Meaty mushrooms simmered with pearl onions, wine and carrots make for a rich, wintry Bourguignon-style stew. The quality of the stock here makes a big difference, so if you’re not using homemade, buy a good brand. If you’re a meat eater, beef broth adds a familiar brawny character to this dish, but mushroom or vegetable broth work just well, especially because the whole dish is rounded out with a tamari for depth. For the best flavor, use as many kinds of mushrooms as you can get, and let them really brown when searing; that caramelization adds a lot of depth to the sauce. Maitake mushrooms give this a brisketlike texture, in a very good way.
6 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as portobello, cremini, white button, shiitake or oyster, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 10 cups)
8 ounces peeled pearl onions (2 cups), larger ones cut in half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large leek or 2 small leeks, white and light green parts, diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves (2 minced, 1 grated to a paste)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups dry red wine
1 ½ cups beef, mushroom or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce, plus more to taste
3 large fresh thyme branches or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 to 4 ounces chanterelle or oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
Smoked paprika, for serving
Polenta, egg noodles or mashed potatoes, for serving
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for serving
Add 2 tablespoons butter or oil to a large Dutch oven or pot and set it over medium heat. When the fat is hot, stir in half the mushrooms and half the pearl onions. (If it doesn’t all fit in the pot in one layer, you might have to do this in three batches, rather than two.) Without moving them around too much, cook the mushrooms until they are brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Stir and let them brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer mushrooms and onions to a large bowl or plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with another 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining mushrooms and pearl onions, seasoning them as you go.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add another 1 tablespoon butter or oil to pan. Add leeks and carrot and sauté until the leeks turn lightly golden and start to soften, 5 minutes. Add the 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté for 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add wine, broth, 1 tablespoon tamari, thyme and bay leaf, scraping up the brown bits at bottom of pot.
Add reserved cooked mushrooms and pearl onions back to the pot and bring to a simmer. Partly cover the pot and simmer on low heat until carrots and onions are tender and sauce is thick, 30 to 40 minutes. Taste and add more salt and tamari if needed. Stir in the grated garlic clove.
Just before serving, heat a small skillet over high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon butter or oil. Add half of the sliced chanterelles or oyster mushrooms and let cook without moving until they are crisp and brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and smoked paprika. Repeat with remaining butter and mushrooms. Serve mushroom Bourguignon over polenta, noodles or mashed potatoes, topped with fried mushrooms and parsley.
This vegan dish is inspired by three-cup chicken, a deeply savory Taiwanese specialty that can be traced back to the 13th century, to the execution of Wen Tianxiang, a scholar-general of the Song dynasty who resisted Kublai Khan’s invasion. The night before Wen’s death, a guard is said to have made him the surprisingly pungent chicken dish with the prison’s limited resources. It has many variations, but usually calls for braising chicken in rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil with plenty of ginger, garlic and basil. Here, root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and turnips take the place of the chicken, but feel free to also add tofu and quick-cooking vegetables like broccoli or snap peas with the roots. Serve over rice or ramen noodles to soak up sauce.
2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
6 cups root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and-or turnips, cut into 1/4-inch slices and halved or quartered if large (about 2 pounds)
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
¾ cup Chinese rice wine
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 dried chiles, like chiles de árbol, or 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn if large
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the vegetables, ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender and browned in spots, 7 to 10 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and stir in the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the basil.
If you’re more of a savory person, be sure to try Audrey’s family recipe. For holidays spent down in Mississippi with her Aunt Lauren, this simple spinach pie is the perfect complement to turkey or ham (and also tastes great for breakfast leftovers).
2 double crust ready-to-use pie crusts
6 eggs (reserve 1 yolk)
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
20 oz. chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
2 lb. sausage (1 hot, 1 mild)
½ c. cottage cheese
2 cloves minced garlic
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Beat the eggs and cook the spinach.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until evenly browned.
Mix together all the ingredients and pour the mixture into the two pie shells.
Cover with the top crusts and cut slits for ventilation.
Mix egg yolk with water and brush the mixture on top of the pie.
In true Southern grandmother style, Charlotte’s Mama-Jo baked tins full of sweets each December. These peanut butter bars were the most coveted by friends and neighbors. Enjoy this surprisingly simple, Southern twist on the Reece’s peanut butter cup.
1 ½ sticks melted margarine
1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs
1 lb. XXXX powdered sugar
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 (18-oz.) jar peanut butter
Work together margarine, cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter in a medium bowl. Pack the mixture firmly into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave and pour them over the peanut butter mixture. Let cool and cut into squares
There is no need to reserve this recipe exclusively for vegans: This noodle dish will win over any crowd, regardless of dietary dispositions. Here, tofu is blended with garlic, five-spice powder and water for a creamy yet weightless sauce that wraps around each noodle. The same technique can be used to create a lush dairy-free pasta sauce (just add nutritional yeast and fresh herbs) or a ranch-like dip (blitz silken tofu with garlic, onion powder and herbs). For this recipe, be sure to use firm tofu, as it has more body and makes for a heartier sauce. The creamy noodles provide the perfect backdrop for the spicy, punchy black vinegar sauce.
FOR THE NOODLES:
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
12 ounces thick Chinese wheat noodles
1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, broken into pieces
2 garlic cloves, sliced
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon five-spice powder
½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus a few sprigs for serving
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Toasted white sesame seeds, for garnish
FOR THE TOPPING:
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (black vinegar), or a combination of 4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chile oil or chile crisp, such as Chiu Chow chile oil
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Prepare the noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package instructions until the noodles are just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain well again.
As noodles cook, prepare the topping: Add vinegar, soy sauce, chile oil, scallion, ginger and 1 tablespoon water to a small bowl and stir to combine.
Place the tofu, garlic, sugar, five-spice and 3/4 teaspoon salt into a blender or food processor and blend, adding about 6 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is completely smooth and creamy. (You may need up to 12 tablespoons of water, depending on your tofu.)
Place the noodles in a large bowl and pour the tofu sauce on top. Add the cilantro and sesame oil, and toss until coated.
To serve, divide the noodles among bowls. Top with the spicy soy-vinegar sauce, sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs.
This is speedy weeknight salmon with a kick, thanks to sliced jalapeño, which flavors the honey glaze and cooks alongside the salmon. The chiles caramelize as they roast, becoming spicy and sweet. If you want to reduce the heat slightly, use two jalapeños instead of three. Serve with steamed white or brown rice, spooning the extra glaze over the salmon and rice.
¼ cup honey
3 medium jalapeños, thinly sliced crosswise into rings
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick
Olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt, to taste
½ lime, for serving
Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
Steamed rice, for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats, combine the honey, jalapeños, vinegar and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Pat the salmon fillets dry using paper towels. Brush a 9-by-9-inch baking pan (or other similar-size baking pan or dish) with olive oil, then place the fillets in the pan, arranging them evenly without crowding. Brush the fillets generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Pour the glaze and jalapeños over the salmon, spooning some of the glaze onto the fish as it collects in the bottom of the pan.
Roast the salmon for 6 minutes, then baste with the glaze. Return to the oven and roast until the salmon is cooked through but still slightly rare in the center, another 6 to 8 minutes.
Spoon the glaze in the pan over the salmon, then squeeze the lime over the salmon, and sprinkle with salt and cilantro, if using. Serve hot with rice on the side, pouring any glaze that remains in the pan over the rice.