skillet turkey chili

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minim…

Right around the time quarantine cookies and tacos became a habit this spring, I also realized that that none of my existing chili recipes exactly fit the bill of what I wanted for dinner — namely, to focus on ground turkey, have a minimized ingredient list, and not take terribly long because it turns out that even with all day, every day at home, I just don’t have enough time to plan ahead for dinner and please don’t try to use reason or psychology to suggest there are other forces at play, okay?

what you'll need (cornbread optional, but not for us)

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simple cauliflower tacos

Last week I told you about our favorite quarantine cookies. This is our quarantine taco, another simple discovery from our early Inside Days this spring that ticked a miraculous number of boxes at once. Like, “How do we turn this massiv…

Last week I told you about our favorite quarantine cookies. This is our quarantine taco, another simple discovery from our early Inside Days this spring that ticked a miraculous number of boxes at once. Like, “How do we turn this massive head of cauliflower into dinner because it’s too big for our overstuffed fridge?” and “without having to go to the store and buy anything extra?” It used so many ingredients that had become staples — canned beans, cotija (great fridge shelf life), red onions, tortillas, and a small luxury of an avocado delivery service we discovered right when we needed it most. Plus, it managed to work for the whole family, including our pickiest, who we discovered liked roasted cauliflower and also pickled onions, we suspect because they’re pink.

what you'll need
roasted until almost charred

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roast chicken with schmaltzy cabbage

I didn’t know I needed a new roast chicken in my life when Helen Rosner, the New Yorker’s roving food correspondent and all-around fascinating person, posted on her Instagram a few weekends ago that she didn’t have her usual …

I didn’t know I needed a new roast chicken in my life when Helen Rosner, the New Yorker’s roving food correspondent and all-around fascinating person, posted on her Instagram a few weekends ago that she didn’t have her usual vegetables to put under her roast chicken so she was using cabbage instead. Yet the very next evening, so was I, plus twice since then, and likely one more time before this week is out and I have a hunch I will not be alone. Rosner won a James Beard award for an essay I still routinely quote from to my kids (“but chicken tenders have no terroir!” because we live in opposite land where they don’t like them but I do — but that’s a whole other blog entry) because it delights me so much. A year ago she nearly broke the internet when she said she likes to use a hairdryer to get the crispiest chicken skin. All I’m saying is that when Rosner talks about chicken, I find good reason to tune in.

all you need (plus some butter)cut into thick quartersa cabbage jigsawbaste with butter

Look, I really like cabbage. I was never tormented with it as a kid, so I love it with the abandon of someone who chooses it. I like it in salads. I like it pickled. I love it roasted. But even if you’re not me, even if you’re cabbage-hesitant, I think you will find cabbage cooked slowly in salty buttery chicken drippings until charred at the edges and caramelized throughout — the cause of fighting at dinner over who got the best pieces of cabbage (!) — to be best thing to eat with roast chicken since potatoes.

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chicken, leek, and rice soup

I hope nobody you know is sick right now. I hope it’s, at worst, a common cold, common boredom bred by self-quarantine, or a stubbed toe because you tried some ridiculous workout video you found online. Or, if you’re me, last week,…

I hope nobody you know is sick right now. I hope it’s, at worst, a common cold, common boredom bred by self-quarantine, or a stubbed toe because you tried some ridiculous workout video you found online. Or, if you’re me, last week, after yet another thing fell out of my chaotic freezer onto my foot (I don’t even get to blame “fitness”) I decided to, what’s that word, it feels so unnatural to type… organize? Right, that. I decided to sift through the freezer and see what was taking up so much space and I realized that Deb Of A Few Months (let’s be honest: probably longer) Ago did a very cool thing and made an excess of chicken stock and froze it in one-quart bags which meant that “wohoo! dinner is sorted!”

what you'll needthinly sliced, never enoughleeks, garlicadd good broth

I’ve published a few chicken noodle soups recipes to date. I’ve got a quite rushed one and a leisurely one for when you want absolute perfection; there’s a grandma-style cozy on in Smitten Kitchen Every Day, my second cookbook, but one thing I’ve not yet covered is the simplest: a chicken soup you make with already-made stock.*

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white bean soup with crispy kale

I dreamed up this soup with picky eaters in mind and I know how picky eaters think because I was one. Well, am one. (Shh, don’t tell anyone. I’ve managed to keep it a secret so long.)

My first cookbook has no soup recipes because…

I dreamed up this soup with picky eaters in mind and I know how picky eaters think because I was one. Well, am one. (Shh, don’t tell anyone. I’ve managed to keep it a secret so long.)

what you'll need

My first cookbook has no soup recipes because I didn’t consider myself a soup person, although this makes it sound like a failing of identity and it was really that I found soup depressingly monotonous: must every spoonful be exactly like the one before? A bowl felt a lifetime long. But my second cookbook (and my third, should I ever get to writing that thing, heh) has a big one because I finally figured out how to make soup that kept me interested: fixings. For me, when a soup is simple, it’s about the finishes. I love a salad bar of options and I love to be able to add more as I eat, so no two spoonfuls are exactly alike. This technique has come in handy with every variety of choosy eaters in my family — a husband who doesn’t like smooth soups, a son who can be convinced to eat most things if they have bacon, and a daughter who eats approximately nothing but is known to demolish bowls of kale chips and will steal the bacon off your plate without asking or expressing any level of remorse after. (She’s a cat. I gave birth to a cat.) (Although temporarily a spider.)

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skillet ravioli with spinach

One of the biggest shocks of my post, cough, 30 life is that I have become, well, a jock. It unfolded in such an innocent manner, I barely registered what was happening. I always swam laps but every couple years I take a break from it to tortu…

One of the biggest shocks of my post, cough, 30 life is that I have become, well, a jock. It unfolded in such an innocent manner, I barely registered what was happening. I always swam laps but every couple years I take a break from it to torture myself into becoming “a runner” (read: jogging and sputtering). I usually fail and go back to swimming but this time it held my interest longer. Then I decided to throw in a day a week with a trainer because I’m just not the kind of person who does burpees on my own volition. Then I found out my trainer used to be a boxer, and so I started that too. Then I got my mom’s old bike and it turns out that biking around the city is vastly superior to any other mode of transportation. And then my husband decided that he wanted to get back into tennis and I was bummed I’d never learned and now we both take tennis classes once a week. If you think I’m about to break into some horrifically boring speech about, like, the power of exercise, don’t worry, I’m still me. If there was any takeaway here, anyway, it would just be that once I realized I did not care whether I ever achieved greatness in any of these sports — I have no desire to run races and spend more time gesticulating my racket in the direction of a tennis ball than I do hitting it — I was free to truly enjoy them.

all you needsaute garlic, wilt the spinachset asidefrozen or fresh ravioli

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chicken tikka masala

In February, I fell into an I Miss GBBO rabbit hole (my interest waned when Mel, Sue and Mary Berry left, although perhaps it’s my loss) and found myself on Chetna Makan, the talented semifinalist from the 2014 season’s YouTube pag…

In February, I fell into an I Miss GBBO rabbit hole (my interest waned when Mel, Sue and Mary Berry left, although perhaps it’s my loss) and found myself on Chetna Makan, the talented semifinalist from the 2014 season’s YouTube page, watching her make her mom’s chicken curry. It looked absolutely amazing. I watched the video, “BEST Chicken Curry recipe!” three times, and, having failed to find the recipe online or in her cookbooks, did that thing I imagine we had to in the pre-internet era of food television: wrote down the recipe from what she was saying. My kids were in the backseat and I kept saying “shh! I need to hear what spice this is!” (I’m fun.)

fresh tomatoes, just trust memarinated chicken, onions, tomatoes, and spice

I have so many dishes of Indian subcontinent origin on this site, but there hasn’t been a go-to chicken curry, just this sheet pan tikka, mostly because I didn’t know I needed one in my life. Silly Deb. But then I followed the recipe from my scrawled notes, we ate it for dinner, and absolutely did not shut up about it for at least three weeks after, telling everyone I saw about this “unbelievably good chicken curry” that would now be a staple in my cooking repertoire forever. I told friends to watch the video and make it, and would then text them a list of the changes I’d made and shockingly, this [“Watch and transcribe a 5-minute cooking video and then make these edits”] didn’t tempt anyone. I mean, if only I had an internet website I could share the edited recipe on and send them a link to? Nah, who needs that noise.

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chickpea and kale shakshuka

The fact that it’s taken me almost 10 years to find a new version of shakshuka to fuss over, is as much a testament to the superbness of the classic as it is a compliment to these new additions. Shakshuka, if you’re unfamiliar with…

The fact that it’s taken me almost 10 years to find a new version of shakshuka to fuss over, is as much a testament to the superbness of the classic as it is a compliment to these new additions. Shakshuka, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a North African dish, largely Tunisian, of eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s also one of the most beloved recipes in the Smitten Kitchen archives, right up there with broccoli slaw and my mom’s apple cake, and for good reason: it’s about the highest calling of eggs-for-dinner I’ve found, and I think we know how hard I’ve studied this category. This recipe takes it a step further into the realm of a stew, with chickpeas and kale, and it comes from a wonderful book out this past spring, Family, by Hetty McKinnon.

what you'll need

McKinnon got her start in Sydney, Australia almost 10 years ago with a salad-delivery service she ran out of her home kitchen and biked the deliveries around town, which sounds amazing right now, doesn’t it? Now in Brooklyn, she co-founded Neighborhood Studio, a communal cooking space. Family, her third cookbook, focuses on vegetarian comfort food with an eye towards the daily ritual of cooking, however your family might look, and it might be my favorite yet. It’s incredibly down-to-earth about weeknight cooking; you get the sense that these are recipes that have really worked for her family while keeping the people who cook from finding it a drag. I’ve made the spinach and halloumi gozleme, the cacio e pepe broccoli with white beans (I mean, talk about all of my favorite food words in one title), I’m eager to try the tofu larb, but this, this is the dish I’ve now made three times since May and don’t expect to stop any time soon. It’s hearty and comforting, so perfect for this first day that really feels like fall.

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