Serves 3 or 4
Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish
Tamarind chutney is one of the best uses of tamarind on the planet! A favorite condiment for Indian snacks and street food, this chutney showcases the fruit’s date-like depth and tangy acidity, and balances them with brown sugar sweetness and the woody flavors of ginger and cumin. For all that complex flavor, it’s actually very easy to make and it keeps a long time. It’s a fantastic accompaniment to crispy fried food, but it’s also terrific drizzled over roasted vegetables.
THIS IS THE ULTIMATE mashed potato side dish, with just a hint of smoky cheese and savory onion. I’ve used the smoked Gouda cheese sparingly so it’s not overpowering, but it truly makes these potatoes great. These mashers are fantastic on their own; with an extra pat of butter; with Thanksgiving turkey gravy; on the side of my Pot Roast, grilled steak, or chicken; and with Easter ham. Consider halving the recipe for a smaller, weeknight meal.
A sweet-and-sour symmetry is inherent in my style of cooking. If it isn’t expressed through actual components of a dish, it’s delivered via side bowls or ramekins. Okra chow-chow has become one of my favorite media for attaining culinary harmony. And considering that okra is integral to Southern cuisine and agriculture, it’s also one of the clearest examples of two food cultures existing side by side and the ways they intersect. Serve okra chow-chow alongside scrapple (as I so often do), and you could consider this dish the poster child of Amish soul food.
You’d never guess you can create such lushness from opening three cans. Cinnamon and cloves with beans make an uncommon blend, but one that turns the beans sweet and fragrant. This was Sally’s first grown-up recipe, the remains of her obligatory vegetarian phase in college. These beans are what she craves when she’s tired, what she makes when she comes home from a trip and the cupboard is bare, and when she suddenly has seven children for dinner instead of two. The beans make a sublime burrito. Dip tortilla chips or stovetop-grilled whole wheat tortillas into them, and be sure to pass hot sauce and grated cheese at the table.
When the idea for this popped into my head, I could almost taste it. It’s such a fine tumble of contrasting flavours and textures, and the sourness comes from the mango or the tamarind: you can never be sure of a mango until you taste it, so hold fire on finishing the dressing until you’ve tried the mango – add a little honey if it is unripe and sour; leave it alone if it is edging towards sweet. This is great with pea shoots in place of rocket [Ed. note: rocket is arugula], coriander rather than mint, a red onion instead of the shallot, and by all means cast pomegranate seeds over the top. Play with it as you like.
Pickled cabbage may seem like a strange ingredient to add, but it lends this dish a subtle lactic tang—we got the idea from Isa Chandra Moskovitz, a blogger whose recipe for mac and ’shews (cashews) is widely loved.
Add a world of flavor to your cauliflower dish using the three variations below: miso ginger, tandoori, or Middle Eastern.
As with the novel, the demise of the potato is much discussed but never actually materializes, at least not in my house. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should help you cook potatoes that will go with Mediterranean dishes, Eastern European food, Indian, Greek, or sort-of-French recipes. You can stick them in the oven on the shelf below (or alongside) whatever starch-less main course you’re cooking. The first recipe is the most basic and can take endless simple variations. You do have to make sure your potatoes are cut to the correct (and roughly the same) size, though these are forgiving rather than exacting dishes. Cooked potatoes are tender and the tip of a knife will tell you whether they’re ready or not.