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Eating In

That One Recipe That Will Make You Love Cauliflower

My relationship with cauliflower has always been a little lukewarm. Indifferent. I'm always noticing that it's the last picked vegetable on the crudité platter and it's often an under-seasoned afterthought.

But roasting cauliflower florets with bacon fat gives the vegetable a new texture and flavor: smoky, savory and incredibly addictive. I think this recipe makes just enough of the vinaigrette to bring out those bacon qualities, while keeping its crisped edges intact. Serve this hot out of the oven and make anyone a cauliflower convert!

The Most Delicious Way to Eat Fruit This Winter

There's an alchemy that occurs when roasting fruit.  It becomes both sweeter and more savory as the flavors meld and concentrate in the oven; mid-winter's answer to a ripe September peach eaten over the sink. 

Here, Lidia Bastianich lets pears and grapes soften in a bath of Moscato wine and sugar, the sweetness tempered with tangy apricot jam, heady vanilla and a little lemon. So good.

Spoon the reduced juices over the fruit and serve with a scoop of the best vanilla gelato or ice cream you can get your hands on.  And of course, a glass of that Moscato. 

A Budget-Friendly Meal That's Rich With Italian Flavor

Served over spaghetti or polenta, or tucked into crusty bread with melted cheese for a sandwich, meatballs are the ultimate Italian comfort food.  

A very budget-friendly recipe, the ground beef (already an inexpensive cut) stretches even further — and is made more moist and flavorful — with the addition of eggplant, Italian sausage and Grana Padano cheese, the less pricey cousin of Parmigiano-Reggiano. 

The meatballs can be made a day ahead and leftovers freeze beautifully, right in the tomato sauce...but with a dinner this delicious, they'll be gone before you know it. 

  • December 7, 2015

Become the Juicy Pork Chop Champion

A tough, dry pork chop is the bane of every cook's existence. So brown your chops on the stovetop with whole garlic cloves to boost the flavor. And then put them in the oven with pears, onions and a tenderizing vinegar-honey mix to keep the meat juicy, and to create a jammy, caramelized accompaniment.

Oh. And leave it to Lidia Bastianach to provide the perfect pairing to keep your chops moist: a sweet and savory oven-braise, topped with balsamic reduction. Yum.

Shrimp to Get Your Hands Deliciously Dirty

The queen of Italian cooking knows that simple, fresh ingredients are the building blocks of most delicious meals. In this dish—typical of her native Adriatic Coast—Bastianich shows us how to cook shrimp with their shells on, a trick for infusing garlicky white wine sauce with even more sparkling seafood flavor.

Seat guests elbow-to-elbow, pass what's left of the cooking wine at the table and set out a bowl for everyone to in toss their shells. This is communal dining at its very best.

Not Your Grandma's Meatballs

Meatballs are always a good choice for a holiday appetizer, but I like to switch things up from the traditional Italian or Swedish style you normally find at these types of parties. Pomegranate is in season this time of year, and is actually a common ingredient in Persian cooking; I took a page from that cuisine when developing this recipe. 

  • December 7, 2015

Pot Roast Perfection

Pot roast ranks right up there with roast chicken as one of my all-time favorite home cooked meals. It falls into the category of what I like to call 'Sunday suppers’—those simple, mouth watering meals that celebrate gathering around the table and make even the novice home cook feel like a chef. Like recipes for roast chicken, recipes for pot roast abound.

Put That Cranberry Sauce To Good Boozy Use

Even if you did a great job plowing through your Thanksgiving leftovers, I’m willing to bet a good number of you still have an extra can or tupperware of that jellied cranberry sauce kicking around. The good news? It makes a great addition to cocktails! Shake it up with gin, citrus, herb-infused simple syrup and some bubbly club soda, and you’ve got yourself a tangy, festive cranberry cocktail. And trust me, this seasonal libation is worth a quick trip to the market if you used up all your sauce on those turkey sandwiches.

A Foolproof Flatbread to Warm Your Bones

If you find making dough intimidating, this is a great place to start!

A hearty glug of olive oil makes this dough incredibly durable and easy to knead and roll out for baking; no delicate touch required.

My trick for crisp crust in a home oven is preheating your sheet pan. A little cornmeal dusting will help you shimmy the dough onto the pan and adds nice texture.

The combination of roasted squash and tangy blue cheese on top is a favorite, but this flatbread is a true blank canvas that can adapt to all seasons.

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