All of us have one — a dish we don’t want a recipe for. The prepping, cooking and serving has grow to be second nature, like a dance you’ve danced 1,000,000 instances earlier than. While you whip it collectively from reminiscence on a busy weeknight or at a trip rental, it makes you’re feeling a bit of completed, such as you’ve figured all of it out. (Even when it’s only for that transient shining second.) The gathering of recipes beneath, which is in no way a definitive checklist, consists of people who you may wish to work on memorizing subsequent. They’re back-pocket dishes that may by no means do you incorrect.
This quintessential stew from Molly O’Neill was first revealed within the Occasions in 1994, and it’s nonetheless a well-loved reader favourite through the chilly months of the yr. You possibly can’t go incorrect with it as-is, however don’t hesitate to experiment with utilizing completely different root greens, herbs and spices, or add a little bit of tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar to liven issues up.
There’s nothing fairly as satisfying as whipping up your personal crisp-tender naan to dip right into a bowl of home made dal or curry. This one, which Sam Sifton tailored from Meera Sodha, the British cookbook writer, is sort of easy and infinitely satisfying. “When you make the recipe two or 3 times you’ll by no means purchase naan once more,” he writes.
Recipe: Meera Sodha’s Naan
Wonderful served with crusty bread or a tangle of buttery noodles, Melissa Clark’s recipe is healthier than something you might get at a seafood restaurant chain. The secret is to not overcook the shrimp. You need them pink throughout, however not curled too tightly with, as Melissa says, “the feel of tires.”
Recipe: Basic Shrimp Scampi
Adobo is the nationwide dish of the Philippines, wherein hen, pork or fish is braised in a salty, candy and tangy mixture of rice vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, chiles and loads of black pepper (and generally coconut milk, included right here). Sam Sifton tailored this model from Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, who run the Purple Yam restaurant in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. It’s outrageously good.
This four-ingredient sauce from Marcella Hazan has its detractors, however it’s a actual feat of sensible magic. Mix a stick of butter, a can of tomatoes, one peeled and halved onion and a little bit of salt, let simmer for about 45 minutes till the tomatoes have damaged down right into a silky sauce. Serve over noodles or use it as the bottom of a comforting baked pasta.
Recipe: Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
Whereas it’s historically a Persian New 12 months dish, sabzi polo with tahdig, or herbed rice with a crisp crust, makes a terrific accompaniment to any roasted or grilled vegetable, meat or fish. There are just a few steps, however they’re all fairly easy, and the outcomes are wildly spectacular. You’ll have to summon your braveness to flip the cooked rice cake onto a platter, however don’t most good issues require a leap of religion?
Dreamy with a capital D, Millie Peartree’s Southern macaroni and cheese is splendidly wealthy because of a milk-and-egg base. Additional-sharp Cheddar provides tang and a layer of Colby Jack creates a gooey middle. Make this your fall potluck go-to.
Recipe: Southern Macaroni and Cheese
Doubanjiang (spicy bean sauce), Sichuan peppercorns and fermented black beans make this mapo tofu from Andrea Nguyen delightfully spicy and umami-rich. (These substances are simply discovered at Chinese language markets or on-line, and maintain for ages.) It’s historically made with floor beef, however you should utilize lamb, turkey or plant-based “meat,” too. Serve over rice with one thing vivid and inexperienced.
Recipe: Mapo Tofu
Discovered throughout Latin America in many various variations, arroz con pollo is a real consolation meals that lends itself to improvisation. This model from Von Diaz requires boneless hen thighs. Bone-in works, too, however skip boneless hen breasts as a result of they don’t have sufficient fats or taste to hold by means of the seasonings of the dish. To save lots of time, as an alternative of creating your personal sofrito, there isn’t a disgrace in shopping for it within the freezer part.
Recipe: Arroz Con Pollo
Meatballs are all the time a good suggestion, however they will skew dry, and pan-frying them could be a messy endeavor. Kay Chun makes use of ricotta for a supremely tender and moist meatball, then bakes them for a low-fuss different. Attempt underbaking them barely, then end cooking them in a pot of sauce for taste that carries right through the meatball. This recipe requires pork, but in addition works properly with beef, or a mixture.
Recipe: Pork and Ricotta Meatballs
Reality: When you do that recipe from the chef Judy Rodgers, you’ll by no means roast a hen one other method once more. It requires dry brining the chicken within the fridge for one to 3 days upfront, however if you happen to don’t have time for that (who does?), an hour or two, and even simply the time it takes to warmth the oven, will do. The important thing to flavorful crisp pores and skin and fall-apart meat is getting your pan tremendous sizzling and utilizing loads of salt to season the chicken.
For impossibly fudgy and dense brownies, Alice Medrich requires baking them at excessive warmth, then plunging the pan into an ice water bathtub so the batter slumps and concentrates right into a truffle-like delight. A phrase of warning: Don’t use a glass pan. It might shatter upon hitting the ice water.
Recipe: New Basic Brownies
Mark Bittman’s pancake recipe is simply appropriately: easy and foolproof, which implies pancakes don’t need to be a weekend-only affair. Attempt utilizing completely different flours or including fruit or chocolate chips to the batter. When you’ve got leftovers, separate with layers of parchment paper and freeze in a resealable bag or hermetic container, then reheat particular person pancakes in a toaster oven.
Recipe: On a regular basis Pancakes
Nicely, duh. Everybody wants a superb hen soup of their arsenal, and Julia Moskin’s matches the invoice. Use the perfect poultry you will discover, and right here’s a sensible reader tip: “In case you’re planning on leftovers, don’t cook dinner the noodles within the soup. Prepare dinner them individually and add to particular person bowls. Save leftover noodles individually, too. It retains them from getting too soggy.”
Recipe: Rooster Soup From Scratch