect on its side, as in the case of this butternut squash. Salads like this slaw, aren’t “just a salad,” but rather attention-getters in their own right.
And sometimes a side dish requires more effort than the main dish it’s meant to bolster. These beans fit into that category and yield results that are worth your time.
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.