OOne of the great joys of my job is that there are people in my life who push me when I see them and tell me what they have made of my columns. My favorite interactions are with my doctor, who I love and who has been taking care of me for many years. Yesterday, during an appointment in the exam room, she picked up her phone, opened an article and started scrolling as she gave me the recipe overview:
Crushed Green Beans With Pistachios: “This is the only way to make string beans.”
Dutch baby: “It didn’t work with oat milk, but still tasty.”
Broccoli salad with garlic and sesame: “This? lovely.”
In return, I serve as a concierge for private recipes and send her to dishes I think she will enjoy. A handful of those are listed below, along with a few of her own picks.
Salmon with anchovy garlic butter
Through: Melissa Clark
Chopped anchovies and garlic add a complex salt content to seared salmon, enriching and deepening the flavor. To get the most out of it, the anchovies and garlic are pureed into soft butter, which is used in two ways: as a cooking medium and as a sauce. Used to fry the salmon, brown the butter and caramelize the anchovies and garlic, sweeten. When stirred into the pan sauce, the raw garlic and anchovies give an intense bite that is softened by the creaminess of the butter. It’s a quick, weeknight dish that’s much more nuanced than the usual seared salmon — but no more difficult to prepare.
Total time: 25 minutes
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 big garlic clove, minced (or 2 small)
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 (170-225 g) salmon fillets on skin
2 tbsp drained capers, patted dry
Fresh chopped parsley, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200C degrees. In a small bowl, purée butter, anchovies, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. In a large ovenproof casserole, melt about half of the anchovy butter. Add the fish, skin side down. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes to brown the skin, spooning some pan drippings over the top of the fish as it cooks. Add capers to the bottom of the pan and transfer to the oven. Roast until fish is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the oven and add the remaining anchovy butter to the pan to melt. Place salmon on plates and spoon buttery pan sauce over. Squeeze half a lemon over the salmon and garnish with chopped parsley. serve.
Silken tofu with spicy soy dressing
Through: Hetty McKinnon
This recipe is inspired by the many cold silk tofu dishes from East Asia, such as Japanese hiyayakko and Chinese liangban tofu. This no-cook dish is handy to have on hand, especially for warm evenings when you don’t feel like cooking. Silky smooth tofu is draped in a spicy soy dressing, creating a vibrant dish with little effort. The tofu is ideally served cold, but 10 minutes at room temperature can take the edge off. Make it your own with other fresh herbs such as Thai basil, mint or shiso leaves, or crunch with fried shallots or roasted peanuts. A salty, fermented element such as kimchi, pickled radish, or ja choi, also known as zha cai, a pickled mustard root from Sichuan, would also work well. A block of silken tofu is usually enough to feed two people, but for a more hearty meal, serve it with hot rice or noodles to create a pleasing temperature contrast.
Total time: 5 minutes
For the spicy soy dressing†
¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chili oil
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1 spring onion, green and white parts, chopped
for the tofu†
2 (400g) blocks of silken tofu, cold
1 spring onion, green and white parts, thinly sliced
Handful of coriander leaves
1. Make the dressing: Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, sugar, sesame seeds and spring onion in a small bowl. Beat until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Carefully pour out the liquid from the package of tofu and gently tip the block onto a kitchen towel (try to keep the block whole if possible, but don’t worry if it falls apart, it will still taste great). Dab with another clean tea towel and remove as much liquid as possible. Transfer the blocks to a large plate or two smaller plates and spoon the soy dressing over the tofu until it is completely covered. Top with spring onions and coriander leaves and eat it as is or with rice or noodles on the side.
Spring barley soup
Through: Ali Slagle
This soup is as cozy as mushroom barley soup and as lively as spring. Chewy barley, crisp asparagus and peas layered in a broth backed by umami-rich soy sauce and miso. Hits of fresh ginger and vinegar enliven the mix. Feel free to swap out any other veggies that catch your eye: add leeks and savory veggies to the barley, and faster-cooking veggies like sliced turnips or green peas with the asparagus. Thinly slice the asparagus makes them easier to eat with a spoon, but cut them larger if you prefer. For more protein, add diced soft or firm tofu to bowls, or stir a beaten egg into the pan as you would for hot and sour soup.
Total time: 45 minutes
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, coconut oil or olive oil
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
150 g pearl barley
1 tbsp soy sauce, plus more to taste
1 bunch asparagus (about 450 g), tough ends removed, stems thinly sliced cm thick, ends whole
140 g fresh or frozen peas, edamame or broad beans
3 tbsp yellow or white miso
1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 1 tbsp)
1. In a large saucepan or frying pan, add the oil and garlic and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and tender, but not brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add 6 cups of water, the barley and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until barley is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Add the asparagus and peas and cook until bright green and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir a spoonful of soup into the miso until dissolved. Pour into the pan, along with the rice vinegar, ginger and remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce; stir to combine. Taste for salt content and adjust with more soy sauce (leftovers will keep for up to 2 days; heat over low heat, dilute with water and add vinegar and soy sauce to taste).
Through: Kay Chun
Pasta amatriciana is a traditional Italian dish with a sauce of guanciale (salted pork cheek), tomato, pecorino romano and peppers. Some variations include onion and white wine. The finished product tastes much more complex than the ingredient list suggests: This easy pantry meal delivers deep flavors, as the bright, tangy tomato base balances out the rich pork, and a mix of dried chilies adds subtle layers of heat. Guanciale can be found in Italian specialty stores or online, but pancetta is a good alternative. Bucatini is a thicker pasta with a hollow center that catches the thick sauce, but spaghetti yields equally tasty results.
Total time: 25 minutes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
115g guanciale or pancetta, diced
1 (800 g) can whole tomatoes, crushed with your hands in a bowl
½ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
½ tsp red pepper flakes
450 g dried bucatini
70g grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnish
1. Heat olive oil in a large 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. To the casserole, add tomatoes, black pepper and red pepper flakes and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain.
3. Add pasta, tomato sauce and ½ cup pasta cooking water to large pasta pot and stir vigorously over medium heat until pasta is evenly coated with sauce, about 1 minute (add more pasta water if sauce is dry). ) Remove from heat, stir in cheese and season with salt.
4. Divide the pasta between bowls and garnish with more cheese and black pepper.
Chicken schnitzel with pan-roasted grapes
Through: Lidey Heuck
No matter how you spin it, making schnitzel is a bit of a process. But by starting with thinly sliced chicken breasts or chicken cutlets, this recipe takes out the most time-consuming step — mashing the chicken — and makes weeknight schnitzel more doable. The contrast in temperatures and textures of the pan-roasted grapes and tangy sour cream make for perfectly balanced bites. Serve with a simple green salad with a lemony vinaigrette.
Total time: 20 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups seedless red grapes, washed and dried (about 340 g)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
180 grams of sour cream
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
6g all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
180 g panko breadcrumbs
4 chicken breasts (about 450 g in total), mashed or sliced to a thickness of about 1.5 cm
¼ cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed, canola, or safflower oil
1. Heat oil in a large (30cm) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the grapes, 1½ tbsp rosemary, the vinegar, ½ tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently and crushing some of the grapes with the back of a wooden spoon when they start to soften. Transfer the grapes and their juices to a small bowl. Wipe the pan with a damp paper towel and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the sour cream, 2 teaspoons lemon juice (reserve the zest for serving), and ½ teaspoon salt.
2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate. In a second bowl, beat the eggs and mustard until smooth. In a third bowl, mix the panko with the remaining 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper.
3. Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken breasts one at a time in the flour, shaking off the excess, then in the egg mixture and finally the panko mixture. Transfer the prepared breasts to a plate until ready to cook (at this point, the chicken breasts can be covered and refrigerated for several hours before cooking).
4. Heat the grapeseed oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot (it should sizzle when you drop a breadcrumb into the pan), place two breasts, evenly spaced, in the pan and cook for 1½ to 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and just cooked through . Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the pan and repeat the process with the other two breasts.
5. Place the chicken on a serving platter, scoop the grapes on top and sprinkle the lemon zest over the chicken. Serve with the lemon sour cream on the side.
The New York Times