The chefs at my culinary school in Guangzhou would often whip up this homestyle dish for our family lunches. Tossed on the stinging-hot sides of a wok, cabbage leaves wilt quickly and caramelize on the edges; this recipe makes them aromatic with dried red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns, and laces them in a savory, vinegar-tinged sauce. Use your wok or skillet over the highest flame, and you should still get a nice seared-in juiciness and aroma without an industrial burner. If you’re doubling the recipe, stir-fry it in two batches to avoid overcrowding the wok, which would steam rather than sear the cabbage. When prepping the cabbage, tear the leaves with your hands instead of using a knife for maximum raggedy edges—Chinese cooks swear it tastes better this way. The best cabbage for stir-frying is the flat-headed, looser Taiwanese cabbage, which has sweeter and more tender leaves.
This recipe from Nick Leighton and Leah Bonnema–hosts of the hilarious etiquette podcast Were You Raised by Wolves–pretty much sums up everything we look for on our podcast The One Recipe.
It’s a recipe with provenance. It comes from Cathy Burgett, a cooking instructor at the legendary Tante Marie Cooking School in San Francisco where, while he was still in High School, Nick took evening and weekend classes. It’s a simple, and adaptable recipe, as Leah learned, when she swapped in blueberries for the cranberries. And it yields a sneakily fancy result because, according to Nick, everything feels more fancy when it’s upside down.
The flavors of brown butter are incredible, adding a rich, nutty flavor to the simplest of dishes. To round out the richness of the brown butter sauce, the dish is paired with crispy panko breadcrumbs with notes of sesame and lime juice to add a beautiful brightness. This recipe combines bold flavors and simple techniques to create the perfect weeknight dinner to add to your repertoire.
This simple and delicious chickpea recipe is the dish Hrishikesh requested every year for his birthday and also, the first thing he learned to cook. His mother was a formidable cook, cooking Indian food every night for her family. and her recipe could not be simpler; chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and spices that use whatever you have on hand.
Chef Yia Vang of Union Hmong Kitchen in Minneapolis brings us his One, a recipe for a whole fish wrapped in banana leaves. This is a full-hearted family recipe as Yia, who grew up in Northern Wisconsin, spent hours fishing off the dock with his father. The recipe is simple. Based on quality ingredients with a gentle and aromatic method of steaming, you can use with any seafood. There’s nothing more impressive than unveiling this banana leaf-wrapped fish to company and serving it with his flavor-packed sauce, a squeeze of lime, and handfuls of fresh herbs.
In Mexico you are as likely to find the comforting pasta dish fideo seco on the table as beans or rice, especially in central Mexico, where it is very popular. We cook fideos not as the Italians do, but like the Spanish, who brought them to Mexico, first frying them in oil until they are toasty and nutty-tasting, then simmering them in a tomato-based sauce or broth until the sauce thickens considerably and coats the noodles. Forget al dente—our pasta is soft, and that’s the way we love it. The dish is called fideo seco—dry noodles—because it is not saucy at all. It’s also very convenient, because you can make it ahead. You can get packages of fideo pasta, thin noodles broken into pieces, in stores that sell Mexican ingredients, but you can also use thin Italian noodles such as vermicelli, angel hair, thin spaghetti, or spaghetti, and break them up yourself.
I include three different kinds of dried chiles—ancho, guajillo, and chipotle—here in addition to tomatoes, onion, and garlic. For one more layer of complexity—a bit of sweetness in addition to smoky heat—I add some adobo sauce from chipotles in adobo. Top with a drizzle of crema and a sprinkling of tangy cheese, with some sliced avocado to counterbalance the heat of the chiles, and I guarantee that you’ll make it again and again.
Want to “wake up” your white fish with full flavor? Look no further than George McCalman’s recipe for fried jacks. Jacks is a local tropical fish indigenous to the Caribbean, but you can substitute with any mellow white fish. With a dish so simple and quick, we recommend seeking out a Grenadian curry, which differs from its Indian counterpart, with roots going back to the slave and spice trade. We promise this dish is bound to take your tastebuds to the Caribbean.
If the flavors of autumn could be rolled into one, this meringue roulade would be the result: warming cinnamon, burnt honey, sweet apples, and tangy orange come together to make a dessert fit for the festive season. Make sure all your individual components have completely cooled before assembling—you don’t want to create any excess moisture in the roulade. Get ahead by preparing the apples and cream the day before, keeping them refrigerated until needed.