Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark takes on one of the biggest dilemmas of busy people: what are we going to eat? In each episode, you’ll join Melissa in her own home kitchen, working through one of her favorite recipes and offering helpful advice for both beginners and seasoned cooks. It’s a practical guide for weeknight eating, from the makers of The Splendid Table.
South of Mumbai is a state called Goa that still marches to the Portuguese settlers' tune that influenced its culinary scene, particularly among the masses who converted to Christianity. Pork, vinegar (especially the kind that is extracted from the cashew liquor called feni), and the local cashews appear at numerous meals alongside sweet spices like cinnamon and fiery chiles for balance. For this recipe cider vinegar steps in in lieu of the hard-to-procure cashew vinegar. Serve the pork not with the perfunctory steamed white rice but with buttered, perfectly cooked noodles (wheat, rice, or any other grain).
Makes 16 stuffed peppers, serving 4 generously as a main dish, or 8 as a first course.
30 minutes prep time; 10 minutes grill or stove time; 20 minutes grill or oven time
Serve hot or warm, and stuff them a day ahead if you'd like.
This egg salad supposedly originated with a chef who cooked for European royalty before a stint at the National Casino in Budapest, Hungary. Odds are you won’t find this delicious dish on any Las Vegas or Atlantic City menu, but it is a sure bet for lunch or at the dinner hour. Butter and sour cream lend a rich foundation, but it’s still lighter than a typical mayonnaise-based egg salad. And the anchovies add a hint of salt and briny depth. This is terrific served with lettuce and fresh vegetables as a salad, or with lettuce and tomato on toast as a sandwich.
Often called shrimp al pip-pil, this northern favorite can be either spicy in the sense of piquant, with plenty of cayenne pepper, or spicy in the sense of heavily seasoned, with garlic, cumin, sweet paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, plus plenty of fresh cilantro and parsley. This recipe is the latter, though you can add firepower as desired. The shrimp can also be prepared in individual terra-cotta dishes and served as an appetizer.
Actually, this was created by Gill's friend Jane, but it comes to us via Gill, so we're putting her name on it. It's a salad that uses up the kinds of things you find in the refrigerator during the summer.
In Italy, whenever you walk into a store that sells salumi or prepared foods, you will inevitably see some kind of rice salad. It's as ubiquitous as coleslaw is in delis here, and these rice salads can be just as unimpressive—often a half-hearted mix of canned corn, sliced olives, lackluster ham, vegetables, and rice. Still, we've always liked the idea of a rice salad and so decided to come up with a fresher, livelier version, using summer vegetables at their peak—sweet corn, ripe cherry tomatoes, spice radishes, cucumbers, and scallions, with herbs and caciocavallo cheese for complexity. But the biggest departure from the Italian standard is that instead of using the traditional white rice, we toss the vegetables with red rice from the Piedmont region. Red has a much deeper, earthier flavor than white rice and a firmer texture. If you can't find it, try using faro rather than substitution white or brown rice.
It’s taco Tuesday! Or any day! Who wouldn’t overuse exclamation points?! I loved taco night when I was a kid, when it meant yellow cheese, seasonings from a packet, and machine-molded tortilla shells—essentially, an insult to all of Mexico in one convenient box. It is, of course, better to make real tacos with sweet fresh flour tortillas.
This is such a wonderfully fresh salad, full of different tastes and textures: charred, spicy, herbal, naturally acidic, and crisp. I love to serve this as a palate-cleansing salad course.
The smaller fennel bulbs at our farmers markets tend to have a more pronounced licorice flavor that pairs nicely with the tang of good tomatoes.
Cut the potatoes into 2 or 3 pieces each. Put them in a saucepan, cover with water, add salt, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer for about 8 minutes, until tender, adding the beans for the last 2 or 3 minutes. Drain well and return to the hot pan.